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1Judge's Ruling on PotSat, 12 Apr 1997
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/12/1997

Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer

A federal judge slapped a temporary restraining order on the U.S. Justice Department yesterday, prohibiting the prosecution of California doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients.

The ruling at least temporarily clears the way for doctors to treat seriously ill patients in accordance with Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative passed by state voters last year.

The temporary order was hailed as a major victory by a group of California doctors who sued the government to prevent federal retaliation against physicians for recommending marijuana under the new law.

[continues 590 words]

2 Mexico: Wire: Panel: Scrap Mexico Anti-Drug GroupSat, 12 Apr 1997
Source:Associated Press          Area:Mexico Lines:31 Added:04/12/1997

MEXICO CITY (AP) A panel of leading jurists has recommended that Mexico's corruptionridden antidrug agency be replaced by a special prosecutor who would report directly to the attorney general's office.

The panel of 12 jurists said the threeyearold National Institute for the Combat Against Drugs ``has been in an advanced state of deterioration ever since it was founded.''

The panel made its recommendations during a meeting with President Ernesto Zedillo on Friday. Excerpts of the meeting were made public in a news release from the presidential press office.

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3 Wire: Family Research Council Speaks OutSat, 12 Apr 1997
                  Area:Switzerland Lines:48 Added:04/12/1997

WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ "As our nation flirts with the idea of medical marijuana and toys with failed needle exchange programs, it is clear that the U.S. is following the Swiss example on drug policy," Family Research Council's Senior Policy Analyst Robert Maginnis said Friday. "That's why it's so appropriate that the Second International Symposium Against Drugs takes place in the heart of drug policy 'experimentation' in Switzerland."

On April 1213, Maginnis will discuss the AIDS crisis and the drug legalization movement at an international symposium held in Stadtsaal Zofingen and hosted by AIDS Information Switzerland and Swiss Physicians Against Drugs. Lawmakers and activists will espouse policy solutions and profile the impact of drug addiction and its link with the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.

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4 Nigeria: Wire: Nigerian singer Fela to face action by drugs squadSat, 12 Apr 1997
Source:Reuters          Area:Nigeria Lines:36 Added:04/12/1997

LAGOS, April 11 (Reuter) Nigeria's drugs squad on Friday said it would take action against maverick musician Fela AnikulapoKuti who was arrested on Wednesday with more than 100 of his followers.

Major General Musa Bamaiyi, who commands the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), told reporters that action would be taken against the 107 people arrested in the raid on AnikulapoKuti's home and club. A large quantity of marijuana was seized in the raid.

Bamaiyi said his squad had tried to give AnikulapoKuti counselling for his drug habit.

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5 Morocco: Wire: Morocco arrests 18,000 drug traffickers in 1996Sat, 12 Apr 1997
Source:Reuters          Area:Morocco Lines:40 Added:04/12/1997

RABAT, April 11 (Reuter) Moroccco seized 103 tonnes of cannabis bound for Europe in 1996 and arrested more than 18,000 drug traffickers, including 342 foreigners, the official MAP news agency said on Friday. Interior Minister Driss Basri, who was addressing a meeting of Western Mediterranean interior ministers in Paris, was quoted by MAP as saying: ``The nationwide campaign against drug trafficking launched by Morocco in 1996 led to the seizure of 103 tonnes of cannabis and 91 kg (200 lbs) of cocaine.'' The drugs were destined for the European market, MAP said. Security forces also arrested 18,794 people involved in drug smuggling, including 342 foreigners, most of them Europeans, MAP quoted Basri as saying.

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6Lawmakers Move To Advance State MMJ BillSat, 12 Apr 1997
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/12/1997

Legislation intended to help implement Proposition 215, the state initiative allowing medical use of marijuana, was approved Wednesday by the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Several lawenforcement officials opposed the bill, noting that marijuana continues to be banned under federal law. But supporters said the followup legislation simply advances the will of state voters, who already have approved medical use of the drug.

"This bill is very simple. It simply carries out the will of the people of California," the author of the measure, Sen. John Vasconcellos, DSanta Clara, told the committee.

