Hemp News 27
Submitted by restore on Mon, 12/13/2010 - 21:34
Hemp News No. 27
Compiled byPaul Stanford
The following news wire stories are provided as a public service by Tree Free EcoPaper, makers of hemp (cannabis) paper and other nonwood papers, pulps and fibers. We are happy to announce the introduction of our new USA manufactured hemp paper products, made with European hemp fiber, beginning in January 1995. Contact us for samples of the USA paper in mid-November. Tree Free EcoPaper is the world's oldest and largest supplier of wholesale quantities of hemp paper. We offer an electronic retail catalog which you can recieve by dropping us an e-mail request. We'll send you our free samples and our hemp paper wholesale price list if you give us a postal address. You can call us toll-free at 1-800-775-0225 from the U.S. and Canada. Our phone number for calls outside the U.S. is 503-295-6705. Our headquarters is in Portland, Oregon and our paper is produced in the USA, Europe and Asia. We offer nonwood office and printing paper, card stock, cover stock, 100% hemp pulp for paper makers, whole hempstalks and 100% hemp bast fiber. Without further ado, please enjoy the news: RTw 10/13/94 Britain bars American marijuana smoker LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuter) - An American who smokes up to 12 marijuana cigarettes a day for medicinal purposes was forced to return home after Britain refused to allow him to bring the illegal drug into the country, a newspaper said on Friday. Bob Randall, 46, receives the drug free on prescription from a chemist in Washington D.C. who is licensed to supply him. He claims he will go blind within days unless he smokes the drug. "He has been forced to return to America because the Home Office (Interior Ministry) refused his lawyer's application for the right to bring the reefers with him," The Times said. Randall, who is one of eight people in the U.S. allowed by law to receive the drug on prescription, had been invited to meet politicians and academics in London as part of a campaign to legalise marijuana for medical use in Europe and the United States. REUTER RTw 10/13/94 Now Virgin looks at financial services...and dope LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuter) - Flamboyant British tycoon Richard Branson is pushing his Virgin brand to new limits, suggesting the name might be used to sell financial services -- and even marijuana. "We are considering financial services generally but any scheme is at least a year off," a spokesman for self-made multi-millionaire Branson said on Thursday. He said the Virgin airline, retail and leisure empire was talking to various potential partners in Britain. Virgin has already diversified into computers, vodka and cola, signing up supermarket giant Tesco Plc to sell the fizzy drink in Britain. And Branson is not ruling out marketing Virgin marijuana, if it were ever legalised. "If (marijuana) was ever legalised and it was proved to the satisfaction of the BMA (British Medical Association) that it was harmless, he'd obviously consider it," the spokesman said. Financial analysts say Branson is astutely optimising a well-recognised brand name. Sceptics wonder if he is not over-stepping the mark. "First Virgin vodka, now Virgin cola. Virgin nuts can't be far behind. Virgin on the ridiculous obviously beckons," the Financial Times newspaper said earlier this week. REUTER PA 10/14/94 MARIJUANA USED AS MEDICINE `BANNED' By Padraic Flanagan, PA News An American who smokes marijuana to ease a medical condition was banned from bringing the drug with him on a visit to Britain, it was reported today (Friday). Glaucoma sufferer Bob Randall, 46, fears he will go blind within days unless he smokes up to 12 reefers a day, according to The Times. He is one of only eight people in the US allowed by law to be get marijuana on prescription, which he receives free from a chemist licensed to supply him in Washington. Mr Randall was invited to meet politicians and academics in London as part of a campaign to legalise marijuana for medical use in Europe and the US, the newspaper reports. But he has been forced to return to America because the Home Office refused his lawyer's application for the right to bring the drug with him. A Home Office spokesman said he was unable to comment on the matter. RTw 10/17/94 Singapore premier says West coddles citizens PARIS, Oct 17 (Reuter) - The West puts too much emphasis on human rights and social welfare programmes, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was quoted on Monday has saying. "There are two things (in the West) that I would never like to see imitated (in Singapore): The excessive importance given to human rights...and the idea that the government has to take care of people from cradle to grave," Goh said in an interview published on Monday in the French daily Le Figaro. "It's always a matter of rights, rights, rights, but you never hear talk of individual responsibilities," Goh said. "Even criminals have more rights than victims." As for social welfare, "Western governments are taking over the role of the family," he said. "That is going to erode the role of the family as well as the foundation of society." Goh's remarks were published at the start of his two-day official visit to France. Singapore last month hanged Dutch engineer Johannes van Damme for drug trafficking despite pleas for clemency from the Netherlands which long ago abolished the death penalty. Earlier this year, 19-year-old American Michael Fay was caned in Singapore for acts of vandalism. Goh defended the sentences as a matter of simple justice, saying: "Whether the delinquent is from America, the Netherlands or Singapore, the law must be applied. It's as simple as that." In Singapore, possession of more than 500 grams (almost one pound) of cannabis or more than 15 grams (half an ounce) of heroin is punishable by death, and more than 70 people have been hanged for drugs offences since 1975. Asked whether Singapore considered the West to be in gradual decline, Goh avoided a direct answer. "We think that Western economies are growing more slowly. Asia is in the processs of catching up to them," he said. "In general, we think the problem of social decline is getting worse, as witnessed by the growing number of broken families, crimes, delinquents and individuals who abuse social assistance programmes," he said. REUTER circa 10/17/94 [untitled - Boat Wreck Yields 77 Pot Bales] THE SETTLEMENT, British Virgin Islands (AP) -- A U.S. Coast Guard cutter called to the scene of a boat wreck in the Caribbean found 77 bales of marijuana floating in the water. The bales weigh 50 to 60 pounds each, adding up to a street value of about $12 million, the Coast Guard said Saturday. The Guard on Friday spotted the vessel that may have been smuggling the drugs before it began to sink. The 50-foot boat lies partially submerged near Horseshoe Reef off the southwest end of Anegada Island, in the British Virgin Islands. Authorities don't know if the boat was carrying the drugs or how either ended up in the water near the reef, said Daryl Schaffer at the U.S. Coast Guard station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The reef is one of the deadliest in the northern Caribbean. More than 500 ships have foundered on its coral heads. UPn 10/18/94 State pot busts net 82,700 plants SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The annual crackdown on marijuana growers in California this year netted nearly 83,000 plants worth $305 million, state officials said Tuesday. The Department of Justice said 47 people were arrested in the eight-week effort known as the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP. A total of 82,694 plants were confiscated in the operation, up from 66,000 in 1993. For the past 12 years, state, federal and local law enforcement have organized the major raids across California. CAMP has been criticized for ensaring residents who used the drugs for personal use, but Attorney General Dan Lungren discounted such complaints. "The marijuana growers we shut down are mass producers of illegal drugs who depend on street gangs and other violent criminals to sell their drugs to young people," Lungren said. Overall, officials staged 300 raids on more than 700 illegal sites in nine counties. The operations led to 47 arrests, the identification of 16 more suspects, and seizure of 24 firearms. The largest raid came near the Los Angeles suburb Diamond Bar, where more than 4,000 marijuana plants were discovered in three gardens last month. However, the bulk of the confiscated plants were located in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, where more than 69,000 marijuana plants were seized in 191 raids. Other counties targeted in CAMP were Lake, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. WP 