Hemp News No. 36

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. 
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        Without further ado, please enjoy the news:

UPn  08/22/95        Drug suspect wants to smoke pot in jail

   BRYAN, Ohio, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A California man who's being held on charges
of drug trafficking says (Tuesday) he wants permission to smoke marijuana
in a northwest Ohio county jail. Todd McCormick, 25, San Diego, says he needs
the marijuana to relieve the pain of cancer.

circa  08/22/95        [untitled - Brian Wilson Regrets Inspiration For 'Pet Sounds']

   LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Wouldn't it be nice if Paul McCartney proclaimed YOUR
record "album of the century"? Not if you're Brian Wilson.
   The leader of the Beach Boys sniffs at accolades for the group's
1966 album "Pet Sounds."
   "I was on marijuana the whole time," the 53-year-old Wilson said
in an interview promoting Sunday's biographical film "Brian Wilson: I Just
Wasn't Made for These Times" on the Disney Channel.
   In the past, McCartney lavished praise on "Pet Sounds" -- with such
hits as "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B" -- and hailed Wilson as the
genius behind the Beach Boys.
   No longer using drugs to alter his world view, Wilson said from a big easy
chair at his mansion in the Santa Monica Mountains, "I'm pretty confident in
   "I just hope I can still bring joy to people. And love," he said. "I think
love is very important."

circa 08/22/95     [untitled - NYC Medicinal Marijuana Activist Arrested]

New York City:  
        AIDS activist Johann Moore was arrested on Monday 8/21 by New York
City police officers as he distributed marijuana packets to clients of  the
Medical Marijuana Buyers Club, many whom are HIV positive. Moore, who
himself uses marijuana medicinally for an immune-system disorder, was
charged with felony sale and held overnight in New York's Central Booking
(though the official police statement maintained that he had merely been
issued a summons and NOT arrested). 
        Moore's arrest marks a upswing of the anti-Prohibition struggle in
New York, the media capital of the country, in the context of a growing
campaign to suppress all discussion of medical marijuana and harm reduction
        The Free Johann Moore Support Committee is calling for medical
marijuana supporters to rally outside the Manhattan Courthouse at 100
Centre Street at on Thursday September 28, the day of Moore's hearing, at 9
am. The rally will then move to Courtroom AP5 at 9:30 am.

The Three Hawk Stand acquittal received mainly local coverage, though the
Oakland Tribune ran a piece about it.  Here's Cal NORML's release:


        MADERA, Cal: Aug. 24.  A jury acquitted three defendants of
marijuana cultivation for staging a public protest at which they planted
20,000 cannabis seeds in a field near here on July 4, 1994 to protest the
government's ban on marijuana/hemp.
        The defendants, Ron Kiczenski, Craig Steffens and Douglas Weissman,
collectively known as Three Hawk Stand, tried to challenge the hemp laws in
court, but were repeatedly forbidden to do so by Judge John W. DeGroot.
        They finally won acquittal by arguing that they had planted legally
sterilized hemp seeds which could not have produced real marijuana.  The
prosecution tried to counter this argument by maintaining that some of the
hemp seeds had sprouted.  However, defendants replied with expert evidence
that sterile hemp seeds do actually sprout, but die quickly without
maturing to produce marijuana.   Since sheriffs had destroyed the seedlings
too soon to show whether they were viable, jurors were left with a
reasonable doubt as to whether the defendants had grown marijuana.
        Defense attorneys say that jurors were alienated by the
over-zealous efforts of the judge to exclude evidence relating to the
broader issues.  "The jury was suspicious that they weren't being told all
the facts," says attorney William Panzer.   Judge De Groot had sharply
instructed the jury to disregard suggestions by defense attorney Nancy Lord
that they could choose to acquit if they thought the law was unjust.  "The
prosecutor and judge worked too hard," said Lord, "the jury thought the
whole thing was rigged."  The jury originally split 9-3 for conviction, but
changed its mind on consideration.
        This was defendant Kiczenski's second public challenge to the
marijuana laws.  Two years ago, he mailed a quarter of a pound of pot to
President Clinton but failed to get arrested.
        The Three Hawk Stand verdict is being welcomed by marijuana reform
supporters throughout the state as a sign that public attitudes towards
hemp are liberalizing.

