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 04/16/94 [untitled - College Students in Survey Favor Legalization] LEGALIZE IT?: The results of a new survey showing that American college students overwhelmingly favor the legalization of marijuana comes as a surprise to anti-drug and pro-legalization advocates alike. Allen St. Pierre, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the U. Magazine survey of 1,700 students at 230 schools shows the media has failed to recognize the growing support among students, environmentalists and doctors for legalization. But anti-drug advocates questioned the accuracy of the survey. Sue Rusche, executive director of National Families In Action, said drug-use trends tracked through annual surveys of 17,000 high school seniors showed only a 2 to 3 percent increase in marijuana use in 1993, and very little support for legalization. U. Magazine editor Ari Cheren said the survey reflects a backlash against the war on drugs, and a growing feeling that marijuana isn't as dangerous as cigarettes or alcohol. ------ RTw 04/18/94 IRISH FARMERS SEEK PERMISSION TO GROW CANNABIS DUBLIN, April 18 (Reuter) - An Irish farming research body, anxious to carry out European Union calls to diversify from milk and cereals, is seeking government permission to grow cannabis. The state-funded Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc) has asked for a licence to grow an experimental plot of the plant in Carlow, some 60 miles (90 km) south of Dublin. "We require a licence and are discussing with the Department of Justice," Michael Miley, spokesman for Teagasc, told Reuters on Monday. The licence would allow Teagasc to grow cannabis sativa or hemp, which was used to make fibres for rope and sacking before the plastics boom of the 1960s. The plan is part of a drive to diversify available land away from conventional tillage crops, encouraged by the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy. "The EU is active in promoting the growing of hemp," Miley said. Although part of the marijuana family, hemp has low levels of the drug and a user would have to smoke a sackful to get a kick. Ireland, like Britain and other EU countries used to grow hemp for manufacturing twine some 30 years ago. There will be strict conditions imposed on the hemp crop and it will be harvested before the flowering stage -- the stage at which it could be used as a drug, Teagasc said. REUTER APn 04/19/94 Crime Bill By CAROLYN SKORNECK Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some drug offenders could receive life sentences and states would be eligible for more prison funds under changes the House made Tuesday in a proposed crime bill, but lawmakers balked at limiting appeals of inmates on death row. The House voted 303-126 for a Republican amendment that would make those convicted in federal court of a third serious drug offense eligible for life in prison. A version of the legislation produced by the Judiciary Committee had focused on violent felonies and would not have counted a serious drug offense as the final strike in the "three-strikes-and-you're out" plan. "I take strong exception to those who deny the relationship between drugs and violent crime in our country," said Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., who proposed the amendment. "I don't know why we're de-emphasizing this terrible scourge." Countered House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks, D-Texas: "This bill is designed to put violent criminals who want to kill you in jail, not to just put people who are hauling marijuana around and smoking pot in their back yard." "If we're going to fill up our jails with people like that, then there will be much less room for the severe violent criminals" who have committed one or two offenses, said Rep. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Judiciary Committee's crime panel. The Clinton administration opposed Solomon's amendment because it wanted to target "incorrigible repeat violent offenders." It supported an amendment by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to eliminate all drug offenses from the three-strikes language. The House rejected that amendment. It approved by voice vote an amendment by Rep. Harold Volkmer, D-Mo., to add bank robbery and robberies and burglaries involving controlled substances to those felonies counted as strikes leading to the life sentence. The $10.5 billion in prison grants would increase total spending to $27.5 billion, but the grants' sponsor said the amount would be reduced later. One-quarter of the additional money would be used as bonuses for states that force violent criminals to serve longer prison terms. Debate on the House bill was scheduled to resume Wednesday. The Senate crime bill passed last November, like the pending House measure, gives equal weight to serious drug and violent offenses in its three-strikes provisions. The House brought its bill into line with the Senate version by eliminating language that would have given death row inmates just one opportunity to appeal their cases to federal courts. The amendment eliminating the language was sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill. "We've been down that road the last two congresses," Hyde said of efforts to change the way death row petitions to federal court are handled. He proposed dealing with the appeal provision in a separate bill. The new prison spending money was a compromise between Republicans who wanted to tie the money to states' achievement of what they call truth in sentencing -- requiring violent criminals to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences -- and state officials who recoiled at the estimated $60 billion it would cost them to make the necessary changes. The House narrowly rejected a bid by Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla. to increase the $3 billion in prison funding previously included in the crime bill to $10 billion, but to require states to impose truth-in-sentencing provisions before they could get the money. The House crime bill also calls for authorizing $3.45 billion for 50,000 more police, $7 billion for crime prevention, $2 billion for rehabilitation and $1 billion for Treasury Department law enforcement. House leaders have said they would accept the Senate's figure on new community police -- $8.9 billion for 100,000 more police, although a Justice Department official said the 100,000 officers could be hired for about $1.5 billion less. UPse 04/19/94 [untitled - Three Strikes] By MARY ANN AKERS WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- The House, wading through a series of amendments to a major anti-crime bill, voted Tuesday to toughen sentences for drug offenders, strip the legislation of reforms for death row appeals and increase money for prison grants. Following through on an election-year promise to get tough on crime, House members voted 303 to 126 to expand a controversial "three- strikes-you're-out" proposal to include serious drug offenses as any one of the three strikes. As originally written, the bill had mandated that the third strike against a person already convicted of two serious felonies must be a conviction of a federal violent crime, and not a drug offense. Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Texas, chairman of the Judiciary Committee was not persuasive enough in his argument against the amendment offered by Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y. "This bill is designed to put violent criminals who want to kill you in jail, not just people who are hauling marijuana around and smoking pot in their back yards," he said, adding punishment emphasis should be on "rapists and violent criminals" instead of on minor drug dealers. The first two strikes of the three-strikes provision apply to crimes involving murder, a serious drug felony -- such as trafficking -- manslaughter, assault with intent to kill or rape, sex abuse, kidnapping, hijacking and arson. The third strike, however, must be for a conviction of a federal violent crime and, with passage of the Solomon amendment, a serious drug offense. The House also voted to add convictions of bank robbery and burglaries involving drugs to count as a strike. Originally under the bill, only robbery involving a dangerous weapon or resulting in serious bodily injury would count as a strike. Earlier, members approved an amendment offered by conservative Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., to strip the bill's habeas corpus provisions aimed at reforming death row appeals processes. Republicans argued the bill's death row provisions would have afforded convicted criminals an endless appeals process that would mean the death penalty would never again be carried out in the United States. The Republicans argued the legislation would overturn a series of Supreme Court decisions, which Hyde contended have made death row appeals more fair to "the forgotten victims." The House effectively adopted the position of the Senate, which did not pass any habeus corpus reforms in its version of anti-crime legislation last year. The House also voted to authorize another $10.5 billion to the $17 billion legislation for a new program of grants for state prisons, while rejecting a Republican amendment to increase from $3 billion to $10 billion funds already allocated in the bill for states to build or expand prisons. The funds would have been contingent, however, on states enacting so- called "truth in sentencing" legislation, which would mandate prisoners convicted of a second violent felony serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. A final vote on the bill was expected Thursday. Differences between the House and Senate bills would have be worked out in committee and the reconciled version of the legislation, with its final price tag, would then be considered by both chambers. circa 04/19/94 [untitled - Alice in Chains Member Sentenced for Pot, Theft] ALICE IN CHAINS AND BEHIND BARS: Mike Starr, a founding member of the Seattle rock band Alice in Chains, has been sentenced to 30 days in the Houston jail for misdemeanor drug possession. Last Friday he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for misdemeanor theft. Starr, 28, was arrested last week at Houston's Intercontinental Airport while trying to check in for a flight to Los Angeles with a suitcase he had stolen from the baggage claim area. Authorities searched him and found he was carrying marijuana. UPce 04/20/94 Firefighters discover marijuana EDWARDSVILLE, Ill., April 20 (UPI) -- A couple from Troy faces drug charges stemming from an alleged marijuana-growing operation in the basement of their home, discovered when firefighters were called to extinguish a weekend fire. James Kohler was charged Tuesday in Madison County Circuit Court with illegal possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. His wife, Cheri Kohler, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Both are 45 years old. Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis set bail at $25,000 for James Kohler, who remained free after posting $2,500 bond. Bail for Cheri Kohler was set at $15,000, but she was released on her promise to appear in court. A fire broke out Sunday evening in the basement furnace utility room of the couple's home, firefighters said. They said they suspected the cause was an electrical malfunction. The fire was extinguished without major damage to the rest of the home. Firefighters who saw the marijuana-growing operation in the basement called police. Troy Police Chief Robert Noonan said his officers recovered 43 potted plants -- 30 cut stalks; three reflector grow lights and numerous chemicals and hardware items used to grow marijuana, including a carbon dioxide machine to boost plant metabolism. Noonan estimated the marijuana seized had a value of about $10,000. He said it appeared the Kohlers were experienced in growing marijuana and had at more than $1,000 invested in the operation. Most of the plants seized were between 3 feet and 4 feet tall, while a few were seedlings, police said. WP 04/20/94 Clinton Talks to Teenagers About Guns and Music By Ruth Marcus Washington Post Staff Writer President Clinton yesterday responded to the recent shooting of a teacher at Largo High School by saying the federal government should help pay for security measures such as metal detectors in schools that need them. "Until we get guns out of the hands of our young people, every school that needs it ought to have whatever security is needed to take care of that," Clinton said. "You ought to be safe at school." Clinton made his comments at a special 90-minute forum on violence on MTV, the cable network where he wooed younger voters in a campaign appearance nearly two years ago. He was responding to a question from Brandon Dortch, a 16-year-old junior at Largo who referred to the recent shooting of teacher Barrington Miles by a student who was attempting to sell his father's service revolver. Clinton also expressed disagreement with the use of mandatory minimum sentences to punish drug crimes, a tactic that Congress and various states have adopted in recent years but that has come under increasing criticism from judges and others who say the resulting sentences are overly punitive in many cases. "The mandatory sentencing programs - there've been problems with all of them, largely because they tend to treat cases that really are different fundamentally the same," Clinton said. APn 04/22/94 Smelly Deposit UKIAH, Calif. (AP) -- Clock repairman Robert Laughery's money reeked of marijuana, and a wiff of it was enough evidence to investigate him on drug charges, an appeals court ruled. Laughery was convicted after a bank teller told police in 1992 about deposits containing $20 and $100 bills smelling of pot. The defense appealed, arguing the stench wasn't enough to establish cause for a search of Laughery's home, where marijuana plants were found. A three-judge panel of the state appeals court in San Francisco disagreed in a unanimous opinion Thursday. "It does not require a genius to think that a person who seems to have the only marijuana-smelling money in the neighborhood is somehow in regular contact with marijuana," Associate Justice Marcel Poche wrote. After the teller alerted police, a check of Laughery's banking records showed $28,000 in deposits over a six-month period. Laughrey reported considerable less in earnings to tax authorities. After a trial judge denied Laughrey's motion to suppress the evidence, he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale. UPce 04/22/94 Around the Statehouse By United Press International ------ EARTH DAY It was Earth Day, but the Illinois Statehouse was not a major center of activity for environmental concern, as pot smokers outnumbered environmentalists during two sedate celebrations. Inside, 12 activists from Peoria, Springfield, Urbana and other central Illinois towns gathered to hear speeches on issues such as forest preservation, toxic materials handling and solid waste. Earth Day Coalition officials also spoke with members of Gov. Jim Edgar's staff to discuss their views on environmental legislation pending this spring before the General Assembly. Outside, 31 people gathered to hear speakers from the National Organization to Rationalize Marijuana Laws, who only had one topic on their minds -- legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. "It is Earth Day, and hemp is the most beneficial plant on the planet for human beings there is," said Joshua Sloan of Urbana, with the Illinois Drug Ethics Alliance. The largely youthful crowd in tie-dyed t shirts and sports caps sat passively listening to speakers, while three armed secretary of state police officers watched over them. ------ APn 04/22/94 Cocaine-Double Agent By WILL LESTER Associated Press Writer MIAMI (AP) -- The government says he earned $169 million flying cocaine for the Colombian cartels while pretending to be a U.S. Customs Service informant. Rodney Matthews, once featured on a "60 Minutes" show about secret government sources, lived extravagantly, traveling worldwide with his family and buying jewelry, furs and fancy clothes as they went, federal officials say. His joy ride came to an end Thursday when he was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling more than 25 tons of cocaine. "Rodney Matthews was double-dealing, pretending to be a confidential informant for the government, but actually using inside information to run his major narcotics enterprise," U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey said. "This is a just result that truly fits the crime." He was convicted Dec. 15 and the jury agreed with government estimates that he had earned $169 million from his drug smuggling activities. Matthews, 50, received a life prison sentence for running a continuing criminal enterprise. He also received two concurrent life sentences for conspiracy to import cocaine, 12 years for conspiracy to engage in money laundering and 40 years for money laundering. Matthews was smuggling marijuana into Texas in the early 1980s before he was caught in 1984 and agreed to cooperate with drug agents. By 1985, he was running his own smuggling operations again in Texas and south Florida, this time with the help of inside information he claimed included knowledge of military reconnaissance flights. His smuggling runs continued from Colombia between 1985 and 1988, prosecutors said. During Matthews' trial, defense attorneys F. Lee Bailey and Ronald Dresnick portrayed their client as a victim of dueling Customs Service agents, arguing that since Matthews was an undercover government informant, he was authorized to participate in drug flights. Customs officials in Miami had no comment Thursday on the sentencing. UPse 04/22/94 German, Swiss could face death penalty MANILA, April 22 (UPI) -- The Philippines Senate's leading crusader against drug trafficking called Friday for the death penalty for two foreigners charged with possession of 25 million pesos ($909,000) worth of hashish. Sen. Ernesto Herrera, chairman of the illegal drugs committee, said Remo Dalla Corta of Switzerland and Helmut Herbst of Germany should be executed "as a warning to international drug traffickers operating in the country." Dalla Corta, 31, and Herbst, 46, were arrested by immigration officers early this month in the beach resort town of Puerto Galera for possessing 5 million pesos ($182,000) worth of hashish, a drug derived from marijuana resin. Shortly after the arrest, their landlord reported to the National Bureau of Investigation that 22 kilos more had been found hidden in the septic tank of a house they rented. Police believe the hashish came from Mountain Province in the northern Philippines. Dalla Corta and Herbst were being held at the Bureau of Immigration jail as "undesirable aliens." Drug trafficking is punishable by death under the revised death penalty law that went into effect Jan. 1. The Philippines now has one of the broadest capital punishment laws outside the Muslim world, allowing the execution of criminals convicted of murder, drug trafficking, rape, arson, kidnapping, treason and the large-scale looting of government funds. On Monday, a 26-year-old fish vendor convicted of rape and robbery became the first criminal to be sentenced to death since capital punishment was reinstated. RTna 04/23/94 S.AFRICA'S SOCCER PARTY PLEDGES SEX AND DRUGS By Neil Manthorp CAPE TOWN (Reuter) - Score with the Soccer Party. That's the liberal sex-and-drugs platform of South Africa's newest contender in next week's first democratic elections. The fringe group pledges to legalize drugs and prostitution, do away with income and sales taxes and make all education free. It also promises more jobs, equal salaries for all, cheap gas and sports and leisure complexes in every town. The Soccer Party is listed second on the ballot paper for the April 26-28 poll, with a picture of Rastafarian-dreadlocked leader, rock star James Mange, seeking votes. "When we are in government we will make a lot of money from the production of dagga (marijuana). We all know that the farms exist so why not make them legal?" grins the party's General Secretary Mwandile Lavisa. Soccer, the game favored by the country's blacks, does feature in its manifesto but the party name is an acronym for Sports Organizations for Collective Contributions to Equal Rights. The general secretary, a 27-year-old graduate of Cape Town University, smiled when he told reporters the Soccer Party was "based on the principle of uniting the whole country around sport, music and the arts." A hastily photocopied, 18-page manifesto explained how it would pay off South Africa's 136 billion rand ($38.5 billion) debt within 10 years by means of a one percent tax on all bank and credit