Internet Resources: Finding Information About Drugs, Crime, and Health Through the World-Wide Web
There are millions of people surfing cyberspace every day, but do they find anything useful out there? Are there 100 channels and nothing to watch? Fortunately, the Internet is nothing like cable TV. Everyday hundreds of new places appear and cybertruck-loads of information are made available for people who need it fast. The World-Wide Web (Web) is the fastest-growing information exchange medium on the Internet. Sun Microsystems, Inc. estimates the population of the Web doubles every 53 days. Due to the explosion of information available, navigation on the Web has become somewhat tedious. Locating desired information in a reasonable amount of time can be time consuming.
Several World-Wide Web search applications exist to help locate documents matching a particular subject keyword. Web search programs include the popular Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com/) and Lycos (http://www.lycos.com/), which are free of charge via the Web. Yahoo and Lycos perform keyword searches on titles and offer descriptions of Web pages and return hypertext links to the found information.
Alternatively, to search indexes of files located on anonymous ftp sites around the world use Archie, the file finding service. Archie searches are also based on subject keywords. The results of an Archie search are hypertext links to directories and files located on publicly accessible ftp databases. Archie may be accessed via the Web at the site: http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/Doc/archieplex-httpd.html.
Locating individual electronic mail addresses is easy if you have a reasonable idea where someone works or has an account on the Internet. Netfind is a service of the InterNIC Directory and Database server and provides access to registered Internet addresses. Access Netfind from the address: telnet://ds.internic.net. Login as: netfind. Read the Help section to learn to use the system.
Professionals in many fields have compiled comprehensive documents with pointers to Internet resources. The resources in these documents include database sites (i.e., gopher, telnet, ftp, and http servers), Usenet newsgroups, and mailing lists. Various organizations have created World-Wide Web pages containing links to information and resources on a particular field. An overview of where to find these documents and Web pages follows in this article. Resources here are ordered by professional field and all addresses are listed in URL format for easy access via any Web browser such as Lynx, Netscape Navigator, or NCSA Mosaic. Note: These sites were all available at time this article was written :)
Many drug policy reform activists are on-line with information about organizations, local activism, and resources for activists. There are too many sites to list individually, so Web pages listed here are ones containing links to other drug policy reform groups. Some groups now on-line or soon coming on-line include: Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR; http://www.calyx.com/~fear/), Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM; http://www.famm.org), Cannabis Action Network (CAN), The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS; http://www.maps.org), the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML; http://www.norml.org), the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP; http://www.mpp.org), the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet; http://www.drcnet.org), Americans for Compassionate Use (http://www.acu.org), the Institute for Hemp (http://hemp.org/INSTHEMP/i4hemp.html; http://fornits.com/curiosity/inst4hemp/i4hemp.html) an many others. There are also links in these pages to groups active in the Hemp movement, medical marijuana, and harm reduction strategies. A few of the many comprehensive activists sites are:
Calyx, the Internet provider, is the home of many activist organizations and individuals. It is located via: http://www.calyx.com/. Other activist sites of interest include:
Carl Olsen's home page is located via: http://mojo.calyx.net/~olsen/. This page contains information on medical marijuana issues and pointers to other activists' sites.
Ray Alderidge's Warstop home page contains editorials and links to other organizations' home pages. It is located via: http://sunsite.unc.edu/warstop/warstop.html.
Jill Lampi's personal home page contains drug activist information, links to other activist organizations, and drug related information. It is located via: http://www.magic.mb.ca/~lampi/new_drugs.html.
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service is the clearinghouse of information for the National Institute of Justice. It is available via: http://ncjrs.org.
The Justice Department Web server located via: http://www.usdoj.gov/.
An eclectic collection of criminal justice links can be found on Cecil Greek's home page located via: http://www.stpt.usf.edu/~greek/cj.html.
The Northern Illinois University Sociology Department has put together a criminal justice resources list which includes links to Department of Justice and other statistics, bulletins, and links to many other gopher servers. The site may be accessed via: http://www.soci.niu.edu/~critcrim.
A Web page designed by the Colorado Legal Eagles includes links to many other sites including university law libraries with Supreme Court rulings, the Federal Register, CFR's, and GPO documents. They also have links at this site to Usenet news groups of interest to those in the field. The site may be accessed via: http://www.welcomehome.org/eagles.html.
The Library of Congress Information System may be located via: http://www.loc.gov/. This site provides a searchable index to the libraries holdings, as well as links to Congress, The White House, and state and local governments.
To go directly to the federal government's on-line system for the legislative branch, open the location: http://www.loc.gov/global/legislative/congress.html.
