The Hartford Courant +quot;Untruths, unreliable data create obstacles in war on drugs.+quo
The Hartford Courant
"Untruths, unreliable data create obstacles in war on drugs."
It is a stark message designed to persuade youths to stay away from
And it is a lie.
The narrator tells television viewers they are watching the brain waves
of a normal 14-year-old. As he speaks, squiggly lines with high peaks
show an obviously active brain.
The picture changes: The lines flatten. These, the narrator says, are
the brain waves of a 14-year-old on marijuana.
The problem with this national television advertisement is that the
flatter "brain waves" are not those of a teenager on dope; they are not
brain waves at all. The electroencephalograph was not hooked up to
It is not just brain waves that are being manipulated in the war
against drugs. Truth has been a casualty in other areas as well.
A study cited by presidents and business leaders to demonstrate the
effect of drug use on worker productivity has no scientific validity
according to the organization that conducted it.
No one has been able to produce another widely quoted study that
purportedly showed drug users cost companies more in worker's
compensation claims and medical benefits.
A third study, used to show that marijuana could cause long-term
impairment, was improperly conducted and reached conclusions no other
study has been able to duplicated, according to one of its authors.
[article goes on to say that drugs are bad but that lying about it
destroys the credibility of the anti-drug crusade.]
"Part of the problem we have as drug educators today is that kids don't
believe us," said Dr. Lester Grinspoon, an associate professor of
psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School who has researched the effects
"They've been told for so long that marijuana is very bad for them and
then they go off to college and see a brilliant English major that
smokes dope and nothing's happened to his or her brain or heart. Then
they use it themselves and discover it's the least harmful illegal
drug. So they say that maybe they've been lied to about cocaine or
But such questions are not the foremost concern of the organization
that created the brain-wave advertisement. The Partnership for a
Drug-Free America wants, above all else, to prevent people from using
Theresa Grant, public information director for the nonprofit
organization, said she doesn't see any problem with the ad.
"The marijuana brain-wave commercial was one of the ads that we used as
a fact, rather than a fear-inducing ad," Grant said. later, she
acknowledged: "It was a simulation. They manipulated the machine. It
was not attached to any person. It was not scientific. At the time we
created it in 1987, we were told that it was an appropriate
representation," by the government's National Institute on Drug Abuse.
... She emphasized that the partnership has not conceded that the
brain-wave representation was inaccurate ...
"It's a flat lie," said Grinspoon. "Marijuana has no clinically
significant effect on the electroencephalograph." ...
Citing a Harvard Medical School study, he said, "Nobody has been able
to demonstrate one iota of brain damage from smoking marijuana."
Last year President Bush declared that "drug abuse among American
workers costs businesses anywhere from $60 billion to $100 billion a
year in lost productivity, absenteeism, drug-related accidents, medical
claims and theft."
Where did he get those number?
Bush, and President Reagan before him, have based their comments about
drugs and productivity on a study conducted by the Research Triangle
Institute, a nonprofit research organization near Raleigh, N.C.,
according to Henrick J. Harwood, who led the study and now is senior
policy analyst in the White House drug policy office. ...
"It was an inexpensive study done with inadequate data," said Reid
Maness, senior manager of communications for Research Triangle
Institute. "Unfortunately, there hasn't been attempt since then to do
anything better. This still remains the most recent and best study of
"When we see people being critical about it, we don't get too upset.
RTI would agree that the study does not have a lot of precision. We
never claimed that it did," Maness said.
The study concluded:
o People who had *ever* been heavy marijuana users cost the nation
$34.2 billion in diminished worker productivity in 1980.
o Adding the costs of drug-related health problems, crime and
accidents -- figures that exist only in very rough estimates -- the
study concluded that all drug abuse, excluding alcohol, cost the
country $47 billion in 1980.
How did the institute come up with its figures?
Using statistics from a 1982 household survey by the National Institute
on Drug Abuse, the institute compared the average income for households
in which one person admitted to having every used marijuana daily to
the average for households in which no one admitted to having ever used
Households with former heavy smokers of marijuana had an average income
27.9 percent lower than similar households in which marijuana had not
been used heavily, the institute said.
The study concluded that, when the figures were extrapolated to the
general population, marijuana abuse caused an estimated loss in income
of $34.2 billion in 1980. In turn, the researchers equated the reduced
income with reduced productivity. ...
