Hemp News No. 26

Compiled by Paul Stanford

        The following wire stories are provided as a public service by
Tree Free EcoPaper, makers of hemp (cannabis) paper and other nonwood papers,
pulps and fibers. 
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Without further ado, please enjoy the news:

UPn  09/09/94      Seized 'cocaine' is really marijuana

   LOS ANGELES, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Customs Service said Friday that one
ton of what agents first believed to be cocaine was actually a ton of marijuana
concealed inside layers of white powder.
   Customs agents seized a tractor-trailer in suburban Lynwood on Aug. 6 and
found tape-wrapped packages containing white powder in a secret compartment in
the trailer. Field tests were positive for cocaine and the driver and two other
men in the truck were arrested.
   Michael Fleming, a Customs public affairs officers, said Friday that when
agents made a more thorough examination of the contraband, they found the
packages actually contained marijuana packed in lime.
    Fleming said smugglers often use certain substances to try to fool Customs'
drug-sniffing dogs, but the use of lime was unusual.
   Driver Jose Pacheco, 26, Ramon Ruiz, 29, and Javier Lopez, 23, remain in jail
under a superceding federal indictment that changed the charges to conspiracy to
import marijuana instead of cocaine.
   Customs originally said the cocaine would be worth $62 million. Fleming said
the marijuana is worth about $1.7 million.

UPwe 09/10/94   Early harvest for marijuana farm

   DIAMOND BAR, Calif., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Authorities from the state Bureau of
Narcotics Enforcement spent Saturday "hacking and stacking" an estimated 4,000
marijuana plants discovered in the hills above Diamond Bar.
   Five suspects were arrested Thursday night when the sprawling outdoor
marijuana farm was uncovered while officials were conducting aerial surveillance
on a separate case.
   All five men were undocumented immigrants, according to Bureau of Narcotics
Enforcement spokesman Walt Kaiser. The suspects, who have not been indentified,
were booked on suspicion of felony cultivation of marijuana and were being held
in lieu of bail, Kaiser said.
    Authorities were questioning the suspects Saturday to learn more about others
involved in the sophisticated marijuana growing operation, Kaiser said.
   A crew of about 40 people were sent in to cut down the plants, which were
valued on average at about $4,000 each, Kaiser said. The plants ranged in height
from 3 feet to 20 feet.
   "It will take a few days to clear out all of those plants. They (the crew)
are just out there hacking and stacking," Kaiser said.
   Authorities do not believe the owner of the property, a cattle rancher, was
involved in any illegal activity, Kaiser said.
   Judging by the size of the plants, however, the six-acre marijuana farm had
been cultivated for at least one year, Kaiser said. An underground irrigation
system had been installed and it appeared the five suspects had been living in
 tents on the property, Kaiser said.

WP   09/10/94          15 Years for a 17-Year-Old's First Drug Sale

By Nat Hentoff 
    NEW YORK - Nelson Rockefeller, the late governor of New York, is remembered
by many in the art world as an enthusiastic, sophisticated collector. For many
New Yorkers in prison, however, he is remembered as the author of the 1973
Rockefeller Drug Sentencing Laws whose harsh mandatory minimums helped lead the
way nationally to reducing judges' discretion in sentencing.
    Some years ago, I asked Gov. Mario M. Cuomo if he might try to move the
legislature to make those laws more humane. He said he didn't think the
legislature could be budged. But, as a political leader, shouldn't he try? No
 comment. Nor, certainly, is there a chance now to make the Rockefeller drug laws
more flexible when fear of crime is chronic.
    Recently, several lower court judges in New York did take the risk of
softening a young woman's long prison term because they were appalled at the
damage the Rockefeller law would have done to the rest of her life. Their
attempt failed when they were reversed by the Court of Appeals, the state's
highest court.
    What has happened to Angela Thompson is hardly unique. In 1988, when she was
17, she was arrested after making a single sale of crack cocaine to an
undercover police officer. (There was no other criminal activity on her record.)
The sale took place at the residence of her uncle, Norman Little, who, according
to the dissenting opinion in the Court of Appeals, was "running a major
 drug-selling operation in Harlem."
    The 17-year-old "had grown up in a variety of places and under several
different custodial arrangements" until she was employed by her uncle. Her drug
sale to the police agent qualified as an A-1 felony because it weighed 2.3 grams
- less than one-tenth of an ounce over the next lower level crime.
    On a plea bargain, she was offered four years to life, but she insisted on
her right to trial. She was convicted. The penalty for an A-1 felony is a
mandatory indeterminate sentence, with a minimum of not less than 15 years. The
maximum is life imprisonment.
    The trial judge, Juanita Bing-Newton, rebelled. The minimum mandatory
sentence, she ruled, would be cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
Amendment. Instead, she sentenced Angela Thompson to eight years to life. The
 judge acknowledged that the legislature had decreed a tougher minimum, but she
added: "I think it is still the law of this country that the punishment must fit
the crime." After all, this was "a single transgression of the law."
    The case went up one level to the Appellate Division. A majority on that
bench also refused to go rigidly by the book and upheld the lower sentence of
the trial judge. Said Appellate Justice Sidney Asch:
    "A system of justice which mandates a 15-year prison sentence, as a minimum,
on a 17-year-old girl, who was not cared for by her parents and (was) under the
domination of her uncle also mandates a lifetime of crime. And (it) imposes on
the community, upon release, a woman who may be incapable of anything but
criminal activity. If we do not attempt to rehabilitate such young people, we
condemn ourselves as well."
     Again, the prosecution appealed this lower sentence in the name of the
people. The New York State Court of Appeals agreed with the prosecution. The
chief judge, Judith Kaye, is an often compassionate jurist who has written some
notable First Amendment opinions, among others. In this case, she was part of
the majority that overturned the lower courts and resentenced Angela Thompson to
a mandatory minimum of 15 years to life imprisonment.
    Writing for the two dissenters, Judge Joseph Bellacosa said of his majority
colleagues - who have locked up Angela Thompson for at least 15 years - that
they have tied themselves to "the will of the legislature. A will expressed more
than 20 years ago as part of the frustratingly decried, yet intractably
operative, Rockefeller Drug Sentencing Laws."
    But, Bellacosa added, "It is judges who bear the singular awesome duty of
 facing defendants in open court on the day of reckoning to declare the law's
sentencing judgment."
    Joseph Bellacosa is often described as a conservative; Chief Judge Kaye is
decidedly regarded as a liberal. It was Bellacosa, however, who tried
unsuccessfully to remind his colleagues that "constitutional adjudication is a
dynamic, evolving process - not a static set of revered relics."
    And Angela Thompson will become an unrevered relic.