transactions over a value of 2,000 rand ($666). All schools will teach sports, music and the arts to exam level. Less cerebral but crucial to the party's ethos is the legalization of prostitution and marijuana, or dagga. "Nobody represents the prostitutes of the country. We should use the energy of these people in a constructive way rather than force them into the closet. Everyone knows it's the oldest profession in the world." Lavisa said. And dagga? "Rastafarians use it as part of their religion to meditate...and it is used as medicine. Alcohol is used and promoted in South Africa so much but its effect is just as harmful as dagga when it is abused," he added. The Soccer Party has 49 candidates around the country. They include surprise choice Daryll Cullinan, a star of South Africa's national cricket team. Lavisa said little on party funding. "You could say that we are privately funded but they want to remain anonymous." He denied, however, that any funds from either dagga or prostitution were involved. "The Soccer Party will be happy if it can make people in South Africa smile." REUTER circa 04/23/94 [untitled - Memory Lapse?] Memory lapse?: Friday's Earth Day festivities at the Illinois Statehouse weren't much to write home about, and the unofficial event was made worse because of a glitch. The National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws held a rally outside the capitol building. The scheduled speaker, a woman from the Families Against Mandatory Minimums organization, forgot to show up. ------ dpa 04/25/94 Darmstadt verbietet geplantes "Haschisch-Wochenende" Darmstadt (dpa) - Das fuer den 14. und 15. Mai geplante "Haschisch-Wochenende" in Darmstadt wird nicht genehmigt. Dies hat Oberbuergermeister Peter Benz (SPD) am Montag entschieden. Er begruendete dies mit der Gefahr, dass waehrend der Veranstaltung mit harten Drogen gehandelt werden koennte. Ausserdem fuehre eine entsprechende Veranstaltung alle Bemuehungen im Kampf gegen Rauschgift ad absurdum. Die Organisatoren des "Cannabis-Weekends", zwei Initiativen fuer die Freigabe von Haschisch, hatten mehr als 10 000 Teilnehmer erwartet. Geplant waren Ausstellungen, Vortraege und Podiumsdiskussionen rund um die Hanf-Pflanze. dpa ha el OTC 04/26/94 PharmChem reports improved first quarter results MENLO PARK, CALIF. (APRIL 26) BUSINESS WIRE - April 26, 1994--PharmChem Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ:PCHM) of Menlo Park reported that sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 1994 were $7,458,000, 1% higher than for the first quarter of 1993. The company realized a loss from operations of $148,000 for the first quarter this year compared to income from operations of $663,000 for the first quarter last year. The net loss for the first quarter of 1994 was $188,000, a loss of 3 cents per share, compared to net income of $336,000, income of 6 cents per share, for the first quarter of 1993. "PharmChem continues to press forward with development efforts for PharmChek, the sweat patch drug and alcohol detection system purchased in 1992. All clinical trials and testing data have been submitted to the FDA for the five most most common illicit drugs -- cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and PCP. Although we continue to be frustrated with delays in the FDA review process, we hope to obtain approval later this year. In the meantime, we are working with several clients to implement pilot programs using PharmChek," Mr. Whitney stated. PharmChem is a leading independent laboratory providing integrated drug testing services to corporate and governmental clients seeking to detect and deter the use of illegal drugs. UPse 04/26/94 European drug agency launched By BARRY HATTON LISBON, April 26 (UPI) -- The 12 members of the European Drug Observatory met for the first time Tuesday to discuss a Europe-wide strategy to fight drug trafficking and abuse. The observatory, created by the European Union last December and to be based in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, also aims to coordinate its efforts with other international agencies, Portuguese member Luis Marques Mendes said. "The observatory will gather information relating to the whole drug phenomenon, its causes and consequences, its diversification and methods of fighting it, and make that information available to all European Union member states", Mendes told a news conference. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has described Portugal as one of the main ports of entry of drugs into western Europe. Its 480 miles (800 kilometers) of largely unpatrolled coastline on the western edge of Europe make it an ideal unloading point for drug shipments, mostly cocaine from Latin America, the DEA says. APn 04/27/94 Sheriff Sentenced MACON, Ga. (AP) -- A former sheriff was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for scheming to sell marijuana to raise money for a robbery defendant. Dressed in blue jail clothing and surrounded by family, former Bleckley County Sheriff Ed Coley wept as U.S. District Judge Wilbur Owens sentenced him Tuesday. He also must serve three years' probation. Coley could have received five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Coley pleaded guilty April 4 to charges that he conspired to sell 15 pounds of marijuana to raise money for Bobby Rickerson's defense. Rickerson, 39, was charged in February with holding up a convenience store in Bleckley County, southeast of Macon. Coley's share of the marijuana sale would have been $4,500, authorities said. Coley's attorney, Charles Erion, said Wednesday his client and Rickerson knew each other. But Erion would not spell out why the sheriff wanted to help the defendant. APn 04/27/94 AP Arts: High Times 20th By LARRY McSHANE Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) -- It's been more than a decade since Nancy Reagan first told America to just say no, 25 years since Woodstock, and Keith Richards is on the wrong side of 50. Signs of the times? Not at High Times, where the counterculture lives on -- and still inhales. As the magazine marks its own milestone -- 20 years of publishing -- High Times still covers marijuana ... and growing marijuana ... and the price of marijuana ... and, well, you get the idea. "We have always kept true to our grass roots," said publisher John Holmstrom. "We didn't turn into a culture magazine like Rolling Stone. Our role is the same as it was in the mid-'70s, the mid-'80s." Unlike Rolling Stone, the perception IS the reality at High Times: Cannabis is king at this publication. The magazine debuted on June 2, 1974 -- the year of Patti Hearst's kidnapping and Richard Nixon's resignation. Its founder was Tom Forcade, a charter member of the Yippies with Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. It hasn't been all smooth smoking in the years since. High Times was banned for content in Canada and Iraq. There were hits from the government over advertising, a backlash from the war on drugs, an increasingly conservative America in the 1980s, and its own lack of direction. Boosted in part by a new generation of musicians who back the marijuana law reform, High Times is again flourishing. The magazine now sells 200,000 copies per month -- down from its haze-day of the mid-1970s, but a solid base. "They have clearly stuck to their ideals," said Allen St. Pierre, assistant national director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "All the other magazines of the time -- Head, Party Time, Buzz -- turned into rags. High Times was never a rag." Or a mainstream magazine. Recent articles have included "Outdoor Megaweed in Minnesota," "Tips For Not Getting Caught Outdoors" -- a cautionary piece for home growers -- and "Prof. Afghani's Guide to Curing Cannabis." February featured a five-page spread on "The Battle for Medical Marijuana" and an update on Brett Kimberlin, the Indianapolis pot dealer who claims he sold to ex-veep Dan Quayle. In April, Beavis and Butt-head grabbed the cover -- dressed in hippie garb, smoking a couple of joints. The magazine quickly carved a niche in the mid-'70s with its cutting-edge journalism and dedication to legalization. It was an early home for Tom Robbins, whose "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" was excerpted in High Times, and Larry "Ratso" Sloman, now best known as Howard Stern's co-author. But after Forcade's 1978 suicide, things got a little shaky at High Times. The magazine ventured into harder drugs and psychedelics, alienating some of its core readership and damaging its reputation. "People thought High Times created crack babies," Holmstrom recalled. Marijuana -- and readership -- made a comeback when Steven Hager arrived as executive editor in 1986. Although the magazine today is leaner -- 12 full-time writers and five part-timers, down from a 50-person writing staff in the '70s -- High Times was nominated in 1992 for a MagazineWeek award for editorial excellence. The monthly's typical reader is a male, in his 20s, with some college education. One more thing: He's a toker. Nine out of 10 who answered a survey said they smoked pot. "But I don't think we get the real stoners. They don't read," Holmstrom said. "We get people in the more political end of things. We're becoming more popular as we've gotten more political." The politics include the promotion of hemp for other uses -- clothes, paper, construction -- and a constant focus on medical marijuana. Glaucoma patients, people with AIDS and a paraplegic with muscle spasms are among the people profiled in a spread on pot as medicine. The magazine is a loose place to work. Music editor Steve Bloom recalls smoking a fat joint in his office during an interview with rapper Redman. And about drug-testing for new staffers: "We always joke, `If you don't flunk the test, you don't get the job,' " said Hager. Pot-smoking is actually not a prerequisite; support of decriminalization is. One major reason for the magazine's resurgence, particularly with young readers, is its links to the new wave of pro-pot musicians. Rappers Cypress Hill and rockers the Black Crowes -- smokers both -- received cover stories in 1992. "That was a big year as far as addressing the new movement of musicians out there supporting what we were doing," said Bloom, who joined the magazine five years ago. "We were surprised the bands were showing an interest in the legalization movement." They are. The