"The study is worthless," said Dr. John P. Morgan, medical professor
and head of the pharmacology department at the City University of New
York Medical School. "It is obviously absurd. It has to do with the
fact that NIDA is functioning chiefly as a minister of propaganda in
the war on drugs."
The study did not prove any relationship between marijuana use and
reduced household income. Despite its conclusion that "The
[productivity] loss due to marijuana abuse was estimated at $34.2
billion for 1980," the study elsewhere notes that the reduced income
was not necessarily a result of marijuana use.
Even if it were, income does not equal productivity.
In an article in the University of Kansas Law Review, Morgan write that
if income were the same as productivity, then "a judge is less
productive than a practicing lawyer, a medical school professor is less
productive than a practicing physician, a farmer is less productive
than a florist and an elementary school teacher is less productive than
an owner of a daycare center."
The study arrived at one particularly curious conclusion:
People who were *currently* abusing any illegal drug cost the nation
nothing in diminished worker productivity
A 34-year-old who told researchers in 1982 that he had smoked marijuana
every day during the summer of 1966 and had not touched an illegal drug
since would be classified as a worker whose productivity was
significantly diminished by drug use.
But the classification for diminished productivity applied only when
someone *quit* smoking marijuana, not if someone continued to use
marijuana, cocaine or heroin.
Harwood acknowledged this.
"We looked at current drug users vs. others and found no significant
difference [in productivity] between current users and never-users," he
The study that wasn't.
Shocking anti-drug statistics seem always to make headlines, regardless
of what they are based upon.
In 1983, Dr. Sidney Cohen, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA,
wrote in the Drug Abuse and Alcoholism Newsletter that drug users were
five times as likely to file workers' compensation claims and that they
received three times the average level of benefits for illness.
His source was a study purportedly done by the Firestone Tire and
Rubber Co. Many other drug fighters, particularly people in favor of
widespread drug testing of employees, have quoted either the Firestone
study or the newsletter edited by Cohen, who has since died.
In fact, there appears to have been no such study.
"About three people have asked me for that study," said the Firestone
medical director, Dr. E. Gates Morgan. "I'm unaware of it. We had an
[employee assistance program] man with us, but left the company in 1983
and died in 1987. I've looked all over for the stuff he wrote, but we
don't have any copies of it at all." ...
A life of their own
Other widely quoted studies have even larger margins of error -- but
you wouldn't know that by listening to the people who quote them.
"Marijuana does not wear off in a couple of hours," said Rosanna
Creighton, president of the nonpartisan lobbying group "Citizens for a
"The pleasure high is gone, but the effect it has ... on motor skills,
eye-to-hand coordination, peripheral vision ... is not gone. A
Stanford University study showed that 24 hours after smoking marijuana,
the ability of airplane pilots was impaired."
Creighton was referring to a 1985 study paid for by the National
Institute on Drug Abuse and the Veterans Administration Medical
Research Service. It has been used to show that even casual marijuana
use is dangerous -- despite many government studies that have concluded
the opposite. ...
The study said that although the pilots were unaware they were
impaired, their marijuana-induced errors could easily lead to airplane
But a co-author of the study is not confident of those findings.
"The results of the study were suggestive, non conclusive," said Dr.
Von Otto Leirer, an experimental psychologist. "We didn't have the
appropriate controls for the experiment. That was a real serious
Leirer said a follow-up study, using the proper controls and methods,
was conducted. That study was published in December, but attracted
In the past 20 years, studies have shown marijuana to cause brain
damage, paranoia, early senility, heart malfunction and sexual
problems, Grinspoon said. In every case, he said, follow-up studies
failed to confirm that marijuana caused any of those problems.
Reprinted from the S.F. Examiner (8-16-90):
PANEL: LEGALIZE DRUG USE IN STATE
But attorney general blocks publication of board findings.
SACRAMENTO - Attorney General John Van de Kamp's office has blocked
state publication of an advisory panel's report suggesting that the best
way to combat drug abuse in California is decriminalization.
According to the state panel, created in 1969 to oversee research
into drug abuse, current anti-drug laws have been "manifestly
unseccessful in that we are now using more and a greater variety of
drugs, legal and illegal."