10/18/94 Capital Notebook Getting Plowed: A Token Crop Meets the Task Force By Guy Gugliotta Washington Post Staff Writer Call it friendly fiber. You can make paper, rope, blue jeans, jackets, tablecloths, tote bags, baseball caps and fiberboard out of it. You can eat the seeds and drizzle the oil into your salad. You can also smoke the leftovers, and therein lies the problem. Hemp - cannabis sativa if you're going Latin - has an eternally bad rap in the United States because many varieties have leaves with psychoactive properties. In the psychoactive trade, hemp is known as marijuana. Really friendly fiber. But we're all grown-ups here. Reefer madness is a thing of the past, and the turned-on generation of the 1960s is deep into middle age and taking heart pills. It's time to take a fresh look at hemp as a straight-world cash crop. At least that was Don Wirtshafter's idea. Early this year Wirtshafter and three partners got permission from local authorities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grow three-fourths of an acre of hemp at a USDA research facility in California's Imperial Valley. The idea, Wirtshafter said, was to demonstrate hemp's economic usefulness in making just about anything you can name. The planted varieties, both Wirtshafter and USDA agree, were no good for smoking. Everything was going fine until July 25, when the California State Attorney General's Imperial Valley Narcotics Task Force raided the facility, and in a few quick passes, plowed it under. According to Task Force commander Steve Gossman, samples from the "grow" had enough chemicals to qualify it as marijuana: "The entire task force responded to the location, observed what was taking place and field-tested the material," Gossman said. If it looks like marijuana, and it tests like marijuana... At USDA, spokesman Jim Loftus took a gentle approach to the incident. Department officials in the Imperial Valley "thought they were being helpful" by allowing Wirtshafter's group to grow hemp, Loftus said. If California thought something was wrong, "that's fine with us." Wirtshafter was not so charitable. Fiber hemp does have some psychoactive chemicals, but it also has good chemicals that neutralize the bad chemicals: "We were three days short of harvest, and they destroyed it before we got our final samples." Hemp's return to the underworld has not dimmed Wirtshafter's crusade to restore its good name. As president of The Ohio Hempery in Guysville, Ohio, he is the nation's leading importer of hemp, and sells a line of products ranging from "bushwacker hats" to "The Hempseed Cookbook." His catalogue is printed on 50 percent hemp paper. According to Wirtshafter, hemp fiber and fabric enjoyed great popularity in America until the cotton gin made all other fabrics prohibitively expensive by the early 19th century. Since then, he suggests, lumber and clothing interests have created a negative legend that has driven hemp off the market and kept it there. Most of the nations of the world grow it, he said, and the Russians have 200 varieties of seed, "while we don't have even one." Of course, Wirtshafter may not be talking to the right people. One early casualty in the hemp crusade, Wirtshafter says, was George Schlichten, an early 20th century inventor whose "decorticator" could separate hemp fiber from the pulp in much the same way that distilleries press sugar cane to make rum. With this, Wirtshafter contends, hemp could have become instantly competitive. But nothing came of it, he said, and soon hemp had disappeared into the netherworld, to resurface shortly as marijuana, carrying all its evil baggage. Hemp enjoyed a brief resurgence as a strategic resource during World War II, but that was it. According to Wirtshafter, hemp can be used to make all kinds of fabric, rope and twine, while the pulp is a natural for newsprint and fiberboard. And unlike wood, hemp doesn't need to be chipped or leached with caustic soda: "We have not left devastated forests in our wake," his catalogue notes. "What other catalogue can make this claim?" And best of all, he said, fiber hemp has the good chemicals that neutralize the bad chemicals. Experts can tell the different varieties by looking at the plants, he said. But right now, of course, the United States has only one large class of hemp experts, and they aren't into bushwacker hats and The Hempseed Cookbook (which uses imported, sterilized seeds). In fact, however, USDA has specialists growing hemp at research stations, Loftus acknowledged, but only "to determine the best way to kill it." The Imperial Valley Narcotics Task Force already seems to have that one figured out. AAP 10/18/94 MP CALLS FOR HEMP INDUSTRY IN NSW SYDNEY, Oct 18 AAP - Difficulties in identifying hemp species for agricultural use rather than the species which "go up in smoke" were holding back the development of a hemp industry, Agriculture Minister Ian Causley said today. Mr Causley said he was aware of hemp's potential as an agricultural crop for fibre. But the biggest problem in developing a hemp industry in New South Wales was the difficulty of identifying the different hemp species. Answering a question asked in a state budget estimates committee hearing today by Democrat MP Richard Jones, Mr Causley said the leaves of the different species were very similar. "It is very hard to identify which species are good for agriculture and which go up in smoke," the minister said. The Health Department was also concerned about the problem of identification of species. Mr Causley said the department was always on the look-out for new industries. But he said hemp was currently an illegal crop in NSW and was listed as a noxious weed. Mr Jones has been calling for the establishment of a hemp fibre industry in the state. He wore a suit made out of hemp fibre to a news conference in Parliament House last year. AAP nv/adp/hu UPn 10/18/94 State pot busts net 82,700 plants SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The annual crackdown on marijuana growers in California this year netted nearly 83,000 plants worth $305 million, state officials said Tuesday. The Department of Justice said 47 people were arrested in the eight- week effort known as the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP. A total of 82,694 plants were confiscated in the operation, up from 66,000 in 1993. For the past 12 years, state, federal and local law enforcement have organized the major raids across California. CAMP has been criticized for ensaring residents who used the drugs for personal use, but Attorney General Dan Lungren discounted such complaints. "The marijuana growers we shut down are mass producers of illegal drugs who depend on street gangs and other violent criminals to sell their drugs to young people," Lungren said. Overall, officials staged 300 raids on more than 700 illegal sites in nine counties. The operations led to 47 arrests, the identification of 16 more suspects, and seizure of 24 firearms. The largest raid came near the Los Angeles suburb Diamond Bar, where more than 4,000 marijuana plants were discovered in three gardens last month. However, the bulk of the confiscated plants were located in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, where more than 69,000 marijuana plants were seized in 191 raids. Other counties targeted in CAMP were Lake, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. RTw 10/19/94 German court finds hashish safer than alchohol KIEL, Germany, Oct 19 (Reuter) - A German court has ruled that hashish is safer than alchohol or cigarettes and drastically raised the limit for consumption without committing a crime. In a ruling made public on Wednesday, the panel of judges at a court in the Baltic port of Luebeck went further than a controversial Supreme Court decision in April that effectively freed possession of small amounts of the drug from prosecution. The decision drew a protest from Chancellor Helmut Kohl's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU). "The judges' decision to raise the hashish limit to four kilos (8.8 lbs) is irresponsible," the CDU's parliamentary expert on drugs policy, Roland Sauer, said. The Luebeck court, hearing the case of an alleged drugs dealer, ruled that possession of two to four kg (4.4 to 8.8 lbs) of hashish should be treated as a misdemeanour rather than a crime. "After hearing extensive testimony from experts, the court came to the opinion that there are practically no objections to the consumption of hashish if it is somewhat orderly," the judges said in a statement. "Compared to the legal narcotic alchohol and to nicotine, cannabis is very much less dangerous," it added. Cannabis is the generic name for hashish and marijuana. Hashish is more common among an estimated eight million of Germany's 80 