------------------------------------------------------------------- Report on April 15 hearing regarding registry system for medical marijuana (Sandee Burbank of Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse summarizes the recent public meeting in Portland sponsored by the Oregon Health Division regarding implementation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Plus, details about the "Marijuana is Medicine" rally April 30 in Salem.) From: "sburbank" (email@example.com) To: "1Sandee Burbank" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Report on hearing regarding registry system for medical marijuana/ April 15 Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 07:03:25 -0700 To All, The public hearing on April 15th went very well. The hearing room was full to the brim with patients and other interested people. The hearing was scheduled to last 3 hours, but I left then and they were still taking testimony. The Hearing Officer was a female attorney (I can't find her name in my notes) who did an admirable job of getting through the testimony. Many of the patients wanted to testify about how marijuana helped them, but the hearing was to focus on the proposed rules. She was kind and still allowed them a few words to describe their condition. I was really impressed with the turnout. People attended from all over the state and many were very articulate speakers. The Hearing Officer will make a recommendation to the Health Department and their rules will go into effect on May 1st. There was a great deal of testimony about the definition of "primary caregiver" and "mature plant". Several people mentioned that they would like to have other conditions added to the list. Still others wanted to add doctor types (other than the AMA docs) who would be able to diagnose conditions. I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but you get the idea. Now we wait to see what the Health Department does. My efforts are now focused on getting people to turn out for the event on April 30th about the rescheduling resolution. We have learned that HJM 10 (submitted by Rep Bowman, at Voter Power's request) will reportedly receive a 'tap-tap' hearing this week. The bill will be gaveled in and out, and a public hearing will be scheduled at a later time. This formality is required to keep the bill alive, as unless a bill receives a hearing this week, it cannot be voted on this session. It will be up to us to convince enough legislators to support it, to get a real hearing. The "Marijuana is Medicine" rally we have planned in Salem for April 30th (10 to 11 AM) is more important than ever. Laird Funk has said he will try to make appointments for people with their legislators, members of the committee, and anyone else they with whom they might wish to speak. Time is getting short. If you have any names of people (your name) who would like him to help them with appointments, please get them to him right away. If anyone is already making appointments, they might want to let Laird know. His contact info is email@example.com or you can call him at 541-846-6759 or 541-846-7721. I will be spending Thursday night (the 30th) in Salem so I can be at the Capitol and have the Galleria area information tables and display area set up by 8 AM. Anyone who would like to come early is welcome to join me in staffing the tables. Someone has to go get coffee once in a while. @:) The display and information tables will be up from 8 AM to 5 PM. There will be a couple of car loads from out here in Wasco County coming down on Friday. Perry Stripling is making arrangements for a bus to pick up any riders in Portland at Oregon Department of Health, the same place of the hearing last Thursday. The bus will be there by 8 AM, leaving at 8:15 AM for Salem. John said he could leave a message on the Voter Power phone (503-736-0907) that instructed people of this fact. Perry said the bus can only hold TWO wheelchairs. I think those chairs that fold could be put between seats, but I'm not sure. I think we need to know, IN ADVANCE, how many in wheel chairs plan on riding the bus. I will send out a message to those in the Portland area in my address book to see what kind of response there is. I have spoken with both Reps. Jo Ann Bowman and Floyd Prozanski and their staff. Both have agreed to be speakers. There will be other speakers as well. I hope we get a good turn out. I'm going to be asking some folks to call around in their community and let others know about the rally and encourage them to come. I passed out 50 fliers at the hearing on Thursday, so that might help us too. I hope everyone will do what they can to promote this event and to get appointments made with legislators. We need to convince enough of them to support this resolution. I'm telling mine that it is a safe way for them to try to get help to their ill and suffering constituents. We'll see how that works. That's all for now. Hope to see you on the 30th! Sandee 2255 State Road, Mosier, OR 97040 phone or fax 541-298-1031 firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Los Angeles County Deputies Raid Andrea Nagy (A list subscriber forwards the marijuananews.com version of yesterday's news, interspersed with comments by Steve Kubby.) From: "Peter McWilliams" (email@example.com) To: "Peter McWilliams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Fw: LA County Deputies Raid Andrea Nagy Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 16:46:15 -0700 This is one of the most egregious violations of Proposition 215 yet. Please circulate this widely, especially to the press. Thank you. Peter McWilliams *** (Comments below in parentheses are by Steve Kubby, Libertarian Party California 1998 candidate for governor who has been arrested for medical marijuana as well.) ----- Original Message ----- From: Steve Kubby (email@example.com) To: Kubby Announce (Kubby-Announce@list.kubby.com) Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 1999 9:19 AM Subject: LA County Deputies Raid Andrea Nagy (Note: The ground war has already started in California, where Grey Davis and Bill Lockyer have both made an unholy alliance with law enforcement officials to "allow" local sheriffs and district attorneys to enforce "zero tolerance" within their counties, despite the passage of Prop. 215. Any pretense of democracy is apparently no longer necessary as armed gangs of thugs with badges engage in their own brand of ethnic cleansing. However, unlike the Balkins, these gangs do not kill, they simply rob sick people of their medicine, their money and their homes and then let nature take its course. Make no mistake, this war against patients uses real bullets and they are shooting to kill. -- steve) *** Agora Hills, CA April 19, 1999 Over 20 Heavily Armed LA County Deputies Raid Home Of Andrea Nagy Ignore Letters From Doctor, Lawyer, and Even Ventura County Court Restraining Order; Destroy Medical Marijuana Plants - Special To MarijuanaNews.com At 1 PM today, over 20 heavily-armed Los Angles County Deputies in full riot gear, with body armor and laser-sighted weapons, executed a search warrant on the home of Andrea Nagy, the former operator of the Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center. (Note: Raids by large gangs of heavily armed deputies is now standard operating procedure for ALL raids against all medical marijuana patients. Our captors also sported laser-sighted weapons and body armor.) The Ventura Club was closed in March 1998, by a temporary restraining and later by preliminary injunction. Nagy and her mother recently moved