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A sheriff's department spokesman said Pedro Garcia was arrested after he was found in a field of marijuana during a raid Wednesday by the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET) on a farm west of Boonville. Garcia was carrying a loaded, sawed-off shotgun at the time of the raid and pointed it at the agents, but dropped the gun when ordered to do so. The spokesman said 1,074 marijuana plants, some as tall as 12 feet, were seized. Garcia was booked on several charges including marijuana cultivation and possession and assaulting an officer. He was held on $25,000 bail. APn 08/16/93 Teacher-Marijuana WINFIELD, W.Va. (AP) -- A high school math teacher was acquitted on charges he sold marijuana, but the superintendent wants to fire him anyway. Matthew Woo, 37, was cleared in a trial last May, after jurors said police illegally entrapped him. But he admitted using marijuana and Putnam County School Superintendent Sam Sentelle told school board members in a memo last week he would recommend Woo's firing on that basis. Prosecutor Bill Rardin, however, told Sentelle that Woo's admission is not grounds for dismissal. "Unfortunately, unless the job performance evaluations indicate unsatisfactory reviews, the current law in the state of West Virginia does not allow for the dismissal of a school teacher for acknowledging use of marijuana and even a drug addiction," Rardin wrote. circa 08/16/93 Smoking Pot Increases Risk of Pneumonia for HIV-Infected WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new study shows that smoking drugs such as marijuana or crack is significantly associated with an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia in HIV-infected people. The work was conducted by Dr. Waleska Teixeria Caiaffa and others at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, with the support of the National Institutes of Health, a U.S. Public Health Service agency. The researchers said doctors counseling HIV-infected people should inform them of the link. The U.S. Public Health Service has warned in the past that irritants and contaminates of smoked marijuana may be harmful to people with HIV. REUTER RTw 08/17/93 TURKISH POLICE SEIZE HASHISH, MARIJUANA PLANTS ANKARA, Aug 17 (Reuter) - Turkish police said on Tuesday they had seized 229 kg (500 pounds) of hashish and 145,000 marijuana plants in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Anatolian news agency quoted Diyarbakir police as saying the drugs had been destroyed after being found in a field near Belenli village on Friday. Two people were detained. REUTER UPn 08/17/93 Search for missing man turns up pot farm in Mass. ASHBY, Mass. (UPI) -- Police searching a wooded-swampy area for a missing man discovered a clandestine pot farm in Ashby, Mass. Police said they discovered the marijuana operation Monday afternoon while searching for a man who was reportedly despondent and possibly suicidal. During the search, police came across between 200 and 300 marijuana plants about 9 feet tall, growing in 5-gallon containers. The officers pulled up the plants and took them to a garage at the state police barracks in Leominster. An investigation was under way to determine who might have been cultivating the marijuana, which officials estimated had a street value of about $300,000. The missing man, meanwhile, returned home unharmed. circa 08/17/93 Drug Swallowing smuggler bagged in Japan TOKYO (Reuter) - A New Zealander has been arrested in Japan after he was alleged to have smuggled drugs by swallowing huge quantities of marijuana, a customs official said on Tuesday. The official at Osaka International Airport in western Japan said construction engineer Kerry Mitchell, 37, was seized there on July 12 after he was alleged to have swallowed 755 grammes of the drug in 118 individual plastic packets. "It was amazing -- the guy swallowed more than 700 grammes of marijuana in packets done up in plastic food wrap," said the official. - - - - RTw 08/18/93 NORIEGA TO SERVE 40 YEARS AT MIAMI PRISON MIAMI, Aug 18 (Reuter) - Ousted Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega will serve the remainder of his 40-year drug sentence at a federal prison near Miami, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said on Wednesday. Defence attorneys had sought to keep Noriega, 59, from being sent to the nation's maximum-security prison in Marion, Illinois. Dan Dunne, a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons, said the decision had nothing to do with the deposed dictator's unique status as a prisoner of war. "We always attempt to designate inmates near the court of jurisdiction, if not within it," Dunne said, referring to the site of Noriega's Miami trial. Prison officials said Noriega would have an