Hemp News No. 9

Compiled by Paul Stanford

The following wire stories are provided as a public service by
Tree Free EcoPaper, makers of 50% hemp (cannabis) and 50% cereal straw
paper. Tree Free EcoPaper is the world's only supplier of wholesale
quantities of hemp paper. We offer an electronic catalog which you can
receive by dropping us an e-mail request. We'll send you our free samples
and hemp paper catalog if you give us a postal address. You can call us
toll-free at 1-800-775-0225 from the U.S. and Canada. Our phone number
for calls outside the U.S. is 503-295-6705. Our headquarters is in
Portland, Oregon and our paper is produced in Asia. Without further
ado, please enjoy the news:

UPn  05/26/93   Texas man arrested with marijuana

   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (UPI) -- Drug trafficking charges were filed Wednesday
against a Texas man who, apparently intoxicated from smoking marijuana, told
police he was going to his sister's graduation but couldn't remember the school.
   Franklin Foster, 42, of Bellaire, Texas, was charged with marijuana
trafficking and faced a bond hearing Thursday on the Madison County charges.
   He was arrested after his car was stopped at middday Tuesday by Collinsville
Police Sgt. Ed Delmore. Delmore said Foster had been driving 11 miles per hour
over the speed limit on Interstate 55-70, about 10 miles east of St. Louis.
   Delmore said he noticed Foster's hands shook and the car smelled of marijuana
after he stopped it.
   When asked where he was going, Foster replied he was headed to Indianapolis
for his sister's graduation.
   "I asked him where she would graduate from, and he hesitated a few moments,"
Delmore said. "There was a pregnant pause. It seemed like he was trying to think
up an answer, which it turned out he was.
   "Then he said, 'high school.' Since he's 42 years old, he looked too old to
have a sister in high school. I thought it was suspicious," Delmore said.
   Delmore got permission to search the rental car and found 32 pounds of
marijuana in the trunk.
   "We found three joints inside the car and a pipe in his pocket that smelled
like dope," Delmore said. "I think he'd been smoking on the trip."
   Police said Foster, who also had $1,000 in cash on him, confessed he was
taking the marijuana to Washington, Pa.
   Foster seemed almost relieved by his arrest, Delmore said.
   "He made the comment that he was more afraid of the Mexicans that he was
dealing with than he was of the penitentiary," the officer said.


    By Michael Stott
     BOGOTA, May 26, Reuter - Opium poppies, the raw material for heroin,
morphine and other narcotics, are now Colombia's biggest illicit crop and their
cultivation is corrupting poor peasants across the Andes, speakers at a
U.N.-sponsored conference on the problem said on Wednesday.
     Colombia, which gained worldwide attention as a big marijuana producer in
the 1970s, graduated to cocaine processing and trafficking in the 1980s.
Authorities say the biggest challenge for the 1990s is to halt the spread of
opium growing and heroin trafficking.
     "The reality is that the opium poppy is today the most important illicit
crop in economic terms in Colombia," Arturo Hein, the United Nations permanent
representative in Bogota, told the conference.
     "A kilo (2.2 pounds) of morphine is worth some $50,000 to $60,000 at
present on the wholesale market while a kilo of cocaine is selling for between
$15,000 and $20,000," he said. Morphine is an intermediary in heroin production.
     Hein said around 50,000 hectares (123,500 acres) of virgin forest had been
hacked down and burned by opium poppy growers, especially in the south of the
country, causing severe damage to the delicate mountain eco-system.
     Colombian Justice Minister Andres Gonzalez said the opium poppy scourge had
already crossed the country's borders and called for greatern international
     "Drug trafficking is a trans-national industry which does not respect
frontiers and which threatens us and other countries equally," he said. "An
international trade of these proportions can only be overcome with a strong,
solid and frank alliance of the world community."
     Gonzalez appealed to the world community to avoid erecting protectionist
barriers against legitimate produce from Latin American countries because this
encouraged peasants to turn to producing crops used to make drugs.
     "There is no doubt that if we open up clear opportunities for our country
people to abandon illicit crops, they will do so," he said.
     National Narcotics Director Gabriel de Vega Pinzon said opium poppy growing
had already reached at least three of Colombia's neighbours.
     "The opium poppy is a crop which has developed extensively through the
country and which has crossed borders, spreading to Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and
possibly Bolivia and Chile," he said before the official start of the