RTw  09/12/94      Cannabis pollen clue to smiles of Italian town

    PERUGIA, Italy, Sept 12 (Reuter) - Residents of this medieval hilltown are
high on life -- biologists have detected large amounts of pollen from cannabis
plants floating in the air.
     Someone apparently has established an illicit cannabis estate in Perugia,
best known for its chocolate industry, universities, and green countryside.
     "This summer we recorded a strange phenomenon... we have registered a
remarkable level of pollen produced by plants in the cannabis family," said
Professor Gianfranco Mincigrucci of the biology department at Perugia
     "By examining the pollen deposits, and finding out the strength and
 direction of the wind, it is possible to say fairly accurately where the plants
are," Mincigrucci told Italian state television on Monday.
     Residents say the new sort of air pollution is nothing to complain about.
"This explains why we've been feeling so euphoric recently," said one

UPne 09/14/94      Drug survey finds use up

   CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Drug use around the nation is up,
especially marijuana, which has gone "through the roof" among young people,
according to a new survey released Wednesday.
   The survey found the use of hallucinogens and heroin also up, while cocaine
use has stabilized, even though there continued to be a high demand for crack.
   The survey was conducted by Abt Associates Inc. of Cambridge. Mass., for the
federal Office of National Drug Control Policy.
   The survey tracked drug-use patterns through interviews with drug
researchers, epidemiologists, drug treatment providers and police.
   The results found that marijuana use, particularly among teenagers and people
 in their 20s, was "going through the roof," and that the drug was often laced
with other narcotics, such as heroin, cocaine and PCP.
   The supply of domestically grown marijuana was also on the rise, the survey
   It also found that heroin use and availability continued to increase in the
Northeast and Midwest, where the practice of inhaling high- quality heroin was
increasingly reported.
   Cocaine use has stabilized in most areas of the country and may even be on
the decline, although police reported continued high demand for crack, the
survey found.
   Hallucinogens, referred to as "club drugs," were rising in popularity
particularly among young, white users.
    The survey said that although alcohol use was not a category intended to be
surveyed, many treatment providers, especially in rural areas, saw alcohol use
as their primary problem.


   By Melanie Beeby of AAP
   SYDNEY, Sept 14 AAP - Some of Sydney's keenest noses gathered in  Sydney
today to celebrate a quarter of a century of canine drug  detection in
   The 25th anniversary of the Customs detector dog program, was  attended by
past and present two and four-legged members of the  program.
   The event featured presentations and demonstrations of the  skills of
Australia's detector dogs.
    The first Customs detector dog unit was formed in Sydney in 1969  with two
dogs, and has now expanded to 35 dogs, with a unit in  every major region of
   The dogs, usually German shepherds, labrador retrievers,  Weimaraners and
German short-haired pointers, are used to find  drugs carried on the body and in
baggage, cargo containers,  vessels, vehicles, aircraft and mail.
   During the last financial year, detector dogs were responsible  for more than
2,000 individual drug seizures which represent over  60 per cent of all Customs
   Some of the more unusual drug finds include, 227 kilograms of  cannabis resin
encased inside steel machinery packed in a cargo  container, 500 grams of
hashish packed inside a brick on board a  ship, cannabis leaf sealed inside
 wooden wall plaques and 160  kilograms of hashish buried in a chicken coop.
   Dogs with a playful and energetic temperament, coupled with  confidence, a
frantic and untiring desire to retrieve and an  aggressively possessive attitude
towards the retrieved item are the  most suitable for the work, a Customs
spokesman said.
   Traditionally customs had recruited dogs from RSPCA shelters or  pounds, but
because of a gradual decline in the number of suitable  dogs, it embarked on a
program in 1993 aimed at establishing a  world-class scientific breeding model
with litters bred from proven  detector dogs.
   During the celebrations today, a pair of eight-week-old labrador  retriever
pups, Foster and Fran, were handed to volunteer puppy  minders to be raised
under their care.
    The location of the celebration had been kept secret, with  customs officials
saying they wanted to protect their valuable  four-legged assets from playful
public hands.
   It would be the first time minders had been used in Sydney to  look after the
dogs, rather than customs raising the four-legged  animals.
   The puppy minders were families of customs' workers, who would  raise the
dogs for 12 months while they were assessed, before they  were handed back for
special intensive training.
   The 12 week training program, developed around techniques used  by United
States Customs, teaches dogs to detect the odours of  heroin, cocaine,
marijuana, cannabis resin, hashish and  amphetamines.
   AAP mjb/jp/co

