Hemp News No. 31

Compiled by Paul Stanford

        The following news wire stories are provided as a public service by
Tree Free EcoPaper, makers of hemp (cannabis) paper and other nonwood papers,
pulps and fibers. 
        We are happy to announce the introduction of our new USA manufactured
paper products, made with European hemp fiber, Tradition Bond. This new paper
is the highest quality and most environmentally-sound paper in the world today.
Contact us today for a catalog and samples of the USA paper.
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wholesale quantities of hemp paper, in business since 1990. We offer an
electronic retail catalog which you can receive by dropping us an e-mail
request. We'll send you 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 various papers
are produced in the USA, Europe and Asia.
        We offer nonwood office and printing paper, note pads, card stock,
cover stock, hemp pulp for paper makers, whole hempstalks and 100% hemp bast
        Without further ado, please enjoy the news:

RTw  04/04/95   Marijuana charges against singer dropped

WACO, Tex., April 4 (Reuter) - McLennan County authorities Tuesday dropped
marijuana possession charges against country singer Willie Nelson after a ruling
that marijuana taken from his car was not admissable evidence.
     Judge Mike Gassaway threw out the evidence March 20, agreeing with defence
lawyers that there was no probable cause to search Nelson's car and saying
officers did not properly warn the singer of his rights before questioning him.
      Assistant District Attorney Alan Bennett said in a written statement
Tuesday, "We have concluded that the prospects of reversing this ruling on
appeal are not sufficiently good to warrant a protracted and costly appeal."
     Two Hewitt police officers spotted Nelson asleep in his Mercedes-Benz
parked along Interstate Route 35 last May 10. He had pulled over after a night
of poker-playing with friends in Hillsboro. The officers arrested him after
spotting a marijuana cigarette in the car's ashtray.

APn  04/05/95   DEA Lawsuit

 Associated Press Writer
   CHICAGO (AP) -- Three policewomen sued the Drug Enforcement Administration
and five of its agents Wednesday, contending they were sexually harassed at
training seminars.
   The lawsuit, filed in federal court here by police officers from Madison,
Wis., seeks class-action status. The women contend the training officers -- who
train local police in seven Midwestern states -- created a hostile environment
 that made it impossible for women to gain educational benefits needed for their
safety and career advancement.
   DEA spokesman Franz Hirzy had left for the day and was not available for
comment, agency officials said. The plaintiffs, Denise Markham, Marion Morgan
and Mary Lou Ricksecker, had unlisted home numbers. Calls to their office were
referred to the police chief, whose phone rang unanswered.
   The plaintiffs claim that the DEA training team referred to them as "hon,"
"babe" and "little girl" during their weeklong training sessions in Camp
Douglas, Wis., Madison and Minneapolis. The seminars were in June 1991, and in
May and September 1994, said Amy Scarr, an attorney for the policewomen.
   The lawsuit alleges that the DEA team showed instructional slides
interspersed with slides of nude women; that they referred to the sexual power
 of killing and that they gave "inspirational" speeches about what the male
officers should do to their wives when they returned home from the seminars.
   In one case, the agents referred to Attorney General Janet Reno as a lesbian
and a "bitch." In another, a trainer yelled at a female officer prone on a rifle
range that he was getting sexually aroused and grabbed his genitals, the lawsuit
   The lawsuit seeks disciplinary action against the five men, that the DEA be
ordered to institute sensitivity training classes for its workers and
unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.


    KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 6 (Reuter) - Two sons of Jamaica's ambassador to
the United States were arrested Wednesday on attempted drug smuggling charges,
police said.
     Brian Bernal, 20, and his brother Darren, 16, were arrested at Kingston
International Airport as they attempted to board a morning flight to Washington,
where they are both pursuing studies, police said.
     Their luggage was searched and "a quantity" of sealed fruit juice tins in
their suitcases were found to contain marijuana. Police said they are unable to
state the exact amount found until a lab examination is carried out.
     The brothers are to appear in court Thursday.
      Their father, Richard Bernal, is Jamaica's ambassador to the United States
and the Organisation of American States.
     He is also head of the Caribbean Community diplomatic corps that has been
lobbying Congress to pass legislation to give Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)
countries parity with Mexico.
     The CBI, introduced early in the Reagan administration, gives preferential
tariff treatment to exports to the United States from most Caribbean and Central
American countries.
     Mexico joined the United States and Canada in January in a free-trade

