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Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 21:24:01 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Top Three Censored Stories: North America and the Globe

>The Globe and Mail, Canada's only national newspaper, asked for top-five
>or top-ten lists of censored stories. The example they gave was a right
>wing list of stories censored by the "lib-left" media, but the tone of the
>write-up made it obvious the editor in question was no Republican. If
>anyone else wants to submit a list, Kelly and I have made the case for
>prohibiton (see below) in great detail, so feel free to make the list a
>very brief one (a la Letterman) that the editor will actually have room to
>publish (if y'all feel like a break from the ol' lte format;)
>							Chris
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Sun, 20 Jul 1997 19:21:09 -0300 (ADT)
>From: Chris Donald <ai256@chebucto.ns.ca>
>To: Focus@globeandmail.ca
>Subject: Top Three Censored Stories: North America and the Globe
>Top three censored stories; all are Canada-specific but easily 
>adapted to cover North America.
>From: Chris Donald
>via the internet
>Top Censored Story:
>	the plight of patients who use cannabis, or need to use cannabis,
>for the medical uses endorsed in an editorial by the The New England
>Journal of Medicine. 
>	My aunt died beside a toilet last year soon after cancer
>treatment; apparently she was too nauseous to keep down the prescription
>anti-emetics, and had no inhalable anti-emetic (cannabis) on hand because
>she would not break the law. Misinformation on this subject might ensure 
>pharmaceutical company bottom-lines, but it is killing patients.
>	The head of the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, Wilson Hodder, who
>consumes 44 pills a day for AIDS treatment, recently told me that there is
>not a single anti-emetic, analgesic, or appetite stimulant made by any
>pharmaceutical company that is as good as cannabis, and that his personal
>experience is shared by almost every survivor of AIDS that he knows. 
>Cannabis allows him to consume those pill cocktails and not die from the
>side-effects, but there are billions of dollars at stake if cancer, AIDS,
>MS, and chronic pain patients have legal access to cannabis to replace 
>certain pharmaceuticals. 
>	Recently an Edinburgh paper announced that there is a THC pill
>being tested on MS patients in Great Britain, but this and other medical
>tests are routinely ignored by the Globe, while MS patients in Canada
>break the law daily, and hope for selective enforcement of Canada's new
>controlled substances law (formerly C-8) from our countries over-burdened
>police. Any law that must be selectively enforced to be justly enforced is
>	In North America we don't hear about the recent call for the
>legalization of cannabis for medical testing by the British Medical
>Association, yet in our country any pharmacology professor dependent on
>pharmaceutical industry grants can call themselves an expert, and blandly
>announce in the medium of their choice that they have grave doubts about
>as yet unproven side effects of cannabis.
>	All over North America references in the media to cannabis in a
>context of criminality outnumber all other cannabis references by a huge
>margin. While the Globe has amply documented the impotence of the
>scientists at Health Canada, and the inordinate influence that large
>multi-national pharmaceutical companies have on the drug approval process,
>the influence of these multi-billion dollar conglomerates on national drug
>policy is conveniently ignored.
>	How much revenue does the Globe and Mail receive from
>manufacturers and retailers of pharmaceuticals? Is that why the rare
>medical study of cannabis you print usually quotes a US bureaucrat wildly
>exaggerating any potential negative spin that can be found? No wonder Bill
>C-8 was passed as written (by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
>Association?), despite the Canadian Senate blasting it for continuing the
>prohibition of cannabis, and continuing to make criminals of medical 
>patients who use cannabis.
>Censored Story 2:
>	Canada's abysmally high rate of incarcerating our own citizens,
>and the high percentage of this prisoner boom that is arrested, tried, and
>jailed solely for non-violent enfractions of our government's prohibition
>	If you lump the former Soviet Union together, Canada is behind
>only the US, South Africa, and the hapless Soviets for having the highest
>percentage of our own citizens in jail. Why can the Australians, Germans,
>Dutch, Swiss, Scandinavians, French, British, etc., have functioning,
>industrialized countries with so many fewer people in jail?
>	Besides causing a boom in prison and court building (the Harris
>government found 200 MILLION for court building alone this year, while
>cutting everything but the police to the bare bones), and shielding police
>budgets from serious cuts, the "War" on cannabis users costs Canadian
>taxpayers a further $38-48,000 a year per cannabis incarceree; a lot more
>than taxpayers in most western countries are willing to pay.
>	Of course, with the Canadian media limiting the information
>available to base informed choices on, most Canadian tax-payers are
>blissfully unaware of exactly what they are paying for when our
>politicians cynically pursue the "War on Drugs" to make "Tough on Crime"
>brownie points with ill-informed voters.
>	How will those "War on Drugs" advocates react - how will YOU react
>- when a loved one is dying beside a toilet, vomiting, and unable to
>swallow an ineptly designed, pill form anti-nausea pharmaceutical? If you
>are like most people, you will probably ask a younger colleague or one of
>your kids to score some pot. The prohibition that keeps cannabis out of
>the hands of a dying aunt ensures that every neighbourhood kid has access.
>	The Globe and Mail, with many other mainstream media, is not
>guiltless in the creation and maintenance of this pathetic and embarrassing
>status quo. As our nation's only national newspaper, the scope of your
>abuse of power is just more damning. I sincerely hope no one loved by a 
>Globe staffer ever gets cancer, or AIDS, or MS... 