UPma 05/26/93    Man sentenced for marijuana farm

   PITTSBURGH (UPI) -- An Allegheny County man has pleaded guilty in federal
court in Pittsburgh to cultivating more than 1,700 marijuana plants.
   Robert Hazlett, 44, of Natrona Heights, entered the plea Tuesday before U.S.
District Judge Gustave Diamond.
   Prosecutors say authorities received tips in spring 1992 that Hazlett was
growing and selling marijuana on his property. Authorities using a state police
helicopter discovered the marijuana plants growing.
   Hazlett is scheduled to be sentenced July 26. He faces not less than 10 years
in prison to a maximum of life and a possible fine of up to $4 million.

UPwe 05/27/93    L.A. man arrested with $30,000 worth of marijuana

   REDWOOD VALLEY, Calif. (UPI) -- A Los Angeles man was in a Mendocino County
jail Thursday after sheriff's deputies found $30,000 worth of marijuana in his
   A sheriff's spokesman said Lazaro Aquilar Amezcua, 31, was being held on
$10,000 bail after his Wednesday arrest following a routine traffic stop.
   A deputy ran Aquilar's driver's license through a computer and discovered it
had been suspended.
   Further investigation revealed that the license plate tags had been altered.
   The deputy then looked in the trunk and found 11 pounds of marijuana.

UPse 05/28/93 Five defendants to be sentenced for marijuana trafficking

   ATLANTA (UPI) -- Four defendants convicted by a federal jury in Gainesville
of being part of a Georgia-based marijuana trafficking ring and a fifth
defendant who pleaded guilty will be sentenced on July 30, authorities said
   Juanita Aguilar, 40; Lionel Doria, 45; Primativo Doria, 42; and Roberto
Travino, 57, all of south Texas, were convicted Wednesday in Gainesville federal
court of conspiracy to deliver, transport, store and distribute marijuana in
north Georgia.
   Rene Salinas, 34, of south Texas, pleaded guilty two weeks into the trial of
possessing more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana.
   Aguilar, Lionel Doria and Primativo Doria were separately convicted of
possessing more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in Madison County, Ga., where
two used gasoline storage tanks were buried to store the substance.
   They were accused of transporting the marijuana from Mexico by
tractor-trailer rigs to Hoyt "Ronnie" Howington Jr., who then transported it
throughout Georgia, South Carolina and western North Carolina, according to the
U.S. Attorney's office.
   Travino was convicted of distributing marijuana to a drug ring headed by Gary
Brown, Sr., which was prosecuted and disbanded by the U.S. Attorney's office in
Greenville, S.C.
   Howington, the alleged principal leader of the north Georgia marijuana
distribution ring, is a fugitive from justice.
   Gilberto Salinas, of southern Texas, is accused of being the source of
thousands of kilograms of marijuana distributed to both Howington and Brown's
organizations. Salinas is also a fugitive from justice.
   All the defendants face a minimum mandatory term of 10 years imprisonment
each and could receive up to a life sentence and $4 million in fines.
   The two-year investigation that led to the arrests was conducted by the
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Atlanta area, with the
assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service
and the U.S. Customs Service.

circa 05/28/93    [untitled - Amsterdam Coffee Shops Feel the Heat]

   AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- The city's famed marijuana-dealing coffee
shops are feeling the heat of police scrutiny after decades of official
   Only about 80 coffee shops remain in Amsterdam, with their distinctive
cannabis leaf logos, down from a high of about 300 a decade ago.
   The crackdown threatens the image Dutch policy-makers cultivated of the
coffee shops as the only safe way to regulate the trade in marijuana and its
hashish derivative.
   Police launched raids on seven more coffee shops this week as part of a
crackdown on heroin dealing and the receiving of stolen goods. Five were shut
   Police spokesman Klaas Wilting on Friday cited "`nuisance" rather than just
the presence of hard drugs as the reason for the raids.
   But the closures have sparked a public debate on the issue, playing into the
hands of other European Community countries that object to the liberal Dutch
drug policy.
   Although marijuana and hashish are still technically illegal, Dutch
authorities tolerate their sale in an estimated 1,500 coffee shops around the
nation. The shops are banned from dealing in hard drugs.

