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 first and largest supplier of wholesale quantities of hemp paper. We offer an electronic retail catalog which you can receive by dropping us an e-mail request. We'll send you our free samples and our hemp paper wholesale price list 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. We offer nonwood office and printing paper, card stock, cover stock, 100% hemp pulp for paper makers, whole hempstalks and 100% hemp bast fiber by the truckload. Without further ado, please enjoy the news: RTw 07/31/94 HONG KONG JUDGES WANT CANNABIS LEGALISED HONG KONG, July 31 (Reuter) - Two of Hong Kong's top judges want the use of the drug cannabis legalised. One High Court judge, Justice Godfrey, said the ban made no sense while alcohol and tobacco were legal, the South China Sunday Morning Post reported. "I am for decriminalisation," Godfrey, 61, said. "Since human beings are allowed to smoke themselves to death with cigarettes they ought to be allowed to smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own homes." Justice Kaplan, 52, also of the High Court, said the use of cannabis was commonplace and there was no proof it led users to more dangerous drugs, the newspaper reported. "There is clearly a growing demand for the drug and a lot of money to be made from it," he said. "So if someone is going to supply it why should it be criminals?" REUTER RTna 08/01/94 DRUG TRAFFICKERS BUY UP COLOMBIA'S FARMLAND BOGOTA (Reuter) - Drug traffickers are buying up Colombia's agricultural land in massive quantities, the head of the country's farmers said in a letter published Monday. Farmers' Society president Cesar De Hart said drug traffickers had bought 7.5 to 10 million acres of the 67.5 million acres used for grazing. He did not say over what period. Since Colombia has another 10 million acres of farmland cultivated with crops "there are as many hectares in the power of drug traffickers as there are for cultivation in the whole country," De Hart said. De Hart made his comments in a letter to Central Bank president Miguel Urrutia. He said central bank policies were inadvertently leading to "concentration of rural property ... in the hands of drug traffickers." Economists estimate that between $1 billion and $3 billion in profits from the marijuana, cocaine and heroin trade finds its way back to Colombia each year and much of this money is invested in farmland or prime commercial property in cities. REUTER AAP 08/01/94 TAS GREENS LEGISLATION TO LIBERALISE MARIJUANA LAWS HOBART, Aug 1 AAP - The Tasmanian Greens will introduce legislation to liberalise but not decriminalise the state's marijuana laws. Prohibition, which aimed to reduce drug use, had been a "dismal failure," the Greens said. Liberalisation would not (NOT) lead to increased use of marijuana as had been shown by a review conducted in South Australia five years after similar legislation was enacted, the Greens spokesman on social justice, the Rev Lance Armstrong, said today. The Greens would introduce a Poisons Amendment Bill to allow people charged with personal possession or use of marijuana to avoid a court appearance and a criminal record, Rev Armstrong said. "Our Bill, which is modelled on the ACT legislation, will clearly liberalise the laws relating to the personal poseesion and use of marijuana. "However, neither the substance nor the use of it is being legalised. Therefore, it is inappropriate to use the term 'decriminalisation,'" Rev Armstrong said in a statement. But it was no longer appropriate to treat users of marijuana as criminals, he said. Offenders would instead pay an on-the-spot fine within 60 days of a charge being laid. Possession of 25 grams - enough to fill a small tobacco pouch - or less of marijuana would attract a fine of $40. A fine of $100 would be levied for possession of 25 to 50 grams. Smoking or consumption of marijuana would attract a fine of $40. Cultivators of up to five marijuana plants would be fined $40 and for six to 10 plants the fine would be $100. People convicted on marijuana charges were limited in future employment and travel opportunities because they had criminal records, Rev Armstrong said. Taxpayers' money and police resources were wasted because they were being diverted from more serious offences such as murder, rape and assault. People suspected of marijuana offences were also subjected to intrusive body searches by police and social stigmatisation. AAP tsc/co UPn 08/02/94 us-lollapalooza By JOHN SWENSON Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Rock and politics got equal billing Tuesday at Lollapalooza, the traveling rock 'n' roll circus making its eastern swing through North America, at the Saratoga racecourse. Donita Sparks of L7 set the tone by reminding the crowd of the group's connection to Rock For Choice, the pro-choice rocker's activist group. "This goes out to Paul Hill, who murdered that doctor and his escort the other day in Pensacola, Florida," said Sparks. "Here's a little number for that ---hole called "---t List." George Clinton later delivered a rap during his set that accused the CIA of profiting from the drug trade. "There's no profit in pretending that we're stopping it when we're selling it," said Clinton. Other bands offered other political perspectives to an event that featured live music on two stages and a midway dotted by booths calling for an end to China's occupation of Tibet, the legalization of marijuana and a campaign to keep abortion legal. The atmosphere of Lollapalooza stuck to ioung as the original Woodstock revelers, and just as partial to pot instead of alcohol. High-energy "moshing" was the preferred crowd response to the music on the main stage, with men and women bodysurfing across the top of the crowd's outstretched hands. The rest of the audience wandered the alternative midway filled with exotic vendors, new-age rides and virtual reality demonstrations. At the Rev. Samuel Mudd's Little Armageddon & Spoken Word Revival, poets and rappers added more political opinion as they spun an advertised "Coney Island of the mind" in day-long poetry "slams." Across the raceway at the second stage, a barker worked against the din of main-stage Japanese speed metal rockers The Boredoms. "What are you people doing standing out on that grass when this is supposed to be a nightclub?" he yelled out to the meandering crowd in front of second stage. The barker brought out Girls Against Boys, a New York City quartet of men who struck an effective trance-grunge groove. The best moment of the second stage was provided by Lucious Jackson, an all-woman quartet that played a spirited funk set, bringing up several audience members to dance onstage with them. Back on the main stage, L7 provided the day's first moments of excitement with their dynamic guitar-based hard rock. Nick Cave invoked the spirit of Jim Morrison while fronting