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We offer nonwood office and printing paper, card stock, cover stock, 100% hemp pulp for paper makers, whole hempstalks and 100% hemp bast fiber. Without further ado, please enjoy the news: WP 01/27/95 When the Feds Come Crashing In By Nat Hentoff On the night of Aug. 22, 1992, Donald Carson was asleep in his home in Poway, Calif. A few minutes after midnight, Drug Enforcement Administration agents burst into his house. Carlson dialed 911 for help, not realizing -- since there had been no identifying knock at the door -- that the danger was from law enforcement agents. To defend himself, he grabbed his gun. DEA agents shot him three times, twice when he was on the floor, obviously disabled. No drugs -- or anything else incriminatory -- were found in the house or the garage. Carlson, after seven weeks in intensive care, survived. The Fourth Amendment, however, still remains in intensive care, and not only because of this case. On Sept. 5, 1991, no fewer than 60 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the National Guard, the U.S. Forest Service and the ever-ready DEA broke into the homes of Sina Brush and two neighbors near Montainair, N.M. Nobody in this expeditionary force bothered to announce himself by knocking beforehand. As the agents kicked in the door of the bedroom, Mrs. Brush and her daughter, in their underwear, were handcuffed and commanded to kneel while the searchers went through the house. No drugs were found. In both cases, the invaders did have a warrant -- based, it turned out, on false information by what later was called an unreliable informant. (Some "police informants" cited to get a warrant from a judge are, in my experience as a reporter, quite imaginary.) Anyway, even if the raiders acted in good faith on bad information, did that justify what they did to Donald Carlson and to Mrs. Brush and her daughter? These two cases, among others, are included in a letter to the president from a notably ecumenical coalition of protesters -- ranging from the ACLU to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Affairs. Pointing out that federal agents now make up 10 percent of the nation's total array of officials empowered to make arrests and carry firearms, the petitioners to the president are calling for systematic oversight of federal law enforcement in the field. They are asking for a national commission to look into "improper use of deadly force; physical and verbal abuse; use of `no knock' entrances without justification; inadequate investigation of allegations of misconduct; use of unreliable informants without sufficient verification of their allegations; and use of `contingency payments' to informants, giving them an incentive to fabricate information, since payment is usually contingent upon a conviction." The letter to Bill Clinton also cites what federal agents did to the Branch Davidians in Waco, Tex. Those killings were reviewed by both the Justice and Treasury Departments with the conclusion that while errors were made, there was no way to avoid armed confrontation. Yet, Prof. Nancy Ammerman of Princeton University, an independent expert on this kind of impasse, has disagreed with that official finding. According to the ecumenical letter to the president, "she notes that the FBI did not consult `a single expert' on the Branch Davidians or on other marginal religious movements. . . . "She also noted that the psychological tactics employed by the FBI, including the sounds of dying rabbits, use of floodlights and helicopters hovering overhead, were not favored by the Bureau's own Behavioral Science Services Unit. In fact, the unit advised that the `ever-increasing tactical presence . . . could eventually be coun\terproductive and could result in loss of life.' " I do not recall that this FBI behavior science unit was commended for having not yielded to the high anxiety of those in command, very much including Attorney General Janet Reno who became, briefly, a national hero for her "decisiveness" in trying to save the children in the compound. But hardly all were saved. All might still be alive had she listened to other voices than those who were urging bullets. There was a national commission to explore raids on the Constitution by enforcers of federal laws. In 1929, George Wickersham, a former U.S. attorney general, was appointed by Herbert Hoover to head an 11-member National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement. Four years later, its report, "Lawlessness in Law Enforcement," illuminated widespread federal police brutality and other offenses and led to reforms that made federal law enforcement more lawful. But after more than 60 years, some federal officers have come to believe that because they wear the white hats, they are entitled to do their jobs by any means necessary. And whatever mistakes they commit are, of course, made in good faith. The letter to the White House asking for a new national commission was sent a year ago. The Justice Department finally agreed to meet with the coalition. There have been no substantive results. PA 01/31/95 WE'RE SORRY, SAY POLICE IN DRUGS RAID BLUNDER By Mark Thomas, PA News Police apologised to an elderly