UPce 05/28/93    Judge rescinds Weedstock ban

   MADISON, Wis. (UPI) -- It looks like Weedstock '93 will be more than a pipe
   Dane County Circuit Judge P. Charles Jones' order banning Weedstock at a Town
of Vermont farm was changed to only ban outdoor entertainment and camping.
   Organizer Ben Masel said the last-minute change he agreed to with county
officials will allow the four-day celebration of pot to go on. The first band is
scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Friday, with about 30 more following over the
Memorial Day weekend.
   Masel said he's getting around the ban on outdoor entertainment by having
bands play inside a farm building. Attendees will be able to see into the
building through large doors and windows.
   Camping, he said, is hard to define.
   "There are plenty of reasons to erect a tent other than sleeping," he said.
   Masel said people would be told when they arrive that camping has been
   County officials tried to stop Weedstock on the grounds that the farm was
zoned for agricultural use only. Judges were not sympathetic to Masel's argument
that his event was being singled out based on the content of political speech.
Masel said no one moved to stop Farm Progress Days or rallies for Bill Clinton
and Al Gore held on farm land.
   Weedstock is the largest annual fund-raising event of the Wisconsin chapter
of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. NORML advocates the
legalization of marijuana.
   About 3,000 people attended Weedstock last year. More than 100 were arrested
on charges ranging from trespassing and disorderly conduct to possession of

UPne 05/30/93     103 arrests reported at 'Weedstock'

   VERMONT, Wis. (UPI) -- More than 100 people were arrested this weekend at
Weedstock '93, a festival extolling the virtues of legalizing marijuana,
officials said Sunday.
   Lt. Bill Ludwig of the Dane County Sheriff's Department said 103 people were
cited for offenses ranging from possession of a controlled substance, drunken
driving, trespassing and underage drinking. About 25 were taken to the jail,
while the others were given citations.
   The festival was held Saturday on a farm in the town of Vermont. Ludwig said
it was the first time the annual event was held in Dane County. An estimated
3,500 people attended.
   "It was very calm," he said. "No violence, just a lot of traffic."

APn  05/31/93   Weedstock

   MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- They came to celebrate grass, but mud got the best of
revelers at a four-day pro-marijuana rally.
   About 1,000 cars were stuck in the muck at Weedstock '93 on Monday, and
tow-trucks and tractors were used to free them, sheriff's officials said.
   Police broke up a few fights as festival-goers became frustrated with their
plight, said Dane County Sheriff's dispatcher Tom Prochaska.
   "Everybody's kind of getting ornery with all the mud," Prochaska said.
"Tempers are flaring. It's a big mess." The area was hit by stormy weather
during the weekend.
   Police estimated about 3,500 people gathered at a farm in south-central
Wisconsin for the festival.
   More than 160 people were cited for various criminal activities, ranging from
drug use to trying to sneak into the festival without paying the $25 admission
fee. Six arrests involved felony weapons and drug charges, authorities said.
   One man who tried to swallow a plastic bag full of marijuana during a traffic
stop choked and an officer had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on him,
authorities said. The bag was kept as evidence.


BOGOTA, June 1, Reuter - Police at Bogota airport said on Tuesday they
discovered marijuana in one of the suitcases of central bank board member Carlos
Ossa Escobar as he was about to board a flight for Venezuela.
     "A personal dose of marijuana was found on him but he was not arrested, it
was just a small offence," a police source told Reuters. He said Ossa, one of
the Colombia's principal economic figures, was stopped Monday evening on his way
to Caracas for a meeting with the Venezuelan central bank board.
     Ossa, on Tuesday morning, apologised on radio saying: "I would like to take
this opportunity to ask everyone to pardon me, I feel bad, I feel a terrible
shame. What I am suffering now is as if I was behind bars."
     Asked if he planned to resign from the powerful central bank board, Ossa
replied: "I'm looking at that, that's what I think I ought to do."