Specifically, it said the Legislature should legalize cultivation of
marijuana for personal use, consider decriminalization of other drugs on
an individual basis and legalize posession of hypodermic needles.
The controversial report is by the Research Advisory Panel, a seven
member commission created by the Legislature to study drug abuse and
possible remedies. Members are appointed by various state agencies and
the governor, and they issue a report every year.
The attorney general's office oversees the panel's budget and this
year, for the first time, is refusing to pay for publication and
distribution of the "commentary" section of the panel's annual report,
according to a panel member.
It is that section, approved by a majority vote of the panel, that
calls for decriminalization of drugs.
Van de Kamp's office had not immediate comment on the situation.
Panelist will use own money.
One member of the panel -- Dr. Frederick H. Meyers, the panel's vice
chairman -- confirmed the action by the attorney general's office and
said he would use his own money to print and distribute the banned
"The attorney general insists that his office has the right to review
the report," and has forbidden the panel to use its funds "to carry out
its statutory obligation to report annually to the governor and the
Legislature unless the commentary section is eliminated," Meyers said in
a letter prepared for distribution with the commentary section.
Meyers, a professor of pharmacology at UC-San Francisco who has
served on the panel since its inception, said fear was behind the
reaction of Van de Kamp's office.
"I think at the moment, the reaction has just been hysterical," he
said in an interview. "It's been whipped up by the enforcement people.
Elected officials are scared to say anything but more enforcement.
Somebody has to resist it."
In its commentary section, the panel said "a first step toward
rationalizing our approach would be to further isolate marijuana from
other illegal drugs. This drug is widely used as a social drug,
comparable to alcohol.
"More than half of the population has or will have had experience
with this drug." it said. "Marijuana presents the same problems of
responsible and irresponsible use as alcohol.
Annual drug deaths: tobacco: 395,000, alcohol: 125,000, 'legal' drugs: 38,000,
illegal drug overdoses: 5,200, marijuana: 0. Considering government subsidies
of tobacco, just what is our government protecting us from in the drug war?
I'm reposting this article because of its broader implications
in America becoming the next Iran style theocracy and the infringements
on any non-party line religions that this would entail:
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com writes:
>This story is reprinted without permission from the Lawrence
>Journal-World of Tuesday, June 12, 1990.
>Drug problems blamed on Satan
>by Don Lattin
>San Francisco Chronicle
>New Orleans -- To the shouts of Baptist preachers yelling "amen,"
>federal drug czar William Bennett blamed Satan for the national
>epidemic of drug abuse.
> "It is a product of the Great Deceiver," Bennett told an
>assembly of some 2,500 Southern Baptist pastors and other church
>leaders on Monday.
> "I have seen the face of evil," said Bennett, a Roman
>Catholic. "If you don't think there is evil in the world today,
>travel with me on the drug circuit."
> "We need to bring to these people in need the god who heals."
> Bennett, director of National Drug Control Policy for the Bush
>administration, urged church leaders to take a greater role in drug
>prevention, treatment and recovery.
> "The drug problem is fundamentally a moral problem -- in the
>end, a spiritual problem," said Bennett. "It is seeking meaning in a
>place where no meaning can come."
> Bennett said he has run into many people in drug treatment
>centers who call crack cocaine "the devil."
> "This has come up too often to be ignored," he said.
> Telling of a mother who forced her teen-age daughter into
>prostitution to buy drugs, and of parents who killed their baby by
>blowing crack cocaine smoke down the infant's lungs, Bennett said: "If
>that isn't the face of evil in our time, I don't know what is."
> Calling for a moral revival and the "death of modernism,"
>Bennett said it is time for the nation's public schools to start
>talking about values.
> Modernism consists of philosophies that attempt to redefine
>Biblical and Christian teachings in the context of modern science,
>historical research or other developments.
> "We need to say in our public schools that there is a
>difference between right and wrong," Bennett said.
> After his luncheon address, Bennett praised two recent U.S.
>Supreme Court decisions -- one allowing student Bible clubs in public
>schools and another upholding the right of states to outlaw the use of
>peyote in Native American religious rites.
> Blasting "fastidious disdain" toward religion in the public
>schools, Bennett said student Bible clubs will create "a positive
>climate for teaching values in the educational system."
