UPn 05/12/93 Police arrest three for hauling marijuana with patient in ambulance SAN ANTONIO, Texas (UPI) -- The dog knew something was amiss. Police said the driver of an ambulance from Laredo told officers Wednesday afternoon he was carrying a female patient to Santa Rosa Hospital in Antonio. On the seat next to him was a woman dressed as a nurse. Officers at a Border Patrol checkpoint waved the ambulance through -- but a drug-sniffing dog alerted them that something was wrong. After the vehicle, owned by Medic Ambulance Service of Laredo, pulled up to the hospital -- and after doctors determined there was nothing wrong with the "patient," -- police alerted by the Border Patrol uncovered 200 pounds of marijuana hidden in compartments that normally carry oxygen and other emergency equipment, officials said. The ambulance's driver, "nurse" and "patient" were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, police said. But police said the driver did not use the flashing lights or siren during the trip. UPwe 05/13/93 1644 Raid nets 96 marijuana plants UKIAH, Calif. (UPI) -- Mendocino County authorities said Thursday they have broken up a large indoor marijuana growing operation, confiscating 96 plants, 50 LSD tablets and several loaded weapons and arresting one man. A Mendocino County Sheriff's Department spokesman said an informant tipped them to the operation, triggering a raid Wednesday by agents of the county's narcotics task force. Taken into custody at the home was Walter Klopfenstein, 48, of Ukiah. He was being held in Mendocino County jail on $10,000. Klopfenstein has been booked on charges of growing marijuana, possessing marijuana for sale, possessing LSD and possessing psilocybin mushrooms. Agents found 96 plants being grown by artficial light inside the residence. They also found 50 tablets of LSD, 37 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, two loaded pistols and a .22-caliber rifle. UPce 05/16/93 Barney blasts authorities DETROIT (UPI) -- Detroit Lions legend Lem Barney, facing two counts of drug possession, claims the charges against him are trumped up and prosecutors have portrayed him "like some kind of Jeffrey Dahmer." Barney refused to discuss details of his March 19 arrest but said authorities "have tried to turn a matchstick into a dynamite stick. This so-called incident is a nonstory. "They're trying to make me look like some kind of Jeffrey Dahmer, or David Koresh," Barney said Sunday. "I'm not a Jeff Dahmer (a serial killer). I'm just a man who is active in his community and church." Barney's problems began on March 19 when Michigan State Police discovered the Hall of Fame cornerback's car crahsed into a Detroit freeway guard rail. Police said they found marijuana "roaches" and cocaine on the floor. Barney, who is active in children's anti-drug programs, also had a blood-alcohol level of 0.108, higher than the legal limit, police said. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. His trial date has not been scheduled. Barney, of suburban Southfield, played 11 seasons with the Lions, rising to stardom after being drafted as a little-known defensive back from Jackson State University in Mississippi. 05/18/93 [untitled - Long Beach Press-Telegram editorial] (Long Beach, Calif.) Press-Telegram on the failed $100 billion drug battle: After two decades of waging a costly, futile war against drugs, we've not only failed miserably to stem the prolific flow of illegal drugs into the United States, we haven't even been able to control the vast quantities of marijuana and other "designer" drugs being produced right here. ... Up to now, the solutions of choice have been supply interdiction and stiff, mandatory penalties for those found using or selling illegal drugs, even in small quantities. Neither approach has worked, and all we have to show for the $100 billion battle are jails and courtrooms overloaded to the point of collapse. ... The Clinton administration seems ready to take U.S. drug policy in a new direction by placing greater emphasis and more dollars on treatment rather than interdiction. ... (A) treatment plan ... started in Miami under its former prosecutor, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (is) called Drug Court. The program allows some drug offenders to get treatment instead of jail terms. Although the results aren't perfect, if handled as carefully as in Miami the program would be a vast improvement over what we have today. One of every four Los Angeles County inmates is doing jail time for drug possession or sales, and the number goes even higher when other drug-related crimes are included. ... Since Miami's Drug Court began in 1989, two-thirds of the 5,000 suspected felons who completed the yearlong program were rearrested less often and stayed crime-free longer than those who did not participate. ... Drug Court is worth trying in Los Angeles -- as long as the money saved in the county jail system ... is fully committed to a closely monitored drug treatment program. With that proviso, what have we got to lose? ------ UPwe 05/19/93 $5 million in drug-tainted cash seized RIVERSIDE, Calif. (UPI) -- Attorney General Dan Lungren announced the seizure Wednesday of $5 million in drug-tainted cash that will be put to use by police in future drug busts under California's asset forfeiture law. Lungren took advantage of Saturday's seizure to urge the Legislature to renew the controversial law, which is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Lungren said the law was the most effective tool police have in the war on drugs "because it allows us to take drug criminals' ill-gotten gains and use those assets in future drug investigations." The law was questioned recently after a wealthy Malibu man was killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who thought he was using his ranch to grow marijuana. No drugs were found, and it was later learned