Drug War Fun

Cops bribe hotel workers

New Jersey cops have been bribing hotel workers to monitor their guests, alerting police to those who pay in cash, receive too many phone calls, or simply speak Spanish.

For over seven years, State Police have recruited hotel managers to allow them access to registration forms and credit card receipts without a warrant. The cops offer $1000 for any tip that leads to an arrest, and promise the hotels that their complicity will not be revealed.

State troopers even run seminars for hotel staff, training them to scrutinize guests for suspicious behaviour. Although the police vehemently deny targeting Hispanics, they got around the race issue by asking staff to pay special attention to guests ?who speak Spanish?.

DEA opens paraphernalia museum

The DEA has opened a museum in Virginia full of seized paraphernalia and other drug-culture implements, from the bongs and rollies of the modern puffer, to the opium pipes and opium-laced drinks of the turn of the century.

The museum glorifies the DEA mission to keep drugs out of the hands of those who might enjoy them, explaining gleefully how agents in the 1930?s were issued with ?a badge, a Thompson submachine gun and a pair of hand grenades.”

Iran?s drug war

An Iranian anti-drug official announced that 60% of Iran?s prisoners are incarcerated for drug offences. This makes for a total of over 100,000 drug prisoners, out of Iran?s population of 60 million.

US criminal Customs

The Miami Herald reported on May 9 that negligence and criminal behaviour are rampant within US Customs, and that tons of illegal drugs and billions of dollars has been knowingly allowed across the border. Many agents clearly guilty of rampant cargo theft, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, rape and even pedophilia were not punished in any way.

The Herald found many examples of Customs officers? illegal conduct being ignored or treated leniently by their superiors. Internal investigators complained of being stifled and harassed, and complaints against agents were often ignored or dismissed without investigation.

CIA sued for LSD

The CIA is being sued by the estate of a dead man who claimed that the CIA dosed him with powerful psychedelic drugs in 1952 while at a Paris cafe.

Stanley Glickman, who died in 1992, claimed that he had been dosed with LSD or another hallucinogen by CIA doctor Sidney Gottleib, who died in March of this year.

Glickman suffered repeated hallucinations after the incident, and spent time in hospitals, including treatment with electroshock therapy. Glickman did not suspect he had been dosed until 1977, when he saw congressional hearings about the CIA?s LSD program and recognized Gottleib from the cafe, including his club foot.

The CIA admits that the agency ran an LSD research program in the early 50?s, and that a major component of that research involved dosing unsuspecting people with LSD. However, the agency denies that they specifically dosed Glickman, claiming instead that he suffers from natural schizophrenia.

Students fight loan denials

A student campaign to overturn the US federal 1998 Higher Education Act (HEA) is gaining momentum in universities and college campuses. The HEA denies financial aid to any student who has ever been convicted of any drug offence, and was signed into law by President Clinton in October.

By March 1999, six student councils had officially come out against the HEA, along with organizations including the NAACP, ACLU, Center for Women Policy Studies, and the US Student Association.

Students working to overturn the provision are being coordinated by the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), a Washington DC non-profit organization.

For more information: http://www.u-net.org

Top Scot cop supports legalization

One of Scotland?s most senior police officers, Deputy Chief Constable Tom Wood, called for the legalization of cannabis at a conference on April 23. He endorsed the viewpoint of Councillor Pat Chalmers, head of the regional police board, who stated that ?we need to legalise such drugs as cannabis, and if possible tax them.?

Wood said that he agreed with Chalmers, and complained that ?nobody in the public domain has the stomach to take on the fight.? Yet within hours Wood proved his own point, as he hastily issued a partial retraction, explaining he had not advocated legalisation, but merely that ?it is time to look completely afresh at this problem??

Rebel juror conviction overturned

On April 29, Colorado juror Laura Kriho was found not guilty of contempt of court by the Colorado Court of Appeals. Kriho was originally charged with contempt after she served as a juror for a case of a man charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Kriho?s fellow jurors testified that she urged them not to find the defendant guilty because of the harshness of the impending sentence, and because drug cases should be handled by families instead of the courts.

Also, during jury selection Kriho failed to disclose that she was a member of a pro-hemp organization, and that 11 years earlier she had plead guilty to possession of LSD and received a ?deferred sentence? which included no criminal record.

The appeals judge reversed Kriho?s contempt of court conviction, claiming that her jury-room deliberations were constitutionally protected and not admissable as evidence against her. It is possible that state attorneys will appeal the decision, or try her again without using the jury-room transcripts.