Cannabis News The November Coalition
  Drug Debate Heats Up
Posted by FoM on January 31, 2002 at 10:52:58 PT
Staff and Wire Reports  
Source: Santa Fe New Mexican  

cannabisnews.com A group opposed to Gov. Gary Johnson's drug-reform bills began airing radio commercials Wednesday meant to pressure lawmakers to reject the governor's proposals.

The ads, including one in Spanish broadcast in Northern New Mexico, were launched as the Legislature reached the midpoint of its 30-day session. In one advertisement, actors react in disbelief about a proposed bill to make marijuana legal for certain medical patients, noting the state would grow the marijuana and state employees would harvest it.

That ad also notes that drug reform is backed by "an out-of-state billionaire" - a reference to philanthropist George Soros, benefactor of the national drug-reform organization known as The Lindesmith Center.

Darren White, executive director of Protect New Mexico, a newly formed anti-drug group, said the advertisements would reach about three-fourths of the state. He said it was uncertain how long the ads would continue.

All the ads tell listeners they can see the votes of legislators on drug-related legislation at Protect New Mexico's Web site, and the ads provide the Legislature's main telephone number.

"The whole basis of the ads is to get people involved in the process," White said.

Katharine Huffman of the New Mexico Drug Policy Project, which is associated with Lindesmith, said she had not heard any of the commercials.

The advertising campaign came as proponents of the governor's drug-law changes also stepped up their efforts in the Legislature.

A coalition of groups sent a letter to legislators and the governor in support of a package of measures pending in the Legislature.

The groups included the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the New Mexico Human Needs Coordinating Council.

The letter was published as a full-page advertisement in Wednesday's edition of The New Mexican.

"New Mexico can no longer afford to let fear or politics get in the way of real reform," the letter states. "We do not have the time or the money to waste on another year of drug policies that fail to protect our health and safety."

At a news conference in the Capitol, supporters said current policies wrongly focus on prohibiting drug use and incarcerating some offenders rather than addressing drugs as a medical problem through treatment and prevention programs.

Some of the drug-law changes are running into trouble in the Legislature. For instance, a House committee this week shelved a bill to lift criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults.

However, one of the bills won a committee endorsement Wednesday.

Over the objections of police and district attorneys, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-2 to give a do-pass recommendation to SB5, an overhaul of the state's asset-forfeiture law.

Under the bill, drug traffickers or other defendants must be convicted of crimes before their property - cars or cash, for example - can be permanently taken. Currently, police can seize property at the time of arrest.

The debate over Johnson's drug-policy changes is taking place against an election-year backdrop. All 70 House seats are up for election, and a number of senators are running for higher office.

Santa Fe lawyer Mark Donatelli said instead of punishing politicians who support drug reform, voters should "vote out of office those people who took our money and said that they would solve the drug problem."

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican (NM)
Published: January 31, 2002
Copyright: 2002 The Santa Fe New Mexican
Contact: letters@sfnewmexican.com
Website: http://www.sfnewmexican.com/

Related Articles & Web Sites:

The Drug Policy Alliance
http://www.lindesmith.org/

Protect New Mexico
http://www.protectnewmexico.org/

Protect New Mexico Poll
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11883.shtml

Statistical Contradiction
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11836.shtml

Legislators Rethink Supporting Drug Bills
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread11826.shtml


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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 01, 2002 at 07:55:03 PT
Jose
I already removed this article from Cannabis News about a week or so ago at Tim Gower's request. He thought I posted private emails on Cannabis News. I never botherd to explain that I don't do that because to me emails are very private unless they mention that they can be made public. He thanked me. If you click on the link to our archives it will be a blank page.

http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread10259.shtml

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Comment #6 posted by Jose Melendez on February 01, 2002 at 05:27:22 PT:

FoM, please delete if possible
FoM,

I got a nasty email from Tim Gower (tgower@mediaone.net) calling me a coward for posting our "private" email interaction publicly:

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:jfoJQMbC8iMC:www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread10259.shtml+tim+gower+cannabisnews.com&hl=en

After I pressed him on the issue and sent him more information that tended to contradict his published position, he acknowledges that it it is not "high" on his list of priorities to admit in print that there exists proof that marijuana and driving can be safe.

Regardless, because he seemed so agitated that I "outed" him on this subject, if at all possible please delete any postings of mine concerning Tim Gower on cannabisnews.com

I disagree with his assertion that email is in any way private, but it obviously upsets the man. So, I suppose the best thing is to hide the truth, since that seems to be what is important to the man.

Thanks, Jose

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Comment #5 posted by Dan B on February 01, 2002 at 00:45:22 PT:

Buffy, Hate, and Cannabis
First, thanks Jose and Morgan, for the excellent investigative reporting. You are doing what journalists are supposed to be doing, and it's a great service. Believe me when I say that many newspaper people visit this site on a regular basis, and when they do it is people like you who put them to shame.