the Bad Seeds before Tribe Called Quest played a rain-interrupted set. Though the sudden cloudburst stopped the music, the sunburnt crowd stayed on, cheering each lightning bolt as it flashed from the sky. The storm created sound problems that plagued the rest of the night, however. The Breeders played a solid, though rain-shortened set. Clinton and the P Funk All Stars followed with a blistering 45-minute set of his classic dance grooves from "Cosmic Slop" to "Atomic Dog." Damp microphones shorted and crackled, taking some of the edge off Clinton's magic. Most of the crowd had come to see the Beastie Boys, and the fans responded enthusiastically to a set high on energy but low on fidelity. The soggy, tired audience had already begun to leave by the time Smashing Pumpkins came out to end the show. The Pumpkins, a capable band under most circumstances, are finding out the hard way that headlining a day-long festival has its drawbacks. RTw 08/02/94 SLOVAKS TURN TO FBI TO CURB TONNES OF SMUGGLED DRUGS, ARMS BRATISLAVA, Aug 2 (Reuter) - Slovakia has turned to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help fight a flood of heroin and other drugs crossing its borders, Slovak Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner said on Tuesday. "Slovakia is a main transit route for drugs being smuggled through the Balkan and Afghan corridors," the minister, who is preparing to travel to Washington on Sunday for talks with U.S. law enforcement officials, told Reuters. "From the Balkans, we measure the illegal drugs coming through in kilograms, while the drugs from the Afghan corridor we estimate in the tonnes, and this is a sign of a real boom in the problem," he said. Pittner said the bulk of the drugs smuggled through Slovakia is mostly heroin originating in Afghanistan, and destined for Western Europe and the United States. Large amounts of marijuana as well as weapons and plutonium from the former Soviet Union are also being transported through Slovakia, Pittner said. On June 29, FBI chief Louis Freeh signed an agreement with Pittner in Bratislava which set down the groundwork for cooperation between law enforcement groups from the two nations in fighting international crime and terrorism. Pittner said that the Slovaks would have access to the FBI's data bases and learn new crime-fighting methods. The Slovak Intelligence Service and the FBI are currently working together on two criminal cases. REUTER PA 08/03/94 DRUGS WAR WILL NEVER BE WON - CUSTOMS By Tim Moynihan and Jonathan Brown, PA News The war against drugs can never be won despite the seizure of a record 75 million worth of illegal substances at London's airports last year, Customs said today. "There is a way to stop drug smugglers and that is stop every single passenger. It's not acceptable to the politicians or to the general public," said David Chesters, Assistant Collector for Customs at Gatwick. He was speaking as Customs unveiled figures for confiscations at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted in the financial year ending in March. Drug seizures rose from 1,637 with a street value of 70.8 million in 1992-93 to 1,724 worth 75 million in 1993-94. "Put another way, that is 33 seizures per week or four to five every day of the year," said a Customs spokesman. Douglas Tweddle, Customs Collector for London airports, said: "There will always be incentives for people to sell narcotics. We cannot stop the problem without draconian measures." Customs said Britain was seen by overseas drug barons as a difficult target. "Narco lords are concerned about operating in Britain. Too many of their colleagues are locked up in our prisons," said Mr Tweddle. He added that drug "mules" were paid extra money to smuggle into the UK and the high prices paid on Britain's streets for drugs were a testament to the effectiveness of Customs procedures. Although a kilogram of cocaine could be produced for a few hundred pounds, it sold in Britain for 200,000. The London airports' record drug haul fits into the general pattern which saw total Customs seizures for the UK for the calendar year 1993 at 519 million -- an all-time high. Customs said the most worrying trend among the 1993-94 airport figures was the rise in seizures of Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Of the 1,724 seizures, 506 were from traffickers smuggling for gain and more than 1,200 from travellers bringing in drugs for personal use. The confiscated drugs broke down into 124kg of heroin, 407kg of cocaine and 360kg of opium, plus more than 50,000 doses of synthetic drugs such as LSD and Ecstasy. Officers at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted seized 1,768kg of herbal cannabis, 434kg of cannabis resin and 3.3kg in oil form -- a total of more than two tonnes. Other illicit imports seized by customs included pornography, guns, gas sprays and other offensive weapons. Also seized were more than 12,000 products of endangered wildlife, including live animals. Customs said drug smuggling techniques such as swallowing and stuffing substances inside the body were on the decrease. Instead, smugglers were now packing drugs around them. The typical image of a drug smuggler also did not fit with reality. Drug barons preferred to use attractive women or respectable-looking men in suits and ties. Mr Tweddle said: "This is where we have to go much beyond the appearance of people. We have to use information about conduit routes and on data bases and shared intelligence." He identified the rise in counterfeit goods as another worrying aspect. "The problem is not with fake watches and perfumes but with counterfeit pharmaceuticals and car and aeroplane parts which don't always do what they are supposed to." To illustrate the trade in products related to rare and exotic animals, Customs put on display live lizards and snakes smuggled into the country, as well as crocodile shoes and handbags. APn 08/04/94 Mexico-Marijuana MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Authorities are calling it one of the most important drug seizures in Mexican history. Federal agents seized and burned more than 3.6 million marijuana plants from a 220-acre field in the northern state of Chihuahua, the Attorney General's Office said Wednesday. It did not say when the seizure occurred or when the plants were destroyed. Agents were tipped off by an anonymous telephone caller, and eight suspected drug traffickers were arrested, authorities said. Federal agents last month seized more than 26 tons of marijuana in northwestern Sonora state after surveillance pilots flying over the area spotted fields where the drug was being grown. Agents in Sonora also seized weapons and arrested nine men suspected of growing and packaging the drug for transport to the United States. AAP 08/04/94 STUDENTS TO BE DISCIPLINED FOR ALLEGED POT-SMOKING SUVA, Aug 4 AAP - Some students of the International