Hemp News No. 4

Compiled by Paul Stanford

UPsw 03/31/93   2035 Jury convicts three in drug distribution, money
laundering scheme

   HOUSTON (UPI) -- A federal court jury returned guilty verdicts against two
men from Houston and a Chicago man charged with conspiring to possess with
intent to distribute marijuana and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Lawrence
Finder announced Wednesday.
   James E. Burnside, 45, an accountant and president of Network International
Management Co. of Houston was convicted of six counts of conspiracy to commit
money laundering, numerous counts of "structuring, " filing false currency
reports with the Internal Revenue Service, and failure to report $256,000 he
received from a drug dealer.
   Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Lombardino defined "structuring" as making
cash transactions in amounts less than $10,000 in order to evade federal
currency reporting requirements.
   Lombardino said Burnside successfully laundered money from drug kingpin
Desideiro Guerra of Friendswood, Texas by creating a complex scheme which
involved 57 separate cash transactions, including the purchase of 32 cashiers
checks at 15 different Houston banks with 20 different fictitious names.
   Besides Burnside and Guerra, 24 other people were charged in the scheme.
   Jack Novoselsky of Atlanta, Ga., Guerra's primary customer, also pleaded
guilty to conspiracy and money laundering. He faces up to life in prison with no
possibility of parole.
   Russell Miller of Atlanta, who earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
distribute marijuana, also faces up to life imprisonment without parole.
   Lombardino said the drug distribution group, which claimed more than 30
members during its life, distributed approximately 70,000 pounds of marijuana
and generated approximately $56 million in cash.
   Assets seized and forfeited include a ranch in Santa Fe, Texas, Guerra's
residence in Friendswood, numerous properties in Pasadena, Texas, a spa
franchise, a $186,000 machine center, jewelry, $1.5 million in cash, and more
than 20 vehicles.


NEW YORK, April 1, Reuter - Drug testing in the workplace has grown to a
record level, with 85 per cent of major U.S. companies testing workers and job
applicants compared with 75 per cent a year ago, a survey released on Thursday
     "Every year a greater share of companies without a testing programme begin
to test; every year a greater share of companies with programmes expand them,"
said Eric Greenberg, director of the survey for the American Management
     As companies have thrown a wider net in testing their workers and job
applicants, the amount of people testing positive has dropped rapidly.
     Only 2.5 per cent of workers test positive for drug use, while 4.3 per cent
of job applicants do. Since the survey began in 1989, the number of employees
who have tested positive has dropped 70 per cent.
     "The decline in test-positive rates reflects a wider testing pool, not
lesser drug use," Greenberg said.
     The survey, conducted in January 1993, polled managers at 630 companies
across the country. The poll had a margin of error of five per cent.
     Because of the cost -- an average of $43 for each test -- most companies
only test employees randomly. Three-quarters of all companies test job
applicants, and 87 per cent of these test each and every prospective employee.
     Despite the proclivity of companies to test for drugs, barely more than
half are willing to spend the money to validate the results, which are less than
     A poppyseed roll eaten for breakfast may show up as heroin use. The common
over-the-counter pain reliever ibuprofin may appear as marijuana in the test.
     But only 53 per cent of all companies with testing programmes use a medical
review board. And 23 per cent choose not to verify the results, or opt for a
less favoured method of validation.
     Applicants who test positive face virtually no hope of being hired by a