million people who smoke or sometimes eat cannabis. The ruling was based on the amount of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the effective chemical in cannabis. The court set the limit for a "minor quantity" at 200 grams (seven ounces) of THC, the amount usually found in two to four kilos of hashish. Kohl, whose centre-right coalition was reelected on Sunday, had campaigned on a law-and-order platform with a tough stand against drugs. Germany's Supreme Court caused a row in April when it ruled that possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use should no longer be punished. However, its ruling recommended that police and prosecutors set a much lower ceiling for "minor amounts" of 7.5 grams (0.3 ounces) of THC. The Luebeck court said its decision could set an important legal precedent, but must first be reviewed by an appeals court at the demand of prosecutors. REUTER RTw 10/20/94 Conservatives, police blast German hashish ruling BONN, Oct 20 (Reuter) - Chancellor Helmut Kohl's conservatives and police on Thursday denounced a local German court for ruling that hashish users should go unpunished for having up to four kilograms (8.8 lbs) of the drug. Kohl's parliamentary expert on legal affairs compared the judges who issued the ruling to another German court that sparked international outrage in August by appearing to condone the anti-Semitic views of a far-right activist. "Judges who celebrate their ideology rather than sticking to the law put judicial independance in question and destroy the foundations of our justice system," Norbert Geis, from Kohl's Christian Democrats (CDU), said. The court in the northern city of Luebeck went further than a controversial Supreme Court decision in April that effectively ended prosecution for possesion of "small amounts," a term left to local authorities to define. The Luebeck court said expert testimony had proven that hashish was safer than alchohol or cigarettes and did not automicaticall lead to use of harder drugs like heroin. The head of the police detective's association Bdk said the Luebeck decision undermined anti-drugs efforts. "If the Luebeck hashish ruling is accepted nationally, then that will mean the bankruptcy of all German drugs policy," BdK chairman Eike Bleibtreu told a radio interviewer. Unlike neighbouring Holland, which fully tolerates the use of hashish and marijuana, German law sets jail terms of one to five years for possession. But the Supreme Court decision fits into a gradually spreading policy of not prosecuting minor possession cases. REUTER UPne 10/20/94 Clinton warns students against drug use FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Oct. 20 (UPI) -- President Clinton warned students at Framingham High School in Massachusetts (Thursday) against drug use, saying every study shows the "alarming results of the danger of using marijuana," especially for young women of childbearing years. "All illegal drugs are dangerous," he said, adding "it's not a cool thing to do, it's a stupid thing to do." RTna 10/20/94 Clinton to American youth: don't inhale FRAMINGHAM, Mass (Reuter) - Much has been said about President Clinton's admission that he once smoked marijuana but didn't inhale, and Thursday he made clear to teen-agers where he stands on the subject. "A stupid thing to do," he told students at Framingham High School at an event where he signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that, among other things, addresses the problems of school violence and drug abuse. Clinton cited a new survey that said "in a modest but very clear way" that drug use is going up again among young people in America. "More and more young people simply don't believe it's dangerous to use marijuana for example," Clinton said. "Let me tell you something, every single scientific study that has been done in the last several years shows alarming increases in the toxicity and the danger of using marijuana, especially to young women and what might happen to their child-bearing capacity." Clinton has been accused of being disingenuous for having stated during the 1992 presidential campaign that he once smoked marijuana as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University but didn't inhale. "All illegal drugs are dangerous," he said Thursday. "We have to drive down usage again. It's got to be not a good thing to do, not a cool thing to do. It is a stupid thing to do, as well as an illegal thing to do, and I want you to help bring it back down." REUTER APn 10/20/94 Drug Survey By CASSANDRA BURRELL Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) -- Teen-age use of marijuana and other illegal drugs increased significantly last school year, a drug prevention group said Thursday. The number of high school students using marijuana at least once a month during the 1993-94 academic year increased from 11.3 percent to 15.6 percent, said a survey by the National Parents' Resource Institution for Drug Education -- or Pride. Among junior high students, it climbed from 3.3 percent to 4.9 percent. The number of high school students using the drug at least once during the school year jumped from 19 percent to 24.6 percent. "The bad news is America is in the midst of a new wave of adolescent involvement in dangerous drugs," Pride President Thomas Gleaton said at a news conference held in the library of a Washington junior high school. "This new wave is led by dramatic increases in marijuana smoking, but other drug categories are also increasing -- cocaine, uppers, downers, hallucinogens, inhalants and cigarettes." A more casual attitude may be partly to blame, said Lee Brown, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "Many of our young people no longer believe drug use is harmful. Or if they know the facts ... (they) just don't care," Brown said. Gleaton said there was some good news. Prevention in the form of parental guidance and school and community activities seem to make a difference, he said. Thirty-two percent of marijuana users said their parents never talk to them about drugs, he said. Twenty-one percent said their parents spoke to them about drugs very often. Gleaton said 38 percent said they never participate in school activities, and 17 percent said they participated a lot. "This study shows that when prevention is practiced, prevention works," he said. "We just need to do more of it." Nearly 200,000 students in grades six through 12 in 34 states completed survey questionnaires. The Atlanta-based Pride has been conducting the surveys annually in schools that choose to participate since 1982. "While the Pride Survey is not a random sample, it provides valuable and consistent information year after year," Gleaton said. "We are confident that the information we are making available today is a conservative estimate of student high-risk behaviors in the United States." Brown said other studies -- including one released Thursday by his office -- also have noted a resurgence in use drugs, including marijuana, which is at least 10 times more potent than it was 10 years ago. Alcohol use remained stable or decreased slightly from last year's figures, according to the Pride survey. The number of junior high school pupils using cocaine at least once during the school year increased from 1.6 percent to 1.9 percent. Among high school students, it increased from 3.4 percent to 4 percent. Gleaton said he was most alarmed by survey results indicating marijuana use among some black male students has become more popular. "For the first time, annual reported use of marijuana by black males, grades nine thought 12, has surpassed that of white males -- 29 percent to 27.5 percent," he said. Marijuana also is growing in popularity among sixth, seventh and eighth graders, he said. The survey also confirmed a link between drug use and adolescent violence, Gleaton said. Students who admitted taking a gun to school at least once were 14.5 times more likely to use cocaine, including crack, he said. Two-thirds had smoked marijuana, 80 percent had drunk liquor and a third had taken hallucinogens. AAP 10/21/94 MANY FLOUT MARIJUANA LAWS IN NATIONAL RALLY SYDNEY, Oct 21 AAP - Hundreds of pro-marijuana demonstrators, many flouting laws by smoking the drug publicly, rallied in cities throughout Australia today. The non-violent shows of civil disobedience met with largely tolerant responses from state police forces. The only arrests reported were in Brisbane where at least four people were detained at a cannabis "smoke-in" outside the Queensland parliament this afternoon. Chanting "we're not criminals, we smoke pot", many people openly smoked marijuana cigarettes after marching from King George Square in the central city waving banners. Uniformed and plain-clothes police moved in to arrest those who announced into a megaphone