circa 04/06/95     Reefer Reel 

   REEFER REEL: Toronto filmmaker Ron Mann is working on a feature-length
documentary on anti-marijuana movies, including the 1936 classic "Reefer
Madness," which has risen to cult status. "Ron Mann's Grass" is being sponsored
 in part by the Ontario Film Development Corp. and Canada's National Film Board
and has a budget of $1 million. "Most of the films are anti-drug propaganda,"
Mann said Wednesday. "We received one yesterday with Sonny Bono, wearing a fur
vest, warning that grass turns people into homicidal maniacs." He said the film
will offer an irreverent look at "the longest running and most disobeyed
prohibition of our time."

UPn  04/11/95      Drug prevention works

 UPI Science Writer
   WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- In stark contrast to popular belief,
school-based preventive drug programs during early adolescence can prevent older
teenagers from using drugs, tobacco and alcohol, a Cornell University researcher
said Tuesday.
   However, the drug programs must begin in sixth or seventh grade and require
booster sessions during the next two years in order to be effective.
   "This is very exciting data," said Gilbert Botvin, director of Cornell's
Institute for Prevention Research. "The results of this study indicate that
 early intervention can result in a prevention of drug use that lasts until the
end of high school."
   Botvin and his colleagues completed a six-year study of seventh grade
students from 56 predominantly middle-class suburban schools in New York State.
   The schools were randomly assigned to an intensive drug program for seventh
graders that included teacher training and research support, a similar program
where teachers were trained with videos, and a group that had no intervention.
   At the beginning of the program and at the end of high school, the students
involved in the different programs were surveyed and tested for alcohol, tobacco
and marijuana use -- substances that are often referred to as gateway drugs.
   The researchers report in the current issue of the Journal of the American
Medical Association that there were 44 percent fewer drug users and 66 percent
 fewer polydrug users among those who had received the complete intervention
program compared to teens in the schools that had no intervention.
   "This study provides important new evidence that prevention can work," Botvin
   Botvin's program was different from current programs because it lasted
longer, emphasized teaching social resistance skills to the students and had 10
"booster" sessions in the eighth grade and five in the ninth grade.
   "We emphasized the skills that are necessary to negotiate through life,"
Botvin said. "The message was weighted heavily toward personal responsibility
and self improvement."
   The program also attacked smoking, drinking and drug use for their immediate
effects on the kids' social lives rather than future health effects.
    "Basically, all adolescents think that if you are over 30 you are dead or you
should be dead," Botvin said. "So, we focused on nicotine stains and bad breath
rather than lung cancer and emphysema."
   Botvin said this study shows results for mainly middle-class schools and that
they have found the results have slightly less staying power amongst minority
and inner city schools. Botvin says that "tailoring the intervention to specific
cultures will generate the most bang for the buck."


   SYDNEY, April 11 AAP - New South Wales Premier Bob Carr was  taking a
"positive step" towards legalising marijuana, the Lawyers  Reform Association
(LRA) said today.
   But the Association said the ALP government should go all the  way and
legalise the drug.
   Police Minister Paul Whelan today asked Police Commissioner Tony  Lauer to
brief the  government on how to enforce a system of fining  people for
possessing small quantities of marijuana rather than  charging them, a
 spokeswoman for Mr Whelan said.
   Mr Carr yesterday told ABC radio in Newcastle he was interested  in the South
Australian and Australian Capital Territory systems of  on-the-spot fines for
marijuana users.
   Possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalised  in those
states so that it is still illegal but does not incur a  criminal record.
   "We will have a careful look at how this approach is working,"  Mr Carr said
   He ruled out any plans to legalise use of the drug but said the  jails should
house "serious offenders" rather than marijuana users.
   A spokesman for the Premier, who is today at the Council of  Australian
Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra, said Mr Carr's  comments were in line
 with the policy he has had for three years.
   "We don't believe the courts nor prisons should be choked with  people who
are minor offenders," the spokesman said.
   But LRA president David Re (David Re) said the South Australian  system would
not prevent the courts from being clogged because  police were more willing to
fine people than charge people with  criminal offences.
   "Partial reform will not prevent drug law enforcement being a  drain on the
community. Its costs will still outweigh revenue from  fines and the main
penalty will still fall on small-time drug  users," said Mr Re.
   He said the NSW Government could save millions of dollars a year  by
legalising the drug.
   "We should just legalise it. You are not going to save any money  by doing
 this," Mr Re said.
   Mr Re called law reforms in South Australia "half-hearted"  because they
increased the number of people convicted of minor drug  offences from an average
of 4,000 to 17,500 per year.
   "It's a step towards legalisation, it's a postive step but they  are doing it
the wrong way," Mr Re said. National Pary leader Ian Armstrong said yesterday
his party was  opposed to any legalisation of marijuana.
   AAP cm/spd/mm