APn  04/01/93   1234  Russian Connection

Copyright, 1993. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

 AP Special Correspondent
   NEW YORK (AP) -- The "Russian Connection," an unwanted new enterprise from
the enterprising new Russia, has begun flying packets of high-quality heroin to
U.S. distribution networks, law enforcement officials report.
   This post-Cold War startup will force anti-drug authorities to defend yet
another front in the battle against the narcotics trade.
   A U.N. drug-control team foresaw the new challenge on a tour of the former
Soviet Union last year, noting in a wrap-up report that authorities there "are
expecting an increase in exports of drugs."
   Today, said Greg Passic, a ranking Drug Enforcement Administration official
in Washington, "Russia-East Europe is a real fast-breaking area."
   A trial under way in Manhattan federal court is the first prosecution of a
major Russian-American heroin ring. Six defendants face charges; others already
have pleaded guilty. Most worrisome to authorities: Wiretaps found the
Brooklyn-based Russian immigrants working hand in hand with Italian-American
organized crime.
   In the most recent Russian Connection case, in early February, almost 10
pounds of opium, heroin's base, were intercepted in Los Angeles after being
shipped from Russia in "matrioshka" sets -- the one-inside-the-other Russian
dolls. Two of the addressees were charged, both immigrants from the former
Soviet Union, or Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
   DEA officials suspect that, as always, they are stopping only a fraction of
the drug shipments.
   Several developments have come together to boost the CIS-to-USA heroin trade:
The collapse of the old Soviet state's rigid police controls; freer travel by
former Soviet citizens; the rise in heroin use by Americans, in place of
cocaine; an explosion in the planting of opium poppies in Central Asia.
   Afghanistan, a CIS neighbor, recently replaced Burma as the world's biggest
opium producer, the U.N. Drug Control Program reports. Officials in Uzbekistan
say the acreage under poppy cultivation in that Central Asian CIS nation has
increased 10-fold in the past three years.
   Opium and heroin are not Central Asia's only contraband commodities. The
Russian Interior Ministry estimates that wild marijuana covers 1,000 square
miles of the CIS -- more than 25 times the recorded marijuana acreage in the
rest of the world.
   "During the 1990s, the former Communist bloc countries will have the
potential to flood Western and U.S. markets with narcotics," Rensselaer W. Lee
III, an American scholar on the drug trade, concluded in a recent report.
   In Judge John Keenan's courtroom in lower Manhattan, the new trade comes to
life in a riveting series of DEA wiretaps played back in simultaneous
translation in English, Russian and Italian.
   A DEA undercover agent penetrated the Brooklyn ring via an informant who put
him in contact with Alexander Moysif, 24, a sometime limousine driver and
enthusiastic casino gambler who eventually made four deliveries of heroin to the
   The packets, handed over in the shadow of the United Nations headquarters in
midtown Manhattan, ranged up to a half-pound, costing $47,000.
   The prosecution says telephone monitoring found that another Russian
immigrant in Brooklyn, David Podlog, was Moysif's supplier and that their
wholesaling network was also dealing high-quality heroin to a Sicilian-American
   Thirteen arrests were made last April. Moysif later pleaded guilty and has
been testifying for the government.
   Through the phone tapes, outsiders can eavesdrop on an immigrant gang fast
adopting the language and lifestyle of classic American mobsters.
   They call each other repeatedly to discuss deliveries of "potatoes,"
"sweaters," "meat," "suits" and "baby formula" -- improvised code words, the DEA
says, for heroin. At one point, Moysif says his wife can deliver the goods in
her 2-year-old's baby carriage.
   When a business transaction turns sour between Moysif and "some Italians," he
calls a contact about arming himself with "a violin ... size 9." Later, Moysif
reports, he "almost dropped" when a second contact opened a "violin case" --
displayed firearms.
   "There were such violins and flutes, unbelievable. ... (It was) possible to
play against the Soviet army," the young gangster confides.
   No violence was reported between the groups, however.
   Federal authorities traced the gang's narcotics back to Warsaw after
arresting two Russians at New York's Kennedy airport. The two allegedly flew in
from the Polish capital carrying seven pounds of heroin and business cards tying
them to the Brooklynites.
   The ultimate source remains undetermined, but the DEA says heroin typically
is being flown from Southeast or Central Asia to Moscow, and then taken by train
to Warsaw for redistribution.
   "There are Russian emigres in a lot of countries, a ready-made network," said
the DEA's Alfred Cavuto, who supervised the Brooklyn investigation.