exercise bicycle and colour television in his cell because he is not allowed to go into the general recreation area with other prisoners at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre. The prison south of Miami is not classified as a minimum or a maximum security facility, and is normally used to hold prisoners awaiting trial, although others are seving sentences there, Dunne said. Noriega, 59, was convicted in 1992 of helping Colombian drug lords smuggle huge amounts of marijuana and cocaine through Panama to the United States. He has been in Miami since shortly after surrendering to U.S. military troops who invaded Panama in December 1989. Noriega will be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years. - - - - LONDON - Cannabis, marijuana, hash, grass, pot, ganja, bhang -- one way or another people have been smoking or eating the Indian hemp plant for thousands of years. But it is only now that scientists are beginning to understand how the drug works. Their answers could help in the search for novel therapies for a range of ailments and shed new light on the complex chemical workings of the brain (BC-SCIENCE-CANNABIS, BY BEN HIRSCHLER, MEDICAL FEATURE, 660 WORDS) - - - - RTw 08/19/93 CANNABIS RESEARCH OPENS A NEW WINDOW ON THE BRAIN By Ben Hirschler LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuter) - Cannabis, marijuana, hash, grass, pot, ganja, bhang -- one way or another people have been smoking or eating the Indian hemp plant for thousands of years. But it is only now that scientists are beginning to understand how the drug works. Their answers could help in the search for novel therapies for a range of ailments from glaucoma to mental disorders, and shed new light on the complex chemical workings of the brain. Since the late 1980s scientists have known that the brain contains tiny "receptors" through which the main active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), acts. Until last year they were mystified as to why humans had chemical "docking sites" which let them get "high." Then, in December a new chemical was found in pigs' brains which seemed to do naturally what cannabis does when smoked. It was named anandamide, from the Sanskrit "ananda" for "bliss." Now Israeli scientists have confirmed that finding. Using cells grown in culture they proved, in a paper published last month, that anandamide does indeed bind to the same receptors as THC and triggers similar responses. "It provides further evidence for the idea that we have a system in the brain which is made up of cannabis receptors," said Aberdeen University's Dr Roger Pertwee, secretary of the International Cannabis Research Society and one of the original discoverers of anandamide. "It's very exciting because this is a newly discovered system of the brain about which we know nothing." While anandamide has yet to be isolated in human brains, he believes it is only a matter of time before it is tracked down. What the mind-bending substance is doing in our brains remains a mystery. The fact that the receptors are located in the hippocampus area, which controls memory, the cerebral cortex, involving higher thought processes, and the basal ganglion, affecting movement, may give some clues. Pertwee speculates that the brain may use anandamide to fine-tune memory and learning, and the chemical could have a role to play in disorders like depression and schizophrenia. Understanding anandamide's function may also help in the search for drugs which deliver the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without making people high. Cannabis, while shunned by modern doctors, has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to ancient Chinese times. Britain's Queen Victoria, whose physician described it as "one of the most valuable medicines we possess," was given it to ease her menstrual pains. There is considerable anecdotal evidence that cannabis counters the nausea caused by chemotherapy, stimulates appetite in AIDS patients and fights the spasms of multiple sclerosis. It is also believed to help glaucoma sufferers by reducing the build-up of pressure in the eye. A handful of doctors in Europe and the United States tacitly approve of patients smoking the drug to help relieve symptoms. But Dr Lester Grinspoon, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and co-author of a book published earlier this year on the benefits of cannabis, believes that the medical establishment as a whole is neglecting a valuable remedy. Cannabis' main problem, compared with approved prescription medicines, is its blunderbuss action. Smoking a joint involves inhaling around 60 different pyschotropic substances, triggering all sorts of different chemical reactions in the brain. Unravelling just how the body makes and uses its own version