Hemp News No. 16

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:

APn  09/18/93      Pot Customs

   BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- A woman who has federal permission to smoke
marijuana for her glaucoma was refused admission into Canada.
   Elvy Musikka, 48, of Hollywood, Fla., is one of nine people with U.S.
government permission to use the drug as medicine.
   Musikka and four other members of the Cannabis Action Network were stopped
Wednesday while driving to Vancouver, British Columbia, as part of a three-month
trip promoting the legalization of marijuana.
   Al Watt, Canada Customs chief of traffic operations at the Blaine crossing,
 said neither the marijuana nor T-shirts and tapes that the group sells at events
were declared on entry.
   "She tried to smuggle in some marijuana and she got caught and arrested. The
fact that she has a prescription to use it in the United States has no bearing
in this country," Watt said. "It's still prohibited."
   Musikka said she didn't think it would be a problem because she was carrying
the marijuana cigarettes in a prescription bottle with a letter from a lawyer
explaining her legal use.
   Glaucoma causes pressure to build up inside the eye, which can impair vision
and lead to blindness if not treated. Marijuana use has been credited with
relieving the pressure.
   Watt said Canadian officials were as lenient as the law allowed, but they
 confiscated the marijuana, impounded the van and fined the group. Musikka and
the others returned to Bellingham to raise $1,250 they said was needed to pay
their fines and get the van released.

UPn  09/19/93      Cuba, U.S. cooperate in drug case

   MIAMI (UPI) -- The Cuban government has turned over two suspects wanted in
the United States on cocaine-smuggling charges in the first cooperative
anti-drug effort between the two nations.
   The transfer of two prisoners at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana
Saturday was hailed as historic by officials of the Drug Enforcement
   Jorge Lam, 33, and Jose Clemente, 31, both of the Miami area, were taken into
custody when their 29-foot powerboat, The Thief of Hearts, ran out of gas in
Cuban waters last month after it was chased by a U.S. helicopter.
   "The Thief of Hearts case represents the first time that Cuban authorities
 have ever returned a boat and its crew for prosecution on narcotics charges in
the United States," DEA Administrator Robert Bonner said Saturday in Washington.
   "The cooperation provided by the Cuban authorites in this case is an
important step forward in our bilateral conter-narcotics relationship," Bonner

UPwe 09/19/93       Marijuana crop discovered in forest

   SANTA ANA, Calif. (UPI) -- Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies,
responding to a report of gunshots in the area, discovered a marijuana crop near
the Ortega Hot Springs.
   About 300 to 400 plants are in the crop, which has recently been pruned,
officials say. Deputies on Saturday found an irrigation system, but no booby
traps. There are no suspects. Deputies say the marijuana will be picked and
flown to the ranger station for storage and eventual disposal.

WP   09/19/93     War Over the Drug War

    AMONG THE many endeavors the United States government has undertaken, few
have been more frustrating than the war against drugs. True, there have been
some successes in transforming social attitudes toward drugs, which have in turn
led to a decline in drug use among some groups. But the sickeningly regular
reports about drug crimes here and in big cities throughout the country speak
far more to failure. The evidence suggests that neither the street price nor the
purity of drugs has been much affected by all the commotion. This is not a war
the United States is winning.
    The hard truth is that all the interdiction and police efforts in the world
will not make a dent in this problem as long as so many Americans, many of them
 poor, fall into the grip of addiction. This is, and always has been, primarily a
domestic problem, rooted in other social problems.
    But as long as drugs remain illegal, the federal government will feel
obligated to stop the criminals who sell them. That is the inspiration behind
the large military expenditures for operations against drug producers in
countries such as Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala. It is the reason so many Coast
Guard resources are directed toward keeping drugs from reaching American shores.
    Frustration over past failures is pushing both the Clinton administration
and Democrats in Congress toward a reappraisal of where anti-drug money should
be spent. To the frustration of the Customs Service and the Coast Guard, the
administration is considering a major shift in resources away from interdiction
efforts nearer our borders and toward more military aid to destroy cocaine labs
 and disrupt trafficking organizations in South America. Democrats in Congress
have gone farther, voting sharp cuts in State Department funds that support
Central and South American anti-drug activities. "We've spent over $1 billion
down there and we've accomplished virtually nothing," Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
told The Post's Michael Isikoff. "We ought to realize it's not going to work and
call it quits."
    The biggest difficulty in "calling it quits" involves American commitments
to South American governments that have shown real courage in taking on drug
traffickers. If aid is cut from the military programs, should it be transfered
to economic development programs aimed at shifting farmers in drug-producing
countries to other lines of work? Would this money do any more than the money
that's already been spent on the military programs? There is also the fear among
 drug enforcement agencies that cutting back on efforts to interdict and disrupt
drugs would simply make the criminal syndicates even bolder.
    Yet it's impossible not to share Mr. Leahy's frustration and wonder whether
all the high-tech military operations aren't finally a distraction from the real
issues: weaning addicts on our streets away from drugs and keeping young people
from becoming addicts in the first place. That's why it's hard to understand why
Congress and the administration have agreed to cuts in education and treatment
programs that President Clinton has praised so often. Unless these issues are
addressed better than they have been, the war on drugs will remain a quagmire.

UPwe 09/20/93     More marijuana plants found in Lassen forest

   LASSEN NATIONAL FOREST (UPI) -- Drug agents uprooted more than 300 marijuana
plants Monday in Lassen National Forest, marking the third time this month that
illegal gardens have been found in the area.
   Agents said five separate marijuana gardens were found in the remote area
near Campbell Creek.
   Butte County authorities uncovered two similar gardens in the area last week,
but said there are no plans to intensify surveillance of the forest.
   The estimated worth of the gardens topped $500,000.
   There are no suspects in the case.