RTw  09/15/94      Roadside weed drug of choice for some U.S. teens

    EL PASO, Texas, Sept 15 (Reuter) - A free-growing roadside weed, known
commonly as "loco weed," is gaining popularity as a hallucinogenic drug, health
officials say.
     Jimson weed can be fatal, but unlike other drugs it is legal and free, and
grows everywhere in the United States except Alaska, health officials said in
recent interviews.
     Twelve people were poisoned, including two who died, in El Paso this year
after using the weed, a poisonous, tall, course weed that is a source of
stramonium, used in medicine for the treatment of asthma.
     National figures were unavailable for 1994, but 318 Jimson weed poisoning
 cases were reported in 1993, Rose Ann Soloway, clinical toxicologist at the
poison control central in Washington, said.
     She said although there is a problem, "in terms of numbers it's not huge."
     However, in El Paso, "The use is widespread," said Dr. Miguel Escobedo,
director of El Paso Preventative Health Services. "And it's (the weed)
everywhere. I can see it growing from where I'm sitting."
     The toxicity of the plant, which apparently was used by American Indians
hundreds of years ago, changes from season to season and plant to plant, making
it impossible to produce a recipe for a safe "trip," Escobedo said.
     Two 16-year-old boys died from jimson weed poisoning in June after they
boiled weed roots and then drank a cup each. Two of their friends who survived
said they drank smaller amounts and experienced hallucinations.
      The weed, which has bell-shaped flowers, a stout stem and is about 4 feet
tall, affects the nervous system, Escobedo said.
     El Paso health officials hoped the two deaths would scare teenagers and
curtail usage.
     But a local high school senior said a flyer was sent out shortly after the
1994 school year started in late August announcing a party where "crazy weed"
would be available.
     "I don't really know too much about it," the student said. "It's just this
new drug that a lot of kids are doing."
     Sergeant Robert Coleman with the El Paso police narcotics squad said Jimson
weed may be gaining in popularity in high schools, but is still not nearly as
popular as cocaine, crack and marijuana.
      Law enforcement officials say their hands are tied because the weed is not
illegal. "There isn't a whole lot we can do and we don't have a lot of
information on it," Coleman said.

UPsw 09/15/94      Court rules for drug tax defendant

   AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The Texas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that
a man assessed more than $1 million in taxes on illegal drugs does not have to
pay the tax before he can appeal the assessment.
   Citing its ruling in a previous case, the high court said it was
unconstitutional for the state to require payment of contested taxes before the
defendant's appeal can proceed.
   The case stemmed from the 1990 arrest of Charles Frederick Weck, who
allegedly bought more than 800 pounds of marijuana from undercover officers with
the Midland County Sheriff's Department in a reverse sting operation.
   In addition to the criminal charges against Weck, state Comptroller John
 Sharp assessed $1.4 million in taxes against Weck under the state's drug tax
   Weck appealed the tax assessment, but a lower court ruled against him, citing
a state law that says contested tax assessments must be paid before the appeal
can proceed.
   After the ruling was upheld by an appeals court, the state Supreme Court
ruled in a separate case that it was unconstitutional to force a defendant to
pay a contested tax before the assessment could be appealed.
   The high court sent Weck's case back to the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals
for further proceedings based on its previous ruling on uncontested tax


   PERTH, Sept 15 AAP - Three West Australian police who were  jailed yesterday
for perjury will remain within the force until an  appeal on their conviction is
   Detective Sergeant Ray Fairclough was jailed for three years,  while
Detective Constable Stephen Brennan and Constable Barry Lee  were jailed for 18
months each.
   In the Perth District Court yesterday, three former officers of  the Eucla
Police Station, 1,436 km east of Perth, were jailed after  they were found
 guilty by a jury last week of giving false evidence  about a cannabis haul in
   Deputy Police Commissioner Les Ayton said this morning that he  had received
advice that the officers would appeal the conviction.
   Mr Ayton told reporters that in the interests of fairness the  three officers
would be suspended without pay until the appeal is  heard.
   AAP eb/dd/co

UPne 09/16/94      Pro-pot rally wins Boston permit

   BOSTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Pro-marijuana advocates have been granted a permit
to hold their annual Hemp Freedom Rally on Boston Common on Saturday.
   Police have vowed to arrest anyone caught smoking pot at the rally, but
organizers say authorities will face lawsuits if they do so.
   City officials, who had threatened to cancel the event, granted the permit
late Thursday after an agreement was reached with the Massachusetts Cannabis
Reform Coalition to provide more police security at the rally.
   Some 5,000 people attended last year's rally, and a similar turnout is
expected this year.
   The city had demanded that 16 security officers be hired, feeling the three
 officers used last year were insufficient.
   The two sides reached a compromise late Thursday under which only seven
officers would be hired at a cost of $680. The Cambridge Pharmaceutical
Laboratories, which holds the pattern for medicinal marijuana, offered to cover
the costs.
   Authorities warned that anyone caught with marijuana at the rally will be
   Organizers said they will be selling joints made with such herbs as mullein,
mugwort, demiana or coltsfoot at the rally and challenged police to distinguish
the herbal smokes from real marijuana.
   "If it looks like marijuana and it smells like marijuana, I think we can make
the arrest and let the state labs determine what it was," a Boston police
 spokesman said.
   Organizers said if police make arrests, they will end up "making a lot of
false arrests" and "will face a lot of lawsuits."