Black Crowes played a show for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The Spin Doctors, Guns 'N Roses and Pearl Jam are all pro-legalization. Rapper Dr. Dre named his debut album "The Chronic" after a potent strain of California pot. The new bands appeal to younger readers, but the High Times braintrust says a lot of the older ones are still around. They might be surprised by one thing: Although it may never be respectable, High Times is increasingly respected. "It's day and night now with how people view High Times," Holmstrom said. "People now respect us for sticking to our ideals, for fighting the good fight all the time." End Adv for Wed AMs, April 27 RTw 04/28/94 GERMAN SUPREME COURT LOOSENS ANTI-HASHISH LAWS KARLSRUHE, Germany, April 28 (Reuter) - Germany's supreme court loosened anti-drug laws on Thursday by ruling that possession of small amounts of hashish or marijuana should not be punished. An eight-judge panel rejected a constitutional challenge to anti-hashish laws as a whole, but backed a more tolerant policy that has been quietly spreading among German police and prosecutors on small amounts for personal consumption. Conservative allies of Chancellor Helmut Kohl quickly warned the ruling could encourage use of drugs made from the cannabis plant, although they avoided directly criticising the court in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe. "It would be wrong if the public had the impression that hashish and marijuana use would now go unpunished," said member of parliament Roland Sauer, drugs policy spokesman for Kohl's Christian Democrats (CDU). Guenther Beckstein, interior minister of the strictly anti-drugs state of Bavaria, said police would still be free to arrest hashish owners even though the supreme court urged prosecutors to drop small cases. "I think this (tolerance) sets the wrong signal because it establishes a tendency and allows the misunderstanding that everybody has a right to their own high," Beckstein told German radio. Seven of the eight judges rejected a set of appeals that argued cannabis products were no more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes and should be legalised. One judge dissented, arguing there was no differnce between soft drugs, drink and tobacco. In a complex decision, they upheld laws imposing a maximum term of five years on selling or possessing hashish or marijuana but said prosecutors should ignore cases of small amounts for personal use. That distinction matches a practice first permitted since the law was revised in 1992 and which has since become standard in some of Germany's 16 federal states. The northern state of Schleswig-Holstein for example tolerates possession of up to 30 grams (one ounce) of cannabis drugs unless police suspect the owner is a dealer. REUTER dpa 04/28/94 Karlsruhe: Haschisch-Erwerb in geringen Mengen straffrei Karlsruhe (dpa) - Der Erwerb und Besitz von Haschisch in geringen Mengen zum ausschliesslichen Eigenverbrauch soll grundsaetzlich straffrei sein. Dies entschied jetzt das Bundesverfassungsgericht in Karlsruhe. In einem am Donnerstag veroeffentlichten Beschluss erklaerte der Zweite Senat zwar das Haschisch-Verbot mit dem Grundgesetz fuer vereinbar und wies eine entsprechende Verfassungsbeschwerde zurueck. Ein "Recht auf Rausch" gebe es nicht. Gleichzeitig wies er aber die Strafverfolgungsorgane an, beim Erwerb, Besitz und der Einfuhr von Cannabis-Produkten "in geringen Mengen und ausschliesslich zum gelegentlichen Eigenverbrauch" von Strafverfolgung grundsaetzlich abzusehen. Der rund 100 Seiten zaehlenden Entscheidung, der zwei abweichende Meinungen beigefuegt sind, liegen neben der Verfassungsbeschwerde mehrere Vorlagen von Strafgerichten in Luebeck, Hildesheim, Stuttgart und Frankfurt zugrunde. Diese hatten anhaengige Strafverfahren ausgesetzt, weil sie das Hasch-Verbot fuer verfassungswidrig halten. Das Landgericht Luebeck hatte unter anderem mit der Verletzung des Gleichheitsgebots argumentiert, da andere Rauschmittel wie Nikotin und Alkohol nicht verboten sind. Nach Ansicht der Karlsruher Richter gebietet der Gleichheitssatz aber nicht, "alle potentiell gleich schaedlichen Drogen" gleichermassen zu verbieten oder zuzulassen. Zwar sei anerkannt, dass der Alkoholmissbrauch Gefahren mit sich bringe, die denen des Konsums von Cannabisprodukten "gleichkommen oder sie sogar uebertreffen". Im Gegensatz zu Haschisch stehe beim Alkohol aber nicht die berauschende Wirkung im Vordergrund. Auch wenn die von Cannabisprodukten ausgehende Gesundheitsgefahr nach heutiger wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis geringer eingeschaetzt werde als beim Erlass des Betaeubungsmittelgesetzes, so sei diese doch nach wie vor nicht unbetraechtlich. Die Gesamtkonzeption des Gesetzes, die menschliche Gesundheit zu schuetzen, sei deshalb in bezug auf Cannabisprodukte nicht zu beanstanden. Der Zweite Senat unterstrich nachdruecklich, die geforderte Straffreiheit gelte nicht fuer den Handel mit Cannabisprodukten als "gefahrintensivster Form" des unerlaubten Umgangs mit Betaeubungsmitteln. Verstoesse gegen das Betaeubungsmittelgesetz koennen mit einer Freiheitsstrafe bis zu fuenf Jahren geahndet werden. In ihrem abweichenden Votum stimmte Richterin Karin Grasshof der Entscheidung im Ergebnis zu, bemaengelte aber, dass die schaedlichen Auswirkungen, die Cannabis auf das soziale Zusammenleben habe, zu wenig beruecksichtigt worden seien. Nach Ansicht des Richters Berthold Sommer sind die gesetzlichen Strafvorschriften nicht verfassungsgemaess, weil sie die Einfuhr, den Erwerb und den Besitz schon geringer Mengen von Haschisch zum Eigenbedarf mit Strafe bedrohen. Bei dem aufsehenerregenden Luebecker Urteil vom Dezember 1991 hatte sich das Gericht geweigert, eine Frau wegen des Besitzes von 1,12 Gramm Haschisch zu verurteilen, das sie ins Gefaengnis schmuggeln wollte. Der Vorsitzende Richter hatte in seiner Entscheidung geltend gemacht, Alkohol und Nikotin seien wesentlich gefaehrlicher als Haschisch. So wuerden beispielsweise die Folgekosten des Alkoholkonsums in der Bundesrepublik auf jaehrlich 50 Milliarden Mark geschaetzt, waehrend bei Cannabisprodukten entprechende Zahlen nicht existierten. Schaetzungen zufolge gibt es vor deutschen Strafgerichten rund 30 000 Verfahren wegen des Erwerbs oder der Abgabe von Haschisch. (Aktenzeichen: 2 BvL 43/92, 51/92, 63/92, 64/92, 70/92, 80/92, 2 BvR 2031/92 - Beschluss vom 9. Maerz 1994) dpa sk gh dpa 04/28/94 Karlsruhe lockert Haschisch-Verbot Karlsruhe (dpa) - Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hat das bestehende Haschisch-Verbot gelockert. Der Zweite Senat erklaerte in einer am Donnerstag veroeffentlichten Entscheidung ein Verbot zwar grundsaetzlich mit dem Grundgesetz fuer vereinbar und wies eine entsprechende Verfassungsbeschwerde zurueck. Beim Erwerb, Besitz und der Einfuhr von Cannabis-Produkten in geringen Mengen zum gelegentlichen Eigenverbrauch koenne allerdings von Strafe abgesehen werden. dpa sk pi UPse 04/29/94 Student drug use and abuse grows HARRISBURG, Pa. April 29 (UPI) -- A growing number of Pennsylvania students are using and abusing drugs, according to a report released Friday by the Governor's Drug Policy Council. The report, based on a survey of 6th, 7th, 9th and 12th graders taken last spring, said an increase was found between 1991 and 1993 in students' willingness to use and actual abuse of tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, hallucinogens, stimulants and steroids. It said regular use of alcohol among students has not changed drastically in recent years. The report noted many of the survey's findings are consistent with national trends among students. The survey also looked at "youth risk behaviors", including drunk- driving among 12th grade students. At least once a month, 10.6 percent of seniors drove after drinking alcohol. Of the seniors who reported drinking regularly, 25.3 percent said they drove after drinking at least once monthly or more often. But overall, the report said most students surveyed do not abuse alcohol or drugs at all. It also said students' attitudes about school, their teachers and subjects have steadily improved since the first survey was taken in 1989. APf 04/29/94 Switzerland-Money Laundering ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- The head of Switzerland's biggest bank apologized Friday for a drug money scandal which led to the freezing of $150 million in its accounts. "I can assure you that in our executive management the situation is very clear," Union Bank of Switzerland chairman Robert Studer told a shareholders meeting. "We don't want any criminal money in our bank and we undertake everything to keep it away." A U.S. government probe of money laundering and cocaine distribution led Swiss authorities to block around $150 million in UBS accounts earlier this month. A Miami attorney, Kendall Coffey, has described it as "the largest single cash seizure of narcotics proceeds to date." U.S. authorities recently announced the indictments of a Colombian couple, Julio Nasser David and his wife, Sheila Miriam Arana de Nasser, on charges of smuggling 27.5 tons of cocaine and 3 million pounds of marijuana into the United States from 1976 to 1984. Mrs. Arana de Nasser is in a Swiss prison. Her husband, accused of helping manage the smuggling racket between South America and the United States, is a fugitive. The couple are allegedly the holders of the frozen accounts. Studer did not name any names but he told the shareholders meeting that the customer relationship dated back 15 years. He said the bank was told the money came from a legitimate hotel and shipping business. Swiss banks have a reputation as a haven for drug money and ill-gotten gains stashed in secretive accounts. Recently, the Swiss government has tightened laws against money laundering, forcing banks to be more careful about their customers. RTna 04/29/94 GERMAN OFFICIALS, POLICE SPLIT OVER HASHISH RULING By Marcus Kabel BONN (Reuter) - Opposition politicians and police were split Friday on a Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized hashish and marijuana use in Germany. The top anti-narcotics official in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's center-right government criticized the court's implicit view that the drugs were safer than "harder" substances like cocaine and heroin. "Making a distinction between soft and hard drugs is the