that they were about to light up. The Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) group and the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) coordinated the protests in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide, the northern New South Wales centre of Nimbin and Mackay in north Queensland. Brisbane and Sydney hosted the largest rallies with a combined total of 400 people turning out for the cause. In Sydney, more than 200 people braved the rain to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis outside state parliament. Rally convenor Andrew Kirk said there was majority support in NSW for the end to laws prohibiting the personal use of marijuana. "It is a ridiculous law. Seventy-five per cent of people in this state want laws prohibiting cannabis to be lifted," Mr Kirk told the rally. "We are going to carry this to the state election. Unless the government reforms the law, their own position is in danger." The state election is due on March 25. Labor MLC Ann Symonds, a member of the Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform told the rally drug law enforcement in Australia cost $123 million each year, or about $40 million in NSW. She called for this money to be spent on drug education and prevention. Protester Macca McPherson smoked marijuana as he addressed the crowd, where several others were smoking the drug. About 10 police attended, but no arrests were made. About 90 people gathered for a smoke-in in the forecourt of Tasmania's parliament, many sharing joints, but there were no arrests. Brisbane police were kept busy by a traffic jam that was created by demonstrators at the junction of Alice and George Streets. Among those taken into custody was Tony Kneipp, the head of the the HEMP group. "Why won't they arrest me? I want to be arrested," one protester said. About 200 people gathered outside the locked gates of Parliament House, some wearing marijuana leaf masks, and several clambering on to the tops of sandstone pillars. A cut-out of Premier Wayne Goss's face was adorned with a leaf. Mr Goss has consistently refused to consider legalising marijuana. One protester had his head shaved, apart from the shape of a cannabis leaf across the back of his head. The protest broke up as parliament resumed sitting at 2.30pm. South Australian campaigners staged a lunch-time rally outside Parliament House. Spokesman James Dannenberg said the recent National Cannabis Taskforce Report identified the failure of current marijuana laws which last year resulted in a record number of people facing the courts. But he said even though 75 per cent of Australians supported the idea of no criminal penalties for personal possession and cultivation of marijuana, the taskforce recommended the drug remain illegal. Mr Dannenberg said although potentially harmful to some, the vast majority of cannabis users faced no greater medical or moral danger than did tobacco or alcohol users. "The biggest cost in maintaining prohibition is the social harm caused by unnecessary criminal proceedings," he said. In Perth, a similar action was planned for tonight. AAP rmg/spd/pjw RTw 10/25/94 Cannabis seeds expensive bait for Scots anglers EDINBURGH, Oct 25 (Reuter) - Police said on Tuesday they were investigating reports that a firm set up with government backing was openly selling cannabis seeds and telling customers how to grow their own hashish. Sunlight Systems, operating out of a former school in Edinburgh's port of Leith, sells the seeds as fish bait. Owner Chris Meliniotis, who lives in Amsterdam, says this is legal as they do not contain the active ingredient of the illegal drug. But he said two workers had been sacked for breaking rules at the firm, which has offices in several British towns. "They did sell cannabis seeds as fish bait at 40 pounds ($65) for 10 seeds," Meliniotis told the Edinburgh Evening News. "That is quite legal. "But they broke all the regulations I ever laid down by giving customers advice on how to grow the seeds into cannabis plants," he added. "I admit it is extremely expensive fish bait but business is doing very well. We have a turnover of about 1.5 million pounds ($2.5 million) a year." Police stressed that while selling cannabis seeds for fish bait was a "grey area," possessing or supplying the drug was illegal. "Anyone producing, growing, or cultivating a cannabis plant is guilty of a criminal offence," the spokesman said. Sunlight Systems was founded in London in 1980 with the aid of a 55,000 pound ($90,000) government guarantee. REUTER UPn 10/26/94 German minister: Sell hashish in cafes BERLIN, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- If Germany is serious about fighting drugs dealers, it should take a leaf out of Holland's book and make soft drugs like hashish freely available in cafes, a minister said Wednesday. "I think it is essential that the consumers of illegal drugs are no longer criminalized," Heide Moser, social minister of the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein told the Hamburg weekly "Die Woche." Moser's comments came just weeks after a court in the Schleswig- Holstein town of Luebeck caused a sensation by drastically reducing the punishment for possession of hashish. Moser said a distinction should be made between hard drugs like heroin and soft drugs like cannabis, which she said is "not as dangerous as previously assumed." "What is most dangerous of all is criminalizing it," she added. The de-criminalization of hashish could be achieved, she said, "by ruining the dealers' trade, separating the markets and offering hashish in (Dutch-style) 'coffie-shops.'" Holland has the most liberal drug laws in Europe, with 1,500 "coffie shops" where hashish is on the menu. But the drug cannot be sold to minors. The idea of allowing cafes in Germany to cater to the tastes of their cannabis-smoking customers was immediately discounted by conservative politicians in Germany, who denied that the Dutch experiment had eased the problem of drug abuse. Josef Hollerith, a member of Parliament's committee on women and youth, said the Dutch had failed to separate the markets for hard and soft drugs, and that on the contrary, "the hard drugs scene had shifted to the vicinity of the coffee shops." Moser admitted there would be little support in society for legalizing cannabis, even though it was increasingly clear that the drug was much less dangerous than other stimulants such as cigarettes and alcohol. Last month a court in Luebeck ruled that anyone discovered in possession of up to 4 kg (8.8 lb) of hashish would face a fine or a prison sentence of up to five years - down from 15 years previously, in a verdict which was seen by many as a milestone on the road to the legalization of cannabis. The court referred to a ruling of Germany's constitutional court from last March stating that the authorities could refrain from prosecution in cases of possession or acquisition of small amounts of cannabis products. The constitutional court said it was up to the federal states to issue unified guidelines and set the upper limit above which possession of cannabis would be a criminal offense. But the Luebeck court's decision to set the limit at 4 kg led to a public outcry, with Germany's conservative youth minister Angela Merkel calling it "irresponsible" and "an invitation to drug dealing," and accusing the Luebeck judges of trying to "legalize cannabis through the back door." Newspapers claim there are between 3 and 5 million regular users of hashish in Germany, and a recent survey showed one in five young people had tried the drug in Schleswig-Holstein state. circa 10/26/94 Cops smell something fishy about pot-seed bait EDINBURGH (Reuter) - Police said they were investigating reports a firm set up with government backing sells cannabis seeds and tells customers how to grow their own marijuana. Sunlight Systems, in the port of Leith, sells the seeds as fish bait -- at 40 sterling (US$65) for 10 seeds. "I admit it is extremely expensive fish bait but business is doing very well... about 1.5 million sterling ($2.5 million) a year," says Owner Chris Meliniotis. He says it is all legal, as the seeds lack the active ingredient of the illegal drug. But he told the Edinburgh Evening News he sacked two workers for telling customers how to grow their own marijuana. - - - - APn 11/01/94 Colombia-Legalized Drugs BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- President Ernesto Samper's government Tuesday backed off a promise to hold a national referendum on whether the possession and use of small amounts of drugs should be legal. A ruling by the Constitutional Court last May legalized posession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, hashish and cocaine. The sale of drugs remained illegal. The court said prohibiting drug