DJ   04/13/95    Bill To Equalize Cocaine Penalties Faces Tough Fight

   By Joe Davidson
   Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
  WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Sentencing Commission's recommendation to equalize
penalties for possessing either crack cocaine or powder cocaine faces an
uncertain future in Congress.
  The commission's 4-to-3 vote to change sentencing guidelines will mean little
if Congress doesn't alter mandatory minimum sentencing laws regarding the
  While possession of five grams of crack triggers a five-year mandatory minimum
sentence, it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine -- virtually the same chemically
 as crack -- to trigger the same punishment. Under the recommendation, sentences
for crack possession or distribution would be eased to match the current
sentencing guidelines for powder cocaine.
  Commission Chairman Richard Conaboy, a senior U.S. District Court judge, said
the panel agreed with civil rights, religious and criminal-justice groups that
the 100-to-1 ratio was unfair to African-Americans. Despite statistics
indicating that a majority of crack users are white, a March commission report
said 88% of those charged in fiscal 1993 with federal crack cocaine distribution
offenses were African-American, while 4% were white.
  "It's just unfair for government to punish the poorer elements of society more
than the more affluent elements of society for the same conduct," Judge Conaboy
   Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) introduced legislation last month that would
equalize the penalties. Given the current mood in Congress to attack crime with
stiff punishments, Mr. Rangel's bill faces a tough fight. "Both Democrats and
Republicans are wary of holding themselves up to one vote that says they are
lenient to even one drug offender," a Democratic House staffer said.
  Rep. Bill McCollum (R., Fla.), chairman of the House subcommittee on crime,
said that both Louis Freeh, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and
Thomas Constantine, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, have
told the crime panel they believe the sentencing differential should remain.
  "I want to be open-minded about it," Rep. McCollum added, "and I think the
subcommittee should be."
  A House Republican aide said there are important distinctions between crack
 and powder cocaine that warrant sentencing differences. Those distinctions
include increased violence associated with crack use, wider availability because
it's much cheaper than powder and the use of teenagers as distributors.
  "Folks like me and people on the (House Judiciary Committee) are going to draw
attention to the distinctions," the aide said. He added, however, that Congress
may reduce the disparity but not eliminate it.
  Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, said any
collateral crimes associated with crack use can be treated with criminal charges
and penalties directed specifically at the additional offenses. "If Congress
tries to do anything but 1-to-1," she said, "they don't have any legitimate,
factual basis to do it."
  (END) DOW JONES NEWS 04-13-95
    6 21 AM