wrong way to go," the Interior Ministry state secretary, Eduard Lintner, told the newspaper Bild. Supreme court judges Thursday upheld the ban on hashish and marijuana in principle but said possession of small amounts for personal use should no longer be punished. Consumers of any illegal drugs had faced up to five years in jail. Bild, Germany's biggest-selling daily, ran a banner headline "We say NO" above a dozen statements from politicians, sports stars and average citizens criticizing the court ruling. The national police detectives' association blasted the decision, saying it would encourage addiction and open the door for fully legalizing drugs. Opposition Social Democrats (SPD) praised the court for granting the highest legal backing to a practice of not charging hashish and marijuana users that has spread among overworked police and prosecutors in many of Germany's 16 federal states. Hesse state legislature deputy Kurt Weidmann, whose region includes the drugs-plagued city of Frankfurt, called the ruling "a brave step toward de-criminalizing" hashish that could help move drug users from jails to therapy programs. The supreme court, in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, made its ruling on appeals from several local criminal courts, who had asked if it was fair to punish hashish smokers even though alcohol and cigarettes were also unhealthy. The ruling left it to state lawmakers to decide what quantity would make up a permissable "small amount." Definitions under some states' existing tolerance policies range as high as 30 grams (one ounce). Government estimates put the number of hashish and marijuana users at up to eight million in a country of 80 million people. REUTER RTw 04/29/94 GERMAN CONSERVATIVES SAY ``NO'' TO PRO-HASHISH RULING By Marcus Kabel BONN, April 29 (Reuter) - German conservatives urged people to just say "no" to drugs as politicians and commentators split on Friday over a supreme court ruling that effectively legalised hashish and marijuana use. The top anti-narcotics official in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's centre-right government criticised the court's implicit view that the drugs were safer than "harder" substances like cocaine and heroin. "Making a distinction between soft and hard drugs is the wrong way to go," the Interior Ministry state secretary, Eduard Lintner, told the newspaper Bild. Supreme court judges on Thursday upheld the ban on hashish and marijuana in principle but said possession of small amounts for personal use should no longer be punished. Consumers of any illegal drugs had faced up to five years in jail. Bild, Germany's biggest-selling daily, ran a banner headline "We say NO" above a dozen statements from politicians, sports stars and average citizens criticising the court ruling. The national police detectives' association blasted the decision, saying it would encourage addiction and open the door for fully legalising drugs. Opposition Social Democrats (SPD) praised the court for granting the highest legal backing to a practice of not charging hashish and marijuana users that has spread among overworked police and prosecutors in many of Germany's 16 federal states. "If small consumers are no longer punished, that will lower the level of crime committed for money to buy drugs," said SPD member of parliament Edith Niehuis. Hesse state legislature deputy Kurt Weidmann, whose region includes the drugs-plagued city of Frankfurt, called the ruling "a brave step towards de-criminalising" hashish that could help move drug users from jails to therapy programmes. Liberal commentators welcomed the ruling but questioned the court's finding that hashish and marijuana could not be put on the same level as alcohol and cigarettes, which are widely used in Germany. "The constitutional judges decided that there is no right to get high, even though tens of thousands of people each year quite legally drink themselves to death, encouraged by advertising," the daily Frankfurter Rundschau wrote. The supreme court, in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, made its ruling on appeals from several local criminal courts, who had asked if it was fair to punish hashish smokers even though alcohol and cigarettes were also unhealthy. The ruling left it to state lawmakers to decide what quantity would make up a permissable "small amount." Definitions under some states' existing tolerance policies range as high as 30 grams (one ounce). Government estimates put the number of hashish and marijuana users at up to eight million in a country of 80 million people. REUTER dpa 04/29/94 Unionspolitiker kritisieren Haschisch-Urteil - Kriminalbeamte: Nach Haschisch auch Einbruch freigeben? - Warnung vor Drogen im Verkehr Hamburg (dpa) - Das Haschisch-Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichts ist von Unionspolitikern und Verbaenden scharf kritisiert worden. "Wir muessen befuerchten, dass Jugendliche Hasch jetzt als erlaubt ansehen. Und was erlaubt ist, ist fuer viele im Umkehrschluss auch nicht schaedlich", sagte Jugendministerin Angela Merkel (CDU) der "Bild"-Zeitung (Freitagausgabe). Der Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter erklaerte am Freitag in Bonn: "Wenn in allen Problemen, mit denen der Rechtsstaat nicht fertig wird, so verfahren wuerde, muesste bald der Einbruchsdiebstahl ebenfalls nicht mehr sanktioniert werden, da eine Aufklaerungsrate zwischen acht und 14 Prozent de facto zu einer quasi Legalisierung fuehrt." Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hatte am Donnerstag entschieden, dass der Erwerb und Besitz von Haschisch in geringen Mengen zum Eigenverbrauch grundsaetzlich straffrei sein soll. Zwar sei das Haschisch-Verbot mit dem Grundgesetz vereinbar und ein "Recht auf Rausch" gebe es nicht. Das Gericht wies jedoch die Strafverfolgungsorgane an, beim Erwerb, Besitz und der Einfuhr von Cannabis-Produkten "in geringen Mengen und ausschliesslich zum gelegentlichen Eigenverbrauch" von der Strafverfolgung abzusehen. Der Praesident der Bundesaerztekammer, Karsten Vilmar, appellierte an Eltern, ihre Kinder nachdruecklich auf die Gefahren von Haschisch oder Marihuana hinzuweisen. Die Eltern sollten verdeutlichen, "dass das Verlangen nach haerteren Drogen ... in eine Suechtigen-Karriere fuehrt", sagte Vilmar im Saarlaendischen Rundfunk. Der Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD) forderte eine bessere Aufklaerung ueber drogen- und medikamentenbedingte Gefaehrdungen im Strassenverkehr. Nach dem Haschisch-Urteil befuerchtet der Club steigende Unfallzahlen. Berlins Regierender Buergermeister Eberhard Diepgen (CDU) erklaerte in der "Bild"-Zeitung: "Das Urteil darf uns nicht von einer harten Drogenbekaempfung abbringen." Nach Worten von Innenstaatssekretaer Eduard Lintner (CSU) ist es "ein Irrweg, zwischen weichen und harten Drogen zu unterscheiden." Bayerns Innenminister Guenther Beckstein (CSU) haelt das Urteil fuer ein falsches Signal. "Haschisch ist keine weiche, sondern eine hinterlistige Droge. Fuer zwei Drittel der Drogentoten war Hasch der Einstieg." Das niederlaendische Justizministerium sieht nach dem Karlsruher Urteil eine weitere Annaeherung zwischen der niederlaendischen und der deutschen Drogenpolitik. "Wir sind dafuer, dass die Politik der verschiedenen Laender so weit wie moeglich aufeinander abgestimmt wird", sagte der Sprecher des fuer Drogenfragen zustaendigen Justizministeriums in Den Haag, Victor Holtus. Die Niederlande tolerieren schon seit langem trotz eines gesetzlichen Verbotes den Handel mit kleinen Mengen sogenannter weicher Drogen. Wenn es kuenftig wirklich leichter werde, in Deutschland weiche Drogen zu konsumieren, werde die Zahl der Drogentouristen in niederlaendischen Grenzstaedten abnehmen. dpa os mg dpa 04/29/94 (Sperrfrist 29. April 0600 Uhr) Unionspolitiker kritisieren Haschisch-Urteil Hamburg (dpa) - Politiker von CDU und CSU haben die Entscheidung des Bundesverfassungsgerichtes, die Konsumenten kleiner Mengen von Cannabis-Produkten nicht mehr strafrechtlich zu verfolgen, kritisiert. Der "Bild"-Zeitung (Freitagausgabe) sagte Jugendministerin Angela Merkel (CDU): "Wir muessen befuerchten, dass Jugendliche Hasch jetzt als erlaubt ansehen. Und was erlaubt ist, ist fuer viele im Umkehrschluss auch nicht schaedlich." Berlins regierender Buergermeister, Eberhard Diepgen (CDU), erklaerte: "Das Urteil darf uns nicht von einer harten Drogenbekaempfung abbringen. Das Unterscheiden von harten und weichen Drogen erleichtert nur den Einstieg in die Drogenkarriere." Innenstaatssekretaer Eduard Lintner (CSU) sagte: "es ist ein Irrweg, zwischen weichen und harten Drogen zu unterscheiden. Die Drogentoten sind Mahnung, im Kampf gegen Rauschgiftkriminalitaet nicht nachzulassen." Bayerns Innenminister Guenther Beckstein (CSU) aeusserte sich: "Das Urteil ist das falsche Signal. Haschisch ist keine weiche, sondern eine hinterlistige Droge. Fuer zwei Drittel der Drogentoten war Hasch der Einstieg." Dieser Beitrag wurde dpa in redaktioneller Fassung vorab uebermittelt. dpa wa dpa 05/02/94 Aids-Hilfe begruesst Haschisch-Urteil - Strafrechtler fuer Freigabe Berlin - Die Deutsche Aids-Hilfe hat das Haschisch-Urteil des Bundesverfassungsgerichtes als Meilenstein zu einem ehrlichen Umgang mit Drogen in Deutschland begruesst. Neben HIV-Infizierten und Aids-Kranken gebe es eine Reihe von Schwerkranken, deren Leiden mit der medizinischen Vergabe von Cannabis gelindert werden koenne, teilte die Aids-Hilfe in Berlin mit. Diese Haschisch-Konsumenten seien bislang in Gefahr gewesen, wegen ihres Cannabis-Konsums kriminalisiert zu werden. Die Freigabe aller Drogen hat der Trierer Strafrechtler Heiner Kuehne gefordert. Im Saarlaendischen Rundfunk schlug Kuehne am Montag vor, Drogen sollten "wie Alkohol und Nikotin" in Geschaeften erhaeltlich sein. Dadurch koennten der Rauschgiftmarkt ausgetrocknet und Polizeikraefte entlastet werden. dpa in cf UPse 05/04/94 Tyler seeks extradition of Louisiana man for possessing hemp seed AUSTIN, Texas, May 4 (UPI) -- A Louisiana judge will decide Thursday whether to extradite a New Orleans man to Texas to face misdemeanor charges of possessing sterilized marijuana seeds. Kevin Aplin, who organized the Louisiana Cannabis Action Network, said he bought the seeds at a Houston hemp store called "Legal Marijuana," and that the seeds were certified as sterile by the U.S. Agriculture Department. Aplin, who was arrested at a CAN rally