Hemp News No. 15

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:

circa 08/27/93        NORML Busts DEA Hydro-Tech Sting


      SEATTLE, Wash:  On Thursday, August 26 at 2 P.M., Washington and 
California NORML called a press conference and demonstration at the Hydro-
Tech gardening store, 821 N. 40th St., to protest DEA surveillance of garden 
store customers for home marijuana cultivation.  
      Protesters presented court documents showing that the owner of Hydro-
Tech,  Kevin Scott Bjornson,  agreed to act as a cooperating informant for the 
DEA by operating his store as a "passive sting operation"  in exchange for 
reduced charges arising from his arrest in the 1989 Green Merchant 
      Protesters want Hydro-Tech customers to know that xerox copies of their 
checks, license plate numbers, and other information are subject to DEA 
inspection by agreement with Bjornson.  Friends say that Bjornson was under 
intense pressure to cooperate, since the government had seized all his 
property and charged him with offenses that could have landed him in 
prison for the rest of his life.
       This may be the first public protest ever called at the site of a suspected 
DEA sting operation.        
      Bjornson's troubles with the law began October 26, 1989, when Hydro-Tech 
was raided by Federal agents with guns drawn as part of the DEA's Operation 
Green Merchant aimed at gardening stores promoted in  marijuana culture 
magazines. The DEA raided 65 stores nationwide, seizing  inventories, 
shipping records and mailing lists to conduct further searches that have led to 
hundreds of arrests.    No criminal charges were pressed on him at the time, 
and no marijuana was found, but his store and assets were seized under 
federal forfeiture laws.  Subsequent investigations led to Bjornson being 
charged with various marijuana-related offenses. He pled guilty to seven 
marijuana-related charges in April, 1992, but was allowed to operate the store 
under DEA control while awaiting sentencing.  As part of the bargain, 
Bjornson offered to lure customers to government attention and provided 
information in a number of cultivation cases.
      The news of Bjornson's activities shocked and saddened friends in the 
cannabis and libertarian movements, in which he had been a vocal activist, 
writing articles on individual freedom and indoor gardening.    "I don't know 
anyone who feels good about this," said one long-time friend.  California 
NORML, which interviewed him in a 1990 documentary video, issued the 
following statement:
      "We are sorry that Kevin succumbed to this degrading pressure.  We 
know that he is acting contrary to his most deeply held beliefs.  We are 
outraged by the DEA's KGB-style tactics, which have turned friend against 
friend and robbed Kevin of his liberty, property, and self-respect.   We 
demand an end to the war on home marijuana growers and an amnesty for 
Kevin and other non-violent marijuana offenders."

APn  08/28/93    Netherlands-Netherweed

 Associated Press Writer
   AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Tiptoe right on past the tulips, and take a whiff
of the latest delight under the dikes. Or even take a toke.
   The latest triumph of the Dutch green thumb is a super-strength marijuana
dubbed "netherweed." And despite the Netherlands' live-and-let-live policy about
pot use, the new crop has police worried and the government up in arms.
   Netherweed is four times stronger than regular marijuana. Cultivation has
 more than quadrupled in recent years; what used to be a window-box hobby has
developed into a cottage industry, with reports of police raids almost daily.
The crop is recharging debate over the legal use of drugs in a nation that long
ago dismissed the notion that illicit drugs are a public health threat.
   Although neither soft nor hard drugs are legal in the Netherlands, possession
for personal use is not prosecuted. Marijuana and hashish are sold in hundreds
of "coffee shops," which draw droves of tourists.
   But police fear netherweed could make the Netherlands a major exporter of a
drug that until now was mainly imported from outside Europe.
   This week the National Police Intelligence Agency reported seizures last year
of 313,242 locally-grown hemp plants, equivalent to about 16.5 tons or $13
million worth of processed marijuana.
    Netherweed "can already be found on the menu of every coffee shop in our
country," Richard Weijenberg, director of the police agency's narcotics research
department, said in a government publication.
   The Health Ministry has proposed setting up a state monopoly to control the
distribution of netherweed, prevent export, and set price and purity standards.
   Opponents claim any legalization move would draw an angry reaction from
neighboring European states, whose attitudes toward drug use are less
   Lawmakers, anxious to avoid renewed condemnation of Dutch drug policies from
abroad, agreed only to consider licensing cultivation of the plant, which is
also used in rope and bird seed.
   The architect of the licensing proposal was Robert Samson, the Health
 Ministry's top drugs adviser. He warned that a crackdown on hemp hothouses "will
result in a dispersion to smaller and smaller indoor facilities, which pose even
greater problems for enforcement."
   The tide in favor of legalizing marijuana is rising, and includes the
National Institute of Alcohol and Drugs, some senior government advisers and
local politicians.
   They point to data that marijuana use has remained generally stable at about
600,000 regular users, or 4 percent of the Dutch population.
   And advocates maintain open sales in coffee shops means users are less likely
to come in contact with narcotics dealers on the street.
   "We have allowed marijuana use for years with good results," said institute
policy coordinator Mario Lap. "It's time for the next step."
    Like the tulip, netherweed has flourished thanks to crossbreeding and some of
the world's most advanced farming techniques. On Thursday, a column of smoke
seeping out of an Amsterdam warehouse betrayed a giant hemp plantation with
5,000 plants.
   Police found the place equipped with artificial lights and an automated drip
irrigation system. They made no arrests; no one was inside.