circa 06/01/93    [untitled - Report on Weedstock]
   MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (AP) -- A marijuana festival called Weedstock could have
used a little more grass.
   About 1,000 cars got stuck in the mud in the fields where they were parked
during the four-day pro-pot celebration, which drew about 3,500 people. Tow
trucks and tractors were used to free many of the vehicles.
   Police broke up a few fights among bummed-out festivalgoers.
   "Everybody's kind of getting ornery with all the mud," sheriff's dispatcher
Tom Prochaska said.
   Six people were arrested on drug and weapons charges. Sheriff's deputies
issued nearly 200 citations for other offenses ranging from drug use to trying
to sneak into the festival without paying the $25 admission fee.
   One man who tried to swallow a plastic bag full of marijuana during a traffic
stop choked, and an officer had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on him,
authorities said.

APn  06/02/93    Drug Dog Killing

   DEL RIO, Texas (AP) -- A dog that sniffed out millions of dollars worth of
cocaine along the Mexican border was found dead, apparently poisoned by
   Duc was found dead in its kennel last weekend.
   Vengeful drug smugglers apparently placed a bounty on it, said Aaron
Billings, supervising intelligence officer for the U.S. Border Patrol's Del Rio
   "There have been other bounties for drug-sniffing dogs, but this is a first
for our sector," he said.
   There was no immediate information on who may have offered the bounty or how
much it was.
   Duc, a Belgian malanois, was a familiar sight at border checkpoints and in
school classrooms, where he often demonstrated his abilities for students. Duc
had been used by the Border Patrol in Del Rio for four years.
   The dog assisted in the seizure of 680 pounds of marijuana with an estimated
value of $544,440 within the last two years. Duc also helped in the seizure of
more than a ton of cocaine valued at about $64 million, Billings said.
   "Duc's death will not slow us down. We have 10 dogs," he said.
"Sentimentally, it is difficult. We get pretty close to them."
   Duc's body was sent to Texas A&M University for official determination of the
cause of death. The dog will receive "a proper burial" afterward, Billings said.

APn  06/03/93     Border Tunnel

 Associated Press Writer
   TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) -- Drug agents said it would have been an ingenious
operation: duffel bags stuffed with cocaine, marijuana or other drugs would be
lowered 65 feet into a quarter-mile-long tunnel and carted into the United
States undetected.
   But the sophisticated tunnel, which Mexican federal police said was being
built by reputed drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, was discovered
Monday during the investigation of a Catholic cardinal's killing. It was shown
to reporters Thursday.
   "They could have smuggled multi-ton quantities through that tunnel without
police here knowing or we knowing it on the other side, because the cover is
perfect," said U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Jack Hook.
   Nicknamed "Narco-Tunnel" by agents, it begins 50 paces inside Mexico, under
an empty cinder-block building in a dreary industrial section of Tijuana. It
ends 40 feet short of Siempre Viva Road in San Diego County, about a mile from
the port of entry.
   Generators provide electricity for air conditioning and lighting. The
vertical shaft starts in a subterranean room with an electric-operated winch.
Agents say the winch hauled up buckets of dirt and rock during the digging and
would have lowered drugs had the tunnel been finished.
   The tunnel, cut through sandstone, is lined with cement, and six carts were
ready to whisk drugs into the United States.
   One person ran away when Mexican police took control of the tunnel Monday
night and no arrests were made, U.S. agents said.
   U.S. authorities say it's possible the tunnel was headed toward a warehouse
under construction. Authorities were trying to contact landowners on the U.S.
   A hole was punched through the cinder-block wall of the warehouse to allow
for surveying equipment, and a mason's line stretches the length of the tunnel.
An orange traffic cone in a field on the U.S. side marks the spot where the
tunnel ends.
   "It's one more blow on the war on the drugs and we feel real confident that
we're going to keep knocking these guys down," said Gustavo de la Vina, San
Diego sector chief for the U.S. Border Patrol.
   Guzman was the intended target of a hit by a rival cartel May 24 at the
Guadalajara, Mexico, airport. But gunmen mistook Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas
Ocampo's car for Guzman's and shot the prelate 14 times at close range.
   Mexican agents found documents indicating the tunnel's location at a Tijuana
safe house on Monday as they investigated Ocampo's killing, Hook said.