last September in Tyler, called the case against him "a bad-faith prosecution to prevent me from exercising my First Amendment rights in the Tyler area in the future." He said, "It seems quite shocking that I would be extradited for a misdemeanor charge, which is usually reserved for bank robbers, murderers and other felons." But Richard Kennedy, an assistant district attorney in Smith County, said the seeds confiscated from Aplin were quite healthy. Kennedy said, "We probably wouldn't care all that much except that they were making such a big stink that these were infertile seeds. A big chuck of those seeds were fertile." He said about 30 percent of the seeds sprouted when tested by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Aplin, whose group promotes the use of hemp products, was arrested Sept. 30, 1993, at a CAN rally in Tyler, but police did not issue an arrest warrant until Jan 12. An April 7 extradition hearing in New Orleans was postponed until May 5 because Texas Gov. Ann Richards had not signed the paperwork. Roxanne Evans, a spokewoman for Richards, said the governor signed the extradition warrant April 15, and that it was forwarded to New Orleans and officials in Smith County. CAN spokeswoman Lisa Hicks said several hundred people will hold a rally in Aplin's behalf on the courthouse steps in New Orleans Thursday. dpa 05/04/94 Karlsruher Haschisch-Urteil weiter umstritten Hamburg (dpa) - Das Haschisch-Urteil des Karlsruher Verfassungsgerichts bleibt weiter im Gespraech. Kanzleramtsminister Friedrich Bohl (CDU) haelt die Diskussion zum Haschisch-Urteil aber fuer gefaehrlich. Das Urteil wuerde vielerorst als voellige Freigabe des "Hasch"-Konsums ausgelegt. Bohl erklaerte am Mittwoch in Bonn, das Gericht habe das Verbot der Droge und alle ihm zur Verfuegung vorgelegten Straftatbestaende fuer verfassungsgemaess erklaert: Der Eindruck, dass der Gebrauch von Hachisch freigegeben sei, entbehre jeder Grundlage, betonte Bohl. Er forderte die Justizminister der Laender auf, schon bald die vom Verfassungsgericht verlangten bundeseinheitlichen Grundsaetze bei der Strafverfolgung auch geringfuegigen Missbrauchs von Cannabis-Produkten zu entwickeln. Der hessische Umweltminister Joschka Fischer (Gruene) und andere Prominente widersprachen unterdessen der Behauptung, Haschisch sei eine Einstiegsdroge. In der Zeitung "Die Woche" bekannte sich der Gruenenpolitiker zu frueherem Haschischkonsum und setzte sich dafuer ein, auch "die Sucht mit harten Drogen" zu entkriminalisieren. Die Schauspielerin Christine Kaufmann sagte, die Behauptung, dass Haschisch eine Einstiegsdroge sei, lenke "nur vom Drogenproblem ab". Der oesterreichische Bildhauer Alfred Hrdlicka haelt Hanfkonsum ebenfalls fuer ungefaehrlich: "Ich habe das geraucht und kann sagen, man wird nur von Alkohol und Nikotin suechtig." dpa bo cf UPsw 05/04/94 [untitled - 49 Lbs. of Pot Found in Grupo Mazz Truck] BROWNSVILLE, Texas, May 4 (UPI) - Members of the Tejano band Grupo Mazz say they were perfoming in Chicago and knew nothing about 49 pounds of marijuana found stuffed inside their instruments in a trailer last week. "I'm very sorry that this happened," lead singer Joe Lopez said during a news conference in Brownsville Tuesday. "It has nothing to do with us." Federal agents arrested the Tejano band's truckdriver last Thursday after they seized musical instruments stuffed with marijuana in a trailer owned by Lopez. A drug-sniffing dog at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias found the marijuana stuffed in guitars and keyboards. "We have no knowledge of what happened," said band manager Jimmy Gonzalez. "Our families called us in Chicago and told us." Agents arrested Cruz Moreno Gaitan, 42, of Edinburg, the only person on board the truck. Gaitan was released Thursday from the Brooks County Jail on $15,000 bond. He had worked for the band for about four months, Lopez said. The band recovered their instruments this week. Police were expected to release their trailer Wednesday, Gonzalez said. Grupo Mazz has recorded three albums in the approximately eight years the group has been together. RTw 05/04/94 U.S. SEEKS FREEZING OF THAI POLITICIAN'S ASSETS (Eds: Adds details about U.S. accusations beginning in 5th para.) BANGKOK, May 4 (Reuter) - The United States has asked Thailand to freeze the assets of a Thai politician for alleged involvement in a multi-million-dollar marijuana smuggling operation, a Thai anti-naroctics offical said on Wednesday. Thai authorities were considering the evidence presented by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) against opposition Member of Parliament Thanong Siripreechapong, said the official, who asked not to be identified. Thanong's assets in the United States have already been seized. "We can confirm that this individual's assets in California were seized ... in January, 1993," A U.S. Embassy official told Reuters. A Los Angeles house and a Mercedes-Benz car belonging to Thanong were seized on the order of a U.S. government prosecutor in San Franciso, according to a briefing paper issued by the embassy. A U.S. Court ruled that the house and car had been obtained with profits earned from drug smuggling, the paper said. The prosecutor's affidavit alleged that Thanong was paid millions of dollars for tonnes of marijuana he smuggled, or arranged to be smuggled, into the United States between 1977 and 1987. Among the incidents listed in the affidavit were the mid-1986 supplying by Thanong to American drug runners of 18 tonnes of marijuana that was subsequently smuggled into the United States, The paper said. In another incident he was paid $7 million in cash for two shipments of the drug successfully smuggled into the United States in 1987, the paper said. The U.S. allegations against Thanong were first made three years ago. The Thai official said the DEA had identified at least two other Thais, one a politician and the other a policeman, as suspects in the case. "It is not easy to catch these suspects because they never carry drugs themselves," the official said. Thanong was not available for comment on Wednesday. Veteran politician Narong Wongwan was forced to withdraw as a prime ministerial nominee in April, 1992, when the United States confirmed it had refused him a visa because of suspicion he was involved in the drugs trade. REUTER UPwe 05/05/94 Court nixes drug tests for prep athletes SAN FRANCISCO, May 5 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that an Oregon public school district's random drug testing program for interscholastic athletes is unconstitutional. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided unanimously that the district's random testing program was too invasive to be justified by evidence of increased drug use by student athletes. The ruling reversed Judge Malcolm F. Marsh's order permitting the Vermonia School District to continue its program of mandatory testing of student athletes prior to each athletic season and random testing during the season. A three-judge panel said that while the prospect of drug-impaired children in schools was "tragic," there were no compelling safety or security interests permitting the district to invade the students' constitutionally protected privacy rights. The court said random drug testing was only permissible in situations involving "extreme dangers and hazards," such as workers at nuclear power plants, airline workers and Navy civilian employees with "top- secret" clearances. The program was challenged by James Acton, a 7th grader at Washington Grade School, who was kept off the school's football team because he refused to submit to a drug test. Acton and his parents contended that the testing program violated the student's privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment and the Oregon Constitution. The district had started testing students to deal with an increase in drug use by students which had caused a substantial rise in disciplinary problems in its two schools. Athletic coaches at Vermonia High School and Washington Grade School blamed an increase in the number and severity of injuries to athletes on marijuana and alcohol abuse. dpa 05/05/94 Keine Einigung der Laender-Justizminister ueber Umgang mit Karlsruher Haschischurteil - Seehofer rechnet mit Loesung "in einiger Zeit" Hamburg/Bonn (dpa) - Die Justizminister von Bund und Laendern haben sich auf einer dreitaegigen Konferenz in Hamburg nicht auf eine einheitliche Behandlung von Konsumenten geringer Drogenmengen einigen koennen. Waehrend sich der rheinland-pfaelzische Minister Peter Caesar (FDP) am Donnerstag zum Abschluss der Tagung dafuer aussprach, die Einnahme geringer Rauschgiftmengen lediglich mit einem Bussgeld zu belegen, sagte Bayerns Minister Hermann Leeb (CSU): "Die Aechtung der Drogen muss in den Vordergrund gestellt werden." Drogen duerften nicht durch teilweise Nicht-Bestrafung salonfaehig gemacht werden. Bundesgesundheitsminister Horst Seehofer (CSU) geht hingegen davon aus, dass sich die Laender "in einiger Zeit" darauf einigen werden, wann von Verfolgung und Strafe von Konsumenten geringer Drogenmengen abzusehen ist. Die Richter des Bundesverfassungsgerichts (BVG) haetten mit ihrem Spruch in der vergangenen Woche die Laender auf ihre Pflicht hingewiesen, fuer eine einheitliche Praxis zu sorgen, sagte der Minister in Bonn. Derzeit gebe es grosse Unterschiede darin, was als "geringe Menge" eingestuft wuerde. In Brandenburg sei die Grenze auf 0,5 Gramm festgelegt, in Schleswig-Holstein auf 30 Gramm. Versuche zur Vereinheitlichung seien bereits vor dem BVG-Urteil gestartet worden. Seehofer lehnte es ab, den Laendern Vorgaben zu machen. Er liess jedoch erkennen, dass er eher zu 0,5 Gramm als zu dem Wert aus Schleswig-Holstein tendiert. Wissenschaftler bewerten 0,5 Gramm als "drei Konsumeinheiten" - wobei als eine "Konsumeinheit" die Menge gilt, die einen Cannabis-Ungewohnten in Rausch versetzt. Seehofer daempfte die Erwartungen nach dem "Haschisch-Urteil". "Wer die Entscheidung als Freigabe interpretiert, taeuscht die Oeffentlichkeit." Das Gericht habe eindeutig festgestellt: "Es gibt kein Recht auf Rausch." Zudem habe das BVG einige Kernsaetze der Bundesregierung zur Drogenpolitik bestaetigt. Der Minister verwies dazu auf einen Beschluss des Nationalen Drogenrats vom 16. Dezember 1993. Darin seien 16 verschiedene rechtliche Moeglichkeiten aufgelistet worden, wie zur Wahrung des Prinzips "Hilfe vor