Secondary School in Suva will be disciplined for allegedly smoking marijuana while on a field trip last week. A report in the Fiji Times says it is alleged at least five or six students smoked the illegal drug while spending a night in a hotel during a combined Form Six and Seven geography field trip to the west coast town of Nadi. The International Secondary School, considered to be one of the more prestigious learning institutions in the country, has a student body composed of local students from well-to-do families and expatriate students, including many from Australia and New Zealand. Concerned parents met with the school principal, Anne Rosa, last night to discuss what disciplinary action will be taken. Some parents are upset that all of the students on the field trip, whether they smoked marijuana or not, are to appear before a disciplinary committee, despite the fact many did not know of the incident. A 16-year-old boy has already been suspended from school after he admitted giving the drug to other students. However a school spokesman says any further action on the matter will be dealt with internally. AAP str/nb/jtb/de UPma 08/05/94 Apartment renters tested for drugs By JONATHAN JAY GIBIAN EUCLID, Ohio, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Prospective renters at a Euclid apartment complex are being subjected to what's believed to be the first mandatory drug testing for would-be apartment tenants in the nation. Summerwood Commons Apartments, which opens later this month, is a private project run by National Church Residences, a Columbus- headquartered organization. National's director of communications, Steve Spaulding, said his organization is a non-profit agency founded in 1961 to help provide housing for elderly and low income people by four Presbyterian churches. National now operates properties in 22 states and Puerto Rico. "The Euclid property has been in existence for quite a while," Spaulding told United Press International Friday. "In its previous life, there was a lot of problems with drugs and crime and eventually the property was closed by Fanny Mae and the city of Euclid. We decided we wanted to do something different and have a comfortable and safe environment for parents to raise their children." The "something different" includes a mandatory drug test for all applicants, who must also meet strict income requirements and agree to police and credit checks, a family interview, and an examination of their bank accounts before being allowed to live at the apartment complex, located just east of Cleveland. Spaulding said he was unsure what drugs were specifically being looked for in the tests, being performed by an independent testing company. But he said he assumed they include cocaine, LSD, and marijuana. He said no tests would be performed for alcohol. "Just about every person who has picked up an application for an apartment has been enthusiastic we are doing this," Spaulding said. "Our staff explains the drug testing and everyone comments they are glad that it is happening." Money to renovate the complex came from several federal, state and local grants, Spaulding said. Renovation costs are estimated to be between $4 million and $6.3 million. Rents at Summerwood start at $340 monthly for a one-bedroom unit and rise to $495 monthly for a three-bedroom apartment. Prospective renters must have a minimum income of $12,000, and a maximum of $25,740 for a family of four. An individual wishing to live at Summerwood must have a maximum income of $18,000. Spaulding said his organization decided to enforce the drug testing and other strict requirements because of the history of the apartment complex and has no plans to expand the program to other parts of the nation. (Contact: Steve Spaulding 614-451-2151) RTw 08/05/94 POLICEMAN ARRESTED IN HUGE AUSTRALIA CANNABIS HAUL SYDNEY, Aug 5 (Reuter) - A serving drug squad police officer was among 18 people arrested on Friday in what a police spokesman said could prove to be Australia's largest-ever drug haul. Several tonnes of cannabis resin originating in the Middle East, as well as illegal firearms, were seized from several boats in the tourist town of Hervey Bay, 250 km (155 miles) north of Brisbane on Australia's east coast, a spokesman for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said. "Further inquiries are being pursued in relation to the source of the drugs," the spokesman said, adding that both AFP officers and overseas law enforcement personnel were involved. He said the arrests of the Australians and seizure were the result of the largest investigation ever undertaken by the AFP, Australia's national police force. The investigation had lasted for more than two years, he said. Arrests had been made in the states of Queensland, where the cannabis was seized, New South Wales and Victoria, and more would be made, he said. The crew of an Australian-registered trawler MV Paulsun and those of smaller vessels to which cannabis had been unloaded were arrested following lengthy surveillance, he said. Among those arrested in Sydney was a serving member of the AFP's Drug Operations Division," an AFP statement said. Seven people appeared in Sydney's central local court in relation to the haul. The serving policeman was named as George Sabados, 27, of Sydney. Two of those arrested were granted bail. Sabados and four others were remanded in custody. All will reappear in court on August 12. REUTER APf 08/05/94 Workplace Drugs By DINAH WISENBERG BRIN Associated Press Writer PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Positive tests for drug use among American workers and job applicants is continuing downward, except for marijuana, a major testing lab reports. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, which collects fees for performing worker drug tests, found that 7.8 percent of 1.8 million workers tested positive for drug use between January and June -- down from 8.5 percent for the same period last year. If the trend holds true for the rest of the year, it would be the seventh straight decline among those who underwent SmithKline tests, the company said. Among those who tested positive, the rate of positive marijuana tests rose 8.8 percent from last year, to 43.3 percent of all positive drug tests, the company said. SmithKline spokeswoman Tobey Dichter said a majority of the people tested were job applicants and therefore knew they would be screened for drugs soon. That could skew the results in favor of higher marijuana use since it can be detected even months after use while many other drugs are expelled from the body more quickly. SmithKline said it has no opinion on the reasons for the trend but Milo C. Sawvel, director emeritus of the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency in Appomattox, Va., offered several possible reasons. "A lot of people feel that marijuana is not quite, well, let's say