UPsw 04/02/93   1304  Authorities seize drug-stuffed bunny

   LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (UPI) -- The stuffed Easter rabbit mailed to two students
at an exclusive New Jersey prep school was a funny bunny, authorities said.
   The rabbit, mailed from the Austin, Texas, home of two brothers attending the
$18,000-a-year The Lawrenceville School, in suburban Trenton, was not delivering
Easter eggs, but 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana, authorities said Friday.
   The drugs were discovered when a postal workers spilled the beans, that is
coffee beans packed around the rabbit to cover the scent of marijuana. The
package had been damaged in shipping and was leaking beans when it was
intercepted in Newark Monday by a suspicious postal worker.
   "The rabbit was folded to fit inside a plastic container in the shape of an
egg. Then it was packed with coffee beans to prevent the dogs from smelling the
marijuana. It didn't work," said Lt. Donald Ricigliano of the Mercer County
Special Investigations Unit.
   A dog quickly sniffed his suspicions.
   Postal officials obtained a federal warrant, opened the package, found the
drugs in a plastic bag inside the white plush animal and then resealed the box
and delivered it to the brothers at the school.
   The two boys, a 15-year-old sophomore and 17-year-old junior, were arrested
early Thursday morning at the school but their names were not released.
   The pair face charges of possessing a controlled substance, possession with
intent to distribute and possessing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.
   A search of their rooms yielded material for rolling cigarettes and items
that resulted in possession of drug paraphernalia charges against the two.
   Both were released into the custody of school authorities.

UPwe 04/02/93   2206 Court reinstates wrongful termination suit against PG&E

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- A state appeals court reinstated Friday a wrongful
termination suit against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. by a draftsman who was fired
after testing positive in a drug test.
   The Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District held unanimously that
Kevin James could sue the utility for firing him in violation of public policy
and for violating his privacy rights under the state Constitution.
   James went to work at PG&E for six months through a temporary employment
agency in 1984. He continued to work for the company's offices in San Francisco
for two years and had been promised a permanent position. But he was terminated
after testing positive for marijuana in a pre-employment urinalysis test in
   PG&E convinced a lower court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that James,
who was paid through the temporary agency, was not its employee.
   But the appeals court said that because James worked directly under PG&E
supervisory personnel, he should have been given an opportunity to prove that he
legally was a PG&E employee.

UPwe 04/04/93   1355 Authorities mull asset forfeiture laws in wake of killing

LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Law enforcement officials say a highly publicized drug
raid, in which deputies killed a Malibu ranch owner but found no drugs, may
throw cold water on controversial asset forfeiture laws.
   "I think the whole incident reflects negatively on narcotics officers
throughout the state," said Cmdr. Vincent France of the Ventura County Sheriff's
Department's major crimes unit. "It may result in us not having the (forfeiture)
law any more. That's typically how laws get changed, when there's some abuse by
law enforcement."
   Armed with a search warrant, 31 officers from eight law enforcement agencies
conducted a midnight raid Oct. 2 on 61-year-old Donald Scott's Malibu ranch
based on an informant's tip that Scott was growing marijuana.
   Scott was shot and killed by deputies when he confronted the intruders with a
gun. No marijuana or other drugs were found on the ranch.
   In a critical report released last week, Ventura County District Attorney
Michael Bradbury concluded that a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy lied about the
presence of a marijuana grove at Scott's ranch to win approval of the search
   Bradbury said the deputy obtained the search warrant because he knew if drugs
were found on the ranch his department could seize it and make a profit from its
   Ventura attorney Tim Quinn, who defends many clients charged with drug
offenses, said he believes that police regard the ability to seize assets as a
special benefit of serving search warrants.
   "You see a nice car, you seize it and you get to use it in your next
undercover sting operation," Quinn said in Sunday's Los Angeles Daily News. "A
guy's got a nice van, you can sell it and buy (bulletproof) vests for the
department. It's human nature. It's entrepreneurship. But I don't think they
have any training in the ethics of it."
   Capt. Larry Waldie, head of the Los Angeles County sheriff's narcotics
bureau, has denied that deputies concocted evidence of a marijuana grove in a
plan to force forfeiture of the ranch. The department is expected to issue a
statement this week rebutting the claims.
   A tougher asset-forfeiture law that took effect in 1989 allows law-
enforcement officers to seize assets of people who were suspected of drug
dealing. A conviction was not required. All prosecutors had to prove was that
the assets were used to store, transport or facilitate the sale of drugs, or
were purchased with the proceeds of drug sales.


