Hemp News 37
Submitted by restore on Wed, 12/13/1995 - 21:53
Hemp News No. 37
Compiled byPaul Stanford
APn 09/01/95 Grandmother's Marijuana SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A 72-year-old woman with flowers on her porch could lose her home because of forbidden plants in the basement. Law enforcement officials say one of Florence Hart's grandchildren grew the marijuana, but she knew about it and looked the other way. They want to seize her $50,000 home as a drug-related asset and sell it at auction, with proceeds given to drug-enforcement agencies. "I guess it's time for me to move," the silver-haired woman said, glancing around her cluttered living room. "I don't know what to get rid of and what to keep." Then she added, "Where am I going to live?" Hart has no criminal record and was not arrested when a regional drug task force raided the home April 13. Agents found 126 plants -- mostly behind a makeshift curtain and locked door -- a scale, special lights and packaging materials. Investigators believe the operation netted $150,000 to $200,000 over more than two years it had been running. One grandson, 25-year Michael Sears, took responsibility for the pot. He has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and is awaiting sentencing. His brother, Aaron Sears, 24, was arrested but was not charged. Relatives say Hart was an unwitting accomplice, blinded by love for her grandchildren. "She didn't know what was going on. Her basement is always full of people's junk," said her son, Wes Hart, of Glendale, Ariz. But investigators said the basement also contained a washing machine and a bucket of dried marijuana on a shelf next to Hart's home-canned jams. They also note that Hart twice bailed out Aaron Sears following arrests for marijuana cultivation. "The owner is responsible for the acts that occur in their residence, and the law will hold them accountable," county prosecutor Jim Sweetser said. Hart, a divorcee with cataracts and poor hearing, cans her own jam, combs garage sales for blue glassware and keeps flower boxes on her porch. The walls of her home are lined with knickknacks, framed photographs and painted china plates. She paid off the mortgage on her home of 33 years at $60 per month. Three dogs keep her company. The house represents her life savings. Since retiring as a laundry worker, she has lived on monthly Social Security income of $430. The forfeiture is being pursued jointly by the state and Spokane County. To win, authorities need only prove that Hart more likely than not knew about the plants. A Superior Court judge takes up that question at a hearing Oct. 16. Hart's lawyer, John Rodgers, said he would try to negotiate a settlement that avoids forfeiture of the house. "It's not right in this case," he said. "It's a new law and it's being brought to bear against a person who wasn't responsible for the drug war." UPne 09/06/95 Government blocks marijuana study By KAREN KLINGER UPI Science Writer BOSTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Researchers in San Francisco said Wednesday the government is frustrating their attempts to test whether smokeable marijuana can be an effective treatment for weight loss among AIDS patients. Dr. Donald Abrams and colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco called "offensive" the decisions by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, and the Drug Enforcement Administration to reject a proposed trial. In a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine, the investigators said the agencies opposed the plan even though it had the support of the Food and Drug Administration and a university review board. "This is a case of science being held hostage to politics," Abrams said in an interview. But NIDA director Dr. Alan Leshner said the proposal was turned down because the agency's experts felt the study would have included too few patients and too little scientific oversight. "We're saying, 'You come up with a good study and we'll provide the resources,'" he said. "We haven't closed the door on this. We're concerned about AIDS patients." Abrams said the San Francisco Community Consortium, a group of health providers for AIDS patients, wants to conduct a privately-financed study of marijuana as an appetite stimulant involving about 40 people with severe weight loss. He said that that while oral marijuana capsules are available by prescription, many patients say they can control the dosage better, and feel better, with the smokeable form of the drug. NIDA controls the domestic supply of marijuana for use in clinical research. Abrams said the agency turned down his request to obtain a smokeable form of the drug from a firm in the Netherlands that cultivates it for research purposes. Acknowledging that Abrams had written him a "very angry letter," Leshner said "we supply smokeable marijuana all the time for research on subjects such as its effect on the brain. So we would accept a proposal we felt was scientifically justifiable." Abrams said he may submit another study plan to NIDA. He said he also has asked the California attorney general's office for permission to use marijuana seized by the state in drug raids. He said up to 2,000 people infected with the AIDS virus in the San Francisco Bay Area currently are thought to be buying smokeable marijuana illegally through a buyer's club. AAP 09/06/95 HEMP HECKLERS GREET OFFICIAL OPENING OF PARLIAMENT The Australian Associated Press By Sam Strutt of AAP BRISBANE, Sept 5 AAP - Pro-marijuana protesters chanted outside the gates of Parliament House today as Queensland's 48th parliament was officially opened inside with the usual pomp and pageantry. Inside, a sea of fancy hats, brightly-coloured frocks and dark, sombre suits packed the old upper house chamber. As she entered the house, Governor Leneen Forde received the official salute from two rows of police and army officers, their shoes as brightly polished as their buttons. She was also greeted by about 30 rowdy HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition) protesters, calling on the government to legalise the drug. After being granted entrance to the Chamber by the Speaker, amid a blast of brass from the army band, she delivered a lengthy speech congratulating the ALP on its victory and revisiting many of Wayne Goss's election promises. About 400 MPs, old and new, their families, friends and other assorted dignitaries packed the old chamber and its gallery. One familiar face in the crowd was former premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson, who held court with the media shortly before the ceremony began. Flanked by Lady Flo, Sir Joh sent a warning to Premier Goss to keep a tight reign on factional brawling within the Labor Party. "You can't build a secure house on a cracked foundation," he said. "Goss's days are numbered." Asked how it felt to visit the house in a non-official capacity, he said: "I spent a lot of time here. Yes, it does bring back quite a few memories. Interesting ones, a lot of exciting times, hard work, long hours and so on. But I enjoyed it." After the official proceedings, the crowd moved to the lawn for the traditional garden tea party. Mr Goss and his parliamentary colleagues, including controversial Speaker Jim Fouras, took the time to sip some tea and nibble cake. Leader of the House Terry Mackenroth told Labor members they were not allowed above the seventh floor of the 24-storey parliamentary annexe, to avoid any embarrassing defeats on the floor of the house, where the party has a majority of one. AAP sls/shb UPwe 09/07/95 Senate backs medical marijuana SACRAMENTO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Terminally ill patients would be allowed to use marijuana to relieve their pain and treatment side effects under a proposal approved Thursday by the state Senate. The bill by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, would give patients with AIDS, glaucoma, cancer and multiple sclerosis permission to use the illegal drug to combat the ill-effects of their medical treatments. A similar bill was vetoed last year by Gov. Pete Wilson, who is now seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Marijuana contains a chemical known as THC that can combat nausea caused by AIDS and cancer treatments, alleviate eye pressure in glaucoma patients and reduce chronic pain among MS sufferers. While THC can be prescribed by a doctor, supporters of the bill said many physicians find the pill form either too strong or ineffective and prefer to have their patients smoke marijuana. Support for the measure came from a broad list of groups, including the Gray Panthers of San Francisco, American Civil Liberties Union, LIFE AIDS Lobby, California Nurses Association and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. During the debate, Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, said support for the bill was a way for the state to help terminally ill patients relieve their suffering. "A (yes) vote on this bill is a vote of compassion," Thompson said. Critics questioned the medical basis for the measure and characterized the provisions as a de facto drug legalization bill that would send the wrong message to children. Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Temecula, said marijuana could damage the immune system of AIDS and cancer patients and cause more harm than good. "I believe that this sets very, very bad policy," said Haynes. "It's use medically is highly, highly questionable and the damage that it causes is really significant." The measure was approved on a vote of 22-14 with several Republicans -- including former Senate minority leader Ken Maddy, R-Fresno, and Sen. Tom Campbell of Palo Alto, joining most Democrats in support. It now heads back to the Assembly for final approval of Senate amendments before going to the governor. RTna 09/10/95 Dutch to review their controversial drug policy By Alister Bull AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuter) - After a 20-year experiment which has enraged neighboring countries and turned Amsterdam into a mecca for European youth, the Netherlands is about to tighten the world's most liberal drug policy. Marijuana is openly sold and consumed in thousands of so-called coffee shops across the country and even possession of a hard drug like heroin is tolerated by the authorities. But this week the government will present proposals for change against a background of mounting public concern that a soft line on drugs has allowed organized crime to flourish. European Union partners are demanding a tough stance. France has threatened to block the Schengen agreement on open borders, claiming the flow of drugs from the Netherlands is unstoppable. At home, opponents want the experiment abandoned and the coffee shops closed while even its advocates admit the system is open to abuse. Some had hoped the cabinet -- a coalition of three parties from the right and left -- would relax the rules further, but this is now thought unlikely because it would unleash a storm of international criticism. Instead, the government is expected to clamp down on the number of coffee shops and close those they even vaguely suspect of links with organized crime. But it will continue to treat addicts as people who need help rather than as criminals and will also maintain distinct policies on hard and soft drugs. In short, residents and tourists alike will still be able to smoke a joint with impunity. "There are more problems with the coffee shops than there should be. But the basic idea that soft drugs should be allowed in a non-criminal environment is still widely supported," said criminologist Ed Leuw who works with the Dutch Justice Ministry. Dutch drug policy has long been the most relaxed in Europe, but the rash of coffee shops -- blasting reggae music and filled with choked with queasy-looking youths -- is a fairly recent phenomenen. First appearing in the late 1970s, numbers spiralled in the early 1990s and now Amsterdam, a city of 700,000, has a coffee shop for every one thousand inhabitants. Many advertise their wares with a cannabis leaf sign which also helps to prevent confused tourists unwittingly eating hash-laced "space cake" with their cup of cappuccino. But the coffee shops have suffered in a public backlash against the influx of foreign drug addicts, who scour Dutch cities to buy cheap heroin and cocaine. "I wish we could have closed the coffee shops on Jan. 1, 1969," said Wim van der Camp, a member of parliament and spokesman on drugs for the right of center Christian Democrat party which strongly opposes a further relaxation in the law. Unable to turn back the clock, he admits they have their benefits. "Now the coffee shops are an accepted part of Dutch society. They give you some control -- some checks and balances. We don't want to recriminalize soft drugs." The government proposals to be presented to parliament this month are expected to recommend the country experiment with providing free heroin to chronic addicts. Cannabis growers will also be allowed to rear a small number of plants for their own use or for sale to local coffee shops. Lovers of home-grown Dutch grass -- known as Nederweed or "skunk" on the streets -- claim this will help keep organized crime out of the soft drugs business. Mario Lap, a director at the International Foundation on Drug Policy and Human Rights, said Nederweed had exploded in popularity in the last three years, driving out varieties imported from Latin America and North Africa by criminals. "In the last four years Dutch-grown grass has been one of the most successful import-substitution stories in economic history," said Lap. But the problems of defining a small producer and the danger that home-grown grass will find its way onto the export market could yet thwart liberalization in this area. Van der Camp said his party would oppose relaxing the rules on growing cannabis and said the Netherlands must be sensitive to the concerns of its neighbors. "France and Germany have got a point. As a member of the European Union the Dutch must adapt," he said. REUTER 09/11/95 Secret Service Threatens Couple For Stamping One Dollar Bills September 11, 1995, Woodstock, New York: A couple who habitually brand their one dollar bills with a marijuana leaf and the quote: "I grew hemp," were recently contacted by Woodstock police acting on behalf of the Secret Service. Joy Beckerman and James Horn, owners of the Heaven On Earth Hemp Store, report that the police came to them with Xerox copies of stamped dollar bills and a written warning from the secret service specifying that the practice of defacing United States currency was a federal crime. Although Horn admits that the local officers were laid back about the whole issue, he claims that the notice stated that the U.S. Attorney General would be contacted and charges would be pressed if the couple didn't immediately stop the stamping. While Horn fully admits to stamping many of his dollar bills with the pro-hemp message, he is alarmed that the federal government seems to be targeting him alone. Since Heaven On Earth sells the "I grew hemp" stampers, the couple argues that the government has no way of proving that the bills in question were defaced by them. Horn says that he will continue to both sell stampers and stamp some of his one dollar bills despite the warning. The couple see their action as a way of informing the community of hemp's industrial uses and its historical background as an integral American crop. For more information, please contact either Joy Beckerman or James Horn of Heaven On Earth @ (914) 679-4990. RTna 09/12/95 California lawmakers pass medical marijuana bill SACRAMENTO, Calif (Reuter) - California's state legislature passed a controversial measure Tuesday that would permit people suffering from illnesses such as AIDS and cancer to legally grow and possess marijuana for medicinal use. But the measure faced a certain veto by Gov. Pete Wilson, who takes a strong stance against drugs and who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1996. "We know that the governor will veto it," said Jesus Arredondo, a Wilson spokesman. "The message sent to kids in California is one that we don't need." The state Assembly passed the measure 41-27, the bare majority needed, Tuesday. The state Senate had previously passed the bill 22-14. The bill would exempt from prosecution people who grow or possess marijuana for personal medicinal use. Such medical use would have to be approved in writing by a physician for the treatment of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma or multiple sclerosis. Supporters of the measure say marijuana helps ease the pain of people suffering from these serious illnesses. Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, a Democrat who authored the bill, said he would try to convince Wilson he should sign the measure because of its benefits to seriously ill people. Wilson has vetoed similar moves in the past. REUTER circa 09/14/95 LEGALIZE MARIJUANA, PROMINENT JURIST SAYS Richard Posner, Chicago's chief federal appeals judge and one of the nation's leading legal scholars, says marijuana use should be legalized as a way of reducing crime. Posner, a Reagan administration appointee once described by American Lawyer magazine as "the most brilliant judge in the country," explained his views on marijuana this week in The Times Literary Supplement, a British publication, and in a Wednesday interview. "It is nonsense that we should be devoting so many law enforcement resources to marijuana," Posner said. "I am skeptical that a society that is so tolerant of alcohol and cigarettes should come down so hard on marijuana use and send people to prison for life without parole." Posner, chief judge of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is the highest-ranking judge to publicly favor the repeal of marijuana laws. Several judges of the federal district court, a level lower than the appeals court, have made similar calls, including Robert Sweet of New York and James Paine of Florida, both Carter administration appointees. New York University law professor Burt Neuborne said it's significant that "one of the leading intellectuals in the judicial system recognizes that the laws don't seem to be working well." Richard Cowan of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said, "His remarks will help move the debate along. Judges are well-situated to see the damage done to the public and to the justice system by these laws." Cowan says more than 400,000 marijuana arrests are made annually, costing the nation billions of dollars in police and court time and prison space. But conservatives said they were disappointed by the position taken by Posner, who has occasionally turned up on Republican lists of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees. "If we declared murder legal, the crime rate would go down," said Thomas Jipping of the conservative Free Congress Foundation. "The fact that a simplistic notion comes from someone like Posner does not make it profound." Posner and other federal judges have complained that sentencing guidelines force them to give unjustly severe prison sentences to relatively minor drug offenders. "Prison terms in America have become appallingly long, especially for conduct that, arguably, should not be criminal at all," Posner said. Making marijuana legal, Posner said, might take the profit out of sales of illegal drugs and would not necessarily increase drug addiction. "Only decriminalization is a sure route to a lower crime rate," Posner said. "It is sad that it appears so far below the horizon of political feasibility." 09/14/95 Distinguished Chicago Judge Advocates Marijuana Legalization September 14, 1995, Chicago, IL: Richard Posner, Chicago's chief federal appeals judge and one of America's most prominent legal scholars, recommends that marijuana use should be legalized as a way of reducing crime and unclogging the courts. Posner, a Reagan administration appointee once heralded by American Lawyer magazine as "the most brilliant judge in the country," is the highest ranking judge to ever publicly advocate the repeal of marijuana laws. His endorsement of marijuana reform was the focus of a feature article in both USA Today and The Times Literary Supplement, a British publication. In the USA Today article, Posner stated that: "It is nonsense that we should be devoting so many law enforcement resources to marijuana. I am skeptical that a society that is so tolerant of alcohol and cigarettes should come down so hard on marijuana use and send people to prison for life without parole." NORML's Senior Policy Advisor, Richard Cowan, was also quoted in the story. USA Today also ran an editorial endorsing the use of marijuana as a medicine last month. RTw 09/15/95 Dutch signal tougher line on hard drugs THE HAGUE, Sept 15 (Reuter) - The Netherlands, which tolerates the use of soft drugs like cannabis, on Friday signalled a tougher approach to hard drugs. Acknowledging that drug-related offences and links with organised crime are on the increase, the government said it planned to build more jail cells and step up existing mandatory drug rehabilitation programmes. But it made clear it will continue to tolerate its famous coffee shops, where marijuana and cannabis are sold openly, and the growing of home-grown cannabis. The proposals will moderate a 20-year social experiment that involved tolerating soft drugs and viewing hard-drug users as people needing help rather than as criminals. It turned Amsterdam into a mecca for Europe's drug-seeking youth while critics said it allowed organised crime to flourish. It angered neighbouring countries and France threatened to block the Schengen agreement on open borders because of the flow of drugs from the Netherlands. "The cabinet rejects legalisation of soft and hard drugs," the Dutch government said in a review of its drugs policy. "Tracking and prosecuting drug traffickers, particularly those with cross-border operations, will continue to be given top priority by the Dutch police and the judiciary," it said. It signalled a tougher stand against so-called drug tourists who flock in to buy cheap, readily available heroin and cocaine. The cabinet insisted, however, that it would continue to treat addicts as people who need help rather than as criminals and will also maintain distinct policies on hard and soft drugs. The proposals recommend providing free heroin to chronic addicts under a trial scheme to be launched in Rotterdam. Justice Minister Winnie Sorgdrager told Dutch television: "None of us advocates the use of drugs, nor tobacco or alcohol, but we know that they are used." "Bona fide coffee shops have proved their worth," the government said, but it added that the amount of cannabis these shops would be allowed to sell for personal use would be cut to five grammes per transaction from 30 grammes. "Provided the strictest conditions are met, the police and judiciary will not take active action against the small-scale growing of Dutch-grown cannabis," the government said. Lovers of home-grown Dutch grass -- known as Nederweed or "skunk" on the streets -- have claimed this will help keep organised crime out of the soft drugs business. "We have 675,000 regular soft drug users in The Netherlands, but even so there are only 25,000 hard drugs addicts," Health Minister Els Borst said. "These figures confirm our view that if one keeps the two markets separate it becomes possible that people use soft drugs, sometimes experimenting with them for years -- and then stop." "Stopping (using soft drugs) is also easier because no physical dependency is created. (Soft drug users) may do this without stepping up to hard drugs," she said. REUTER 09/16/95 DOMESTIC GROWING OF CANNABIS NO LONGER PROSECUTED Prosecution restricted to large scale professional growing The following is an attempt to translate the cover page article in saturday-morning's "Telegraaf" newspaper on the report. (largest dutch newspaper - populistic and conservative). telegraaf saturday september 16 Adult small scale cannabis-growers wont be bothered by the justice department any longer and the prosecution of large scale professional cannabis-growing will be intensified according to the Drug Report presented yesterday by the ministers Sorgdrager (Justice), Borst (Health) and Kohnstamm (Internal Affairs). Minister Sorgdrager did not specify the difference between the so called small and large scale growing as the criteria for this activity are to be specified on a regional and municipal level. The size of tolerated cannabis plantations can therefore differ by municipality. Sorgdrager: "More than half of the cannabis-products consumed in the Netherlands concerns Dutch cannabis or "Nederweed. Apparently this is a good product. It is that good that it is suited for exportation. It is this exportation we want to prevent. When Dutch citizens want to use cannabis it is best that they use Dutch cannabis." Prosecution against the estimated 35.000 "domestic cannabis growers" in the Netherlands can simply not be effectuated in reality and therefore prosecution is restricted to large scale cannabis growers that produce for exportation. The "coffeeshop" branche is regulated somewhat further in order to restrict this market to the "bona fide" cannabis retail points and prevent the influence of organized crime. Control will be intensified and customers are but allowed to buy a maximum of five grams at a time. The coffeeshops are allowed to have a stock of several hundreds of grams. People that are problematically addicted to hard drugs can participate in a heroin maintenance experiment supplying heroin by medical indication. According to minister Sorgdrager "legalization" of hard drugs is not under discussion. "Nobody in this government propogandizes the use of any drugs including alcohol and tobacco but you can simply not ban the use from society. Therefore harm should be reduced as much as possible." Minister admitted that she did not succeed to meet the intense desire of her political party (D'66) to fully remove cannabis from criminal law. "But this new policy is a small step ahead in the right direction". RTna 09/18/95 Dutch chided for bowing to France on drug policy By Alister Bull AMSTERDAM (Reuter) - The Dutch government came under fire Monday accused of pandering to its neighbors in proposing to crack down on drug abuse and moderate a 20-year experiment in tolerance. The drugs policy review, outlined in a document released late Friday, has been translated into five European languages as a precaution against misinterpretation. Observers were in no doubt the Dutch were playing to an international audience. In particular a vociferous campaign by France -- which has threatened to block the Schengen agreement on open borders over Dutch drug tolerance -- was seen to have borne fruit. French authorities welcomed the move. Proposing measures to fight drug tourism, get junkies off the streets and stamp out abuse, the Dutch government has sought to appease its angry neighbors by declaring there was no intention to legalize soft or hard drugs. But it has stressed its commitment to the famous coffee shops -- where cannabis is sold openly -- and smokers will still be able to light up a joint without fear of arrest. The proposals, to be debated in the Dutch parliament, will, however, reduce the number of coffee shops and the amount of cannabis an individual can buy at any one time to 0.17 ounce from a 1.05 ounce. The move is designed to stymie foreigners who flock to The Netherlands in their thousands to buy soft drugs for re-sale at home and was welcomed by the Dutch coffee shop union, which said the vast number of its customers would be unaffected. According to the union, about 90 percent of purchases were for under 0.15 ounce -- enough to roll five or six joints. But, underlining the Dutch policy of clearly distinguishing between hard and soft drugs, the review also advocated raising the tolerance threshold for home-growers of cannabis. Justice Minister Winnie Sorgdrager told reporters that individuals who cultivate marijuana for personal consumption or to sell to local coffee shops would not be hunted by the police. The idea is to gently aid a cottage industry of tiny growers and bar organized crime from the coffee shop scene. The rise of Dutch grass or Nederweed -- "skunk" in street parlance -- has been rapid in recent years as gangs converted huge market garden greenhouses for illegal use and harvested a crop whose highly prized qualities find an eager export market. But the measure was slammed by political opponents, who fear the definition of "small" grower was open to abuse and would give a green light to home-grown exports to France and Germany. REUTER AAP 09/20/95 NSW: HEMP ON TRIAL IN NSW The Australian Associated Press. SYDNEY, Sept 20 AAP - New South Wales would become the fourth Australian state to allow the industrial cultivation of hemp, the state government announced today. The government revealed today it had approved an application by the University of New England (UNE) for a trial planting of industrial grade hemp at a site near Armidale in northern NSW. Agriculture Minister Richard Amery told parliament the hemp would be used as a paper and fibre substitute, but would be worthless for drug users because of low levels of the hallucinogenic ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Mr Amery said trial plantings would begin almost immediately under tight security at the Armidale site. He said preliminary results of the UNE trial would be assessed in February 1996 when the government would consider further applications to grow experimental crops. Mr Amery said an inter-departmental committee was being established to develop guidelines for assessing future applications. These guidelines would be based on the hemp crop being low-yield THC, on research being carried out by bona fide research institutions, and on the provision of site security measures. Mr Amery said industrial fibre hemp contained 0.3 per cent of THC compared with high grade smoking cannabis, which had THC levels of between 3.0 and 10.0 per cent. "There is no way possible that low THC hemp can be used as a drug," Mr Amery told parliament. "It has been estimated that a whole paddock of low THC hemp could be smoked and all you would have is the normal effect of smoking tobacco." Mr Amery said there were numerous agricultural benefits in cultivating industrial grade hemp. It was inexpensive to produce, had a natural resistance to insects and drought and was capable of improving soil quality, he said. In addition, it provided an alternative source of textile and paper production. Democrat and hemp advocate Richard Jones welcomed Mr Amery's announcement, saying the plant could represent a multi-billion dollar crop for Australia. The way was cleared for a fibre hemp industry in NSW by a private members bill from independent MP and Tamworth farmer Tony Windsor last session. The NSW National Party state conference also recently voted to support the trial of a fibre hemp plantation. NSW follows South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria in trialling fibre hemp crops. Mr Amery said industrial hemp, or cannabis sativa, was currently listed as noxious weed, but would immediately be removed from the list and from the schedule of prohibited seeds. AAP jf/srw/dm/de AAP 09/20/95 NSW: LEGAL CENTRE ADVOCATES NSW, THE HAPPY STATE The Australian Associated Press. SYDNEY, Sept 20 AAP - Cafes serving hash brownies, tobacconists selling pouches of marijuana and registered cannabis suppliers in New South Wales are among proposals put forward by the Redfern Legal Centre. A solicitor at the centre, Steve Bolt, said today the time was right for changes to the availability and legality of cannabis within the state, but admitted the government would need time to reform legislation. "If we were to license cannabis dealers and suppliers in NSW, similar to the tobacco licensing system, the black market would be smashed and it would eliminate a lot of the state's crime and corruption," Mr Bolt said. He said the drugs could be supplied to anyone over 18, either through Amsterdam-style cafes where it would be consumed on-site, through licensed tobacconists or special retail stores. "The purchase of a pouch of marijuana from a tobacconist would become no different to the purchase of tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes," Mr Bolt said. These issues were the subject of the Redfern Legal Centre's recent discussion paper on drug law reform. The paper said the major drawbacks of marijuana or cannabis use were the health problems associated with smoking the drug - lung infection, respiratory problems. "We would encourage use of the drug in edible form such as cookies, cakes or teas rather than smoking it ... possible by legislating a price distinction between the two forms," Mr Bolt said. The solicitor said that last year in New South Wales about 600,000 people used cannabis and the majority of the public believed it was acceptable. "Use of the drug might increase when these measures are introduced but it should be remembered that for every three people that have taken cannabis, two decide not to continue its use," Mr Bolt said. "This is the first step in drug reforms, at some stage over the next few years the legal supply of other drugs including heroin, cocaine and amphetamines should be permitted under strict controls." The ACT government is considering a report by the Australian National University which recommended a six-month trial giving free heroin to 40 registered ACT addicts. A decision on the proposed trial is expected by the end of the year. In the ACT it is not a criminal offence to possess a small quantity of cannabis or to cultivate a maximum of five plants. AAP bp/srw/mkg APn 09/22/95 Judge Whipping CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Instead of sending a drug offender to prison, a judge took off his belt and had the 18-year-old's grandmother give him a whipping. "I think he'll kind of remember what to do on probation," Circuit Judge Frank Eppes said Friday, a day after he imposed the sentence. Youth advocates chastised the 72-year-old judge for teaching that violence is the answer, but some who are fighting for tougher punishment for criminals supported his decision. "I think the country is open to any innovative approach to resolving the juvenile crime problem," said Jim Grego, a founder of Citizens Against Violent Crime. Before Jamel Washington pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of crack cocaine, he said he would fail a drug test because he had smoked marijuana. "I said, `Grandmama, don't you think he needs a whipping?'" Eppes recalled. "She said he needed one and ought to have a whipping." Eppes supplied the belt and went into his office with a courtroom deputy, Washington and 63-year-old Victoria Washington Ellis. Ten to 12 loud smacks could be heard, said Bruce Durant, a prosecutor in the courtroom. Eppes and Mrs. Ellis said there were no more than five or six strokes on Washington's bare buttocks. When they returned, Washington appeared sheepish and his grandmother looked pleased, Durant said. Washington could not be located for comment Friday. "You need discipline, in the home and in the schools," said Eppes, a retired judge from Greenville on special assignment in Charleston. Beatings "did me some good when I was growing up. ... I got several when I needed them." Mrs. Ellis, who has raised Washington since his mother died in 1987, said she didn't want to whip her grandson but felt the judge told her to do it. Now, she thinks it was a good idea. "It learned him a lesson," she said. "He said he ain't fooling with that no more." Corporal punishment is more likely to teach violence rather than right from wrong, said Arlene Andrews, a board member of the South Carolina Alliance for Children. "If you whip the child, the child may whip you, or whip someone else," said Andrews, who also teaches social work at the University of South Carolina. "It can cause resentment, anger, sullen behavior and lead to the very negative things you're trying to prevent." State Sen. Larry Richter, a former judge who has sought tougher penalties for juvenile criminals, said judges should wait until corporal punishment becomes law before administering it in their courtrooms. "Some kids deserve a beating," said Richter, a Republican. But, he said, "you can't do it off the cuff." South Carolina Chief Justice Ernest Finney said he expected Eppes' action would be reviewed by the court's judicial standards board. He never heard of a judge suggesting a whipping in the courtroom before, he said. In 1992, Eppes spared a first-time drug offender a prison sentence but required he run 10 extra laps during football practice, along with probation and house arrest. In 1989, he hauled James Brown into his court to get the singer's autograph and discuss drugs in prison while Brown was doing time for assault. Eppes said this may be the first time he's done it, but he's thought of it before. "I've seen a lot of people that needed a whipping," he said. UPce 09/22/95 Pot proponent busted on campaign trail ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A City Council candidate who has also been campaigning to legalize marijuana for medical use may have gotten too close to her subject. Renee Emry, 35, has court dates scheduled on charges that she grew pot in her home and sold it to undercover officers. Emry says (Friday) she doesn't know whether the charges will help or hurt her in the November election. RTw 09/25/95 Colombian police arrest phone workers for spying BOGOTA, Sept 25 (Reuter) - Colombian police arrested 11 telephone workers in the southwestern city of Cali on charges of spying for the Cali drug cartel, a regional prosecutor-general said on Monday. Miguel Munoz said police arrested 11 employees of the city telephone company on charges they received thousands of dollars in bribes to tap lines for the cartel based in Cali, about 180 miles (290 km) southwest of Bogota. Munoz said the cartel's leaders recorded conversations between government and military officials in order to evade a special army and police force searching for them. The force eventually put all but one of the leaders in prison in less than three months. The cartel used to control more than 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). REUTER UPn 09/26/95 Cops bust N. Calif. pot field LOWER LAKE, Calif., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A massive marijuana field discovered in Northern California's infamous Emerald Triangle has led to the arrest of three men and the seizure of pot with a street value in access of $25 million, authorities said Tuesday. Lt. Dennis Ostini of the Lake County Sheriff's Department said the field was sighted by detective Dave Garzoil during a random flyover by California National Guard helicopters. The area is known as one of the nation's prime marijuana growing regions. Garzoil saw what he believed were marijuana plants about 11 a.m. Friday near Lower Lake, a rural community about 100 miles north of San Francisco. He also spotted a series of well-worn trails and two trailers. The information was relayed to state and local officials, who formed a raiding party. When officers arrived, they found several wooden structures used for drying and processing marijuana. They also arrested James Nelson, who was found on the property. The officers seized 432 plants, which would yield 5,500 pounds of high grade marijuana with a street value in excess of $25 million. Ostini said that as officers began harvesting the marijuana plants, they discoverd Michael Styner hiding in the bushes and took him into custody. Another suspect, Vincent Dudash, later turned himself into authorities. Nelson, 46, of Plymouth, Calif., posted his $100,000 bail and was released while Styner of Kaelapua, Kailua, Hawaii, and Dudash of Meadow Vista, Calif., remained in custody with a $100,000 bail each. All three men are charged with cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. RTna 09/27/95 Dutch make record 23.5 ton marijuana seizure ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuter) - Dutch customs has seized 23.5 metric tons of marijuana in the country's largest ever drugs haul, Dutch news agency ANP said Wednesday. The marijuana, hidden in a crate ostensibly bound for Bulgaria, was en route from Colombia when it was halted in Rotterdam Port after police and customs were alerted by discrepencies in the cargo's import documents. The raid was Tuesday evening and the drugs have since been destroyed. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the seizure, ANP said. The haul beats the previous record of 17 metric tons, which police made in March this year. REUTER APn 09/29/95 Sheriff Indicted MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- A sheriff has been charged with taking thousands of dollars in bribes to look the other way on drug and gambling operations in his county. Choctaw County Sheriff J.W. Trapp took more than $150,000 to protect drug operations, in some cases by warning alleged drug dealers about federal investigation, according to a federal indictment handed up Thursday. Trapp also was accused of taking $500 in exchange for giving a woman a confidential homicide report by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The deals took place soon after Trapp became sheriff in 1989, and continued through the fall of 1993 when Trapp asked for $5,000 from a man to warn him about a federal drug investigation, the indictment alleges. Trapp is being held without bond. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and more than $4 million in fines. Four others were also named in the indictment, including Willie Wright, who was accused of paying Trapp $42,000 to protect a marijuana operation during the sheriff's first year in office. Wright was still at large. RTw 09/30/95 Interpol says police floundering in drugs war By Alister Doyle PARIS, Oct 1 (Reuter) - The world's police are floundering in a war on drugs which is the most potent threat to global stability now the Cold War has ended, according to the international police agency Interpol. "We're pretty overwhelmed," said Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall, accusing governments of talking a lot but doing little to create a world strategy against crime barons. The 176-nation International Criminal Police Organization holds its annual congress in Beijing for a week from October 4 for what is likely to be a gloomy reassessment of police action in a world freed from the East-West conflict. The organisation, based in Lyon in central France, cancelled a planned 1989 meeting in China to protest against the Tiananmen Square anti-democracy massacre in June that year. But its general assembly voted last year to go to China even though critics brand the communist country a police state. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, "if you look at the real threat to our societies today what you have is a combination of organised crime and drug trafficking," Kendall told Reuters. Vast profits meant "they have the ability to corrupt our institutions at the highest level. If they can do that then it means our democracies are in real danger," he said. Organised crime gangs had found drugs a profitable additive to more traditional activities such as racketeeering and arms smuggling. And the lack of legal checks in ex-East bloc nations has spawned crimes ranging from drug smuggling to art theft. Political guerrillas are also turning to drugs as a source of funds, partly because state sponsorship is drying up. "We're seeing that drugs and insurgency go together, notably in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, even in Pakistan and Burma," he said. "There's a lack of a truly strategic approach" among the world's governments, said Kendall, a Briton. "This is the real difficulty we have today." He rapped politicians for "talking about the war on drugs, the war against organised crime. If you really mean it, then let's think of putting the resources into it that you would put into a war," he said. Kendall cited U.N. estimates putting the international drug trade at $400 billion a year. Interpol's budget is $28 million. "With our budget you might be able to buy a couple of tanks," he said. Interpol has about 315 employees at its gleaming headquarters, opened in 1989, to coordinate the fight against international crime. He suggested that Interpol and the United Nations be allowed to team up to devise a new global strategy against drugs, blamed for more than 50 percent of crime in major western cities. He said democracies had made a late start in cracking down on demand at home, having long preferred efforts to choke off supply. Kendall favours decriminalisation of some drugs. He suggested that the world's spy services, partly redundant after the Cold War, should give more resources to the police. Statistics on drug seizures almost certainly reflect a sharp rise in traffic rather than a greater police success rate. World opium seizures, for instance, rose to a record 26.3 tonnes in 1994 from 25.1 in 1993 and 8.9 tonnes in 1989. Cocaine surged to 155.1 tonnes from 58.1 in 1993 and 41.7 in 1989. Heroin fell to 13.6 tonnes from 13.9 but up from 11.8 in 1989. "In the first six months of 1995, we have seen opium seizures up 20 percent, heroin up 40 percent and cannabis 80 percent," compared to the same 1994 periods, Kendall said. There were worrying signs of increasing contacts between criminal organisations such as the Italian and Russian mafias. "We knew of a meeting in Czechoslovakia in 1992 and we know of similar contacts in Prague and Warsaw...They don't seem to have developed to the stage where there's a kind of regular cooperation going on, but the danger exists," he said. And terrorism too is changing its face. Kendall said 21st century "terrorist threats" were likely to be headed by Moslem extremism but could also include new shadowy fringe groups linked to environmentalism, animal rights groups and anti-nuclear protesters. "Our first thought is for Islamic extremism, but I think we should not neglect the environmental aspects, animal rights, nuclear disarmament and so on because they can give rise to extremist actions," he said. He admitted that Interpol's members included states accused of sponsoring terrorism. But he said: "At the police level, we find we can work together provided we remove everything of a political, religious or racial nature." Amid grim warnings about the state of global crime, he said that one frequently exaggerated danger was from smuggling of nuclear material. "It's something we have to keep an eye on but we don't see it as a particular threat so far." He said there had been 39 cases of smuggling reported since 1989, mostly by hoaxers and extortionists. The only cases of radioactive materials being found were two small amounts of plutonium, some non-weapons' grade uranium and caesium. Asked which criminals he would most like to see behind bars, Kendall first named Nazi Alois Brunner, blamed by Interpol for deporting 73,000 Jews to their deaths at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War Two. Brunner, aged 83 if still alive, is rumoured to have left Syria for a hideout in South America. REUTER UPn 10/03/95 Hemp trader accused of drug trafficking MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A self-described "cannabis clothier" is fighting federal drug charges Tuesday, accused of using his hemp manufacturing business as a cover to illegally transport large quantities of marijuana. Federal prosecutors Monday said Arlin Troutt shipped several loads of marijuana from Texas to Minnesota between December 1991 and May 1993. He went on trial last week in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for conspiracy to possess more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. The Apache Junction, Ariz., businessman manufactured clothes made with hemp fibers, and in 1992 donated a shirt and pair of his hats to then-candidates Bill Clinton and Al Gore. The two Democrats later sent Troutt thank-you letters, which are now included with his court records. "Dear Arlin," reads the letter from Clinton. "Thank you so much for the hat and the Willie Nelson shirt. Your thoughtfulness and your encouragement mean a lot to me. Sincerely, Bill Clinton." Troutt has been in custody since March after nearly two years in hiding. Federal authorities issued an arrest warrant in May 1993, after an alleged accomplice delivered 250 pounds of marijuana to Elk River, Minn. Troutt was apprehended in El Paso, Texas. Troutt's friends and supporters believe he is being singled out for prosecution because of his political activism to legalize marijuana. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison. In a 1993 interview with New Times magazine published while he was a fugitive, Troutt said he was "a victim and a casualty" of a drug war. "They've created a gigantic police state over something that is nothing. Something that was given to us by God." RTna 10/04/95 Court restricts police searches with heat detectors DENVER, (Reuter) - It is unconstitutional for police and drug enforcement agents to scan homes with heat-sensing equipment to detect suspected criminal activity without a warrant, the federal appeals court in Denver ruled Wednesday. The decision came in a case in which law enforcement officers in Wyoming obtained a search warrant, and later a conviction, after using a thermal imager to gather evidence that marijuana was being grown in a home. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from a six-state region, ruled 3-0 that police must obtain a search warrant before using such equipment. "We reject the government's contention that its technical wizardy should free it from the restraints mandated by the Fourth Amendment," the court said. It noted that the government denies thermal imagers intrude upon privacy. The court said four federal appeals courts in other circuits have ruled the opposite way, that warrants are not needed before police use thermal imagers. Despite the court's conclusion, it refused to suppress evidence found in a later search of the home. There were other grounds to justify a search warrant that authorities was obtained after the thermal scanning, the court said. REUTER WP 10/05/95 Court Requires Warrant for Thermal Scan DENVER, Oct. 4 (Reuter) -- It is unconstitutional for police and drug enforcement agents to scan homes with heat-sensing equipment to detect suspected criminal activity without a warrant, the federal appeals court in Denver ruled today. The decision came in a case in which law enforcement officers in Wyoming obtained a search warrant, and later a conviction, after using a thermal imager to gather evidence that marijuana was being grown in a home. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from a six-state region, ruled 3 to 0 that police must obtain a search warrant before using such equipment. "We reject the government's contention that its technical wizardry should free it from the restraints mandated by the Fourth Amendment," the court said. It noted the government denies thermal imagers intrude upon privacy. The court said four federal appeals courts in other circuits have ruled the opposite way, that warrants are not needed before police use thermal imagers. Despite the court's conclusion, it refused to suppress evidence found in a later search of the home. There were other grounds to justify a search warrant that authorities obtained after the thermal scanning, the court said. APn 10/05/95 AP Arts: Rock Beat-Hempilation By DAVID BAUDER Associated Press Writer Blues Traveler and the Black Crowes are the stars of a new rock 'n' roll benefit album for marijuana, infuriating some experts who think the drug is already too hip among teen-agers. "Hempilation," a 17-song compact disc on the wonders of weed that was released late last month, is designed to raise money for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. Already, some are calling the claims of organizers that they are not looking to promote marijuana use among youngsters a smokescreen. "Why anyone would want to take something that's dangerous and damaging and encourage children to use it is beyond me," said Joseph Califano, former Cabinet member in the Carter administration and head of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Drug references are nothing new in rock 'n' roll: The Black Crowes go back three decades to cover a Bob Dylan song with the refrain "everybody must get stoned" on "Hempilation." Yet rocker Tom Petty recently learned that such references still make people nervous. MTV and radio stations recently forced Petty to alter a lyric that said "let's roll another joint." Radio stations preferred "let's hit another joint." Even with rap groups like Cypress Hill creating their own genre in recent years with marijuana songs, there's been nothing quite like the unabashed celebration of the drug on "Hempilation." The musicians incorporate almost as many styles of rock, rap and reggae as they do pet names for pot, all united by their love for the intoxicating high. The project is the brainchild of Steve Bloom, music editor for High Times magazine. He took note of various benefit projects for AIDS relief, animal rights and the like, thinking, "Why can't we do one of these for the marijuana movement?" After the Black Crowes donated their recording of Dylan's "Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35," the gates quickly opened to other contributions, he said. "I don't really care about the politics," Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson told Musician magazine. "I care about the human side of it, and the human side is, some people smoke marijuana and don't think it's a drug, and people in charge think it's a drug. You just make a statement to people saying, `Our thoughts and feelings are there for you.' " Many anti-drug activists believe the attitude of the musicians has contributed to the dramatic upsurge in the use of marijuana. About 7.3 percent of teen-agers from 12 to 17 said they smoked pot last year, up from 4 percent two years earlier, according to the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. "When they are glorifying it and extolling it and portraying it as benign to the children of this country, they are promoting the use of marijuana," Califano said. "And that's going to hurt and ruin the lives of lots and lots of kids." "Hempilation" organizers said the compilation is to benefit NORML's lobbying against anti-marijuana laws and also to publicize the nonintoxicating uses of hemp. They say it's not intended to encourage marijuana use among youngsters. "We're not trying to change the laws so kids can smoke pot," Bloom said. "We're trying to change the laws so adults can smoke pot." After some of the nation's biggest record labels were cool to the idea, Bloom turned to Capricorn Records to release "Hempilation." The head of the label is Phil Walden, who was a member of NORML's board of directors during Capricorn's heyday as the home of southern rock in the 1970s. Walden said he liked the music and appreciated the chance to open a public debate about marijuana laws. "Let's bring this thing out of the closet," he said. "Let's talk about it. I don't think the public has ever really been made aware of the plus side of marijuana." The Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council had urged Walden to change his mind and not release the disc, suggesting he should learn from the criticism Time Warner has received about explicit rap music. Now, the group Parents Resources and Information on Drug Education is spreading warnings about "Hempilation" and considering other steps, said Susie Dugan, executive director of PRIDE's Omaha chapter. Capricorn is taking a somewhat cautious approach, declining to print a picture of a pot leaf on the disc's cover. Instead, the green leaf is printed on the disc itself, which can be seen only by those who buy it. Still, even Capricorn officials concede a little controversy might not be such a bad thing for the company, which was recently revived and needs a shot of attention. One of Capricorn's distributors has refused to stock the album in its stores, said spokesman Jeremy Much, who refused to identify the distributor. But an official at the 400-store Camelot chain, which has most of its outlets in the Midwest, said he has heard of no complaints. "We're treating it as we would any other release," Camelot's Chris Abood said. "The artists are familiar artists, and we would expect it would be a decent seller." End Adv for Thursday, Oct. 5 DJ 10/10/95 Mexico's Zedillo Denies Charges That Campaign Took Drug Money WASHINGTON -DJ- Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo strongly denied allegations that his 1994 presidential campaign received contributions from the Cali drug cartel. Yesterday, Cambio16, a Colombian weekly news magazine, quoted unnamed sources within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as stating they had obtained information that drug money was funneled into Zedillo's campaign. The information originally came from Guillermo Pallomari, the Cali cartel's former accountant, who is now in the U.S. witness-protection program. ''That information is absolutely false and of unknown origin,'' Zedillo said. He added that the DEA has ''issued a communique saying they did not authorize that information.'' Zedillo said that ''we will begin legal action against the Colombian magazine.'' Zedillo also noted that the complete records of the 1994 campaign funds have been submitted to the Mexican election authorities and reviewed by the authorities. Similar allegations of drug money finding its way into the campaign coffers of Colombian President Ernesto Samper has triggered the worst political crisis in that country in the last 50 years. (END) DOW JONES NEWS 10-10-95 4:01 PM UPma 10/11/95 Woman finds pot in laundry detergent MOBILE, Ala., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Police in Mobile searched Wednesday for a missing case of Procter & Gamble Co. baby detergent suspected of containing marijuana, while the Alabama woman who discovered bricks of the illegal substance in two boxes of soap considered a lawsuit against the Cincinnati manufacturer. Mobile resident Venita Remirez said she got more than she bargained for when she bought two boxes of Dreft detergent. When she opened the first box, Remirez said she poured out a tightly wrapped half-pound (.22 kg) block of marijuana instead of soap flakes. The second box contained more of the same. She called the Mobile County Sheriff's Department, but deputies had difficulty in their investigation. Sheriff Jack Tillman said the grocery store's entire stock of Dreft was sold out when officers went to check the shelves. The department has launched a full scale investigation into the missing soap boxes, Tillman said. Meanwhile, Remirez said she's considering a lawsuit against Procter and Gamble, the company that makes Dreft. "There's no way I could have explained all of this if the police had found this stuff in my home. No way at all," said Remirez. "I'm just lucky everything turned out the way it did," she added. "I don't think it's right at all." UPn 10/12/95 Busted: World's coolest marijuana crop SYDNEY, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Some of the coldest weeds on Earth -- five carefully cultivated marijuana plants -- were found by Antarctic authorities growing in an old hut on an Australian government base, a government spokesman said Thursday. The plants were being grown with the aid of a sophisticated hydroponic support system at Australia's Mawson Base in the Antartic. He said investigtions are proceding to find the grower and when and if found, he is likely to be the first person ever charged with breaking the law in Australia's Antarctic territory. Apart from penalties for growing an illegal drug, the crop owner could also face charges for bringing foreign plant material to the pristine wilderness of the southern continent, the spokesman said. The Mawson station leader, Jim Hasick, who like all such officers-in- charge, has been sworn in as a special constable of the Australian Federal Police, confiscated the plants. An inquiry has begun in in Antarctica in consultation with police 2, 982 miles (4,800 km) away in mainland Australia, the spokesman said. Referring to the 18 people who spent the winter at the station, the spokesman said: "The choice is limited, unless we count the emperor penguins." He also said there were serious safety, morale and enviromental concerns involved in the incident. "From the safety point of view we cannot, bluntly, afford to have someone stoned down there," he said. "Safety is paramount in a place like that." He said there was little chance of the cannabis spreading around Mawson, where the October mean temperature is 9 F (minus 13 C) and the only surviving vegetation is a small community of mosses and lichens. APn 10/12/95 Teacher-Marijuana SLIDELL, La. (AP) -- A former teacher of the year was arrested along with her weightlifter husband Thursday after deputies found 10 marijuana plants growing in their home. Laurie Wilder Maschek, a fifth-grade teacher, and her 34-year-old husband, James Maschek, were charged with marijuana cultivation and other offenses carrying a total of more than 50 years in prison. Mrs. Maschek, 32, was named teacher of the year by her St. Tammany Parish school system in 1992. "There's no indication that they were selling at the school or out of their house at this point," sheriff's spokesman Larry Ciko said. The marijuana, worth about $15,000 on the street, was growing in a room with a 1,000-watt light bulb, deputies said. Officers also seized two shotguns and two bottles of bodybuilding steroids. The couple were jailed on $15,000 bail each. UPma 10/13/95 Prison guard guilty of drug smuggling LIMA, Ohio, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A former guard at the Lima Correctional Institution was sentenced Friday in connection with an attempt to smuggle alcohol and drugs into the prison, the Ohio Highway Patrol said. Tracy Snyder, 23, of Findlay, was arrested in June after troopers found she was carrying marijuana and vodka into the prison. Patrol investigators said they had received an anonymous tip and were waiting for her to arrive at work. Troopers confiscated 68 grams of marijuana and two 20-ounce soda pop bottles filled with vodka. She was fined $1,500 and sentenced to two years in prison by a Lima County judge. APn 10/14/95 Marijuana Sentences By MICHELLE ORTIZ RAY Associated Press Writer PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Hundreds of convicted marijuana growers could get an early release from prison next month because of an impending change in federal sentencing. It all hinges on a question of weight. Barring any last-minute action by Congress, an amendment to guidelines approved by the U.S. Sentencing Commission takes effect Nov. 1 that will shorten many sentences. Prison officials are still calculating how many prisoners will be affected, said Stephen Sady, the chief federal public defender for Oregon. However, the Sentencing Commission estimated some 950 could be. The length of a sentence is based partly on the amount of marijuana grown. Under current law, marijuana plants are assigned a weight of 100 grams of narcotic substance if a grower has fewer than 50 plants. If the crop is bigger, the assigned weight for every plant jumps to 1,000 grams, or one kilogram, about 2.2 pounds. The difference could mean, in one example, a sentence of less than two years vs. up to five years. Last spring, the commission accepted findings that marijuana plants actually produce 37.5 to 412 grams of narcotic. Members voted 7-0 to return the assigned weight for all plants to 100 grams, and later voted to apply the change retroactively to cases dating from November 1989. "They have created a standard weight for each plant that is realistic, rather than this completely arbitrary and unrealistic figure that Congress came up with," said Julie Stewart, president of the Washington-based Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Congress set the assigned weights in 1988, during the height of the Republican war on drugs, said Allen St. Pierre, deputy national director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The law's intent was to crack down on drug dealers, but supporters of the change complained that small-time growers ended up serving mandatory sentences that often were longer than those given to violent criminals. "I think the war on drugs was a propaganda campaign which had very little to do with eradicating drugs," said Bryan Lessley, a public defender in Eugene. "It caught a lot of people who did not belong in prison ... people who have families and by and large are responsible people." Leslie Leen of Selma is eager to see freedom for her husband, Robert, a first-time offender serving a 46-month term for manufacturing marijuana. He is one of about 150 Oregon prisoners hoping for early release. "I've hardly been able to sustain my excitement," Mrs. Leen said Friday. Law enforcement officers, however, have reservations about the change. "It will make it much tougher to prosecute the major marijuana violators that should do federal prison sentences," said Sgt. Dan Durbin of the Josephine Interagency Narcotics Team, the agency that acted with federal officers in arresting Leen. Durbin predicts the change will prompt growers to simply disperse their plants to a variety of locations. Stewart and others fear that Congress may decide to challenge the commission's change before Nov. 1. In fact, bills have been introduced to stop changes the commission recommended for other sentences, such as crimes concerning crack. Mrs. Leen, however, is going ahead with plans to celebrate her 27th wedding anniversary next month with her husband at home. "The prison space needs to be geared towards violent, repetitive offenders, instead of spending time going after low-level, nonviolent offenders. The big thing here is, it was an unfair thing to do." UPwe 10/16/95 Wilson vetoes marijuana bill SACRAMENTO, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- As expected, Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed a measure Monday that would have allowed seriously ill patients to use marijuana to ease their pain and discomfort. Despite studies touting use of the illegal drug to help some patients, Wilson said the federal government had found no medicinal use of marijuana. The measure by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, would have allowed people with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma to grow and use marijuana. Wilson said the bill would also hamper law enforcement efforts to combat drug use and failed to include limits on the amount of marijuana a patient could grow or carry. "This bill would for all intent and purposes legalize marijuana possession and cultivation in California," Wilson said. Wilson vetoed a similar measure last year. Advocates of the medical marijuana bill expressed disappointment with Wilson and said they would begin circulating an initiative next month to legalize use of the drug. "This initiative is more about love and compassion than it is about marijuana," said Dennis Peron, director of Californians for Compassionate Use. "We will collect the signatures and end the war on sick and dying people." Supporters said use of the drug helped certain patients with serious medical conditions. said marijuana helped AIDS and cancer patients fight nausea and vomiting caused by treatment and MS sufferers ease their pain. However, Wilson said doctors are already able to prescribe a drug known as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, making the bill unnecessary. Vasconcellos argued that THC can be too strong for some patients and that some doctors would prefer to prescribe marijuana. UPn 10/16/95 Wash. deputy killed in drug raid TACOMA, Wash., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Monday during a drug raid in which the brother of another deputy allegedly opened fire on sheriff's officers. Six Pierce County sheriff's deputies announced they had a warrant and entered the house about 7:30 a.m., sheriff's spokesman Curt Benson said. "We had information to believe there was the sale of marijuana out of this residence," Benson said. "We knocked and announced we were sheriff's officers doing a search warrant." As deputies entered the residence, someone inside opened fire, Benson said. Deputy John Bananola, 36, was one of the first officers through the door, and was shot several times, Benson said. The 10-year veteran was pronounced dead at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma. Deputies returned fire, hitting the suspected shooter, a 25-year-old man whose brother is a sheriff's deputy. He was listed in critical condition, Benson said. Two other people in the house -- including the mother of the suspect -- were questioned and released. The name of the suspect had not been released. His brother the deputy had been living at the house until recently, but was not there during the fatal raid. He was questioned briefly and released. The early morning raid took place across the street from an elementary school, which was closed at the time. Before the drug bust, the Sheriff's Department had been watching the house for about four months, Benson said. The search warrant to look for drugs at the house was still being executed, Benson said. Bananola was the first Pierce County sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty since 1978. "We lost an outstanding officer, a terrific investigator. He was liked by everyone, very personable," Benson said.
Compiled by Paul Stanford