as addictive and strong on its impact ... and so they turn to that rather than the use of cocaine, heroin, some of the others," he said. "A marijuana user feels that he or she can function better with a little marijuana use. Studies, though, reveal that this is not true," Sawvel said. "Unfortunately it does do harm." The SmithKline statistics showed that 24.3 percent of the positive tests indicated cocaine use; 11.5 percent tranquilizers such as valium and librium; 8.9 percent opiates; and 4.5 percent barbituates. Cocaine use was down slightly. Transportation workers in safety-sensitive jobs had a 3.2 percent positive drug test rate, compared to 9.2 percent for the general workforce, SmithKline reported. More than half the transportation workers who tested positive showed marijuana use. Last month, the Clinton administration reported that Americans' use of illegal drugs leveled off last year after 13 years of decline. Based on household surveys, the government estimated that three-quarters of the 11.7 million drug users use marijuana, with 7 million of them using marijuana alone. AAP 08/05/94 SA DEMOCRATS CALL FOR END TO MARIJUANA PROHIBITION ADELAIDE, Aug 5 AAP - Marijuana and illicit drugs should be legalised for medicinal purposes so they could be used in the treatment of glaucoma, AIDS-related diseases and cancer, the Australian Democrats' South Australian leader said today. Mike Elliott made the comments to a rally of around 500 protesters gathered at the steps of SA's Parliament House to call for marijuana to be legalised. The group was also addressed by representatives of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the state's Upper House at last year's election. A number of protesters wore masks impersonating Liberal Leader Alexander Downer and Health Minister Carmen Lawrence -- who have both admitted to trying marijuana. Mr Elliott, a member of the state Upper House who heads a select parliamentary committee looking into the issue of legalising drugs, told the group it was Democrat policy to legalise and decriminalise marijuana and illicit drugs for personal use. He also called for marijuana and illicit drugs to be legalised for medicinal purposes. "Marijuana can be used for the treatment of glaucoma, which won't respond to other drugs, and is used for the treatment of some cancer and AIDS patients, yet it is not allowed to be used," he said. "It's the best drug for certain purposes, and that ... is an absolute absurdity. "It's important that the process of education continues because some of the strongest opponents of marijuana are those who know absolutely nothing whatsoever about it." Mr Elliott said he hoped the committee would report back to parliament with recommendations by the end of the year. He said he was also a member of a national parliamentary law reform group which would be calling for the legalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The rally follows Hemp Week, which included a conference, a series of student meetings, and a "smoke-in" at Flinders University in Adelaide. AAP ear/co APn 08/06/94 Northwest-Marijuana EAGAN, Minn. (AP) -- The co-chairman of Northwest Airlines was caught with a bag of marijuana and a pipe in his briefcase as he tried to board one of the company's commercial flights in Boise, Idaho. Gary Wilson, 54, removed himself from his duties with the airline after he was cited Tuesday for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Wilson, who had been on vacation, was allowed to board the flight to Detroit after security discovered the marijuana during a routine screening of carry-on bags. His lawyer, Thomas McCabe, said Wilson was carrying "considerably less than one ounce" of marijuana. "Mr. Wilson sincerely regrets any embarrassment this incident may cause his friends and colleagues," McCabe said. Wilson faces up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. WP 08/07/94 State Legislators Rethink `3 Strikes' Laws as Costs Begin to Hit Home By William Claiborne Washington Post Staff Writer NEW ORLEANS - Barely a year after "three strikes and you're out" became the mantra of anti-crime crusades in Congress and state capitols, many state legislators are beginning to rethink the fiscal consequences of the concept. The enormous cost of warehousing aged inmates in expensive institutions for the rest of their lives when they are convicted of three serious felonies is beginning to trouble the lawmakers, whose budgets already are being stretched by the new prisons being built to satisfy the public clamor to get tough on crime. Delegates to the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) here last month said in interviews and during workshops on the subject that they are conflicted over their constituents' demands that repeat felons be removed permanently from society and the costs of implementing new habitual-offender laws. "In our minds, we know it's not going to work out in the long run because of the costs. In our hearts, we want to listen to the people when they say they want the confidence that the system will finish with those who repeatedly commit crimes," said New Hampshire Rep. Donna Sytek (R), who is chairman of her legislature's committee on corrections and criminal justice. "As a general rule, what we hear is, `lock them up and throw the key away.' It's a tug between your heart and your head," she added. Some lawmakers said judges already hand down harsh sentences to most repeat violent offenders and that "three strikes" laws often lead to life sentences for criminals who were not intended to be covered. "What alarms the public most is that dangerous people are being released. We should focus more on what type of offender needs to be incarcerated. We need to reallocate the cells so that people who truly pose a threat to the public safety are the ones who stay in prison," said Rhode Island Rep. Jeffrey J. Teitz (D), chairman of his legislature's judiciary committee. As violent crime became a preoccupation of the public and the media during the last year, state lawmakers began enacting tough new sentencing provisions, with "three strikes" legislation one of the most favored. Popularized by a referendum adopted in Washington state last November - and President Clinton's endorsement during his State of the Union address - the concept seized the public imagination like no other crime control measure, even though many states already had mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders of violent crime, and nearly all had some type of repeat-offender law. According to an NCSL survey, legislatures in about half the states have introduced "three strikes" or similar bills, 12 of which have been enacted already. Most of the rest are pending. The measures range in severity from Kansas's doubling of guideline sentences for many second and third convictions for serious violent crimes to Georgia's and South Carolina's