    SYDNEY, April 5, Reuter - Two Australian paper companies are testing
marijuana fibre for its suitability in making paper, a company spokesman said on
     Australian Newsprint Mills and Australian Pulp and Paper Mills in the
southern island state of Tasmania are testing samples of an Indian hemp crop
grown by conservationists keen to save trees by finding paper alternatives to
     "We tend to be fairly open-minded and we haven't ruled hemp out as a
possibility," Australian Newsprint Mills corporate affairs manager David Quinn
     The company's research manager, Bob Cox, said analysis of the hemp pulp
would take a month, but said hemp had a mixture of tangled long and short fibres
that could be used with wood pulp to strengthen paper.
     The company now imports expensive chemical pulp from North America and New
Zealand to reinforce newsprint. The pulp makes up only five per cent of the
total pulp mixture but is nevertheless an expensive component.
     "It's possible if (hemp) has a good yield and does not require large
capital expenditure on plant to pulp it, it may have some potential," Cox said.
     Australian Pulp and Paper Mills research officer Ken Maddern said hemp bark
fibre was suitable for making speciality paper products such as tea bags or for
reinforcing paper that needs to go through high-speed printing presses.
     A non-profit conservation group, the Hemp for Paper Consortium, grew the
experimental crop under a special licence, using Hungarian seeds that produce
plants with only 0.09 per cent of the THC narcotic element compared with seven
to 10 per cent in normal drug-quality cannabis.
     As a precaution, Tasmanian narcotics police supervised the harvesting last
month and burnt all the leaves and flowers which are used for making drugs.
     Hemp is a summer crop that takes three months to grow and harvest. The
group produced 1.5 tonnes of hemp fibre.

RTf  04/05/93   0127  Tasmania mills test hemp fibre in papermaking

    SYDNEY, April 5, Reuter - Two Tasmania-based paper companies, Australian
Newsprint Mills and Australian Pulp and Paper Mills, said they are testing
the suitability of marijuana fibre for making paper.
    The two are testing samples of an Indian hemp crop grown by conservationists
keen to save trees by finding alternatives to wood.
    "We tend to be fairly open-minded and we haven't ruled hemp out as a
possibility," Australian Newsprint Mills corporate affairs manager David Quinn
said from Hobart.
    Australian Newsprint Mills' research manager, Bob Cox, said analysis of the
hemp pulp would take a month but noted that hemp has a mixture of tangled long
and short fibres that could be used with wood pulp to strengthen paper.
    Currently the company imports expensive chemical pulp from North America and
New Zealand to reinforce newsprint. This accounts for five pct of the pulp
    "It's possible if (hemp) has a good yield and does not require large capital
expenditure on plant to pulp it, it may have some potential," Cox said.
    Australian Pulp and Paper Mills research officer Ken Maddern said hemp bark
fibre was suitable for making specialty paper products such as tea bags or
reinforcing paper that needs to go through high-speed printing presses.
    A non-profit conservation group, the Hemp for Paper Consortium, grew the
experimental crop under a special licence, using Hungarian seeds that produce
plants with only 0.09 pct of the THC narcotic element compared with seven to 10
pct in drug-quality cannabis. Tasmanian police supervised the harvesting last
month and burnt all the leaves and flowers which are used for making drugs.