WP   09/21/93         Schmoke Won't Run for Md. Governor; 
          Baltimore Mayor, Despite Strong Support, Will Seek 3rd Term Instead

By Richard Tapscott and Paul W. Valentine
Washington Post Staff Writers

   BALTIMORE, Sept. 20 - Kurt L. Schmoke, once considered the leading Democratic
contender in the race to succeed Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer next
year, announced today that he instead will pursue election to a third term as
Baltimore's mayor.
   "I have the fire in the belly, but it's for Baltimore," the 43-year-old mayor
 told a news conference as City Hall loyalists cheered.
   Schmoke's announcement was promptly welcomed by others already running in the
1994 Democratic primary election, including Prince George's County Executive
Parris N. Glendening, Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg and state Sen. Mary H.
Boergers (Montgomery). The three said Schmoke's decision frees up his many
supporters in this Democratic bastion, as well as contributions in a campaign
that could be the most expensive in Maryland history.
   Some political observers said the biggest beneficiary today was Glendening,
who would have had a protracted struggle with Schmoke for the blocs of support
the two shared, including African American voters in Prince George's.
   "Parris Glendening has got to be doing cartwheels right now," said Brad
Coker, a veteran pollster in Maryland.
    The Democratic field for the governorship began shrinking 11 days ago when
another prospective candidate, Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., decided to
seek reelection. Schmoke said today that all signs indicated he could win the
primary, but he decided it was more important to continue as mayor and try to
complete housing, education and commercial development projects in the
cash-strapped city.
   Schmoke is Baltimore's first black elected mayor and had enjoyed a wide lead
over other potential Democratic candidates for governor in early public opinion
polls this summer.
   Michael Barnes, the vice chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the
mayor's announcement marked "a very significant moment in the 1994 gubernatorial
    "Had Kurt decided to run, he would have been perceived to be the
front-runner, so now you have a much more open process," Barnes said. "It
changes the dynamics."
   Though Schmoke had strong support throughout Maryland and far-reaching name
recognition, he also would have confronted formidable obstacles in a general
election, if not the Democratic primary itself.
   His call in April 1988 for a national debate on drug decriminalization
stunned political analysts, who figured that it would provide ready-made
material for the opposition in a statewide race. Also, several political leaders
said today that Schmoke told them recently that he was somewhat hesitant to
enter the campaign for governor because he lacked a clear agenda for state
    On the Republican front, likely gubernatorial contenders are House of
Delegates Minority Leader Ellen R. Sauerbrey (Baltimore County); Anne Arundel
County Executive Robert R. Neall; William S. Shepard, of Montgomery County, who
was the 1990 GOP nominee for governor; and Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, of
   Commenting on yesterday's announcement, Glendening said "there's no question"
Schmoke's decision will boost his candidacy, both in allowing him to shore up
his base in Prince George's, where Schmoke is a popular figure, and in
presenting new opportunities in Baltimore.
   "We share some of the same supporters," said Glendening, who hopes to become
the first Maryland governor in 16 years to come from the Washington suburbs.
"Some of the leaders of the black community were torn between the success we had
 here and some natural affinity for the mayor."
   Glendening sought immediately to define the Democratic gubernatorial race as
contest between the old guard, symbolized by Steinberg, and the new. "The race
is now obviously between the lieutenant governor and myself. . . . He really
does represent the forces of the past."
   Steinberg, a former state Senate president and two-term lieutenant governor,
said his plans for the upcoming race were unaffected by Schmoke.
   "Our strategy for the campaign does not depend on who's in and who's out,"
Steinberg said. "The people of the state are interested in hearing the
candidates on the issues of public safety, education and jobs."
   Boergers said she was "stunned" by Schmoke's announcement and contended that
it would boost her long-shot bid for governor. "I think this is very good for
 me," Boergers said. "A field of three people gives me a good opportunity to talk
about the issues, have people focus on the candidates."
   Coker, whose independent polls have been tracking sentiment in the budding
governor's race, said Schmoke's decision creates a wide-open contest and a large
bloc of undecided voters.
   Schmoke also made it clear today that he will seek to exercise influence over
the race. Asked if he will endorse another candidate, Schmoke said he plans to
meet with the contenders and "see if they share my vision about the role of the
city and the importance of the city to the state. I am one who does not sit on
the sidelines."
   Larry Gibson, a key Schmoke adviser, said the mayor had made the decision by
last  Thursday, despite full support from his family for a run for governor and
 his strong lead in statewide polls.
   At the news conference, the former Rhodes scholar said his decision was not
triggered by fear that his suggestion about "drug decriminalization" in 1988
would have doomed his gubernatorial aspirations. He said in 1988 that law
enforcement had lost the war on drugs and that billions of dollars in law
enforcement resources might better be shifted to drug treatment efforts.
   Schmoke's decision will have repercussions far from the governor's race as
well. It opens the door for a possible alliance between Glendening and one of
his would-be successors as county executive, Wayne K. Curry, who had been torn
between supporting Glendening and Schmoke.
   Curry, who attended Schmoke's news conference, said Glendening is the clear
beneficiary of Schmoke's decision.
    Montgomery County Council member Bruce T. Adams (D-At Large) said, "I think
it strengthens the likelihood that we will be able to elect a governor from the
Washington region, and that's what Montgomery County needs."
   Schmoke's six-year tenure as mayor of Baltimore has received mixed reviews.
His supporters point to his strict fiscal management, which has kept the city
from the brink of bankruptcy that other East Coast cities have approached.
   At the same time, he pushed through modest reductions in Baltimore's property
tax rate in an effort to stem the flow of middle-class homeowners to surrounding
Baltimore County, where taxes are almost half those in the city.
   He has also endeavored to balance scarce local and federal development money
between retaining industries and enhancing tourism in Baltimore's popular Inner
Harbor, on the one hand, and improving dilapidated neighborhoods on the other.
    Schmoke's critics say he often is indecisive and lacks the spark that could
galvanize the city. His effort to reduce the high rate of adult illiteracy, for
example, has been largely unsuccessful and is symbolized by Baltimore's official
slogan, "The City That Reads," not exactly a resounding phrase, critics say.
   More important, Schmoke has been questioned about the qualifications of some
of his key appointees. Earlier this year, he replaced his housing director for
several alleged failures, including neglecting to take advantage of millions of
dollars in federal public housing money. Schmoke also dumped his handpicked
school superintendent in 1991 after community leaders complained there had been
no improvement in the city's troubled school system.
   What has haunted Schmoke most is his drug decriminalization speech.
   The statements were condemned by many national law enforcement officials and
 political leaders, who said such a policy would only increase addiction and
associated crime. Schmoke, with the support of some drug policy analysts,
continues to contend that law enforcement's war on drugs has failed, but he has
changed his shorthand terminology for the solution to the problem from
"decriminalization" to "medicalization."