use violated the constitutional right to "free development of personality." Samper was highly critical of the decision and vowed in his campaign last summer to seek a popular referendum on it. But Vice President Humberto de la Calle said on national radio Tuesday that a nationwide referendum won't be held because of the costs and "electoral fatigue" among citizens. Colombians have gone to the polls four times this year, most recently in municipal elections last Sunday. Before leaving office in August, President Cesar Gaviria modified the ruling by outlawing drug use in public places. Operating motor vehicles, aircraft or boats under the influence is also a crime under Gaviria's decree. Gaviria had advocated that a referendum be held to allow Colombians the chance to reverse the unpopular Constitutional Court decision. More than 1 million people signed petitions calling for a referendum, surpassing the 800,000 required if the government had decided to proceed with a popular vote. Despite the ruling, drug use has not noticeably increased in Colombia. circa 11/01/94 Patch cops catch political pothead Springfield police are trying to figure what to make of Thomas Doubet, who was arrested Tuesday for marijuana possession. Police say he was driving the wrong way down a one-way street when they stopped him. Doubet tried to talk his way out of an arrest by claiming he was putting up campaign signs in Springfield for Democratic candidates. Police note there were no signs in the truck, only an illegal aroma. ------ RTw 11/15/94 Scientists advocate marijuana for the ill WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuter) - Without calling for a complete decriminalization of marijuana, a group of scientists called on the federal government on Tuesday to expedite research into the drug's medicinal use for the seriously ill. In a petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, the Federation of American Scientists pointed out that whole cannabis is already in clinical use by patients suffering a variety of illnesses, including AIDS and epilepsy. The federation, in a one-sentence petition, said: "based on much evidence from patients and doctors alike on the superior effectiveness and safety of whole cannabis ... we hereby petition the Executive Branch and the Congress to facilitate and expedite the research necessary to determine whether this substance should be licensed for medical use by seriously ill persons." In releasing the petition, the federation noted that it did not have a policy on whether the law should be changed with regard to non-medical uses of marijuana. It said it simply wanted to ensure that the research necessary to determine whether marijuana should be legally available for extremely ill persons was completed promptly. REUTER UPn 11/15/94 Pot use rises among Mich. youths LANSING, Mich., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Marijuana use is climbing among the state's 8th, 10th and 12th graders to levels well above national averages, according to a Western Michigan University survey released Tuesday. The survey found that 16.4 percent of Michigan 8th graders used marijuana at least once in 1993 and 45 percent of high school seniors said they have tried pot at least once in their lifetime. The survey results were made public as part of "Marijuana Makes You Sick Day," which was proclaimed by Michigan Office of Drug Control Policy Director Robert Peterson. The survey results were designed to compete against a call for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes by members of the United Medical Marijuana Smokers of America. Peterson said evidence shows marijuana damages lungs, the heart, kidneys, brain and the immune systems. He said the drug hurts youths especially by interfering with the pituitary gland, which regulates growth. Peterson said "no legitimate medical entity" wants to legalize marijuana and that the legalization call "is being perpetuated by the pro-pot advocates hoping to legitimize their habit," he said. In addition to the WMU survey, Peterson released state health department figures showing a 30 percent increase in the number of patients at Detroit-area emergency rooms testing positive for marijuana last year. The WMU survey was conducted by the Kercher Center for Social Research. In the past, data from the survey has not been made public. The survey said pot use declined annually between 1989 and 1992 among 8th, 10th and 12th graders in Michigan. But since then use has increased. The national average for teens who said they used marijuana once in their lifetime is 32.6 percent, according to the latest nationwide study by the University of Michigan, which tracks drug use annually for the federal government. Among the 24,293 8th graders surveyed last year statewide, 19.8 percent said they used pot once in a lifetime, compared to 17 percent the year before and 11.7 percent two years ago. Among the 20,743 10th graders surveyed last year, 36 percent reported using marijuana at least once in a lifetime compared to 31.5 percent the previous year and 26.7 percent two years ago. Among 16,351 12th graders surveyed last year, 45.1 percent said they had used pot in a lifetime compared to 40.9 percent last year and 40.1 percent two years ago. RTf 11/15/94 U.S. scientists advocate medical marijuana use WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuter) - Without calling for a complete decriminalization of marijuana, a group of scientists Tuesday called on the federal government to expedite research into the drug's medicinal use for the seriously ill. In a petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, the Federation of American Scientists pointed out that whole cannabis is already in clinical use by patients suffering a variety of illnesses, including AIDS and epilepsy. The federation noted that it did not have a policy on non-medical uses of marijuana. REUTER APn 11/16/94 White House-Marijuana WASHINGTON (AP) -- A shoulder bag belonging to a volunteer for the Democratic National Committee was found to contain marijuana when searched during a visit by President Clinton to Minnesota earlier this month, authorities confirmed. The worker, identified as Will Dupree of Denver, was helping to stage Clinton's campaign visit to the Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minn., when a federal agent's dog found marijuana in the bag which had been placed near a door of a school building. Dupree told police he knew nothing about the marijuana and authorities declined to pursue the case because the bag was not in the possession of the alleged owner. Police said the amount of marijuana would ordinarily constitute a petty misdemeanor if possession could be proven. White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers on Tuesday denied reports on some conservative radio talk shows that the bag had been aboard Air Force One. She said Dupree was never aboard the president's plane. hjh APn 11/17/94 Netherlands-Hash Taxi OSS, Netherlands (AP) -- Police have arrested a "taxi" driver for taking his customers to the wrong state -- the state of altered consciousness. The driver operated a "hash taxi," the nickname for services that deliver marijuana and hashish to customers at their homes. Although the Netherlands has one of the world's most relaxed drug policies, police decided the service was outside the law. Hundreds of "coffeeshops" in the country are licensed to sell up to 30 grams of marijuana or hashish and the law allows people to cultivate small cannabis crops for their personal use. Police said Thursday that the delivery service was unlicensed and that the proprietor was growing amounts that exceeded the regulations. The 28-year-old man, identified only by the initials R.P., had only been in business two weeks before police got on his trail. RTw 11/18/94 Briton arrested for possible record drug swallow TOKYO, Nov. 18 (Reuter) - Airport police revealed on Friday the arrest of a British man who swallowed an extraordinary 4.4 pounds (two kilograms) of hashish in a bid to smuggle the drug into Japan. "We couldn't believe it," an airport police spokesman said. "We think it is a world record for this sort of thing. It is twice the amount we've seen before. "If you ate a two-kilogram steak in one sitting, you'd know how he felt." The spokesman said the 32-year-old man swallowed a total of 360 wrapped bundles of hashish, which is a marijuana by-product, each cut to the size of a fingertip. "It took two days for him to pass all the packages through his system after we arrested him," the spokesman said. The man swallowed the drugs before boarding a flight in Bangkok to Tokyo's Narita Airport on November one. Police waited until Friday to announce the arrest while they followed the man's drug trail. The drugs had an estimated street