APn  06/03/93   Inviting Arrest

   SOUTHBURY, Conn. (AP) -- Two teen-age brothers showed up at a state police
barracks to deliver medication to their father, who was being held on larceny
   Mistake A: They parked their car in a spot marked "Reserved for Duty
   While Michael Murphy Jr., 19, and Eric Murphy, 16, waited in the lobby
Wednesday, the dispatcher ran a computer check on the car's registration number.
   Mistake B: Police said the car was stolen Tuesday in nearby Cheshire.
   After taking the teen-agers into custody, police said they discovered yet
another problem: Eric Murphy was carrying a pipe packed with marijuana. Troopers
then found 18 bags of marijuana in the car's glove compartment.
   The brothers were charged with second-degree larceny, possession of a weapon
in a motor vehicle, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent
to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.
   Each was released on $2,500 bond.

UPn  06/05/93    Crew ditches 7,217 pounds of marijauna

   MIAMI (UPI) -- Federal agents recovered 7,217 pounds of marijuana that had
been ditched by the crew of a Colombian ship after the vessel ran out of fuel in
the Yucatan Channel, the Coast Gaurd reported Saturday.
   Crewmen aboard a U.S. Navy plane first spotted the freighter Samson sitting
dead in the water about 50 miles north of Cabo San Antonio, Cuba, on Tuesday
   The Coast Guard cutter Sitkinak and a Navy ship were sent to investigate and
discovered the freighter had run out of fuel and had a dead battery. They also
found 120 bales of marijuana floating in the water around the ship. The bales
weighed in at 7,217 pounds, Petty Officer Simone Adair said.
   The Coast Guard asked permission from the Colombian government to seize the
vessel. While the boarding party waited for an answer, the vessel's master asked
for help and the Navy ship took the Samson under tow.
   When the Colombian government gave permission for the seizure Saturday, the
ship was towed to Key West, where the contraband was turned over to the Customs
   The ship's Jamaican captain and four Colombian crewmen were arrested on
smuggling charges.

UPwe 06/09/93     Pot smokers run risk of illness, injury, study shows

   SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- Bay Area researchers said Wednesday that people who
smoke marijuana every day but don't smoke tobacco run a higher risk of illness
and injury than non-users.
   The scientists said this was the first study to compare the medical records
of heavy pot users who did not indulge in tobacco with those of people who
smoked neither.
   The study of 900 subjects found those who used marijuana frequently suffered
a 19 percent greater risk of respiratory illnesses, such as colds, flus and sore
throats than non-smokers.
   The pot group also stood a 32 percent greater chance for injuries and 9
 percent higher odds for non-respiratory disease.
   The scientists said daily marijuana smoking appears to be associated with
respiratory conditions even among persons who never smoked tobacco. Frequent
marijuana use also appears to be intimately linked to alcohol consumption as a
risk factor for injuries and other non-respiratory medical care.
   The researchers surveyed 452 heavy marijuana users who did not smoke tobacco
and 450 people who inhaled neither. All were patients at Kaiser Permanente's
Oakland or San Francisco medical centers between 1979 and 1985.
   One odd finding, was that those who smoked marijuana for more than 10 years
reported fewer respiratory illnesses, possibly because they are 'survivors' of a
selection process in which people prone to respiratory illnesses were more
likely to quit smoking.