   Staff writers Michael Abramowitz and Charles Babington contributed to this

APf  09/22/93     Movie Campaign

   LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Hollywood studio yanked television and newspaper
advertisements for the new movie "Dazed and Confused" because drug references
violated Motion Picture Association of America guidelines.
   "The MPAA is taking a hard line with anything that has to do with drugs,"
said Russell Schwartz, president of Gramercy Pictures, which is releasing the
low-budget high school comedy about the drug-crazed 1970s.
   The movie's marketing campaign is built around suggestive slogans like "See
It With a Bud," "The Film Everybody is Toking About" and "Have a Nice Daze."
    The MPAA objected to the line: "Finally! A Movie For Everyone Who DID Inhale"
-- a parody of President Clinton's campaign admission that he smoked marijuana
but didn't breathe in.
   Schwartz lost an appeal to last week's ruling by the MPAA's advertising
administration committee.
   "This is an R-rated adult movie in the spirit of people having fun," he said
in Wednesday's editions of the Los Angeles Times. "All we're trying to do is
depict the times."
   The movie opens Friday in 15 cities.
   The MPAA approves all advertising on a movie for which it issues a rating.
The rating system is voluntary, but if a studio uses it, all guidelines must be
met or it will lose its rating.
    "Times have changed. Sometimes that means we're more liberal, sometimes more
stringent. ... With drugs, there's grave concern in America today," MPAA
President Jack Valenti said this week.

APn  09/23/93    AP Arts: Film Review-Dazed and Confused

 Associated Press Writer
   Those of us who came of age in the '70s have never gotten over the fact that
our older siblings got to lay claim to the coolest decade of all -- the '60s.
They had Woodstock, love beads and love-ins. We had eight-track tape decks, puka
shells and beer busts.
   Being a teen then was an experience in acute anti-climactic cynicism, a
prolonged hangover from the '60s. Deflated and filled with a vague sense of
 distrust of adults but suffering from lingering apathy, the '70s seemed a time
only to live through and endure, not to actually live in and enjoy.
   So the fact that Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" -- an ode to the
'70s -- is such a resoundingly uproarious film makes the treat that much richer.
And this film is a delirious treat.
   Linklater, whose montage of aimless Austin eccentrics in "Slacker" became a
cult hit, gives us a simple day-in-the-life of a disparate group of teens on the
last day of school in 1976 in which the upcoming seniors haze and humiliate next
year's freshmen. The boys are harshly paddled and the girls are laid out and
sprayed with ketchup, mustard and flour before being taken through a car wash in
the back of a truck.
   What little plot there is hangs around Randy "Pink" Floyd's moral dilemma
 over whether to sign a form swearing off drugs so he can play football as the
starring quarterback in the following year.
   "You need a serious attitude adjustment," the coach bellows at Pink (Jason
London), a line that instantly wins over the audience as Pink's allies.
   The other plot turns on where to have the all-important school's out blow-out
party after a couple of meddling parents thwart one bash.
   Very little actually happens but -- like life -- it's not always the events
that define a time but the characters in it. And "Dazed and Confused" is
bursting with wonderfully drawn and completely credible characters.
   The most adorable is Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins), a freshman whose popular
older sister inadvertently marks him by asking the seniors to go easy on him.
Wiggins has a delightfully mobile and expressive face that telegraphs a whole
 range of youthful anxiety, even as he affects that studied blank stare of
   There's Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey), a cheesy guy pushing 20 who still
hangs around with the high school crowd -- more specifically, girls. "I get
older ... and they stay the same," he says, with a toothy grin.
   There's a trio of bookish, nerdy loners Mike, Cynthia and Tony (Adam
Goldberg, Marissa Ribisi and Anthony Rapp, respectively), pained at the prospect
of socializing. But they are never at a loss for a wry insight.
   And, of course, there's the class stoner, Slater, played with manic
perfection by Rory Cochrane. Slater is not a blithering idiot but more a
rambling philosopher fueled by his last bong hit.
   As different as these people are, however, they all share a sense of limbo, a
 feeling that they don't belong to the flower-power decade just past yet they
don't have the money lust of the upcoming decade, either. There's an edgy
expectation as they drive around relentlessly waiting for something to happen.
   So, what was once considered a loathsome decade now appears rather sweet and
uncorrupted. Drugs had a rather benign feel to them; there was no specter of
crack lingering in the clouds of marijuana smoke. And sex, or at least the
possibility of sex, wasn't tinged with the deep and dreadful anxiety of AIDS.
   Perhaps this was really the Age of Innocence. And maybe it wasn't such a bad
decade after all.
   Written and directed by Linklater, "Dazed and Confused" was produced by James
Jacks and Sean Daniel. The Gramercy Pictures release is rate R.

UPwe 09/23/93     Bumper marijuana crop increases violence

   UKIAH, Calif. (UPI) -- Escalating violence in Mendocino County's illegal
marijuana fields forced authorities to issue a warning Thursday to campers,
hikers, hunters and local residents to be very careful when they journey into
rural areas.
   Over the last month, the region has had two marijuana related homicides and
several other incidents of reported violence.
   "The owners of these illegal crops have shown they will take drastic steps to
protect them," Sheriff James Tuso said. "We just want people to aware of their
surroundings and if they do stumbled onto a marijuana field, to get out of there
are quickly as possible."
    Tuso said the growers are entering the traditional harvesting season which
runs until Oct. 1. He said evidence points to a bumper crop this year from the
so-called Emerald Triangle.
   Earlier this week, officials in Humboldt County to the north of Mendocino
reported they had already seized 80,000 marijuana plants.
   "Last year we had a record year for seizures in Mendocino County with
62,000," he said. "It looks like we are on pace to break that mark."
   Tuso also has become concerned with the number of illegal aliens being
transported into the area to tend and guard the crops.
   "We seem to have a large number of undocumented Hispanics involved in the
growing and cultivating of marijuana this year," he said. "A Hispanic man was
the victim of one of our homicides and we arrested six others recently when we
 raided a house used to package marijuana for transportation."
   The latest homicide occurred early Wednesday morning in Fish Rock Road area
near Boonville. Tuso said Kenneth Lee Jones and two other friends were allegedly
attempting to steal pot plants from an illegal farm when shots rang out.
   The three men scattered and authorities later found Jones's body in a nearby
field. The incident remains under investigation.

UPwe 09/23/93     Series of marijuana raids leads to two arrests

   CHICO, Calif. (UPI) -- Drug agents in Northern California said Thursday a
series of raids in three national forests has led to the confiscation of nearly
450 marijuana plants worth $1.6 million dollars.
   Authorities said two Grass Valley men were arrested after investigators found
240 marijuana plants in the Plumas National Forest.
   Two other Northern California men were arrested in Mendocino County after
police unearthed a 150-plant marijuana garden at Knee Cap Ridge in the Mendocino
National Forest. Agents had placed the area under surveillance for five days
before making the arrests.
   In a third raid, Tehema County drug agents destroyed a 50-plant marijuana
 garden found in Lassen National Forest at Nine Mile Creek near Chico. There were
no arrests.
   The total value of the plants was placed at more than $1.6 million.