value of 16 million yen ($160,000). The spokesman said the man posed as a garment salesman but customs officers became suspicious of him as soon as he entered the arrival hall. "He was sweating profusely and rushing to the lavatory in a way that made him conspicuous," the spokesman said. An X-ray of his abdomen revealed the packages but two days later police were stunned by the number of them. Police have reported 16 such cases at Narita airport so far this year. REUTER dpa 11/18/94 Gesundheitsminister: Weiche Drogen neu bewerten - Modelle pruefen Hamburg (dpa) - Die Gesundheitsminister und -senatoren der Laender halten eine realititaesgerechte Neubewertung weicher Drogen wie Haschisch und Marihuna fuer erforderlich. Auch sollen Modelle wie Coffee-Shops und andere Formen kontrollierter Cannabis-Abgaben geprueft werden, "die zu einer Trennung der Maerkte weicher und harter Drogen fuehren koennen". Eine entsprechende Resolution verabschiedete die Konferenz auf Initiative von Schleswig-Holsteins Gesundheitsministerin Heide Moser (SPD) bei einer zweitaegigen Konferenz in Hamburg, die am Freitag zuende ging. Moser war nach ihrem Vorstoss zum lizensierten Verkauf von Haschisch in sogenannten Coffee-Shops nach niederlaendischem Vorbild Ende Oktober zum Teil heftig attackiert worden. Bei der Gesundheitsministerkonferenz wandte sich jetzt nur noch Bayern gegen die Vorschlaege der Kieler Ministerin. Eine einheitliche Linie wollen auch die Justizminister am 22./23. November bei ihrer Konferenz in Hamburg suchen. Mit ihrem Vorgehen wollen die Gesundheitminister dazu beitragen, dass Haschisch-Konsumenten beim Kauf von Cannabis nicht laenger mit Dealern in Kontakt kommen, "die ein Interesse daran haben, harte Drogen zu verkaufen". Das zunehmende gesundheitliche und soziale Elend drogenkranker Menschen koenne nicht in erster Linie mit Mitteln der Strafverfolgung geloest werden. Daher muessten neue gesundheitspolitische Konzepte erarbeitet werden. Eine Abfuhr erteilte die Gesundheitsminister-Konferenz der vom Bundesgesundheitsministerium geplanten Kuerzung der Mittel fuer die Aids-Praevention, fuer die 1985 nur noch 18 Millionen Mark und 1996 nur noch elf Millionen Mark zur Verfuegung stehen sollen. Eine solche Streichung berge grosse gesundheitspolitische Gefahren. Das Bonner Ministerium wird daher aufgefordert, langfristig dafuer zu sorgen, dass zur Fortfuehrung der Aids-Praevention auch kuenftig ein Mindest-Betrag von 20 Millionen Mark jaehrlich bereitgestellt werde. dpa mk mm RTw 11/18/94 Thai police net drug pushers, tourist from Full Moon party BANGKOK, Nov 18 (Reuter) - Police arrested six Thais and a German tourist for drug offences early on Friday during a raid on a wild Full Moon party on Thailand's southern island of Phangan, police said. Forty police, including narcotics officers, raided the party, staged every month on Phangan, about 500 km (312 miles) south of Bangkok, and a regular stop for backpackers visiting Southeast Asia. Despite reports of an impending crackdown on the event, police said they found the party in full swing with about 3,000 young Western tourists taking part. Bar owners on the island say 90 percent of revellers come to enjoy various drugs, ranging from marijuana, LSD, amphetamines and "magic" mushrooms, a type of mushroom that produces hallucinogenic sensations. Police searched and arrested the six Thais on suspicion of drug trafficking and the German tourist for alleged possession of marijuana. Police did not identify the German. "The Thai suspects will be charged with trafficking narcotic drugs while a German tourist will be charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana," police on the island told Reuters. Police said they had seized marijuana, hallucinogenic drugs and amphetamine from the Thai suspects. "We used to arrest the drug users, but from now on we are focussing on the drug pushers," said police Colonel Soraphol Payungnoi. Police launched the raid after receiving complaints from local hospitals about the numbers of tourists who had to be treated after taking drugs at the Full Moon party. REUTER RTw 11/19/94 Dutch MPs like a drink, one in four has tried pot ROTTERDAM, Nov 19 (Reuter) - Nine percent of Dutch members of parliament are heavy drinkers and more than a quarter have used marijuana, Rottterdam University researchers said on Saturday. A report by the university's Addiction Research Institute said 93 percent of Dutch legislators drink alcohol, with most expressing a strong preference for wine. Seven percent could be classed as "excessive drinkers" and two percent as "very excessive drinkers," it said. More than one in four members of parliament had used marijuana at least once, but most had not done so recently. The report, commissioned by Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, was based on a questionnaire sent to all 150 members of the lower chamber of parliament and completed by 86 members. The researchers concluded that Dutch legislators' consumption of alcohol and marijuana was broadly in line with that of the Dutch population as a whole. REUTER AAP 11/20/94 ONE IN THREE AUSTRALIANS SAY LEGALISE MARIJUANA SYDNEY, Nov 20 AAP - One in three Australians believes marijuana use should be legalised, according to a Morgan poll. Published in this week's Time magazine, the poll found that while 56 per cent (down two points since 1993) opposed any change in the law, 35 per cent of respondents (up two points) supported the drug's legalisation. Men and people aged between 18 and 34 were more likely to support legalisation than women and those aged 14 to 17 and aged over 35. The poll's findings were based on interviews with just over 36,500 people aged 14 and over between October 1993 and September 1994. AAP psm/kh RTna 11/21/94 Highway Patrolman arrested for drug smuggling PHOENIX, Ariz. (Reuter) - An Arizona Highway Patrol officer was arrested by his colleagues Monday along with seven others, including his wife, on suspicion of taking part in a major marijuana smuggling operation, authorities said. Arizona Department of Public Service director Rick Ayers said officer Ron Singleton, 39, and his wife, Brenda, 34, were arrested north of Phoenix while driving a rented luxury car carrying 173 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $300,000. Both were charged with possession of marijuana, transportation of marijuana for sale, and conspiracy, Ayers said. Six other alleged members of the smuggling ring were arrested in their homes. Ayers described Singleton, who had been with the Highway Patrol for seven years, as the drug ring's "mule" who had allegedly delivered thousands of pounds of marijuana to midwestern states including Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma. He said Singleton would rent cars in Phoenix and use them to ferry marijuana to their midwest destinations, returning home by commercial airlines. Ayers said Singleton, who earned $40,000 a year as a patrol officer, received "significant" compensation for his work as a "mule". He said Singleton first came under suspicion in August when investigators discovered the patrolman was maintaining close contact with a man believed to be a member of a large-scale smuggling operation based in Phoenix. "Five days ago DPS investigators established a 24-hour surveillance on Singleton and the organization," Ayers said. On Sunday, he added, Singleton rented a Lincoln Town Car in Phoenix and was followed to a known "stash house" in Tucson, where he allegedly picked up 173 pounds of marijuana and then returned to his home in Phoenix. Ayers said that in the early hours of Monday morning Singleton and his wife left their home and drove north on I-17 to make a delivery in the midwest and were stopped. RTw 11/23/94 Hemp as a Kentucky crop under study FRANKFORT, KY, Nov 23 (Reuter) - Kentucky's governor Wednesday formed a task force to study whether hemp would be a viable crop for a state where tobacco has long been king. Hemp, formally known as Cannabis sativa, yields a fiber that is used to make cordage. The narcotic hashish is also derived from this tall Asian plant. "Everyone knows that the Kentucky economy is heavily dependent upon agriculture," Gov. Brereton Jones said in a press release. "If there are crops which can be grown legally for a profit in Kentucky which we are currently not growing, then we as public officials have a duty to examine these crops and provide answers for the farmers of Kentucky," he said. The task force, mostly representatives of the agricultural community, is to gather information about the feasibility of hemp growing. Jones said he hoped to have an initial report within six months. The task force, however, will not hinder marijuana-eradication efforts in Kentucky. "I am unalterably opposed to the legalisation of marijuana," he said. Hemp was