08/25/95     Combs acknowledges using pot

Former high court judge  says it helps him sleep
By Lee Mueller, Eastern Kentucky Bureau
Lexington Herald Leader

 Former state Supreme Court Justice Combs acknowledged yesterday that he
 smokes marijuana at night, saying the illegal drug helps him sleep.
 Combs, 71, who resigned his seat on the state's highest court in June 1993
for health reasons, said in a telephone interview that he discovered "quite
some time ago" that marijuana makes him sleepy.
  He did not say precisely how long he has been smoking pot.
 "I sleep like a baby" afterward, said Combs, who has had two strokes and
suffers from a memory disorder. "I have a sleeping problem... I probably
could have gotten a prescription for it if I'd asked my doctor, but I never
 The medicinal use of marijuana is banned in the United States, although it
was allowed by the federal government on a case-by-case basis from 1976 to
1992 for conditions such as glaucoma and nausea caused by chemotherapy.
 Combs and his 16-year old son were charged last week with cultivation and
possession of marijuana after Kentucky State Police searched his Floyd County
home and reported finding 4 ounces of processed pot, drug paraphernalia and
one plant growing in a container outside the home.
 Combs did not say yesterday whether he owned any of the marijuana found in
his home, but he indicated he considered what he does at home to be his own
 "I never go out and I never drive" after smoking marijuana, he said. "I just
stay in the privacy of my own bedroom....
 "One joint would probably last me one or two days."
 The search of his home upset Combs and his attorney, Eric Conn, who have
suggested that some evidence was planted by state police. Conn also has filed
an affidavit by Combs son, Alfred Ghent Combs, that claims troopers appeared
to be pressured by Floyd District Judge James Allen Jr. to find something
during the search.
 State police have denied the allegations,. and Allen said this week he was
bewildered by the affidavit. "I've always gotten along with Dan Jack," Allen
 Conn, however, said Wednesday he has obtained corroborating evidence to the
younger Combs sworn statement from Janice Keller, a friend of Combs from
South Carolina.
 Allen has scheduled a hearing Tuesday in Floyd District Court on the
misdemeanor charges against Combs and a motion by Conn for Allen to step down
from the case.
 Appeals Court Judge Paul D. Gudgel, a member of the state's Judicial
Retirement and Removal Commission, said yesterday the panel could not
investigate or censure Combs if he smoked marijuana while he was a judge
because it has been more than 120 days since Combs was on the bench.
 Asked yesterday whether they were aware that Combs used marijuana, three
judicial commission members -- lawyer Joe Savage of Lexington, Jefferson
District Judge Charles Scott and Carroll District Judge Stan Billingsley --
said no.
 Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens could not be reached for
comment last night.
 Capt. Robert  Forsythe, commander of the Pikeville state police post, who
has defended his officers' conduct during the raid at Combs' home, declined
comment last night.
 Combs said yesterday he had no idea who could have told police he might have
marijuana in his home. Combs said he had not talked about it, and his two
teenage sons wouldn't, either.
 Police have declined to say who tipped them.
 Conn said Combs agreed to let state police search his home only after they
told him they had a search warrant.
 But Forsythe said no search warrant was obtained, because Combs signed a
consent form, permitting search. "If we'd had a search warrant,. we wouldn't
have needed his consent," he said.