UPce 04/05/93   1437  Indiana authorities continue marijuana eradication

   INDIANAPOLIS (UPI) -- Indiana again led the nation in marijuana eradication
and suppresion during 1992, U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Daniels said Monday.
   Daniels said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has recognized Indiana
as the leader for the second year in a row with nearly 57 million marijuana
plants destroyed, including "ditch weed" and both indoor and outdoor cultivated
   Other factors considered were the number of arrests, weapon seizures and
assets forfeited.
   "When all factors were aggregated, the Indiana operation was deemed the top
program in the country overall for the second consecutive year," Daniels said.
   Indiana State Police administer an eradication project funded by the DEA
called Domestic Cannabis Eradication-Suppression Program.
   The program also involves local police, the Indiana National Guard, the
Indiana Civil Air Patrol, the United States Forest Service and other federal
   DEA spokesman Stephen White said that while the number of indoor grow
operations raided during 1992 was up 49 percent from a year ago, the actual
number of plants seized in these operations was down 1.7 percent.
   "The figures reflect a statewide trend by illicit growers to utilize multiple
grows with smaller numbers of plants," he said.
   White said growers are apparently trying to keep their crops under 100 plants
at each location. Federal penalties are much tougher for people convicted of
having 100 plants or more.
   The DEA provided $395,000 for Indiana's marijuana eradication program in 1992
and will provide $450,000 during 1993.

UPsw 04/06/93   1022  DPS officer fatally shoots man in struggle

   TYLER, Texas (UPI) -- The Department of Public Safety said Tuesday it is
investigating the fatal shooting of a Dallas man who apparently tried to take a
trooper's sidearm from him during a struggle that followed a traffic stop.
   Authorities said Ernesto Martinez, 22, was fatally shot at 9:30 p.m. Monday
after he tried to take a gun away from trooper Bobby Strickland, who had stopped
the car Martinez was in on Interstate 20 north of Tyler.
   DPS officials said that when Strickland and his partner, trooper Joe Don
Abernathy, found a quantity of marijuana in the vehicle one of the five
occupants fled on foot.
   Strickland caught him but was struck in the head with a blunt object.
Officials said during a struggle for the trooper's gun, Martinez was hit in the
chest and later died at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.
   The four other vehicles were charged with possession of drugs.


UNICOR's Use Of Prison Labor For Private Buisiness
Has Wide Ranging Rights and Social Implications