UPn  04/14/95      Justice: Keep stiff crack penalties

   WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- Congress should reject a recommendation from
the U.S. Sentencing Commission to lower the punishment for trafficking in crack
cocaine, the Justice Department urged Friday.
   The commission voted 4-3 on Monday to recommend that crack cocaine sentences
be brought in line with those for powder cocaine, which are much lighter.
   Possession of powder cocaine, for example, carries the same five to ten year
sentence as possession of one-hundredth the same amount of crack cocaine.
   The crack cocaine sentencing guidelines and other sentencing recommendations
are scheduled to be forwarded to Congress by May 1, and will take effect Nov. 1,
unless Capitol Hill rejects them.
    Opposition to the recommendation came from Attorney General Janet Reno,
Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris, the chief of the department's criminal
division, and the nation's 94 U.S. attorneys, who met in San Antonio, Texas,
this week.
   The 1994 Crime Control Act, signed into law by President Clinton last fall,
directed the commission to study the differences in sentencing between the two
forms of cocaine, and to recommend that the disparity be kept or changed.
   Opponents of the disparity say the harsher penalties for crack cocaine, which
is most popular in the inner cities, and the lesser sentences for powder
cocaine, which is more popular in the suburbs and among young white urban
professionals, are racially motivated.
   But Reno said in a statement released Friday that the tougher penalties were
 justified because of "the harsh and terrible impact of crack on communities
across America."
   The Justice Department is also opposing the commission's recommendation to
reduce sentences in lesser money laundering cases, officials said.
   A prepared department statement called stiff penalties for money laundering
"an important weapon in combatting narcotics violations, health care fraud and
financial institution fraud."
   The commission recommended increasing sentences for more serious money
laundering crimes.
   Other recommendations by the commission include increases in penalties for
terrorism crimes, passport and visa fraud, using a minor to commit a crime,
civil rights offenses and drugs in prison.
    The commission recommends "rationalizing" the standards for marijuana --
considering each plant as equivalent to 100 grams instead of the of 1,000 grams
that constitute the mandatory minimum requirement for cases involving 50 or more
 (Written by Michael Kirkland in Washington)

APn  04/16/95    Hemp Is Hip

   EDITOR'S NOTE -- Hemp suffers from a bad history, say those who sell it. It
may not be grown in America where drug enforcers still consider it as a source
of the narcotic hashish. So it and its sterilized seeds are imported to be made
into fiber, clothing, even health food, and as a historical artifact in "head shops."

  Associated Press Writer
   CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Hemp's hip again, but for skirts, stationery and
salve, not for smoke.
   Hemp's linenlike clothing, protein-packed seed snacks and braided-twine
jewelry nevertheless are turning on shoppers whose grandparents might remember
when hemp crops were legal and widely grown in this country.
   "If you're dealing with anything like shirts or backpacks, (the fabric) is
just so strong that it'll never wear out," said Lori Klein, 21, of Morgantown,
who uses hemp lip balm and carries a purse of hemp cloth.
   Hemp is the raw material taken from the strong stalks and nutritious seeds of
the cannabis sativa plant, which yields hashish. It is the leaves and flower
buds of the same plant that contain the smokable hallucinogenic chemical THC.
    But hemp still sounds like plain old dope to many, including the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration, which calls it "the same as marijuana."
   "I can see people sitting down and trying to eat a note pad. I wouldn't put
it past some people," said Valerie Smith, manager of the Cool Ridge Co., a
novelty store on none other than High Street in Morgantown.
   Klein, who works in the store, says she and customers are impressed that the
products are all-natural.
   "The younger kids may not know exactly what it is, and just hearing the word
hemp kind of excites them. But the people 19 and up are concerned about the
environment," she says.
   Since it may not be grown in the United States, wholesalers import hemp
products from Hungary and China.
    "We're six times the size we were this time last year," said Don Wirtshafter,
who founded the Ohio Hempery in Athens, Ohio, in 1991 and sells $100,000 worth
of hemp products every month.
   In Seattle, American Hemp Mercantile went from $30,000 in sales in 1993 to
$700,000 in 1994, founder Ken Friedman says. He expects that amount to double by
the end of 1995.
   "I think we're just scraping the top of the market," he says.
   But only a fraction of Friedman's 600 retail customers are "head shops,"
where marijuana smokers have shopped for pipes and other equipment for
   Most of his retailers are specialty stores that play up the earth-friendly
angle with biodegradable hemp twine for gardens and "tree-free" paper.
    Supporters say hemp paper saves trees because field crops require less space
and grow faster than timber.
   They say the paper can be bleached with hydrogen peroxide instead of
more-polluting chlorine, and the pulp can be processed without sulfuric acid,
the chemical that makes many paper factories smell of rotten eggs or hydrogen
   Hemp crops resist pests and weeds naturally, while cotton requires chemicals
to be marketable, they say, and hemp is better for the soil.
   Hemp oil can be used for cooking and fuel, even for biodegradable plastics,
they say.
   The wholesalers are careful to focus on these benefits and avoid the
marijuana issue.
    "You won't see the `m word' or the five-pointed leaf on anything we do,"
Wirtshafter says. "We knew we could never succeed by selling as a hemp fringe
   The leaves and flowers of field hemp contain about 1 percent of the
cultivated and enhanced, high-inducing chemical THC found in the much-smaller
plants grown for drugs, Friedman said.
   That's because farmers neglect the leaves in favor of growing the stalks
taller, as high as 12 feet, making the fibers pulled from them stronger, he
   Anyone who tried to smoke the field crops would likely draw little more than
a "crushing headache," says Gale Glenn, a farmer in Winchester, Ky., who wants
to grow hemp.
    Friedman says Hungarian farmers would never go to the fields to get high.
   "They'd go to the streets of Budapest and buy it," he says.
   Once the biggest cash crop in the United States, hemp was outlawed in 1937
after then-popular synthetic fibers cut back on its demand and it got a bad name
from stronger varieties of marijuana moving in from Mexico, Wirtshafter says.
   And despite new interest from farmers and hemp supporters, the Drug
Enforcement Administration intends to keep the crop illegal.
   "We think it's the same as marijuana," said a public affairs officer who
would not give his name, citing agency policy.
   Its statement calls the effort to legalize crops a "shallow ruse" by those
who want to grow cannabis sativa for drugs.
   Still, England legalized industrial hemp in 1993, and Canada allowed it on a
 limited basis beginning last year, Wirtshafter said.
   "Once it gets big in Canada, the American farmers are not going to stand for
it," Friedman says.
   Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones has appointed a Hemp Fiber Task Force to study
the economic benefits of growing hemp, and a bill in the Colorado Senate would
allow the state Department of Agriculture to begin testing crops.
   "All of us know that the first state allowed to grow this industrial hemp is
going to attract the research, development, technology and industry," Glenn
   Hemp supporters say few but drug agents make a fuss about hemp.
   "I really thought when I started this," Wirtshafter says, "that it was going
to get me a lot of grief from people calling concerned that I was sending the
 wrong message to children or from small-town prosecutors concerned about the
hemp seeds.
   "I have to say in five years of doing this that I haven't gotten an angry
phone call yet," he says.
   End Adv Sunday April 16