grown widely in North America during colonial times and used for twine, cloth, rope and paper. During World War II, Kentucky became a major producer of hemp as part of the war effort. It is grown commercially in Europe and Asia largely for use as pulp for paper mills. RTna 11/24/94 High times at Amsterdam dope ``harvest festival'' By Sara Henley AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuter) - Several hundred Americans Thursday launched an unconventional Thanksgiving festival in this so-called "drug capital of Europe" to celebrate the marijuana harvest and select the top home-grown variety. The five-day "High Times Cannabis Cup," organized by New York-based pot-smokers' magazine High Times, is also a platform for activists trumpeting the non-intoxicating practical uses of cannabis hemp, the fibrous plant from which marijuana is derived. "It's the most non-toxic thing on God's planet -- and it's illegal in the USA," said Jack Herer, Los Angeles-based author of a 1970s underground book on the prohibition of hemp, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." The festival is technically the magazine's seventh cannabis competition, but it only opened to the public last year when about 50 "gourmet" American smokers met. "The purpose of this festival is to establish an international standard for the quality of cannabis seed and to celebrate the many wonderful uses of this plant, cannabis," said Steven Hagar, High Times editor. This weekend organizers expect up to 800 people, mainly from the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany and France. Official judges' passes give access to Saturday's "council," or judging ceremony. "The council begins with silent meditation and a pipe ceremony," proclaimed a white board in the registration hall. "Priority is given to those with offerings, who may speak for as long as they keep the council pipe filled." There were no police near the Cup's packed registration hall, where would-be judges formed a line up two pungent flights of smoke-filled stairs to register. U.S. authorities punish marijuana smoking severely. While drug use is illegal in the Netherlands, personal consumption is tolerated and marijuana freely sold in "coffee shops." Besides selecting the most potent pot grown in the Netherlands, the festival includes an exhibition of the uses of hemp as fabric, fiber, soap, lubricating oil, medicine, paper, biodegradable plastic, pesticide and food. "If you eat hemp seed morning, noon and night as part of your diet you dissolve all the plaque, or cholesterol in the arteries," claimed the bearded Herer, who believes he cured his son's asthma by blowing marijuana smoke in his face. The festival also features a fashion show of hemp fabric designs, from blue jeans to Victorian-style underwear. Seminars will discuss "Tasty Hemp Food" and tackle a debate about biological versus technological methods of growing hemp. A bus tour of coffee shops will take "official judges" to sample their wares and help them reach the tough decision about which is this year's best. "You just smoke as much as you like and get on the bus," said a visitor from Illinois. But this made Alan Dronkers, Director of the Sensi Seed Bank and winner of last year's contest, apprehensive. "If you smoke the Indica first you get so stoned you can't appreciate the Sativa," he said. "Sativa is famous for its much lighter high, it's sweeter ... it's very pleasurable." APn 11/28/94 Speaker Gingrich By JILL LAWRENCE AP Political Writer MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) -- The threat of a wedding without relatives and banishment from the family home might have discouraged most 18-year-olds from marrying their high school math teacher. Not Newt Gingrich. Gingrich's life is dense and textured, a series of family and political dramas riddled with conflicts and reconciliations. He got a deferment and didn't go to Vietnam. He demonstrated against censorship. He worked for moderate Republican Nelson Rockefeller's 1968 presidential campaign. That same year he used marijuana once "at a party late at night in New Orleans. It didn't have any effect on me ... so I never went back and revisited it." RTna 11/28/94 High Court to decide school drug tests of athletes By James Vicini WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The Supreme Court said Monday it would decide the constitutionality of mandatory random drug tests for athletes in public high schools and middle schools. The justices agreed to review an Oregon case after a U.S. appeals court declared the drug tests violate the constitutional rights of students to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of evidence. The Supreme Court in a string of rulings dating back to the late 1980s has upheld drug tests for workers in certain government and private jobs, but has yet to address whether students can be subjected to urinalysis tests. The San Francisco-based appeals court struck down the drug testing program that had been adopted in 1989 by the school district in Vernonia, Ore., a small logging community. "Children, students, do not have to surrender their right to privacy in order to secure their right to participate in athletics," the appeals court said in its ruling in May. The school district then appealed to the Supreme Court to uphold the drug tests. The justices will hear arguments in the case early next year, with a decision due by June. The school district said it adopted the drug tests, which are required each year, to protect athletes from physical injury and to stem "an epidemic of drug use and disciplinary problems." The tests were for amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine and LSD. Penalties ranged from participation in drug treatment programs to suspension from athletics. Parents were notified when a student tested positive, but the results were not disclosed to criminal authorities and could not be used for school disciplinary proceedings such as suspension or expulsion from school. The drug tests were challenged in court by the parents of James Acton, a 12-year-old student. A federal judge upheld the drug tests, but the appeals court said they violated the constitutions of the U.S. and the state. The school district said the ruling conflicted with an earlier decision by a federal appeals court based in Illinois that allowed such drug tests for athletes. "The deterrence provided by random drug testing may be the only effective way to deal with a drug use epidemic among school children," the school district's attorneys said in the appeal. "It is obvious that education cannot occur in an environment poisoned by a significant number of children abusing drugs. It is equally obvious that school officials cannot preserve the safety of students playing sports under the influence of drugs," they said. Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which represented the student, argued that drug tests cannot be required without some suspicion of wrongdoing. They noted that only two high school students during 3 1/2 years tested positive for drug use and added, "Drug use is waning without drug testing." REUTER UPsw 11/28/94 Court to review Ark. door knockdown WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court agreed Monday to review how long police must wait after announcing their presence before knocking down a door or entering to serve a search warrant. The case comes out of Hot Springs County, Ark., where a woman was convicted of drug charges in 1993. Four officers executed a search warrant at Sharlene Wilson's home on New Year's Eve 1992. One of the officers testified that there was no announcement, that the raiding party simply walked in, according to Wilson's petition to the Supreme Court. Another testified that police announced their intention to search the house as they walked in, not before, the petition said. The petition filed by Walker said those inside the house "were given no opportunity to surrender their privacy to the officers." Wilson was convicted of delivery of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both felonies, and possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. She was acquitted of an methamphetamine charge which was based solely on the testimony of an informant. Nevertheless, she was sentenced by a jury to a total of 31 years in prison and fined $11,000 on the felonies, and one year in jail for the misdemeanor. Her appeal to the Supreme Court, however, concerns only the search of her house "without prior announcement," according to her petition, and any reversal by the justices would only affect the one-year sentence. The felony convictions were based on informant testimony, rather than on evidence found in the house. Arkansas courts upheld her convictions, and the woman asked the Supreme Court for help. A