Monday, March 31, 2008

Drug Policy Foundation Was Advised by Covington & Burling Food and Drug Attorney

From my unpublished manuscript "Coca- Forgotten Medicine"
"... We have received valuable advice from Marialuisa Gallozzi, the Covington and Burling associate assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the Foundation. Having Covington and Burling in our corner is a source of great comfort.”
Arnold Trebach and Kevin Zeese, letter dated March 1990
Marialuisa S. Gallozzi (“M.L.”) -- born December 22, 1961[1] – “the Covington and Burling associate assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the [Drug Policy] Foundation” is a partner in the insurance and food and drug practices, admitted to the bar in the New York,1987, and the District of Columbia, 1988 (graduated Harvard University, A.B. cum laude, National Merit Scholar, 1982, and N.Y.U. Law School, J.D. 1986; clerked for Judge Robert G. Doumar E.D. Virginia; subsequently hired at Covington and Burling), according to Covington & Burling’s web site in 2005.

In the insurance area, Marialuisa assists policyholders in settling and mediating coverage disputes and designing insurance portfolios. She works with Bermuda, London Market, U.S. and captive insurers and with a range of traditional and new insurance products. She has extensive experience in asbestos, silica, pharmaceutical and medical device and other coverage claims as well as in insurer insolvencies. Her recent presentations include "Settlement Credits and Excess Insurers" (Mealey's Allocation and Settlement Credits Conference, Nov. 2005) and "Solvent Schemes: Running Off or Running Out?" (Mealey's Advanced Insurance Coverage Conference, Jan. 2006).

Marialuisa is listed in the Guide to the World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers (Euromoney 2004) and The International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers. She has co-chaired several Mealey's insurance conferences. In the food and drug area, Marialuisa advises corporations and trade associations on FDA regulation of products including OTC drugs, food, dietary supplements, and medical devices. Her work has involved federal regulation of agricultural biotechnology and plant-based pharmaceuticals.

Her article, "Inactive Ingredients in Over-The-Counter Drug Products", appeared in Regulatory Affairs FOCUS in August 2002. Marialuisa serves as a civil case and child protection mediator in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The National Head Start Association named her a 25th Anniversary Star Honoree for her long service to that organization.

The 2004 version, ended with the following line that would be dropped from later versions: “She likes travel, bicycling, photography and cooking”.

Lexis-Nexis lists her practices in these areas of law: Food and Drug Law; Insurance Coverage; Mediation, though without indicating when she entered each.

This 2005 Covington & Burling Marialuisa Gallozzi biography fails to mention her recent paper with regards to agricultural biotechnology and plant-based pharmaceuticals regulation about GMO plants for growing patentable drugs that she is listed as presenting at the U.S.D.A. February 2004 Annual Conference “Ensuring a Healthy Food Supply". She was listed as one of three presenters in a panel “Promise and Pitfalls of Plant-Made Pharmaceuticals And Industrial Compounds,” moderated by Neil E. Hoffman, Director, Regulatory Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. Her paper was titled “The (U.S.) Food Industry’s View About the Development of Plant-made Pharmaceuticals and Industrials.” [2] It was only available on the internet briefly in 2004, and of the more then 75 speaker presentations at that 2004 USDA conference, is the only one where both paper and its author are deleted from the later html version of the conference schedule, without replacements.

The firm’s website makes no mention if she has worked in drug policy reform issues, nor the pro bono publico client relationship with the Drug Policy Foundation. The various reports by the Drug Policy Foundation subsequent to 1988-89 report’s March 1990 letter omit any mention of this pro bono publico Covington & Burling/Marialuisa Gallozzi/Drug Policy Foundation connection, nor any other such relationship with any other attorneys or law firms. The description that she was “…assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the [Drug Policy] Foundation” would suggest that any such advice from Covington & Burling to the Drug Policy Foundation, regardless of the physical parties, would be filtered and conceivably decided by her.

The Covington and Burling website (Health page, early 2005) acknowledged that the law firm has worked closely with the Drug Policy Foundation and other organizations involved with drug policy reform:
Commonwealth v. Hutchins. We represent Mr. Hutchins and the interests of similarly situated patients for whom the medical use of marijuana is necessary, in a variety of state and national initiatives aimed at decriminalizing such use. We work closely with the Drug Policy Foundation, the Marijuana Policy Project and sympathetic members of Congress and selected state legislatures. American Civil Liberties Union - Drug Policy Litigation Project. We were asked to assist the ACLU in preparing a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency in support of an application by a professor at the University of Massachusetts for registration to manufacture or distribute controlled substances for the purposes of a scientific study on medical marijuana. Specifically, they requested that we opine on the consistency of the application with the United States' treaty requirements pursuant to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. We have continued to provide advice on related aspects of this matter.
[1] Lexis-Nexis search: [2]“U.S. Food Industry’s View on the Development of plant-made Pharmaceuticals and Industrials” by Marialuisa Gallozzi is listed in PDF and other fixed format versions of that conference’s published schedule, with its author’s name appearing with two other panelists, Barry Holtz, CEO, Inflexion Therapeutics, who gave a presentation “Moving Products into the Clinic: The Next Stage of Development for the Plant-made Pharmaceuticals Sector” and Rachel G. Lattimore, Attorney, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, PLLC, who gave the presentation “Plant-Made Pharmaceuticals Confinement Systems”.

However, later html achieves
delete both this paper regarding the topic GMO plants for growing patentable drugs, otherwise known as "Plant Based Pharmaceuticals" or "Plant Made Pharmaceuticals"and its author’s name on the list of panelists- apparently purged, according to a USDA research librarian who could find no way to access this paper. (Other such papers that are not available are nonetheless otherwise still listed along with their authors’ appearance upon their respective panels).
From “The (U.S.) Food Industry’s View About the Development of Plant-made Pharmaceuticals and Industrials” by Marialuisa Gallozzi, viewable here

Mention of this paper was subsequently added in her Covington & Burling biography which appears in the following 2008 version:
Marialuisa ("ML") Gallozzi is a partner in the insurance coverage and food and drug practices.
Her insurance advisory practice focuses on: negotiating settlements of insurance coverage disputes; advising policyholders on the insurance aspects of transactions; negotiating and analyzing terms of policies, including clinical trials, patent and other specialty coverages; and representing policyholders in claims against insolvent and runoff insurers in the United States and abroad, and state guaranty funds. She also provides food and drug advice to manufacturers of medical devices, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements.

Ms. Gallozzi is a managing partner for Legal Personnel at the firm, with responsibility for associate issues. She served as an Associate Ombudsperson and co-chaired the summer associate program from 2004 to 2006.

Representative Matters

  • Advised Sotheby's on placement of its E&O coverage.
  • Represented a major American food supplier in complex novation transaction involving workers compensation policies.
  • Advised a clinical trials organization on coverage under its clinical trials policy.
  • Represented a multinational corporation seeking coverage for an employee dishonesty claim involving a foreign subsidiary.
  • Represented a medical device manufacturer in dealings with FDA concerning a product recall and subsequent investigation.
  • Represented a financial services company in recovering for its property and business interruption losses caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Negotiated numerous settlements with domestic and foreign insurance carriers securing coverage for silicone breast implant, IUD, heart-valve, asbestos, and environmental claims.