By Tim Moynihan and Keith Manning, PA News
   The controversial Liberal Democrat vote in favour of decriminalising cannabis
is the latest boost for the campaign to legalise the widely-used soft drug.
   But it swiftly brought a tough response from Home Secretary Michael Howard,
who said defences against it must be maintained.
    The debate is hardly new -- on July 24, 1967, 65 prominent people signed an
advertisement in The Times calling for cannabis legalisation.
   The ad began: "The law against marijuana is immoral in principle and
unworkable in practice."
   Former Beatle Paul McCartney, a signatory who some years later was deported
from Japan for being in possession, says of pot: "It's a whole lot less harmful
than whisky, rum punch, nicotine and glue."
   In May, Germany's Supreme Court ruled that the possession of small amounts
was not a punishable offence, bringing the country into line with The
Netherlands, which has long tolerated its use, and where it can be bought
legally in cafes.
   A survey by Time Out magazine last September found that 97% of all
 25-year-olds in London had taken marijuana. Police say its cultivation in
Britain is widespread and increasing.
   First offenders are often let off with a caution and some senior officers
have called for a wider debate on the drug.
   Many doctors say cannabis can be beneficial in a number of conditions,
including relieving pain during menstruation, childbirth, the nausea of
chemotherapy, the spasms of multiple sclerosis and also helps control seizures
in epilepsy.
   Glaucoma sufferers testify that it can lower the pressure within the eye, so
avoiding the onset of blindness. There is some evidence that it can improve
night vision.
   The Government, however, sustains a tough stance against it. The Home
 Secretary is increasing the penalties for possession of cannabis fivefold to
 2,500, and he warned again tonight that cannabis itself can be harmful and that
it can lead on to hard drugs.


By Gavin Cordon, Political Correspondent, PA News
   The Liberal Democrat leadership tonight suffered a hugely embarrassing
setback after the party conference voted in favour of the decriminalisation of
   Party leader Paddy Ashdown abruptly left the conference platform as the
 ammendent calling for decriminalisation for the use and possession of the drug
went to a card vote.
   And within minutes of the announcement that representatives had voted by 426
to 375 in favour, it was being made clear that the party leadeship would not be
adopting the decision as official policy.
   Party sources pointed out that the main motion called for the setting up of a
Royal Commission to examine the whole issue of drugs -- including the
legalisation of cannabis -- which would be the official line.
   However it was impossible to disguise the depth of the upset for the
leadership by the vote which will undermine attempts to present a disciplined
image of the party and will provide easy ammunition for opponents.
   The party's deputy leader and home affairs spokesman Alan Beith had led calls
 from the conference platform strongly urging representatives to oppose the
   He warned them not to risk "signalling public approval of what is dangerously
described as `recreational drug-taking', because that signal could so readily
increase the use of other drugs."
   He was backed by the party's education and urban and community affairs
spokesman Simon Hughes who, while admitting that he was personally sympathetic
to decriminalisation urged conference to take "not the soft option but the wise
   Supporters of the amendment included the author and broadcaster Sir Ludovic
Kennedy who is a long-standing campaigner for legalisation of cannabis.
   Later, Mr Beith told a news conference that the party's policy on drugs now
 was to set up a Royal Commission to consider strategies for combating drug
misuse, including the decriminalisation of the use and possession of cannabis.
   He said it was the unanimous view of the party's MPs to oppose the conference
amendment on decriminalisation of cannabis and he denied that the views of the
party's rank and file were being shrugged aside.
   "What conference decided today is to refer drugs policy to a Royal Commission
and in effect give that commission a steer that, by a narrow majority, they
voted for the decriminalisation of the use and possession of cannabis.
   "It is my view that we haven't yet seen overwhelming evidence that it would
be safe to decriminalise cannabis and that it would not send a signal
encouraging wider drug use."
   Chief whip Archy Kirkwood, when asked about Mr Ashdown's sudden disappearance
 from the platform after the vote was taken, said: "He had television interviews
to do."
   The vote was a further blow on a difficult day for the party which saw them
rowing back on proposals to impose a 60% tax on incomes over  100,000, unveiled
just last month.
   Treasury spokesman Malcolm Bruce said that the top rate should be no more
than 50%, prompting immediate accusations from Labour and the Conservatives that
the party's taxation policy was in disarray.
   There could be further pitfalls ahead when the party comes to debate the
abolition of the monarchy tomorrow. Mr Ashdown said before the conference
started that he was confident that it would be defeated.
   After today's result the party hierarchy will be taking nothing for granted.
    Later, commenting on the outcome of the drugs debate, Mr Ashdown said: "The
conference voted today for a Royal Commission on Drugs -- no more and no less.
   "A Royal Commission is the proper and only place for serious consideration of
a number of issues relating to drugs, including the decriminalisation of
   "Our manifesto at the next election will contain a commitment to a Royal
Commission only, not to the decriminalisation of cannabis."
   Home Secretary Michael Howard, speaking on Channel 4 News tonight, said
cannabis was harmful in itself and quite often led on to hard drugs.
   "I think that it is quite wrong to legalise cannabis, quite wrong to vote for
 the legalisation of it, and it only goes to show once again how irresponsible
the Liberal Democrats are," he said.
   "They haven't had a proper debate on crime or law and order at this
conference, all they do is pass a motion legalising the use of cannabis."
   He went on: "The truth is that all over the world, governments are
recognising that you must keep up your defences against the use of drugs. They
are very damaging, they do awful harm to people."
   He added: "We must maintain our defences against it, across the board, we are
trying to stop the importation of it, we are trying to stop the use of it, we
have a comprehensive strategy against it."