couple today after smashing their way into the wrong house on a drugs raid. Grandparents Barnie and Anne Walker were asleep when plain clothes officers with a search warrant broke through the front door of their home in Grinshill Close, Toxteth, Liverpool, before dawn. Angina and emphysema sufferer Mr Walker was in bed connected to a breathing machine and was unable to comply with their instructions to go downstairs. "God knows what the shock could have done to him," said Mrs Walker, 58, a chronic asthmatic. She recalled waking to find a man standing by the bed and police swarming everywhere. "They were not in uniform and (were) scruffily dressed," she added. "When they realised that they had got it wrong they did apologise to us." The warrant, signed by a magistrate, authorised police to search for cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamines. The only drugs found were angina pills, blood pressure tablets and heart medicine. A Merseyside Police spokesman confirmed: "The premises were entered and unfortunately it was found to be the wrong address. There were two pensioners inside. "We view this as very regrettable and we are sorry for what has happened." Police are arranging for the couple's smashed front door to be replaced. It was not clear which house officers had intended to raid. APn 02/02/95 Clinton-Drugs WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton added four countries Thursday to the list of those considered to be major drug transit points or producers of illicit drugs: Vietnam, Taiwan, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. At the same time, Clinton removed Belize from the list because he said eradication programs have reduced its marijuana production to negligible levels. The listing has no effect on U.S. aid to the countries, and is not based on whether they are cooperating in attempts to curb drug trafficking. This spring, the United States will release its annual evaluation of international cooperation on the anti-drug front. If a country is deemed to be uncooperative, it can be barred from receiving U.S. assistance or U.S. support for loans from international lending institutions. Clinton's letter to congressional leaders listed 29 countries as major drug-producing or drug-transit sites. The others are Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Jamaica, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Syria, Thailand and Venezuela. APn 02/02/95 Sheriff-Drugs JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A former county sheriff has been charged with accepting tens of thousands of dollars in kickbacks to protect marijuana growers from raids. Joe Newmans, who was Baker County sheriff for 20 years until he lost a re-election bid in 1992, pleaded innocent Wednesday to drug distribution, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He was released on a $100,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison and a $6.2 million fine. Newmans is accused of accepting $70,000 from marijuana smugglers and growers from 1985 to 1993 in exchange for telling them when drug enforcement authorities were planning to conduct airborne searches for marijuana patches. Newmans is the second north Florida sheriff to be indicted on drug charges in recent years. In 1993, former Nassau County Sheriff Laurie Ellis was sentenced to 16 years in prison for distributing drugs from his department's property room. RTw 02/03/95 French panel disagrees on legalising soft drugs PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuter) - A commission appointed by the French government to study whether to legalise "soft" drugs for personal use reported on Friday that its members were split on the issue. The commission, composed of doctors, sociologists and policemen, said nine members favoured legalising such drugs as hashish and marijuana while eight were opposed. Its report failed to make a recommendation because of the lack of unanimity, officials said. The report outlined the arguments of members, including those in favour of legalising soft drugs who said courts rarely convicted users nowadays and even more rarely jailed them. Specialists estimate that between one and five million French people use soft drugs occasionally. The law calls for jail sentences of between two months and a year but only about 4,200 people were convicted in one recent year and three-quarters of them received suspended terms. Commission members opposing legalisation argued that, while only five to 10 percent of soft drug users went on to harder drugs, they would not have done so if they had not started with soft drugs in the first place. Those in favour of legalising soft drugs did say a ban should be maintained on their use by youths under 16, air crews and train drivers. The commission was also split nine-eight in favour of maintaining tough penalties for use of hard drugs such as heroine and cocaine. REUTER AAP 02/05/95 NIMBIN HEMP EMBASSY TO PRESENT KEATING WITH HEMP SHOW SYDNEY, Feb 5 AAP - A group of activists left Nimbin in northern New South Wales today to travel to Canberra to petition Prime Minister Paul Keating on the value of hemp products. Describing themselves as "the forest dwelling people" of