RTna 08/25/95      Southeast Asians to coordinate action in drug war

BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuter) - The seven members of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed on concerted action in their battle
against the spread of drug abuse, Thailand's leading drug fighter said Friday.
     Gen. Chavalit Yodmanee, chief of Thailand's Office of Narcotics Control
Board (ONCB), said ASEAN members had agreed to cooperate on four broad fronts in
the war on drugs.
      Chavailt, speaking at the end of a weeklong meeting of drug suppression
officials from the ASEAN members, said they have agreed on a three-year action
plan covering prevention, treatment, law enforcement and general research into
the drug scourge.
     ASEAN groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam.
     Malaysia has agreed to take the lead in training staff in the field of
prevention and community education about the dangers of drugs while Brunei will
train personnel in the field of mutual legal assistance, Chavalit said.
     Brunei will also focus on training staff in investigating the financial
aspects of the drugs trade while Thailand will promote ASEAN-wide cooperation in
intelligence gathering, he said.
      Despite harsh anti-drug laws in several ASEAN countries drug abuse is
widespread in the region.
     Chavalit, who chaired this week's talks, said in addition to heroin abuse,
the region was also seeing a worrying surge in the use of amphetamines.
     Representatives from Burma, the world's main source of heroin, and Interpol
also attended the meeting.

UPsw 08/26/95      Illinois truck mishap nets drugs

   KANKAKEE, Ill., Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Kankakee police say (Saturday) three Texas
men face federal drug charges in connection with a seizure of 5, 000 pounds of
marijuana after the truck in which they were riding got struck. The truck, with
a 13-foot-6-inch-high semitrailer, jammed trying to clear a 12-foot-9-inch
viaduct, and police found the drugs after they arrived to help the stranded

08/26/95   [untitled - Madera County Verdict Frees Three Hemp Planters]

Santa Rosa Press Democrat
FRESNO (AP) - Three men who dared authorities to prosecute them for planting hemp
seeds in the Sierra Nevada foothills were acquitted of cultivating marijuana.
 The San Luis Obispo County men said Thursday's verdict by a Madera County
Superior Court jury sends a clear message that farmers should be allowed to
grow indsutrial hemp.
 Ron Kiczenski, Doug Weissman and Craig Steffens were arrested by sheriff's
deputies July 4, 1994, after notifying authorites that they were planting
hemp seeds on land near Coarsegold off highway 41. The men faced up to three
years in prison and a $10,000 fine each if convicted of the felony charge.
 "This is an important victory not only for farmers but actually for the
justice system itself," Kiczenski said. "It's proof that there's no need for
people taking up arms against the government's control. We can do it through
the courts."
 The men were found innocent even though a judge had earlier hampered the
defense by denying its request to argue during the trial that hemp is a
critical natural resource.
 Kiczenski said the jury understood that the men only planted the seeds to
protest U.S. laws that prevent farmers from growing industrial hemp, the
plant from which marijuana comes. The stalk of the plant can be used to make
such products as rope, clothing and even food.
 "This county had a predetermined agenda to slam dunk us,"  Kiczenski said
Friday. "They were going to teach everybody in Madera that you can't come to
Madera County and protest."
 Assistant District Attorney Michael Keitz, who prosecuted the case, did not
return several messages left by The Associated Press.

APn  08/28/95   Gingrich-Drugs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration and House Speaker Newt Gingrich
are at war over how to wage the war on drugs.
   In the latest episode, Gingrich, R-Ga., called for executing a large number
of drug smugglers as a deterrent.
    "Do it one by one, it'll add up," Gingrich said at a football rally Saturday
in Canton, Ga. "If the word gets back that we're serious and we're actually
implementing it, then it will have a very chilling effect on people bringing
drugs into the U.S."
   On Monday, White House drug policy adviser Lee Brown labeled the proposal
"ill-conceived" and "another simplistic solution to a complex problem."
   Last month, Gingrich said the country ought to "quit playing games" and
either legalize drugs or adopt penalties severe enough to get rid of them. Brown
called that statement "political hypocrisy" and "a simplistic silver bullet."
   In a statement Monday, Brown said Gingrich "will say and do anything except
implement and fund the president's comprehensive anti-drug strategy."
   Brown said the key to stemming drug abuse is stopping demand, and he called
 on Gingrich to restore the money Congress has cut from the government's drug
treatment and prevention programs.

