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November 02, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-02

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'P ge 4-Thursday, November 2, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Gh. 04f tt Ch t a n :43at'
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

Cocaine: Prescription for pleasure

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 49

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan


Carter and the Shah

retreated from his original tough
stance on human rights abuses abroad.
He backed down when pressured by
Soviet leaders who said his statements
might endanger a SALT II agreement
and detente. Now, economic pressures
have pressured him into ignoring his
strong human rights stance; Tuesday,
President Carter sold morals for oil
when he backed the oppressive regime
of the Shah of Iran.
Mr. Carter praised the Shah for
"moving toward democracy.,,
Democracy indeed. The Shah has mar-
tial law control over the country, and
has given no indication of wanting to
relinquish his power to the people. He
claims that he is trying to modernize
Iran, which he translates as buying
more sophisticated weapons from the
U.S. The Shah has built himself a for-
midable military-industrial complex,
but still people starve in the streets of
Tehran. Is this the sort of moder-
nization and push for democracy Mr.
Carter thinks the U.S. should support?
And what of the Shah's vicious secret
police force SAVAK? This infamous
organization has been mercilous in its
torture and harassment of political
Even the Shah himself relishes in

such unconscionable treatment of his
critics and opponents. He was ap-
parently unsatisfied with traditional
means of torture, so a few years ago he
devised his own insidious
method--strap the victim to a contrap-
tion resembling a metal, bedframe,
then turn on the juice, and electrically
burn wire pattern into the offender's
flesh. Mr. Carter insults us by suppor-
ting this man, and praising his "drive
toward democracy."
The Shah's oppressive arm stretches
even to this country, where his per-
sonal security force SAVAK harasses
Iranian students. Students on this
campus live in constant fear of the
Shah's agents of repression.
The U.S. imports 9.16 million barrels
of oil daily from Iran, and the Shah has
made good use of this dependence.
Last year he blackmailed Mr. Carter
into selling sophisticated bombers to
Iran, and now he is using oil to solicit
U.S. support for his quashing of the
current public dissident in Iran. Mr.
Carter must not continue to capitulate
to the demands of a blackmailer. It is
time for him to return to his stand of
moral opposition to human rights
abuses even in countries which we con-
sier allies. Anything less is
hypocritical, and will be taken as U.S.
support of such immoral activities.

Hospitals and pharmacies
throughout the United States are
reporting a serious shortage of
cocaine-one of the most
effective pain-relievers known to
While vast quantities of the
drug are readily available on the
black market, many physicians
and dentists are having to wait
weeks to obtain -legal
prescriptions of cocaine for
patients who need it.
"There has been a shortage
over the past year," said Michael
Stolar of the American Society of
Hospital Pharmacists, a
Washington, D.C. -based
organization that represents
thousands of pharmacists and
monitors drug supplies in over
100 U.S. hospitals.
"Pharmacists want to know
why they can go to the street and
get cocaine, but they can't get it
from their wholesale
distributor," Stolar said.
The Ameican Pharmaceutical
Association in Washington
reports similar complaints from
around the country.
considered one of the most
heavily abused drugs in the U.S.,
the Drug Enforcement
Administration maintains a strict
quota on the amount that can be
manufactured here.
And although legitimate
supplies of the white powder are
running low, the federal
government has no plans to
increase its cocaine quota for the
coming year.
One reason for the drought,
according to Stolar, is the sudden
popularity of "Brompton's
Cocktail"-a medically
prescribed mixture of cocaine,
morphine, alcohol and syrup
given orally to dyingcancer
patients to relieve their agonizing
pain. ,
"For about the last six months
there has been a significant
increase in demand for cocaine,
both for surgical use and in
Brompton's cocktails," said a
spokesman for Stepan Chemical
o Maywood, N.J., the only U.S.
company licensed to extract
cocaine from raw, imported coca
LAST YEAR, Stepan Chemical
purchased over one million
pounds of leaves from Peru,
which grows 95 percent of the
world's supply, and other South
American countries-a five-fold
increase over the amount
imported into the U.S. in 1957.
The Drug Enforcement
Administration told Stepan it
could extract no more than 3,252
pounds of cocaine during fiscal
year 1978. Things seemed to go
smoothly, a Stepan spokesman
said, until'last fall.
"The upward usage of cocaine
at that time," he noted, "left us
without an inventory. We have
since added another

By Mark Shwartz
manufacturing procedure which Indianapolis, which has treated
has increased our output 30 to 40 over 250 patients with
percent." Brompton's mix, named for the
Stepan is now producing almost British hospital where it was first
as much cocaine as the quota will developed.
allow. Studies in England show that a
But the shortage has affected Brompton's mixture, including
other drug companies as well. heroin, reduced pain in 95 percent
Although Stepan isolates the of the patients tested.
cocaine alkaloid from coca BECAUSE HEROIN is banned
leaves, other major in the U.S., American hospitals
pharmaceuticals - including use morphine as a substitute,