UPn  09/23/93   Driver of ambulance carrying marijuana sentenced to prison

SAN ANTONIO (UPI) -- A man who admitted driving a marijuana-laden ambulance
under the guise of rushing a sick woman to a hospital was sentenced to 46 months
in prison Wednesday.
   Sylvester Lacour Jr. was convicted of hatching a scheme to ship $250, 000
worth of the drug from Laredo to San Antonio in the emergency vehicle, which
also carried a bogus nurse and patient.
   Lacour, 23, told U.S. District Judge Ed Prado he was "sorry" and  "didn't
think" before becoming involved in the scheme.
   U.S. Customs agents said a drug-sniffing dog tipped them off that there was
 something in the ambulance when it passed through a checkpoint outside Laredo on
the evening of May 12, 1993.
   They tracked the vehicle for 153 miles to San Antonio, where Lacour drove it
to Santa Rosa Hospital.
   After doctors at the hospital determined the "patient" was not ill, a police
search of the ambulance uncovered a large store of marijuana.
   Police arrested Lacour, a 41-year-old nurse who worked for the ambulance
service, and the "patient."
   Prado also sentenced Lacour to four years supervised release after he serves
his time. Lacour was allowed to remain free until the Federal Bureau of Prisons
locates a facility to receive him.

UPce 09/24/93     Pot protest planned for Madison

   MADISON, Wis. (UPI) -- Thousands of marijuana-smoking protestors are expected
to descend on the State Capitol in Madison Saturday and they will be making some
noise following a victory in court Friday.
   The Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws sponsors the "pot festival" each year in Madison.
   Last year close to 5,000 people took part in the march and demonstration on
the Capitol grounds and police say it was far from peaceful.
   When police attempted to arrest several participants for possession of
marijuana, a speaker on the podium incited the crowd, resulting in injuries to
some police officers.
    NORML has already received permission from the city to march through the
downtown area on the way to the Capitol. But the state Department of
Administration denied the group a permit to use amplified sound because of the
problems last year.
   Despite the Department of Administration's objections, a federal court judge
ruled Friday in favor of NORML using amplified sound.
   In past years, up to 12,000 people have participated in the march and

UPwe 09/28/93    Survey: 42 percent believe war on drugs 'lost'

   SANTA ANA, Calif. (UPI) -- A survey released Tuesday shows that 42 percent of
Orange County residents believe the nation's war on drugs has been lost.
   Only a slightly higher number, 44 percent, surveyed for Drug Abuse is Life
Abuse's second annual poll believed progress has been made in anti- drug
   The random telephone survey of 600 Orange County residents also found that 48
percent believe drug abuse is considered a big problem locally. That number
remained unchanged from last year's survey.
   The majority of residents polled said they supported more funding for drug
education, law enforcement and drug treatment programs.
    But the survey also found that Orange County residents were less willing than
Americans nationwide to participate in the fight against illegal drugs. Just 12
percent said they would pay higher taxes.

APn  09/29/93    Justice Merger

 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Justice Department officials are weighing two options to
streamline the anti-drug roles of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the
FBI: merging the DEA into the FBI or creating a new authority that would force
them to cooperate.
   "There's no easy answers to the problems we're all wrestling with here,"
Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann said Wednesday at a hearing before two
 House Judiciary subcommittees. "The problem is getting these two supremely
talented agencies to work together."
   The panels appeared split on merging the two agencies, as the National
Performance Review by Vice President Al Gore seemed to suggest.
   "The overwhelming weight of informed opinion is against the merger," said
Rep. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Judiciary crime subcommittee.
   The reasons, said Schumer, include the need to maintain the DEA's one-issue
focus, and the agency's unique abilities to operate both with foreign officials
and on the street.
   The crime panel's former chairman, Rep. William Hughes, D-N.J., blasted the
merger proposed by the FBI as "a hostile takeover."
   Hughes said the FBI proposal -- "based on assumptions that the FBI is a
 superior law enforcement agency to the DEA, even for the special function of
drug enforcement" -- is already hurting DEA agents' morale. If adopted, it would
have "devastating effects" that would take years to overcome.
   But the merger also got some support.
   Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., said each agency's uniqueness can be overstated.
   "We all do work for the same flag, and I think some of the competition
between agencies can be counterproductive," said Schroeder, a member of the
Judiciary subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights.
   Heymann said one drawback of a merger is that it might give the appearance
that the government is reducing the fight against drugs. He said another concern
was the possible loss of influence overseas where officials who have worked
closely with the DEA might be reluctant to work with the FBI.
    A bureaucratic roadblock -- DEA workers have civil service protection while
FBI employees do not -- has stopped previous attempts to merge the two, and
Heymann said that could pose problems.
   He said the notion that the DEA and the FBI had "different cultures" was
exaggerated, as the DEA now confronts large, sophisticated organizations and the
FBI is learning how to deal with street crime.
   The other option Justice Department officials are considering is a "formal,
permanent point of authority to supervise the federal drug-enforcement effort,"
he said. It would preserve the FBI and the DEA "while creating a mechanism to
resolve the jurisdictional disputes and coordination problems that characterize
the status quo."
   That authority would have budgetary powers and would be able to enforce
 compliance with policy directives such as getting the two to share information
and buying equipment that allows them to communicate.
   The power might rest with a deputy attorney general, associate attorney
general, the FBI director, the DEA administrator, another individual or a
committee, he said.
   Several panel members criticized the administration for refusing to let FBI
Director Louis Freeh, DEA Administrator Robert Bonner and Office of National
Drug Control Policy Director Lee Brown testify.
   Freeh was expected to endorse the merger proposal, Bonner and Brown to oppose
   Heymann said the administration preferred to speak with one voice.

UPwe 09/29/93   Supreme Court to decide legality of taxes on illegal drugs

   WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to decide whether states
can impose a tax on the possession and storage of dangerous drugs, apart from
any criminal penalty.
   The high court is expediting the case, ordering that all briefs be filed
before the end this year.
   The Montana Supreme Court ruled last year that the state's tax of $100 per
ounce of marijuana was an excise tax, not a punishment.
   But in a separate case that made its way through the federal courts, the U.S.
 Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed, citing double jeopardy. That
is the case the high court has agreed to hear.
   Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota and Nebraska combined to file a
friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court in support of Montana.
   In the case, Montana claims that "the extended Kurth family" in the central
part of the state was in the growing marijuana business. A 1987 raid on the
family ranch yielded more than 2,100 plants, 1881 ounces of harvested marijurana
and several gallons of marijuana derivatives, according to the state's brief
before the U.S. Supreme Court.
   After pleading guilty to criminal charges, the defendants filed bankruptcy.
Montana's Department of Revenue filed a claim against them for the drug tax
    After a bench trial, the bankruptcy court found $208,105 due in drug taxes.
   However, the bankruptcy court cited a Supreme Court precedent to rule that
the tax was a second punishment for conduct the Kurths had already been punished
for -- possessing marijuana -- and placed defendants in unconstitutional double
   Montana appealed the decision through the federal system.