Honors and Rankings

  • Chambers USA, leading Insurance - Policyholder lawyer (2007-2008)
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, Legal Media Group/Euromoney (2006)
  • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (2007)

Pro Bono

  • District of Columbia Superior Court Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division, Civil Mediator (since 1997) and Child Protection Mediator (since 2004).
  • Representation of the National Head Start Association since 1988, 25th Anniversary Star Honoree in 1998.


Presentations and Speeches

  • "Settlement Credits and Excess Insurers," Mealey’s “All Sums: Reallocation & Settlement Credits” Conference (November 2005)
  • "The Food Industry’s View About the Development of Plant-Made Pharmaceutical and Industrials," USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum: Ensuring a Healthy Food Supply (February 2004)
  • "Insuring Biotech Risks," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar (March 2003)




  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1986
    • Journal of International Law and Politics, Articles Editor
  • Harvard University, A.B., 1982
    • cum laude

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Robert G. Doumar, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 1986-1987

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York


  • French
  • Italian

Covington & Burling - Bio - Marialuisa Gallozzi

Drug Policy Foundation Washington, D.C. Legal Connection

From my unpublished manuscript "Coca- Forgotten Medicine"

Covington and Burling
- A Law Firm long Involved with Foundations, Tobacco, Foods, Pharmaceuticals

In 1988 the recently founded Drug Policy Foundation became additionally connected in Washington, D.C. According to a letter dated March 1990 at pages 2-4 of the 1988-89 Drug Policy Foundation BIENNIAL REPORT by Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese:
While the Drug Policy Foundation has outstanding counsel in Kevin Zeese, the leading Washington law firm Covington and Burling accepted the Foundation as a pro bono publico [for the public good] client in regard to corporate and tax matters in 1988. We have received valuable advice from Marialuisa Gallozzi, the Covington and Burling associate assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the Foundation. Having Covington and Burling in our corner is a source of great comfort.”
The firm today known as Covington and Burling is one of the most prominent, prestigious and connected international law firms in the world, specializing in many areas of government policy -- statutory and regulatory -- involving international trade, technologies, with a clientele list including about half of the Fortune 500 companies, with an established advisory reputation for abroad swath of the world’s economic activity. Its main areas of practice are TMT, intellectual property, corporate (including M&A, private equity, commercial, licensing, public and private placements), life sciences, litigation, tax, employment, and competition/international trade. Its’ current headquarters, the upper five floors of the building completed for the firm in 1981 at 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue directly diagonally across the street from the Benjamin Franklin statute at the Old Post Office Building, symbolizes its own prominence in 20th century U.S. politics, being roughly midway between the U.S. White House and the U.S. Capitol.

It was initially founded in 1919 by Judge James Harry Covington, a former U.S. Representative from the 4th District of Maryland (1909-1913) who was in office shortly after the enactment of the 1906 Food and Drugs Act, through the time leading to the 1914 Harrison Act, and who was appointed as a Judge by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. It became Covington and Burling with the addition of Chicago lawyer Edward Burling, who was married to Louise Peasley, a daughter of railroad tycoon James C. Peasley of the Burlington Railroad also president of the National State Bank (of whom another daughter Mathilda was married to Frederic A. Delano- uncle of later U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was on the original Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1914), who moved to Washington, D.C. to become chief counsel of the Shipping Board during World War I, following U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's government’s nationalization of the railroads and seizing control of the shipping industry. (The early 1900s brought a sharp increase in federal law-making, not limited to the 1906 Food and Drug Act and the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.)
The founders of Covington & Burling foresaw the pervasive effects of the forthcoming era of federal legislation, regulation, and taxation. In 1919, they sought to create a firm in the nation's capital that could advise and represent corporations located anywhere in the nation or the world on a wide range of legal issues. Today our Washington office has over 300 lawyers representing clients according to the highest standards and fulfilling the firm's strong commitment to public service. Our lawyers are supported by nearly 100 paralegals and by information management specialists in the library, and in the litigation and practice support, and technology departments.

This firm’s oldest practices is its presence in food and drug law, with its web-site in 2005 listing 18 attorneys at its Washington, D.C. headquarters – 9 partners including two former Chief Counsels to the Food and Drug Administration (and including Marialuisa Gallozzi, ”assigned to take primary responsibility for advising the [Drug Policy] Foundation”), and 9 associates – who devote all or a major portion of their time to this practice, plus 6 additional lawyers at its offices in London and Brussels. According to the firm’s site at

Covington & Burling has a large and comprehensive food and drug law practice. The Firm’s food and drug practice began at the Firm’s founding in 1919 with representation of the National Canners Association (now the National Food Processors Association and still a client). From that time, the Firm’s practice has steadily expanded to include all types of food and drug work and work relating to scientific and technology research. Past and present clients for which the Firm serves as general counsel or principal outside counsel include the Animal Health Institute, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Bakers Association, American Forest & Paper Association, Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, Corn Refiners Association, Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, Epilepsy Foundation of America, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, National Food Laboratories, National Pharmaceutical Council, Consumer Healthcare Products Association and Toxicology Forum.
This work includes political organization on behalf of its clientèle industries. According to the firm’s site at

The Firm was actively involved on behalf of major clients in connection with each important statutory revision in the federal food and drug laws, including the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and its major amendments, including —

the Pesticide Amendments of 1954,
the Food Additives Amendment of 1958,
the Color Additive Amendments of 1960,
the Drug Amendments of 1962,
the Animal Drug Amendments of 1968,
the Medical Device Amendments of 1976,
the Orphan Drug Act,
the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984,
the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1988,
the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1988,
the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990,
the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990,
the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of 1992,
the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994,
the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994,
the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996,
the FDA Export Reform and Enhancement Act of 1996,
the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, and
the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997.
Our lawyers have advised or represented clients in a wide range of legislative matters at both the federal and state levels. We have prepared draft legislation and analyzed legislative proposals, including interaction with Congressional members and staff. We have prepared Congressional testimony and advised clients in connection with committee and subcommittee hearings. Our lawyers have advised clients on compliance with new statutory enactments, and represented trade association clients in rulemaking proceedings to implement new statutes. As the 104th Congress undertook to address the issues of general regulatory reform and more specifically FDA reform, firm lawyers played a major role in conjunction with food, drug and cosmetic industry trade associations and other clients in analyzing and drafting legislative reform proposals, and in preparing testimony for presentation at committee hearings.

Covington & Burling’s clientele amongst pharmaceutical and agriculture related firms includes:
GlaxoSmithKline, Monsanto, Merck, Warner-Lambert (Pfizer), Eli Lilly, The Balli Group

Covington for decades has been a preeminent antitrust advisor, regularly providing U.S. and EU antitrust advice to Rx and OTC pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology firms around the world in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, litigation, R&D collaborations, licensing transactions and other strategic transactions. We have been home to four former heads of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and two Chairmen of the ABA Antitrust Law Section - a unique distinction among law firms actively practicing in the antitrust area.
Unmentioned in the firm’s web site is its long established activities as one of, if not unquestionably in every way the world’s largest, legal representative of such agricultural-commodity related industries in one way or another, of pharmaceutical and Tobacco (cigarette) interests.

Covington & Burling also represents every major American tobacco company, including Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Lorillard Tobacco Co., Philip Morris Inc., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, as well as the now-defunct industry trade association, the Tobacco Institute. The firm helped develop and coordinate the Whitecoat Project, an attempt to keep controversy alive regarding the dangers of passive smoking by hiring scientists to back up and attempt to give credibility to the tobacco industry's point of view that second-hand smoke is not a health risk.

According to internal tobacco industry documents analyzed in 1999 by Public Citizen and the Center for Justice and Democracy, Covington & Burling was a principle organizer and funding conduit for tort reform efforts on behalf of the tobacco industry. Covington & Burling has acted as a pipeline to direct money from its tobacco industry clients to tort reform groups in the states and across the country. For example, in 1995, the tobacco industry allocated nearly $5.5 million to the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), more than half of ATRA’s $10.2 million budget according to the Associated Press.8

A memo written by a Covington & Burling partner that year reveals the extent to which the law firm helped orchestrate the tobacco industry's tort reform agenda. Written to the industry’s "Tort Reform Policy Committee," the memo called for an expansion of efforts, including a "communications program … intended to enhance our ability to enact favorable legislation at both the federal and state level." The memo noted that "these media activities, to be effective, must not be linked to the tobacco industry."

Covington & Burling is also one of the largest contributors of pro bono work for a wide array of causes from Big Brothers/Sisters to medical marijuana (Therapeutic Cannabis), and has provided valuable legal assistance in a number of such cases, including that by that firm’s Partner Dr. Michael Michelson. This includes work for various tax exempt status Foundations dedicated to some issue or another, including the Drug Policy Foundation. Philanthropic and Grant-Making Organizations
The Firm’s lawyers are regularly sought out to advise on the creation, reorganization and funding of private foundations (including family and company foundations, as well as foundations affiliated with associations or other tax-exempt entities), supporting organizations and public charities and the use of charitable contributions to accomplish specific client goals. In addition, charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts, which require analysis of the federal and state income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax consequences of each structure, are used to achieve clients’ charitable, tax and family goals. Our clients include the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, the Packard Humanities Institute, Verizon Foundation and UTC Foundation. In one instance we represent affiliated grant-making organizations worth well in excess of $1 billion.
Covington & Burling’s practice with foundations is a long established connection, with the name Frederic A. Delano (Edward Burling’s bother in law by marriage), appearing amongst the 1909 founders of the Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C. (with Daniel Coit Gilman, Cleveland H. Dodge, Andrew Dickson White, and Elihu Root, Darius Ogden Mills and William E. Morrow), and in 1921 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was incorporated by Frederic A. Delano, Robert S. Brookings, Elihu Root, who became its first president, John W. Davis, Dwight Morrow, James T. Shotwell. Frederic A. Delano’s name appears as the 1924 founder of the influential Washington D.C. planning group “Committee of 100.”
Covington & Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Drug Policy Foundation Advised by Covington & Burling Food, Drug and Insurance Attorney

See the Covington & Burling building and Ben Franklin

1988 & 1989 Drug Policy Foundation Biennial Report

1993 - America North DPF Takes a 'Lead' by saying "Just Say Whoa"

From my unpublished manuscript "Coca- Forgotten Medicine"
The Drug Policy Foundation would begin a trend of saying "just say whoa” by taking an early “lead” during the Clinton Administration (1993-2001) of pulling back from its longstanding mission of educating the public by radically scaling back or eliminating major components of its public education campaign, including eliminating its television show “America’s Drug Forum”. For the conferences, starting with the first one following the Clinton Administration’s start in January 1993, this meant reducing conference paper book reduced from 300+ to 50+ pages – with its November 1993 conference paper compendium “The Faces of Change” including no papers regarding the Coca, and with this D.P.F. conference not holding a cocaine panel, but to instead hold a panel “Latin American Perspective” panel, moderated by Elise Storck of the Washington D.C. based Panos Institute. For the Coca issue, this meant excluding any papers on thus relegating the Coca issue within a broader topic.
With the Drug Policy Foundation running three separate tracts at its annual conferences by 1992 – Medical, Legal, and General -- I submitted a trio of proposals: Suggested Studies of the Therapeutic Uses of Coca presents a number of possible beneficial uses of Coca in medicine (suggested by a number of sources), with a brief over-view, history and synopsis of the most recent medical research. The Laws Prohibiting Coca Leaf and Avenues of Change presents an overview of the tiers of law that deny the public their right to buy and use Coca products. These include international, national and local law, as well as those institutions entrusted as the guardians of the medical orthodoxy used to buttress these policies. This legal overview, produced with a full consciousness of how prohibition affects the market (and by extension drug abuse), explains the regulatory process, including what may be done within the confines of the law, and identifies those that enforce or influence legal policy, such as the FDA, the DEA, and private groups including the American Medical Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, and the American Psychiatric Association (which is responsible for defining DSM criteria). As an antidote to existing policies, this paper presents a number of steps that the public may one day demand of legislatures and the U.N., including denouncing the Single Convention, repealing existing prohibition laws, charging the FDA to set up appropriate regulations on Coca products, and correcting today's institutionalized mis-conceptions about Coca. Coca-ine Policy: A History of Trends and Consequences. This paper reviews the early history of U.S. laws aimed at "controlling" cocaine and the Coca leaf, from the 19th century poison laws, to the 1914 Harrison Act, with an eye upon their consequences. Covered here are the laws and their consequences, from the early (1887-1897) State laws directed at isolated cocaine, the latter (1898-1913) State laws extending such sales restrictions to Coca leaf, and the 1914 Harrison Act which made the Treasury Department the official arbitrator of defining "legitimate medicine." Most importantly, this paper displays these laws effects upon supply and- most importantly for those concerned about drug abuse- use, by shifted use from Coca to isolated cocaine, as well as the shifting medical and popular attitudes (and perceptions) that ensured that the policies fostering drug abuse were incorrectly seen as policies fighting drug abuse.
The D.P.F.’s rejection letter, dated June 3, 1993, signed by Kendra Wright, Director of Development, would state:
Thank you for your interest in the Seventh International Conference on Drug Policy Reform. I have read your recently submitted proposals addressing coca. Unfortunately., due to the large volume of proposals received we cannot accept all of the quality topics suggested for this year’s conference. Fortunately, with your help, coca is one of the subject matters we have more then adequately educated our members on in years past. This year, we must make room in the manual and the panel discussions for the plethora of current issues affecting drug policy. We thank you for your interest and dedication to the reform of drug policy. I hope you will attend the conference in November and encourage you to submit a proposal to next year’s call for papers.

“the plethora of current issues affecting drug policy”?!

This rejection letter was dated one day after The Wall Street Journal publishes a page one article “Bolivians Are High On a Toothpaste Made From Coca; Exporters Express Resentment That Kinship to Cocaine Is Blowing Their Business”, about Bolivia’s difficulties in promoting Coca exports. In response, I compiled and sent the D.P.F.’s Kendra Wright an information pack of Coca materials, consisting of various published news articles, such that from The Wall Street Journal, plus recent articles form The New York Times about the Coca issue in professional soccer (outside the U.S.A. known as football), and from The Washington Post about Coca tea drinkers urine testing positive for cocaine metabolites and the controversies about their loosing job eligibilities. I also included a one page abstract of a study of the medicinal use of coca tea to wean users/abusers of concentrated forms of cocaine. Though the D.P.F.’s 1993 International conference --- included medical sessions -- these included none regarding Coca.

Salvaging the little space allocated at the 1993 D.P.F. conference for the Coca issue through its panel on Latin American Perspectives, I would attend that panel where I met the one participant in that panel that gave a presentation on Coca, Baldemero Caceres. That panels’ questions and answers period with its audience provided us the opportunity to hear Anita Bennett, a British medical journalist, suggest giving Coca tea to women in labor in order to relax their vagina muscles to ease child-birth and reduce the instance of brain damage in newly-borns. Immediately afterwards, Caceres, Bennett and myself would meet and converse with Ira Glasser, President of the ACLU since 1978, who was present towards’ this panel’s closing, who was displaying an avid interest in the Coca issue that day, and who I then found to be friendly and encouraging.

For the upcoming 1994 annual D.P.F. conference, to be titled “The Crucial Next Stage: Health Care and Human Rights”, I made my first panel proposal: “Coca: Turning Over a New Leaf Towards Reducing Health Care Costs.”

This approach vividly demonstrates the drug war's sheer stupidity through revealing Coca leaf's many forgotten benefits. Magnifying the potential impact of this is the appeal to present day concerns, namely fighting drug abuse and reducing health care costs. A logical forum for presenting a variety of topics concerning Coca within this broad health care context, this panel addresses:

- Coca: powder cocaine and crack substitute: making their abuse obsolete.
- Medical Coca: a multitude of valuable therapeutic applications.
- Coca: the safer alternative to licit stimulants, particularly Tobacco.

Presenting Coca in this context is a potent antidote to popular misconceptions that drug prohibition somehow serves the general welfare. People support prohibition, generally viewing it favorably in inverse proportion to the degree they see illegal drugs as "bad." The story of Coca though is a powerful indictment of prohibition. Here is something clearly good, useful for a variety of medical uses, and as a daily stimulant. Indeed, to a greater extent than medical Marijuana, drug war proponents acknowledge such medical uses of Coca as a remedy for high altitude sickness, other forms of nausea, and stomach aches; indeed recommendations for these uses of Coca are found in virtually any Andean tourist guide book. People in most parts of the world though are generally oblivious to this, focusing instead the situation with concentrated cocaine that prohibition created and sustains. As people have had the drug issue defined in such a convoluted way to misperceive the illicit market in powder cocaine and crack -- cocaine hydrochloride and sulfate -- as the natural situation that would exist without prohibition, ignorance of Coca is crucial towards maintaining popular support for the drug war!

The social importance of this panel is undeniably high. Let the following serve as but one example. The leaf's reported utility to the newly born --- as Coca is valuable to CNS stimulation and improves the blood count of oxygen, giving it to women in labor has immense potential towards reducing the instances of brain damage amongst newborns (see the Saturday newsletter from the 1993 DPF conference) -- alone could save millions of dollars in medical bills and lost productivity, to say nothing of the prevalence of these heart-breaking tragedies sustained by widespread ignorance of Coca's therapeutic benefits.

Given the President's concerns over reducing health care costs and Coca leaf's potential with this, is extremely valuable to the general welfare. Indeed, perhaps this is the drug policy reformists' most powerful approach towards dispelling the false utopic vision now clouding a clear perspective of the drug war, for nobody can dismiss (or ignore) it without appearing down right callous.

The Clintons ought to find this irresistible.

I wrote this with the idea of presenting the various therapeutic uses of Coca that could reduce health care costs, highlighting Anita Bennett’s idea of giving Coca tea to women in labor to ease childbirth and thus reduce the occurrence of protracted births that cause brain damage for newly borns. This panel was to feature (and had the support of) Harvard University’s Dr. Lester Grinspoon, yet was rejected by the D.P.F., with a letter taking issue with my inviting speakers, or in other words, inform proposed speakers of the proposed panel that it was proposed they would appear upon. `

“The Crucial Next Stage: Health Care and Human Rights” held November 16-19, 1994 at Loews L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C. would include no panels nor panel presentations about Coca’s medicinal uses, and excluding even a Latin America panel, and by holding a cocaine panel focused strictly upon “The Historic Cocaine Report of the World Health Organization” held Thursday November 17 (4:00-5:30) with David Lewis, MD Brown University; Craig Reinarman, PhD Stevenson College; Lisa Mathew Simon Fraser University; and Don Des Jarlis. MD Beth Israel. This panel addressed the uses of refined cocaine and did not focus on the uses of coca.

This would not because the W.H.O. had ignored coca. Following the 1992-93 W.H.O. meetings, W.H.O. would set out to study Coca and cocaine.

In 1994, after two years of research in 19 countries, a group of well-respected investigators concluded that coca leaf chewing is not addictive. They also found that most cocaine users consume very little of the drug and experience few serious problems. The results were summarized in a March 1995 press release.

The U.S. government did not tolerate this, and would bully W.H.O. to suppress these portions of the study by threatening to withhold funds. In May 1995, according to W.H.O.’s records, the U.S. representative to WHO, Neil Boyer: "took the view that the study on cocaine...indicates that [WHO's] program on substance abuse was headed in the wrong direction" and that "if WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programs should be curtailed." The full results of the study were never released.

The U.S. government would be likewise quickly negative in its reaction to Luxembourg’s February 22, 1995 stand against Coca's prohibition, when its parliament at the Chambre des Deputes unanimously approved a resolution promoted by the COCA ’95 campaign asking the government to allow the import of coca leaves and inoffensive derivates to the country, including teas, and toothpaste. By the next morning, the U.S. Embassy had called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg to ask if the deputies had gone crazy. [an insane statement from a superpower that pushes criminal mercantilism for chemically laced Virginia Bright Leaf poison!]

So much for any expectations that the Clinton Administrations would have any better regard for the truth then the sadly similar opposition Republican Party
Back in the U.S.A., the Drug Policy Foundation’s 1995 9th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform in Santa Monica, California that October; it was titled "Harm Reduction: Bringing the International Community Together” would break with tradition in at least two ways. It broke a 7 year run of events located in Washington, D.C. And it would include the only[1] Coca specific panel appearing in any printed D.P.F. Conference Schedule in its entire run of conference from 1987- 2005: “COCA '95: A Necessary Drug Policy Alternative from Abroad” featuring a variety of Coca scholars from the international community: Peruvian journalist Roger Rumrill, MamaCoca author Anthony Richard Henman, Bolivian Dr. Jorge Hurtado [via video], and U.C.L.A.’s Dr. Ronald K. Siegel at U.C.L.A., and moderated by myself, Douglas A. Willinger, who proposed his panel to the D.P.F. earlier that year.

Bearing in mind the D.P.F.’s down relegating of the Coca issue in its 1993 and 1994 conferences, I set out to help assure a higher quality decision by the D.P.F. by sending copies of this proposal to each member of its Board of Directors and Board of Advisors. My initial proposal listed additional speakers from South America: Hugo Cabieses; Theobaldo Llosa, and the by then, Coca-grower union leader Evo Morales* (* who on December 8, 2005 became elected President of Bolivia, taking office January 22, run for the office of the President of Bolivia). The D.P.F. would decline to invite Morales, apparently under legal advice to avoid a legal conflict with the U.S. State Department regarding getting him an entry visa to visit the U.S. to appear on this panel. Through the latter part of the summer of 1995, the D.P.F. attempted to get me to agree to cancel the COCA ‘95 panel with a letter suggesting, in part due to the difficulties in obtaining speaker’s visas – e.g. the State Department objections to the speakers -- and also to a lack of available funding for the speaker’s airfare. However, neither of these reasons actually mattered in denying the panel sufficient speakers with Roger Rumrill and Anthony Richard Henman already scheduled to be locally available, and with Jorge Hurtado appearing in the form of a presentation by videotape. I received a letter from the D.P.F. signed by Whitney Taylor dated September 11, 1995 formally congratulating me upon this COCA’ 95 panel’s inclusion in the upcoming conference agenda. The only last minute addition was Dr. Ronald Siegel, who was locally available and interested in participating, who I called upon the suggestion of Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. This panel would be the second best attended of the number of panel workshops that were scheduled simultaneously from, with the audience including Ethan Nadelmann and Jacob Sullum.

For the 1996 D.P.F. conference scheduled for that November 6-9, the compendium for which was titled “The Pioneers of Reform: Reflections + Visions”, held again at the Loews L’Enfant Plaza, I made my 3rd D.P.F. Coca panel proposal for the conference’s General, Medical and Legal: COCA '96: Medical, Legal and Social Considerations for the Next Millennia, with the tentative Speakers: Dr. Ronald K. Siegel, Dr. Jorge Hurtado, Joseph Kennedy, Anthony Richard Henman.

Medically, economically and socially, the situation surrounding the Coca plant is unjustifiable. Respected medical researchers suggest that the leaves of Coca offer interesting medical benefits as an effective and relatively safe medicine and stimulant. Dr. Andrew T. Weil, a proponent of Coca as an alternative to Coffee, particularly for people suffering Gastro-intestinal tract problems, noted in a recent magazine interview that Coca is "very good for any type of stomach or intestinal disorder. It stabilizes blood sugar, treats motion sickness, [and] has a relaxing effect upon the larynx for people who are speakers or singers. It also could be used as an aid to weight loss, because you can chew coca instead of eating a meal and use the energy to exercise. I think it could definitely be useful as a treatment to get people off of cocaine [hydrochloride and sulfate].” Coca's use in treating cocaine addiction-- akin to the use of methadone with regard to heroin abuse - is advocated by specialists such as Dr. Jorge Hurtado of the International Coca Research Institute in Bolivia. (Dr. Hurtado spoke via video at the premier D.P.F. conference Coca workshop COCA ‘95: A Necessary Drug Policy Alternative from Abroad). As can be gathered from numerous readings, unrefined Coca is far safer than other substances -- prescription and over the counter preparations -- employed for similar purposes. Revelations such as these suggest that re-legalizing Coca's international trade would be immensely beneficial from a public health standpoint. Indeed, Coca's historic use as a Tobacco substitute or "cure", along with the government's interesting concerns about this, as illustrated by such government publications as the United States Department of Agriculture's 1910 Habit-forming Agents: their indiscriminate sale and use a threat to the public welfare, in conjunction with their relative health effects, make our "drug war" exceptionally galling.

Towards helping the public understand the Coca issue, this proposed Drug Policy Foundation Coca session shall address Coca leaf as medicine and stimulant, along with the current "war on drugs" now denying the world the myriad benefits of the natural leaf. Tentative speakers include Dr. Ronald Siegel [U.C.L.A.], Dr. Jorge Hurtado [International Coca Research Institute, in Bolivia], anthropologist Anthony Henman, [author, the 1978 book, MamaCoca] and archaeologist Joseph Kennedy [author, the 1985 book, Coca Exotica]. [All the speakers have been informed of this Proposal, and have responded favorably, conditional upon the Foundation providing their registration, travel and accommodation expenses.] As the audience participation and our speakers' lively presentations at the recent COCA '95 panel in Santa Monica suggest that COCA '96: Medical, Legal and Social Considerations for the Upcoming Millennia could be one of the 10th annual conference's more intriguing, if not important, events. It is also intended that the session will include discussion of new directions in drug policy reform advocacy. Discussion is intended to include the effects of the last (almost) one hundred years of government drug policies as well as identifying the policies likely to promote drug abuse by creating more potent drugs such as crack, i.e. banning the unrefined herb Coca and at the same time basing the penalties visited for its possession or sale upon the gross weights of the product. By shifting the entire "coca derivatives" market from Coca tea and Coca Wine "" towards crack, the war on drugs cruelly betrays the public's concerns over the problems of crime and drug abuse.

This proposal is best approved as a plenary panel with a workshop afterwards, perhaps accompanied by a special session for speakers from South America. It is further suggested that this proposal serve as one for the Foundation to include the Coca issue as a part of its mission towards educating the public about drug policy alternatives, via forums on Capital Hill, as we approach the upcoming millennia.

Douglas A. Willinger; (914) 636-8214 (fax)
COCA '96, Joep Oomen; 011 322 733 5708 (fax)

The D.P.F. declined this proposed Coca panel, and apparently any other by including no other panel devoted to Coca; it would likewise include no papers regarding the Coca issue or Coca’s therapeutic uses within its conference compendium. Although an early version of the conference schedule included Dr. Jorge Hurtado, President of the International Coca Research Institute in Bolivia within a plenary panel on the medical uses of illegalized substances, titled ----, Hurtado would not be included as the result of the D.P.F. failing to pay his airfare. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. Established in 1997, UNODC has approximately 500 staff members worldwide. Its headquarters are in Vienna and it has 21 field offices as well as a liaison offices in New York. UNODC relies on voluntary contributions, mainly from governments, for 90 per cent of its budget.