across the county line into Los Angeles County. Nagy let the deputies in her home before they could breakdown the door with a battering ram which they carried. (Note: The North Tahoe Task Force also brought a battering ram to our raid) Once inside the house, the deputies ignored letters from the doctor for Nagy and her mother recommending medical marijuana in accordance with California's Prop 215, which allows patients to grow their own medical marijuana. There was also a letter from their attorney outlining their rights under Prop 215. They also ignored a Temporary Restraining Order from a Ventura County Court, which specifically allowed her to grow medical marijuana. Although the restraining order was directed at Ventura County law enforcement, it made clear that the Nagys have the right under state law to grow. The letters and the TRO were posted on the door of the room with the plants. The deputies then cut down and carried off 60 plants, 30 each for Nagy and her mother. The Oakland City ordinance says patients with a valid doctor's recommendation may keep 30 outdoor marijuana plants, 48 indoor plants or 1.5 pounds of bulk marijuana. This is based on the quantity that the Federal government supplies to its eight legal patients. (L.A. County has no set number, and Prop 215 does not set a limit.) They also seized over 20 thousand dollars worth of grow lights and other equipment. Strangely, the warrant did not list marijuana as one of the items to be seized. (Note: MOST of what was seized from us was NEVER listed on the search warrant and we have been unable in 3 months to get it returned.) Under Prop 215 marijuana is legal for patients with a doctor's recommendation, and can be alleged to be "illegal" only if it is not for medical use by the grower or someone for whom the grower is the primary care provider. The Nagys were growing their own. In any case, one would think that the warrant would have listed the marijuana. Lights are not per se illegal. Nothing illegal was listed on the warrant. Nagy thinks that the raid may have been in retaliation for helping other patients sue to get their medical marijuana returned. If so, this was an exceptionally dumb move. Nagy has shown herself to be a formidable adversary who stands up for her rights. She says that she will certainly go to court to get her lights returned and to seek damages for the seizure of her medicine. The Nagys were not arrested. As the deputies were leaving, they said that if any charges are filed, they would be notified by mail. When Nagy asked why they were doing this, instead of arresting violent criminals, they replied that they were "Just following orders. Just doing our job." This has been called the Nuremberg defense. The Nagy's came to DEAland in 1981 from Communist Hungary to escape the tyranny of a police state, where the police could ignore the law and the will of the people. Nagy heard one of the deputies remark, "It smells good in here. I think I'll become a pot-head when I retire. I'm sure it will be legal by then." *** Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 15:51:31 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Jim Rosenfield (email@example.com) Subject: DPFCA: LA County Deputies Raid Andrea Nagy, founder of the Ventura Cannabis Buyers Club Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: Jim Rosenfield (email@example.com) Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Perhaps you'd call or write to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and express your outrage at this bust. fax: 1-323-267-6600 phone: 323-526-5541
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Grass-Roots Effort To Legalize Hemp (The Santa Barbara News-Press, in California, spreads the news about industrial hemp as related by Al Espino, the owner of Hempwise, an Isla Vista store that sells hemp clothing. The article also publicizes the hemp bash today in Anisq' Oyo' Park in the heart of Isla Vista. According to a report in the Washington Post, worldwide sales have gone from $5 million in 1993 to $75 million in 1995.) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 00:10:58 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: A Grass-Roots Effort To Legalize Hemp Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Dunbar Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: Santa Barbara News-Press (CA) Copyright: 1999 Santa Barbara News-Press Contact: jlankford@newspress..com Website: http://www.newspress.com/ Author: Barry Bortnick, News-Press Staff Writer A GRASS-ROOTS EFFORT TO LEGALIZE HEMP Al Espino sees a day when marijuana plants will cover the rolling hills of Santa Barbara County. But don't hit the panic button and call the police just yet, because Espino's daydream involves the plant people wear, not the stuff that goes up in smoke. Espino, owner of Hempwise, an Isla Vista clothing store that specializes in products made from the nontoxic form of cannabis sativa, is a man on a mission, spreading the word about hemp's good qualities and advocating its legalization for agriculture use. Though hemp is legally grown throughout the world, it can't be cultivated in the United States. The weed was outlawed in the late 1930s. Today, hemp is classified as a "schedule I controlled substance." The government of Canada allowed farmers to begin growing thousands of acres of hemp about a year ago. Canadian farmers ship the raw fiber to the United States where it is fashioned into a wide range of products. Espino's little shop on Trigo Road offers everything from shirts to skateboards, and tennis shoes to backpacks. Again, everything is made from hemp. "Anything we make from trees can be made with hemp," Espino said as he led visitors around his store. "But hemp is cheaper and better." Those interested in learning more about the weed's history and many uses can attend a hemp bash today in Anisq' Oyo' Park in the heart of Isla Vista. The party goes from 2 to 9 p.m. "It's going to be a nice day in the park," said Espino, who is a walking encyclopedia of hemp lore. "There's gonna be a pot luck meal. There will be speakers and bands." The local festival coincides with similar gatherings in other states as advocates begin a push to separate the image of hemp from its narcotic cousin, marijuana. Although some might confuse the two plants, Espino and those well-versed on the issue know that hemp can't get you high. The benign plant contains only a fraction of tetrahydrocannabinol -- the ingredient that gets people high, commonly called THC. "People come in and ask if they can smoke hats made of hemp," Espino said. "You'd have to smoke between five to 10 plants to get a headache." Hemp did not always have a bad reputation. In fact, it may be the oldest crop known to man, according to Espino, as well as various pro-hemp Web sites and several books on the subject. The Chinese invented fish nets with hemp in 4500 BC. Hemp was the top crop in Asia, Europe and the Americas from 1500 to 1800. Sails were made from hemp, so were books, maps and lamp oil. Cannabis was once the most popular plant in colonial America. Thomas Jefferson risked life and limb to smuggle hemp seeds out of China. George Washington cultivated the crop. A draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on paper made from hemp, according to various sources. Impressive stuff, yet there are those within the United States government who fear the product. According to a report in The New York Times, the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy has opposed legalizing hemp because it believes such a move