UPn  09/29/93     Reno readies DEA-FBI merger proposal recommendation

   PLYMOUTH, Mass. (UPI) -- U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno says she is
preparing a recommendation on President Clinton's proposal to merge the Drug
Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
   "One thing I cannot abide by is turf battles," Reno said Tuesday night after
addressing an international conference of prosecutors in Plymouth, Mass.
   "There are real needs to coordinate between those two agencies," she said.
"They could work together much more closely," she said. She added that when she
was a prosecutor in Miami, "They too often didn't talk."
   Reno said she expects to release her recommendation on the proposed merger
next week.
    In her address to the conference at the Plimoth Plantation, Reno praised
Clinton's health-care proposals, especially as they address ways to protect
children from the trauma of family violence.
   "The child who watches his father beat his mother comes to accept violence as
a way of life," she said. 
   She also criticized violence on television, and told the audience her parents
would not allow her to watch television when she was a child because it
"contributed to mind rot."

UPwe 09/30/93       Marijuana harvest keeps cops busy

   UKIAH, Calif. (UPI) -- Mendocino County authorities said Thursday they had
conducted three separate raids that netted over $5 million in marijuana and
several weapons as the harvesting season of the illegal crop reached its high
point in California's so-called Emerald Triangle.
   Authorities said the first raid occurred Wednesday evening at 6:15 p. m. in
Boonville, where officers had been tipped that marijuana was being processed at
a local residence.
   Officers went to the house and discovered 1,288 pounds of marijuana, a dozen
automatic weapons and $28,000 in cash. Taken into custody were Jose Sandoval and
Ascension Labra. Both were being held on $10,000 bail.
    At 7 a.m. Thursday, sheriff's deputies searched a home in Willits, uncovering
10 pounds of marijuana and a .22-caliber rifle. Mark Daniel Long and his wife,
Michele Marie Long, were arrested there.
   Later Thursday sheriff's deputies searched a home in Philo and discovered a
1.5 pounds of marijuana, a shotgun and indoor growing equipment. Taken into
custody were Nemsio, Hugo and Purfiria Zarate. All three were being held on
$5,000 bail.

WP   09/30/93    Justice Department Considers Its Own Antidrug Overseer

By Michael Isikoff
Washington Post Staff Writer

   Rather than merging the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI as Vice
President Gore recently proposed in his "reinventing government" initiative, the
Justice Department yesterday said it might designate a new high-level drug
   The idea, outlined by Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann, was derided
by some congressional aides as a move to create yet another bureaucratic layer -
 a sort of mini-drug czar's office within the Justice Department - that would add
to the number of agencies involved in the antidrug effort.
   But it appeared to be a midway step that could smooth over what had become a
mildly embarrassing policy dispute between Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno.
Although Gore's "reinventing government" plan released earler this month called
for folding the DEA into the FBI, Reno immediately threw cold water on the idea,
saying she was conducting her study of the issue.
   Yesterday, Heymann provided a status report on Reno's review, telling a
hearing convened by two House Judiciary subcommittees, "There is no division
between the vice president and the attorney general."
   Heymann said the department's study had concluded, as had Gore's, that there
was substantial duplication and lack of communication between the FBI and the
 DEA. In one Latin American country, Heymann said he was recently told "the FBI
attache and the DEA resident agent don't talk to one another at all. . . .  In
short, we're talking about super agencies and a massive failure in
   Heymann said the department had reviewed four options, two of which - "doing
nothing" and stripping the FBI of its authority to investigate drug crimes - had
essentially been rejected. The third, still under consideration, was the kind of
full-fledged merger outlined in the Gore report.
   But Heymann strongly indicated that the department was moving in yet another
direction: designating "a single point of authority," either a committee of
officials or a single high-level official. That authority would review agency
budget submissions and consolidate functions, such as separate radio systems and
 intelligence centers, while leaving the two agencies "substantially intact."
   One variation, Heymann said later, would be to revive an arrangement ordered
by former attorney general William French Smith in 1982, making the FBI director
the senior department antidrug official and requiring the DEA administrator to
report to him.
   The new antidrug authority idea drew qualified praise from Rep. Charles E.
Schumer (D-N.Y.) as a reasonable "compromise." But others were skeptical any
arrangement would affect the amount of drugs on the streets. "It seems to me all
you're doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic because the vice
president came up with a report that calls for reinventing government . . . ,"
Rep. Craig Washington (D-Tex.) said.

UPwe 10/01/93       Tehama County's makes huge drug bust

   REDDING, Calif. (UPI) -- Tehama County officials said Friday they have made
their largest marijuana drug bust of the year.
   Drug agents uprooted 2,000 marijuana plants discovered Thursday night in
Lassen National Forest and arrested a Berkeley man at the scene.
   Police arrested and booked John Regan, 33, on drug charges, but they
werestill searching for a second suspect who fled on foot.
   Authorities said the garden -- worth an estimated $8 million -- was the
largest such bust in recent years.
   The plants were spotted during a routine surveillance flight.
   Officials said favorable weather has led to an increase in illegal
 planting,while an increase in patrolling has led to a rise in drug busts.

APn  10/01/93       Sheriff-Drugs

 Associated Press Writer
   JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A former sheriff convicted of dealing drugs seized
as evidence was sentenced Friday to 16 years in federal prison.
   Former Nassau County Sheriff Laurie Ellis, 53, was convicted in July on drug
and obstruction-of-justice charges.
   Prosecutor Jim Klindt sought a stiff penalty.
   "You are not sentencing Andy of Mayberry," Klindt said. "You are sentencing a
 shrewd politician who abused his trust."
   Defense attorney Steve Weinbaum said Ellis would likely have to serve about
85 percent of his sentence, or about 13 years, adding that they plan to appeal.
   "Our quarrel is with the verdict, not with the sentence," said Weinbaum.
   Weinbaum asked the judge to consider penalties given to the other defendants
before sentencing Ellis.
   Rocky Mistler, Ellis' chief deputy, who was the prosecution's star witness,
received a 6 1/2-year sentence. Rancher Tony Peterson, who sold the drugs, got a
5-year term.
   "This entire scheme was the brainchild of Rocky Mistler. If it had not been
for Mistler, Mr. Ellis would not be here," Weinbaum said.
   Ellis must serve five years on probation after his release, but there was no
   Prosecutors said Mistler and Ellis pretended to destroy confiscated cocaine
and marijuana, then gave it to Peterson to sell. The pair were accused of
splitting $350,000 to $450,000 in profits.
   Ellis was elected sheriff in 1984, but lost a re-election bid last November.
He resigned in December while under investigation.


    LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuter) - Anti-drug police swooped on a newly-opened British
cafe to seize one of its prime products, marijuana patties shaped like a
cannabis leaf.
     British newspapers reported on Saturday that police arrested but later
released former television presenter turned New Age cook Beki Adam at her new
Amsterdam-style cannabis cafe in the south-east coastal resort of Brighton.
     "Marijuana prohibition is a crime against the person and the planet," Adam
was reported as saying before police arrived at the cafe, which she has yet to

WP   10/03/93       It's Time to Get Real About Guns and Drugs

By Kurt Schmoke

   IN 1988, ON THIS PAGE, I called for a national debate on American drug
policy. Five years later, while that debate is underway, the policy is
essentially unchanged and drug-related violence is worse than ever. Clearly, we
can't simply prosecute our way out of crime. If we want to silence the guns, we
have to radically rethink not only our drug policy, but our ideas about the
sacrosanct Second Amendment.
   That was the real message of the tragic shootings in Washington last Saturday
that killed four people, including a 4-year-old child. The newspaper stories
 could just as easily have appeared in the Baltimore Sun or countless other
newspapers from cities large and small. In Baltimore last year, a 2-year-old boy
was hit by a bullet that came through his living-room window. By good fortune
the child lived, but one 6-year-old caught in crossfire a few years ago did not.
Urban violence that turns schoolyards into battlefields and living rooms into
fortresses is not a Washington, D.C., problem. It is an American problem.
   At the heart of the plague of violence is the drug trade.There were 335
homicides committed in Baltimore in 1992, 48 percent of which were ruled
drug-related. Seventy percent were killed by a handgun.  To the extent that we
surrender to this violence by throwing up our hands and applying tried and
untrue formulas about guns and drugs, then Pogo is right: The enemy is us.
Instead, we should be listening to the mayors, police departments and
 communities throughout the United States who offer new tactics and new
determination in the fight against violent crime.
   One thing needed now is a serious national debate about the Constitution and
crime - perhaps one final and unambiguous test of the reach of the Second
Amendment and its provisions about the right to bear arms. How far, for example,
can the government go in prohibiting the possession and sale of handguns? Should
murder be a federal crime if the weapon is transported in interstate commerce?
Should advanced military technology be given to local law enforcement? Are there
too many procedural safeguards for criminals? Too few alternatives to
   These are difficult questions, and I cannot pretend to have the answers. The
experiences I had as a sometimes frustrated federal and state prosecutor are
 balanced by my fear of tampering with a constitutional system designed to
protect the accused from loss of life or liberty without due process of law.
Nevertheless, the level of random and casual violence has reached the point
where the price of robust democracy is widespread insecurity.
   When I speak on the subject of violence, I usually start with three
questions: Have we won the war on drugs? Are we winning the war on drugs? Will
doing more of the same enable us to win in the future? Overwhelmingly, people
say "no" to those questions. That's why I have called for a new strategy, one
that can greatly reduce urban violence.
   The war on drugs as it is currently waged feeds the very violence it is
intended to stop. Addicts who are otherwise nonviolent steal and injure to get
money for drugs. Dealers wound and kill to protect turf and profits.
    We have to be more than tough on drugs. We have to be smart too. That means
recognizing that "the drug problem" is actually three problems in one:
addiction, AIDS and violent drug trafficking.
  Especially at the very highest levels, drug trafficking is very much an
appropriate target for law enforcement. But law enforcement has almost no impact
on addiction and AIDS. These are closely connected medical problems that require
public health solutions. It is worth remembering that, for all our legitimate
concern about drug-related violence, AIDS is now the number-one killer of young
men and women in Baltimore - and the spread of HIV is now largely drug-related
in our city. Sixty percent of new AIDS cases in Baltimore are intravenous drug
users; their spouses and offspring are another 10 percent. In 1991, the National
Commission on AIDS called the failure of federal agencies to address the link
 between drugs and AIDS "bewildering and tragic."
   As a substitute for our current policy, I favor "medicalization" - a one-word
description for policies that increase access to drug treatment, slow the
transmission of HIV and reduce the black market in drugs and the
profit-motivated violence it generates.
   Here are the basic elements:
  * Trained health professionals would be allowed to give drugs to addicts as part
of a treatment and detoxification program.
  * Methadone maintenance and other forms of treatment, such as acupuncture, would
be available on demand.
 * Local governments would be allowed to set up tightly controlled needle
exchange programs to slow the transmission of HIV.
  * Drug courts, modeled after the one established in Dade County, Fla., and
touted by Attorney General Janet Reno, would require convicted addicts to go
through a treatment program. A conviction could be expunged after successful
completion of the program.
  * Closed military bases would be used for drug treatment and to discipline and
motivate young drug sellers and users to pursue more worthwhile and fulfilling
  * Seventy percent of the federal drug control budget would be for treatment and
30 percent for law enforcement. Today those figures are reversed.
  * Primary care physicians would be encouraged to treat addicts; medical and
nursing schools would give more training in addiction treatment.
  * The government would increase funding for research into substances that block
 the effects of cocaine and reduce symptoms of heroin withdrawal.
  * Law enforcement would focus on upper-echelon drug trafficking and gun
  * Penalties for the sale of drugs to children would be especially severe.
   I know that medicalization, and alternatives to incarceration such as drug
courts and military bases, may seem like a retreat from tough law enforcement.
They are not. I support longer jail sentences for predatory violent criminals.
That's where most of our police, prosecution and incarceration resources should
go. In other words, more jail space and longer sentences for those who commit
heinous, violent acts, but also more long-term drug treatment facilities - not
mandatory minimum sentences - for nonviolent drug users.
   In fact, this model encompasses some of the recommendations of a Working
 Group on Drug Reform that met in Baltimore at my invitation throughout this
spring and summer. The mission of the group, made up of experts in public
health, law enforcement, economics and public policy, was to propose
harm-reduction policies for Baltimore that require few, if any, changes in
current law.
   Unfortunately, modest changes in the direction of medicalization in one city
will not be enough to stop the kind of violence that Washington and other cities
face. Only a change in national policy, supported by Congress and the president
and accepted by the American people, will do that.
   To come up with such a policy, I have long recommended the creation of a
national commission to study how all drugs - legal and illegal - should be
regulated. There is a precedent for this kind of commission. In 1928, President
 Hoover formed the Wickersham Commission to figure out how to better enforce
alcohol prohibition. But most of the commissioners concluded that alcohol
prohibition was, in the words of Walter Lippman, a "helpless failure."
Prohibition came to an end, and so too did an era of prohibition-related
violence. Now it's time to recognize that the war on drugs is a helpless failure
too. We must let our health professionals assume their proper place in fighting
addiction. Otherwise we can look forward to more outbreaks of senseless
violence, more funerals, more revolving-door justice, more AIDS, more taxpayer
dollars wasted and more young people in state prisons instead of state
 All is not hopeless in our cities. Efforts we've made at community policing
and working more closely with state and federal law enforcement may be
 responsible for the reduction in 1993 of some serious crimes in Baltimore -
although not murder. But those efforts, alone, are not responsible for a more
remarkable statistic: In the first three months of this year, crime in
Sandtown-Winchester, one of Baltimore's poorest communities, dropped 14 percent
from the same period a year ago.
   Why did candidate Bill Clinton come to Sandtown? Why has Henry Cisneros,
secretary of HUD, been there several times, once with Attorney General Reno?
Because Sandtown-Winchester is the shape of urban policy to come - a community
built through a partnership of residents, religious organizations, the
Enterprise Foundation and all levels of government. Sandtown is a big work in
progress, whose pieces include 300 new homes, a federal grant for pre- and
post-natal care, literacy and job training, family support services, recreation
 for young people and substance abuse treatment.
   I certainly know that the Sandtown-Winchester formula - public and private
financing of new homes complemented by a full array of community-inspired and
run support services - is not the complete answer to urban crime. But it is an
important part of the answer. Communities need to take responsibility for their
own revival, but they cannot be expected to do that without private and public
help. Government, especially the federal government, also needs to be flexible
in the enforcement of its rules. As in wartime combat, it's often the commanders
on the ground - in this case local government, local law enforcement and
residents - who have the clearest picture of the battlefield and who have come
up with the most innovative tactics for success.
   Will greater investment in communities,  tougher gun control and a new
 national drug policy be enough to relegate urban violence to the history books?
I think, in large measure, yes. But we should be under no illusion that
investment and good intentions alone will completely end the crisis of urban
violence. The antecedent to successful new policies is new thinking. President
Eisenhower understood this. He knew that transportation and education were more
than just local problems. They were matters of national security. So he proposed
a new role for the federal government, building the interstate highway system
and signing the National Defense Education Act.
   Urban violence is also a matter of national security. Congress and the
president must put this problem at the top of their agendas and write or change
laws, appropriate money and provide the leadership necessary to solve it. If
millions of Americans living in fear of losing their health insurance deserve
 the attention of the executive and legislative branches of government, then
certainly the millions of Americans living in fear of losing their lives because
of urban violence deserve that attention, too.