UPn  04/17/95      UAE death sentence for all drug dealers

   ABU DHABI, April 17 (UPI) -- Drug dealers face mandatory capital punishment
under a United Arab Emirates draft law, the Gulf News said Monday.
   "The death penalty will be automatic in cases where drug trading is proved,"
Mohammed Mahmoud al-Bajouri, chairman of the Federal Supreme Court, told the
   The law will apply to all types of drugs, including marijuana,  "regardless
of the amount involved," he said.
   He said the death sentence would go into effect as soon as the amendment to a
federal law was signed by the rulers of the country's seven emirates and printed
in the official legal register.
    "This could be within a few days," he said.
   UAE law previously stipulated life imprisonment as the maximum sentence for
drug dealing.


   BRISBANE, April 21 AAP - Legalising or decriminalising cannabis  would not
lead to a rush on its use but would solve a lot of crime  problems, a
Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee hearing in  Brisbane has been told.
   Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) spokesman Roger Brand told  the hearing
into the CJC's Cannabis and the Law in Queensland  report that there were more
than 200,000 cannabis users in  Queensland who were supplied by a black market
worth $600 million a  year.
   Mr Brand said if legalised, cannabis could be sold from chemists  or from
 licensed outlets similar to alcohol.
   It would not mean people would start using the drug en masse,  but crime
problems associated with its cultivation and sale would  end.
   But Assistant Police Commissioner Graham Williams disagreed  after telling
the hearing police would "have their hands tied" in  the fight against drug
trafficking if the CJC report's  recommendations were adopted.
   He said CJC recommendations would not expand police powers  enough to control
the use of cannabis, which he described as a  noxious plant that caused harm to
human beings.
   Outside the hearing Mr Williams said legalising cannabis would  not reduce
the amount of drug-related organised crime or the number  of robberies
associated with drugs.
    Queensland Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Peter  Applegarth told the
hearing that "futile" laws on cannabis had  created a black market that was out
of control.
   "No matter how good law enforcement officers are ... there is a  natural
selection process whereby those producers who can dodge the  law better stay in
business," he said.
   "We can keep throwing people in jail and throwing away the key  but there
will always be people who will fill that void and supply  the cannabis at a
higher price -- it's a perfect market."
   AAP jfs/sb