would send the wrong message about drugs to American youth. Officials with the Drug Enforcement Agency have raised worries as well, saying farmers might take advantage of any change in the law and grow illegal marijuana amid their hemp fields. Hemp advocates scoff at such notions, pointing out that hemp does not look like marijuana and can be easily detected from the air by law enforcement surveillance planes or helicopters. Despite the DEA alert, hemp is gaining political might. Farmers in North Dakota have pushed for cultivation rights. Similar efforts have taken place in the state houses of Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Vermont and Virginia. Just last month, the California Democratic Party endorsed the use of industrial hemp following a vote at its annual state convention in Sacramento. While that may sound impressive, a spokesman for the party said the hemp measure was one of many items nonchalantly approved at the convention's conclusion. "We passed several dozen resolutions and I am not even sure most delegates could remember all the resolutions," said Bob Mulholland, a campaign adviser to the Democratic Party of California. "The American Farm Bureau Federation feels strong about it (hemp), but I am not sure the delegates paid much attention." The Farm Bureau has 4.5 million members and is well aware that hemp sales have grown over the past several years. According to a report in the Washington Post, worldwide sales have gone from $5 million in 1993 to $75 million in 1995. The future of hemp seems green indeed, which is why advocates like Espino consider the crop a glorious plant wrongly punished. "People have talked about this issue for 10 years," Espino said. "It has taken a long time to get into the mainstream because people are afraid to talk about cannabis. People used to joke about it all the time, but finally we are getting serious about the plant." William Stern, a professor of botany with the University of Florida in Gainesville, confirmed hemp's helpful qualities. He said early American settlers made homespun cloth from the plant, which is much stronger than cotton. "Hemp has been cultivated for a long time," Stern said. While advocates do their part to put a happy face on hemp, it is hard to discuss the product without linking it to Cheech and Chong movies or Deadheads. People are afraid to mention smoking, but I have found that most people who want to legalize hemp are also open to the idea of pot smoking, Espino said. While the vast majority of products sold at Hempwise are garments, Espino's store does pay small homage to pot. There are humorous bumper stickers in the shop that show President Clinton toking a joint. There are also other far-out odds and ends one might expect to find in a store near the UCSB campus. For now, the hemp beat goes on. It is summarized perfectly in a clever bumper sticker that states: "God made grass. Man made booze. Who do you trust?" F.Y.I. What: Hemp Expo in the Park Where: Anisq' Oyo' Park in Isla Vista When: 2 to 9 p.m. Fun facts about hemp, according to the Hemp Industries Association of Occidental, Calif., Website at http://thehia.org Hemp is among the oldest crops, dating back 10,000 years. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Hemp seeds are more nutritious than soybeans. Hemp grows well without the need for herbicides. Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber. China is the largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles. Romania is the largest commercial producer of hemp in Europe.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drums of Disapproval Are Still Pounding (The Salt Lake Tribune, in Utah, says local police armed with nightsticks, riot gear and gas launchers swept drum-circle celebrants out of Liberty Park Sunday afternoon, issuing citations to 16 people for alcohol violations, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia or distribution of drugs and one for not keeping his dog on a leash. "We cannot afford to let that park deteriorate to open lawlessness, to where drugs and weapons are being brought into that park," Police Chief Ruben Ortega said Monday, without explaining who besides police had weapons. Police allege up to 150 people taunted them as they busted one man for selling marijuana. Many drum circlers saw it differently. Only a few incorrigibles taunted the police, they say. Some in the drum crowd say they never heard an order to disperse. Several in the crowd were hit with nightsticks, although no serious injuries were reported.)Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 19:40:55 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US UT: Drums of Disapproval Are Still Pounding Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 20 April 1999 Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT) Copyright: 1999, The Salt Lake Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/ Forum: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/tribtalk/ Author: Greg Burton DRUMS OF DISAPPROVAL ARE STILL POUNDING A day's hindsight provided little unity among drum-circle celebrants swept out of Liberty Park Sunday afternoon by a police force armed with nightsticks, riot gear and gas launchers. Some protesters argued for the civil right to drum and dance in a public park, especially one called Liberty; others called for the free and legal consumption of marijuana. "I'm asking the officers to differentiate between toxic and nontoxic drugs and to leave the kids alone," said Amelia English, a 59-year-old activist who urged city leaders to find a peaceful middle ground. "Some elements gathering around the drum circle have disturbed me, but not the peaceful [participants]." On the other side of the badge, police were resolute: Salt Lake City will not tolerate drugs or weapons in a public park. "We cannot afford to let that park deteriorate to open lawlessness, to where drugs and weapons are being brought into that park," Police Chief Ruben Ortega said Monday. "It was just a matter of time for these folks to take over the park." For police, Sunday began with a saturation of parks across Salt Lake City. The same squad of Community Oriented Police (C.O.P.) officers who cruised through Liberty Park starting at 2:30 p.m. began the afternoon visiting Fairmont and Sugar House parks. But Sugar House and Fairmont netted only two alcohol violations -- one at a family picnic -- and a citation for a loose dog. Liberty was different. From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. -- before police in riot gear met the mob in sandals -- officers arrested or issued citations to 16 people at the drum circle: 10 for alcohol violations, five for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia or distribution of drugs and one for not keeping his dog on a leash. In the middle of arrest No. 17, police allege Brock Anthony Horton exhorted friends and cohorts to retaliate against two uniformed bicycle officers. "He started yelling we were violating his rights," said Salt Lake City police Officer Phillip Kearney, a five-year veteran. "We could see a bad situation coming at us very quickly." On March 30, Horton was also arrested at Liberty Park by a C.O.P. officer who allegedly saw the 20-year-old urinating on a tree. On April 5, Horton failed to show up for a court appearance and a $2,500 bench warrant was issued for his arrest. On Sunday, undercover officers allege Horton made four sales of loose marijuana to spectators surrounding the drum circle. Kearney and another uniformed bicycle officer, Cale Lennberg, arrested