Strafe" von Verfolgung und Strafe abgesehen werden koenne. Das solle auch der Fall sein, wenn es sich nur um sehr geringe Mengen handele, Dritte nicht gefaehrdet wurden oder das oeffentliche Interesse an der Strafverfolgung fehle. Die Moeglichkeit zum Absehen von Strafe sei bereits im September 1992 in das Betaeubungsmittelgesetz eingefuegt worden. Nach den Worten von Hamburgs Justizsenator Klaus Hardraht (parteilos) wollen die Laender jetzt das BVG-Urteil auswerten und auf der Tagung im Herbst nach einer gemeinsamen Linie suchen. dpa os cf RTna 05/05/94 GERMAN GOVERNMENT DENIES COURT LEGALIZED DRUGS BONN, Germany (Reuter) - Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government, running for re-election on a law and order platform, denied Thursday that a controversial supreme court ruling had legalized hashish and marijuana use in Germany. Kohl's conservative Health Minister, Horst Seehofer, denounced media headlines and comments by some politicians that said the ruling last week meant an end to punishment for using the drugs, both made from the cannabis plant. "A lot of commentary has been wrong and misleading," Seehofer told a news conference, called to give the center-right government's view of the court decision. "I think that was irresponsible because it has made some people feel insecure, especially parents and teachers." Seehofer said the complex ruling last Thursday had largely upheld the government's stance that cannabis products should remain illegal even if some first-time offenders were given drugs therapy or no penalty rather than jail. But the minister acknowledged the court had told prosecutors not to press cases against people for small amounts of hashish or marijuana as long as their consumption did not endanger others or tempt children to take drugs. That key part of the ruling prompted a wave of comments saying the court had broken with Kohl's tough anti-narcotics line, part of a crack-down on crime the government is pushing ahead of national elections October 16. Conservatives lashed out at the ruling, saying it would lead young people to dismiss anti-drugs messages and become addicts. Seehofer stressed users could still face jail terms. Government estimates put the number of marijuana and hashish users at up to eight million in a country of 80 million people. REUTER dpa 05/05/94 Seehofer versucht Erwartungen nach Haschisch-Urteil zu daempfen - "Kein Recht auf Rausch" - Laender muessen Richtschnur festlegen Bonn (dpa) - Bundesgesundheitsminister Horst Seehofer (CSU) hat am Donnerstag versucht, die Erwartungen nach dem "Haschisch-Urteil" des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zu daempfen. "Wer die Entscheidung als Freigabe interpretiert, taeuscht die Oeffentlichkeit", sagte der Minister vor Journalisten in Bonn. Das Gericht habe eindeutig festgestellt: "Es gibt kein Recht auf Rausch". Im uebrigen habe das Gericht bei der Klarstellung, wann von Verfolgung und Strafe abzusehen sei, einige Kernsaetze der Bundesregierung zur Drogenpolitik bestaetigt. Seehofer wies dazu auf einen Beschluss des Nationalen Drogenrats hin, der am 16. Dezember 1993 unter seinem Vorsitz erfolgt war. Darin seien 16 verschiedene rechtliche Moeglichkeiten aufgelistet worden, wie zur Wahrung des Prinzips "Hilfe vor Strafe" von der Verfolgung und Strafe abgesehen werden koenne. Dies solle auch der Fall sein, wenn es sich nur um sehr geringe Mengen handele, Dritte nicht gefaehrdet wurden oder das oeffentliche Interesse an der Strafverfolgung fehle. Die Moeglichkeit zum Absehen von Strafe sei bereits im September 1992 in das Betaeubungsmittelgesetz eingefuegt worden. Als wichtig am Karlsruher Richterspruch bezeichnete es der Minister, dass die Laender auf ihre Pflicht hingewiesen worden seien, fuer eine im wesentlichen einheitliche Einstellungspraxis zu sorgen. Derzeit gebe es grosse Unterschiede darin, was als "geringe Menge" eingestuft wuerde. In Brandenburg sei die Grenze auf 0,5 Gramm festgelegt, in Schleswig-Holstein dagegen wie in den Niederlanden auf 30 Gramm. Versuche zur Vereinheitlichung seien bereits vor dem BVG-Urteil gestartet worden. Seehofer lehnte es auf Fragen ab, den Laendern Vorgaben zu machen. Er liess jedoch erkennen, dass er eher zu 0,5 Gramm als zu dem Wert aus Schleswig-Holstein tendiert. Wissenschaftler bewerten 0,5 Gramm als "drei Konsumeinheiten" - wobei als eine "Konsumeinheit" die Menge gilt, die einen Cannabis-Ungewohnten in Rausch versetzt. dpa li rm RTw 05/06/94 INTERPOL TO HELP EAST EUROPE POLICE FIGHT CRIME By Roxana Dascalu SINAIA, Romania, May 6 (Reuter) - Interpol pledged on Friday to help police forces across East Europe and the ex-Soviet Union battle a regionwide post-communist crime wave, especially drug running. "What we are very concerned about is ensuring international cooperation remains at the right level and standard," the international police organisation's secretary-general, Raymond Kendall, said after a conference of police chiefs from 44 European states. Interpol's main input would be to help East European police forces update obsolete communication systems, Kendall told Reuters in an interview in this Romanian mountain resort. "One of the reasons we need better technical equipment for former East bloc countries is because they have become very important transit areas for drugs trafficking," he said. Kendall quoted 1993 Interpol figures showing a doubling in cannabis traffic in Europe, where 400 tonnes of cannabis were seized last year, up from 200 tonnes in 1992. An Interpol official also announced plans for a special conference on "the Balkan connection" for heroin shipped to Europe from old producers in south-west Asia, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, and now from sources in ex-Soviet republics. "The Balkan route has existed for some years but because of difficulties in former Yugoslavia there have been variations in that route in recent years," Kendall said. The Sinaia conference -- held behind closed doors -- also dealt with new ways to fight organised crime and racketeering as police forces contend with new links between criminal gangs in the west and the east of the once-divided continent. "We discussed how we deal with East-West developments in organised crime and the links between established organised crime people," Kendall said. "We think there are contacts between some organised groups in former East bloc countries and traditional crime groups in the West, but they haven't become institutionalised yet." Interpol had also drafted an action plan to fight East-West traffic in stolen cars which, besides drugs and art traffic, was a major issue for European police forces, Kendall said. Police in Eastern Europe's emerging democracies voiced concern over how to tackle an explosion of crime following the 1989 collapse of Communist regimes across the region. "There has been a sharp rise in crime in Eastern Europe but the absolute level of crime is much higher in the West than in most East European countries," said Swedish national police commissioner Bjorn Eriksson. Eriksson said the crime rate was eight times higher in Sweden than in Russia but that Russia's crime was far more violent, with eight times more murder cases registered there than in northern Europe. The three-day meeting of Interpol's European region was the body's first conference in Romania since 1938, made possible by Romania's opening up after the 1989 anti-communist revolution. REUTER UPn 05/06/94 Thai MP denies drug charges BANGKOK, May 6 (UPI) -- A Thai politician implicated in a massive marijuana smuggling operation has declared his innocence. Thanong Siriprechapong, a hotel owner and member of parliament, says he will send his lawyer to California to answer the US drug smuggling charges. APn 05/06/94 Colombia-Drugs BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- A top court has legalized possession of small amounts of cocaine in Colombia, one of the world's top producers of that drug. The Constitutional Court on Thursday decided personal use of small amounts of cocaine, hashish and marijuana is protected by the constitution's guarantees of individual rights, said Jorge Arango, president of the court. The ruling is unlikely to increase the drug trade or consumption, since there are other laws still on the books against trafficking and heavy drug use, he said. Germany's highest court last month decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish, provoking a debate there over whether the use of harder drugs will increase as a result. U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders started a ruckus last year when she said the United States should study the idea of legalizing drugs as a way to reduce crime. President Clinton promptly disagreed. Much of the cocaine consumed in the United States comes through Colombia. U.S. officials have accused Colombian Prosecutor General Gustavo de Greiff of coddling drug traffickers by negotiating lenient plea bargains and advocating the legalization of drugs. The squabbling has led the United States to stop sharing evidence with Colombia on drug cases and to threats to suspend financial aid. Colombia sent a letter of protest Monday to the U.S. State Department, saying it considers recent actions by U.S. officials an "attack on Colombian authorities and society." Asked if Thursday's ruling could draw criticism from Washington, Arango said the court "does not judge laws based on the opinion of the United States or the former Soviet Union." Although Washington has applauded Colombia for battling the Medellin cocaine cartel and killing its leader, Pablo Escobar, in December, many U.S. officials believe Bogota lacks aggression in pursuing leaders of the less violent -- but more powerful -- Cali cartel. APs 05/06/94 Barney Trial DETROIT (AP) -- Former Detroit Lions star Lem Barney was found innocent of drunken driving and possession of cocaine and marijuana. The Detroit Recorder's Court jury deliberated about 30 minutes Thursday before aquitting the Hall of Fame cornerback on the three charges. Barney, 48, was arrested March 19, 1993, after a traffic accident on a downtown freeway interchange. Two state troopers investigating the accident said they found the remains of four marijuana cigarettes on the front seat of his car and a small envelope containing cocaine under his derby. Barney disputed those accounts, saying the drugs couldn't have been on the front seat because when he was asked to get out of his car he slid across the front seat and got out the passenger's side. He said the drugs were placed in the car by hitchhikers he had picked up. "Evidence as presented in this trial in this room was not sufficient to remove all doubt," juror Willie Spewell said. Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Pearl said the state's case was hurt by Judge Vera Massey Jones' decision not to allow into evidence incriminating statements Barney allegedly made or a preliminary sobriety test or Barney's refusal to take further sobriety tests. "I had wanted to get that in to cross-examine his story. The judge felt that was not relevant," Pearl said. Outside the courtroom, Barney said his reaction "is one of jubilance, exceeding joy, relief and complete satisfaction." Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. fired Barney from his position as a public relations specialist after his arrest. He now works as a finance manager at a car dealership owned by former Lions teammate Mel Farr. UPse 05/06/94 Colombian president rejects drug ruling BOGOTA, May 6 (UPI) -- Colombian President Cesar Gaviria on Friday rejected a court ruling decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin, calling it the first step toward creating an "unlivable society." The decision by the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, virtually legalizes drug use in Colombia and is seen by critics as a blow to government efforts at combatting the narcotics trade. "This is going to stimulate and increase drug consumption in Colombia," Gaviria said in reference to the ruling, passed Thursday by a four-to-five vote in the court. Under the ruling, no one can be tried or sentenced for possessing enough cocaine, marijuana, heroin, morphine or other formerly banned substances for personal use. Gaviria, who leaves office in August and will take up the post of Secretary General of the Organization of American States, said the ruling will make Colombia "an unlivable society." "This ruling affects family tranquility and can increase delinquency and violence," Gaviria said at a news conference. "Now Colombia cannot carry out campaigns against drug consumption because that would be absurd (according to the ruling) and we will become a society that considers drug consumption to be desirable." Gaviria said he was not ruling out the possibility of calling a public referendum on the issue to decide whether or not Colombians want to legalize drug use. Pedro Rubiano, president of the Colombian Bishops Conference, also rejected the ruling. "We cannot forget that the function of the state is to seek the common wellbeing of a society and I ask: does this ruling benefit the common good of the country?" Rubiano said. The Roman Catholic bishop said the ruling "goes against mental health and is a moral wrong. That is why I do not agree with the ruling. " circa 05/06/94 [untitled - Ken Kesey Addresses Springfield High School students] SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) -- Being the most famous graduate of Springfield High School doesn't make Ken Kesey everyone's role model. A campus talk Thursday by the author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion," angered some because it was sprinkled with profanities and seemed to endorse marijuana use. "We're not likely to invite him back," said Ron Schiessl, the principal. A few students walked out, but others defended the 1953 graduate and the decision to have him speak. "He told students to listen to their hearts, follow their dreams and not be dissuaded by the voices of conformity," said drama teacher Jonathan Siegle. The novelist said his comments about marijuana came in response to a question about musician Kurt Cobain's recent suicide. "I told them there are bad drugs and good drugs," he said. "I told them 430,000 people died of cigarette smoke (last year) and asked them how many people died of marijuana smoke. The answer was none." ------ APn 05/06/94 Colombia-Drugs By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press Writer BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- In a surprise ruling, a high court has legalized drug use in Colombia, the world's main supplier of cocaine and site of a drug war that has killed thousands of people. The ruling puts Colombia on a collision course with Washington, which has already accused the Bogota government of leniency toward drug traffickers and halted evidence-sharing in drug cases. The Constitutional Court ruling late Thursday legalized possession and use of small amounts of cocaine, marijuana, hashish and hallucinogens. The production, trafficking and sale of drugs remain illegal. The ruling angered President Cesar Gaviria, who called it "absurd." But he responded defiantly when asked by reporters about reaction from Washington. "I think that's irrelevant. It's an internal issue," Gaviria said. The Bogota government has grown increasingly defensive about what it considers Washington's meddling in Colombian affairs, and complains the United States has not done enough to halt U.S. drug consumption and money laundering. After the ruling, Constitutional Court President Carlos Arango told reporters the court "does not judge laws based on the opinion of the United States." Earlier this year, prosecutor-general Gustavo de Greiff drew criticism from Washington by negotiating lenient sentences with drug traffickers and advocating legalization of the entire drug trade. "I suffer from a rare illness of the spine which prevents me from bowing before the powerful," de Greiff told Congress this week. De Greiff led the battle against the Medellin cocaine cartel and its leader Pablo Escobar, who was slain by security forces Dec. 2. But Washington now accuses him of being lax with the less violent but more powerful Cali cocaine cartel. De Greiff advocates legalization and partial government control over the drug trade to lower prices and reduce its profitability. A handful of other countries, mostly in Europe, have decriminalized use of certain drugs or don't enforce laws against them. "I'm all for it," said Margarita de Perdomo, owner of a dress shop that was reduced to rubble by a car bomb planted by the drug cartel 13 months ago. Eleven people were killed and 218 wounded in the attack. "It's exactly like Prohibition in the United States. They legalized liquor and the mobsters got out of the business because it wasn't profitable anymore," she said. Gaviria, who was elected president after the candidate he served as campaign manager was assassinated by drug traffickers, firmly opposes legalization. He said he would examine whether the constitution should be rewritten to set limits on drug use and consider holding a national referendum on the issue. APn 05/08/94 Marijuana Pipe NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The cruise ship's captain heard the thumps and bangs and thought there was something wrong with his rudder housing. There was. It was carrying a pipe filled with marijuana. Repair crew divers found a 5-foot-long, 10-inch-wide sealed pipe stuffed with high-grade pot and bolted to the ship Enchanted Seas, authorities said. "It had two brackets," said Robert Galloway, chief investigator for U.S. Customs in New Orleans. "One end had broken free and the thing was kind of flopping around in the current created by the drag of the ship's motion." The pipe was discovered in the Cayman Islands, and turned over to U.S. Customs agents when the ship arrived in New Orleans on Saturday night, about 15 hours behind schedule. The Enchanted Seas has a regular seven-day run from New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. This week's cruise was one of about six a year that replaced Jamaica with Key West, Fla. Authorities said they didn't know who attached the pipe to the ship, or how much marijuana the pipe contained. APn 05/09/94 Colombia-Drugs By ANDREW SELSKY-- Associated Press Writer-- BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Pungent smoke wafted through the air as dozens of youths gathered around a guitarist and ad-libbed a song: "Revolution! Legalization! Smoke Marijuana!" The scene alongside a boulevard in downtown Bogota on Sunday night came three days after Colombia's Constitutional Court struck down laws against the use and possession of small amounts of drugs. Police walked past the group of about 200 pot smokers earlier in the day and did nothing, witnesses said. Colombia is the world's biggest supplier of cocaine and the site of a drug war that has killed thousands of people. The Constitutional Court legalized possession and use of small amounts of cocaine, marijuana, hashish and hallucinogens. The production, trafficking and sale of drugs remain illegal. Although the ruling won't take effect for about two weeks, it might as well be law already. Police patrolling Bogota's Zona Rosa, or Pink Zone -- a neon-lit area of bars, discos and casinos frequented by students and young professionals -- said they would not make arrests if they saw people using drugs. "I wouldn't do a thing, unless you were carrying a huge bag of drugs," one said. But this weekend, revelers in the Zona Rosa were swilling beer and other spirits, and weren't seen using drugs. The impromptu smoke-in on Sunday happened in a rougher part of town. "It's not bad, man," a 17-year-old, who gave his name only as Johnny and said he was getting high for the first time, declared with a grin. By nightfall, the crowd of 200 dwindled to about 50 diehards, puffing away as a chill drizzle fell. The group jumped up and down in unison, singing: "Smoke marijuana! The police smoke marijuana. The president smokes marijuana. The Cabinet smokes marijuana. Your grandmother smokes marijuana. Everyone smokes marijuana!" President Cesar Gaviria, surprised and angered at the court's ruling, said he wants a national referendum on the legalization of drugs. A date has not been set. In the meantime, Gaviria said, the government will obey the ruling by the highest court on constitutional issues. According to a poll conducted for El Tiempo, Colombia's most widely read newspaper, most Colombians are against legalization. Of the 305 people polled, 69 percent were opposed and 30 percent were in favor. The survey, which interviewed adults from all economic classes, had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percent.
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