> President Bush had been expected to address the Southern
>Baptist Convention this week, but will not.
> Bennett said the president did not tell him his reasons for
> Some conservative/fundamentalist Baptists objected to a visit
>by the president after Bush invited gay rights leaders to a White
>House ceremony in April to sign a national "hate crimes" bill.
> "We have the dubious distinction of making everybody mad," a
>White House official said.
>We can no longer call Bennett the Drug Czar. I think a better title
>for him following the above speech would be The Drug Ayatollah
>It looks like Bennett has more changes to make in this country
>than the mere apprehension of a few druggies. For now let us remember
>that the War on Drugs is now the Holy War on Drugs and is no longer
>susceptible to scientific criticism.
Drugs are the product of Satan. Drug users need to be saved by
the Holy Power of Jesus Christ.
-- current Drug Czar & drug addict, William Bennett
Subject: The latest stupidity of the drug war.
Summary: Bush administration helps create terrorists abroad, then
imports them to US and gives them diplomatic immunity.
Several weeks ago there passed almost unnoticed a news article
telling how Mexican national police were going to be allowed to
operate in the southwestern US under diplomatic immunity. Their
number was to equal the number of DEA agents operating in Mexico.
This should give great pause to anyone who is cognizant of the
Mexican police force's reputation for corruption and brutality.
This morning, the following article appeared on the front page
of the _Austin_American-Statesman.
In Mexico, a terror from within
Human rights groups report torture, beatings by police on rise
By Nancy Nusser
Cox News Service
Tijuana, abroad Mexico -- During a four-month period last year, 75
Tijuana youths ages 8 to 17 were arrested on minor charges, then
beaten, kicked and tortured with electric shocks by police,
according to a local human rights group. ...
Police are using torture as a "systematic method of
investigation," said Victor Clark Alfaro, directory of the
Binational Center for Human Rights here.
Clark and other human rights officials have reported an increase
in torture, beatings and killings by Mexico's security forces in
recent months. They said the victims have ranged from children
accused of breaking windows to political activists opposing
Mexico's governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. ...
Fallout from the drug war
Many abuses are the product of random but frequent violence by a
newly powerful and still corrupt police force, Castaneda said.
Working to cooperate with the United States in the war on drugs,
Mexico two years ago created an elite corps of federal anti-drug
police. The powerful squads are often responsible for the worst
abuses, human rights groups say.
In its report, American Watch detailed numerous cases of beatings
and torture by federal narcotic squads. At least nine people
were killed by narcotics police in the past year, the report said. ...
End of excerpt.
That these police work with diplomatic immunity in the US means
that they can use the same methods here as they do in Mexico. A
US citizen who is tortured by these police, or the family of
someone who is killed, has but one recourse: to get the government
to send the agents back to Mexico. They cannot be charged and
tried for any crimes committed here.
The Bush administration has helped create in a foreign country a
terrorist police group that uses torture as a method of
investigation and that freely kills suspects and "undesirables".
It has now given some of them free reign to operate here. One
can only wonder what insanity will next grip the drug warriors.
Subject: Partnership lies to America
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America uses exagerated figures to detail
the cost of illegal drug use, according to an article in the
"St. Petersburg Times" (June 29, 1990).
It's bogus numbers like these that influence companies, courts, politicians,
etc. to support things like mandatory drug tests...
This is a summary of the article.
The Partnership claims that, among other things:
1. Drug use costs American businesses at least $60 billion a year.
2. The average drug user fist gets high at 11.6 years old.
3. Your doctor is 50 % more likely to ba an addict than you neighbor.
4. Drug users are 3.6 times more likely to injure themselves
or another in an on-the-job accident, and 5 times more likely
to file a worker's compensation claim.
"Scary statistics," the "Times" says, "But public records and interviews
show that they're also exaggerated, based on flimsy evidence, or plain wrong."
Dr. John P. Morgan, a CUNY medical professor and frequent critic of the
Parnership, says "What this is ... is chemical McCarthyism... One
of the reasons young people have no faith in what we say about drugs is
because of lies by people like the Partnership."
Further, the Parnership is apparently aware of the quality of its statistics.
Dr. Donald Macdonald (a Partnership member currently on a media tour)
admitted to the "Times" that their statistics are "soft".