reasonable delay between knocking and entering has its basis in common law. The earliest ruling about police knockdowns in British common law, and subsequently U.S. tradition, occurs in a 1603 case in England. In that seminal ruling, "Semayne's Case," court judges held that before an officer could forcibly enter a home to make an arrest, "he ought to signify the cause of his coming, and to make request to open the doors." The Supreme Court "has never directly held that the 'knock and announce' rule is a part of the Fourth Amendment (which forbids unreasonable searches), and it is time to do so," according to Wilson's petition. (Written by Michael Kirkland in Washington; No. 94-5707, Wilson vs. Arkansas) AAP 11/30/94 DOPE SMOKING OK FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES ONLY CANBERRA, Nov 30 AAP - Marijuana smoking is now legal in the Australian Capital Territory - as long as smokers have the permission of their doctor before inhaling. The ACT's Legislative Assembly today passed legislation allowing people to grow up to five marijuana plants or possess up to 25 grams of marijuana for medicinal purposes under certain conditions. The legislation passed despite the opposition of the minority Labor government and the police who complained that it would create problems for law enforcement in the territory. Under the new law, proposed by Independent MLA Michael Moore, GPs can prescribe marijuana for individual patients if they consider there is a clinical need. The doctor must keep research notes and make a case report. Carers of people who were prescribed the drug would also be exempt from prosecution provided the limit was not exceeded. Mr Moore said the move was good news for people who relied on cannabis to arrest blindness caused by glaucoma, nausea from chemotherapy, muscle spasm from muscular disorders and the symptoms of AIDS. "Even in the United States of America, medicinal use of cannabis has been recognised and those requiring it have been given exemptions to allow for its use," Mr Moore said. "There are people actually going blind with glaucoma while waiting for this treatment to be made legally available. "The only option available to them at present is to obtain medication while breaking the law." ACT Health Minister and Attorney-General Terry Connolly described the new laws as a radical drug experiment. The eight government MLAs voted against the legislation, which was supported by the six Liberal, two independent and one Abolish Self-Government MLAs. Mr Connolly said the government was gravely concerned at what the changes would mean. "With no consultation with either the medical profession or the police, the Liberals and Independents have now made it legal for a doctor to prescribe cannabis for treatment of anything from cancer to the common cold, provided the doctor keeps research notes," he said. "Today's extraordinary political events involving Australia's most radical drug experiment, with no consultation, is a dangerous and ill-considered move." Australian Federal Police chief officer in the ACT, Peter Dawson also criticised the move, saying it created an anomaly for police. "Persons certified in writing will not be able to be proceeded against for offences of possessing or cultivating small quantities of cannabis but will be subject to the law for using cannabis," he said. The legislation requires a certificate for therapeutic cannabis use to be issued by a medical practitioner, who must be engaged in research. But to qualify a doctor only needs to keep a case report of a single patient. Mr Moore is convenor of the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform, an association of present and former members of various parliaments, and other eminent Australians, whose aim is to change drug laws around the country. The ACT has already decriminalised cannabis use so that people caught with small amounts of marijuana for personal use face on the spot fines rather than criminal charges. AAP tv/kjp/jnb/de RTna 11/30/94 Drug scandal rocks Lebanon By Andrew Tarnowski BEIRUT, Lebanon (Reuter) - Lebanon is facing the biggest drug scandal of its history after explosive allegations by a parliamentary deputy that linked the president's son and other prominent figures to drug dealing. President Elias Hrawi's son Roy denied the allegations and threatened to sue the deputy. Beirut newspapers called the charges "a bombshell" and a "political earthquake." Lebanon's prosecutor-general said he would investigate. Deputy Yahya Shamas, from the eastern Bekaa Valley which has long been notorious for marijuana and opium cultivation, made the charges Nov. 24 in a desperate bid to save himself from prosecution for drug dealing. What also petrified parliament was Shamas's claim he was being targeted after a wrangle, apparently over a real estate deal, with Syria's top army intelligence officer in Lebanon. Criticism of Syria, which with 35,000 troops in Lebanon is the main power broker, is unheard of in official circles. "Suddenly, it was as if an icy breeze had blown through the house," Beirut's French-language daily L'Orient-Le Jour said of the reaction to Shamas's reference to Syria. By alleging links between drugs and Lebanese politics, Shamas fed the suspicions of many Lebanese about an issue that no one has previously dared to air. Drug crops were big business in the Bekaa during the 1975-90 civil war. Sectarian militias financed arms purchases through multimillion-dollar drug deals, and drug money helped save Lebanon's economy from collapse during the war. Authorities have since cracked down on the drug crops with the help of Syrian troops based in the Bekaa, but Shamas charged that drug dealing was still rampant. On Nov. 24, Shamas became the first Lebanese deputy to have his immunity lifted in a drug case. He was arrested the next day. The Shiite Muslim deputy had threatened "stunning" revelations if the vote went ahead and at the parliament session he unleashed accusations that one minute froze fellow deputies in their seats and the next had them shouting for names. In addition to Roy Hrawi, Shamas made allegations against an unnamed deputy, the son of another, the chauffeur of an unnamed minister, a well-known businessman, an unnamed French Embassy security officer, and 10 pilots of Lebanon's Middle East Airlines. "Give us the names," deputies howled. Shamas refused but said he expected to be killed when he left parliament. He later appealed to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to protect him and his family. In other cases, Shamas told parliament that of 22 people once arrested over a consignment of 30 tons of hashish, all but a 16-year-old boy were subsequently released. "Everything began with my conflict with Brigadier Ghazi Kanaan," Shamas told the 128-member house. Kanaan is Syria's top army intelligence officer in Lebanon. Shamas said he tried to settle a real estate dispute in the courts. Then he rang Prosecutor-General Munif Oueidat, who he said told him: "You must settle your problem with Ghazi Kanaan." Oueidat denied ever having spoken to Shamas. Shamas said authorities subsequently started a campaign against drug dealers in the Bekaa, and arrests of his men began. He charged that drug cases were regularly hushed up. He said a customs official investigating "a container stuffed with cocaine" narrowly escaped "assassination." "My men were accused of being behind the attempt, but it appeared the container belonged to the son of the president, Roy Hrawi," Shamas alleged. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri -- a civil war Shiite militia leader -- promised a parliamentary inquiry and said he would discuss the allegations with Oueidat. On Monday, Oueidat opened his own investigation. Most newspapers agreed that, as one put it, Shamas had "opened a file which the authorities will find very hard to close." Another said that if all the charges were investigated, it might lead to early dissolution of parliament and elections. Shamas faces up to seven years in jail if convicted of drug dealing. REUTER APn 11/30/94 Australia-Marijuana CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- The capital territory today became the first region of Australia to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, such as relieving glaucoma and nausea from chemotherapy. The Australian Capital Territory -- the region around Canberra -- has already decriminalized personal marijuana use so that people caught with small amounts face fines rather than criminal charges. The new legislation would allow those prescribed marijuana to grow up to five plants or possess up to about one ounce without penalty. Caregivers for people with the prescriptions would also be exempt from prosecution provided the limit was not exceeded.
Compiled by Paul Stanford