For the 1997 D.P.F. conference, Inter-Continental Hotel, New Orleans, LA., October 15-18, 1997. I made the proposal for a panel: Tinctures of Opium, Wines of Coca, etc: Popular, Pre-prohibition Uses of Natural Plants Perverted by Drug Prohibition into today's "Hard" Drug Plague It was not limited to Coca, but rather covered the broader issue of the iron law of the drug war to promote more concentrated and generally dangerous substances. It was to feature Jim Hogshire, author, Opium for the Masses, who had recently been arrested as reported in an article in The New York Times that quoted Trebach in support of Hogshire, along with the following proposed panelists:

Dr. Andrew T. Weil, author Chocolate to Morphine
Dr. Lester Grinspoon
Cynthia Cotts, writer, National Law Journal
Dr. Ronald K. Siegel, UCLA, author Intoxication (1989)
Michael Montagne, Boston College of Pharmacology
Dr. John Morgan

It would demonstrate the destructive iron law of prohibition by re-educating the public about its right of free choice in food and medicine it surrendered in the name of greater safety (with less thought), particularly the glaring double standard of the official policies towards Coca contrasted with those for Tobacco, as well as the high perpetual costs in trillions of dollars for expensive medical treatments for situations otherwise avoidable, but for the political influence of those favored by what was or was not being defined as “habit-forming” or “dangerous.” It would have naturally connected with the politics behind the initial 20th century “drug war” and its continuation/perpetuation, specifically the development of the laws of 1906 and 1914, and the development of the prescription drug industry. The D.P.F. would reject this proposal, with my-self reporting this October 10, 1997 as follows:


*From a recent -- May 25th 1997 -- article from The New York Times, regarding the legal persecution of Jim Hogshire, author of the book "Opium for the Masses"

"To opponents of the drug war, the case showed how drug policy could clash with other American values. 'The guy was being persecuted because of the fact that he wrote a book,' said Arnold Trebach, founder of the Drug Policy Foundation, a Washington D.C. group that seeks alternatives to the drug war. 'A book! In America! Have we totally lost our sense of who we are?'"

Indeed, have we totally lost our sense of who we are?!?! Like others, I was heartened to hear Dr. Trebach's words of support for Hogshire, and applauded his efforts at educating the public.

Inspired by professor Trebach's words of support for "controversial" approaches to solving the problem of the Drug War, I made this formal proposal to the DPF for a panel at this year's annual conference. I thought the subject would have been of intense interest to both activists and scholars involved in drug war politics. Along with Coca leaf, Opium was outlawed by the so-called Harrison "Tax" Act of 1914, which aimed at the issue of "habit-forming" drugs, banned the citizen's right to purchase or possess Opium and Coca, or any of their various components like morphine or refined cocaine. This prohibition effectively stopped the trade in the plant products, while making the trade in potent white powder derivatives - heroin and cocaine hydrochloride -- immensely profitable. With the dominance of the latter modes of "hard" drugs, we need independent scholar working to enlighten the public about the uses of natural plant versions of the now illicit drugs- in short a look at how drugs are more likely to be consumed WITHOUT the twentieth century drug war, particularly that substance called "God's Own Medicine" -- opium. Professor Trebach's 1982 book, The Heroin Solution, suggests the need to talk seriously about opiates, particularly their use in pain control and patients' access to relief. My panel would give D.P.F. conference attendees just this forum to hear about the therapeutic potential of the PLANTS targeted by twentieth century "drug" prohibition, giving us the chance to avoid the canard of "hard drugs" and focus on a realistic approach to drugs and drug use.

--- Below is my Proposal ---------


Tinctures of Opium, Wines of Coca, etc:
Popular, Pre-prohibition Uses of Natural Plants
Perverted by Drug Prohibition into today's "Hard" Drug Plague

11th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform,
October 15-18, 1997
Douglas A. Willinger, moderator
Submitted to the Drug Policy Foundation. Speakers that it is proposed that the Drug Policy Foundation formally

Jim Hogshire, author, Opium for the Masses
Dr. Andrew T. Weil, author Chocolate to Morphine
Dr. Lester Grinspoon
Cynthia Cotts, writer, National Law Journal
Dr. Ronald K. Siegel, UCLA, author Intoxication (1989)
Michael Montagne, Boston College of Pharmacology
Dr. John Morgan

"Hard" drugs - e.g. "heroin" and "cocaine" -- have evoked great fears, leading people to advocate or acquiesce to more repressive and expensive drug laws and drug law enforcement, as if these molecules were necessarily pernicious. Yet prior to prohibition, opiates and cocaine were widely used as safely as aspirin and caffeine are now. Because we are so conditioned to react to the powder forms of these drugs, we forget that these more direct modes of ingestion -- sniffing, smoking and injecting -- were formerly a relatively rare phenomenon. Prior to the twentieth century's "war on drugs," most people using these drugs took them in dilute form, whether as raw plant material, or plant preparation of comparable potency. Such plants and their popular preparations, were widely recognized medicinal agents, worldwide. These substances have long and positive histories predating their criminalization by U.S. federal statute via the 1914 Harrison "Tax" Act and successive laws, and were used throughout the medical community as effective, cheap, and safe treatments for a variety of ailments. Opium poppies have been taken medicinally for thousands of years, taken topically, smoked (and even brewed as a tea, as suggested in Hogshire's "Opium for the Masses.") "Cocaine" -- or more accurately, Coca just had many uses. The Extra Pharmacopoeia (the British counterpart to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia) cited Coca as a "nervine and muscular tonic, preventing waste of tissue, appeasing hunger and thirst, relieving fatigue, and aiding free respiration ... useful in various diseases of the digestive and respiratory organs.... " Meanwhile, the Wine of Coca, , became the most widely praised plant preparation of the time. ’s creator, Angelo Mariani was hailed by Pope Leo XIII as a "benefactor of humanity" for making Coca available around the world- after 40 years of Coca wine distribution." All of this of course, prior to prohibition. Any honest program of harm reduction in drug use must go beyond the narrow-minded discussion of today's "hard drug problems": heroin and cocaine hydrochloride, to look at Opium and Coca, to reveal the drug war's most intense effects upon drug abuse -- shifting markets to the infinitely more dangerous concentrated substances, while the natural forms are virtually forgotten.

--- My proposed panel would fill this serious void in the conference. NONE of the other panels allow a direct venue for either Opium or Coca although I am convinced many people -- including Dr. Trebach -- would be interested in hearing about these subjects. Jim Hogshire could do double duty and speak about his legal difficulties on the panel, The First Amendment – The Next Target of the War on Drugs.

Besides Hogshire, this proposed panel has a good list of speakers of interest to the conference attendees. Dr. Lester Grinspoon would make an excellent speaker about both Opium and Coca. So would Cynthia Cotts, drug reporter for a number of publication now on the staff of the National Law Journal; as well as Dr. Ronald K. Siegel of UCLA, who has long researched the psychotropic plants, and gave a good presentation at my 1995 DPF conference panel COCA '95: A Necessary Drug Policy Alternative From Abroad, that I moderated on October 21, 1995 in Santa Monica. Dr. Andrew Weil would certainly make an interesting presentation.

Given his background, I find it incomprehensible the DPF has not featured him as a conference speaker in seven years! All of my proposed speakers have indicated their interest in appearing on DPF panels, so the problem isn't lack of suitable material or interesting speakers. And I doubt the problem is lack of intellectual curiosity by Trebach and other DPF members.

So how come the DPF doesn't seem to be able to walk the walk -- after all, it certainly talks the talk!