By Len Martin

Reprinted from Farmers and Consumers Report

   The federal government is cooperating with private
financiers in a scandal that is contributing to the demise
of independently operated buisinesses and is costing
taxpayers big bucks.
   The scandal is a buisiness enterprise called UNICOR.
You probably haven't heard of it because the mass news
media, which is controlled by the "big money boys," isn't
telling about it.
   I had heard about UNICOR from prisoners who had called
me on other matters.  But it wasn't until Rudy (Butch)
Stanko, who is incarcerated in the federal prison system,
sent me the manuscript of _Slavery Survives in America_ for
publication that the full story became known to me.
   For daring to "blow the lid" on UNICOR, Stanko has been
grossly mistreated in prison.  Out of the first 600 days in
prison, Stanko had spent 313 in isolation (the hole).
Since then, he has been in "the hole" for extended periods
of time.  There is no doubt this is due to his exposing
   The mistreatment is designed to serve as a warning to
other prisoners to keep their mouths shut about UNICOR --
or they will get the same treatment as Stanko.
   What is it about UNICOR that such drastic measures are
taken to keep the UNICOR operation from being exposed?
   Stanko exposes several facets of the operation of
UNICOR that give cause for concern:
   First, UNICOR is a shady operation.
   Stanko describes it as a private corporation using
prisoners to work in their factories and paying them an
average of 60 cents an hour.  The private owners of UNICOR
aren't required to match social security, or pay
unemployment, workmen's compensation, health insurance, or
retirement benefits.
   These UNICOR factories, located at the various federal
prisons throughout the United States, are producing 192
different products.
   Using prison labor at slave wages, UNICOR presents a
real problem to regular buisinessmen.
   It is estimated that labor costs in the United States
factories average of over $9 an hour.  It is impossible
for them to compete with UNICOR which pays an average of
60 cents an hour to prisoners.
   In UNICOR's instructions for managers of their various
factories, it states that UNICOR is a government
   This isn't possible, because on December 6, 1945 Congress
passed a law (31 USCA 866) which reads: "No corporation
shall be created or organized, or acquired ... by the
federal government ... No wholly owned government
corporation ... shall continue after June 30, 1948 ... the
proper corporate authority of every such (government)
corporation shall take the necessary steps to institute
dissolution proceedings before that date".
   UNICOR is sometimes referred to as a quasi-government
corporation.  This is a sure give-away that it a privately-
owned operation.
   Second.  UNICOR is expanding rapidly.
   UNICOR is growing rapidly.  This is even stated in the
manager's instructions.  That it is expected to become
gigantic is indicated in the last paragraph of an article
appearing in a daily newspaper.  In effect it states:
"Prison industries could grow to rival the military-
industrial complex."
   A 'New York Times' article said:  "The federal
government needs to more than "double its prison capacity - 
`We are getting to the edge of a very serious crisis,' said
Stanley E. Morns, director of the United States Marshals
   One prisoner told me that UNICOR plans to "double its
output" and that the U.S. Justice Department assured UNICOR
there would be sufficient manpower (prisoners) to fill the
   Another prisoner told me: "You won't believe the number
of prisoners who are foreigner.  They are being kidnapped
and held in United States prisons supposedly on drug
   "The real reason is the need for slaves to work for
UNICOR.  The prisoner said about one third of the prisoners
where he is incarcerated are kidnapped foreigners."
   The expansion of prison facilities and the $34,000 plus
a year cost to keep each prisoner incarcerated adds up to
big money -- to be extorted from the taxpayers.  Is this
prison expansion really necessary?  Apparently not,
according to information being compiled by private
   Third, the news of a drug crackdown is faulty.
   There is no doubt drug abuse is a major problem in
America.  Reliable sources have pointed out that the drug
problem could be drastically curbed if the government
officials really wanted to do so.
   But apparently there are enough government officials
who do not want to stop the flow of drugs into America.
   There is no doubt that there are officials high in our
government who are working to weaken America and force it
into a one-world government, and drug abuse greatly weken
the moral and physical strength of a country's citizens.
   Too, the tremendous profits from dealing in drugs is
too great for people in power to resist.
   Drug distribution could not continue at its present high
rate if people in law enforcement and in the courts were
doing their duty.
   Some law enforcement and court officials, along with
other government officials, are actually involved in drug
dealing -- and have been for years.
   Fourth, high federal government officials are involved
in the drug buisiness.
   Emerging information points a finger at high federal
officials as being responsible for the continuing drug
importing into the United States.
   Former police officer Jack McLamb, in one issue of his
newsletter 'Aid and Abet,' relates a meeting between
Colonel Bo Gritz and General Khun Sa, overlord of Asia's
Golden Triangle.
   Khun Sa offered to stop a shipment of 900 tons of illegal
narcotics and expose dirty United States government
officials.  It's all recorded on video tape.  Copies have
been widely circulated in the United States.
   In a letter to then Vice President George Bush, dated
February 1, 1988 Col. Bo Gritz wrote: "If you have any love
or loyalty in your heart for this nation; if you have not
completely sold out, then do something positive to determine
the truth of these serious allegations.  You were director
of the CIA in 1975, during the time Khun Sa says Armitage
and CIA officials were trafficking in heroin."
   Gritz goes on: "Richard Armitage is named along with
Theodore Shackley (your former Deputy Director CIA for
Covert Operations) and others among whom you, Armitage, and
General Richard Secord are prominently mentioned."
   Was Bo Gritz rewarded or even congratulated for providing
the documentation?  He was rewarded by being arrested on an
apparently phoney charge.
   It is apparent that those in charge of our government
have no intention of stopping the illegal drug trade despite
their phoney campaign rhetoric.
   It is also apparent that the planned doubling of federal
prison capacity is not for the purpose of incarcerating
illegal drug offenders (at least not the key figures), but
it is merely a reason given for providing housing for slave
prison laborers for UNICOR's factories.
   For daring to expose UNICOR, Stanko was also denied
parole -- since there was no other apparent reason.  A
number of Congressmen have asked Congress to investigate the
Parole Commission reguarding the Stanko case.  But nothing
has resulted from requests.
   Are Americans going to allow such injustice to go
unchallenged?  We must remember.  When the rights of one
of us are violated, it endangers the rights of all.
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst     |  _________,^-.
Cannabis Reform Coalition                    ( | )           ,>
S.A.O. Box #2                                 \|/           {
415 Student Union Building                   `-^-'           ?     )
UMASS, Amherst MA 01003                        |____________  `--~ ;