RTw  09/19/94      Britain's third party votes to decriminalise cannabis

    BRIGHTON, England, Sept 19 (Reuter) - Britain's Liberal Democrats on Monday
became the first major political party in the country to vote for legalisation
of cannabis use in what was a major embarrassment for the party leadership.
     Delegates at the party's annual conference voted 426 to 375 in favour of a
call to decriminalise cannabis so police and customs could target resources on
the fight against hard drugs.
     Delegate Alan Dean, a father of three who told the conference he had never
taken cannabis himself, said decriminalisation in Amsterdam had resulted in a
drop in cannabis use.
     "This move will sever the link between cannabis and other drugs," he said
 in proposing the motion.
     Other delegates cited the views of several senior British police officers
who wanted to decriminalise cannabis, which they said was less harmful than
alcohol or tobacco.
     But Alan Beith, the party's spokesman in parliament on home affairs, said:
"I would take a lot of convincing and a lot of evidence before I would be
prepared to take the risk of signalling public approval of what is dangerously
described as "recreational' drug-taking."
     He said: "That signal could so readily increase the use of other drugs."
     The motion is thought unlikely ever to become part of the party's policy
     The motion also called for greater resources for drug enforcement
 authorities and for all schools to give pupils advice on the dangers of drugs
from the age of seven.
     The Liberal Democrats have 23 members in the 651-seat House of Commons but
a much stronger presence in British local government.

RTw  09/20/94     Six tourists arrested for drugs on Thai island

    By Sutin Wannabovorn
     PHANGAN ISLAND, Thailand, Sept 20 (Reuter) - Six tourists were arrested on
charges of possessing marijuana on this southern Thai resort island as police
continued a controversial clampdown on revellers at monthly beach parties.
     The three Japanese, two Italians and one German were arrested late on
Monday when about 30 policemen swept through a huge party conducting random body
     Young tourists flock to this resort island in the Gulf of Thailand at
full-moon nights for the beach party, but police have in recent months been
attempting to stop the gatherings.
      "We dont want this sort of party when most of the hippy tourists come to
take drugs. We don't want money from drug users," Police Captain Sorapol
Payungnoi of the island's tourist police force told Reuters.
     But Monday night's crackdown fizzled out with the surprise appearance of
Thailand's top narcotics suppression official who told police to concentrate
their efforts on arresting drug sellers not tourists.
     "What we are trying to do is to arrest the drug pushers more than arrest
the tourists," Police General Chavalit Yodmanee, the head of Thailand's Office
of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) told local officials on his inspection tour of
the full-moon party.
     "Have you seen any narcotic drugs here?" Chavalit asked the officials.
     "These people just come here for drinks and to have some fun," he said.
      The ONCB chief said his agents and local authorities would hold discussions
on how to put a stop to drug abuse at the parties.
     About 3,000 people, most of them young backpacker tourists, attended Monday
night's party, but some local businessmen complained police efforts to stamp out
drug abuse had frightened off many tourists.
     Police arrested 14 foreign tourists on marijuana possession charges last
     They were fined about $50 and deported, police said.
     "Police are ruining the tourist business here. They're scaring people
away," one Israeli said.
     Some tourists accused police of extorting money from drug users but police
denied the claim.
      "We completely deny reports of police extortion. Those accusations are made
by people who have lost benefits because of our law enforcement actions,"
Sorapol said.
     The party began at sunset. By midnight many of those on the beach danced
drunkenly to music blaring out of speakers rigged up on the sand as the full
moon rose over the Gulf of Thailand.

RTw  09/22/94     Middle-aged hippies burst into Danish parliament

    By Christopher Follett
     COPENHAGEN, Sept 22 (Reuter) - A political party born in the organised
anarchy of the capital's Christiania Freetown hippy colony burst onto the Danish
political scene in Wednesday's general election, winning six seats.
     The Unity Party, a left-wing mixture of cannabis-smoking hippies, hard-line
communists and free-thinking anarchists, will undoubtedly present an interesting
contrast to the domination of grey-suited politicians presently found in
     The party pledged on Thursday to back Social Democratic Prime Minister Poul
Nyrup Rasmussen in his efforts to rebuild his coalition government after the
 election removed his working majority.
     In a parliament where compromise is crucial, the Union List said it would
abide by tradition.
     "We will vote for what we agree with and we'll vote against what we don't
agree with," said newly-elected parliamentarian Frank Aaen, whose party is one
of two which have said they will support Rasmussen's minority coalition.
     Christiania, a picturesque 18th century citadel comprising 35 hectares (86
acres) of prime real estate in central Copenhagen, has bred a uniquely Danish
form of civilised anarchy since it was established 23 years ago.
     About 1,000 people live in a mixture of scruffy housing where soft drugs
are sold openly, heaps of junk block streets and the smell of firewood used as
heating fuel drifts over the former military compound.
      Christiania spokesman -- in fact all residents are spokesmen -- Peter
Soerensen, speaking as a hashish pipe went the rounds among hippies sitting in a
dilapidated workshop, was unimpressed by the election.
     "The election is a bore, with the politicians churning out the same old
cliches," he said.
     Several of the Unity Party activists have lively political pasts. Aaen was
secretary of the now-defunct Danish Communist Party and editor of the party
     Another parliamentarian, Keld Albrechtsen, is a former leader of the
marxist Socialist Left Party.
     The Unity Party has become a repository for most of Denmark's "anti"
      It is anti-European Union, anti-building a fixed link between Denmark and
Sweden, anti-cars, anti-NATO, anti-privatisation and anti-market forces.
     "Vote for the Antis," the party's campaign literature said.