The "Times", from a sampling of 5 categories of statistics that the
Partnership said were based on careful research, only found one correct
statistic: 1 in 3 state criminals say they were on drugs when they committed
Here are some specific problems with the statistics above:
1. Drug use costs American businesses at least $60 billion a year
Note that this is nearly 1/2 of the federal budget deficit. The number
comes from a '83 federal study finding that the "death, crime, health care
costs, social programs and lost productivity" costs of illegal drugs
are $60 billion. (Only) $34 billion was linked to business in terms of
"productivity". The study's author, economist Henrick Harwood, says
the Partnership is wrong to use even that lower figure as the 'cost
to business.' It accounts mostly for earnings lost by the workers
2. The average drug user first gets high at 11.6 years old.
Incredible, but wrong. "We have encouraged them not to use that
figure... We have been beating them over the head about using this,
but they still are," says a representative of the Partnership's pollster.
Apparently, this is the average age in which drug using teens first
report smoking a cigarette.
3. Your doctor is 50 % more likely to be an addict than your neighbor.
A Partnership vice president said this came from "Newsweek", but couldn't
provide a specific reference. The "Times" found an '83 article in which
a Chicago nurse was quoted providing a similar statistic. When contacted,
the nurse said that it was more like 30-40%, and that they should be quoting
those numbers anyway because they were based on "skimpy research" and were
7 years out of date
4. Drug users are 3.6 times more likely to injure themselves
or another in an on-the-job accident, and 5 times more likely
to file a worker's compensation claim.
Dr. Morgan traced the origin of this claim to "an informal study of
alcoholics." He wrote, "The statistics generated ... have nothing to do
with (illegal) drug users." Dr. Macdonald (Partnership rep.) said
"He's probably right."
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul Hager)
Subject: WoD: Report from the Frontlines #1
This is an eyewitness account from the frontline of the WoD by a
person who wishes to remain anonymous. I will have some comments
at the end.
Being the poor student that i am, i had to turn down the $10/hr
job that had no drug testing for the $18/hr job that has random
drug testing. Both jobs are full time for the summer and part
time during the school year, with great opportunities after i
graduate, isn't it funny how money can influence one so much.
The pre-screening for the job went like this :
The place for the pre-hiring testing was the women's bathroom,
with a table of boxes and sample vials in one corner. Two women
were conducting the test.
They asked me to empty my pockets of all but my wallet, but
they did not pat search me. I then had to wash my hands with
soap, then pick out a vial for use. One of the nurses (?)
flushed the toilet (standard stall type) and put a blue dye in
it. They remained outside the stall while i filled the vial.
With the sample they took the temperature (96.5 for me), and
the specific gravity (1.005 ?units?).
They poured the sample into two separate bottles, one for
shipping to the lab, and the other for keeping in case of
retesting. The pre-test was EMIT, and if it turned positive
the person would be informed and asked if he wanted them to
do the second test (i think it was some sort of gas
chromatography). If the second one turned positive the person
would have to meet with some sort of doc they had - to discuss
why, and what to do about it.
The next test was the breath analyzer, >= .04 was failing, that
i had to take twice.
The third test of the day was the MMPI, a 560+ test with yes/no
type questions. It was used for a psychological screening. A
real funny test - the running theme throughout it was to see
how paranoid you are.
The fourth witchhunt (on a different day) was to see a shrink.
Everyone that applies here must do it, but for me i had to see
him early, because they did not like two of my answers ...
one was that i had enjoyed marijuana use before, and the second
was that i have had a strange/peculiar event (my one LSD trip).
The shrink seemed to be very interested in my past use of drugs,
he keep coming back to it -- like asking what i did while on it,
do i still keep the same friends, do they still smoke, what do
they think of my quitting, etc ad nauseam.
It ended up that he failed me!! Now i have to appeal it, take the
test again, then see a different shrink (by the time this is
posted it will probably be another day before i do it yet).
What is this WoD coming to? Is it teaching everyone how to lie?
A couple of asides:
I am currently trying to find out what the unix address of the
CEO of Pac Bell is - i have inside help. It will be possible for
everyone to write to him and to complain about the decision for
It has been rather difficult to find _The Emperor Wears no
Clothes_. But what i did find out, was that for $35 i can get
the book and the WWII propaganda film for farmers to plant hemp.