of the drug may help efforts to design selective cannabis-based medicines in future. Pertwee expects drug firms, some of which have worked to no avail to produce cannabis derivatives in the past, will be cautious before committing new money to a controversial area. "At the moment I think the drug companies are just waiting until the basic scientists come up with something they can apply," he said. REUTER APn 08/19/93 Court Pot BRANTFORD, Ontario (AP) -- The long arm of the law didn't have to reach far for Lincoln MacKenzie, who came to court carrying a gym bag full of marijuana. "How stupid can you get?" asked Provincial Court Judge M.J. Perozak on Wednesday. "Showing up with it in the court building is just absolutely stupid." MacKenzie, 20, pleaded guilty to marijuana possession charges and was sentenced to 22 months in jail. The bag contained 18 bags of marijuana. MacKenzie showed up in court Aug. 11 to face charges of stolen property, dangerous driving and breaching probation. He also pleaded guilty to those charges. UPn 08/19/93 Police hack down $1.5M worth of marijuana in Mass. BOSTON (UPI) -- Teams of state police raided marijuana patches in 10 locations across eastern and central Massachusetts Wednesday, hacking down nearly 1,000 pot plants worth an estimated $1.5 million. The plants were loaded onto a fleet of National Guard trucks and stored for evidence. There were no immediate arrests. "It's really high-grade marijuana," said state police Trooper Larry Gillis. All of the patches were located on public lands, and police said all appeared to be operated independently of each other. Raynham, Sudbury, Dedham, Southboro and Dartmouth were among the towns where the fields were found. Authorities believe the fields were part of an organized commercial drug operation. "Marijuana has become a significant cash crop in Massachusetts," state police Sgt. Bob Cerra said. Some of the "mini-farms" were surrounded by animal traps apparently aimed at keeping out human trespassers more than animals, Gillis said. The plants were discovered by police helicopters and kept under surveillance for the past month in hopes that growers might show up to harvest the pot, but no one did so police decided to move in, Gillis said. UPwe 08/20/93 Body found in marijuana field YORKVILLE, Calif. (UPI) -- Authorities said Friday they had found the bullet-ridden body of a man in a recently-raided marijuana field in rural Mendocino County. A sheriff's department spokesman said the unidentified man's body was discovered about 12:20 a.m. after a passing motorist notified authorities. The motorist told police he was driving down a rural road when Jose Ceja flagged him down. Ceja said his friend had been shot and needed help. However, by the time authorities arrrived the man had died. Under questioning, Ceja said he and his friend were the men seen fleeing the area Thursday when it was raided by agents from the county's drug task force. The agents destroyed the marijuana in the field and left the scene. Ceja said he and his friend came back to collect their belongings when they came under fire. APn 08/20/93 Dead-Drugs By WILLIAM C. CRUM Associated Press Writer PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Some Grateful Dead fans persuaded the University of Oregon to lift its ban on the group by promising to police concerts for drugs themselves. About 250 "Dead-icated Volunteers" will patrol two sold-out weekend shows at the school's Autzen Stadium in Eugene to discourage fans, known as Deadheads, from using drugs. The band was barred from the school after a 1990 concert because of complaints of drug-using fans. "There's no denying that marijuana smoke follows the Dead around," said Jerry Rust, a longtime Deadhead and Lane County commissioner. But Rust said the two-person patrols will mark a turning point for the free spirits who have made Eugene the heart of Deadhead country. "I think it shows the maturity of a generation, people influencing people, growing up a little bit and knowing you can have a good time without being out of control," he said. After the school banned the Dead, Rust and other fans persuaded the university to let the group return by promising to establish the Deadhead "peer suggestion" corps. Fliers mailed with concert tickets note the university's concerns and ask for help in "reminding your companions and others to be clean, cool, conscientious and respectful of the place we visit." Dead concerts are a throwback to the band's '60s roots. Deadheads wearing their trademark tie-dyed shirts and skirts flock to the events, many setting up stalls in parking lots to sell homemade jewelry and organic goodies. More than 40,000 fans are expected at each of the weekend concerts in Eugene. Concert promoter Kit Kesey, nephew of author Ken Kesey, said