Now, on with the topic I alluded to in the title (above). I was watching an old Buffy, The Vampire Slayer the other day--one I did not see the first time around (yes, I watch the show). In it, Buffy is out doing her usual slaying of vampires, and her mother decides to follow her. The mother finds some dead children near where Buffy has been slaying vampires, and these children have (supposedly) Wiccan symbols on their hands. The mother assumes that the children have been killed by witches (Buffy's friend, Willow, is a practicing witch), and she sets up a town organization to fight everything that has anything to do with witches. The group includes Willow's mother, and they go so far as to gather all the books on witchcraft/occult from the school library and use them as fuel to burn Buffy, Willow and another girl who is a practicing witch at the stake. At the last minute, it is uncovered that the dead children who have been influencing the "concerned parents" of the town are really projections made by an evil demon whose goal it is to get parents to kill their own children in service to him. The parents relent (after Buffy kills the demon), and the town returns to "normal."

What the heck does any of this have to do with the above article? Allegory. This show was a graphic depiction of how one group can be demonized by another through rhetoric, and it carried out this scenario as far as it could without actually killing off any principal characters. It, in effect, described what happened in Nazi Germany (even made reference to the parent group as "Nazis"), and it described what is going on here in the United States in the name of the "war on drugs."

When hatred becomes a matter of policy, it can take a great deal of courage to stand against it. But in Nazi Germany standing up against hatred often meant losing your life while in New Mexico it might only mean losing an election. Put in that perspective, it is easy to calculate just how little courage our supposed "leaders" really have.

George Soros happens to be the guy who finances the Drug Policy Alliance (formerly The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation). But he isn't the only guy who supports this legislation, and (if true to form) he's pumping far less money into the New Mexico campaign than are those who are working against it. In short, he's the proverbial straw man--a false issue designed to distract people from the real issue. In fact, he is a non-issue. How many other New Mexico policies were financed by people from out of state? I would guess quite a few.

Referring to the allegory again, what Jose and Morgan have done is peel the projected image of "concerned citizens" from these ads to expose the demon lurking within them.

Soros doesn't make money from cannabis prohibition, but Gordham does by way of big oil. Soros has no incentive other than his desire for a more open society, but Gordham has a built-in cash incentive. Soros's money is made by exploiting the exploitative banks around the world, but Gordham's money is made by exploiting and damaging the world itself.

Who's the real demon?

Dan B

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Comment #4 posted by Nuevo Mexican on January 31, 2002 at 23:13:59 PT
Thanks Jose!
Good work and very much appreciated. The people of New Mexico are mostly very poor and that means lots of exposure to drugs of all types, cigarettes and tobacco are the biggest killers, but cannabis, not being a drug but a PLANT is widely understood by the people here. Cannabis is a part of Native American and Hispanic/central American culture. It's the wealthy, yuppie, anglo republican and democratic leaders that are not subject to the laws that incarcerate (jail) people for cannabis, cocaine, etc. Since they are immune, why should they care. But the people here now the story better than the political hacks. The PR stunts they are pulling will backfire, as people in this state notoriously avoid television, preferring to throw a log on the fire, kick it with good friends and be simple, peaceful and very joyful. We're talking people who don't believe what they see on TV because they're so used to racism, discrimination, economic hardship and the list goes on. Noone reads the paper, but uses it to start the morning fireplace. With Gary Johnson in the 'bully pulpit' the prohibitionists' have a hard time whipping law enforcement into a fervor over cannibis use, especially since it their favorite pastime as well. This is NEW Mexico, and the name says it all. Don't be surprised when resident Rumsfield decides to change the name of the state because of that (sounds like a terrorist state, doesn't it). Anyway, tommorow I will post an article on a HEmp sTORE GRAND OPENING that will counter the official propaganda, and the roots of this local movement has been C-News, yes folks, this website is a catalyst for many things, education being the greatest offering, and the article I will post reflects current thinking in the state by the people of the state, not its corporate profiteers who bill themselves as representatives of the people. (Excepting Gary Johnson)

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Comment #3 posted by Jose Melendez on January 31, 2002 at 12:15:51 PT:

can you say: Big Oil money?
here is a bio on Gorham's father, from: http://www.abqjournal.com/obits/OB09-27.HTM