When i get a chance to view it, i will be able to tape it and get
it to as many people as i can (i will post when i get it and
leave some way for people to contact me if they want it).
One of the films that we had to see for my new job is about how
to tell if employees are on drugs and how to turn them in, and
the sample of pot they had was this pile of seeds and shake, the
most nasting shit i have ever seen.
It is very dry here right now, i have heard of mediocre stuff
going for $45 per 1/8.
[What the poster has related to us is a recrudescence of
corporate Big-brotherism that occurred in the Reagan/Bush
administration and is now reaching epidemic proportions. The
MMPI to which the poster refers is the Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory, a standardized test that screens for
deviant personality based upon how a "reference" population
responded to the same questions. The obvious political dimension
to this should escape no one. I should note that the MMPI and
other similar tests (for example the CPI -- California
Personality Inventory) have been used to probe the personality of
marijuana users for over 20 years. Studies using these tests
have turned up results that undoubtably embarrassed the
researchers who were looking for emotionally crippled,
amotivated, burn-out cases. Not surprisingly, MJ smokers were
found to be nonconformist but this was counterbalanced by their
greater intellectual curiosity, wider variety of interests and
higher lever of social empathy. These standardized personality
tests have to be updated periodically because what is "normal" or
non-deviant behavior, evolves over time. So, to the extent that
they have any validity at all, it is as a benchmark for what is
currently "approved" behavior or attitudes and nothing else. (As
an aside, I should mention that my undergraduate degree is in
Sociology with Psychology and Anthropology thrown it. I have
been quite familiar with these kind of tests for over 20 years.
If you have to take one of them, I recommend giving the answers
that are "expected". This can usually be figured out using
This whole issue of a corporation's right to know virtually
anything about a person's off-the-job life is THE major threat to
civil liberties as we enter the decade of the 90's. Drug testing
and personality testing and lie-detector testing establish the
precedent for ever greater scrutiny into YOUR innermost personal
lifestyle choices by people who have the power to deny YOU your
livelihood. Now 80% of the Fortune 500 companies drug test
employees and other forms of pre-screening potential employees
are gaining favor nationwide. The idea that the individual "can
just find an enlightened company" is rapidly being invalidated by
the pace with which corporate America is jumping onto the
"company as Big Brother" band wagon.
The solution, I think, requires collective action. The most
obvious avenue for collective action is through a labor union.
Professional folks generally want nothing to do with a union but
as long as that attitude continues "The Company" will have all of
the power. If you are currently employed, find like-minded
people and consider joining or forming a union that opposes
corporate Big-brotherism. The second avenue is political action
through the electoral process. Form political action committees,
join established organizations like the Drug Policy Foundation
(membership starts at an affordable $25/year), and make YOUR
The war has started. We are all combatants.]
paul hager email@example.com
"I would give the Devil benefit of the law for my own safety's sake."
--from _A_Man_for_All_Seasons_ by Robert Bolt
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joe W.)
Subject: A Casualty of the Drug War
Summary: Grandmother's home ransacked by SWAT team
From _The Columbus Dispatch_ (Columbus Ohio) Wednesday, June 13, 1990:
Widow wonders when police will pay for raid's damages
By Michael J. Berens and Roger Snell
_Dispatch_ Staff Reporters
A 79-year-old widow who "forgave" police for wrongly raiding her
North Side home on March 1 is not so forgiving about the city's refusal
to pay $3,100 in damages despite public promises.
Faye Carter, a grandmother of 34, said she has been forced to
hire an attorney to seek reimbursement and answers as to why her home at
985 E. 17th Ave. was identified by the police as a drug "stash house."
The attorney has charged in a court motion that a police narcotics
officer used false information to get the search warrant, then "falsely
stated" on court documents that Carter's home was not searched.
When contacted by _The Dispatch_ yesterday, Assistant City
Attorney David Insley said city officials are now planning to ask the
City Council to decide the damage issue. The request has been delayed
because the claim file has been "lost a couple times," he said.
Insley called the raid an "honest mistake" and believes the city
is immune from liability.
However, City Attorney Ron O'Brien said yesterday that police
have promised since the day of the raid that Carter's repair expenses
would be covered.