[article from Diatribe, date and title unknown]

(NLNS)--War has been declared upon people of color. Termed the "War
on Drugs" by the U.S. government in an attempt to cover the racist truth,
the actual war is against our communities. In order to rationalize the poor
housing, health, income and educations of our people, our communities
have falsely been linked with rampant crime, drug dealing and drug use.
This "War on Drugs" is, in effect, a cover for the racism embedded in our
legal system. There are battles being fought everyday in our barrios,
ghettos, Koreatowns, Vietnamese communities, Chinatowns, and Native
American reservations. The armies of the opposing side are the police
departments of this country which have taken certain liberties in
interpreting the U.S. Constitution, leaving people of color stripped of basic
constitutional rights.
        By having declared a "state of emergency" on September 5, 1989,
President Bush effectively relaxed the constitutionally-guaranteed
procedures followed in criminal matters, leaving the police free to exercise
their power without the constraint of law. These procedures were
originally established to uphold the Bill of Rights which protects
individuals from police abuse (Amendments 4-8); nevertheless, in light of
this state of emergency, a "good faith clause" has been adopted by law
enforcement agencies which allows for search and seizure without a
warrant, effectively nullifying a personUs constitutional rights.
        The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that one is
protected from unwarranted search and seizure. The "good faith clause" is
a policy which allows for the sociological and personal biases of entire
police departments to be included in the investigative process. There is
obviously opportunity for abuse when such drastic shortcuts are taken.
People of color have been made targets and victims of departmental abuse.
It was to prevent such abuses that the amendments to the constitution were
adopted, and it is because of this that these loopholes are in violation of
our constitutional rights and threaten liberty everywhere.
         It is of utmost importance to make our communities aware of
these civil rights violations. Unfortunately, many of our people are
unaware not only of these violations but also of their constitutional rights.
Because the "War on Drugs" is really a war on our communities, it has
been effective in stomping on our rights and ineffective in alleviating the
so-called drug problem. There are other ways to prevent drug use and sales
which have systematically been ignored by the U.S. government. For
example, waging a war on unemployment and illiteracy would reduce
poverty and restore the sense of pride which has dissipated from our
        It is because of our underfunded schools and unrewarding
employment opportunities that many of our relatives and friends turn to
dealing or using drugs and joining gangs, risking their lives for even the
smallest piece of the American Dream. Another way to alleviate this
"drug" problem would be for the U.S. government to encourage
impoverished countries to grow crops other than those used to produce
illegal drugs.
         The only way to overcome these abuses by U.S. law enforcement
agencies is to create awareness in targeted communities and help our
people understand their basic rights, as well as understand that the drug
problem is deeper than just illegal drugs being bought and sold. We must
ban together and confront the racist law enforcement policies of the U.S.
as a united force. We must hold gang members accountable for their
actions and create awareness in them as well. We have been discriminated
against, especially regarding drug enforcement policies, and have
systematically been left with few alternative forms of employment besides
drug trafficking. Broken up into small gangs, our efforts are useless.

Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
        The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated,
and no warrants shall be issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath
or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
        No person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness
against himself, not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without
just compensation.

Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
        In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district and to
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted
with the witnesses against him; ... and to have the assistance of counsel for
his defense.

Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
        ...the right of trial by jury shall be preserved.....

Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
        Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Diatribe is published by the People of Color News Collective at UC
Berkeley, and they can be reached at 700 Eshleman Hall, Berkeley CA
94720; psloh@garnet.berkeley.edu



Back to the Hemp News directory page.

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/HN_04.html