Yet another broken treaty

Merck, Eli Lilly and
Mallinckrodt-convert it into a
commercially usable powder
known as cocaine hydrochloride.
Roy Walker, spokesman for
Merck's Rahway, N.J.,
headquarters, said his company
mailed letters to all its
wholesalersrlast October
informing them of the produciton
slowdown and suggesting they
distribute their supplies "as
equitablykas possible." Since
then, Walker said, the shortage
has "lessened," although
"security as well as competitive
factors" forbade him from
discussing all the factors that led
to the shortage.
pharmaceutical corporations
would reveal how much cocaine
hydrochloride they sell each
year, although a representative
for Eli Lilly and Co. in
Indianapolis called it "an
insignificant part" of 'their
coproate sales, which totaled
over $1.5 billion last year.
Cocaine represents only about
one percent of Stepan's $100
million operation.
A spokesman for Stepan, who
did not want his name revealed,
said the company does not
foresee a more severe cocaine
shortage--"unless the
Brompton's Cocktail use
Tests are underway at
Methodist Hospital in

although research into heroin's
effectiveness is now being
sponsored by the federal
"By balancing out the
morphine and alcohol
depressants," says Methodist's
clinical pharmacist K. Gregory
Humma, "cocaine seems to
relieve pain without totally
knocking the patient out."
Humma, a pioneer in
advocating Brompton's use,
says, "We are not really sure
there is any advantage to
cocaine, but we hope to have
results from our investigative
research within six months."
Humma acknowledged that
Methodist Hospital has run out of
cocaine "several times.'
Lutheran Medical Center in St.
Louis, which also dispenses
Brompton's to patients in a
special "continuing care unit"
has also felt the cocaine pinch.
"We've had a shortage for
about one-and-a-half years," said
Ray Doelling, Lutheran's chief
phramacist. "So far we've been
doing alright by keeping extra
bottles on back order."
Doelling pointed out that
Lutheran uses Dexedrine
("speed") instead of cocaine in
its Brompton's because it gets
into the blood stream easier when
physicians as well as dentists
continue to use cocaine for more
traditional purpose-as a pain

killer and to stop ibleeding during
ear-nose-and throat surgery.
"It's more powerful than any
other topical anesthetic," says
Ed Mitchell, pharmacologist with
the American Dental Association
in Chicago.
Fred Willyerd, executive
secretary of the California State
Board of Pharmacy, adds, "No
synthetic drug has been
developed as a substitute. One
drop of cocaine will anesthetize
the cornea of the eye."
While the Food and Drug
Administration recognizes
cocaine's medicinal use as a local
anesthetic, Brompton's
Cocktail-with - or without
cocaine-has not been approved.
''Somebody may be siphoning
off cocaine and giving it to cancer
patients," said Dr. Edward
tocus, chief of the FDA's drug
abuse staff. "But there is no
indication that people are using
more than in the past. . . We
have no projections for increased
Brompton's Cocktail usage."
has no plans to recommend an
increase in the cocaine
manufacturer's production quota
for fiscal 1979, saying that "the
shortage was supposed to have
been corrected by now."
But Fred Willyerd of the
California state pharmacy board
countered, "If there is a change
in the prescribing habits of
physicians, it may be that the
feds would have to alter their
quota. The government wouldn't
want to interfere with good
medical practice."
"If you were a terminal
patient," he said, "you would
want the drug that relieved the
most pain. You and I might be
there some day."
One reason the DEA keeps such
a tight rein on legal cocaine
production is because of the
incredible profits that would be
found on the black mrket if the
drugs were stolen or diverted.
According to Congressman
Lester Wolff (D-N.Y.), chairman
of the House narcotics
committee, U.S. border agents
probably intercept less than one
percent of all thecocaine
smuggled in annually. If
Congressman Wolff is correct,
over 160,000 pounds of cocaine'
were avaible on the .S. black
market last year.
One ounce of legal tIO percent
pure cocaine hydrochloride costs
between $25 and $35x wholesale.
An ounce onf the black market
variety, only 12 percent pure,
cost as much as $2,500. So the
legal powder could be resold on
the black market for over
$20,000-nearly 700 times its
original value.
Mark Sh wartz is an associ-
ate editor of Pacific News
Service. He monitors the field
of drug abuse and medicine
for PNS.