mandatory life without parole for the second conviction of a serious violent felony. The range of crimes to which the mandatory sentences apply varies widely among states. Sentencing experts estimate that New York's relatively narrow law could affect as few as 300 three-time felons a year, while Pennsylvania is projected to add as many as 11,000 additional inmates by 2005 through its repeat-offender law. California's new "three strikes" law, according to the state Department of Corrections, will increase the prison population there by 275,000 inmates by 2028 at an annual incarceration cost of $5.7 billion. In addition, the state expects to incur prison construction costs of $21 billion. Gregory Schmidt, staff director of the California Senate Judiciary Committee, said the highly publicized murder last year of Polly Klaas - allegedly by a just-paroled, three-time felon - gave impetus to a "three strikes" ballot initiative even though the state already had a tough repeat-offender law with mandatory life sentences - though with the possibility of parole - for a third felony. "It's redundant. We will now be in place to run the world's largest retirement home for chronic misfits... . We may soon be moving to a no-parole public policy, which is absolute fantasy," Schmidt said. In Alabama, a repeat-offender law swelled the prison population so much that the legislature was forced to give judges the power to suspend part of the relatively recent law's "enhanced" sentences for repeat offenders. Several lawmakers pointed out that incarceration costs can range from $20,000 a year per inmate to more than $60,000, as elderly inmates serving life terms require costly medical care. Some sentencing experts attending the conference warned that while "three strikes" laws may satisfy the public desire for harsher punishment of serious crimes by taking discretion away from sentencing judges, they often give that discretion to prosecutors. This could lead to misuse of the provision, the experts said. Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Washington-based Sentencing Project, said that in some drug cases, prosecutors refuse to plea bargain with a two-time felon accused of playing a relatively minor role in a drug operation if he has no useful information to provide. As a result, he may receive a mandatory life sentence. But a "kingpin" in the same drug ring who is willing to divulge important information sometimes can bargain for a lesser charge and avoid a three-strikes sentence, Mauer said. State Rep. Elvin L. Martinez (D), chairman of the Florida House criminal justice committee, said that in his state, prosecutors charge black defendants under the repeat-offender law three times as frequently as whites. "I want to caution anyone thinking about (three strikes) that discretion is not always colorblind," Martinez said. APn 08/08/94 Netherlands-Drug Tourism HENGELO, Netherlands (AP) -- A judge ruled Monday that a coffee shop in the border town of Hengelo may sell marijuana and hashish to foreigners, striking down a local law banning drug sales to tourists. The Happy Days coffee shop in Hengelo on the German border was shut down in June for violating the 1992 municipal law. But a court ruled Monday that the policy excluding foreigners was discriminatory. The sale and possession of drugs in the Netherlands is technically illegal, but national authorities permit coffee shops to sell soft drugs to people over 16 as a way of monitoring the trade. City governments, however, have recently introduced measures to stem the trade, particularly in border regions where many foreigners come to buy cheap, easily available drugs. Monday's ruling could be used as a precedent to overturn similar laws elsewhere. A spokesman for the city of Hengelo, Han Paus, said it would consider an appeal. AAP 08/10/94 MAN ACCUSED OF CANNABIS PLOT ALLOWED BAIL ON GOLD COAST By Geoff McCamey of AAP GOLD COAST, Qld, Aug 10 AAP - A 71-year-old Gold Coast man alleged to be one of the principals in a conspiracy to import Australia's biggest haul of hashish was again remanded on bail, to appear before a Sydney court, when he went before Southport Magistrates Court today. Patrick William Warren, a retired wharf worker of Sorrento, was granted bail on a $250,000 surety, on condition that he reside at home, not apply for a passport, not go to any international airport and report daily to Southport police. He was granted similar bail conditions in the same court after his arrest on Friday and today was successful in having an extradition order to appear in Sydney this week put back until after he has undergone "extensive nasal surgery" and a three-week convalescence at a Gold Coast private hospital. Magistrate Chris Owens remanded Warren, who is charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of cannabis resin into Australia, to appear in the Sydney Central Local Court on September 7. Crown prosecutor Frank Walsh today told the court the estimated street value of the cannabis resin, of which he said five tonnes had been seized from a boat at Hervey Bay last week, was $75 million. He said the 250 twenty-kilogram bags seized at Hervey Bay were part of a conspiracy for a "much larger" 12-tonne importation plot, the largest in Australia's history. Mr Walsh opposed bail and asked for Warren to be remanded in custody to appear before the Sydney court on August 12. Defence counsel Shane Herbert tendered a doctor's statement that Warren had booked in for surgery to alleviate his emphysema and asthma. Mr Herbert said if the surgery scheduled for tomorrow was put off his client could live, albeit in "grave discomfort". AAP gm/geb/wjf/de AAP 08/10/94 MAN DUE TO START RADIATION TREATMENT REFUSED BAIL SYDNEY, Aug 10 AAP - A man accused of being involved in a five-tonne shipment of cannabis seized last week was today refused bail even though Sydney's Central Local Court was told he was to begin radiation therapy for cancer. Chris Murphy, solicitor for Vincent Radovan, 58, of Edgecliff, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, told the court that if his client did not get treatment soon there was every chance cancer would take hold. "There is no charter in the justice system to decrease his life and that is what would happen," Mr Murphy said. The court heard that Radovan underwent a total laryngectomy four weeks ago in Melbourne. Magistrate Boyd Cleary ordered Radovan, who was extradited from Melbourne yesterday, to reappear in the same court on Friday. Mr Murphy said the case involved some 4,000 hours of electronic surveillance by the police and could drag on for years. Douglas Leslie Meredith, 48, of the Gold Coast, and William Grigg, 52 of Warrnambool in Victoria, also were extradited from Melbourne yesterday over the matter and appeared before the court today. They also will reappear on Friday. Yesterday, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard a 5.2 tonne shipment of cannabis resin seized last week in a nationwide drug operation was the largest drug import of its kind into Australia. AAP bm/adp/bwl AAP 08/15/94 INDONESIA CLAIMS REBEL GROUP FUNDED BY DRUG TRADE JAKARTA, Aug 15 AAP - Indonesian authorities claim a secessionist group in the north Sumatran province of Aceh is funding its ongoing rebellion through a flourishing illegal trade in marijuana. A sustained military campaign against the Free Aceh movement had quelled the rebels but continuing profits from marijuana hampered efforts to wipe them out, local military spokesman Colonel Rubi Mukav told the official Antara newsagency. "There is a strong link between the security-disturbing group and the marijuana," Colonel Mukav said. "The profits from selling the illegal commodity are used to finance the outlawed organisation." He dismissed Free Aceh as "militarily meaningless" and numbering only a handful of rebels armed with home-made guns. But independent sources put Free Aceh's strength much higher, with many rebels seeking refuge in neighbouring Malaysia. "If we managed to annihilate the trading in marijuana in the province then we could also manage to put an end to Free Aceh's activities, as until now the illegal trading is their financing source," he said. In a report last year, Amnesty International accused Indonesian troops of killing more than 2,000 civilians, including children and the elderly, during a crackdown on the secessionst moevement since 1989. The London-based human rights group accused Indonesian forces of "gross human rights violations" and the "systematic abuse" of the civilian population. Strongly Islamic Aceh, on the north-western tip of Sumatra, has a long history of seccessionist movements against outside rulers. Marijuana smoking is also a traditional activity and Aceh is one of the main sources of supply in Indonesia. Authorities confiscate an estimated 100 tonnes a year, although production is much higher. Last month, a single raid netted 59 tonnes of marijuana. AAP tf/lee UPce 08/16/94 Man convicted of smuggling marijuana EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A federal jury has convicted a former Texas man of providing more than 15,000 pounds of marijuana for distribution in Illinois and Missouri. The jury in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis deliberated less than three hours before returning the guilty verdict Monday against Victoriano Garcia Jr., who failed to appear for the final arguments in his trial. U.S. District Judge William Stiehl issued a bench warrant Monday for Garcia's arrest. Garcia was a member of a multimillion-dollar drug conspiracy headed by Roy Vernon Dean, federal prosecutors said. They said Garcia provided marijuana to Dena's drug ring, which operated in five states between 1983 and 1990. Garcia faces a sentence of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million. Dean and about 40 other co-defendants previously were convicted on charges of money laundering and trafficking about 70,000 pounds of marijuana. The case against Garcia was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service. RTw 08/16/94 MALAWIAN MAN SAYS DRUGS WERE CURE FOR EVIL SPIRITS HARARE, Aug 16 (Reuter) - Isaac Kawenyi Chirwa of Malawi told a Harare court he was going to use nine kgs of marijuana to bath in the Indian Ocean to appease evil spirits in his body. Chirwa, 23, was arrested by Zimbabwe police with the drugs while in transit to South Africa. He told the court on Monday that a Malawian traditional healer had prescribed them to cure his heart palpitations. Two medical doctors had failed to help him, he said. The magistrate has ordered two doctors to examine him to verify his claim. REUTER AAP 08/16/94 THREE IN COURT AFTER OUTBACK DRUG CROP RAID BRISBANE, Aug 16 AAP - Three men have been sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading guilty to being part of a ring producing a western Queensland drug crop with a wholesale value of $2.5 million. Joseph Paul Zucchelli, 31, of Kambah, ACT, Pasquale John Romeo, 32, of Griffith, New South Wales and Warren Stuart Thomas, 40, of the Gold Coast, each pleaded guilty to one count of producing cannabis at a property called Kemsley Park, at Yuleba, near Roma, between May 1 and November 16 last year. The crop, one of the biggest discovered in Queensland, took up an area more than five times the size of the Lang Park football ground in Brisbane. Sentencing the trio, Justice John Byrne said Zucchelli and Romeo had been critical to the success of the 8100 cannabis plants, but Thomas was on the fringe of the operation and stood to gain nothing from it. "The success of the crop depended very much on the skills and industry of Zucchelli and Romeo," Justice Byrne said. "They were active, informed and important participants." Justice Byrne sentenced Romeo to six years jail and Zucchelli to five years. Thomas received a 12 month wholly suspended sentence. Defence counsel for Romeo and Zucchelli said they had become involved in the project out of financial need after Romeo lost his farming property and the Zucchelli family's fruit and vegetable business collapsed under financial pressures. Prosecutor Paul Rutledge said the trio were among 13 men were arrested following a lengthy surveillance operation by the National Crime Authority. "It was one of the biggest cultivations ever discovered in Queensland and carried out with a degree of professionalism rarely if ever seen by the court," Mr Rutledge said. The entire project had a budget in excess of $100,000 and the 31,500 square metre crop was surrounded by an electrified fence. Each plant had its own drip feeder watered by pipes from two dams. AAP smk/geb/co/dmb AAP 08/17/94 POLICE TRAINEE IN COURT OVER CANNABIS SYDNEY, Aug 17 AAP - A 37-year-old trainee police officer from Goulburn police academy in New South Wales' south-west was to appear in court today charged with possessing cannabis. A police spokesman in Sydney said police searched the man's room at the academy on Monday morning. The man from Cooranbong, south of Newcastle, had been charged with possessing a prohibited drug. He would appear in Goulburn court today. AAP adp/bwl/dmb APn 08/18/94 Crime Bill-Provisions By The Associated Press The $33.2 billion crime bill blocked Aug. 11 by the House would have authorized: --Spending $11.1 billion for state and local police, including $8.9 billion to help hire 100,000 new law enforcement officers to carry out community policing by learning about neighborhoods in an effort to prevent crime as well as catch lawbreakers. --Tossing third-time violent and drug felons in prison for life if the third conviction is in federal court, but allowing the release of some over 70 after they served 30 years. --Spending $10.5 billion for prisons, including $8.7 billion for state prisons and $1.8 billion to reimburse states for