[circa 04/21/95]      Britain's youth going to pot

     LONDON (Reuter) - The number of 15 and 16-year-old British boys who have
smoked cannabis has trebled in the past three years and one third now say they
have used the illegal drug, a nationwide survey has shown.
     More than 48,000 children aged between 11 and 16 were questioned by
researchers from Exeter University for a BBC television programme.
     They found 32.9 percent of boys aged 15 and 16, and 27.3 percent of girls
admitted having smoked cannabis in 1994.
      This compared with 11.3 percent of boys and 8.9 percent of girls in 1991,
the BBC said in a statement.
     - - - -

UPn  04/25/95     Health Notes
 UPI Science Writer

   CHEESE MADE FROM HEMP SEEDS: Hemp is historically associated with such
products as clothing and paper. But one California company has found a way to
make cheese from hemp seeds. Called HempRella, the cheese alternative reportedly
melts, stretches and tastes like the real dairy product. But it has no
cholesterol or lactose and is low in fat. Inventor of the product, Richard Rose,
says, "It's high time someone used one of nature's most nutritious plants for
 more than just bird seed. We plan on introducing many new foods based on it,
including burgers and ice cream." So long as hemp seeds are sterilized, and thus
cannot grow, they are legal. Hemp seeds, most of them imported from China,
contain no THC, the active ingredient in hemp's sister plant, marijuana, and
thus will produce no "high."

APn  04/25/95      Anti-Drug Conference

 Associated Press Writer
   SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- The world's anti-drug strategies
are failing, the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said
   Thomas Constantine is attending the 13th International Drug Control
Conference with anti-drug officials from some 40 nations in the Caribbean,
Central and South America and Europe.
    "Drug-trafficking organizations continue to corrupt our democratic
institutions and substance abuse, as well as violent crimes, are increasing in
all of our countries," Constantine said in a speech to the conference.
   He announced plans to open a DEA regional office in Puerto Rico "to enhance
the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean."
   The Caribbean is considered a transshipment point for drugs from South
America to the United States and Europe. The islands are easily accessible to
U.S. markets by boat or plane, but far enough away to avoid electronic
   Constantine urged his audience to fight the drug lords of Colombia's Cali
cartel with the same persistence and cooperation they exihibited while
dismantling its rival, the Medellin cartel.
    In Colombia, the DEA is hoping to nab top drug traffickers Miguel and
Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela, Jose Santacruz-London and Hermer Herrera.
   In Mexico, Constantine said U.S. officials were working with local
authorities to capture drug lords Amado Castillo Fuentes, Juan Garcia Abrego and
Benjamin Arellano Felix.
   "I hope that next year I can announce to you that those dangerous mafia
leaders have been captured and their organizations no longer exist," he said.
   In a letter read to the conference, President Clinton said the international
drug trade was too big and complex for one nation to fight and encouraged all
countries to join forces against drug traffickers.


The Australian Associated Press.
  "It's the criminal sanction model that's failing worldwide.  That's the reason
why drugs are the second most traded commodity in  the world."
   Under Mr Elliott's bill, using marijuana in a public place would  be banned
and the legal age for buying would be 18.
   Availability would be tightly supervised with the government  having total
control over the supply and distribution of the  substance.
   "It has to be available but perhaps not as available as the  corner shop," he
    Mr Elliott said the way marijuana should be sold, either by  cigarette or in
leaf form, was not decided but added the price set  would have to be more than
   "I don't want it to be so cheap that you're seen to encourage  its use, but I
don't want it so expensive that people who are  looking for drugs to use are
leaving marijuana and using  amphetamines," he said.
   AAP ptk/jk

