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We offer nonwood office and printing paper, note pads, card stock, cover stock, hemp pulp for paper makers, whole hempstalks and 100% hemp bast fiber. 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. REUTER APn 04/05/95 DEA Lawsuit By CLIFF EDWARDS 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 said. 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. RTw 04/06/95 AMBASSADOR'S SONS CHARGED WITH MARIJUANA SMUGGLING 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 accord. REUTER 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 By LISA SEACHRIST 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 said. 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." AAP 04/11/95 LAWYERS GROUP SAYS CARR HAS TAKEN STEP TOWARDS LEGALISING 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 yesterday. 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 substances. 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 said. 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 plants. (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." By CASEY COMBS 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 generations. 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 sulfide. 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 product." 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 says. 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 says. 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 newspaper. 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. AAP 04/21/95 LEGAL CANNABIS WOULD END CRIME PROBLEMS - HEARING 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 By LIDIA WASOWICZ 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 By RICARDO ROJAS LEON 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 Tuesday. 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 detection. 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. AAP 04/26/95 MARIJUANA 2 ADELAIDE 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 said. 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 tobacco. "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. REUTER AAP 04/27/95 NSW: CARR DOESN'T WANT KIDS "SUCKING ON A DRUG" 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 conviction. 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 herbicides. 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. REUTER
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