Carter's husband died 19 years ago. She stood in the middle of
her living room yesterday surrounded by memories among hundreds of vases,
pictures, figures, and knick-knacks given as presents from her nine children,
grandchildren, and 42 great-grandchildren.
On March 1, Carter, a daughter and two granddaughters huddled
behind a door after spotting masked men running through their yard. Seconds
later, wood bullets slammed through three windows and bounced across walls
and ceilings, slamming into many of the mementos.
"You just go numb. I was so relieved it was the police. I thought
we were being robbed," Carter said, pointing to an indentation in her false
Carter, who draws $427 a month from Social Security, said her
grandsons bought new windows and a door and installed them to save on the
hefty labor fees of a contractor. Carter said she had to buy a new mattress
because shards of glass were imbedded in the fabric when police broke a
Carter's attorney, Mary Jane McFadden, is a former U.S. assistant
prosecutor. McFadden said in a motion filed in Franklin County Common Pleas
Court this week that police based the raid solely on the word of a jailed
Narcotics Officer Ellen Wilhelm attached an affidavit to court
records stating that she verified the informant's information with her
"independent" investigation that the home at 985 E. 17th Ave. is light
yellow and has an alley at the rear.
Carter's house is tan, and no alley runs behind the home.
After the raid, Wilhelm hand-wrote "no search conducted" on an
inventory sheet filed with the warrant in Municipal Court, court records
Carter, however, said that not only did police search her home,
they pulled out drawers, tossed clothes on the floor and left closets and
cupboards in disarray. Family members made a videotape of the damage.
about the raid or whether there was an internal probe.
an internal investigation. Insley says he knows there was an inquiry but
didn't know whether it was handled by the internal affairs bureau or
Capt. John Rockwell, head of the narcotics bureau.
Carter and her attorney also are asking police to disclose how
many times they conduct raids and find no evidence of criminal activity.
In a series of articles this year, _The Dispatch_ documented that
narcotics officers have failed to find drugs in one of every three crack
raids and relied almost solely on informants for their drug buys.
Carter said she has forgiven police for a mistake. All she wants,
she said, is to get her house fixed.
---------------------------End of quoted article------------------------------
There was a follow-up article the next day, saying that the Mayor said he
was "shocked to learn that police hadn't paid for the damages. (He was
making opening comments before an anti-drug press conference.) :-} He said,
"we have an immediate moral obligation -- forget the legal obligations --
to rectify the situation." A City Coucilman was also posturing indignantly.
Police said that they had investigated the raid and determined that no
officer had done anything improper. Erroneous tips from two sources led
police to believe that Carter's home was a "stash house" where large
quantities of drugs were stored. One was a jailed informant who was
reliable except for the address he gave. Another drug suspect told the
organized crime bureau Feb. 8 that a drug dealer lived at 985 E. 17th Ave.
On the issue of the false warrant ("no search conducted"), a police
apologist said that Officer Wilhelm "didn't fudge a darn thing." The
SWAT team, by rifling through drawers and tossing clothes out of closets,
"secured" the house. Narcotics officers never searched the house.
Carter's attorney filed a motion in Franklin County Coomon pleas Court
this week seeking police records related to the raid. Such a motion for
discovery often precedes a lawsuit.
"I was so relieved it was the police."
Subject: LAPD, Gates: The Drug War's Dark Side
Over the last couple of days, an amateur video showing
the savage beating of an arrested "suspect" by a group of
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers has been appearing
on national news programs. The LAPD has long had a reputation for
excessive use of force and racially motivated harrassment of
minorities. This most recent event has caught the Department
_in flagrante delicto_.
LAPD Chief, Daryl Gates, has for years been the consumate
drug warrior. It was Chief Gates who stated publicly that "casual
drug users should be shot" -- a unique way to deal with marijuana
users. If Chief Gates had had his way, then Republican Minority
Whip, Newt Gingrich -- born-again drug warrior -- would have been
eliminated back during his college days when he "experimented"
with the evil weed. And who can forget George Washington, the
founder of the U.S., who, when President, received a gift of
cannabis tonic from Ben Franklin -- guess ole' Daryl would have
stood him up against the wall, too.