Just who makes the decisions regarding conference panels?

Maybe Arnold Trebach doesn't know what his underlings are doing with his organization, which seems to be playing it so cautiously it's hard to distinguish between them and some of the drug warriors. Did this panel proposal: Tinctures of Opium, Wines of Coca, etc -- Popular, Pre-prohibition Uses of Natural Plants Perverted by Drug Prohibition just slip between the cracks amidst DPF staff changes? If the cause is political fear of "controversial", non-establishment ideas on promoting and end to Drug War mayhem, I am not alone in thinking that kind of compromise is fatal -- and should be fatal -- to any movement that pretends to advocate for people's rights. What if civil rights workers of the 1950s and 1960s had, rather than challenge segregation as wrong (and stick to their guns) instead chosen to meekly apologize for the color of their skins and an oppressive government policy? Does anyone out there have any advice about how can we get through to the right people within the D.P.F. [main phone 202 537 5005; fax 202 537 3007, web site with chat rooms and forum boards,], for them to recognize the very fallacy of NOT pointing out how twentieth century prohibition is morally WRONG, and thus the need to attack the very dogma of the State Party line that [certain] drugs are evil? As the D.P.F., after all, was initially founded to help educate the public about the issues of drug policy, it would be a shame for it to lose its sense of what it was.

Douglas A. Willinger
Tinctures of Opium, Wines of Coca, etc:
Popular, Pre-prohibition Uses of
Natural Plants Perverted by Drug Prohibition
Into today's "Hard" Drug Plague

The 1997 conference held in New Orleans, which would not include this proposed panel, nor any other panels on these topics, but would include another indication of the Drug Policy’s Foundation’s apparent lack of willingness to deal with the underlying issues of drug policy, in the form of a “Cocaine Round-table” attended by, amongst others, Lyn Zimmer, Ethan Nadelmann and Ira Glasser. There, I heard Glasser, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) speak about the failure of drug policy reformers to adequately deal with the cocaine issue, saying words to effect that cocaine was popularly seen as dangerous unlike marijuana, hence making discussing liberalizing the laws difficult, and asking what should we do? Hearing this was good. But not so for his non-response to the question I would ask him: what about coca? With the public fearful of cocaine why not educate them? Show them its safety when used akin to popular uses of caffeine and nicotine: who uses or judges either of the latter as a concentrated drug sniffed as a powder or smoked or injected? Ira Glasser could only sit in a stony silence that would only be broken by Ethan Nadelmann by saying

“Doug, why do you have to bring up that? Your 1995 panel in Santa Monica was excellent, but do you really think this is an appropriate time to again bring up coca?!”

Ira Glasser’s attitude against educating the public about Coca, or for that matter, the surrendering of drug freedom for the prescription drug industry, is consistent with the politics of south-eastern U.S. Tobacco interests against the market threat of Coca , given his well documented relationship with Tobacco interests . This would parallel or follow numerous correlations of Ira Glasser’s direction of the American Civil Liberties Union, of which he has served as its President since 1978, of taking positions more friendly to Tobacco interests, with the ACLU’s acceptance of funds from Tobacco interests.

This sort of anti-Coca, anti-herbal medicine, anti-free market, attitude would also manifest itself later with the ultimate curtailment by the group the International League for Peace and Freedom, which had a delegation at that 1997 D.P.F. conference working upon the Coca issue, of its pro-Coca campaign which included a subsequent “tour of truth”,"Women Speak Out about War & Drugs-the Realities" to 5 major U.S. cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, Washington DC and New York, with speakers include, from Columbia, Omayra Morales-Miraflores, Secretary of the Andean Council of Small Coca Leaf Growers; from Peru, Catalina Barbosa, Representative of the Indigenous Ashanika Organization of the Apurimac River; and from the U.S., Marsha Burnett, former drug user and current HIV prevention and "harm reduction" activist; plus Andrea Saenz, U.S. WILPF staff, born in Ecuador This was work that I would find a few months later had been curtailed “from upstairs” in that group’s hierarchy, with a number of that group’s staff leaving.

[1] The one other D.P.F. Conference Coca specific presentation – in what could be termed a one person panel – was at its year 2000 13th International Conference on Drug Policy Reform – listed in its schedule as the “Student Paper Competition” which had given 1st place to a paper about Coca by Christian. Subsequently, the D.P.F. ended this Student Paper Competition, which it had started in 1996.

Secret Documents Reveal A.C.L.U. Tobacco Industry Ties

The ACLU's Tobacco Addiction (American Civil Liberties Union receives donations from tobacco industry)

In 1987, the ACLU's executive director, Ira Glasser, began to solicit Philip Morris for annual grants without first consulting his board of directors, he admitted to me in an October 1992 interview. By that time, the leading cigarette manufacturer had given the tax-exempt ACLU Foundation $500,000. Second-ranking R.J. Reynolds also contributed, but Glasser refused to tell me how much.

National Radio Project Transcript


For more than seventy-five years now, the American Civil Liberties Union has had a very important role in defending the Bill of Rights in the United States. But recently, some longtime supporters of the organization have been raising questions about the ACLU positions on issues involving large corporate interests. One of those interests is the tobacco companies. Now, new information has surfaced about ties between cigarette firms and the American Civil Liberties Union. We invited the Executive Director of the ACLU, Ira Glasser, to be on this program, but he declined. A few days ago, we invited the national ACLU to provide two spokespersons of its choosing to appear on this program, in studio and/or by telephone. The ACLU declined that invitation as well.

Allies: The ACLU And The Tobacco Industry

"At the same time that it takes money from the tobacco industry, it allies itself with the tobacco industry to fight legislation intended to ban or restrict tobacco advertising and promotion--but it does not inform its approximately 300,000 members of either activity."

The ACLU and the Tobacco Companies by Morton Mintz (PDF) (HTML)

1993 - America North Just Say Whoa!

From my unpublished manuscript "Coca- Forgotten Medicine"

Green Panthers 1993
Within the U.S., in 1992 and into 1993, a widespread belief persisted that the incoming administration of U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton would be favorably inclined to drug policy reform, being of a generation generally more tolerant towards illicit drugs, and hence that a Clinton Administration could mean some sort of Cannabis decriminalization. Furthermore, because of prohibition’s iron law of favoring more concentrated dangerous substances, I saw the theoretical potential for his wife Hillary becoming interested in an objective official look at differing medicinal substances, including Cannabis and Coca, given her stated interest in health care.