RTw  04/26/95    U.S. space scientists send spiders into a spin

LONDON, April 27 (Reuter) - Eccentric webs spun by spiders under the
influence of marijuana and other drugs make the arachnids candidates for testing
the toxicity of new medicines, U.S. space agency scientists report.
     Experiments by the NASA researchers have shown that common house spiders
spin their webs in different ways according to the psychotropic drug they have
been given.
      Spiders on marijuana made a reasonable stab at spinning webs but appear to
lose concentration about halfway through. Those on caffeine are incapable of
spinning anything better than a few threads strung together at random.
     Spiders given benzedrine, or speed, spin their webs "with great gusto, but
apparently without much planning, leaving large holes," according to New
Scientist magazine, as quoted by The Independent newspaper.
     On chloral hydrate, an ingredient in sleeping pills, spiders "drop off
before they even get started."
     The more toxic the chemical, the more deformed was the web, meaning that
spiders can be used to test drugs, the NASA scientists said.
     The scientists believe their previous work on the geometry of crystals will
help them devise computer programs that can analyse web-building objectively in
 order to predict the toxicity of new medicines.
     "It appears that one of the most telling measures of toxicity is a
decrease, in comparison with a normal web, of the numbers of completed sides;
the greater the toxicity, the more sides the spider fails to complete," the
scientists said.


The Australian Associated Press.
   SYDNEY, April 27 AAP - Marijuana laws should not (not) be  softened to
ecourage young people to "suck on a drug" that could  seriously harm their
health, New South Wales Labor Premier Bob Carr  said today.
   Responding to a statement by backbench Labor MLC Anne Symonds  that the
community was ready to move towards decriminalisation of  marijuana use, Mr Carr
said his government would not (not) move to  change the current laws.
   But he agreed with Ms Symonds that people caught in possession  of
personal-use quantities of the drug should be kept out of jails.
    "I think if there's any message to be sent to young people  tempted to use or
over-use this drug, it's this: You ought to look  at a natural high through
physical fitness before you start sucking  on a drug, the long-term health
impacts of which are probably quite  serious," Mr Carr said.
   "It behoves a government not to send any signal to encourage  young people to
use this drug.
   "We're not proposing to change the law. I think sentencing  patterns are
something we ought to look at. Imprisonment is not an  appropriate response to
possession of personal-use quantities of  marijuana."
   The Premier said he would seek advice from the state's judicial  commission
about whether magistrates were jailing people for  personal use of the drug.
   "I think we can work with the judicial commission, with  magistrates and
 judges to develop appropriate penalties for  personal use quantities of
marijuana and those appropriate  penalties are not imprisonment," he said.
   He said NSW would continue to monitor the system of on-the-spot  fines in use
in South Australia and the ACT, where personal use  does not attract a criminal
   Ms Symonds said marijuana should be available for medical  purposes because
there was increasing evidence of the benefits of  cannabis in treating
conditions such as cancer and glaucoma.
   "What I would really like to see the government move on as soon  as possible
is looking at systems whereby medical use of cannabis  could be made available
as speedily as possible," Ms Symonds said.
   "Surely this is something we could move on fairly rapidly as a  policy
 decision rather than a law change."
   She said the community was not yet willing to accept the  legalistion of
marijuana, but decriminalisation (as in South  Australia and the ACT) was more
widely accepted.
   "We must stop putting people in our prisons in NSW simply for  the use of
cannabis," she said.
   Ms Symonds said NSW should also consider going into hemp  production as a
cash crop.
   Meanwhile, Democrat MLC Richard Jones later said he would  introduce a
private members bill to legalise the cultivation of  hemp for industrial
purposes when parliament sits next Tuesday.
    National Party leader Ian Armstrong called for an assurance  from Mr Carr
 that marijuana would not be decriminalised.
   "Labor should understand that criminal law must be supported by  a proper
range of criminal penalty options," he said in a  statement.
   "The courts are the ones to decide which penalties are  appropriate to an
offence and they should have full and adequate  discretion in deterring use of
illegal drugs."
   Labor's calls for decriminalisation were irresponsible and would  be strongly
resisted both within and outside parliament, Mr  Armstrong said.
   "Any softening of laws against illegal drugs would harm not only  users but
also the broader community," he said.
   "Decriminalisation of the drug is simply not on."
   AAP nv/jf/sd/jds

RTna 04/28/95    Cigarette paper made from hemp won't create joint effect

LONDON (Reuter) - A new cigarette rolling paper made from hemp, the plant
from which marijuana can be extracted, is kind to the Earth and yields no buzz,
its distributor said Friday.
     Claiming a world first for cigarette paper, the company distributing the
product said it was "environmentally friendly" and free of pesticides and
     And it said the hemp paper had no side-effects when smoked. "Anyone hoping
to get a buzz out of it certainly won't," said Peter Kelly, managing director of
WIN International.



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