incarcerating criminal illegal aliens. Recipient states would have had to keep prisoners incarcerated for 85 percent of their terms or make strides toward that goal. --Banning 19 named types of assault-style firearms and scores of others deemed by the government to meet assault-style characteristics. It would have limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds. It would have exempted 650 named firearms and all guns legally owned when the law took effect. --Spending $7.6 billion for crime prevention programs and $1.3 billion for drug courts. The prevention money would have included $1.8 billion for the Violence Against Women Act, including money for shelters, and $1.8 billion for flexible Local Partnership Act grants. --Allowing some nonviolent, first-time drug offenders to avoid mandatory minimum 5- and 10-year federal penalties. It would have been retroactive for people now in prison, and Justice Department officials believe 5,000 prisoners might have been eligible. The "safety valve" would have been limited to those who used no gun or threat of violence, were not organizers and never served more than 90 days for another crime. --Creating more than 50 new federal death penalty crimes. Many carried that penalty before the Supreme Court overturned capital punishment in 1972. But some would have been new, including car-jacking slayings, drive-by shooting murders and major drug-traffickers, even those not directly connected to any specific death. RTna 08/18/94 DUTCH DRUGS POLICY CURBED IN BORDERLESS EUROPE By Alister Bull MAASTRICHT, Netherlands (Reuter) - A German car pulls into a parking lot littered with syringe wrappers. An emaciated junkie quickly takes the order; money changes hands. It is four o'clock on a Friday afternoon and business as usual on the Dutch-German border. Children pass by on their way home from school, housewives cycle past with the weekend shopping. Every day thousands of young foreigners flood into Dutch towns near Belgium and Germany to buy the cheapest and purest heroin in Europe, untroubled by border checks or police. But the Dutch citizens, who bear the burden of their country's tolerance of drug use, have had enough. Maastricht -- the very symbol of a Europe without frontiers -- has banned visiting drug users and granted police sweeping powers to expel foreigners on the slightest suspicion of an intention to buy drugs. No proof is needed. The police powers are usually reserved for visiting soccer fans. Several other Dutch towns have also moved to bar outsiders from the so-called "coffee shops," where soft drugs are sold. Drugs are officially illegal in the Netherlands, but the sale of marijuana is tolerated and possession of heroin and cocaine allowed in modest amounts. Dealers who flock in from all over Europe know that even if they are caught with amounts as large as seven and a half ounces of hard drugs, they risk only a few months in the relative comfort of a Dutch jail, compared with five years elsewhere on the continent. Twenty minutes by car from Maastricht, the town of Heerlen also has a major problem. Often as many as 60 heroin addicts hang around the city's railway and bus stations each day, dealing to a steady stream of mainly German clients. Transactions are swift. Addicts work for dealers, selling drugs to subsidize their habit. Police estimate that this well-oiled machine churns out more than four pounds of hard drugs every week near the stations. More is sold from nearby houses. "Sometimes there are more German cars in the parking lot than Dutch," said Hans Ramaekers, head of Heerlen's drug squad. Heerlen is trying to contain the problem by keeping the peace and making life as hard as possible for foreign users. But in Maastricht there is broad support for the city's tough stance. Social workers, residents, even the town's own addicts, back the ban on foreign junkies. "We felt we were under siege," said deputy mayor Theo Bovens. He made no excuses for the drastic action, saying the town had no choice. "If every country took care of its own addicts, our problem would be less serious," he said. The Dutch treat drug abuse as a social problem for the whole community. Addicts are not criminals but sick people who need treatment. Maastricht's restrictions began with the closure of a small park in the city center, where local junkies used to gather to buy and take their drugs. But hundreds of foreign addicts started flocking to the park to fix and score, attracting dealers from all over the country. "When they started coming in there were more dealers than clients. You'd get to the park at 7 a.m. and there'd be 20 or 30 guys waiting for you," said a Dutch heroin dealer who called himself Marcelino. The street price of "brown" (heroin) and "white" (cocaine) plummeted to $14 for half a gram -- compared with $37 in Amsterdam for poorer quality drugs, he said. "The heroin was the cheapest and purest in the whole of Europe. We were the market for the continent," Bovens said. Cheap drugs acted like a magnet. As the numbers using the park rose, health deteriorated. People defecated in the bushes; rats emerged from the nearby river; hepatitis was rampant. When tension between locals and outsiders led to violence Maastricht took action. There is a six-foot fence around the park but police still expel 60 foreigners every day on suspicion of coming to buy drugs. Maastricht wants to open two new centers to cope with its resident addicts. A few days before the first was due to open, it was destroyed in a suspected arson attack. Down the road in a Heerlen parking lot, an addict punches his girlfriend in the face. A powerfully built man, his arms blood-streaked from injections, attacks a rival with a stick. A tiny, sallow-faced junkie shuffles over to scour the ground for any drugs which might have been dropped in the scuffle. "These people live off each other's deaths," murmurs Ramaekers as his men intervene. REUTER RTna 08/19/94 MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL GOES TO CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SACRAMENTO, Calif (Reuter) - California's legislature has passed the first bill in the nation calling for doctors to be allowed to prescribe marijuana to chronically ill patients, a legislative aide said Friday. The bill was approved by the state Assembly on Thursday night on a 46-21 vote, said Chad Randolph, an aide to state Senator Milton Marks, a San Francisco Democrat who authored the bill. The bill, already passed by the state Senate, now goes to California Governor Pete Wilson, who may decide to sign it or veto it. Even if Wilson signs it, the law could not take effect without a change in federal law, which bans the medicinal use of marijuana. Some seriously ill people and support groups have campaigned for marijuana to be legalized for medical use. They say smoking marijuana helps dull the pain of illnesses like cancer and