UPs  09/23/94      Bulls media director arrested

   CHICAGO, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Tim Hallam, director of media services for the
Chicago Bulls, was arrested late Thursday evening on drug and weapons charges.
   Hallam was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, cocaine and an
illegal firearm.
   Hallam is entering his 17th season as an employee of the Bulls.

UPce 09/27/94     Marijuana festival this weekend

   MADISON, Wis., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest
Festival is scheduled this weekend at Madison.
   The festival has been a regular fall event in Madison for the past 24 years.
   This year's festivities will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the University of
Wisconsin's Library Mall. From there, participants will march to the state
Capitol to hear speakers discuss the attributes of marijuana for medicinal
   Last year's harvest festival attracted about 1,500 people. About a dozen of
them were cited for possession of marijuana by Madison police.

APn  10/05/94      Drug Policy

 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration's top drug official defended
the new anti-crime law's drug-fighting provisions Wednesday against a Republican
senator's criticism.
   "For the first time ever, Congress has taken a broader view and passed a
crime bill that authorizes funds for police, punishment and prevention," Lee
Brown, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the Senate
 Judiciary Committee.
   Brown said the drug courts, treatment for imprisoned addicts and other
measures in the law will make a difference in the fight against drugs.
   But Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, backed by a Bush administration anti-drug
official, said President Clinton had "adopted a reckless abdication drug policy"
that cuts funds for interdiction and retreats on law enforcement.
   Brown said the administration's top priorities remain addressing chronic
hardcore drug use and providing increased access to treatment.
   The crime bill will contribute to those goals by helping to put 100,000 more
police on the streets, many for community policing, providing $1 billion for
drug court programs directed at nonviolent offenders and allocating an
additional $383 million for drug treatment in prisons.
    Every year, about 200,000 hard-core addicts leave prisons without receiving
treatment, he said, adding, "This represents a failure of accountability in our
criminal justice system."
   The bill also includes some $855 million for prevention programs aimed at
youth, including anti-gang education, sports programs and boot camps.
   One disappointment, Brown said, was that Congress approved only $57 million
in funds for substance abuse prevention and treatment, well below the $355
million sought by the administration.
   Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph Biden Jr., D-Del., agreed that the
crime law will "help bring significant numbers of hard-core drug addicts under
control." He praised the drug courts, saying they will give 600,000 drug-abusing
offenders walking the streets on probation the choice of receiving treatment or
 going to jail.
   But Hatch said there had been a retreat in the war on drugs compared with the
Reagan and Bush administrations, when there were "dramatic" reductions of casual
drug use due to emphasis on protecting the borders and increasing penalties for
   "Under President Clinton's leadership, we are losing ground," Hatch said.
   Clinton cut funds for interdiction efforts, slashed the staff of the Office
of National Drug Control Policy and sent "the wrong signal about our priorities"
by treating convicts before users in the general population, he said.
   John Walters, acting director and deputy director of the drug policy office
during the Bush administration, said the Clinton administration has "turned its
back on the drug problem and taken actions that undermine achievements in
 prevention, interdiction and enforcement."
   Walters noted statements by Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders on considering
drug legalization, sharp reductions in Defense Department interdiction efforts
and moves to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent first-time drug

UPn  10/10/94      Paraguayan anti-drug chief slain

   ASUNCION, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The head of Paraguay's anti-drug ministry, Gen.
Ramon Rosa Rodriguez, was shot and killed Monday in an ambush in a residential
area of Asuncion.
   Rodriguez had dropped his daughter off at a school in the capital when he was
hit and slightly wounded by shotgun fire from assailants in a passing car.
   The head of the government's anti-drug efforts radioed the ministry for
assistance, but was attacked a second time after being transferred to another
   In the second attack, Rodriguez was shot in the head and died five hours
later at a hospital.
    Rodriguez's driver, Pedro Fleitas, was in critical condition following the
attack, and his personal assistant, Capt. Juan Ruiz Diaz, also received a
gunshot wound in the head.
   Ruiz Diaz was driving the vehicle that picked up Rodriguez after his call for
assistance following the first attack. Two other officers were unhurt and being
held for questioning by the military.
   The assassination was the first in Paraguay since former Nicaraguan dictator
Anastasio Somoza was killed in 1980 in Asuncion, where he had gone into exile
following his ouster by the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
   The attack against Rodriguez came three weeks after a civilian pilot, Carlos
Amado Reclade, revealed information about a large cocaine shipment and
implicated high ranking military officials, including former President Gen.
 Andres Rodriguez, in the case.
   Rodriguez was responsible for the 1989 overthrow of dictator Gen. Alfredo
Stroessner, and returned Paraguay to civilian rule following elections last
   Local media in Paraguay linked the killing to the statements made by Recalde,
who has been granted special protection by the judge investigating the case.
   There was also speculation that the killing could be related to the recent
destruction of marijuana crops in northeastern Paraguay.