D URING THE 17th and 18th cen-
turies, the Algonquian Indian
Nation, whose land holdings once ex-
tended from the Rocky Mountains east
to Labrador and from the uppermost
boundary of Manitoba to North
Carolina, watched helplessly while the
white man worked his way west,
swallowing up Indian land. Year after
year, treaty after treaty, they faded in-
to near oblivian and certain poverty.
The Huron Potawatomi were no ex-
ception. This small band of Native
Americans live in the modest com-
munity of Athens located in the South-
west section of the state. Most of the 47
members of the band are old-the
average age is 57-and most barely
exist on an annual social security
allotment of $1,000. None of the 12
housing units meet Calhoun county
minimum health and safety standards,
according to Gordon Bush, director of
Huron Potawatomi, Inc.
Through historical documents, this
band of financially strapped Native
Americans are claiming the state owes

them the same benefits their brothers
on federally recognized Indian reser-
vations enjoy, which is not much more
than they have now. They say that 127
years ago their forefather negotiated a
treaty with the state government
which makes their community a state
reservation. The Indians cannot
receive federal assistance until the
state recognizes the reservation and
gives the Huron Potawatomi clear title
to the land.
The Native Americans do not want to
sue the state. If, however, the state will
not settle the dispute amicably they
would initiate a lawsuit. Since 1968 the
Huron Potawatomi band has been
snuffled around the state bureaucracy.
It is time for the Governor to recognize
the state's responsibility. The Native
Americans were pushed onto worthless
reservations for the benefit of the
white man. Can we now at least give
the Native Americans their due? We
all have a responsibility to the Native
American. We must make sure Gover-
nor William Milliken implements our

Letters to the Daily

l! ,
// fry
I P.
y. 1? ' 11
...'rl x,
. h

To the Daily:'
I commend Daily reporter, Jon
Vogel, for an excellent article on
the structure and role of
Academic Judiciary, which has
jurisdiction over LSA students.
There is one rather small
correction for the record. If a
student is found guilty and
appeals on procedural grounds,
the request is heard by an appeal
board of at least two faculty and
two students. A student
suspended or expelled for
academic dishonesty may appeal
only on the grounds that the
penalty was too harsh.
If the article serves to deter
even one student from rash,
impulsive academic behavior, it
will have served a useful
purpose. The greater the
students' respect for the
College's Code of Academic
Conduct, the fewer the tears and
the ess the heartache later on.
-Eugene Nissen
To the Daily:
I am very concerned about
Tuesday's editorial regarding
student solidarity pertaining to
the presidential selection
process. In particular, I refer to
the statement: "we understand
there are other student groups -
Mortar Board for example - that
wish to replace MSA as the

committed to the idea of student
solidarity. As a campus service
organization, our group has
attempted to benefit all students
in recent years. Mortar Board
published "Unscrambling the
Maize" two years ago in an effort
to orient incoming students with

the University. Last year, Mortar
Board submitted and worked on a
plan for a new student center. We
are now in the midst of
organizing CPR classes on
campus and assisting the Student
Counseling Office with course

Mortar Board would prefer to
be thought of as an organization
which works in conjunction, not
at odds, with other student
groups toward helping the entire
-Michael Bourke

Where your MSA money goes

To the Daily:
Since funding for Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) is
now mandatory, students have
a right to know exactly where
the money is spent. Emil Arca's
letter to the Daily demonstrates
that many students may not
have an accurate
understanding of the purposes
for the mandatory $2.92 fee. The
mandatory fee is allocated as
$1.74 is for Student Legal
Services (formerly Campus
Legal Aid) to provide legal
insurance for all U-M students.
This means that all students,
regardless of income, now have
access to free legal services.
The $1.74 for Student Legal
Services also provides funding
for the MSA Housing Law
Reform Project, which reviews
housing legislation and its
implications for the rights of
tenants, and publishes
informational booklets (such as
YT.- - c _. t ... -.« 11 .. jI\.-

* $.15 per student each term
funds the MSA Course
Evaluation Project. Course
evaluations give students 'a
stronger voice in tenure
decisions and academic issues
in general, and are a good
source of information for
students when choosing classes.
" $.97 of the $2.92 student
assessment funds the Michigan
Student Assembly, the campus-
wide student government at the
University of Michigan. Over
75% of the MSA budget is set
aside for external allocations to
recognized student
organizations for projects and
events. Almost 65% of the funds
remaining in the MSA budget
will be used for MSA projects
(such as improving
transportation for North
Campus residents, a newsletter
for minority students, ets.).
So far this year, MSA's
external allocations to student
organizations will help to bring

MSA's allocations do not
necessarily comprise political
endorsements. The most
important criterion on which
MSA decides funding is the
eductional value of the project
or event. The Gay Teach-in, for
example, is designed to
promote a better understanding
of human sexuality. MSA
funding serves to augment the
quality of education at the
University of Michigan. The
remainder of the$2.92 clearly
improves the quality of life for
students at the University. This
student assessment translates
into visible, much-needed
services for all U-M students.
As a student government,
Michigan Student Assembly has
a very important function: to
make the University more
responsive to the needs and
concerns of students. MSA
works hard to make the
University a better place to live
and learn. Student services and

-.~-1 ~

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