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7 The Chattanooga Times Web Site ReviewsSat, 12 Apr 1997
                  Area:Vietnam Lines:121 Added:04/12/1997



Now that there's scientific proof chocolate has "canabanoids" in it that can make you high, what's going to happen to the war on drugs? That's just one bite from Chocolate Talk, a zine on this luscious bon bon of a site. Links to online chocolate shops and other tasty resources, find new uses for chocolate, or just click and drool.



Getting involved in the political process is as easy as clicking and pointing. This Massachusetts nonprofit organization rates the U.S. Congress and tracks the individual voting records of members of Congress. Their support for special interest groups is also recorded.

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8 Fight the War On DrugsSat, 12 Apr 1997
Source:Christian Science Monitor (US)          Area:United States Lines:98 Added:04/12/1997

A piece of ancient folk wisdom says, "If you're in a hole, stop digging." The United States war on drugs is a classic example of ignoring that sound advice. In the first place, every year we spend more money, hire more agents, seize more drugs, throw more people in jail and see drug use increase. And every year the people in charge of the war on drugs urge us to intensify our efforts in other words, to keep digging the hole deeper. In the second place, the corollary effects are worse than the drug abuse the war is designed to prevent. The most important of these effects is the pervasively malign influence of the money that is generated by making the drug trade illegal. This is what has spawned the street violence that is tearing the social fabric of so many American cities and leaving so many people (mainly young black men) dead. This is what is corrupting the politics of Colombia and Mexico. The tide is spreading across the USMexican border to infect United States law enforcement officers. Through campaign contributions, drug money destroyed the president of Colombia and we do not know how many other Colombian politicians. So far as we know, drug money has not reached into Los Pinos, the Mexican White House, but for months Mexicans have been buffeted by almost daily scandals of drug money in other places. Given the fact that drug lords have had almost as much experience as the CIA in laundering money and concealing paper trails, it would not be surprising if some of their money turned up as bipartisan political contributions in Washington. In the face of these baleful side effects, antidrug crusaders in Congress, including some who ought to know better, become more, not less, insistent on making drugs the litmus test of United States Latin American policy, especially with Mexico. This ignores the extraordinary historical sensitivity of Mexicans to any hint of United States interference. Attempts to coerce Mexico are not only doomed to failure but guaranteed to be counterproductive. The first step in getting out of a hole is to analyze why we started digging to begin with. In the case of the war on drugs, it was because drugs are bad. They destroy individuals and families and lead to crime and other social evils. We can deal with drugs by suppressing supply or demand or both. We have tried to do both, but the major emphasis of drug policy has been on interdicting supplies, and this has been its spectacular failure. It has also been the source of the policy's counterproductive mischief through generating the oceans of cash that pay for such widespread corruption. We would be much better off if we concentrated on suppressing demand. There are several helpful precedents for dealing with the current problem. In 1919 the United States banned "intoxicating liquors." This was in response to a prolonged campaign against the undeniable social evils linked to alcohol. What happened was the growth of other social evils represented by the rise of gangsterism as a forerunner of the Mafia. For every speakeasy broken up by federal alcohol agents, two more seemed to arise, while alcoholism continued unabated. In 1933 the United States abandoned Prohibition as a national policy (though it remained in some states and local jurisdictions) and instituted a system of regulation that on the whole has worked well. We still have alcoholism, but we do not have the pernicious side effects we had under Prohibition. Our experience in Vietnam offers another useful lesson. Voices urging intensified efforts in the war on drugs are eerily reminiscent of what we were hearing from the White House about Vietnam 30 years ago. If we sent more troops and dropped more bombs, the strategists of the Vietnam disaster told us, victory would assuredly be ours. Instead, things only got worse. Congress at last pulled the plug, and today we have normal diplomatic relations and the beginning of commerce with Vietnam. Finally, there is the example of nicotine. This is surely as addictive, and over the long term as destructive, as the main targets of the drug war. Nobody has suggested that cigarettes be made illegal. Instead, the government has mounted a vigorous propaganda campaign, which has resulted in a marked decline in smoking. The most telling commentary on the war on drugs is not that it has failed to control drugs but that it has created so many related social problems. These will endure even when and if the drug policy is changed. They are a high price to pay for pigheadedness. * Pat M. Holt, former chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, writes on foreign affairs from Washington.


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