   Kurt Schmoke is the mayor of Baltimore.

UPwe 10/05/93      Drug search upheld

   SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- A federal appeals court ruled unanimously Tuesday that
a search of a suspected drug dealer's home conducted months after a series of
narcotics sales was valid, even though the sales did not take place there.
   The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided there was a sufficient
connection between the sales and the suspect's residence to permit the issuance
of a search warrant.
   The ruling upheld the conviction of Timothy Pitts of Seattle, Wash., on four
counts of cocaine distribution. Pitts was sentenced to nearly 14 years in
   Pitts had asked the appeals court to throw out evidence seized in the search,
 including a shotgun, marijuana and a bag containing a trace of white powder. He
argued there were no grounds for searching his home because it was not involved
in the alleged crimes.
   But the 9th Circuit said the warrant was legal because it was reasonable to
infer that drug-related evidence would be found at the home of a suspected

   White Flag on Drugs?: Thirty House Republicans wrote Lee Brown, head of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, about a perception that "you have raised
a white flag in the war on drugs." In the letter, they told Brown they were
upset about "announcements and trial balloons" indicating that Attorney General
Janet Reno had successfully argued within the administration against including
the death penalty for drug kingpins and mandatory minimum sentences for certain
drug-related crimes.

APn  10/05/93       Property Seizure

 Associated Press Writer
   HONOLULU (AP) -- James Daniel Good was in Nicaragua on an international aid
project for Project Christ the King when the U.S. government seized his house
and four acres of land in 1989.
   Four years earlier, Good had pleaded guilty to a drug charge after 89 pounds
of marijuana and vials of hashish were found in his home near the town of Keaau
on Hawaii Island.
    He served a one-year jail term, part of it on work release, and had nearly
completed his probation when the Drug Enforcement Administration seized his
property, contending it had been used to facilitate a drug transaction.
   Good, 49, who works sanding floors, went to court himself, arguing that he
never got a hearing and that the unexplained four-year delay was unfair.
   A federal appeals court agreed, but the Justice Department appealed to the
Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on the case Wednesday.
   The high court will consider two issues: whether the government can seize
property in criminal cases without a hearing, and whether there is a statute of
limitations on bringing forfeiture action.
   "The federal statute relating to forfeiture says the government has to act
promptly," said Good's attorney, Christopher Yuen. "If they don't act promptly,
 they shouldn't be able to seize."
   Good is seeking the $12,600 rent he says the government collected until it
sold the house in 1990, as well as the proceeds of the sale.
   Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Wee said no hearing was necessary. He said
the government need only show probable cause to believe a crime was committed,
the same standard for any arrest or search.
   In ruling in Good's favor, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the
lack of notification or hearing violated his Fifth Amendment due-process rights.
   It also said that the five-year deadline contained in the forfeiture law
establishes only an "outer limit" for filing forfeiture actions.