RTw  10/10/94     Foreign teachers protest drug test plans

    By Velasarios Kattoulas
     OSAKA, Japan, Oct 10 (Reuter) - About 50 teachers, mostly foreigners,
demonstrated on Monday against plans by one of Japan's biggest foreign language
schools to test staff for drugs.
     The protest was outside the national headquarters in Osaka of NOVA Group,
which claims to be Japan's biggest school teaching English, French and German
and employs hundreds of foreigners.
     The protesters represented hundreds of Britons, Americans, French,
Australians, Canadians, Swedes and Germans employed by NOVA at 150 schools
teaching some 200,000 students in what is a billion dollar foreign language
 teaching industry.
     The row started after the arrest in the past two months of two NOVA foreign
teachers for possessing marijuana, setting off an outcry in the Japanese media
about low morals.
     The foreign teachers, often just out of university, are employed mainly on
short contracts which earn them thousands of dollars more than they would get
from a first job in their home country.
     "At first, NOVA only asked foreigners to undertake the test, which is
racist and a violation of human rights," said Briton John McNeill, secretary of
the NOVA branch of the General Union, an Osaka-based labour union.
     NOVA unveiled plans for the disputed tests in mid-August, when the first
arrest for marijuana possession occurred.
      The company maintains the drug tests, planned to start in November, were
meant for all staff, not just foreigners.
     But McNeill said the tests were aimed at foreigners who were made
scapegoats for police failure to keep out drugs.
     "The people bringing drugs into Japan are organised crime. People doing a
few grams here and a few grams there are not the ones (responsible)," he said.
     A NOVA spokesman said that unless the company restores its image, NOVA
could lose many students and this would threaten jobs.
     "The company received a lot of very bad press, and vicious headlines. The
company has to protect its image," he said.
     Teachers agree the school's image needs rebuilding to fend off competitors
in Japan's rich foreign language market.
      Japan has an almost insatiable need for foreign language instruction to
teach thousands of tourists and businessmen heading overseas. Each student pays
thousands of dollars.
     But Monic Arsenault, a Canadian, said NOVA panicked in planning to
introduce tests and pass the results to police.
     "This would all have calmed down by itself but they've made it much worse
by drawing more media attention," she said.

RTna 10/12/94      Interpol calls for decriminalization of drug abuse

    By Alister Doyle
     PARIS (Reuter) - The head of the international police group Interpol
appealed Wednesday for the decriminalization of drug abuse.
     Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall told an international narcotics
conference that education and mandatory treatment for drug addicts would often
help more than making criminals of them and locking them up.
     "I favor decriminalization" of drug abuse, he said.
     Shortly before, hardline French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua told the
same conference that drugs had eclipsed nuclear weapons as a global menace and
that only "defeatists" favored solutions like decriminalization.
      "One argument is that we should classify drugs and that 'soft drugs' could
be covered by a different legislative treatment and benefit from legalization or
depenalization," he said, sitting near Kendall.
     "What problem would be solved by the legalization of cannabis?" he asked an
audience of about 50 experts at the headquarters of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
     "None, in my opinion," he said. "There are no 'soft' drugs."
     "Drug trafficking threatens to plunge us into a new conflict on a global
scale. An all-out war against drugs should be launched around the world by the
international community," Pasqua added.
     While Kendall said he favored decriminalization, he said he bitterly
opposed any formal legalization of drugs.
      Kendall said legalization would encourage abuse by making drugs more widely
available. Decriminalization would mean drug abusers could be ordered to take
treatment to get over their addiction as a substitute for jail or fines.
     The international drug trade is estimated to be worth $400 billion a year
-- enough to threaten to destabilize democracies, Kendall and Pasqua agreed.
     Kendall, expanding on arguments for decriminalization made earlier this
year, said Sweden provided perhaps the best model of how to handle drug abuse.
     He said Stockholm had invested heavily in education and medical,
psychological and social rehabilitation programs for abusers. In Sweden, "the
number of drug addicts has fallen and especially the number of addicts hit by
AIDS," he said.
     By contrast, many other nations spent too much cash on trying to stop
 smuggling rather than discouraging consumption.
     He said a recent study in the United States showed 73 percent of all cash
spent on fighting cocaine went to stopping trafficking in the country while just
seven percent went to reducing domestic demand.
     Interpol, based in the southern French city of Lyon, groups 174 member