AIDS or helps them cope with chemotherapy. Some Californians with AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) have been growing marijuana for their own use, running the risk of arrest. The bill passed with support from both majority Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly, Randolph said. It seeks to have marijuana listed as a Schedule II drug under federal and state drug classifications, which would enable doctors to legally prescribe it to critically ill patients. At present, marijuana is a banned Schedule I drug. Possession of marijuana is a crime in California, even if used for medical purposes. Randolph said 36 states have passed resolutions asking the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug to allow its use for medical purposes. But California's legislature is the first to go beyond that and pass legislation seeking to do that, he said. REUTER PA 08/21/94 CANNABIS GREENHOUSE RAID: MAN CHARGED A man is to appear in court tomorrow after police found more than 1,500 cannabis plants with a potential street value of 1 million growing in a greenhouse. Police said Larry Rosental, 49, of Lime Grove, Doddinghurst, near Brentwood, Essex, would appear before Epping magistrates charged with production of a Class B drug, namely cannabis. The plants were found in the rented 120ft by 40ft greenhouse in North Weald, near Harlow, Essex, on Saturday after a tip-off. RTw 08/23/94 MARIJUANA PLANTS FOUND AT HEWLETT-PACKARD FACILITY SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 23 (Reuter) - Security guards found about 120 marijuana plants growing on the grounds of a northern California factory owned by electronics firm Hewlett-Packard Co, the company said Tuesday. Jeff Weber, a spokesman for Hewlett-Packard's facility at Santa Rosa, 50 miles (80 km) north of San Francisco, said a worker at the plant found a hose leading from the company's irrigation system near a baseball field to a heavily overgrown open space on plant grounds last Friday. The worker alerted security guards who investigated and found a drip irrigation system and about 120 marijuana plants at the end of the hose, Weber said. The security guards then called police who took away the plants, he said. "It's very surprising and we're quite unhappy about the situation," Weber said, adding that it was the first time that marijuana plants had been found growing on company property. Some 2,200 employees work at the 195-acre (80-hectare) facility in Santa Rosa where Hewlett-Packard manufactures electronic test and measurement instruments. The plant is ringed by a perimeter fence and guards are posted at the main entrances. Weber said the plants were found in a virtually inaccessible area. "It took a chain saw to cut our way through the thick undergrowth to get to the area." It was not known who was cultivating the plants and there were no leads, he said. It was possible that someone had entered company property illegally and cultivated the plants. Weber said the company had not opened a formal internal investigation, but it was checking remaining open space at the Santa Rosa plant to make sure no other plants were growing there and was asking employees to contact the security department if they had any information about the plants. Weber said the plants varied in size between three and eight feet (one to 2.5 meters) tall and had apparently not been harvested. Illegal growing of marijuana plants is quite common in several northern California counties. REUTER RTw 08/23/94 THAI FULL-MOON FROLICS MUST CEASE, POLICE SAY BANGKOK, Aug 23 (Reuter) - The new police chief of a southern Thai island has ordered an end to wild parties that attract hundreds of young tourists on full-moon nights. Lieutenant-Colonel Prachuab Sangplod said on Tuesday the parties were uncivilised and damaged the image of Phangan Island. "These people have been allowed to throw their uncivilised parties in the area up to now, but I am the new law enforcer here and I will no longer allow it," Prachuab told Reuters by telephone. "They will no longer be able to hold these uncivilised parties, which have been damaging the image of our community." Prachaub signalled his intention to get tough with the full-moon frolickers by raiding last weekend's event and arresting 11 British men, one British woman and one Frenchman on marijuana possession charges. The 13 were due to appear in court on Wednesday. Prachuab said they would probably be fined between $100 and $200. The monthly parties on Phangan Island -- when the full moon rises over the Gulf of Thailand and wisps of marijuana smoke float over the tropical beach -- have in recent years become a must for adventurous travellers visiting Thailand. REUTER RTec 08/24/94 DUTCH CLAMP DOWN ON SOFT DRUG ``COFFEE SHOPS'' AMSTERDAM, Aug 24 (Reuter) - The Dutch government said on Wednesday it was clamping down on the country's so-called coffee shops, where the sale of soft drugs is tolerated. Drugs are illegal in the Netherlands, but the country tolerates the public sale of cannabis and possession of hard drugs like heroin and cocaine in small amounts. This approach draws thousands of young tourists to the Netherlands every day. "Although Dutch drugs policy as a whole has been successful...developments around the coffee shops need to be restored to a manageable level," the justice ministry said in a statement. Existing rules banning advertising or the sale of drugs to minors by coffee shops will now be strictly enforced to clean up their image and prevent them from being used as a cover for hard-drug dealing, the ministry said. Dutch border towns including Maastricht tried to banish foreign drug users this year after their numbers soared. But Dutch courts have since ruled it would be discriminatory to limit nationwide drug sales on the basis of nationality. REUTER UPn 08/28/94 DEA plane destroyed in Peruvian jungle LIMA, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency aircraft reported missing Saturday with five agents aboard, was found wrecked in the Peruvian jungle on Sunday, according to military reports. The Spanish-built Casa 212 was found destroyed on Sunday afternoon, some 273 miles (440 kms) north of Lima by four army helicopters that have been searching for the aircraft since it was reported missing. Peruvian military sources reported that the plane had left on routine patrol from the miltary base in Santa Lucia in the nation's coca- producing region. An emergency was declared when the plane failed to arrived at its destination in Pucalpa. "From what we can see the plane has been totally destroyed and we believe there are no suvivors," a military source who requested anonymity said. He added that five DEA agents were traveling on the plane, all of them U.S citizens. None of the dead have yet been identified.
to the Hemp News directory page.
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/HN_25.html