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Grey Literature - DPF: Drug Policy Letter winter/spring 1997
Written by Drug Policy Foundation   
Sunday, 30 November 1997 00:00

DPF GOES ONLINE: www.dpforg

The Internet has become one of the fastest growing means of mass communication, and the Drug Policy Foundation is now in position to take advantage of this powerful communications tool. DPF opened its World Wide Web site on April 17 at or Visitors to the site can learn about DPF's mission and programs, read recent issues of The Drug Policy Letter, order books, videos, and DPF merchandise, and join or renew membership. Persons can also register for DPF's annual conference through the web site. Chat rooms and forums allow visitors to interact in real time or take part in longer conversations on particular topics.
DPF dedicated the site to Thomas Jefferson, whose 254th birthday was April 13. Jefferson's philosophy called for a vigorous marketplace of ideas in a democratic society, ànd he criticized the notion that national governments could control its citizens' diets or medications by banning unpopular foods or drugs.

Visit the site and send your feedback to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . And keep coming back, because the site is only going to get bigger and better.


This year, the January, March, and May editions of Wired magazine have all included new DPF advertisements. Wired donated two-pages per issue to DPF ads, which were developed for DPF pro bonoby Mezzina/Brown Inc. Wired is devoted to high technology and cyberculture, and has approximately 340,000 readers. Thanks again, Wired.

To subscribe to Wired, call (800) SO WIRED or (415) 276-5000 outside the United States, or visit its Web site at


Last summer, The Drug Policy Letter detailed Jennifer Budak's run-in with her high school's "zero tolerance" program in "The War on Our Children." This article by Arnold S. Trebach and Scott Ehlers was reprinted by several other publications providing a larger and more diverse readership. In February, Playboy magazine reprinted the article. The Administrative Law Quarterly also reprinted Trebach and Ehlers' article in their Winter 1997 edition. "The War on Our Children" was again requested by the Heartland Institute to be made available for its "Intellectual Ammunition" library.

In addition, Washington Post syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff followed up on the story of Sherry Hearn after reading the article. "A Fourth Amendment Lesson — the Teacher Gets Fired" appeared on January 18, 1997, and recounted the "zero tolerance" drama experienced by this high school teacher in Savannah, Georgia.

DPF also contributed to the growing dialogue on drug policy reform in the January Playboy magazine. The magazine ran a drug policy symposium article entitled, "Save
Money, Cut Crime, Get Real." The panel of experts argued the sensibility in decriminalizing drugs and discussed the current misallocation of resources occurring now and how these funds might be reallocated for more effective drug policy. The panelists included columnist William F. Buckley Jr. and Drug Policy Foundation Board of Directors members, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, former U.S. Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders, Lindesmith Center Director Ethan Nadelmann, and DPF President Arnold Trebach. DPF Advisory Board member Dr. Thomas Szasz, from the New York State University Medical Center in Syracuse, completed the symposium. Four of the panelists also wrote articles in the National Review's February 1996 edition endorsing drug policy reform.
For a copy of either the Playboy or the National Review articles, contact DPF in Washington.

"Medical Marijuana: It's Effective and Compassionate" appeared in the March 1997 World and /magazine in the "Current Issues" section. Written by Arnold Trebach, the article argued for medical marijuana (see p. 23) against a position held by Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse PresidentJoseph Califano. Califano's article, "Medical Marijuana: The Voters Were Duped," originally appeared December 4, 1996, in the Washington Post, as, "Devious Efforts to Legalize Drugs."


In December, the University of Michigan released its annual "Monitoring the Future Study," a nationwide, self-reporting survey of legal and illegal drug use by eighth, 10th, and 12th graders. The MTF Study reported an increase in high school drug use in 1996, part of a trend that began in 1992.

In response, DPF issued a news release before the study was announced countering conventional wisdom on drug use trends and the impact of current drug laws. The release was quoted by the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Daily News, and, thanks to the Associated Press, nearly 30 other newspapers for a total readership of over 3 million people.
DPF also assisted a coalition of reform groups, which held press conferences in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco after the Department of Health and Human Services' press conference on December 19.

On February 18, 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) began a two-day conference on medical marijuana research. The event was presaged by a February 17 press conference in Washington hosted by Americans for Medical Rights. DPF issued a press release regarding the marijuana research and assisted AMR's Dave Fratello with the press event.

On February 19, DPF responded to the Clinton administration's endorsement of needle exchange programs. The release welcomed Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala's endorsement and highlighted DPF's long-term involvement in NEPs. DPF also criticized the administration for not lifting the federal ban on funding NEPs.

DPF helped form a coalition of organizations to respond to the February 25 release of the 1997 National Drug Control Strategy. Thirteen groups were represented at the coalition's press conference, which was hosted by the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation's Eric Sterling at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, D.C.
On February 25 and 26, Arnold Trebach appeared on CNN and MSNBC to discuss and debate the new Strategy. In addition, Trebach was heard February 25 on "Good Day USA" via syndicated talk radio on 300 stations nationwide. Scott Ehlers was quoted in the February 26 Christian Science Monitor. And, on March 4, Rob Stewart spoke with callers for several hours on WWAY in Springfield, Illinois, on the "Jack Jackson Show." DPF's Cheryl Epps with Ron Hampton, executive director National Black Police Association, appeared on WDCU radio's "Crosstalk" March 6. WBAI radio's "Behind the News with Samori Marksman" in New York City asked Epps to appear with David Burgman to discuss drug sentencing policy, Mexican drug certification, and the economics of the drug war in black communities, on March 10.