Deadhead behavior would be watched closely. "The Grateful Dead are here on slightly probationary terms," he said. "If this doesn't work, they might not be invited back." The Dead have been associated with illicit drugs since their early days as the house band for San Francisco's acid tests. Their latest public brush with drugs came a few weeks after the 1990 Autzen concert, when keyboardist Brent Mydland died of a drug overdose. Dead publicist Dennis McNally said the peer teams were unique in the Dead's experience but, "We'll go with it. If it helps, great." UPn 08/21/93 High tech pot farm designed after Disney JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (UPI) -- An ordinary house in a residential neighborhood turned out to be home to a high tech pot farm patterned after a Disney World attraction. Police closed down the operation Friday after finding 600 marijuana plants with an estimated value of $80,000 in a hydroponic indoor garden filling the home of Gary King. Duval County Sheriff's Lt. Ken Palmer said the system had sophisticated electronics that monitored watering, light and humidity. Palmer said King, 37, told police he got the idea for the setup, estimated to cost $15,000, from the water gardens at EPCOT Center at Disney World. King also was experimenting with solar panels as an electric source so high electric bills would not give him away. RTw 08/23/93 POLICE SEIZE DRUG DONKEYS HIGH IN THE HILLS JOHANNESBURG, Aug 23 (Reuter) - South African police arrested two donkey herders high in the mountains on the Lesotho border after finding 11 of their beasts carrying marijuana. A spokesman said officers seized 460 kg (1,000 lbs) of marijuana with a street value of 460,000 rand ($150,000). REUTER APn 08/24/93 Strip Searches PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A federal judge on Tuesday told school officials and six students who say they were improperly strip-searched that they should settle the dispute or he would rule in favor of the students. The strip-searches were part of a fruitless drug investigation at Ben Franklin Junior High School in New Castle, about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the students, drafted a policy on when strip-searches will be allowed at the town's eight schools. School officials were reviewing the draft Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch told the sides to settle or he would forbid strip-searching any student unless educators obtained strong physical evidence of drug use or possession. According to court papers, the students were taken into an empty classroom Dec. 18 and required to pull up their shirts and pull down their pants. The searches were based on two other students' claims that they saw several boys smoking marijuana on the school football field. UPwe 08/26/93 Violent morning in Willits WILLITS, Calif. (UPI) -- Authorities in Willits reported two separate shootings Thursday, three days after the normally quiet rural community was rocked by a murder-suicide that claimed five members of a single family. According to a police spokeswoman, the first shooting began about 1:50 a.m. when Dave Wagner, armed with a shotgun, went to investigate two men in his fields. Wagner told authorities the two men opened fire, which he returned, wounding one of the men before they fled. Wagner had called authorities Wednesday and requested that they remove 23 marijuana plants he found on his property. Investigators later found a pile of dry grass in Wagner's barn and speculated the men had intented to burn the structure down in retailiation for losing their marijuana plants. The second incident occurred just after 11 a.m. when officers responding to a report of shots being fired found Charles Underhill of Willits with a bullet wound. He was rushed to Howard Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Police said there were no suspects or motive in the shootings. UPma 08/26/93 60-year-old woman charged with growing marijuana PITTSBURGH (UPI) -- An arrest warrant has been issued for a 60-year- old Pittsburgh woman on charges of growing eight marijuana plants at her home. The woman's son, Edward Henderson, 33, and his mother, Rita, both told police the plants belonged to her. The son was charged Tuesday with cultivating the marijuana plants. Police say Rita Henderson has been out of town, but she told police officers she will will turn herself in this week. Two police officers were patrolling Saturday when they say they noticed a 7-foot marijuana plant near the Henderson's back fence in Pittsburgh's Beltzhoover section. Police searched the house Tuesday and charged Henderson with possession of marijuana, manufacturing the drug and possession of paraphernalia. He is free on his own recognizance.
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