Horton. At 4:30 p.m., Kearney and Lennberg handcuffed Horton and attempted to move him away from the crowd. But at Horton's urging, officers allege, scores of drum-circle partiers broke away from the dance pit and began circling the officers. "I was screaming on the radio for help," Lennberg said. Kearney and Lennberg continued to back away, but even as reinforcements arrived, up to 150 people purportedly taunted the officers. "That's the first time I feared for my safety," said Sgt. Jed Hurst, a 17-year veteran. "We pulled back and they continued to come at us." Hurst was the first officer to order the crowd to disperse, using a megaphone. Watch commander Lt. Sandra Urry ordered the crowd to disperse a second time, to no avail. "They escalated this, we did not," Urry said. "We had to go back and enforce violations of the law." Said officer Randall Hendry: "It's an unreasonable expectation for them to expect us to leave just because they challenge us." Many drum circlers saw it differently. Only a few incorrigibles taunted the police, they say. Some in the drum crowd say they never heard an order to disperse. "Half of the people there don't do drugs -- they are there to have a good time, like a church without a specific religion," said Pam Morse, 37, of Salt Lake City. "But without telling anyone, they came and bombarded us." At 7 p.m., roughly 45 officers walked from the north border to the south border of the park, clearing everyone in their path. During the sweep, five people were cited for failure to disperse. Two of the five were also cited for possession of tobacco and resisting arrest. One was taken to jail. "We gave them basically every chance . . . to turn around and walk away," Hurst said. Several in the crowd were hit with nightsticks, although no serious injuries were reported. "All we want is peace," said Morse. "We are not hurting anybody." The drum circle is a ragtag, rhythmic gathering of mostly teen-agers and young adults who on Sunday dance and drum near the east edge of Liberty Park, next to a sandstone Mormon monument and a row of teetering rock pillars. But among Sunday's pot smokers and beer drinkers were two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old. And among the revelers were a handful of infants or young children. That, say officers involved in Sunday's standoff, was the most offending aspect of the gathering. "I remember looking into the general area of the crowd and seeing a lot of young kids," said Sonny Ricks, one of the first officers on the scene. "That was bothersome."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mass E-Mail Protest Targets Rule Requiring Reports (The Salt Lake Tribune says civil libertarians and other groups are flush with their success in forcing regulators to drop the proposed "Know Your Customer" rules on tracking bank customers' habits, and are organizing a campaign to end reporting requirements for cash transactions. Legislation proposed by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, would repeal the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires banks to report customers' cash transactions of $10,000 or more, as well as "suspicious activities" to law-enforcement authorities.) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 09:17:11 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Mass E-Mail Protest Targets Rule Requiring Reports Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT) Copyright: 1999, The Salt Lake Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/ Forum: http://utahonline.sltrib.com/tribtalk/ MASS E-MAIL PROTEST TARGETS RULE REQUIRING REPORTS ON CASH DEALS WASHINGTON -- Flush with their success in forcing regulators to drop proposed rules on tracking bank customers' habits, civil libertarians and other groups are organizing a big e-mail campaign to end reporting requirements for cash transactions. Law-enforcement authorities, in response, are warning against any weakening of the Bank Secrecy Act. Officials of the Justice and Treasury departments and the U.S. Customs Service are expected to tell Congress today that the 1974 law is an essential tool for detecting and prosecuting money launderers and drug traffickers. They are scheduled to testify at a hearing of the House Banking subcommittees on oversight and financial institutions. For example, the Customs Service says it used about 80 suspicious activity reports filed by banks under the law to identify bank accounts of money launderers targeted in Operation Casablanca. That enabled Customs agents to locate suspects' assets that were seized and forfeited in the 1998 operation, which was the biggest drug money-laundering case in U.S. history. Far-reaching legislation pushed by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, would repeal the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires banks to report customers' cash transactions of $10,000 or more, as well as suspicious activities, to law-enforcement authorities. The law is designed to combat money-laundering techniques used by drug traffickers and other criminals to hide illegal profits. But Paul maintains it violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure and that at any rate, it has failed to help catch drug dealers, who he says "are smarter than most bankers." The Libertarian Party, the American Civil Liberties Union, privacy advocacy associations and other groups are mobilizing to generate support for Paul's bill. "We will try to inundate Congress with another torrent of e-mails," Libertarian Party spokesman George Getz said Monday. Getz was referring to the earlier blitz of some 225,000 e-mail messages and letters, nearly all in opposition, received by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on proposed anti-money laundering rules that would have tracked the transaction patterns of bank customers. Bowing to the public outcry over privacy, the FDIC and three other federal banking agencies scrapped the proposal last month. This time, Getz said, the Libertarians want people to contact their member of Congress, since the Bank Secrecy Act already is law and there is no request for public comment from the banking regulators. "We've got a bigger gun this time," he said, explaining that the group can draw on the people who earlier protested the so-called "Know Your Customer" rules. Gregory Nojeim, legislative counsel for the ACLU, said the group recently started a "Know Your Banker" campaign on its Web site to help consumers understand banks' current monitoring practices and encourage competition among banks based on their privacy policies. Legislative prospects for Paul's bill appear dim, as they do for a companion measure he proposed that would let people see the files on them created by the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Norwalk Drug-Ed Officer Charged (The Des Moines Register says Thomas Nolan, a police sergeant and DARE officer in Norwalk, Iowa, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after the Marion-Warren County drug task force searched his home Sunday. Sgt. Dave Murillo of the Des Moines Police Department, who lives in Norwalk, said he learned from one Norwalk officer that "narcotics" evidence had been disappearing from the Norwalk department.) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 15:08:32 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IA: Norwalk Drug-Ed Officer Charged Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Carl Olsen Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: Des Moines Register (IA) Copyright: 1999, The Des Moines Register. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Author: Amanda Pierre NORWALK DRUG-ED OFFICER CHARGED Norwalk, Ia. - Thomas Nolan, a Norwalk police sergeant and drug-education officer, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after the Marion-Warren County drug task force searched his home Sunday, Warren County sheriff's officials reported. Nolan, 44, of 9129 Oakwood Drive, was released from the Warren County Jail after posting bond of $2,925. He could not be reached for comment. Mayor Jerry Starkweather said Nolan had been suspended from his job without pay. Starkweather would not comment on whether Nolan would return to the force. City Attorney Jim Dougherty said some Norwalk police officers brought suspicions about activities involving drugs and the Norwalk police to the attention of city officials two weeks ago. The city asked Warren County officials to investigate the matter. Sgt. Dave Murillo of the Des Moines Police Department, who lives in Norwalk, said he learned from one Norwalk officer that narcotics evidence had been disappearing from the Norwalk department. Warren County sheriff's officials would give no other details about the case, referring all questions to Dougherty. Nolan, a member of the Norwalk Police Department for 12 years, served as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer at Lakewood Elementary School for more than five years, according to Tom Fish, school district superintendent. Nolan conducted classes on the risks of drug abuse. Fish said he was surprised to hear of the allegations against Nolan and suspected that Nolan's students would find it hard to see the situation unfold. "I guess they can also see that there are consequences," Fish said. Warren County Deputy Randy Spurr will be Lakewood's DARE officer for the remaining weeks of the program.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Veteran State Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charges (UPI says Richard Corey Jr., of East Falmouth, a veteran Massachusetts state police officer, pleaded guilty today to charges of taking payoffs from a cocaine dealer in exchange for feeding him confidential information about police undercover agents and informants.) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 19:40:58 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: WIRE: Veteran State Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1999 United Press International VETERAN STATE POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CORRUPTION CHARGES A veteran state police officer pleaded guilty today to federal corruption charges. Richard Corey Jr., 41, of East Falmouth, was charged with taking payoffs from a cocaine dealer in exchange for feeding him confidential information about police undercover agents and informants. Corey could get up to five years in prison when he's sentenced in June.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Massachusetts State Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty (A lengthier version on PR Newswire) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 19:41:02 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: WIRE: Massachusetts State Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: PR Newswire Copyright: 1999 PR Newswire MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE SERGEANT PLEADS GUILTY TO CORRUPTION CHARGE Reports U.S. Attorney BOSTON, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- An eighteen year veteran and Sergeant with the Massachusetts State Police, pled guilty today to a corruption charge. United States Attorney Donald K. Stern; L. Wayne Nicks, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Colonel Reed V. Hillman, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Philip A. Rollins, District Attorney for Barnstable County; Frederick Aufiero, Chief of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division; and Steven J. Pirotte, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, announced that RICHARD COREY, JR., age 41, of 88 Fresh Pond Road, in East Falmouth, Massachusetts, pled guilty today before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to a one count superseding Information charging him with corruption from 1994 through 1998. The Information charged COREY with depriving the taxpayers of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts State Police, of his honest services over the four year period by accepting cash payments from Edwin Jones, a/k/a Fast Eddy, a cocaine dealer operating on Cape Cod, in exchange for providing Jones with confidential and investigative law enforcement information and other assistance. U.S. Attorney Stern stated: "Richard Corey was getting paid for feeding sensitive law enforcement information to a drug dealer. He will go to federal prison for his crime. But nothing will ever erase the dishonor he brought to his badge." At the change of plea hearing today, the government stated that the information and assistance that COREY provided to Jones included, but was not limited to, the following: -- COREY disclosed and/or confirmed to Jones the identity of an undercover officer who was negotiating an undercover drug buy from one of Jones' associates. -- COREY disclosed to Jones the identity of an individual who was providing information about Jones' illegal activities to law enforcement officers. -- COREY disclosed to Jones that a witness, identified by name, had come into the Massachusetts State Police barracks in Yarmouth, Massachusetts to report that Jones had threatened that witness and that Jones was engaged in illegal narcotics activity. -- COREY informed Jones that a license plate provided by Jones belonged to an undercover surveillance vehicle. Jones told COREY that he wanted the license plate information because he believed that the car bearing that license plate surveilled him after he left the COREY's residence. -- throughout the period in which COREY devised and executed this scheme to defraud, he passed on to Jones discussions that he heard about Jones and investigative information he had pertaining to Jones or Jones' associates. For example, when Jones bailed an associate of his out of jail, he asked COREY to listen for any talk concerning Jones at the State Police barracks. Shortly thereafter, the defendant warned Jones that people at the barracks had, in fact, been talking about Jones having bailed his associate out and COREY told Jones that the State Police were unhappy with Jones for doing so. -- throughout this period, Jones also sought information from COREY about State Police speed traps and surveillance positions and COREY provided Jones with such information. -- from in or about 1994 through May 29, 1998, Jones provided the defendant with cash payments in exchange for the defendant's disclosure of confidential and investigative law Enforcement information and other assistance that the defendant provided to Jones. Chief Judge Young scheduled sentencing for June 29, 1999 at 2 p.m. COREY faces a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment and a $250, 000 fine. This case was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police and the Barnstable District Attorney's office, with the assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily R. Schulman of Stern's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and Alex Whiting of Stern's Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- N.J. Report Admits Racial Profiling (According to the Associated Press, the New Jersey Attorney General's office acknowledged Tuesday that some state troopers have engaged in "racial profiling" in pulling over minority motorists. The state is also dropping its appeal of a 1996 court ruling that troopers demonstrated racial bias in making arrests along the turnpike. The court decision could affect dozens of pending criminal cases.) Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 18:20:34 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NJ: WIRE: N.J. Report Admits Racial Profiling Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press Author: Thomas Martello N.J. REPORT ADMITS RACIAL PROFILING TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Attorney General's office acknowledged Tuesday that some state troopers have engaged in ``racial profiling'' in pulling over motorists. Complaints that the State Police target blacks and Hispanics along the heavily traveled New Jersey Turnpike are ``real, not imagined,'' according to a report issued by the agency. At the same time, Attorney General Peter Verniero said the state is dropping its appeal of a 1996 court ruling that troopers demonstrated racial bias in making arrests along the turnpike. The court decision could affect dozens of pending criminal cases. ``We don't agree with everything that was said in that case, but in view of the report and our statistical analysis, the appeal is no longer appropriate,'' Verniero said. The report came one day after two troopers were indicted on charges they falsified reports to make it appear that some of the black motorists they pulled over were white. The U.S. Justice Department also has been investigating racial profiling allegations against New Jersey's state police. Similar accusations have been made in Florida, Maryland, Connecticut and elsewhere along the Interstate 95 corridor. The state report concludes that, while six out of 10 motorists stopped are white, troopers are far more likely to subject minorities to searches and aggressive treatment. The statistics show 77.2 percent of motorist searches were of black or Hispanics, while only 21.4 percent involved white motorists. New Jersey overall is 74 percent white, nearly 13 percent black and more than 9 percent Hispanic. The report suggests a clear policy saying State Police may not consider race, ethnicity or national origin in deciding who is stopped. It also recommends that the department monitor traffic stops more closely. State Police leaders have consistently argued that the agency does not engage in racial profiling. Earlier this year, Gov. Christie Whitman fired State Police Superintendent Col. Carl Williams after he said minorities were responsible for most of the state's cocaine and marijuana traffic. The racial controversy could hurt Whitman among black voters as she positions herself for a U.S. Senate run in 2000. On Monday, state officials announced misconduct indictments against two troopers involved in last year's wounding of three young minority men along the turnpike. The troopers fired 11 shots at their van, claiming the vehicle had suddenly backed up toward them. The indictments were not directly related to the shooting but involved other traffic stops in the first four months of 1998. Troopers John Hogan and James Kenna were accused of making false statements on the race of minority motorists they pulled over. The data was being gathered for a State Police survey prompted by the 1996 court decision. Lawyers for Hogan and Kenna have said the two are being used as scapegoats in the broader debate over racial profiling.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Useful excerpts from the IOM medicinal marijuana report (The Marijuana Policy Project, in Washington, D.C., publicizes its new online guide, "Questions about medicinal marijuana answered by the Institute of Medicine's report." Despite a statement at the IOM's March 17 news conference by Principal Investigator Dr. John Benson that "we concluded that there are limited circumstances in which we recommend smoking marijuana for medical uses," and a Gallup poll conducted March 19-21 that showed 73 percent of Americans support "making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering," the latest issue of Psychiatric News says the Drug Czar's office still endorses arresting medical marijuana users. Chuck Thomas of the MPP said that at first, the drug warriors pretended to like the IOM report, but for the past month they've been ignoring it and outright maligning it.) Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 15:10:22 -0400 From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG) Organization: Marijuana Policy Project Sender: email@example.com Subject: useful excerpts from IOM medicinal marijuana report To: MPPupdates@igc.org Special thanks to everyone who responded to MPP's request for donations to help us continue making the most of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) landmark report on medicinal marijuana. More than a month after its March 17 release, the IOM report is still making news. And according to a Gallup poll conducted March 19-21, 73% of Americans support "making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering." Yet, according to the latest issue of _Psychiatric News_, the Drug Czar's office still endorses arresting medicinal marijuana users. (Please see MPP news release below.) MPP has just published "Questions about medicinal marijuana answered by the Institute of Medicine's report" -- which is available on-line at http://www.mpp.org/science.html. This document, a compilation of the best excerpts from the IOM report, reaffirms that the science is on our side. Consequently, the IOM report will be a useful tool that we can all use to change the laws. Please read the aforementioned document and let your three members of Congress know the truth. In particular, please ask your U.S. representative to co-sponsor U.S. Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) new bill, H.R. 912, which would allow states to determine their own medicinal marijuana laws without federal interference. (Please see http://www.mpp.org/912alert.html for specifics.) Finally, please read the following news release to see the kind of cruelty and dishonesty that we are fighting against. Thank you. *** This news release appears on the Web at http://www.mpp.org/nr042099.html *** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 20, 1999 NATIONAL DRUG WAR LEADERS DISREGARD SCIENCE IN MEDICINAL MARIJUANA DEBATE One Month After Institute of Medicine Endorsed Legal Access to Medicinal Marijuana, Drug Czar's Office Reaffirms Policy of Arresting Patients WASHINGTON, DC -- The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) endorses the continuing arrest of medicinal marijuana users, according to the April 16 issue of _Psychiatric News_, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). A full month has passed since the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its landmark report -- yet national drug war leaders maintain their hard-line stance against medicinal marijuana users. ONDCP Deputy Director Donald Vereen told _Psychiatric News_, "It doesn't matter what the excuse is," and, drawing an analogy to "using cocaine to treat depression," he said that "you are going to get arrested just as fast." "The prestigious Institute of Medicine recognized marijuana's medical value and endorsed giving seriously ill people legal access to the plant," said Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) co-director Chuck Thomas. Indeed, at IOM's March 17 news conference, IOM Principal Investigator Dr. John Benson said, "[W]e concluded that there are limited circumstances in which we recommend smoking marijuana for medical uses." "The nation's drug warriors first pretended to like the report, but for the past month they've been ignoring it and outright maligning it," said Thomas. "Medicinal marijuana users remain criminals, and there is no change to these laws in sight." In addition, a new Gallup poll, conducted after the IOM report was released (from March 19-21), found that 73% of the American people support "making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering." "Drug Czar McCaffrey and his ilk are completely out of touch with the American people, as well as the science," said MPP's Chuck Thomas. Below is a sampling of some opinions recently expressed by national drug war leaders. (Note: When statements from the IOM report follow the drug warriors' opinions, the page numbers refer to the "pre-publication copy" of the IOM report, released on 3/17/99.) * "[IOM's report] is little more than a `thinly veiled effort' to promote legalization of the drug, [U.S.] Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) said," according to an Associated Press article that appeared in the _Atlanta Journal_ on March 19. "Barr argued that the panel was heavily influenced by the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates legalization of marijuana for medical uses." * According to a March 22 _USA Today_ article, U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Florida) "announced plans to hold hearings in late April on drug legalization and medical marijuana and called the Institute of Medicine report `the biggest waste of money in the entire war on drugs'." (MPP hopes to have the opportunity to testify in defense of the science supporting medicinal marijuana.) * According to a March 18 UPI article, "[U.S. Rep. Bill] McCollum [R-Florida] says the report may encourage people to smoke pot." (In actuality, the IOM report said, "The existing data are consistent with the idea that this would not be a problem if the medical use of marijuana were as closely regulated as other medications with abuse potential" [page ES.7].) * "Officials with the [U.S.] Department of Health and Human Services almost immediately responded by saying they would not dispense marijuana to individual patients until more clinical research showed it was safe," according to a Knight Ridder article that ran in the _Nashville Tennessean_ on March 21 (despite the fact that the IOM report said that "although a drug is normally approved for medical use only on proof of its `safety and efficacy,' patients with life-threatening conditions are sometimes [under protocols for `compassionate use'] allowed access to unapproved drugs whose benefits and risks are uncertain" [page 1.3]). * According to the _Washington Post_ "For the Record" feature on March 19, Attorney General Janet Reno was grilled at a March 18 news conference with the question, "In light of the government- ordered study that was released yesterday on the medical uses of marijuana, should federal law, which criminalizes medical use of marijuana, be amended?" Though she was asked essentially the same thing three different times, Reno never gave a straight answer as to whether or not patients should be arrested. After skirting the question three times, she said, "And I think it is an important report for us to focus on and to figure what is the next step, what's the appropriate step." (Now that a month has passed, MPP believes it is time for the Attorney General to answer the question and say what the next step is -- continuing to criminalize patients or not?) * Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) President Joseph Califano's op-ed published in the _Wall Street Journal_ on March 26, criticized "the press's sloppy summaries of it" and the report itself, saying that IOM "fails to discuss mounting statistical and scientific evidence that children who smoke pot are much likelier than those who don't to use drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD." (In actuality, the IOM report considered all worthwhile data -- apparently rejecting bogus research like CASA's -- and concluded that marijuana "does not appear to be a gateway drug to the extent that it is the most significant predictor or even the cause of heavy drug abuse," noting that, in the rare instances that marijuana users are exposed to other drugs and give them a try, "[I]t is the legal status of marijuana that makes it a gateway drug" [pages 3.24 and 3.22, respectively].) * "The push for `medical marijuana' laws is not about relieving suffering. It's about decriminalizing pot and, ultimately, other illicit drugs. And those driving the issue are recreational- marijuana smokers. The latest weapon in their arsenal is a report from the Institute of Medicine," wrote Family Research Council's Robert Maginnis in a _USA Today_ "Opposing View" column on April 12. "Legalizing smoked marijuana for medicinal purposes ... could boost the use of pot by teenagers," he said (despite the fact that the IOM report concluded that "there are no convincing data to support this concern" [page ES.7]). * A March 18 article in the _Boston Globe_ quotes Partnership for a Drug-Free America Executive Vice President Steve Dnistrian saying that "the report's findings could send the wrong message about marijuana to children" (despite the fact that the IOM report said that "there is no evidence that the medical marijuana debate has altered perceptions among adolescents about the risks of marijuana use" [page 3.28]). * Continuing to promote the same unfounded assertion, Phoenix House President Mitchell Rosenthal implied that IOM's recommendations are "going to make marijuana use by adolescents a more likely event," in a March 19 _New York Times_ article. * Long-time, international anti-marijuana activist Gabriel Nahas, M.D., issued a news release on March 25 criticizing the IOM report for numerous "serious omissions." Nahas then argued that "the IOM principal investigators were very attentive to the opinions of a Mr. Chuck Thomas who heads the Marijuana Policy Project," and he even accused MPP of using "Nazi" rhetoric. MPP cites the aforementioned comments as evidence that the federal government has no intention of changing its medicinal marijuana laws in accordance with IOM's recommendations. Despite ONDCP Director Barry McCaffrey's claim that he was "delighted" with the report (in his March 17 news release and countless media interviews), his deputy director is now asserting that patients should be arrested. In fact, McCaffrey even told California Attorney General Bill Lockyer that he "would be violating federal law and risking arrest" if he provided confiscated marijuana to scientists in California who want to conduct medicinal marijuana research, according to an April 2 editorial in the _Orange County Register_. "McCaffrey is obviously set on maintaining criminal penalties for medicinal marijuana-using patients," said MPP's Chuck Thomas. "As the months tick away, it will become more and more obvious that we need to continue changing state laws until the federal government has no choice but to change its inhumane medicinal marijuana laws." "My personal case history was featured in the IOM report, and IOM said that AIDS patients like me should have legal access to marijuana," said Greg Scott, an MPP member residing in Florida. "McCaffrey's office has refused to budge. So I continue to live in fear of being arrested." *** MPP's challenge: If asked "Should patients who use medicinal marijuana be arrested, 'yes' or 'no'?", none of the aforementioned drug warriors will go on record saying, "Yes, they should," or "No, they should not," -- because their true answer is obviously "yes," which they don't want to admit. That is why it is remarkable that ONDCP Deputy Director Donald Vereen actually went so far as to say that he supports the existing policy of arresting patients. *** For relevant excerpts from the IOM report, please see http://www.mpp.org/science.html. - END - *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: To support MPP's work and receive the quarterly newsletter, "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 202-232-0442 FAX