Frank D. Gorham, Jr., decorated World War II Ski Trooper, noted Petroleum Geologist, rancher, long time civic leader, humanitarian, and philanthropist, died Sunday, September 23, 2001 at the age of 80. Born in St. Louis, MO on June 4, 1921 to Frank D. Gorham, MD and Lillian Hawley Gorham, Mr. Gorham graduated from the University of Missouri in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology. Upon completion of Officer Candidate School and gunnery training at Fort Sill, OK, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army and dispatched to the 605th Field Pack Artillery unit in the Tenth Mountain Division. After basic training at Camp Hale, CO, he was engaged in the Italian Campaign of World War II as a forward observer with the Field Artillery. First Lieutenant Gorham was promoted to Captain and awarded the Silver Star for bravery after the battle of Riva Ridge. He began his career in Petroleum Geology with the Creole Petroleum Co. in Quiri Quiri, Venezuela. After several years with Creole, he relocated to Denver, CO and was employed by Pure Oil Co. until he was offered a position with PNM's wholly owned subsidiary, Pubco Development Corp. in Albuquerque. As Chief Geologist, Mr. Gorham was charged with discovering natural gas reserves in the San Juan Basin to provide fuel for the utility's gas fired electric utility plants. Under Mr. Gorham's leadership, substantial growth in oil and natural gas production resulted in Pubcoťs spin off from PNM and the creation of Pubco Petroleum Corp. with offices in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Louisiana, North Dakota and Alberta, Canada. Mr. Gorham rose through the administrative ranks to become President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1973 after the sale of Pubco to Mesa Petroleum of Amarillo, Mr. Gorham embarked on a highly successful solo career in oil and natural gas exploration, which he pursued until his recent death. He was an Adjunct Professor of Petroleum Geology at UNM. He was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), serving as President of the Rocky Mountain Section in 1958 and 1959, and was a founding member of the New Mexico Independent Producers Association. Mr. Gorham served on the boards of several area banks, including the Albuquerque National Bank, the Bank of New Mexico and the First National Bank. In addition to his varied business interests, Mr. Gorham was highly involved with youth development. He served the Boy Scouts of America as President of the Kit Carson Council (now the Great Southwest Council) and received scouting's highest lay honor: the Silver Beaver Award for his leadership and devotion. He was a founding member of the Albuquerque Community Foundation and instrumental in designing its mission. Mr. Gorham was a member of the Albuquerque Academy Board of Trustees during the school's formative years and helped develop its long-range plan that resulted in the school's current expansive campus. Mr. Gorham loved flying and in addition to becoming an active private pilot, he became a highly accomplished glider pilot, achieving the highest national status by earning the coveted Four Diamonds for Altitude, Distance and Designated Distance. One of his fondest accomplishments was flying non-stop from Albuquerque to Garden City, Kansas. This endeavor led the way for his nomination and eventual membership to the Explorer's Club of New York City. Mr. Gorham was a noted philanthropist and contributed significantly to many educational and humanitarian causes. He established the Leon Karelitz Chair for the Study of Oil and Gas Law at the University of New Mexico. He contributed generously to the UNM Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the University of Missouri Department of Geology, the Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army, and the St. Mary's School in Albuquerque. Mr. Gorham is survived by his wife, Marie Kelly Gorham, a native of Santa Fe and a member of a long-time prominent New Mexico family. Mr. Gorham is also survived by his five sons, Frank D. Gorham, III and his wife State Representative Ramsay Gorham, Daniel Kelly Gorham, Timothy Walker Gorham and his wife, Susan, Robert Hawley Gorham and his wife, Barbara, and Dr. Mark Linton Gorham and his wife, Ingrid. He is survived by eight grandchildren, Hunter Gorham, West Point Cadet Walker Devore Gorham, Will Potts-Gorham, David Miller Gorham, Laura Kelly Gorham, Anthony Hawley Gorham, Olivia Marie Gorham, and Anika Elise Gorham.



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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 31, 2002 at 11:48:53 PT
Morgan
Good research. Thanks!

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Comment #1 posted by Morgan on January 31, 2002 at 11:41:48 PT
Where's the money coming from?
That ad also notes that drug reform is backed by "an out-of-state billionaire" - a reference to philanthropist George Soros, benefactor of the national drug-reform organization known as The Lindesmith Center.

Darren White, executive director of Protect New Mexico, a newly formed anti-drug group, said the advertisements would reach about three-fourths of the state. He said it was uncertain how long the ads would continue.

These ads cost a lot of money. Where, I ask myself, is this 'newly formed group (Protect New Mexico) getting all this cash? Darren White has a job as a 'Crime reporter', but I realy don't think he's getting that much for this part-time job. I looked on their web-page for info, and found this bio for a benefactor:

Frank D. Gorham III

Frank D. Gorham III is the co-founder and treasurer for Protect New Mexico. Mr. Gorham is a native New Mexican, who is actively involved the community, and is recognized as one of the Land of Enchantment’s business leaders.

He is currently the president of Sandstone Properties. Sandstone owns various oil and gas properties throughout the Southwest, as well as numerous real estate holdings.

Frank returned to New Mexico in 1992 after having spent eighteen years with Phillips Petroleum Company, where he served as the company’s Production Manager. Frank also served on Capitol Hill, where he was a legislative assistant for Senator Pete Domenici. Frank received a Bachelors Degree from the University of New Mexico and a Law Degree from American University in Washington, D.C. Frank has served as the President of the Independent Producers of New Mexico, Chairman of the Republican Party of Bernalillo County, a Director of Norwest Bank, a board member of the Boy Scouts, and Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI). Frank is married to State Senator Ramsay Gorham and has two sons, Hunter and Walker.

Draw your own conclusions.

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