APn  08/29/93     Elderly Grower

   NORTHBORO, Mass. (AP) -- A 70-year-old man charged with growing marijuana in
a greenhouse said he hoped to make enough money to pay about $40,000 he owes in
back taxes on his property.
   Police found 50 marijuana plants and several pounds of the harvested weed
packaged for sale in a raid at his farmhouse Thursday. Dean Firth Squier pleaded
innocent to a charge of growing marijuana for sale, and faces up to 17 years in
prison if convicted.
   Squier said a drinking problem caused him to squander the nest egg he got
 when he sold his landscaping business in 1980.
   "I was drunk. I let things go," he said in Sunday's Boston Globe. "I felt I
was being overtaxed, so I put it off. If you're drinking, you lose it."
   Squier said he hoped to make about $50,000 selling the plants to a buyer
whose name he never learned.
   "Oh yeah, it occurred to me I'd get caught," Squier said. "This was the last
resort. ... I would've been home free if I'd got the crop out."

APn  08/29/93    Grandfather Grower

   NORTHBORO, Mass. (AP) -- A 70-year-old man said he turned to growing
marijuana to pay off the tax man.
   Dean Firth Squier pleaded innocent to charges after a raid Thursday netted 50
marijuana plants. But he admitted he planted the illegal herb seeking to settle
a 1986 tax debt that has grown to $40,000.
   "Oh yeah, it occurred to me I'd get caught," Squier said. "This was the last
resort ... I would've been home free if I'd got the crop out."
   He said he squandering his savings with hard drinking.
    "I was drunk. I let things go," he said. "I felt I was being overtaxed, so I
put it off. If you're drinking, you lose it."
   Now he faces up to 17 years in prison and loss of his property.

   Police Chief Kenneth G. Hutchins said people were feeling too sorry for
Squier because he's a kindly grandfather.
   "I'm a little concerned that people are looking at him with more sympathy
than they should because of his age," Hutchins said.


    BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuter) - Justice authorities Wednesday sentenced Carlos
Ossa Escobar, a former member of Colombia's powerful central bank board, to two
days imprisonment following his arrest at Bogota airport carrying marijuana.
     Ossa, one of the country's most prominent economic figures, was traveling
to Caracas May 31 for a meeting with Venezuelan Central Bank officials when
police searched his luggage and found a small quantity of the drug.
     Ossa at first vowed to stay on in his post and claimed he had done nothing
wrong but subsequently resigned.
     After being informed of the two-day sentence Wednesday, Ossa protested,
saying that he disagreed with the decision but would accept it and headed
 straight for a jail "to be able to get out before the Colombia-Argentina (World
Cup soccer) match".
     Ossa Escobar is not related to Medellin cocaine cartel boss Pablo Escobar.

UPwe 09/01/93   Asset forfeiture money goes to sheriffs

   SACRAMENTO (UPI) -- The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department Wednesday
received more than $400,000 from the federal goverment asset forfeiture program
for its role in breaking up a marijuana distribution operation.
   U.S. Attorney Robert Twiss said the department received $430,000, while the
Shasta County Sheriff's Department was given $143,000 for helping in the
   The funds came from the sale of a mobile home park in Salem, Ore., once
operated by convicted drug dealer Sherbert Raymond Chisum of Humboldt County.
   Chisum is serving a 12-year sentence in Colorado on marijuana distribution
charges. He was forced to forfeit the mobile home park and other pieces of real
 estate prosecutors argued were bought with drug money.
   Shasta and Humboldt counties previously shared $300,000 in asset forfeiture
funds obtained through the prosecution.

APn  09/01/93    Marijuana-Indictment

 Associated Press Writer
   MIAMI (AP) -- A Bahamian colonel and a man drug agents say is a key figure in
a violent Colombian group called the PEPES were among 58 people named in
marijuana-smuggling indictments unsealed Wednesday.
   Forty-four Americans were charged, and about half were taken into custody in
Florida, Los Angeles, New York, Honolulu and elsewhere Wednesday, Drug
Enforcement Administration officials said.
    The group allegedly smuggled 200 tons of Colombian marijuana into Florida
through the Bahamas between 1987 and 1989, then sold it throughout the United
States, said Orlando DEA agent Frank Chisari.
   Among those indicted was Felix Chitiva Carrasaquillo, who allegedly leads hit
squads organized in Colombia by a group called "People Persecuted by Pablo
Escobar" or the PEPES.
   The PEPES, believed to be made up of Escobar's cocaine-trafficking rivals,
have been blamed for bombings and killings of associates of the fugitive
Medellin cartel kingpin. Most recently, they were reported to have stolen a $1
million stallion owned by Escobar's brother -- then returned it castrated.
   Also indicted by the Orlando grand jury was Col. Batchelor LaFleur, who
Chisari said is an officer in the Bahamian Defense Forces. LaFleur and another
 Bahamian, Marcus Dean, are accused of helping smuggle the marijuana through the
   Bahamian government spokesman George Stewart did not immediately return phone
calls inquiring about LaFleur. DEA officials said Bahamian authorities
cooperated in the investigation and LaFleur's arrest will be handled through
normal extradition procedures.
   Chisari said the 200 tons constituted one of the last major marijuana
shipments from Colombia. The country has largely left the marijuana business,
and traffickers now prefer routes through Mexico, he said.