the department had hoped to seize the multimillion-dollar ranch under the forfeiture law. But Lungren defended the law, emphasizing that more than 99 percent of forfeitures are "good cases." As the result of Saturday's bust, three people were arrested and police seized three assault weapons, a rifle, three handguns and two kilos of cocaine at a suspect's rented residence in Baldwin Park. Taken into custody were: Juan Carlos Barrios, 36, of Berwyn, Ill., Rafael Cuadra, 32, of San Diego and Martin Felix Heras, 19, of Baldwin Park. Federal agents said they saw a suspicious out-of-state rental van, which eventually led them to the Baldwin Hills residence where a portion of cash was recovered along with the weapons and drugs. The rest of the cash -- $1.2 million -- was recovered from a car authorities believe was headed for the Mexican border. APn 05/19/93 Ancient Marijuana NEW YORK (AP) -- Ashes from a fourth-century tomb near Jerusalem suggest that marijuana plants may have been used in the ancient Middle East to help childbirth, researchers say. The tomb contained the remains of a teen-ager who apparently died while giving birth, or during the last stages of pregnancy. Analysis indicated that ashes found with the skeleton came from cannabis, the marijuana plant. Apparently, cannabis was burned for use as an inhalant to aid childbirth, researchers said, noting that a 19th-century medical publication said it strengthened contractions while reducing labor pain. Medicinal use of cannabis was recorded in Egypt in the 16th century B.C., the Israeli scientists said in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. UPce 05/19/93 Weekend rally to raise money for Weedstock defense By CINDY SIMMONS MADISON, Wis. (UPI) -- Promoters of a Memorial Day weekend pot rally have scheduled a fund-raiser Saturday at the same Town of Vermont farm county officials have said cannot be used for Weedstock '93. County officials said the farm, which is zoned for agricultural use only, would have to be zoned for recreational and commercial use for the outdoor entertainment and camping planned for Weedfest '93 that may draw about 5,000 people. The town quickly moved to ban parking along the road leading to the farm Memorial day weekend. Ben Masel, the head of the Wisconsin National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, said the fund-raiser Saturday will feature the same type of entertainment as Weedstock in a one-day event. He said it will squeak by the requirements because there will be no outdoor entertainment, the bands will play inside a huge barn. "The parking restrictions don't kick in until Tuesday," Masel laughed. Money raised at the event will go to fighting a court order that Weedstock not be held at the farm because of the zoning restrictions, he said. Masel said organizers plan to win an appeal of that order, but if they do not, on Memorial Day weekend festival goers will be led to different sites in the county "day to day or hour to hour." "I can think of all kinds of great places we might want to visit," Masel said, listing a county board member's farm and a factory that once made rope from hemp. "All we wanted to do was have a nice, quiet private gathering," he said. Masel contends ordinances are being enforced selectively because his group backs legalizing marijuana. He said that violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. No sites that fit the zoning requirements have been found in Dane County that are available for use that weekend, he said. Masel admitted he is enjoying the battle with the county. "I haven't had this much fun in a long time," he said. UPf 05/20/93 Financial Officer Charged with Cultivation Takes Early Retirement COLUMBUS, Ohio (UPI) -- Bob Evans Farms Inc. said Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Keith Bradbury, who remains under investigation after the alleged discovery of marijuana on his property last week, has taken early retirement. Company Chairman and CEO Daniel Evans said Bradbury, 59, who also served as treasurer and a member of the board, decided to retire to "avoid any adverse effect on the company." Last week, police allegedly found marijuana during a search of the executive's home and that of his tenant on adjacent property. However, authorities have not charged Bradbury so far. Bradbury began his career with Bob Evans in 1957, becoming a company officer in 1963. In a statement released by the company, Bradbury said his "great respect for this company, its employees and stockholders will not allow me to continue my employment with Bob Evans Farms at this time. The company's positive reputation is one I do not want to jeopardize." Bob Evans Inc. gave Vice President Donald Radkoski interim responsibilities as chief financial officer and treasurer. Bob Evans Farms markets food products and operates restaurants in the Midwest. UPwe 05/20/93 Deputy charged with supplying drugs to inmates LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy accused of supplying inmates at the Men's Central Jail with heroin, cocaine and marijuana, pleaded innocent Thursday to drug charges. Alfred Saenz, 23, pleaded innocent to one count of bringing drugs into jail and one count each of sale or transportation of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. If convicted, Saenz faces a maximum term of seven years in prison. Los Angeles Municipal Court Commissioner John Ladner scheduled a preliminary hearing for June 11. Saenz was being held on $500,000 bail. Deputy District Attorney Alan Yochelson said inmates ordered the drugs and put Saenz in contact with their dealers. The inmates allegedly paid Saenz to bring the drugs into jail, he said. Saenz was arrested May 18, six days after he allegedly bought drugs from an undercover officer and took the drugs into jail. The Sheriff's Department launched an undercover investigation in April after receiving information that inmates