>Censored Story 3: 
>	because it is a recent story, and ignored by over half of the
>mainstream print media in North America, the burying of the results of the
>four year Swiss heroin prescription trial by the Globe and Mail ranks 
>highly in terms of censoring news that would call into question current 
>prohibition polices.
>	On July 10, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health issued the
>results of a four year trial which prescribed heroin, not jail, to
>addicts. With a vast sample (over 800) of hard core users, many of whom
>had repeatedly been in trouble with the law, had failed out of other
>maintenance programs, and all of whom were in a high risk category for
>contracting AIDS, the trial was summed up in a single, dismissively toned
>AP article as: crime dropped 60%, rate of unemployment among addicts
>dropped by half, endemic homelessness disappeared, and Swiss tax-payers
>were pleased to note that many on welfare were able to get jobs, and those
>previously depending on crime and prostitution were able to survive on
>welfare. Of course, a notably high percentage of the participants were 
>able to get off of heroin.
>	Shouldn't officials in Vancouver or Toronto know about this? How
>far behind these two cities is the hard drug problem in the rest of urban
>Canada? Previous studies have shown that only a small percentage of "hard"
>drug addicts are responsible for most of the crime associated with
>addiction, and yet a program that deals directly with this group of
>problem users, with stunning results, is ignored in North America. Of
>course the rate of increase in HIV infection among the group almost
>disappeared, but I'm sure youths in large cities across Canada already
>knew that would result, even if the Globe and Mail didn't bother telling
>them. How can simplistic sloganeering like "Just Say No" effect a
>generation that knows more about harm reduction than the editors of our
>nation's national newpaper and most of our country's elected officials?
>	[I include a summation of the trial results as Appendix I]
>							Chris Donald
>			*	*	*
>APPENDIX I: summation of the recent four year Swiss study 
>     For Immediate Release:  July 10, 1997
>     Crime Dropped, Illicit Drug Use Fell and Patient Health Improved 
>     The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health issued a report today which 
>     included the results of an experimental heroin prescription program.  
>     The report found that crime dropped by 60%, unemployment among 
>     participants fell by half, and the general and nutritional health of 
>     participants improved rapidly during the prescription program.   The 
>     program, which began in January 1994 and continued through December 
>     1996, eventually prescribed heroin to over 800 heroin addicts in 15 
>     cities.
>     "This report proves that heroin maintenance is a feasible option 
>     for cities trying to reduce the harm associated with heroin 
>     addiction," said Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Lindesmith 
>     Center, a drug policy research think tank.  "As the U.S. and other 
>     countries consider alternatives to treating heroin addiction, it is 
>     critical that all options, including the prescription of heroin and 
>     other drugs, are considered as viable means to reducing crime and 
>     improving public health."
>     Specific results of the report include:  
>     >Both the number of offenders and the number of criminal offenses 
>     decreased by about 60% during the first six months of treatment.
>     >Most illicit drug use, including that of cocaine, rapidly and 
>     markedly declined, whereas benzodiazepine use decreased only slowly 
>     and alcohol and cannabis consumption hardly declined at all.
>     >The number of participants unemployed fell by more than half (from 
>     44% to 20%).
>     >Participants' housing situation rapidly improved (in particular, 
>     there were no longer any homeless).
>     >Physical health improved during treatment (in physical terms, this 
>     relates especially to general and nutritional status and 
>     injection-related skin diseases).
>     >More than half of the program drop outs switched to another form of 
>     treatment, including abstinence.
>     >Court convictions decreased significantly (according to the central 
>     criminal register).
>     >One third of patients who, on admission, were dependent on welfare 
>     required no further support.  On the other hand, others who were 
>     dependent on illicit income turned to welfare support.
>     >Retention rate in the study, 89% over a period of 6 months and 69% 
>     over a period of 18 months, proved to be above average when compared 
>     with other treatment programs for heroin dependents.
>     >No disturbance of note was caused to the local neighborhoods, or if 
>     so only temporarily.
>     A summary of the report is available on the Lindesmith Center's web 
>     site at:  www.lindesmith.org/presumm.html.   Based in New York, the 
>     Lindesmith Center is a drug policy research institute that 
>     concentrates on broadening the drug policy debate.  The guiding 
>     principle of the center is harm reduction, an alternative approach to 
>     drug policy and treatment that focuses on minimizing the adverse 
>     effects of both drug use and drug prohibition.  Particular attention 
>     is paid to analyzing the experiences of foreign countries in reducing 
>     drug-related harms.
>     The Lindesmith Center is a project of the Open Society Institute.  
>     Founded by philanthropist George Soros, the Open Society Institute 
>     promotes the development of open societies around the world through 
>     projects relating to education, media, legal reform and human rights.  
>     The center's founder and director is Ethan Nadelmann, J.D., Ph.D.  
>     author of Cops Across Borders: The Internationalization of U.S. 
>     Criminal Law Enforcement (Penn State Press, 1993) as well as numerous 
>     articles on drug control policy which have appeared in leading 
>     scholarly and popular journals.
>     Media Contact:
>     Ty Trippet
>     Director of Communications
>     The Lindesmith Center
>     212-887-0604
>     ttrippet@sorosny.org
>     NOTE:  The full text of the report is available on our web site at  
>     www.lindesmith.org/presumm.html.

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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