the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, the delegation planned to take to Mr Keating news of a "middle ground" on woodchipping. In a statement the group said they saw this middle ground as the development of alternative sustainable resource industries based on hemp crops. MHR Harry Woods would meet Mr Keating's representative on the steps of Parliament House tomorrow morning when a "hemp showbag" would be presented for the Prime Minister. The bag will contain samples of fabric, paper and rope - all products which the embassy claimed could be derived from hemp crops. A spokesman for the group said hemp was ideal for Australia's cleared land, with one acre of hemp - also known as cannabis sativa - producing as much paper as four acres of forest. Hemp was not a plant native to Australia, however the Embassy said it did not damage the environment. AAP lc/lm/pjw AAP 02/07/95 MERCEDES BENZ: FROM MAKING CARS TO GROWING CARS By Tim Dornin, AAP National Motoring Correspondent ADELAIDE, Feb 7 AAP - Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes Benz has turned the clock back by using ingredients from centuries past to produce the cars of today and possibly those of the 21st century. The company has begun using flax and sisal fibres in door panelling in its C-Class range and is investigating introducing other natural materials including banana, jute, ramie and Indian hemp. The company said the materials made vehicles more environmentally friendly yet still satisfied the safety, technological and performance expectations of consumers. "Renewable raw materials help reduce consumption of traditional energy resources such as coal, natural gas or oil," said Guntram Huber, head of bodywork development at Mercedes Benz. "In this way we can also cut down harmful emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels." This year Mercedes Benz will use about 350 tonnes of flax and sisal which produce a door panel 20 per cent lighter than conventional synthetic material but stronger, with good crash stability and easy to recycle. The company's switch has also created a booming industry in Germany, where the cultivation of flax in Bavaria has risen from two hectares 10 years ago to 1,700 hectares today. In other uses of natural materials, Mercedes Benz has introduced cotton and coconut fibre in backing structures, cushions and head rests, and for sound deadening. As to the more unusual materials still under investigation, the company said some had potential for use either as raw material for components or as reinforcement for plastic parts. In some cases glass fibre reinforced plastics might be able to be replaced by biological plastics produced from vegetable oils such as castor oil and reinforced with natural fibres including flax or coconunt. AAP tjd/mk PA 02/09/95 MINISTER HITS AT DRUG-TAKING `CHAMPAGNE SOCIALISTS' By Rowan Dore, Parliamentary Staff, PA News Champagne socialists who pass round "joints" at dinner parties are giving disastrous signals to the young, Home Office Minister David Maclean warned in the Commons today. The Government and Opposition both confirmed they had no intention of legalising soft drugs such as cannabis. Mr Maclean said at question time: "I have read articles in trendy newspapers suggesting that some champagne socialists can pass round pot at dinner parties quite safely. "No doubt there are some people who can safely handle some drugs and know when to stop, but there are an awful lot more who do not. "The signal it would give to young people in particular that it is somehow safe and trendy to participate in soft drugs would be absolutely disastrous. "It would lead to the use of harder drugs. It would make the fight of the police against drugs infinitely more difficult. "The police are opposed to the legalisation of soft drugs, all right-thinking people are opposed to it, and the Government remains opposed to it." Shadow home secretary Jack Straw reaffirmed Labour's position: "We have made clear our opposition to the legalisation of cannabis and that remains the case." AAP 02/09/95 AIDS CANNABIS 2 SYDNEY The drug has been made available through agreement by the federal, state and territory governments, including the Northern Territory where doctors would also need health authority approval. Dr Black said it was not clear exactly when the official steps to make it available would be completed, but he expected the drug to become legally available in certain circumstances sometime this year. "It will happen, it's been agreed," he said. S9 drugs are prohibited and cannot be prescribed as medicines, whereas S8 drugs such as morphine can be prescribed under restricted circumstances. Dr Black said the decision to change dronabinol's status was made to bring Australia in line with the international convention on psychotropic drugs. Dr Pethebridge said the decision was "a phenomenal breakthrough as it is an acknowledgment that cannabis does have medicinal properties". "I would say this medication could be of some benefit in 60 to 70 per cent of HIV infections." The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and state AIDS councils have supported the push to make the drug available. AAP cat/jds/de
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