An example of this optimism was a letter by D.P.F. President Arnold Trebach dated November 11, 1992, days after the end of the 1992 D.P.F. conference and the election of William Jefferson Clinton as President of the United States of America: There is an historic opportunity to reverse our destructive drug policy... It is going to take an aggressive effort on our part to ensure that positive steps are taken in drug control during this time of change in political leadership. Among the projects we are planning are:

- A seminar for the new members of Congress elected this year which will feature leading speakers for the reform of drug policy;

- Renewal of our Drug Policy Reform series on Capitol Hill- plans include six forums on key drug policy issues in 1993;

- The publication of an expanded National Drug Reform Strategy which will outline alternative policies which could be implemented both in the near future and the long term. In addition to these specific projects the Foundation will be continuing all of the work it has been doing over the last six years. The Foundation will be regularly writing columns to be published on the editorial pages of the country, meeting with editorial boards to discuss alternatives to current policy as well as with reporters who cover the drug issue to ensure that the reform viewpoint gets the attention it deserves. We must reach the media with reform message. Our television series, “America’s Drug Forum,” will be advertisements on the drug issue. In short, we will expand the level of debate on the drug issue.
It was from the November, 1992 conference that the Washington, D.C. City Paper included a photograph of myself was snapped waiting to speak with Ethan Nadelmann at this photo’s center, talking to a third person whose back is turned to the camera, uncaptioned as to our identities, but with the three of us beneath a Drug Policy Foundation banner, within its --- issue article upon the drug policy reform movement, titled “Just Say Whoa!”

This photo’s juxtaposition with the caption “D.P.F. to White House: “can we talk” could appear to prophesize a D.P.F. delegation including its readily identifiable figures Nadelmann and myself being received at the White House to discuss drug policy issues. (I would have looked forward to explaining how the drug laws distort drug use.)

The Administration of U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton would ultimately prove to be a major disappointment to anyone expecting any significant change in the drug prohibition laws, with Clinton himself justifying his support for their continuation by stating that he believed that prohibition had spared the life of his brother who had been described as a heavy drug abuser of cocaine powder: an analysis disregarding the iron law of prohibition in popularizing such concentrated forms of drugs. With his 1992 Democrat Party platform calling for legalizing nothing, and hiring 100,000 new police officers to enforce the existing laws!

More visible initially was the Clinton Administration’s cutting of the size of the “Drug Czar’s” office (Office of National Drug Control Policy) from 146 to 25. Yet his $13.1 billion drug war annual budget presented in March 1993 was virtually the same as what the preceding U.S. George Bush Sr. proposed in 1992, including a 70% allocation of funds to law enforcement.

Some of his appointees would exhibit some variance on drug policy. One of the first official acts of Janet Reno, Clinton’s appointee for Attorney General was to order a review of mandatory minimum sentences upon the criminal justice system. This report, completed by September 1993, but not released until January 1994, found over 20% of all federal inmates were low level non violent drug prohibition offenders, with over 67% of these serving at least 5 or 10 years, with higher proportions for the State prisons because most drug offenses are prosecuted at the State level. Meanwhile, by November 1993 Clinton had public ally endorsed a new crime bill with additional mandatory minimum sentences. In the time since, Janet Reno has said far less about anything regarding any changes to drug related policy. `

Another such figure was Jocelyn Elders, Clinton’s appointee for Surgeon General, confirmed by the U.S. Congress September 7, 1993, who was first reported as the appointee for the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and who willingly faced controversy by publicly endorsing sex education and prescribed cannabis (marijuana) for medicinal purposes. In office, one of her earlier acts was to direct the U.S. Public Health Service to start a review of the preceding Bush Administration’s policy prohibiting even “compassionate” medical cannabis (marijuana): a position contradicted by the Clinton Administration’s Drug Enforcement Agency’s defense in the U.S. Court of Appeals of the statutory definition of cannabis (marijuana) as having no medical value. Her stated open mindedness to drug legalization would bring Clinton to have her reigned into the drug war party line, following her December 1993 exchange with reporters after a speech about violence, where, she responded to a reporter’s question by noting that: 60% violent crime was drug, or alcohol, related, much of it 'to get money to buy drugs', and that such crime therefore might be significantly reduced 'if drugs were legalized' (San Francisco Examiner,1993).

She noted that she did not 'know all the ramifications of [legalization]', but thought 'we do need to do some studies' (Baltimore Sun, December 8,1993; cited in Drug Policy Letter,1994, p.9). Within hours the White House repudiated Dr. Elder's position with a statement by Drug control Director Lee Brown:
'The President is against legalizing drugs, and he's not interested in studying the issue' … legalization is a formula for self destruction' that would inflict 'terrifying damage' (San Francisco Examiner, 1993).
President Clinton immediately afterwards forbad Dr. Elders from making any public statements supporting the idea of studying drug legalizations, or medical marijuana. Within 2 weeks, authorities issued and executed an arrest warrant for Dr. Elders’s 20 year old son, Kevin on a drug charge on an event that occurred in July 1993 while she was going through her U.S. Senate confirmation hearings. It alleged that he sold 1.85 (slightly more then 50% of an “eight-ball”) grams of cocaine hydrochloride powder to a friend turned police informer Calvin Walraven. This charge had a ten year sentence in prison under the mandatory minimum sentencing laws of the State of Arkansas. This prosecution was notable not only for the 5 month gap between the “offense” and the arrest warrant, but also for its amount of effort and timing. Little Rock Police would spend 3 months watching the son (who was known by police to be a user of alcohol and cocaine), of the prospective surgeon general (with the Little Rock Police inducing Calvin Walraven to induce Kevin to sell him the 1.85 grams of cocaine powder on July 29, 1993. On July 28, 1994, Calvin Walraven was found dead with a bullet hole in his head; the death was ruled a suicide.

Dr. Elders has since said little about these topics, and failed to publicly comment on the 1992-3 Alternative Coca Reduction Strategies in the Andean Region report by Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, report, with the O.T.A. being disbanded only a few years later. After serving 105 days in prison, he was released last December 15th. As Elders has described this: "He had a year of intensive treatment before he went to prison," says Elders. "Kevin now has a job selling cars, and he goes to AA every day. I'm not saying it's right that my son used or bought drugs, but the arrest may have been God's way of saving him."

Elders publicly maintains a positive attitude towards Clinton. By 1994’s end, Clinton had requested and received Elder’s resignation. Reportedly, this was his response to a political outcry from members of the opposition Republican Party to Elder’s answer at a December 1, 1994, United Nations-sponsored conference on AIDS to a question about combating the spread of AIDS through discussing masturbation: " to masturbation, I think that it is something that is a is a part of human sexuality, and it's a part of something that perhaps should be taught." As such, it should be a part of a "comprehensive" sex education program at a school-age level. " With billions annually spent on a drug war and treating AIDS, masturbation would be the issue used by Clinton to end any White House dissent about drug policy.

Less visibly in the U.S., the Clinton Administration would furthermore continue the policies of previous Republican and Democrats in foreign affairs, by stymieing any research that did not conform to the law’s assumptions, with its diplomats bringing pressure to suppress such.

1992 DPF Conference Coverage by Washington City Paper

This photograph of Douglas Willinger (left) with Ethan Nadelmann (center) -- now of the Drug Policy Alliance -- at the 1992 Drug Policy Foundation conference appeared in a sequence of photos of drug policy reform figures with Richard Cowen and Dr. Arnold S. Trebach at page 26 in a December 18-24, 1992 issue (vol.12, No.51) Washington City Paper article titled “Just Say Whoa”.

This was the culmination of the Reagan and then Bush Administration years.