RTna 08/28/95   Two Die in Oklahoma helicopter crash

(New throughout, updates death toll, previous Oklahoma City)
    TULSA, Okla. (Reuter) - An Oklahoma National Guard helicopter crashed Monday
while on a suspected drug raid, killing an army pilot and an agent with the U.S.
Bureau of Indian affairs, a National Guard spokesman said.
     Authorities would not release the names of the two victims who were killed
when their helicopter, which was looking for marijuana fields, tried to swoop
 down on a man suspected of possession of drugs.
     The helicopter, an Army OH-58, crashed when it hit power lines and the
pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger was pronounced dead later
at a local hospital.
     Eyewitnesses said they saw a rotor fly off the aircraft before it went
     The suspect, a Tulsa man identified as Mark Allen Scott, 36, was later
taken into custody on a charge of possession of marijuana.
     The raid was part of a combined drug intervention effort by the Oklahoma
Bureau of Narcotics, the U.S Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration and the U.S. Military Drug Task Force.

RTw  08/28/95   Pannella arrest divides Italy's centre-right

ROME, Aug 28 (Reuter) - The arrest of politician Marco Pannella for
deliberately breaking Italy's drugs laws divided his centre-right allies in the
grouping led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday.
     The maverick parliamentarian was arrested with five supporters in Rome's
Porta Portese street market on Sunday after he produced a bag of hashish at a
protest meeting to call for the legalisation of "soft" drugs.
      "Here's 100 grammes that I would like to give you but the police won't
allow me to," Pannella told the crowd. He had said earlier he planned to hand
out the drugs.
     Police arrested him on charges of possessing illegal substances and
intending to distribute them. A prosecutor ordered him to remain under house
arrest and then later told him he was free pending a judge's ruling on the case.
     "Pannella's actions throw the group into utter confusion," commented the
left-wing daily L'Unita.
     Pier Ferdinando Casini, leader of the Christian Democrat CCD party, said
his party could not co-exist with Pannella's and challenged Berlusconi to state
his position.
     "The question is straightforward. Berlusconi must say whether he agrees
 with me or Pannella," he was quoted as saying in the daily La Stampa newspaper.
     "Our positions our diametrically opposed so this time he cannot dig himself
out by agreeing with both," Casini said.
     Francesco Storace of the far-right National Alliance said: "I don't insult
allies and so I have no comment to make."
     Forza Italia deputy Tiziana Maiolo, who heads parliament's justice
commission, said she agreed with Pannella's action but added that clarification
was needed within the group.
     Former Foreign Minister and Forza Italia member Antonio Martino also backed
Pannella, saying his actions were "opportune" and adding that critics within the
centre-right grouping had not fully understood the position.
     The campaigners say cannabis-derived drugs are no more harmful than tobacco
 or spirits and should be legalised under the same sort of legislation.

WP   08/28/95     Pakistani With DEA Killed in Karachi

KARACHI, Pakistan, Aug. 27 (Reuter) -- Gunmen killed a Pakistani employee of the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and wounded his son here today.
      The U.S. Embassy said Mohammad Shahnawaz Toor, who worked for the DEA at
the U.S. Consulate, had been shot and killed at a bus stop near his home. His
son Muhammad Khurram Toor was wounded.
      "The identity, affiliations and motives of the gunmen are not known," the
embassy said.
          A police account said Toor, 40, a retired army major, and his son were
in a car when lone gunman attacked.