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Advocate Called Refugee From U.S. 'War' (The Vancouver Province, in British Columbia, says a legal battle began yesterday in the B.C. Supreme Court to keep Renee Boje, a 29-year-old California woman, from being deported to the U.S. to face marijuana-related charges in connection with the 1997 Bel Air bust of Todd McCormick.) Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 08:57:21 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Advocate Called Refugee From US 'War' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Tues, 20 April 1999 Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1999 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/ Author: Jack Keating, Staff Reporter Note: Renee Boje's website is http://www.thecompassionclub.org/renee/ POT ADVOCATE CALLED REFUGEE FROM U.S. 'WAR' The fight to keep a 29-year-old California woman from being deported to the U.S. to face marijuana-related charges began yesterday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. "She's a refugee from the American war on drugs," lawyer John Conroy said of Renee Boje's bid to stay in Canada. Boje, an advocate of medicinal marijuana, was caught up in a high-profile case in Los Angeles in 1997 when Todd McCormick, also a medicinal-marijuana advocate, was caught growing pot at a Bel Air mansion. He said he grew it to relieve the pain of cancer. The use of marijuana for medical purposes became legal in California in 1996, but federal authorities are fighting the law. The U.S. government's formal request for extradition to California, where Boje would face a minimum 10 years in jail if convicted, was made yesterday before Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm. Dohm adjourned the case to May 5 to set a date for the extradition hearing, which is being fought on grounds that Boje would face cruel and unusual punishment in California. Conroy said similar charges here would result in a fine and/or a minimal jail sentence. He also pointed to two recent reports by the United Nations and Amnesty International that condemn "the systematic abuse of female prisoners" in the U.S. Boje said she was held for 72 hours at the Federal Corrections Facility for Women in downtown Los Angeles, where she was strip-searched 15 times. Two of the searches were done in the presence of male officers, who made lewd and threatening remarks, she said. Boje, who is free on $5,000 bond, said: "I am hoping that Canada will provide me a safe haven, as it did for the conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Canadian Hemp Acres Could Be High As A Kite (Resource News says good yields from the first Canadian hemp crop and depressed prices for traditional crops like canola and wheat will fuel dramatic growth in hemp production this summer on the Western Canadian prairies. Bruce Brolley, a new crops specialist with the Manitoba provincial agriculture department, says he's estimating about 15,000 acres will be planted in the province this spring, up from approximately 1,300 acres last summer.) Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:38:21 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Western Canadian Hemp Acres Could Be High As A Kite Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Source: Resource News Copyright: Resource News Author: Gord Gilmour WESTERN CANADIAN HEMP ACRES COULD BE HIGH AS A KITE Winnipeg--Apr 20--(RESNEWS)--Good returns to pioneer hemp producers and depressed prices for traditional crops like canola and wheat are fuelling dramatic growth in that crop's production on the Western Canadian prairies according to industry watchers. Bruce Brolley, a new crops specialist with the Manitoba provincial agriculture department, says he's estimating about 15,000 acres will be planted in the province this spring - only the second year producers can legally plant the crop. That's up from approximately 1,300 acres last summer. The explosive growth concerns Brolley, who says it's important that any production jump be offset with market development. "There's an old saying that nothing fixes high prices like high prices - people see a strong market and they jump in to service it," Brolley said. "We want to make sure we're developing a sustainable industry and if we grow slowly we've got a better chance than by jumping from 1,300 to 15,000 acres in one year." Brolley also expressed concern that markets that have been touted for the crop may fail to materialize. "I'm not sure these potential markets will turn into actual [ones]," he said. Part of the Manitoba growth in hemp is fuelled by a recent announcement by Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP), a company contracting hemp acreage with producers, that they would be building a hemp processing facility near the city of Dauphin in northwestern Manitoba. Doug Campbell, president of CGP, says the company will be increasing it's contracted acreage substantially in the three prairie provinces this spring. "We had about 600 acres (under contract) last year," he said. "We're going to have over 18,000 acres this year. That works out to a 300-fold increase." Campbell says about 80% of those acres have been contracted in Manitoba, with the remainder in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Of the Manitoba acreage Campbell says the lion's share will be within 100 kilometers (60 miles) of the plant site. With the CGP plant announcement, it's expected most of the growth in new acreage will concentrate in the province of Manitoba, Brolley said. Campbell agrees that at least in the short term that's where the growth will be, but says the other prairie provinces shouldn't be counted out yet. "It's not that producers there can't grow the stuff," he said. "It's just been a little slower to take off." Ray McVicar, a new crops specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food (SAF) in Regina, says he's expecting somewhere between 3,000 and 4, 000 acres to be planted in that province. That's up from an estimated 500 acres last year. In Alberta Dr. Stan Blade, a spokesman for Alberta Agriculture, says roughly 2,500 acres of hemp are expected to go into the grounnd this spring. Campbell downplays concerns about market instability that could accompany quick growth, saying CGP has large scale customers lined up for its processed products. End uses for the product include fiber going into pulp and paper, cardboard manufacturing, auto parts and building materials. A separate facility at the same Dauphin site will be dedicated to producing oil for the food and cosmetic markets. "There's tremendous opportunity in the big world-scale markets," Campbell said. The Dauphin plant is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2001, though Campbell says there is a chance construction will be completed by 2000. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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