were ordering drugs through a deputy. UPne 05/20/93 Another day in court for forfeiture case TRENTON, N.J. (UPI) -- A New Jersey appeals court has ordered a new hearing for a convicted marijuana grower facing forfeiture of his home and savings. The court did not rule on the merits of the state's forfeiture law. A three-judge panel handed down a short opinion Thursday that said Gregory Fuhs of Somerset has not been given an adequate chance to fight the seizure of his property. The Fuhs case has been used by groups lobbying for more restrictive laws as an example of prosecutorial overreach. Fuhs faces the loss of a house and thousands of dollars after being convicted of growing marijuana in his backyard for his own use and for friends. Fuhs' lawyer, Jack Venturi of New Brunswick, said police seized a total of about 4 pounds of marijuana, both harvested and unharvested. Much of it, he added, was of poor quantity. "This guy committed a criminal act," Venturi said. "He's not a criminal person." Fuhs remains on probation after serving a short jail term for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. But Venturi says Somerset County Prosecutor Nicholas Bissell at one point offered Fuhs a deal that would have allowed him to escape jail by turning over a bank account. "They wanted $65,000 to make the charges go away," Venturi said. Fuhs claims his original lawyer agreed to the deal without his knowledge or consent. When Fuhs challenged the deal, Bissell sought forfeiture of his home. A judge ruled that Fuhs should lose his house because he had used it for criminal activity but said that requiring him to forfeit $65,000 as well would be excessive. Both sides appealed that order. The appeals court decision affirms Fuhs' criminal conviction and returns the entire forfeiture case to the trial judge for a new hearing. UPce 05/20/93 Consumer protection for marijuana users has sharp teeth INDIANAPOLIS (UPI) -- Indiana Appeals Court Judge John G. Baker says Indiana's tough consumer protection law for marijuana users is wrong, but Baker was in the minority Thursday on a case from Connersville. James D. Conner was sentenced in Fayette Circuit Court to six years in prison for selling an informant some weedy wet stuff that was not marijuana for $1,600. His conviction was upheld, 2-1, but the majority said the judge made some errors and might have to cut the sentence to five years. Baker noted that Conner risked a hitch of up to eight years for selling fake marijuana, but would have chanced a year in jail at most for selling an ounce of the real stuff. In a 14-page dissent he called the marijuana law "both irrational and smelly." "Conner's crime involves dishonesty," the majority said, citing the state's arguments that a "duped purchaser...might very well resort to violence to get even with the dishonest drug dealer." Besides, the majority said, other non-violent deceptions, such as forgery, are punished as harshly as selling bogus drugs. Baker and the majority also disagreed about whether the state even proved Conner had sold nothing but fake marijuana. Majority Judges Jonathan Robertson and George B. Hoffman Jr. said it is well settled that appeals courts don't reweigh the evidence. A detective testified the stuff "sure didn't look like marijuana." A crime lab expert said testing of a sample disclosed no marijuana. The jury reasonably concluded Conner knew the stuff was fake, the majority said. Baker insisted the only way to prove the negative was to test it all. Without doing that, the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Conner had not included marijuana or some controlled substance in the batch of 16 bags, he said. The majority said there is a real flaw in the law's repeated references to delivery or transfer of a "controlled substance" even when regulating sales of bogus drugs. That's a harmless, "hypertechnical" defect, the majority said. The majority ordered the trial court to list some valid aggravating circumstances or cut Conner's term to the presumptive sentence of five years. There were insufficient aggravating circumstances listed for the "enhanced" six-year term, the state court ruled. WP 05/24/93 Medicine: Use of Marijuana in Childbirth A 1,600-year-old personal tragedy has yielded a glimpse of early medicinal uses of marijuana. Reporting in the May 20 Nature, Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and colleagues analyzed materials found in an ancient family tomb near Jerusalem. Seven grams of carbonized matter were found near the corpse of a girl, about 14 years of age, who apparently died in childbirth around 400 AD. The researchers recovered tiny amounts of 6-tetrahydrocannabinol (6-THC), a component of cannabis. The researchers believe the plant was burned in some kind of a vessel and administered to the girl "as an inhalant to facilitate the birth process." Medical texts from the 19th century, the authors note, held that marijuana increases the force of uterine contractions and reduces the pain of labor. While this is apparently the first physical evidence of ancient pot use, reports appear in an Egyptian papyrus from the 16th century B.C. - J.S. circa 05/24/93 [untitled - David Lee Roth Off the Hook] OFF THE HOOK: If rock 'n' roller David Lee Roth can behave himself for the next year, he won't have a criminal record in New York. In a brief appearance in a Manhattan criminal courtroom last week, a drug case against the former Van Halen lead singer was adjourned pending dismissal. That means a charge that he bought a bag of marijuana in Greenwich Village's Washington Square last month will be dropped and his record wiped clean if he is not arrested in the next year. Roth, 38, was arrested April 16 after police observed him buying a bag of pot. If convicted of drug possession, Roth would have faced up to 15 days in jail and a $250 fine.
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