UPsw 06/09/93    Fast-living drug buyer nabbed at Fed-ex counter

   QUINCY, Ill. (UPI) -- Haste made waste for an accused drug buyer who tried to
pick up a package stuffed with 22 pounds of marijuana at a Federal Express
office in Quincy.
   Police say the suspect, a 32-year-old man with a record of drug convictions,
was too stunned to speak when he was nabbed at the package pickup counter.
   Bradley Schlueter of Knox City, Mo., was charged Wednesday in Adams County
Court with felony drug trafficking and possession with intent to deliver
cannabis. Bond was set at $200,000.
   Schlueter already is on parole on a Missouri charge of LSD possession.
   Illinois State Police Sgt. Mike Hernst said a Federal Express worker became
 suspicious and notified police after handling a large, aromatic box express
shipped from Tucson, Ariz. Inside the tightly sealed box were bags of marijuana.
   Ernst said express shipments of drugs are not uncommon but rarely will
dealers send such a large amount.

UPf  06/09/93   Computer groups mark National Computer Virus Awareness Day

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The National Computer Security Association marked the
first National Computer Virus Awareness Day Wednesday by urging federal action
to curb computer viruses.
   Viruses are hidden programs designed to sneak into computer systems and carry
out the author's instructions, whether benign or hostile. Some simply display a
message, like "legalize marijuana." Others destroy data and can even cause
physical damage to the computer.

UPce 06/09/93   Man arrested after advertising marijuana trade

   MILWAUKEE (UPI) -- A man who allegedly advertised his marijuana trade on a
poster in a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee dormitory was arrested after an
undercover police officer answered the ad.
   Justin "Dave" R. Mallory, 20, who is not a student, appeared in Milwaukee
County Circuit Court Wednesday on charges of felony delivery of marijuana.
   Mallory is accused of putting up a hand-made poster in a dormitory bulletin
board that read: "Yo Life Got Ya Tired? Need Some Weed? Beep Me, Dave." The
poster listed a phone number, which a UWM police officer called.
   "We were skeptical about it," said Lt. Richard Sroka. "We didn't know if this
was on the up-and-up, so we thought we'd give him a call. To our surprise, he
 went through with it."
   An officer dialed the number on Sunday and spoke with a man who identified
himself as Dave. After discussing the purchase of a quarter ounce of marijuana,
the two settled on a price of $60 and agreed to meet in a parking lot.
   The two met and the purchase was completed. The officer then arrested
Mallory, who is not a UWM student and not affiliated with the school.


CHICAGO (JUNE 9) BUSINESS WIRE - Cocaine use among employees in the nation's
business arena may be more hidden than any other form of drug abuse, according
to recent studies released Wednesday by Psychemedics Corp., the Hoffman
Estates-based drug screening services company. 
   The announcement was made by Raymond C. Kubacki, president of Psychemedics
Corp. (NASDAQ:PCMC), who noted that in two separate 1992 side-by-side studies
using hair analysis versus the more traditional urinalysis drug screening
process, "a significant number of subjects were found to be cocaine users with
hair analysis.  These same subjects had escaped detection with urinalysis." 
   Kubacki noted that the side-by-side studies were conducted by the 
 Sheraton-Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas and a major manufacturer.  Potential
applicants for employment were tested for the presence of drugs of abuse
(cocaine, marijuana, opiates, metamphetamines, and PCP) using both urinalysis
and Psychemedics' proprietary, proven RIAH method of hair analysis
(radio-immunoassay of hair).  "At no time among the total of 258 applicants did
urinalysis uncover cocaine use, while the hair test revealed a total of 26
cocaine users," Kubacki said. 
   "That is a significant and disconcerting result," Kubacki stated, in that "if
urinalysis alone were used to determine whether an individual was abusing drugs,
26 individuals who are cocaine users, would have been hired." 
   Kubacki noted that in one of the studies, the one for the major manufacturer,
108 applicants were tested.  Urinalysis did not uncover a single individual who
 used cocaine, while 7.4 percent of the individuals tested or eight individuals,
were identified as cocaine users by hair analysis.  "Our RIAH hair analysis test
significantly uncovered more drug users than urinalysis," Kubacki said, noting
that overall Psychemedics uncovered a 14.8 percent positive rate of drugs in the
system among those tested, as compared to a 1.7 percent rate for urinalysis. 
   In the Sheraton-Gunter Study, conducted in San Antonio in 1992, the positive
rate for all drugs of abuse resulting from the RIAH tests was 18 percent, while
urinalysis indicated a seven percent positive rate. "For example, at the
Sheraton Gunter, 18 individuals were found to be cocaine users when tested with
the RIAH analysis.  Again, urinalysis did not uncover a single individual who
used cocaine," Kubacki said. 
   Kubacki noted that these results graphically illustrate one of the tremendous
 benefits of hair testing as a means of screening potential employees -- and in
some cases existing employees -- for the use of illegal drugs.  "Because the
hair is nourished by the bloodstream, any drug residue is immediately trapped in
the hair follicle and remains there as the hair grows.  Hence, we are able,
through the use of an inch and a half of hair, to look at a person's 'history'
for a three month period, compared to only two to three days for urinalysis," 
Kubacki said, explaining that hair grows at a rate of approximately a half inch
a month.  "Urinalysis, on the other hand, while an excellent means of
determining if drugs are in the system at a given moment, cannot determine if
there is a historical pattern of drug abuse." 
   Kubacki explained that this is most important when it comes to detecting
cocaine and crack abuse.  "Because cocaine is a drug that is quickly excreted
 through the body, it's not surprising that urinalysis would miss its presence.
An individual who is a cocaine user can beat a urinalysis test simply by
abstaining for a couple of days prior to taking the test," Kubacki said. 
   One of the largest samplings that Psychemedics undertook to compare the
detection of drugs with hair analysis versus urinalysis was with the Steelcase
Corporation in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1990-91. 
   In this study, 774 samples were compared, with Psychemedics hair analysis
detecting an 18 percent positive rate for the use of drugs, as compared to the
2.7 percent uncovered by urinalysis. 
   Kubacki noted that these separate studies, from three separate locales and
types of businesses, demonstrate the advantages of hair analysis for
corporations.  "One of our primary advantages and the reason that we tend
 uncover a higher incidence of drug abuse among those tested," Kubacki said, "is
that we offer a 90-day window of detection for the use of drugs, as compared to
the two-three day window that is available with urinalysis. 
   "If drugs are being ingested on a regular basis, the residue will be trapped
in the hair," Kubacki said.  "We clip the hair from the individual to be tested
in an unobtrusive manner," Kubacki said, noting that the hair is then sent,
after being sealed and initialed by the person being tested, to the company's
lab facility in California, where the actual analysis occurs. 
   "Unlike urinalysis, which can be easily tampered with unless an individual is
viewed while providing the specimen, snipping an inch and a half of hair is far
less embarrassing and is virtually tamper-resistant." 
   Kubacki also notes that another benefit of hair testing is that should there
 be a question as to the results of a test, a retest can be conducted that will
measure the same period of time.  "If there is a question of whether a result is
correct, we are able to go back to the person, take another sample, and check
the results, whereas with urinalysis, if a positive result occurs, the employer
will find that frequently the person with the questionable result will be
delighted to re-take the test.  Because of the three day window of detection for
urinalysis, all the individual needs to do to pass the retest is to have
abstained since taking the first test.  As a result, the re-test is one that the
individual is happy to take because by abstaining from drugs beforehand, the
test will be clean." 
   Kubacki notes that more and more companies are pre-screening potential
employees for drug use.  "Sadly, drug abuse is a reality in the workplace and a
 major threat and cost," Kubacki said, adding that according to the 1993 American
Management Association's Survey on Workplace Drug Testing and Drug Abuse
Policies, the number of firms testing for drug use rose to 84.8 percent in
January, 1993 from 74.5 percent the previous January.  In 1987, when the AMA
carried out its initial survey only 21.5 percent of the companies surveyed
tested for drug use. 
   "Drug testing will continue to grow, as employers come to terms with the high
cost of drug abuse in the workplace," Kubacki said, noting that government
estimates indicate that one employee who abuses drugs can cost a company an
average of $7,000 annually. 
   Kubacki says, "We are hopeful that as more and more companies use hair
analysis as a screening method for employees, those who are abusing drugs will
 find it more difficult to escape detection and will seek the help that they so
desperately need.  That is our ultimate objective." 



Back to the Hemp News directory page.

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/HN_09.html