08/29/95     Combs son's allegations lead to judge's withdrawal from case

By Lee Mueller, Eastern Kentucky Bureau
Lexington Herald-Leader
Aug. 29, 1995
Prestonburg, KY
As the swarm of TV and newspaper reporters left the Floyd County Courthouse
yesterday, Dan Jack Combs watched from under a nearby shade tree. 
 The 71-year old former state Supreme Court justice grinned broadly and
leaned forward on his toes. "Is High Times here, too?" he asked, referring to
a national pro-marijuana magazine.
 It was kind of a joke: Combs' droll comment on the hubbub that has developed
since Aug. 18 when state police acting on a tip-found a marijuana plant
growing in his backyard at Betsy Layne.
 What began as a rather routine drug raid-Combs and his 16 year old son,
Ghent, were charged with possession and cultivation of marijuana, both
misdemeanors-turned into the stuff of which national TV programs are made
after Combs acknowledged he had smoked pot for quite some time to help him
 Yesterday, Floyd District Judge James Allen Jr. stepped down from the case
because Combs' son alleged-falsely Allen said-that Allen helped orchestrate
the police search that turned up water pipes, rolling papers and 4 ounces of
marijuana at Combs' home.
 Still to come, however, is an appearance on a new CBS News program, "Day &
Date" which Combs' attorney, Eric Conn of Stanville ,said was billed to him
as a cross between "Entertainment Tonight" and "Good Morning America."
 Combs, who was elected to the Supreme Court in 1988 after five years on the
state appellate court, retired in 1993, citing health problems. As a judge,
he was outspoken on behalf of constitutional rights and plain-spoken about
his life and lifestyle, which included riding a motorcycle and attending
 Combs said yesterday he has no memory of smoking marijuana before he retired
form the bench, but said he has a memory problem similar to Alzheimer's
disease, brought on by two strokes and other factors.
 "I may have-but never while court was in session." Combs said of using
marijuana. "I'm sorry, I wish I did have total recall, but I don't. I used to
have an excellent memory. I could quote Thanatopsis," a poem.
 A1992 deposition in a Pike County civil case indicates Combs smoked pot
while he was a judge.
 A Lexington psychiatrist who treated Combs for depression after a 1989
motorcycle accident confirmed under questioning that Combs used marijuana to
help him sleep.
 Dr. Robert Granacher said in the deposition that Combs surprised him by
"telling the truth. Most patients would not admit that."
 Granacher said the admission was not relevant to Combs' problem because
marijuana does not cause major depression. Later, Granacher said he
prescribed Prozac-a powerful antidepressant-for the judge. He also said he
administered four shock treatments-at Combs' request-that temporarily
relieved his depression.
 Dr. Mary Lee Harper, director of the University of Kentucky's drug
information center, said yesterday that if Combs were smoking marijuana and
taking Prozac at the same time, "there are no studies indicating there are
problems with mixing the two."
 Last week, before he was aware of Granacher's deposition, state Supreme
Court Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens said he saw no indication
that Combs smoked pot while on the high court.
 The chief justice stuck by that observation this week.
 Stephens said he knew nothing about Combs' taking Prozac, having shock
treatments or the validity of the drug charges.
 "All I can tell you is, you've got to remember why the man quit the
court-because he realized he was having a problem," Stephens said. "And if
that doesn't say something for him, I guess I have the entirely wrong
standards to judge human beings."
 "When he began to fail, he knew it-and he quit."
 In yesterday's hearing, Allen read a statement, saying he was stepping down
to avoid "even the appearance of impropriety."
 "I will step aside, not because I believe there are grounds in the motion
and affidavit for me to do so, but because I want the defendant to feel that
he will be heard with the neutrality of an impartial judge."
 Allen said he would ask that a special judge be appointed to hear other
motions, including one to quash results of the police search.
 Combs said he has not smoked marijuana since the search but hopes to
continue the practice. Marijuana, which he called one of "God's foods," helps
him sleep and should be legalized for medicinal purposes, he said.
 Given the nationwide interest his case has attracted, however, Combs said he
expects it will be difficult for him to obtain the drug.



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