In anticipation of the Strategy's release, Trebach appeared February 14 on Howard University's political affairs program, "Evening Exchange," on WHMM-TV, and on radio interviews on Radio America and Talk Radio News. Trebach also debated medical marijuana, February 23, on ABC-TV affiliate's "Good Morning Washington."

Finally, when Harvard University Medical School's Division of Addiction gave Clinton drug advisor Barry McCaffrey an award named after Dr. Norman Zinberg, reformers protested the March 7 event in Boston. Dr. Zinberg was a leading addiction researcher and proponent of drug policy reform. The UPI news service noted that DPF opposed the award because the late Zinberg would not agree with McCaffrey's intolerant views on marijuana.

A DPF statement noted that McCaffrey ignores the basic distinction between drug use and abuse, the core of Zinberg's work and the subject of his 1984 book, Drug, Set, and Setting: The Basis for Controlled Intoxicant Use.

11th Annual Conference, October I5-18, 1997

DPF is heading south to the Crescent City for its 11th conference. In preparation for the first major drug policy reform event to take place in the South, DPF staff members have been meeting with city officials and local drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention agencies to develop a program that includes reform issues specific to the area. DPF hopes to empower southern constituencies and activist groups to join the drug policy debate.

Several days prior to our annual event, DPF will co-sponsor the third meeting of the International Network of Cities on Drug Policy. Working with the offices of New Orleans Mayor Marc Mona! and Police Chief Richard Pennington, the INCDP event will include issues of racial disparity in the war on drugs and the importance of law enforcement's role in reform discussions. Meeting attendees will include mayors, chiefs of police, directors of health and other municipal officials from around the world.

Reform initiatives are not new to Louisiana. The Schumpert Memorial Sanitarium in Shreveport operated one of the first maintenance clinics for addicts from 1919 to 1923, and marijuana has been approved for medicinal purposes since 1978. These and other issues specific to the South will be addressed at the annual conference.
To submit a presentation or paper proposal, or for more information about attending this historic event in the exciting city of New Orleans, con tact Whitney A. Taylor in DPF's Washington, D.C. office.


The Harm Reduction Coalition and DPF will be developing a one-day forum on drug policy and harm reduction. Designed to give background to the terms and concepts of drug policy reform, this seminar will be open to all attendees of both the International Network of Cities event and the main DPF conference. HRC and DPF hope this event will attract individuals who may be intimidated by other major drug policy reform forums without this important background information. For more information contact the Harm Reduction Coalition at (510) 444-6969 or DPF's Washington, D.C. office.


Arnold Trebach conducted a mini-speaking tour this winter.
He began by speaking before the Thomas Jefferson Literary and Debating Society at the University of Virginia, November 15. Trebach presented a speech entitled, "American Drug Policy: A Dissenting View" citing Jefferson's views and religion, health, and government as reasons for believing that the third president would oppose the modern drug war. The Jefferson Society is the country's oldest continuous debating society.

On January 28, Professor Trebach appeared with the former special DEA agent in charge of New York, Robert Stutman, in a "Drug Legalization Debate" at the University of Alabama in Tuskaloosa. The debate was attended by 400 members from the university community and covered by local press.

Trebach also spoke beforethe University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism on drug policy reform and the media. The February 16-21 symposium entitled, "The War on Drugs" was attended by several hundred journalists from across the country.

A couple of weeks later, Trebach attended a conference in Puerto Rico from February 28 to March 1. "The Congress Concerning Addictions and Criminality in Puerto Rico: Analysis and Alternatives" was sponsored by the Commission for the Study of Criminality and Addiction. The commission is comprised of leading Puerto Rican citizens concerned with the island's high violence and AIDS epidemic. The congress, attended by drug policy experts from the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States, aimed to explore potential policy recommendations and strategies for implementation in Puerto Rico. Trebach delivered a keynote address, "Lessons from the Mainland Experience." Also in attendance was DPF advisory board member Ernest Drucker of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Most recently, Trebach testified before the Washington, D.C., City Council on May 7 in opposition to the "Distribution of Marijuana Amendment Act of 1997." The bill, which called for the rescheduling of marijuana in the District of Columbia from Schedule V to Schedule III, and sought to reinstitute mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana and other drug offenses, was also opposed by the Capitol Area ACLU, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, National NORML, and the Marijuana Policy Project.


Government Affairs Director Cheryl Epps was recently invited to join the NAACP's Metropolitan Police and Criminal Justice Review Task Force, which will evaluate the District of Columbia's police department and assist people who have complaints about officers' conduct. An April 18 Washington Post story noted that the task force also plans to evaluate the District's prisons, courts, and prosecutors, and hold town meetings to seek community input on perceptions of the police department. The 25-member task force includes four retired D.C. police officers and representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


DPF has again received fantastic news from Working Assets, the long-distance phone and credit service. The company, known for its charitable distribution of consumer charges, identified DPF as one of "36 Organizations

Building a Better World" in 1996. The nomination allowed DPF a share of the contributions set aside each time a Working Assets customer uses one of the company's services — long-distance calling, credit cards, or travel booking.
Each year Working Assets customers vote for their favorite nonprofits to determine the portion of Working Assets contributions to each identified organization. The company also encourages customers to make tax-deductible donations to the top 36 groups.

Since DPF uses Working Assets as its long-distance carrier, every time a new customer names DPF when signing-up, DPF receives $20 credit on long-distance. To contact Working Assets long distance, call (800) 788-8588 or visit its Web site:


Our valuable member Drug Policy Foundation has been with us since Monday, 20 February 2012.

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