APn  10/06/93        Drug Proceeds

 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Property owners are not entitled to notification or a
hearing before federal agents seize their assets as proceeds of illegal drug
sales, the Clinton administration told the Supreme Court Tuesday.
   A warrant issued by a judge is enough to guarantee due process and protect
against unreasonable seizures, said Justice Department lawyer Edwin S. Kneedler.
   But a lawyer for a man whose Hawaii home was taken from him in 1989 said
 owners should get a chance to prove a property seizure is not justified before
imposition of such "an extraordinarily harsh, punitive and arbitrary sanction."
   "What we dispute is that there is a government interest in taking the
property without a prior hearing," said Christopher J. Yuen, attorney for James
Daniel Good.
   The government in recent years has increasingly used seizures of drug-related
property as a major weapon in the war on drugs. Earlier this year, the Supreme
Court ruled that such seizures are subject to the Constitution's 8th Amendment
protection against excessive fines.
   Good was arrested in 1985 after Hawaii police found 89 pounds of marijuana
and vials of hashish at his house in Keaau. He pleaded guilty to promoting a
harmful drug and served a year in prison.
    In 1989, the federal government seized the house and four-acre property where
the drugs had been found. At the time, Good was living in Nicaragua and had
rented the home to tenants.
   Good challenged the seizure of his home, but a federal judge ruled for the
   The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, saying the seizure violated
Good's constitutional right to due process because he was not given notice or a
hearing to contest it. The court also ordered the lower court to determine
whether the government acted promptly enough.
   Federal law says seizures of drug-related property must be made within five
years after the government discovers the property's link to drugs. However, the
appeals court said that was merely an "outer limit."
    Justice Antonin Scalia expressed skepticism that a judge's warrant provides
enough constitutional protection in all instances of drug-related property
   "The government doesn't usually tip its hand" before serving warrants and
giving property owners notice of a seizure would do that, Kneedler said.
   Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist noted that people can be arrested without
a warrant as long as they are given a hearing within 48 hours.
   "I would think a person would be entitled to more process than a piece of
property," the chief justice said.
   Yuen argued that a house cannot flee as a person can, but Scalia noted that a
property owner could burn his home down if he knew it was about to be seized.
   "You know you're dealing with a criminal. It seems to me he has nothing to
 lose," Scalia said.
   Justice Harry A. Blackmun asked whether the government always waits four
years before seizing drug-related property.
   Kneedler replied that there was no evidence that the federal agents who
seized the property had known of Good's conviction for a long period of time and
deliberately delayed seizing the property.
   The case is U.S. vs. Good, 92-1180.

UPsw 10/06/93       Agent, 9 others arrested in drug smuggling sweep

   BROWNSVILLE, Texas (UPI) - Federal agents said Wednesday that a Border Patrol
officer assigned to Brownsville was among 10 people arrested on drug trafficking
   The U.S. Customs Service said Pedro Luis Rosario, 34, and 9 other individuals
arrested led or were associated with two separate drug smuggling and
distribution rings operating in Brownsville.
   Agents said nearly a half million dollars in cash, cars, jewelry and weapons
were seized, culminating a 2-year probe by Customs agents and the FBI that
netted 3,500 pounds of marijuana.
   The suspects face a wide range of charges, including possession with intent
 to distribute, conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana, engaging in
continuing criminal enterprise and money laundering.
   Agents linked the two groups to organizations that smuggled marijuana and
cocaine from Brownsville to Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts.
   Authorities said more arrests and seizures were pending.

UPce 10/06/93       Road crew bags $6,000 of pot

   POLK, Wis. (UPI) -- A grocery bag containing marijuana with a street value of
more than $6,000 was found by a Washington County road crew doing work near an
off-ramp Monday.
   The workers found the bag containing more than 2 pounds of marijuana along an
off-ramp from Highway 45 to Highway 143 in the town of Polk. The bag contained
15 plastic sandwich bags, each holding 2 1/2 ounces of pot.
   The workers turned the marijuana over to the Washington County Sheriff's

UPwe 10/06/93       daybook-6

The MetroWire Daybook for the Los Angeles area
 Final update for Wednesday, Oct. 6

   9 a.m. -- Beverly Hills -- Actress Victoria Sellers to be arraigned on
misdemeanor of possession of a small amount of marijuana. District Attorney's
Office says it does not know if she will appear. Municipal Court, Division 5,
9355 Burton Way. Contact: Sandi Gibbons 213-974-3528.

WP   10/06/93    Court Asked to Require Notice In Anti-Drug Property Seizures;
                           Justices to Hear Arguments Today in Hawaii Case

By Joan Biskupic
Washington Post Staff Writer

   After Hawaii state police found 89 pounds of marijuana at the home of James
Daniel Good, he pleaded guilty to promoting a harmful drug. He spent a year in
jail, was placed on probation and thought his case was closed.
   But four years later, without notifying Good or giving him an opportunity for
a hearing, the federal government seized Good's house and began collecting rent
 from his tenants.
   Good sued the government for violating his right to due process of law. Today
the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the potent
federal statute that allows agents to seize property allegedly used in drug
   At stake are civil forfeiture laws that have allowed the government to seize
hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains from drug crimes but also
have been used against innocent property owners whose predicaments have become
fare for television and newspaper headlines.
   Because a civil forfeiture action is separate from any criminal proceeding
and names the property as the defendant, the government need only show probable
cause to believe the property was used in a crime - a standard of proof that is
 comparatively easy to meet. In such cases, the owner bears the burden of proving
the property should not be forfeited.
   The law has been subject to criticism on several fronts. Civil libertarians
say it is abused by unchecked prosecutors who seize first, ask questions later.
Members of Congress have proposed several new safeguards in forfeiture actions,
including that the government prove by clear and convincing evidence that the
property was the proceeds of, or used in, unlawful activity.
   The Supreme Court last term ruled that such seizures were subject to Eighth
Amendment prohibition against excessive fines, barring the government from going
after huge real estate parcels for comparatively small drug offenses.
   After Good protested the forfeiture, which occurred while he was living in
Nicaragua, a federal district court ruled for the government. The 9th U.S.
 Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding that Good's rights were violated.
   The appeals court held that seizing his home denied Good due process of law
because he was not notified and did not have an opportunity for an adversarial
hearing. The court noted that prior cases had allowed forfeiture without notice
but said those rulings were different because they involved property that was
easily moved, such as boats, cars and cash. The court also emphasized the
importance of a home to an individual.
   The appeals court further said federal law required agents to begin
forfeiture promptly after discovering a drug violation, rather than waiting more
than four years. It rejected the government's argument that the law dictates
only that forfeiture actions begin within five years of a crime.
   In the Justice Department's appeal, United States v. James Daniel Good Real
 Property, the government argues first that civil forfeiture need not meet Fifth
Amendment guarantees of due process for deprivation of property, rather only
conform to a Fourth Amendment requirement that a warrant be issued by a neutral
and detached magistrate or judge. In Good's case, a magistrate signed the
warrant based on evidence gathered in the earlier police search of Good's house.
   "It is through the Fourth Amendment that the framers of the Bill of Rights
struck the balance they deemed appropriate between the people's security in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects and the public interest in effecting
searches and seizures for law enforcement purposes," Solicitor General Drew S.
Days wrote in a brief to the court.
   Drug-related seizures constitute an "extraordinary situation" that justifies
postponing notice and an opportunity for a hearing, Days said, backed by several
 state attorneys general.
   Good, through his lawyer, Christopher J. Yuen, maintains that the government
has no compelling justification for not providing a hearing before the seizure.
Yuen quoted the appeals court: "The house is not going anywhere."



Back to the Hemp News directory page.

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/HN_16.html