UPce 09/02/93    Man sentenced for smuggling marijuana to jail

   BELLEVILLE, Ill. (UPI) -- A 20-year-old Belleville man who tried to smuggle a
tiny amount of marijuana into the St. Clair County Jail while serving two
weekends as part of his probation has been sentenced to two years in prison.
   Levon Becker was sentenced Wednesday by St. Clair County Circuit Judge Levon
Becker, who said he felt the two-year term was needed to deter others from
trying to bring drugs into the jail.
   Becker pleaded guilty last month to bringing contraband into a penal
institution. He was caught June 19, while serving one of two weekends in the
jail. He had been sentenced to the weekends as part of probation he received for
a theft conviction.
    Corrections officers searched Becker when he reported to the jail and found
0.2 of a gram of marijuana in the soles of his shoes, prosecutors said.
   Becker asked Donovan to place him on probation, but the judge noted Becker
received probation for possessing a controlled substance last year and was on
probation for the theft charge when he was arrested at the jail.
   Prosecutors recommended the minimum two-year sentence.
   Becker's attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Scott Mansfield of Madison
County, also argued for probation. However, he described his client's actions as
"extraordinarily stupid."

UPne 09/02/93    Police raid home pot farm in Mass.

   IPSWICH, Mass. (UPI) -- Two people faced arraignment Thursday on charges of
operating a sophisticated marijuana growing operation inside their Ipswich,
Mass., home.
   Police said they raided the house Wednesday night after a month-long
surveillance during which they used high technology thermal imaging to confirm
the presence of an elaborate growing operation.
   Officials said state police conducted a flyover with special sensors to
pick up heat from growlights inside the house.
   Police obtained a search warrant Wednesday afternoon. 
   In the raid they found 150 marijuana plants growing in the basement in what
 police described as a sophisticated operation involving lights and timers.
   They seized the plants, said to be worth about $70,000, and $24,000 in cash.
   Arrested were Ross Adams, 37, and Nancy Havener, 37. Police said the two
lived together in the house.
   They were to be arraigned Thursday in Ipswich District Court on a variety of
drug charges.

UPn  09/02/93     Publishing company accepts resignation of movie mogul

   TOKYO (UPI) -- A major publishing company Thursday accepted the resignation
of its president, movie mogul and producer Haruki Kadokawa, arrested on
suspicion of cocaine smuggling from the United States.
   The 16-member board of directors of the Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co. named
Kunimitsu Ohora, senior managing director, as the firm's new head at an
emergency meeting.
   Company officials said they plan to have Kadokawa's name removed as publisher
from the firm's publications by the end of the month.
   Kadokawa, 51, will remain on the board of directors since he is the leading
stockholder in the company founded in 1946 by his father.
    Kadokawa, who co-produced the Broadway musical "Shogun," submitted his letter
of resignation Wednesday.
   Police arrested Kadokawa Sunday on suspicion of violating the Narcotics
Control Law and Customs Law.
   The case was turned over to prosecutors Monday. Kadokawa, 51, has denied any
guilt. If convicted, Kadokawa faces a minimum of one year in prison.
   The firm ran an advertisement in major newspapers to apologize for Kadokawa's
arrest. In about 70 national and local newspapers, the company's executives said
the arrest betrayed the trust of both their publications' readers and the
   Police searched the main office of Kadokawa Shoten for evidence indicating
that Kadokawa instructed his former aide, Takeshi Ikeda, to purchase cocaine in
 the United States and smuggle it into Japan.
   Ikeda, 44, was arrested July 9 at Narita International Airport for allegedly
smuggling 80 grams of cocaine with a street value of 5.6 million yen ($53,000).
Ikeda, who worked as a photographer for Kadokawa Shoten but left the company
last month, has been indicted on charges of violating the drug control law.
   Police, who first searched the office Aug. 26, suspect Kadokawa ordered Ikeda
to make five trips to purchase cocaine in Los Angeles from June 1992 to July.
   Kadokawa has produced dozens of films and directed several including "Heaven
and Earth," a samurai war drama that was a big hit in Japan in 1991. He also
co-produced the 1989 Broadway production of "The Threepenny Opera."
   In the wake of Kadokawa's arrest, the movie distributor Shochiku Co.
announced it will stop showing the popular film, "Rex: the Story of a Dinosaur,"
 Sept. 10, four weeks earlier than planned because it was produced and directed
by Kadokawa.
   Ikeda reportedly told investigators he was instructed by Kadokawa to purchase
the cocaine. Police are trying to determine if Kadokawa used company funds or
his own to make the alleged purchases.
   Prosecutors indicted Wednesday Kyoko Sakamoto, a close acquaintance of
Kadokawa's, for possessing 38 grams of marijuana at her home. Sakamoto, 39, a
board member of an entertainment agency affiliated with Kadokawa, was arrested
Aug. 11.

UPn  09/02/93     Violence increases in marijuana fields

   UKIAH, Calif. (UPI) -- Authorities said Thursday there has been a noticeable
increase in both violence and the size of the harvest this year in California's
Emerald Triangle, a region known for illegal marijuana cultivation.
   Sgt. Ron Cadillo, a member of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication
Team (COMMET), said budget cutbacks to his strike force and the end of the
state's seven-year drought have both had an impact on the illegal industry.
   "We are just not in the hills like we used to be," he said. "Over the last
two weeks we've seen a marked increase in violence. We had one homicide in a
marijuana field and two other shooting incidents."
   An outbreak of violence in the early 1980s forced local politicians to form
 COMMET. At its height, the unit was made up of nine full-time employees. This
year, cutbacks have reduced the staff to two full time deputies and another
part-time employee.
   Cutbacks have also affected the amount of assistance the unit gets from both
state and federal drug agencies.
   Cadillo said cutbacks on all levels have not gone unnoticed by marijuana
growers. He said crop yields appear to be larger than in the recent past with
some plots now averaging 3,000 to 6,000 plants.

circa 09/02/93   [untitled - Medical Marijuana News Conference]

Coalition for Medical Cannibas holds a news conference to mark the fifth
anniversary of a decision by a Drug Enforcement Administration administrative
law judge to permit use of marijuana as a prescription drug. The federal
government has yet to change the policy. Participants include Dr. Lester
Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School, Dr. John Morgan of CUNY Medical School, and
Elvy Mussika, who suffers from glaucoma and is one of only nine patients across
the country allowed to use marijuana legally. LOCATION: National Press Club,
14th and F streets NW -- September 7 CONTACT: Richard Cowan or Allen St. Pierre,
202-483-5500 -- Note: See related event, (MARIJUANA) RALLY, at noon 

UPwe 09/02/93   Drug conviction reversed

   SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- A federal appeals court unanimously reversed Thursday
the drug convictions of a passenger in a car carrying illegal narcotics across
the Mexico-U.S border.
   The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Jerry Soyland had been
searched illegally by a border agent and that his conviction on drug possession
and distribution charges was improper.
   But by a 2-1 vote, the court upheld the conviction of the car's driver, Mary
Whitaker, on drug charges after marijuana and paraphernalia was found in her
   Whitaker and Soyland were stopped at the immigration checkpoint in Temecula,
 Calif. in a heavily loaded Mazda RX-7 after a border agent reported smelling
methamphetamine in the car.
   After finding no illegal aliens, the agent received permission from Whitaker,
the driver, to search the vehicle.
   The secondary search found Vitamin B powder, commonly used to dilute
narcotics, and $4000 in cash. Whitaker and Soyland were searched, and marijuana
and methamphetamine were found.
   The court said the agent did not have probable cause to search Soyland
because his "mere presence" in a car carrying contraband was not a sufficient
link to the narcotics.

UPwe 09/03/93   Pot plants tossed at dump

   RED BLUFF, Calif. (UPI) -- Tehama County sheriff's deputies are trying to
determine who tossed several large bags of marijuana plants into a local dump.
   Authorities confiscated the bags Thursday after an employee at the dump in
the Rancho Tehama Reserve near Red Bluff discovered the illegal plants.
   The plants had been cut, stuffed in the bags and tossed among the refuse.
Police said the illegal greenery ranged in height from six to seven feet and had
an estimated street value of $20,000.
   There were no suspects.

UPwe 09/08/93   Jail drug ring broken up in Butte County

   OROVILLE, Calif. (UPI) -- Butte County authorities said Wednesday they have
broken up an elaborate drug ring organized from the county prison and arrested a
Sheriff's Department employee for helping run the operation.
   Officials said county jail cook Sam Sorem, 44, was arrested after he was
allegedly videotaped taking $100 from an undercover officer to smuggle five
grams of methamphetamine to an inmate in the facility.
   Sgt. Dave Panchesson said he did not know how long the ring had been
operating or how many people were involved, but said an unidentified inmate
helped place orders with Sorem.
   The ring allegedly smuggled methamphetamine and marijuana to inmates at the
   Panchesson said more arrests are pending.
   Sorem has been placed on administrative leave and booked on drug smuggling,
conspiracy and possession of narcotics for sale.

UPsw 09/09/93   Three arrested, 5,000 pounds of marijuana seized

   McALLEN, Texas (UPI) -- U.S. Customs Service agents Thursday arrested two men
accused of moving more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana through McAllen during the
past few years.
   A third individual was taken into custody in Miami, following a two- year
investigation by Customs agents.
   Vince Klink, resident agent in charge at McAllen, said, "The suspects are
charged with smuggling and conspiracy to distribute narcotics. We believe they
are part of a smuggling organization that has been operating out of McAllen for
the last five years."
   The suspects were arraigned Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate William
 Mallet and were held without bond at the Hidalgo County Jail in Edinburg.
   Klink said the arrests complemented several others already made in the
   He said, "We expect to round up a few more people named in the indictment
before we are through."
   The Customs agents were assisted by members of the U.S. Border Patrol, the
Drug Enforcement Administration, and a drug detecting dog.

APn  09/10/93     Quayle-Prisoner

 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department's inspector general concluded that
federal prison officials unfairly disciplined an inmate during the 1988
presidential campaign for spreading allegations that he once sold marijuana to
Dan Quayle.
   Inmate Brett C. Kimberlin "was treated differently and held to a stricter
standard of conduct... as a result of his contacts with the press to promote his
 allegations," said the report by the department's inspector general, Richard J.
   But Hankinson said there was no "conspiracy to silence" Kimberlin when Quayle
was running for vice president.
   The report was obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of
Information Act.
   The Bureau of Prison's "disparate treatment" of Kimberlin took place because
"traditional BOP methods of resolving problems associated with inmate conduct
and with press contacts were not followed," Hankinson said.
   He concluded that officials at the Federal Correctional Institution in El
Reno, Okla., who put Kimberlin in special lock-down cell just before the 1988
election were reacting to the extraordinary intervention of then-Bureau of
 Prisons' director J. Michael Quinlan.
   Quinlan had canceled a Nov. 4, 1988 prison press conference at which
Kimberlin planned to make public his allegation about Quayle. Quinlan also
ordered Kimberlin placed in a special detention cell that night.
   "Director Quinlan's personal involvement in overriding the decision of a
local warden in this circumstance was quite unusual," the report found.
   Kimberlin claimed he sold marijuana to Quayle years ago when the former vice
president was a law school student. Quayle has denied the allegation. And the
Drug Enforcement Administration investigated Kimberlin's claim and concluded it
was false.
   The investigation was sought by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who said in an Oct.
2 report that the Bureau of Prisons' actions were politically motivated.
    But Hankinson's report said: "There is no evidence to support the allegations
that political forces or persons outside the Bureau of Prisons influenced the
decision to either grant or subsequently deny Mr. Kimberlin access to the
   Quinlan told investigators that he did not have any contact with Bush-Quayle
campaign officials at the time.
   Levin called the report by Hankinson, a holdover appointee of President Bush,
"a major disappointment" and said it "avoids any criticisms of actions taken in
this matter despite the report's admission that the actions were `unusual."'
   Quinlan retired last year as prisons director, citing health reasons. He
declined to comment Friday on the report.
   Kimberlin, who is serving 51 years for convictions including drug conspiracy
 and eight Indiana bombings, has been in jail since 1980. He also has sued the
Bureau of Prisons, accusing prison authorities of violating his constitutional
   The controversy began when Quinlan canceled the Nov. 4, 1988 meeting
Kimberlin had scheduled with reporters at the Oklahoma prison, citing safety
   Quinlan told investigators he was concerned that Kimberlin would become "a
big wheel" if inmates learned he was holding press conferences, the report said.
   Hankinson concluded that Quinlan made no attempt to determine if prison
officials had properly assessed the safety issue when they set up the interview.
   On Nov. 7, the day before the election, Kimberlin was again placed in special
detention because he tried to set up a telephone conference call with reporters
 in Washington.
   He was disciplined again on Dec. 22 for attempting to contact reporters
again, the Justice report said.
   In both instances, Kimberlin was disciplined for technical violations of
rules governing telephone use by inmates, the report said. By seeking media
attention, Kimberlin "risked and received closer scrutiny" by prison
authorities, the report said.
   "We believe it fair to surmise that in taking some of the actions they did,
some FCI El Reno staff reacted more to what they perceived to be headquarters
desires rather than local interpretation of existing policy," the report said.
   "We are pleased that the review of the facts of the case had proven there was
no evidence to support the allegations" of political interference, said Dan
 Dunne, a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons.


    PHILADELPHIA, Sept 12 (Reuter) - U.S. Attorney-General Janet Reno on
Saturday deplored duplicate efforts against illicit drugs but did not endorse
merging the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA).
     "What I want to try to do is figure out the best way to end the duplication
while at the same time maintaining the drug enforcement effort at its present
level or at an enhanced level," Reno told a national group of editorial writers.
     "That's not necessarily a merger of the two (agencies)," she added.
     Vice President Al Gore, as part of sweeping recommendations unveiled this
week to increase governmental efficiency, has urged transferring the DEA's
 law-enforcement powers to the FBI.
     Both agencies operate under the authority of Reno, as head of the Justice
     "Right now the drug enforcement initiative in America is so fragmented
there is great duplication in terms of intelligence capability and in terms of
automation and in terms of vehicles, procurement, budget, personnel, training,"
Reno said.
     The attorney general argued that any effort to curtail drug abuse and
drug-related crimes should include progress in social services, including
improving drug treatment centres and education and setting up new jobs
     Reno, who called for "the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach," said
 calls for a single-mission agency to supervise drug enforcement were being
     "Many people tell me that the DEA has a greater capacity to investigate
street crime and to work more closely with local law enforcement," she said.
     Reno said there were many good reasons for combining the efforts of the two
     "There are so many issues in which drugs cut across every single type of
investigation that we get into that it would be far better to consolidate those
efforts," she said.
     The attorney-general did not say when she planned to make a decision on a
merger of the agencies, which would require Congressional approval.

APn  09/14/93    Drug Use

 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- After gradually declining during the 1980s, teen-age use
of marijuana increased nearly 16 percent last year, a drug prevention group said
   Nineteen percent of senior high school students surveyed said they used
marijuana at least once during the 1992-93 school year, up from the 16.4 percent
who said they had used the illegal drug the previous year, said the National
 Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education -- or PRIDE.
   That works out to a 15.8 percent increase in the number of students reporting
they had used marijuana.
   About 5.8 percent of the junior high school students said they used marijuana
at least once last school year, an 20.8 percent increase over the 4.8 percent
who did the previous school year, said PRIDE.
   The Atlanta-based group has polled students on their drug use every year
since 1982.
   PRIDE surveyed 236,745 junior high and high school students in 40 states.
   "These findings signal the end of a cycle of decreasing drug use by students
and the beginning of a new trend back to increasing use and dependence," PRIDE
President Thomas Gleaton said during a news conference.
    The use of hallucinogens also increased slightly for senior high school
   PRIDE said 5.7 percent of students said they used those types of drugs last
year, compared to the 5.3 percent who did the year before.
   "We simply cannot afford to relax," said Lee Brown, director of the federal
Office of National Drug Control Policy for the Clinton administration. "Our
prevention efforts should be redoubled and, when needed, redesigned to better
address emerging problems."
   Brown said he planned to submit his strategy for decreasing drug use
nationwide by the end of the month. The plan will include a program of drug
education, prevention, treatment and law enforcement, he said.
   Senior high students taking part in the survey also said they smoked more
 cigarettes, but used less beer, wine coolers and liquor and took fewer "uppers"
and "downers." Use of inhalants and cocaine, including crack, remained
   There were no significant decreases in the use of tobacco, beer, wine
coolers, liquor, uppers or downers among junior high students, Gleaton said.
   Among the most disturbing findings was an increase in the number of black
students who used marijuana at least once last year, Gleaton said.
   "Among African American males in junior high, annual use of marijuana rose 71
percent; for females 100 percent," the group said. "Overall, African American
students continue to use less marijuana than white students, but the difference
is smaller than in previous years," the group said.
   Thirty percent of all students surveyed said marijuana was "easy to get," an
 increase over the 25.9 percent who said the same thing the previous year, the
group said.
   About 77 percent agreed that marijuana was "very" harmful to health, a
decrease over the 79.3 percent who said so in the 1991-92 school year.
   This is the second consecutive year the group has found that overall drug use
is rising or remaining unchanged from the year before, Gleaton said.

UPma 09/14/93    Builder sentenced in drug case

   ELYRIA, Ohio (UPI) -- A Vermilion builder has been sentenced to two to 10
years in prison for participating in a marijuana-smuggling ring in Erie and
Lorain counties.
   Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge Floyd Harris sentenced Terry McDonald
after McDonald pleaded guilty Monday to one county of marijuana trafficking.
   McDonald, a well-known building in Lorain County, was also fined $5, 000.
   Under a plea bargain agreement in which he agreed to enter a guilty plea,
McDonald must cooperate in the prosecution of co-conspirators and forfeit his
Vermilion home and a car.
   Prosecutors said the drug ring, which operated for about 10 years, sold 1,100
 pounds of marijuana during one nine-month period.
   McDonald reportedly took part in the operation, along with some high school
friends from Florida, and controlled the marijuana selling in Lorain County.
   McDonald will be eligible for early release after serving at least six months
of his prison sentence.

UPsw 09/15/93    Drug agents arrest 4, seize 7,000 pounds of marijuana

   HOUSTON (UPI) -- U.S. Customs agents revealed Wednesday that they drove a
drug-laden truck from Laredo to Houston, where they arrested four men allegedly
waiting for the vehicle to arrive.
   Agents said the truck arrived Tuesday afternoon at the Port of Entry at the
new Colombia Bridge at Laredo. Inspectors said they discovered marijuana bales
elaborately concealed inside large furniture boxes labelled as "Futon
   Authorities said the driver was released after extensive questioning.
   However, Customs agents drove the truck to its Houston destination, where
surveillance was established on two warehouses on the city's southeast side.
    Agents of the Customs Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the
Houston Police Department later arrested four men in connection with the
operation, and seized 7,000 pounds of marijuana.
   The suspects were identified as Eliazar Gomez-Gonzalez, a 29-year-old
resident alien from Mexico; and Pedro Cano, 44, Dario Moreno-Vela, 37, and Jose
Guadalupe Morales-Guerrero, 29, all Mexican nationals.
   The Drug Enforcement Administration officers said the seized marijuana had an
estimated street value of $5.6 million.

UPwe 09/15/93    Police uncover marijuana garden

   CAMPBELVILLE, Calif. (UPI) -- Authorities said Wednesday they have destroyed
a small marijuana garden in a remote area of Lassen National Forest.
   Police said 45-marijuana plants up to five-feet high were discovered Tuesday
night and uprooted.
   The garden had an estimated street value of $180,000.
   There are no suspects.

APn  09/15/93    Drug Use

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A private drug prevention group says teen-age use of
marijuana increased nearly 16 percent last year.
   Nineteen percent of senior high school students surveyed said they used
marijuana at least once during the 1992-93 school year, up from the 16.4 percent
the previous year, the National Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education,
or PRIDE, said Tuesday.
   About 5.8 percent of the junior high school students said they used marijuana
at least once last school year, compared to 4.8 percent the previous school
 year, said PRIDE.
   The Atlanta-based group has polled students on their drug use every year
since 1982.
   PRIDE surveyed 236,745 junior high and high school students in 40 states.
   "These findings signal the end of a cycle of decreasing drug use by students
and the beginning of a new trend back to increasing use and dependence," PRIDE
President Thomas Gleaton said during a news conference.
   This is the second consecutive year the group has found that overall drug use
is rising or remaining unchanged from the year before, Gleaton said.
   PRIDE said 5.7 percent of students said they used hallucinogens last year,
compared to the 5.3 percent who did the year before.
   Senior high students taking part in the survey also said they smoked more
 cigarettes, but drank less beer, wine coolers and liquor and took fewer "uppers"
and "downers." Use of inhalants and cocaine, including crack, was unchanged.
   There were no significant decreases in the use of tobacco, beer, wine
coolers, liquor, uppers or downers among junior high students, Gleaton said.

UPsw 09/16/93     Pentagon re-thinking its drug war priorities

   WASHINGTON (UPI) -- A broad review of U.S. strategy in the war against drugs
is under way, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.
   Pentagon spokeswoman Kathleen deLaski described the review as an 
"interagency" effort designed to identify where and how drug suppliers and
traffickers might most effectively be stopped.
   But deLaski called "premature" a published report based on National Security
Council documents that concluded Pentagon efforts to interdict drug transporters
outside U.S. borders had failed.
   The Washington Post reported that a classified NSC review had concluded the
 antidrug effort has had no impact on the cost or availability of cocaine on
American streets.
   The NSC, according to the Post story, recommended that resources now being
used by the military in its coastal interdiction effort should be redirected.
   "No recommendations have been made to the policy makers," deLaski said.
"(Secretary of Defense Les) Aspin has not been asked to make any recommendations
   The review, she said, "hasn't gotten to that point."
   "This is a process that began in the spring. It's an interagency process that
involves 12 different groups within the government....No decisions have been
   The Pentagon currently spends about $1.1 billion on the war against drugs and
 much of it goes for air and sea interdiction of drug shipments.
   DeLaski defended the interdiction efforts.
   "The Department of Defense," she said, "has provided invaluable detection and
monitoring support to U.S. and host nation law-enforcement agencies."
   DeLaski noted that the Pentagon's contribution to the drug war is only a
portion of the overall effort, which includes participation by such
organizations as the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S.
Customs Service as well as state and local governments.
   While acknowledging that the estimate was a rough one, deLaski put the cost
of the overall antidrug effort at more than $30 billion a year.
   "You've got to remember here that the Department of Defense does not have any
direct interdiction responsibility," she said. "It is a support agency, working
   She acknowledged that interceptions of drug shipments as a result of Air
Force and Navy surveillance had recently declined, but she attributed it to the
smugglers' defensive reaction.
   "Traffickers have been forced to use more desperate measures to bring drugs
into the country and that that is one reason that detections are down," she
   Attorney General Janet Reno has been among the recent critics of the
effectiveness of the drug interdiction effort.
   "Generally, interdiction, which has been very costly, does not work, " Reno
said in a Washington Post interview last week.
   And Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., whose Senate Appropriations subcommittee
 oversees U.S. antidrug efforts abroad, said there is no evidence those
operations had cut drug production in Latin America.
   "We've spent over $1 billion down there so far and we've accomplished
virtually nothing," Leahy said. "We ought to realize it's not going to work and
call it quits."

APn  09/16/93     Drug Strategy

 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration is reviewing the effectiveness
of the Pentagon's interception of cocaine and other elements of the nation's war
on drugs, officials said Thursday.
   One draft of the re-evaluation reportedly includes a National Security
Council recommendation that policy be shifted toward destroying cocaine labs in
South America and disrupting trafficking operations. Now the focus is on
 intercepting drugs at sea as they near U.S. coasts.
   The recommendation, reported in Thursday's editions of The Washington Post,
is preliminary and no decisions have been made by senior officials, said White
House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers.
   "It's a draft. ... We're in the midst of a review," Myers said. She said that
several agencies were participating in the review.
   Attorney General Janet Reno was quoted in a Post interview as saying "general
interdiction, which has been very costly, does not work. I've not seen anything
in the six months that I've been in office that's indicated to me that it's been
a cost-effective effort."
   The Post said the policy paper will note that there has been virtually no
effect on the price or availability of cocaine on the nation's streets.
    At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Kathleen deLaski, called such a recommendation
premature because "no decisions have been made."
   Defense Secretary Les Aspin has not been asked to make any recommendations,
she said.
   Asked for Aspin's view on the military's efforts in drug detection and
monitoring, Ms. deLaski said he "wants to look at it."
   She said the Pentagon believes traffickers have been forced to use "more
desperate measures" to bring drugs into the country.
   Instead of flying drugs into the country, traffickers have resorted to such
methods as building suitcases out of cocaine to try to get the material into the
country, she said.
   Defending the Pentagon's expenditure of $1.14 billion budget on the drug war,
 she said the department has "provided invaluable detection and monitoring
support to U.S. and host nation law-enforcement agencies" and has directly
assisted in seizing more than 200 metric tons of cocaine since fiscal year 1990.
But she emphasized that the military acts in a "support role" to other federal
agencies in the effort.
   Myers, the White House spokeswoman, said, "Obviously we're concerned about
protecting what we think are vital services in the war on drugs. ... We are
re-evaluating our strategy, and until we have a final product I don't have much
more to add."

UPma 09/16/93    Toledo drug ring exposed

   TOLEDO, Ohio (UPI) -- A Toledo Fire Department dispatcher is among four
people who have pleaded innocent to federal charges involving conspiracy to
distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana in Toledo since 1986.
   Deborah Harris, 34, a fire dispatcher since 1984, was released from custody
after posting a $1 million secured property bond set during her Wednesday
arraignment in Toledo's U.S. District Court.
   Three other defendants, Calvin Taylor and Paul Braswell, both of Toledo,also
arrested in connection with the alleged ring entered innocent pleas and were
freed on bond.
   Another defendant, Darril Martens of Oregon, Ohio, is being held to allow
 federal prosecutors to appeal the $500,000 bond set by U.S. Magistrate James
   During his arraignment earlier this week, yet another defendant, Lyndon
Coucher of Toledo, was denied bond. Two other defendants, Gary Roscoe, of Miami,
Fla., and Gregory Harris of Toledo remain in custody and will be arraigned at a
later date.
   Prosecutors said Gregory Harris, the brother of Deborah Harris, was the
ringleader of the group. He faces charges of money laundering, racketeering, and
failing to report $700,000 in income, in addition to drug trafficking.
   Deborah Harris is also charged with money laundering, and income tax evasion.
Toledo Fire Chief Michael Bell says she has been suspended with pay from her
dispatcher's job, pending an internal affairs review of the criminal charges.
    Federal authorities arrested Deborah Harris and five of the other defendants
on Sep. 10, after unsealing a 40-count federal grand jury indictment.
   Gregory Harris was arrested in Los Angeles one week earlier, allegedly while
carrying drugs to be sold in Toledo.

WP   09/16/93     U.S. Considers Shift in Drug War; Military Interdiction
Called a Failure

By Michael Isikoff
Washington Post Staff Writer

   A Clinton administration drug policy review concludes that Defense Department
interdiction efforts have largely failed to stem the flow of cocaine in the
United States and recommends a refashioning of the international drug effort,
according to administration officials.
   The classified review by the National Security Council recently concluded
that despite $1.1 billion being spent by the Pentagon annually - much of it to
 detect drug smugglers in the "transit zones" of Central America and the
Caribbean - there has been virtually no impact on price or availability of
cocaine on U.S. streets, officials familiar with the document said.
   As a result, the sources said, the NSC has proposed a "controlled shift" that
would redirect Pentagon resources away from interdiction and toward more
military aid for operations aimed at dismantling cocaine labs and disrupting
trafficking organizations in South America.
   But the policy goal already may have been partially undermined by recent
congressional action slashing international U.S. anti-drug programs in the
Andean nations, officials said. The proposed shift also has drawn intense
criticism from officials at the Customs Service and the Coast Guard - the two
lead U.S. interdiction agencies - who have argued that it would hamper their
 efforts to keep drugs out of the country.
   Both agencies' operations are heavily supported by Air Force radar planes and
the Navy's Aegis guided-missile cruisers, which provide early warning of
potential drug planes and smuggling boats, officials said. "The Customs and
Coast Guard are going nuts over this," said one administration official involved
in the NSC review process. "It's a pitched battle."
   But the NSC's analysis is in line with broader administration doubts about
the value of the federal government's multibillion-dollar interdiction program.
"General interdiction, which has been very costly, does not work. I've not seen
anything in the six months that I've been in office that's indicated to me that
it's been a cost-effective effort," Attorney General Janet Reno said in an
interview last week.
    Initiated last April and recently completed, the NSC review is designed to
support a proposed directive that is to be signed by President Clinton later
this month and announced as part of a new administration drug strategy by
national drug policy director Lee Brown.
   Administration officials had hoped to use the directive to signal the
president's intention to pursue a vigorous international effort at a time when
the drug issue has faded from public attention and some critics have questioned
the president's commitment.
   The directive lays out broad policy goals, restates a Bush administration
finding that drugs are a "national security" threat and recommends a
continuation of international drug efforts at current funding levels. While the
proposed directive calls for a stepped-up emphasis on programs in the drug
 "source" countries of Latin America, it directs agencies to develop an
implementation strategy and come up with specific budget requirements.

   But administration officials also acknowledged that events may be overtaking
them. The Senate Appropriations Committee this week approved sharp cuts in
foreign aid for anti-drug programs, including a $47 million reduction in the
budget of the State Department office that supports joint U.S.-funded raids on
cocaine traffickers in Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala.
   U.S. officials said this week that those cuts, most of which have been
adopted by the full House, will be crippling. State Department officials said
they will be forced to close a U.S.-built, military-style base in Peru's Upper
Huallaga Valley, the world's main coca-growing region, and sharply curtail
 helicopter support for Drug Enforcement Administration raids in that country.
   As a result, DEA chief Robert C. Bonner said he will be forced to pull his
agents out of the country by the end of the month unless alternative funding is
found, sources said. "We can't do what we do without helicopter support," said
Bill Ruzzamenti, DEA spokesman in Washington.
   "The U.S. is essentially going to have to pull out of Peru, which grows
two-thirds of the world's coca," said another drug official, who asked not to be
identified. "We're facing a real disaster."
   But Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who oversees the Senate Appropriations
subcommittee that oversees foreign operations, has argued there is no evidence
that U.S. operations have diminished drug production in the region. "We've spent
over $1 billion down there so far and we've accomplished virtually nothing," he
 said in an interview. "We ought to realize it's not going to work and call it
   While the future of the drug war in the Andes is now clouded, the NSC is
taking aim at the Pentagon's drug interdiction budget, officials said.
   Although initially reluctant to be dragged into the drug war, the Pentagon
now spends about $1.1 billion  a year on the effort, about 70 percent of which
is for "detection and monitoring" to support interdiction efforts. The bulk of
that pays for Aegis cruisers and E-3 radar planes that patrol the transit zones
in and around the Caribbean.
   Sources said Pentagon officials have been largely "neutral" in the NSC review
on whether their transit zone interdiction efforts should continue at existing
levels. But NSC officials concluded that a substantial chunk of those funds
 would have to be spent anyway for steaming and flying time and was being
improperly allocated to the department's drug account.
   More importantly, administration officials said, despite record worldwide
seizures of cocaine in each of the past four years, the NSC review cites
official U.S. government data showing there has been no dip in the price or
purity of the drug or the number of cocaine-related hospital emergencies.
   "The availability of drugs has not been significantly affected over the past
four years as a result of our efforts," said one administration official. "The
price is about the same, the number of (drug-related) emergency room
(admissions) is the same. And that's all we have empirically to measure how
effective we have been . . . . In today's environment we can no longer afford a
full-court press on interdiction."



Back to the Hemp News directory page.

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/HN_15.html