Many Web sites exist in the area of drug policy. One of the most comprehensive has been put up by the Board of the International Foundation for Drug Policy and Human Rights. The site, called Drug Text, contains information on drug policy in the Netherlands as well as other European countries and the US. There are also press clippings, news, legislation, drug law information and pointers to other drug policy groups. The Drug Text site may be accessed via: http://www.xs4all.nl/~mlap. Watch for many more Web sites to be put up in the future.
The United Nations maintains the International Narcotics Control Board Web page with links to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Open the location http://www.undcp.org/.
The Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy has established a Web site at the location: http://fox.nstn.ca/~eoscapel/cfdp/cfdp.html.
The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information is the information service of the Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They provide a comprehensive database dealing with the latest information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug problems. The site may be accessed via: http://www.health.org/.
The WWW Drug Information Server, created by an anonymous author, is located at the site: http://www.paranoia.com:80/drugs/. The site includes links to various on-line resources on topics from alcohol to stimulants. Archives of Usenet news group information are also located here.
The Hyperreal drug archive is an informational source about drugs and drug culture operated by Chris Klausmeier, Lamont Grandquist, and Brian ehlendorf. The archive may be accessed via: http://www.hyperreal.com/drugs/.
The Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University has a page containing links to other substance abuse sites. It is located via: http://center.butler.brown.edu/.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has set up a Web site with information about Canadian as well as U.S. drug policy issues. The site may be reached via: http://www.ccsa.ca/.
The Habit Smart outpatient agency has a Web page containing papers on harm reduction, addictive behavior, and theories of addiction and habits. You may access the Habit Smart agency via: http://www.cts.com/crash/habtsmrt/.
For other references to harm reduction resources see the Netherlands Drug Text site, administered by the International Foundation for Drug Policy and Humans Rights. Their harm reduction page is located at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~mlap/med/hd1.html/.
In the area of Health and Medicine there are several good documents devoted to Internet resources. One of these is called the Guide to Medically Related Internet Resources. It is located on the site: gopher://una.hh.lib.umich.edu/00/inetdirsstacks/medclin:malet. The document contains a detailed list of Internet database servers and mailing lists by disease category. Use the search capability of your Web browser to locate a particular subject.
"Grateful Med" is a user-friendly software package for searching MEDLINE, TOXLINE, Cancerlit, HEALTH, AIDSLINE, and many other National Library of Medicine (NLM) databases. Grateful Med software may be purchased and installed on a personal computer. For more information about obtaining Grateful Med software, open the location: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/grateful_med.html.
The University of Kansas Medical Center maintains the Biomedical Internet Resources List. This list is sorted by subject and provides links to many of the most comprehensive medical Internet sites. The list is updated frequently and may be located via: http://www2.kumc.edu/bluestem/.
The National Health Information Center, established through the US Department of Health and Human Services maintains a Web site with health information resources. The site may be found at the location: http://nhic-nt.health.org/. Click on the question mark for the information databases.
The National Institute of Health maintains access to a wide range of medical data, scientific resources, and health information. Their information server may be located via: http://www.nih.gov/.
In the area of AIDS and AIDS related statistics, summaries of reports, and daily newspaper articles you may also look on the NIH database. There is a document entitled "AIDS and HIV Information and Resources" located via: http://www.ircam.fr/solidarites/sida/index-e.html. This is an international site with pointers to many of the best AIDS and AIDS related databases.
Other health-related resources, including information on AIDS and HIV resources, may be found on the World Health server located via: http://www.who.ch/.
A listing of U.S. law enforcement agencies on the Internet is maintained by the University of Wyoming. There are links to other University police departments, US cities on-line, state agencies, US federal and international law enforcement agencies and miscellaneous links. Open the location: http://copnet.uwyo.edu/.
Many US Government agencies and state governments are now on-line. An important document entitled "Internet Resources of Government Information" lists scores of government departments, state governments, and librry catalogs that are on-line. This document was created for librarians and contains references to hundreds of sites intended for research. Obtain a copy of this document from: ftp://rtffm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/us-govt-net-pointers/. There are four parts to the document.
A Web page devoted to links to government agencies on the World-Wide Web has been put up by Louisiana State University at the location: http://www.Lib.LSU.edu/gov/fedgov.html/.
The FedWorld system provides connections to many government bulletin boards, on-line systems and full text of some government publications. You may access FedWorld via: http://www.fedworld.gov/.
A state by state guide to on-line services provided by state and local governments can be found on the site: http://www.loc.gov/global/state/stategov.html.
The WWW Virtual Library maintained by Indiana State University has a comprehensive list of state governments on the Internet. It may be found via: http://www.law.indiana.edu/law/states.html.