The racist component of the drug war should never be
forgotten. The LAPD has been repeatedly accused of harrassing
blacks and hispanics -- this harrassment has generally been
justified on the basis that the police "suspect" the harrassee
of being a "drug dealer". Excessive use of force in arresting
black suspects has been alleged for years because of the disturbing
frequency with which blacks don't survive long enough to be
booked. The use of the "choke hold" seemed to result in a
large number of blacks who died while being "subdued". Chief
Gates' comments on this are a matter of public record: the
blacks, he claimed, had a genetic defect that made them more
susceptible to strangulation.
Gates' and the LAPD are also the architects of the
D.A.R.E program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). This program
is based upon the totally unscientific assumption that drug
abuse is the result of "peer pressure" -- a conjecture specifically
refuted by studies ranging from Hogan & Fox (1971) to Shedler &
Block (1990) [See my letter to Drug-Free Indiana for a more complete
cite]. Furthermore, the D.A.R.E. approach is built around an
authoritarian, paternalistic view of how society should be run.
Although the D.A.R.E program purports to instruct children on the
hazards of drug use, it actually is a sort of kindergarten "boot
camp" approach that spreads lies about drug use and users and
tries to turn kids into little drug war robots. Sometimes, kids
whipped up by the friendly police officers (the Bloomington
program actually has an officer who goes by the moniker, "Officer
Friendly") call up the local drug hotline to report that their
parents have lit up a joint. The funny thing about D.A.R.E is
that part of the training involves teaching kids to be
"confident", to "square their shoulders" and "look people straight
in the eye" and "not be afraid to say no". If the confidence
building program really worked, I'd expect to hear more kids look
the friendly officer in the eye and say, "piss off."
paul hager email@example.com
"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man
never worshipped anything but himself" -- Sir Richard F. Burton
Some addresses requested by e-mail in response to "Drug Peace"
organizations, organizations that generally do not promote or condone the
abuse (use for pleasure (reminds me of the term 'self-abuse' for
masturbation)) or illegal or legal substances. These organizations
generally feel that the cost of the drug war is higher than the cost of
o The Drug Policy Foundation -- this is the Big Daddy of the
legalization groups, enjoying more legitimacy than any other
group. They do a LOT of work, makes the membership well worth
while, and they put out two bi-monthly newsletters, meaning that
you get one newsletter each month. They also sponsor shows on
PBS that debate various weaknesses of the drug war, and they
put on an annual conference that is an absolute joy to attend.
I think memberships can be had for $25 per year:
Drug Policy Foundation
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20016-2087
o The Albert Hofmann Foundation -- this is an educational group
composed of many of the pioneers of psychedelic research. It
offers much of the legitimacy of a goup like the DPF, but it is
not nearly as politically active. They help put on psychedelic
conferences, and are attempting to archive psychedelic research
into a library with public access.
The Albert Hofmann Foundation
1341 Ocean Avenue, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(I think they moved on April 1st, don't have their newest
o PRIDE -- this is a large anti-drug group that puts out a good
newsletter every quarter, good way to find out how the drug warriors
think and what they're up to. Membership is $20 per year, I think:
The Hurt Building, Suite 210
50 Hurt Plaza
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404/577-4500 or 800/67-PRIDE
Escondito, CA 92025
P.O. Box 1167
Port Townsend, WA 98368
BOOKSTORES (walk-in and mail-order)
Laissez Faire Books
532 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10012-3956
1-800-238-2220 ext 500 for orders within USA
1-212-925-8992 for catalogs, other calls
(full address and phone available in libraries of from 1-202-555-1212;
perhaps someone could please post info. I know they have newsletters.)
FULLY INFORMED JURY AMENDMENT (FIJA)
FIJA National Headquarters
Helmville, Montana 59843 USA
(This group is trying to pass laws requiring judges to inform juries of
their right to vote according to their conscience, and thus invalidate
stupid laws. Currently, many juries find people guilty and apologize for
the stupid law, not knowing of their rights and responsibilities of
nullifying the stupid laws.)
"The war on drugs is a war on the Constitution and a war on the American
people. It must be stopped" David Nolan, Libertarian Party, 1-800-682-1776
Standard Disclaimer: These may not be my opinions, my employer's opinions,
a devil's advocate's opinions, or anyone else's opinions; in fact they may
not even be opinions!!! :-) :-)
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank