Hemp News 19

Hemp News No. 19

Compiled by

Paul Stanford


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ado, please enjoy the news:



UPce 02/16/94     Bloomington sees record pot bust, makes marijuana a ticketable offense

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (UPI) -- Bloomington city officials recently lessened the
criminal penalties for possession of marijuana, but that will not do two Texas
men any good.
   A new city ordinance approved Monday says people caught by police with less
than 2.5 grams of marijuana will only receive a ticket and $250 fine.
   The two men, Billy Wayne Sessions and Lonnie Session, both of Childress,
Texas, were caught Tuesday just north of Bloomington driving a truck containing
2,740 pounds of pot valued at $5.48 million, buried underneath 33,000 pounds of
cabbage.
    Illinois State Police, who made the arrest, say the more than a ton of
marijuana is the largest cache uncovered on an Illinois highway, and the 14th
largest highway pot bust nationwide.
   State police stopped the truck Tuesday morning because it was traveling 68
mph in a 55 mph zone. A drug-sniffing dog detected the scent of marijuana, then
Trooper Russell Sauve called for assistance.
   State police spent several hours unloading packages of pot, some of which
were labeled as "dog food" and "poultry feed," from the truck.
   The amount of marijuana is so great, there was not even room to store it at
police headquarters in Bloomington. Much of the pot was shipped to an
undisclosed location in Springfield.
   Both men were held at McLean County Jail, charged with possession of
 marijuana, possession with intent to deliver and marijuana trafficking. If
convicted on all charges, they could face up to 30 years in an Illinois prison.
   Both men will appear Wednesday in McLean County Circuit Court.



APn  02/18/94     Medical Marijuana

By LAURIE ASSEO
 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Backers of medical use of marijuana lost a court bid
Friday to force the government to let people use the drug to ease some ill
effects of cancer, AIDS and other diseases.
   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the
Bush administration's 1992 decision barring doctors from prescribing marijuana.
   That decision was supported by substantial evidence, the court said, noting
 many medical experts testified "that marijuana's medicinal value has never been
proven in sound scientific studies."
   The Clinton administration has said it is reconsidering the ban, and Arnold
Trebach of the private Drug Policy Foundation urged the government to reverse
the policy.
   "The ball is in Mr. Clinton's court," Trebach said. "He can look up and say,
`Enough of this foolishness.' He can do something compassionate."
   Trebach said an appeal to the Supreme Court would be considered.
   Supporters of medical use of marijuana say there is strong evidence that it
eases the nausea and loss of appetite caused by cancer and AIDS treatments,
eases muscle spasms for people with spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis
and alleviates the eye pressure that blinds glaucoma sufferers.
    Some people were allowed to get permission from the Food and Drug
Administration to use marijuana for such purposes starting in 1976. A handful of
those people still are allowed to use marijuana, but new requests have not been
approved.
   The appeals court said the Bush administration showed a "reasonable
preference for rigorous scientific proof over anecdotal evidence, even when
reported by respected physicians."
   The court also rejected claims that Bush administration officials had a long
history of prejudice against medical use of marijuana.
   "We are not impressed," Judge James L. Buckley wrote for the court. His
opinion was joined by Chief Judge Abner Mikva and Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg.
   In refusing to allow medical use of marijuana in March 1992, Robert Bonner,
 then head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, likened the drug's advocates
to "snake-oil salesmen."
   Bonner said marijuana was not a safe or effective drug for any illness.
   Trebach said a DEA administrative law judge who recommended approval of
medicinal marijuana in 1988 found substantial evidence of marijuana's usefulness
in easing the effects of some illnesses.
   "There are thousands of doctors out there who want to prescribe it. There are
tens of thousands of people who want to use it. Big Brother in Washington is
saying no," Trebach said.
   Another three-judge appellate panel ordered the government in 1991 to restudy
its earlier decision not to allow medical use of marijuana. The DEA's 1992
policy resulted, and Friday's ruling affirmed that decision.
 



circa 02/18/94     [untitled - Allen Ginsberg Retrospective]

   THE BEAT GOES ON: Beat poet Allen Ginsberg is enjoying a new burst of
popularity at age 67, long after his days of smoking marijuana and banging out
rhymeless lines with Jack Kerouac. Rhino Records in June will release a box set
of Ginsberg's poems and songs and in May, Harper- Collins will publish
"Cosmopolitan Greetings: 1985-1992," a new book of his poems and later this year
excerpts from his journals in the late 1950s. Asked by the Los Angeles Times
what was the most widely held misconception about the Beat Generation, Ginsberg
replied, "That we weren't literate. We were more educated than most of the
 academic critics who dismissed our interest in Eastern thought as irrationality
simply because it was non-linear. It required cultivation and a good deal more
discipline than Western logical simplifications. Still they dismissed us an
unruly beatniks with wiggy hair, bongo drums and cockroaches on the floor."



UPwe 02/22/94     San Diego favors lifting ban on medical marijuana use

   SAN DIEGO (UPI) -- The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to urge President
Clinton to lift a federal ban on using marijuana to treat certain illnesses.
   By a unanimous vote, eight City Council members decided to urge Clinton and
Congress to end federal prohibitions against the  "legitimate medical use" of
marijuana for patients who suffer from AIDS, cancer or glaucoma.
   The measure was authored by Councilwoman Christine Kehoe in response to the
sentencing last month of Sam Skipper, 39, to 16 months in state prison for
violating probation conditions on a marijuana cultivation conviction. Skipper
was sentenced after refusing to stop using marijuana to combat symptoms of AIDS.
   The measure passed without comment from any speakers or council members.
 Councilwoman Judy McCarty was absent due to illness.
   Sufferers of glaucoma and cancer did testify in favor of the resolution
during a Feb. 9 hearing of the council's Public Services and Safety Committee,
which passed it on a 5-0 vote.
   The resolution calls for "a rational system of prescriptive medical access to
marijuana" administered by "well-trained medical professionals rather than
remote federal bureaucrats."
   Copies of the resolution are also to be given to Vice President Al Gore,
Attorney General Janet Reno, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala
and the San Diego congressional delegation.



APn  02/23/94     Strip Searches

   PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Six boys suing their junior high school over a
strip-search for drugs have settled out of court.
   Terms of the settlement with the New Castle School District were not
disclosed. It was reached Tuesday at the start of the fifth day of trial in U.S.
District Court.
   "I didn't feel right, how they made you show most of your private parts,"
said Devon King. He was one of the students who said they were forced to strip
to be searched on Dec. 18, 1992, at Ben Franklin Junior High School.
    The principal and district assistant superintendent conducted the searches
after a student reported seeing one boy smoke crack cocaine and several others
smoke marijuana. No drugs were found.
   School attorney Dominick Motto said the district put its strip-search policy
in writing in August and will continue to search students believed to possess
drugs or a weapon.
   "The law is perfectly clear that a strip search may be conducted if there is
reasonable suspicion," he said.
 


UPce 02/23/94      Grandparents caught with 100 pounds of pot

   COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (UPI) -- The Madison County state's attorney's office was
expected to file drug trafficking charges against two Michigan grandparents
whose car was found containing 100 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop.
   Police said Tuesday that the traffic stop on Interstate 55-70 in Collinsville
led to the arrests of six more people in Michigan after the couple cooperated
with authorities and completed their delivery.
   The 61-year-old man and his 59-year-old wife, both of Lansing, Mich., were
stopped Feb. 15 while driving eastbound on I-55-70 in Collinsville, about 10
miles east of St. Louis. The man was pulled over for having an obstructed
rearview mirror.
    Officers said they detected an odor of marijuana and obtained the man's
permission to search the car. They said they found two duffel bags in the trunk
that were stuffed with a total of 100 pounds of weed. The drugs had an estimated
street value of $200,000.
   Police said the couple hadn't used any air fresheners or deodorants to
disguise the odor of the marijuana, as most smugglers do. They said the man told
them he couldn't smell anything.
   The couple cooperated with investigators and continued to Michigan, where the
drug delivery was completed, authorities said. Michigan State Police arrested
six more people and also seized $25,000 in cash and two cars.
   The Madison County state's attorney's office is expected to issue drug
trafficking charges against the Michigan couple within the next 30 days, police
 said.



UPce 02/25/94       Eight indicted on drug charges

   EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (UPI) -- A federal grand jury in East St. Louis has
indicted five people from Arizona and three from Ohio on marijuana trafficking
charges stemming from traffic stops by Collinsville police on Interstates 55-70.
   The indictments announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney W. Charles Grace of
Southern Illinois named five people from Tucson, Ariz. They are Ernesto Sanchez,
26, Larry Smith, 43, James Shepherd, 24, Margaret Villegas, 20, and Kristina
Coleman, 21. Also named were Gustavo Briseno, 21, Barbara Steward, 31, and
Benjamin Shepherd II, 26, all of Columbus, Ohio.
   The charges, which stemmed from three separate drug busts, include conspiracy
to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, as well as using and carrying a
 firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime.
   Penalties could range up to five years inprison and a $250,000 fine, plus two
years on supervised release.
   James Shepherd and Benjamin Shepherd also were charged with possession of a
firearm by a felon. They face penalties of up to 10 years in prison or a
$250,000 fine.
   Prosecutors did not disclose whether the Shepherds are related.
   All of the charges stem from drug seizures made by Collinsville police during
traffic stops on I-55-70, 10 miles east of St. Louis. The highway is considered
a major route for drug traffickers heading north to Chicago and Detroit or east
to the East Coast.


RTw  02/28/94      CHIROPRACTOR WHO GREW POT FOR PATIENT CONVICTED

    By Martin Wolk
     SEATTLE, Feb 28 (Reuter) - A chiropractor was convicted Monday of growing
marijuana despite her claim that the plants were raised only as medicine for a
patient who suffered from glaucoma.
     After a three-day trial, a jury in Snohomish County Superior Court in
Everett rejected the "medical necessity" defence of Joanne Pittman of Index,
Washington.
     The case was the first in the country in which a medical practitioner
attempted to use the defence, which in the past has been used successfully by
patients charged with marijuana possession in several states including
 Washington.
     Narcotics detectives testified during the trial that they found 12
marijuana plants hidden in a washing machine in November 1992 when they raided
Pittman's home about 50 miles (80 kms) northeast of Seattle.
     Detectives, who said the marijuana was of low quality, also found pipes and
other smoking paraphernalia in the home.
     Pittman, 40, said she grew the marijuana solely for the use of a
chiropractic patient who testified that he suffered from glaucoma and could not
get relief from conventional therapies.
     Pittman, who has cervical cancer, said that she smoked marijuana herself to
stimulate her appetite, but that she obtained it from another source.
     The trial also featured expert testimony from Robert Randall, a glaucoma
 patient who is one of only eight people in the United States who receive
marijuana legally from the federal government for medical use.
     Randall is president of the Washington-based Alliance for Cannabis
Therapeutics, which lobbbies for the legalisation of marijuana as a prescription
drug.
     Deputy prosecuting attorney Scott Olson said he was sympathetic with the
plight of sick people who claim marijuana can help them, but was duty-bound to
enforce the law.
     "It's hard to say what my position would be if I was going blind and pot
was the only thing that could save my sight," Olson said by telephone.
     "To me if marijuana is helpful, if it's medicine, then the legislature
should get off its rear end" and change the law, he said.
      He noted that under Washington state law marijuana is considered a Schedule
1 narcotic, meaning it has no medicinal value.
     Sentencing in the case was set for March 24. Under sentencing guidelines
Pittman, with no prior convictions, could get one to three months in jail on the
single felony count, Olson said.
     REUTER


RTw  02/28/94     WAR ON DRUGS A FAILURE, SAYS COLOMBIAN LAW OFFICIAL

(Eds: updates with comments from Colombia, previous Vienna)
     By Michael Stott
     BOGOTA, Feb 28 (Reuter) - The worldwide war on drugs has failed and is
unlikely to succeed until rich countries consider legalising narcotics to
destroy traffickers' power, Colombia's Prosecutor-General Gustavo De Greiff said
Monday.
     De Greiff, speaking at a news conference organised by the United Nations to
present its annual narcotics report, said moves by some European and U.S. cities
to decriminalize drug consumption while still purshing production and
trafficking actually helps the drug traders.
      That strategy gives traffickers "the best of both worlds -- a useless fight
against production and trafficking and a secure market for consumption." He did
not mention specific cities.
     "I consider the fight against drugs a failure," De Greiff said. "More
emphasis has been put on fighting production and trafficking and very little on
consumption ... I do not favour legalisation for the sake of legalisation, but I
have insinuated that it is one of the best ways to close the market to drugs
traffickers and stop them making their obscene profits."
     De Greiff spoke as the U.N. International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
released its annual report and strongly reiterated its opposition to any form of
drug legalisation.
     "We're against any legalisation of drugs," Gottfried Machata of the INCB
 told a news conference at the agency's Vienna headquarters.
     The board's report showed that despite the police shooting of Medellin
cartel boss Pablo Escobar last December, cocaine manufacture and trafficking
from Colombia, the world's top producer, were still expanding.
     Rene Saa-Vidal, head of the INCB in Colombia, said production of all drugs
there rose over the past year.
     "Colombia is now disputing (with Bolivia) the position as the second
biggest producer of coca leaf ... production has gone up from 18,000 hectares
(44,477 acres) to around 50,000 (123,548 acres)," he said. "Colombia has also
become one of the big heroin producers ... and the most recent figures show a
rise in the output of marijuana."
     De Greiff seized on the figures to argue that legalisation was the only way
 to destroy the drug trade.
     Referring to the killing of Escobar, the earlier shooting of one of his top
lieutenants, Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, and the capture and extradition to the
U.S. of drug kingpin Carlos Lehder, he said:
     "What has happened to the drug market? Nothing! .... There is still demand,
drugs are still available and the number of addicts has not fallen."
     De Greiff quoted Drug Enforcement Administration officers in California as
saying that justice authorities throughout the world only managed to seize $800
million of an estimated $40 to $60 billion a year in drug profits.
     "Unfortunately if you look at the results of the fight, it is pretty
discouraging," he added.
     The United Nations report said Colombia's drug cartels, which control more
 than 70 percent of the world cocaine trade, were spreading activity to other
Latin American countries.
     "Venezuela ... has become an important transit country; from there the
traffickers send tons of cocaine by boat to Europe and in airplanes and small
shipments to the United States," the report said.
     "Argentina, Brazil and Chile are also becoming ever more important transit
countries for shipments of illicit drugs destined not only for North America and
Europe but also Asia and Africa."
     The review also said the drug menace had broken national boundaries to
become a global business penetrating "the spheres of international politics and
world economics."
     There was clear evidence that drug cartels were increasingly cooperating to
 outrun controls and maximize profits, the study said.
  REUTER



circa 02/28/94     [untitled - Dr. Hook Pot Bust]

   JACKPOT, Nev. (AP) -- Dr. Hook, who hoped to see his picture on the cover of
the Rolling Stone, will have to settle for a police mugshot instead.
   The entertainer, whose real name is Ray Sawyer, was arrested Saturday and
charged with possession of marijuana. Police said they found the pot in Sawyer's
Cactus Pete hotel room after receiving complaints that his band openly used
drugs.
   Sawyer was released on $2,500 bail, and finished his weekend performances at
Cactus Pete.
    The 57-year-old singer is known for such hits as "The Cover of the Rolling
Stone," "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman," and "Sylvia's Mother."
   ------


RTna 02/28/94     UN AGENCY REJECTS ANY LEGALIZATION OF ABUSE DRUGS

    VIENNA (Reuter) - The United Nations drug control agency Monday firmly
restated its opposition to any legalization of mood-altering drugs, making no
exception for whether they were considered to be "hard" or "soft."
     "We're against any legalization of drugs. The differentiation between hard
drugs, like heroin, or soft drugs, like cannabis, is something we don't do,"
Gottfried Machata of the International Narcotis Control Board told a news
conference.
     "In the Netherlands, it has been demonstrated that the availability of
hashish has led to a deterioration of the situation in the addictive drug
market," he said.
      Cannabis is legally available in the Netherlands.
     In Europe, there were signs that Italy was leaning toward liberalization of
drug laws, whereas Spain and Portugal had tightened up their drugs policy,
Machata said.
     In its annual report for 1993, the U.N. agency said the "drug menace has
broken past geographic limits and has outgrown its traditional classification as
a criminal or social issue."
     The business had become global and was penetrating "the spheres of
international politics and world economics," it said.
     The review added that there was clear evidence to confirm that
internationalization and cooperation of drug cartels were increasing steadily.
     At the same time, drug runners were growing more ruthless, creating fully
 integrated empires from cultivation to distribution and money laundering and
arms sales.
  REUTER


RTw  03/02/94      COLOMBIA TO SHOOT DOWN DRUG PLANES - MINISTER

    BOGOTA, March 2 (Reuter) - Colombia's national security council has
authorised air force jets to shoot down airplanes suspected of carrying drugs if
they refuse to obey orders to land when intercepted, Defence Minister Rafael
Pardo said Wednesday in a radio interview.
     "This measure  ...  would be taken after exhausting all visual and sign
procedures ... against an aircraft which does not identify itself, which has no
flight plan and which does not comply with signals given by air force planes
which intercept it," Pardo said.
     Anti-drug agents estimate that hundreds of airplanes take off or land in
Colombia every month carrying raw materials such as coca base into the country
 for processing and shipping out refined narcotics to the United States or to
transit countries for forwarding to Europe.
     Washington has provided assistance to the Colombian government such as
regular overflights by AWACS surveillance craft and the building of a series of
radar bases to track unauthorised plane movements but the vast majority of
traffickers' flights still go unintercepted.
     The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board's (INCB) latest
report, published Monday, said that processing and trafficking of cocaine from
Colombia continued to increase last year despite police persecution.
     INCB officials said heroin and marijuana smuggling had also risen.
     Colombian anti-narcotics police and military managed to immobilize only 27
airplanes last year out of the hundreds which move through the country's
 airspace, according to official figures.
     Many craft use routes over the sparsely populated and vast Amazon jungle,
where police overflight capacity is severely limited by range restrictions.
     Pardo said the move to permit the shooting down of traffickers' planes was
intended to help protect national sovereignty over Colombian airspace. He said
the move would be officialized shortly in a government decree.
  REUTER


UPce 03/03/94     Chicago alderman proposes decriminalizing pot

   CHICAGO March 3 (UPI) -- An alderman has proposed a measure in the Chicago
City Council to reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana
to a $250 ticket.
   Alderman William Beavers, a former Chicago police officer, Wednesday said his
proposal to decrimininalize marijuana would help ease backlogs in the county
court system by making the penalty for simple possession of pot similar to a
parking ticket.
   Currently, marijuana possession is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to
30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Beaver's ordinance would carry no jail time if
a person is convicted of possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana.
 Violators would appear before a city hearing officer instead of going to court.
   "Let's be realistic about what happens in court and on the street," said
Beavers. "Pot smokers get slapped on the wrist, they clog up the court, and it
costs a lot of money to taxpayers to get them in court. This way, the city gets
some revenue, and they have to pay real hard cash, which hurts more than a slap
on the wrist."
   However, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is against the idea.
   "I can't figure that out because if you can't smoke cigarettes at City Hall,
should we allow people to smoke marijuana," Daley said.
   Alderman Edward Burke, also a former police officer, said reducing the
penalty for marijuana possession "sends a mixed signal to youngsters...that it
(pot smoking) would not be a big deal."


RTw  03/12/94    NEW AGE HIPPIES FOLLOW OLD DRUG, SEX TRAIL TO GOA

    By Moses Manoharan
     ANJUNA BEACH, GOA, India, May 13 (Reuter) - A new generation of hippies are
following the flower children of the 1960s to Goa, still seeking nirvana through
drugs, sex and music.
     Their communes are built around the same clusters of thatched huts and red
sand hovels once occupied by the original hippies beside the pristine,
palm-fringed beaches of the former Portuguese enclave, which was taken over by
India in 1961.
     "Goa is the same as what we heard, the romance (of Goa in the 1960s) that
was built up as a story of paradise," says Gwendolin, a Malaysian-Chinese who
 sits on the popular Vegator beach sharing a joint of hashish with friends.
     But Gwendolin, sporting a punk haircut, points out her generation grew up
after the Beatles, free sex and Hindu meditation -- the visible symbols of the
1960s counter culture.
     "We are the new age," she insisted, taking a puff from a marijuana
cigarette handed to her by an emaciated Frenchmen who came to Goa among the
early followers of the counter culture.
     "I'm an original, not a duplicate," the Frenchman proudly said, adding that
much has changed in both the hippie and Goa.
     Indians in clothes of bright red and yellow hawk curios and offer soothing
oil massages to barebreasted women, the prime attraction for male visitors from
nearby Maharashtra state.
      Goa, on the coast south of Maharashtra, whose capital is Bombay, has become
in the past few years India's top tourist destination with a unique Portuguese
culture and long beaches.
     "It was paradise. We fled the West because it was materialistic. We thought
India would resist, it could not," the Frenchman said, referring to the huge
luxury hotels and resorts springing up to attract a new kind of foreign visitor.
     The hippies, numbering in the hundreds, are also different.
     They have replaced the gentler music and simple lyrics of the 1960s with
what they call acid techno rock, electronically produced sounds pounded out
through loudspeakers.
     Sex is more careful in the age of AIDS, but as wild and open as in the
past, though hashish and heroin is being replaced by designer drugs such as
 ecstacy, the hippies say.
     Markus Pifrement, a 21-year-old from Vienna, believes the first hippies
were more free, shuttling between Goa in winter and Nepal in summer.
     "Now, if you are a freak, you have to go to Goa. It is a question of
image," he said, rolling a marijuana cigarette.
     Drugs are openly consumed at Chapora beside Anjuna beach by men and women
from countries ranging from Germany to Japan, often scowling when approached by
journalists.
     Residents warn outsiders and especially journalists of the risk they run of
being clubbed by the older hippies, whose children run around the roads barefoot
and in torn clothes.
     The narrow, dusty roads throb to the sound of their unmuffled motorcycles
 ridden at high speeds.
     At cafes, they sit in sullen silence, sipping local alcoholic drinks and
eating strawberries and ice cream.
     In the evening, the hippies gather for parties that begin after purchases
of drugs and liquor and last up to two days.
     The police occassionally bust up a party, demanding the hippies say, bribes
to issue permits.
     Sally Duftyn, a doctor from England, says she was at a party disrupted by
police, who waved guns and beat up several people.
     "It was very frightening," she said, adding she would soon return home to
resume her practice.
     Police Inspector Ashok Naik said the raid on the party was over music. No
 weapons were fired, he said.
     "We define a hippie as someone who dresses unconventionally, not fully
naked, but running around in underwear," Naik said.
     But alleged police hostility does not worry Karen and Ray Coles, who blow
long wooden tubes called didgeridoo, an Australian aboriginal musical instrument
they sell for between 600 and 800 rupees ($19-$25).
     "We have found a new life here, we don't want to return to our old lives,"
says Ray, who was a building contractor.
     Beside them, a couple dressed in tartan wait for customers.
     "I'm a Scottish hairdresser," said Delma. "Not Irish, Welsh or English mind
you."
     "It used to be a few of us exchanging stuff we needed or for money," one
 long-time Austrian resident reminisced.
     "Now it has become commercial," she said with a grimace as she spread out
semi-precious stones for sale on a blanket.
  REUTER



UPce 03/13/94    Gubernatorial candidates wary of inmate early release programs

By GREGORY TEJEDA
 United Press International
   Candidates in the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries realize
Illinois' prison system is too crowded, but they are wary of anything that would
seem like early release for criminals.
   Of the candidates, only Democrat James Gierach, an attorney from Palos Park,
wholeheartedly supports such programs.
   Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, a Democrat, and conservative
Republican Jack Roeser support such programs on a limited basis.
    Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican, along with Cook County Board President Richard
Phelan and Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, both Democrats, are opposed
to the idea.
   Those were the results of a United Press International survey of the
gubernatorial candidates, asking each the question "Are expanded early release
programs for non-violent prison inmates the right step to help alleviate the
overcrowded conditions that now exist in Illinois prisons?"
   Democratic candidate Sheila Jones, a follower of Lyndon LaRouche, declined to
participate in the survey.
   Early release programs would allow inmates convicted of lesser offenses to
earn additional good time, thereby shortening their prison stays and making room
for people convicted of violent crimes. Some measures were approved last year by
 the General Assembly, as part of the package that also saw $60 million allocated
for construction of a high- security prison near Tamms.
   Gierach, who is running on a platform of reforming drug laws, noted that
about 6,000 of the nearly 33,000 prison inmates in Illinois are serving
sentences for drug convictions.
   "No record is maintained to distinguish how many of the 6,000 inmates are
held for marijuana as opposed to hard drug offenses," Gierach said. "The attempt
to fight the lost war on drugs by prison construction is futile, very costly,
and results in the early release of violent offenders."
   Gierach said he supports increased funding for early release programs "which
emphasis education, work, job training and drug treatment for non-violent
inmates," as well as creation of a new state board that would have full say in
 determining which inmates get out early.
   Roeser agreed. "I believe criminals who pose a danger to society should
receive first priority for space in prisons," he said.
   Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch said early release programs could be
one part of an overall crimefighting package, although she concedes more prison
space will have to be built.
   "We must do more to assure Illinoisans that violent offenders will be
incarcerated," Netsch said. "Tough sentencing legislation without providing
additional space is just political rhetoric."
   Following are the negative responses by gubernatorial candidates to the
question "Are expanded early release programs for non-violent prison inmates the
right step to help alleviate the overcrowded conditions that now exist in
 Illinois prisons?"
   Among the more negative responses, Burris said early release programs "are
part of the band-aid type approach to fighting crime which has characterized the
Edgar administration."
   Burris said a restructuring of sentencing laws is what is needed to 
"ensur(e) that those who commit violent crimes go to prison and that they serve
at least 85 percent of their sentences. Further, I believe that those who have
committed three class 1, 2 or X felonies should receive automatic life
sentences."
   Edgar, however, also opposed early release programs.
   "My bottom line is this: The most dangerous people in our society need to
remain behind bars," he said. "We can achieve that by getting smart on crime as
 well as getting tough on it."
   And Phelan said "simply releasing nonviolent offenders early, with virtually
no skills or supervision, is an irresponsible solution to our prison crowding
problems.
   "The public safety of Illinoisans is threatened by this practice because the
likelihood is high, especially without adequate skills and supervision, that
these offenders will commit repeat crimes," Phelan said.


APn  03/18/94    Ranch Raid

   LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a millionaire rancher
during a failed drug raid sued the district attorney from another county who
criticized his handling of the case.
   Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Gary Spencer filed the lawsuit Wednesday
-- about a year after being criticized by Ventura County District Attorney
Michael D. Bradbury.
   The deputy shot to death Donald P. Scott, 61, during a multi-agency raid in
1991 at Scott's Malibu-area ranch near the Ventura County line. Authorities were
 looking for marijuana, but none was found.
   Bradbury's report cleared Spencer of wrongdoing in the death because Scott
was armed, but also said Spencer may have lied to get the search warrant.
Bradbury concluded the raid was an attempt to seize the $5 million ranch under
federal forfeiture laws, which Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block denied.
   The lawsuit accuses Bradbury and others of libel, slander and civil rights
violations, said Noel Klebaum, assistant counsel for Ventura County.
   "In our view, it's baseless," Klebaum said of the lawsuit. "He accuses
Bradbury of having all of these bad motives. But Bradbury found that, in fact,
Spencer could not be prosecuted."
   Spencer, who works in the Malibu sheriff's station, is seeking undisclosed
compensatory and punitive damages. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.
 


RTw  03/20/94    ONE OF "15 MOST WANTED" FUGITIVES NABBED IN OREGON

    WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuter) - A Scot whose role as the alleged mastermind
of an international drug smuggling network made him one of the most wanted
criminals in the United States has been arrested in Oregon, authorities said.
     A statement from the United States Marshals Service said Peter Christopher
Scott Macfarlane, a 47-year-old native of Glasgow, Scotland, was arrested early
Saturday at a remote residence in Applegate, Oregon, where he was using the
alias Richard Parker.
     Macfarlane, who allegedly amassed millions of dollars from his drug
smuggling and distribution activities, was unarmed and offered no resistance at
the time of his arrest by deputy U.S. Marshals, the statement said.
      It said Macfarlane, whose alleged hashish and marijuana smuggling network
was linked to organised crime in Canada, was one of the Marshal Service's "15
Most Wanted" fugitives.
     REUTER


03/21/94     Canadian government wants to allow hemp farming again

   OTTAWA, March 21 (UPI) -- The Canadian government is trying to make it legal
for farmers to grow cannabis, or hemp, for commercial purposes after a 50-year
ban.
    Health department spokesman Bruce Rowsell says Parliament is about to
consider legislation that would legalize growing the crop for rope or paper
products.
   Rowsell said farmers would be licensed to grow forms of hemp that contain
virtually no THC, the hallucinogenic chemical in cannabis.
   Rowsell said farmers in the United Kingdom, France and eastern Europe are
allowed to grow hemp crops that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, and that is
the standard that will be used in Canada.
   The clearance to grow hemp is contained in a wider package of changes to
Canadian narcotic control laws currently before Parliament.



UPn  03/21/94   Canadian government wants to allow hemp farming again

   OTTAWA, March 21 (UPI) -- A Canadian government spokesman said Monday that
proposed legislation being considered by Parliament will allow farmers to grow
cannabis, or hemp, for commercial purposes after a 50 year ban.
   Health department spokesman Bruce Rowsell said under the proposed
legislation, farmers would only be allowed to grow forms of hemp that contain
virtually no THC, the hallucinogenic chemical in cannabis.
   Rowsell said farmers would be required to have a license to grow the crop,
which can be harvested to make rope and paper products.
   He said farm groups lobbied the government to let them grow hemp as a way of
replacing tobacco and other crops.
    Rowsell said farmers in the United Kingdom, France and eastern Europe are
allowed to grow hemp crops that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, and that is
the standard that will be used in Canada.
   The clearance to grow hemp is contained in a wider package of changes to
Canadian narcotic control laws currently before Parliament.
   Rowsell said Parliament has not yet dealt with the proposal to allow farmers
to grow hemp, and said he didn't know if there would be opposition to it.



UPce 03/23/94    Two Spartans arraigned for selling dope

MASON, Mich., March 23 (UPI) -- A running back and a former linebacker for
Michigan State University's football team were arraigned Wednesday on charges of
selling marijuana to undercover officers on campus.
   Spartans back-up running back Steven Lamar Holman, 19, was freed on $10,000
bond after being charged with two counts of delivering small amounts of
marijuana.
   Former MSU linebacker Eric Williams, 21, was charged with selling a
quarter-pound of pot. He was freed after posting $25,000 bond.
    Both men were arraigned in Ingham County Court before Circuit Judge David
Jordon. They were arrested Tuesday.
   Holman allegedly sold less than ounce of marijuana on Feb. 17 in the Case
Hall dormitory. A similarly small amount was allegedly sold to an undercover
officer five days later in an apartment in married-student housing.
   Williams is charged with selling one large amount of marijuana in a married
student housing.
   Holman, a sophomore from Indianapolis, was the third leading rusher last year
for the Spartans, gaining 373 yards and scoring six touchdowns. He led the team
in kickoff returns.
   As a star for an Indianapolis high school, Holman was named 1991 offensive
player of the year. He was one of MSU's top recruits in 1992.
    Williams, an outside linebacker, was one the team four years but did not see
any action. He played at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he received
all-conference and all-area recognition.
   Separate preliminary exam hearings for the men were scheduled for April 4.



APn  03/25/94   Housekeeping-Drugs

By GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
 A Hearst Magazine
 For AP Special Features
   Marijuana, LSD and amphetamines -- the drugs of choice of the '60s and '70s
-- are making a comeback among teen-agers just as cocaine and crack are losing
their appeal.
   There has been an increase in drug use among eighth, 10th and 12th graders
during the past two years, Christiane N. Brown wrote in an article in the
 current issue of Good Housekeeping, citing a recently released 1993 University
of Michigan report titled "Monitoring the Future Study."
   "This new generation of young people did not witness the destruction these
drugs caused in the past," said Dr. Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator of
the Michigan study.
   The survey also reveals a disturbing erosion in anti-drug attitudes among
teens.
   "If kids continue to see drugs as less dangerous and more socially
acceptable, use may continue to rise," said Steve Dnistrian, vice president of
the Partnership for A Drug-Free America.
   Experts believe that the permissive attitude toward marijuana is one of the
reasons for the sharp rise in marijuana use at the eighth-grade and high-school
 level from 1992 to 1993. In the last two years, the proportion of eighth-graders
using marijuana has increased by half, the proportion of 10th-grade users
increased by about a quarter, and the proportion of 12th-grade users by about a
fifth.
   Although these new rates are still below the peak levels reached in the late
'70s, they represent a reversal of the declines recorded for more than a decade.
   "Marijuana use went down in the '80s partly because there were so many
`negative examples' of people who suffered its harmful effects," said Dr.
Herbert D. Kleber, executive vice president of Columbia University's Center on
Addiction and Substance Abuse.
   "Young people today don't see as many drug casualties, and don't believe that
it is harmful."
    Today's marijuana is more potent and dangerous than ever. Ten years ago,
marijuana contained about two percent THC, the ingredient that provides the
high. Today's marijuana contains an average of 12 percent THC -- and sometimes
as much as 30 percent.
   "Among drugs teen-agers report having used at least once, inhalants rank
second to marijuana," Dnistrian said.
   Inhalants include everyday substances such as butane, solvents, glues and
aerosols. They are more popular with younger children -- 11 percent of
eighth-graders (one in nine) reported using an inhalant in the previous year,
compared with 8.4 percent of 10th-graders and 7 percent of 12th-graders. But in
the past two years inhalant use has risen in all grades surveyed.
   "Young people don't fully understand the dangers of inhalants, perhaps
 because most are common household products," Johnston said. "But these
substances can be lethal -- just a single use can kill."
   Other possible effects include suffocation, seizure or coma as well as brain,
liver and kidney damage.
   Among high school students, LSD use has risen to its highest level since
1985.
   "LSD is a good example of generational forgetting," Johnston said. "Today's
young people were not around to witness the devastating effects of LSD -- the
bad trips, flashbacks, accidents and so on."
   LSD is usually sold as "blotter acid." Users chew or swallow small sheets of
paper which have been treated with liquid LSD. It also is available in tablets
and in thin, gelatin squares.
    In most cases, LSD produces profound changes in perception and causes
hallucinations, which take about 12 hours to wear off. Users may later
experience flashbacks to the drug trip as well as suffer long-lasting psychoses
such as anxiety, panic or depression.


UPse 04/01/94      Enforcement sought at 'hash-bash'

   ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 1 (UPI) -- The state's drug czar is urging citizens
to demand tougher sanctions against participants in Ann Arbor's annual
"hash-bash" Saturday.
   The Office of Drug Control Policy said citizens offended by the widespread
use of marijuana should videotape pot smokers and demand that law enforcement
officials prosecute offenders.
   Ann Arbor, which currently imposes a $25 fine on pot smokers, is host each
year to scores of marijuana smokers for weekend dubbed the "hash- bash."
   Drug Policy Director Robert Peterson, who expressed dismay at the presence of
teenagers at previous "hash-bashes," said Michigan's eighth graders smoke
 marijuana at twice the national average.
   "It is up to adults to protect children from the drug culture and to silence
those voices that whisper 'just say yes' to our young people," Peterson said.
   Peterson recommeded that Ann Arbor raise its fine to $200, with the fees
directed at treating children who use marijuana.
   He also urged the videotaping of illegal drug use at pot events and demanding
that law enforcement action. And he said citizens should demand that stores stop
selling clothing that glamorizes the use of marijuana.
   "Over 3,000 studies on marijuana have been compiled and none of them give
this toxic drug a clean bill of health," Peterson said.
   "The campaign to legitimize open pot smoking is another con job by national
groups supported by drug lawyers and old hippies and yippies such as NORML and
 associated hemp organizations," he said.


APn  04/01/94      Drug Sales Tax

   TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court declared the state's
sales tax on drug deals unconstitutional, ruling it forces people to incriminate
themselves.
   The court ruled unanimously Thursday in favor of Mark Herre, who was slapped
with a bill for $236,250 in taxes, fees and penalties on 300 pounds of marijuana
discovered in the trunk of a car he was driving in 1988.
   Herre, who claimed that the car didn't belong to him and that he didn't know
what was in the trunk, pleaded no contest to attempted trafficking. He was fined
 $5,000 and placed on probation but continued to fight the tax bill.
   States where drug-deal taxes have been upheld, including Nebraska, Iowa,
Kansas and Alabama, protect people against self-incrimination by not requiring
taxpayers to identify themselves, the court said.
   The Revenue Department is looking into whether the ruling means the state
must return the $2.3 million collected since the 50 percent tax went into effect
in the 1984-85 fiscal year, spokeswoman Donna O'Neal said.
 


UPn  04/02/94     69 arrested at Michigan's Hash Bash

   ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 2 (UPI) -- Police arrested 69 people, most of them
for possession of marijuana, at the annual Hash Bash rally Saturday on the
University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbour.
   In spite of the arrests, university spokeswoman Lisa Baker said the crowd of
5,000 was festive, orderly and peaceful.
   "There were a lot of people out just because it was a nice day," Baker said.
   A total of 69 people were arrested. Those arrested for marijuana possession
were ticketed for violating state laws, which are tougher than the city of Ann
Arbor marijuana statutes, and released on personal recognizance.
   Hash Bash has been held annually for 23 years to promote legalization of
 marijuana.
   Rally organizers said they were kicking off a petition drive aimed at getting
a referendum -- the Hemp Initiative -- that would ask voters to legalize pot for
medicinal and personal use.
   "It was like an art fair," said Sgt. Harry Jinkerson. "People were enjoying
themselves, looking at the spectacle of people looking at them. "
   Baker said that because the rally took place on state property, those
arrested were being charged under state laws rather than the more liberal Ann
Arbor marijuana statutes.
   Under the state law, fines can be up to $200, while the fine under the city
law is $25.



UPse 04/04/94     Views on marijuana clash in Lansing

   LANSING, Mich., April 4 (UPI) -- Two days after a pro-marijuana rally led to
69 arrests in Ann Arbor, the divisive issue surfaced in Lansing with another
rally and a drug czar's call for tougher laws against pot dealers and users.
   About 50 people gathered Monday on the statehouse lawn for the Capitol
Cannibis Protest, which police said was peaceful. No one was arrested.
   Protesters railed against a Senate bill that would boost penalties for
marijuana possession, and endorsed a campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan
for personal and medicinal uses.
   Meanwhile, state drug czar Robert Peterson gave his blessing to the bill that
the protesters oppose.
    The bill would set a mandatory $500 fine for marijuana possession, up from
the $200 maximum fine under current law, and create a sliding scale penalty
system for pot dealers so that the bigger the deal, the bigger the fine.
   Peterson, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, said studies linking
pot smoking to childhodd leukemia, traffic accidents and brain impairment are
some of the reasons why he wants the state to "just say no to the elder drug
culture."
   "The campaign to legitimize open pot toking is another con job by national
groups supported by drug lawyers and old hippies and yippies," Peterson said.
   The bill is sponsored by Sen. Michael Bouchard, R-Birmingham, Sen. Jack
Welborn, R-Kalamazoo, and Sen. Gil DiNello, R-Clinton Township.
   The bill's opponents include Dan Patterson, a Michigan State University
 student who hosts a reggae music show on the campus radio station.
   "Whatever we've been doing to increase penalties, increase jail sentences and
increase fines has not worked," Patterson said.
   Patterson said he was one of the 5,000 people who attended the Hash Bash
rally Saturday in Ann Arbor, which was peaceful but involved some arrests made
by police who walked through the crowd lounging outside on the University of
Michigan campus.
   Most of those arrested were flagrant about smoking pot and charged with
misdeamenor possession.



RTna 04/04/94      LITTLE DEBBIE MAKERS FUMING AT LITTLE DOOBIE SHIRTS

    NEW YORK (Reuter) - The makers of the popular Little Debbie cakes are not
happy that their snack's rosy-cheeked, curly-haired trademark is being used on a
T-shirt hyping marijuana.
     McKee Foods Corp, based in Collegedale, Tennessee, Friday sued Spencer
Gifts, the 486-store novelty store chain, in Manhattan federal court for
trademark infringement.
     On Monday, a federal judge Monday ordered Spencer Gifts to temporarily
remove the T-shirts from its shelves and the  Pleasantville, N.J. -based
retailer said it would return all the shirts to the vendor.
     The shirts, which sell for $14.99, carry a picture of "Little Debbie" with
 her curly hair and sunbonnet smoking a marijuana cigarette.
     However, the shirts call the rosy-cheeked child "Little Doobie" instead and
carry the phrase "Blow your mind ... not your waistline."
     The shirts refer to the snacks as "weed pies" that contain no seeds or
stems. The word "doobie" is a slang reference to a marijuana cigarette.
  REUTER


UPce 04/05/94    Drug sentence of former DA upheld

   MADISON, Wis., April 5 (UPI) -- The Wisconsin Appellate Court Tuesday upheld
the 1993 drug possession conviction of former Vilas County District Attorney
David Penn.
   Penn faces six months in jail for possession of marijuana and cocaine.
   He had accused special prosecutors in the case of misconduct for obtaining a
letter Penn said was protected under attorney-client privilege. The court,
however, declined to address the alleged misconduct, saying Penn knew the
effects of his guilty pleas.
   Penn was convicted of using marijuana and cocaine in the late 1980s and early
1990s at the time he was prosecuting drug cases in northern Wisconsin.
    Penn also faces cocaine charges filed two months ago. He is scheduled to
appear in court on those charges April 28.



APn  04/05/94  Little Debbie

   NEW YORK (AP) -- The maker of Little Debbie cookies is suing a novelty store
chain over a T-shirt that shows the company's familiar logo -- a little girl in
a sun hat -- pushing marijuana-spiked munchies.
   A federal judge Monday banned Spencer Gifts from selling its "Little Doobie"
T-shirts for 10 days. He told Spencer and McKee Foods Corp. to reach a
settlement by April 13 or return for a hearing.
   The shirts show the Little Debbie girl smoking a joint and offering to "blow
your mind ... not your waistline" with a package of "12 individually warped
 cakes."
   The little girl, featured on packages since 1960, was modeled on Debbie
McKee, whose grandfather founded McKee Foods Corp. His name? O.D.
 


RTw  04/06/94     AMBASSADOR'S SONS CHARGED WITH MARIJUANA SMUGGLING

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 6 (Reuter) - Two sons of Jamaica's ambassador to
the United States were arrested Wednesday on attempted drug smuggling charges,
police said.
     Brian Bernal, 20, and his brother Darren, 16, were arrested at Kingston
International Airport as they attempted to board a morning flight to Washington,
where they are both pursuing studies, police said.
     Their luggage was searched and "a quantity" of sealed fruit juice tins in
their suitcases were found to contain marijuana. Police said they are unable to
state the exact amount found until a lab examination is carried out.
     The brothers are to appear in court Thursday.
      Their father, Richard Bernal, is Jamaica's ambassador to the United States
and the Organisation of American States.
     He is also head of the Caribbean Community diplomatic corps that has been
lobbying Congress to pass legislation to give Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)
countries parity with Mexico.
     The CBI, introduced early in the Reagan administration, gives preferential
tariff treatment to exports to the United States from most Caribbean and Central
American countries.
     Mexico joined the United States and Canada in January in a free-trade
accord.
  REUTER


UPn  04/06/94      Dutch leader cuts short Jakarta visit

   AMSTERDAM, April 6 (UPI) -- Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers cut short his
scheduled four-day trip to Indonesia Wednesday and started home to answer
opposition party questions about a new investigative report highly critical of
his justice and interior ministers.
   Lubbers cut short his important trip to the former Dutch colony after only
three days, and will face tough questions Thursday in parliament over a growing
scandal involving a disbanded undercover drug investigation team.
   The Inter-Regional Detective Team was disbanded last November after
revelations that it was purchasing illegal drugs for sale on the underground
market in an effort to infiltrate drug rings operating in the Amsterdam and
 Utrecht regions. The detectives reportedly were purchasing large quantities of
marijuana and hashish.
   Justice Minister Hirsch Bellin and Interior Minister Ed van Thijn have both
been criticized in a the newly released report for failing to impose proper
controls on the detective team to prevent its members from exceeding their
guidelines.
   Lubbers has said he would not allow anyone implicated in the report to suffer
personal consequences, a statement likely to be challenged when the prime
minister is questioned before parliament Thursday.
   Lubbers' ruling Christian Democrat Party, the CDA, is in the midst of a
campaign for the country's May 3 elections and has come under fire recently over
the controversy.
    Lubbers has said he will step aside after 12 years as the prime minister and
CDA leader. The party, though facing tough competition, is expected to retain
its majority in parliament, with party vice chairman Elco Brinkman expected to
succeed Lubbers.
   In Jakarta earlier, the Dutch foreign minister said Lubbers had to cut short
his visit to answer questions in parliament, and explained that the timing was
sensitive because of the upcoming elections.
   The Dutch official expressed the hope that even the three-day visit to
Indonesia would show how relations between the two countries had improved.
Lubbers had been scheduled to meet several cabinet ministers Thursday before
leaving.
   The Dutch foreign minister, who remained in Indonesia, said he would be
 speaking with non-governmental groups Thursday about human rights conditions in
Indonesia -- particularly the situation in East Timor.
   East Timor is a former Portuguese colony that was annexed by Indonesia in
1975 following the withdrawal of Lisbon. The annexation was opposed by the
Timorese, and has resulted in a bloody war.
   Ties between Jakarta and the Hague had been strained since 1992, when
Indonesia terminated aid receipts from the Netherlands on the grounds the Dutch
were using the assistance as leverage to meddle in Indonesia's domestic affairs.
   The Netherlands was one of several countries that threatened to cut off
development aid to Indonesia after government troops opened fire in November
1991 on pro-independence demostrators in East Timor.



circa 04/06/94      [untitled - Wesley Snipes Incident]

   ------
   JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Wesley Snipes was thrown from his motorcycle but not
seriously hurt after a 120 mph police chase, the Highway Patrol said.
   The actor refused medical treatment and was ticketed for reckless driving.
   Snipes spokesman David C. Pollick said the 31-year-old action-adventure star
was speeding but not trying to elude police.
   Highway Patrol Lt. Sherian Staley said Snipes threw something on the road
during the chase, and police later found a package of marijuana near that site.
No drug charges were filed immediately.
   Police said the chase began Monday night after Snipes sped between a patrol
car and another vehicle on the two-lane Florida Turnpike. It ended 30 miles
 away; Snipes crashed when his motorcycle and the patrol car bumped.
   Snipes' movies include "Demolition Man" and "Rising Sun." He is in Florida
filming "Drop Zone."
   ------


UPn  04/07/94     Dutch official admits drug probe errors

   AMSTERDAM, April 7 (UPI) -- Dutch Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin acknowledged
Thursday that he made mistakes in handling a now-disbanded special invstigation
team that bought large quantities of illegal drugs in an effort to infiltrate
and smash drug rings in the Netherlands.
   Ballin, speaking in a special session of Parliament, said he should have kept
a closer watch over the Inter-Regional Detective Team, the IRT, and monitored
its activities more carefully.
   "I invested too much trust in the leadership of the IRT," Ballin told
Parliament, "and should have taken steps to see that they were doing their work
properly."
    While acknowledging his own mistakes, Ballin suggested that the Amsterdam
police chief and district attorney's office should share a large measure of the
blame for the IRT exceeding its mandate.
   The special session of Parliament came after the opposition Green and D-66
parties demanded a hearing over the issue following the release of a special
investigative report that was highly critical of the justice and interior
ministers over the affair.
   Ballin and Interior Minister Ed van Thijn, the Amsterdam mayor until his
Cabinet appointment earlier this year, were criticized in the report for failing
to impose proper controls on the detective team to prevent its members from
exceeding their guidelines.
   The IRT was disbanded last November after it was revealed that the group was
 purchasing illegal drugs for sale on the underground market in an effort to
infiltrate drug rings operating in the Amsterdam and Utrecht regions. The
detectives reportedly were purchasing large quantities of marijuana, hashish and
cocaine.
   The controversy over the affair, which comes weeks before the May 3
parliamentary elections, prompted Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers to cut short
his scheduled four-day trip to Indonesia Wednesday and return home to show
support for his two Cabinet ministers.
   The prime minister's ruling Christian Democrat Party faces a tough test in
the elections. Public opinion polls released Thursday showed only 30 percent of
the party's loyal voters favor Lubbers' handpicked successor, Elco Brinkman, as
the next prime minister.
    Lubbers has said he will step down after 12 years as the country's prime
minister.



APn  04/08/94   California Cash

By RICHARD COLE
 Associated Press Writer
   SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- California government may be short of money, but the
state is awash in cash and experts point to drug trafficking, the state's
underground economy and instability in Asia as the likely reasons.
   Economists say the cash infusion may have partially insulated the region from
its four-year recession. But it also has cost the strapped state treasury at
least $1.8 billion a year in unreported revenue at a time when the budget
 deficit has hit $3 billion.
   Since 1990, the annual cash surplus reported by the Los Angeles branch of the
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank has almost tripled, from $3.4 billion to $9.3
billion in 1993.
   Since 1992, the Los Angeles surplus -- the excess cash the district bank
collects from financial institutions compared to what it distributes -- has
soared past Miami's to lead the nation's 36 districts.
   Private financial institutions keep cash on hand to meet daily banking needs.
When they have too much, they send it to the district federal reserve bank for
safekeeping. Too little, and they ask the bank to send the cash back.
   "We don't know where all our excess cash is coming from down in Southern
California," conceded district spokesman Ron Supinski.
    But law enforcement officials note the cash switch from Miami to Los Angeles
followed a similar trend in drug-trafficking.
   Tougher enforcement in Florida and the Caribbean put the squeeze on cocaine
transporters in the late 1980s, says Ralph Lockridge of the Los Angeles office
of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
   The Colombian traffickers' response was to open routes through Central
America and Mexico into the American Southwest.
   "Now a large portion of the drugs -- some say 70 percent -- come through the
Southwest," Lockridge said. "And they have also developed money-laundering
systems along the West Coast."
   Fed figures show two other Southwestern districts, El Paso and San Antonio,
are also in the top five showing cash surpluses the past four years.
    Nationally, estimates of laundered cash run as high as $100 billion.
   In the late 1980s, Colombia's Medellin cocaine cartel used Los Angeles
jewelry stores to hide drug cash in an operation they called "La Mina." Now,
investigators say money exchange houses along the Mexican border are performing
a similar task.
   Last September, Customs agents near San Diego stopped three Colombian women
and found $300,000 stuffed into special girdles.
   Analysts agree there are other legal and semi-legal sources for the cash
pouring into California.
   One of the most intriguing is California's "underground economy," a
cash-driven alternative system that eschews checks and credit cards. It includes
everything from gambling and prostitution to off-the-books sales of legitimate
 goods.
   A Wells Fargo Bank study by analyst Gary Schlossberg conservatively estimates
California's underground economy at $140 billion a year, or 18 percent of the
gross state economy. That figure is probably low, and doesn't include Northern
California's huge marijuana crop, he says.
   "You have to look at the underground economy, especially illegal immigrants
and those whose transactions tend to be cash oriented," Schlossberg said.
   California has more than half the nation's illegal immigrants, he notes. They
usually can't open bank accounts or get credit, and are often paid off the books
in cash.
   The state's weak economy also gets some blame.
   "When the economy goes south, a lot of legal transactions don't get reported
 just to avoid taxes," Schlossberg said.
   Another likely source is money flowing in from the Pacific Rim countries.
   The return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the tension between North and South
Korea and increasing U.S. trade may be driving Asians to fly their U.S. dollars
to Los Angeles for investment or safekeeping.
   Los Angeles Customs spokesman Greg Doss says it is not unusual for Koreans to
arrive with $100,000 or more in their suitcase.
   "And large amounts of cash are brought in from Mexico to purchase goods in
the LA area," he said.
 


WP   04/08/94     Mitchell, Cabranes Said to Top High Court List; Senate Majority Leader, 
                           Hispanic Judge Offer Clinton Choices on Opposite Ends of Spectrum 

By Joan Biskupic 
Washington Post Staff Writer 

    If President Clinton chooses Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell
(D-Maine) for the Supreme Court, he'll get an experienced vote-dealer, a true
liberal and an example of the old-fashioned Democratic way of picking justices.
    If Clinton selects U.S. District Judge Jose Cabranes, who has more than 10
times the judicial experience of Mitchell, he'll get nearly the opposite.
 Cabranes is a 15-year trial judge in Connecticut whose judicial record is
moderate enough that the Bush administration briefly considered him for the high
court in 1990.
    While Cabranes would be the first Hispanic justice, his selection also would
follow the recent Republican pattern of elevating lower court judges to the
Supreme Court. Democratic presidents in this century were more apt to turn to
the world of politics. That may tempt Clinton, whose first choice for a high
court replacement last year was New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo.
    Mitchell and Cabranes emerged yesterday as top names on a list of potential
successors to Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who announced Wednesday that he will
retire at the end of this term. But - as happened last year when front-runners
became also-rans - anything goes in the selection process.
    Clinton plans to have his first full discussion of the vacancy Saturday,
after he returns to Washington from a two-day midwestern trip to promote health
care reform. Some senior officials sought to counter the impression yesterday
that the White House had settled on Mitchell. They said some of the president's
advisers believe a candidate from outside the Beltway would better fulfill
Clinton's pledge to diversity the court and change the way Washington does
business.
     Numerous people are being considered, including Solicitor General Drew S.
Days III, who would be the third black justice; federal Appeals Court Judge
Richard S. Arnold, a longtime Clinton friend from Little Rock, Ark.; and federal
Appeals Court Judge Stephen G. Breyer of Boston, who was passed over at the last
minute for Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year.
     Clinton said he was searching for "someone of genuine stature and a
largeness of spirit" to replace Blackmun. As shown by his interest in Mitchell
and Cuomo last year, he appears attracted to the possibility of nominating
someone from public life.
     Mitchell, 60, would bring a different background and style to the court, as
well as a jolt of liberalism. He is against the death penalty, for abortion
rights and against prayer in public school.
    "Mitchell presents a really attractive combination of past government
experience," said Stanford University law professor Kathleen Sullivan, noting
that he had been a U.S. attorney (1977-79), a federal judge (for eight months)
and, since 1980, a U.S. senator. Mitchell, a graduate of Georgetown University
Law School, was elected Democratic majority leader five years ago in a fierce
 competition.
    "He has been in all three branches. He wins the trifecta," Sullivan said,
adding, "As (Oliver Wendell) Holmes said, `The life of the law has not been
logic; it has been experience.' "
    Little can be discerned about Mitchell through his brief tenure as a trial
judge. But his judicial philosophy has emerged in numerous floor debates and
votes.
    He disagreed with a 1990 Supreme Court ruling striking down a federal law
that banned flag burning. Yet he argued that the Congress should not react with
an amendment to the Constitution to protect the flag. "I do not believe we
should ever, under any circumstances, for any reason, amend the American Bill of
Rights. The Bill of Rights is so effective in protecting individual liberty
 precisely because of its unchanging nature. Once that is unraveled, its
effectiveness will be forever diminished," he said.
    Last month during debate on the balanced-budget amendment, which he opposed,
Mitchell noted that if it were adopted, three-fifths of each house of the
Congress would have to approve of any unbalanced budgets.
    "By enshrining in the Constitution, the fundamental law of our nation, the
principle that a minority of elected representatives can prevent action favored
by a majority, this amendment could have a far-reaching and incalculable effect
on the way this nation is governed. It tramples the fundamental idea of majority
rule."
    He led congressional efforts to reverse a series of 1989 court rulings that
narrowed the breadth of job-discrimination law and made it harder for workers to
 sue for bias. He invoked the nation's civil rights history, noting how a quarter
century ago "America's conscience was awakened by the use of attack dogs and
fire hoses against peacefully assembled American citizens - it is discouraging
to learn that we have come so far in time but so short a distance in
understanding."
    Mitchell voted against Clarence Thomas's appointment to the high court in
1991. He also opposed Rehnquist's elevation to chief justice in 1986, asserting
that Rehnquist has "hostility ... to the rights of women and minorities,
especially black Americans."
    But Mitchell is fundamentally a consensus-builder, an intense but
soft-spoken cajoler who could influence the court's centrist justices.
    Barring any startling disclosure about Mitchell, he would likely be
 confirmed easily - a plus for Clinton in considering whom to nominate. But, one
White House official countered yesterday, "he's not the sort of justice you can
hold up to America at large and say, see what I have done for you like he does
with Ruth Bader Ginsburg," a pioneer in women's legal rights.
   Cabranes, 53, does offer Clinton an opportunity for a big statement: he would
be the first Hispanic justice.
    Cabranes, who was appointed to the trial court in 1979 by Jimmy Carter, has
a reputation as a judicial moderate with liberal leanings. He is said to
approach each case so neutrally that neither conservatives nor liberals embrace
him as their own.
    While he was widely reported to have been under serious consideration by the
Bush administration after Justice William J. Brennan Jr. retired, a former Bush
 official said yesterday that Cabranes never made "the short list of eight or
nine names." The former official said that Bush aides realized that Cabranes was
not the conservative they wanted. David H. Souter, who was chosen, has proven
himself not to be a true conservative either.
    Cabranes, a Yale Law School graduate who is chief judge on the federal
district court for Connecticut, comes across as reflective but collegial. Yale
University law professor Paul Gewirtz said, "He combines being scholarly with
being savvy."
   Although his writings reveal a pragmatic, painstaking approach to cases,
Cabranes also displays a social conscience.
    In a speech to a local civil rights conference last year, he summed up the
future rights agenda: "We all know too well that there are critical areas of
 civil rights in which advances are either threatened or remain yet to be
consolidated, most notably in matters involving privacy and sexual orientation.
We also know that, for women, victimization as a class by discriminatory laws
and social practices, and a collective failure to take sexual violence
seriously, is a vivid and palpable reality. This reality is unacceptable."
   With few exceptions, Cabranes's rulings have received little notice outside
his home state. He has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the federal
criminal sentencing guidelines, contending they rob judges of the discretion to
decide cases with concern for an individual defendant.
    Last year, when he reluctantly sentenced a man who was found guilty of
growing marijuana at his home, Cabranes said, according to the Hartford Courant:
"A sentence of five years is substantially more than is required to achieve any
 of the major purposes of a criminal sanction. (The defendant's) incarceration
... will unnecessarily burden the federal prison system ... yield no discernible
benefit to society and yield no discernible benefit to the defendant."
    Cabranes, who was born in Puerto Rico, was recently edged out for a seat on
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which hears cases from
Connecticut, New York and Vermont. Clinton in February nominated Guido
Calabresi, dean of the Yale Law School. That opening was considered a
Connecticut seat.
    Before Blackmun's resignation announcement this week, administration
officials said that Cabranes, who grew up in the Bronx, could yet be considered
for a New York slot on the appeals court. 
 _ Staff writer Ann Devroy and researcher Ann O'Hanlon contributed to this
 report. 


APn  04/08/94     Drug Ads

By CAROLYN SKORNECK
 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Where have all the anti-drug ads gone? Time was, a night
of television wasn't complete without that guy breaking an egg into a sizzling
frying pan with the warning, "This is your brain on drugs."
   But those days are over as the public has moved on to other worries, such as
war, violent crime and the economy.
   At the same time, there have been fewer drug-related network news stories and
 television shows with anti-drug messages, while pro-drug messages from
entertainers become more numerous, say those who monitor such matters.
   There is no hard data showing the individual impact on young people of
anti-drug ads, news stories and TV programs on drug use, but some specialists
say the collective changes could be factors in a recent rise in drug use.
   A study by Lloyd Johnston of the University of Michigan found a growth in the
use of marijuana, amphetamines, LSD and inhalants such as glue, solvents and
aerosols by eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders last year.
   Significantly, the study also revealed that students' fears about the dangers
of nearly all drugs, including cocaine, continued a decline that began in 1991.
   Johnston, who has tracked students' use of drugs for nearly two decades, said
reduced fears of drugs have led in the past to increased use. "I do think the
 pulling back of media's carrying of those ads has made a difference," he said.
   The number of anti-drug ads broadcast on the major networks declined by 29
percent from 1990 to 1993, said Steve Dnistrian of the Media-Advertising
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which produces them and pushes TV stations
and publications to run them.
   In interviews, Johnston and Jay Winsten, director of the Center for Health
Communication at Harvard University's School of Public Health, agreed that the
changes in attitudes and rising drug use cannot be blamed solely on the drop in
anti-drug messages.
   "What we're up against is mixed messages," said Winsten, a developer of the
designated-driver campaign to combat drunken driving. New pro-drug images "may
be more responsible for the changes in attitudes than any decrease in the number
 of anti-drug ads," he said.
   As the message on drug use was becoming mixed, the nation's attention was
diverted to other subjects.
   The number of drug-related stories on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts
last year dropped by 87 percent from 1989, when President Bush declared a war on
drugs, according to figures from the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a
private monitoring group.
   "The issue was getting heavy attention in the late '80s, until we got the
buildup to the Gulf War," Johnston said. "That knocked everything off the
screen."
   The drug issue never bounced back, he said.
   "This is a country that doesn't like to struggle with problems for too long,"
 Johnston said. When they drag on for decades, "it's easier not to think about
it."
   The nation's political leadership "for the last three to four years has not
been focusing on the issue, either," he said. "To some degree, they set the
agenda."
   People simply got tired of the issue, Dnistrian said.
   "The public has a real short attention span and so does the news media," he
said. "If there's nothing new being said, there's a tendency to move on to the
next crisis."
   TV shows often pick up story lines from the news. Accordingly, "drugs as a
theme have slowly but surely disappeared from television sitcoms and popular
shows that teen-agers watch," Dnistrian said.
    There are exceptions. Recent anti-drug story lines were featured on the
popular "Beverly Hills 90210" and the new program, "The Byrds of Paradise." Both
air early in prime time.
   But other entertainers, including popular rock and rap groups, have been
celebrating the joys of drugs.
   "I like to get high, high, high," intones Cyprus Hill, a rap group that
supports legalizing marijuana.
   The rock group Guns N' Roses sings about shooting up drugs, while Nirvana --
whose lead singer Kurt Cobain recently suffered a brief coma brought on by
mixing a large dose of tranquilizers with champagne -- sings about sniffing
glue.
   Nirvana's lyrics do acknowledge a down side to the high: "We'll float around
 and hang out on clouds, then we'll come down and have a hangover."
 


RTw  04/11/94     DANISH ILLEGAL HASH TRADERS END DRUGS LAW PROTEST

    COPENHAGEN, April 11 (Reuter) - Danish cannabis traders ended a five-day
"strike" over government drugs policy on Monday after failing to persuade
authorities to legalise the sale of hashish.
     During the strike action, dealers refused to trade hash openly as they
normally do in Christiania, the Copenhagen hippie colony, forcing regular
customers to buy supplies on the criminal hard drug market.
     The "open" soft drugs traders were hoping to illustrate their point that
legalisation of cannabis would remove criminal elements from the hashish market.
     "After receiving thousands of protests from angry customers forced to
purchase cannabis on closed drug markets, we have decided to reopen the world's
 most open, junk-free hash and pot market," a spokesman for cannabis traders at
Christiania,  said.
     Many people visit Christiania to buy marijuana on the infamous "Pusher
Street" where soft drugs are openly on sale in defiance of a ban by the Danish
authorities.
     Danish Justice Minister Erling Olsen visited the colony last week but
rejected pleas for the legalisation of hash sales in Denmark.
     Christiania is occupied by some 700 hippie squatters, who declared the
former military area an autonomous "free town" in 1971. In 1980, they kicked out
a motorcycle gang which was using the area as a centre for hard drug traffic.
  REUTER
 


WP   04/11/94     Survey Finds Teens See Little Risk in Occasional Drug Use 

By Spencer Rich 
Washington Post Staff Writer 

    Large numbers of Americans do not think using cocaine, marijuana and other
drugs occasionally is a great threat to their health and find the drugs
relatively easy to obtain, the government has reported.
   Only 54 percent of youths from 12 to 17 believe using cocaine once or twice
presents a great risk, the Public Health Service reported, using figures based
on the 1992 Household Survey on Drug Abuse that was released Friday.
     And only half in that age group think smoking a pack or more of cigarettes a
day poses a great health danger.
    Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala called the findings
of the survey "alarming."
    Looking at the whole population, the survey found that adults fear drug use
more than the young, but even so large numbers do not view occasional use as a
big concern.
    The survey found that a third of those 12 or older said trying cocaine once
or twice is not a great risk. A quarter said the same about heroin, and 55
percent about marijuana.
    And a third did not worry about the health risk of smoking one or more packs
of cigarettes a day.
     "People with the highest educational attainment were most likely to perceive
great risk in smoking cigarettes but least likely to perceive great risk in
using illicit drugs," the Public Health Service said.
    Well over half the population, 59 percent, finds it easy to get marijuana,
the survey revealed, and two-fifths said cocaine is easy to get.
    These attitudes and opportunities may explain what researchers called a
"disturbing" increase in actual drug use by teenagers, reported Feb. 28 by the
University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. That survey found an
increase over the preceding two years, reversing a trend of generally declining
use of illicit drugs in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
    The Michigan researchers reported that a quarter of all 12th graders said
they were smoking marijuana compared with just over a fifth two years earlier,
 and many said they were using LSD and amphetamines and sniffing glue.
 


RTna 04/12/94     MARIJUANA -- A CAMBODIAN SURPRISE FOR TOURISTS

    By Aaron Patrick
     PHNOM PENH (Reuter) - Marijuana, illegal in most countries, is a
traditional medicine and cooking herb in Cambodia -- and an increasingly popular
attraction for surprised foreign backpackers.
     "It's completely legal here," says 32-year-old Werner Heisel, a visiting
German.
     "The Cambodians call it the poor man's smoke -- and if you bargain hard one
kilo (2.2 pounds) goes for one or two dollars. But not many Western tourists
come for the drugs. It's too early, hardly any foreigners know about it," he
told Reuters.
      Locally-grown marijuana is widely and legally available at markets and
street stalls throughout the country.
     Marijuana has traditionally been used as medicine, as a relaxant and
appetite stimulant and as a herb in some dishes. The wispy plant with
star-shaped leaves is grown by farmers throughout Cambodia.
     "It is smoked to feel happy and to go to sleep and allow you to eat a lot,"
says Aah Joy, a grandmother who claims she has been selling marijuana since
1929.
     "Twenty cigarettes (of marijuana) costs 1000 riel (U.S. 40 cents). As many
Cambodians buy it as foreigners but I don't touch it. It is like a wine. Some
people have it and some people don't," she says.
     Cambodia's barely-functioning legal system, destroyed by 20 years of war,
 bloody revolution and corruption, has laws against drugs such as heroin and
opium but details of prosecutions on drugs charges were not available.
     Local police said there were no plans to criminalize marijuana use.
    "It's a tradition. Some police use it as a medicine and some mix tobacco
with it," says Captain Sao Sophal, a police criminal investigator in Phnom Penh.
     The tourism industry is making a shaky recovery as infrastructure and
security gradually improve after the dark decades of war and isolation. There
are now an average of 10,000 visitors a month, mostly from Japan, Australia,
Europe and the United States.
     Many of the visitors are the younger backpack breed, delighted by the
exotic country and friendly people and surprised to see marijuana so readily
available.
      The Tourism Ministry says visitors come to see the impressive range of
ancient temples and historical monuments but officials admit the discovery of
marijuana does seem to brighten some holidays.
     "They don't come to Cambodia for that purpose. They come and if they find
some and want to taste it they do," explains Undersecretary of Tourism Chenda
Sok.
     Some enterprising Cambodians have been quick to cash in on the arrival of
the backpackers and their fondness for marijuana.
     One pizza restaurant in the capital even offers special selections with the
drug sprinkled on top of the dish along with the usual herbs, salami and cheese.
     Heisel predicted that more young tourists would arrive in Cambodia as word
spread of the easily availability of marijuana but he doubted the country would
 ever turn into an international drugs trade center. The quality of the local
product is just not up to scratch, he said.
     "Cambodian marijuana quality is supposed to be one of the best but I think
the number one quality goes to Thailand. Maybe one or two people will try to
export to Europe but I have never met anybody who does," he said.
  REUTER


APn  04/13/94     Puerto Rico-Drugs

By PATRICK REYNA
 Associated Press Writer
   MIAMI (AP) -- A dozen people were arrested Wednesday in what federal agents
called a crackdown on the latest trend in drug trafficking: bringing drugs into
the United States mainland through Puerto Rico.
   The ring, with branches in Miami and San Juan, made use of aliases, speed
boats and fake record-keeping to hide its activities, according to a federal
indictment made public Wednesday.
    The smugglers dropped cocaine and marijuana shipments off the coast of Puerto
Rico, where others picked up the cargo and brought it ashore, the indictment
alleges. Once the shipments were in Puerto Rico, the ring used people to ferry
the drugs to the mainland.
   "Puerto Rico is particularly attractive to smugglers because it is U.S.
territory and shipments from here to the continental United States -- whether
they be cargo containers, mail or even Federal Express packages -- are not
subject to customs checks," said William Mitchell, agent in charge of the Drug
Enforcement Administration's San Juan office.
   Agents began noticing the problem in 1988, "and it's been increasing and
increasing since then," said Jim Shedd, an agency spokesman in Miami.
   The ring primarily smuggled cocaine in shipments ranging from 394 pounds to
 2,200 pounds, the indictment said. It also allegedly smuggled a 3,000-pound load
of marijuana into the country.
   The smugglers once hid their cocaine in boxes of shampoo that were dropped at
a Miami warehouse, and then moved to a horse farm, where agents seized the
drugs.
   DEA agents arrested four suspects in the Miami area; eight others were
arrested in Puerto Rico.
   Five others named in the indictment remained at large.
   The indictment includes charges of conspiracy to import and importation with
intent to distribute cocaine.
   Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rossello has asked the Clinton administration to
include the island in a federal program that targets high-density drug
 trafficking areas. New York, Miami, Washington-Baltimore and Los Angeles already
have received that distinction.
   "We are a source island for so much of the cocaine that gets to those
places," Mitchell said. "If we don't stop it in Puerto Rico, certainly we won't
be able to stop it in those high-density drug areas."


RTw  04/13/94      MOROCCAN POLICE SEIZE 1.6 TONNES OF CANNABIS

    RABAT, April 13 (Reuter) - Moroccan police seized 1.6 tonnes of cannabis
resin near the central town of Fez on Wednesday, the official news agency MAP
reported.
     MAP said the drug, with an estimated street value of 20 million dirhams
($2.1 million), was hidden in a Mercedes vehicle. The driver and his accomplice
escaped before police arrived, it added.
    In 1993 an estimated 130 tonnes of hashish and canabis resin were seized in
Morocco, mainly near the ports of Tangier and Casablanca.
  REUTER


APn  04/14/94    Elderly-Drugs

   HOUSTON (AP) -- An 82-year-old woman who authorities say ran a "major league"
drug operation was sentenced to two years in prison.
   Sally Evans Hubbard, a great-grandmother known as "Big Mama," leaned on her
walker Wednesday as she pleaded guilty to drug possession and delivery.
   Ms. Hubbard, who has diabetes and high blood pressure, could have gotten 20
years.
   She was accused of selling marijuana and anti-anxiety tablets to an
undercover officer in July. A search of her home turned up 30 pounds of
 marijuana and more than 2,000 painkiller, anti-depressant and muscle relaxant
pills.
   Ms. Hubbard, who has more than 70 grandchildren and great-grandchildren,
operated a "major league candy store when it comes to drugs," prosecutor Bill
Hawkins said.


UPwe 04/15/94       Schoolchildren claim right to carry knives

FRESNO, Calif., April 15 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union filed
suit Friday on behalf of three Sikh elementary school children who were
suspended earlier this year for wearing ceremonial knives under their clothing.
   The lawsuit, filed in federal court, accused the Livingston Union School
District of violating the children's constitutional rights by refusing to allow
them to wear kirpans, small sacred knives that Sikhs are required to wear at all
times, at school.
   Sikhs are members of a Hindu religious sect founded in India.
   Rajinder Singh Cheema, Jaspreet Singh Cheema and Kukhjinder Kaur Cheema were
 suspended in January after they refused stop wearing their kirpans.
   District officials objected to the kirpans under school policies forbidding
weapons on school grounds.
   "We and the Sikh community are concerned about preventing school violence,"
said Stephen V. Bomse, an attorney representing the children. "However,
permitting these children to practice their religion in no way compromises that
objective."
   The lawsuit is an early test of a new federal law, the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act of 1993, approved by Congress in reaction to a U.S. Supreme
Court decision permitting states to enforce laws that ban practices used in
religious ceremonies that would otherwise be illegal -- such as smoking
marijuana or carrying a weapon -- as long as the laws are not aimed specifically
 at religion.

End



Compiled by Paul Stanford