RTw  10/12/94     Interpol boss clashes with France over drugs

By Alister Doyle
     PARIS, Oct 12 (Reuter) - The boss of the international police group
Interpol, clashing with France's Interior Minister, appealed on Wednesday for
the decriminalisation of drug abuse.
     Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall told an international narcotics
conference that education and mandatory treatment for drug addicts would often
help more than making criminals of them and locking them up.
     "I favour decriminalisation" of drug abuse, he said.
     Shortly before, hardline Interior Minister Charles Pasqua told the same
conference that drugs had eclipsed nuclear weapons as a global menace and that
 "defeatists" favoured solutions like decriminalisation.
     "One argument is that we should classify drugs and that 'soft drugs' could
be covered by a different legislative treatment and benefit from legalisation or
depenalisation," he said, sitting near Kendall.
     "What problem would be solved by the legalisation of cannabis?" he asked an
audience of about 50 experts at the headquarters of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO).
     "None, in my opinion," he said. "There are no 'soft' drugs."
     "Drug trafficking threatens to plunge us into a new conflict on a global
scale. An all-out war against drugs should be launched around the world by the
international community," Pasqua added.
     While Kendall said he favoured decriminalisation, he said he bitterly
 opposed any formal legalisation of drugs.
     Kendall said legalisation would encourage abuse by making drugs more widely
available. Decriminalisation would mean drug abusers could be ordered to take
treatment to get over their addiction as a substitute for jail or fines.
     The international drug trade is estimated to be worth $400 billion a year
-- enough to threaten to destabilise democracies, Kendall and Pasqua agreed.
     Kendall, expanding on arguments for decriminalisation made earlier this
year, said Sweden provided perhaps the best model of how to handle drug abuse.
     He said Stockholm had invested heavily in education and medical,
psychological and social rehabilitation programmes for abusers. In Sweden, "the
number of drug addicts has fallen and especially the number of addicts hit by
AIDS," he said.
      By contrast, many other nations spent too much cash on trying to stop
smuggling rather than discouraging consumption.
     He said a recent study in the United States showed 73 percent of all cash
spent on fighting cocaine went to stopping trafficking in the country while just
seven percent went to reducing domestic demand.
     Kendall also said Interpol, based in the southern French city of Lyon, was
severely hampered by underfunding in combating the booming drug trade -- he said
Interpol's $28 million budget was less than the cost of running the Lyon opera
     Interpol groups 174 member nations.
     He said 20 tonnes of heroin, 200 tonnes of cocaine and 2,000 tonnes of
cannabis were seized worldwide in 1993. Since 1985, seizures of heroin have
 surged 300 percent, cocaine 1,000 percent and cannabis 250 percent.


   By Neil Spark of AAP
   MELBOURNE, Oct 12 AAP - The partial decriminalisation of  cannabis use in
South Australia had not led to an increase in the  number of people using the
drug, a study has found.
   The rate of increase in cannabis use in South Australia was no  different to
that in other states where it was still an offence,  according to the study
released at a conference on alcohol, drugs  and families being held in
    Cannabis use in South Australia was partially decriminalised in  1987, with
the introduction of on-the-spot fines for possessing  small amounts and the
abolition of criminal records for personal  use.
   The study found that the number of people who had used cannabis  at least
once increased between 1985 to 1993 in all states and  territories where
cannabis use is a criminal offence.
   "The rate of increase was much the same for South Australia  compared to the
rest of Australia. That is, there is no significant  difference in the
increase," National Drug and Alcohol Research  Centre statistics reseach officer
Neil Donnelly said.
   Four national surveys on cannabis use have been done between  1985 and 1993
for the National Taskforce on Cannabis.
    The 1993 study showed that the number of South Australians who  had used
cannabis at least once increased from 26 per cent in 1985  to 38 per cent in
   In Victoria, where cannabis use is a criminal offence, the  figure rose from
23 per cent in 1985 to 31 per cent in 1993.
   Mr Donnelly said the surveys found cannabis use among year 11  students had
increased in recent years.
   Between 1988 and 1992, there was a 12 per cent increase in the  number of
year 11 students in Victoria who had used cannabis at  least once.
   Mr Donnelly said the figure was similar in other states and  territories.
   He said the research also showed about five per cent of people  used cannabis
on a weekly basis.
    Although the figure had been relatively static over the past few  years,
there had been a five per cent increase in Tasmania between  1991 and 1993.
   In 1991 two per cent of Tasmanians surveyed said they used  cannabis at least
once a week, in 1993 it was seven per cent.
   Northern Territorians had the highest weekly use with nine per  cent of
people using the drug at least once a week in 1993.
   AAP nas/sp/tfh/lz


CANBERRA, Oct 12 AAP - Customs has expressed concern at the  spectacular
downturn in the quantity of drugs seized during the  last financial year -- a
modest 127 kilograms of heroin, cocaine  and cannabis, compared with more than
3.5 tonnes the previous year.
   That represents a more than 98 percent reduction.
   In its annual report tabled in parliament today, Customs  attributed the
downturn to a lack of large scale cannabis "busts"  during the year.
    The 1992-93 haul was substantially boosted by just two seizures,  one of 1.3
tonnes and the other of 2.1 tonnes, both from small  boats.
   No such hauls were made this year and the total imported as sea  cargo
amounted to 32 kilograms.
   "Of concern is the drop in sea cargo seizures which generally  account for
the bulk of importation weights in this category," the  report said. It did not
elaborate on whether the smugglers were  simply becoming more proficient at
evading customs or whether they  had simply not made any substantial attempts
    Customs did manage to make a dent in heroin smuggling. There  was a slight
increase in both the total weight (53.58 kilograms)  and in the number of actual
busts -- 54 against 50 the previous  year.
    However, cocaine busts were down a third and total weight seized  (13.69
kilograms) was a substantial drop from the 32.39 kilograms  seized the previous
   Customs said the number of seizures from air passengers was on  par with the
previous year but there was a decline in postal and  air cargo seizures.
   Detector dogs continue to play an important role in finding  hidden drugs and
Customs has launched a program to breed its own.  That's because there has been
a steady decline in the number of  suitable dogs available from the traditional
sources, including  RSPCA animal shelters and council pounds.
   The breeding program started this year and also involves the  Royal Guide
Dogs Association and the University of Melbourne.  Research is aimed at
determining essential sniffer dog traits and  identifying the best breeding



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