Hemp News 30

Hemp News No. 30

Compiled by

Paul Stanford



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	Without further ado, please enjoy the news:



UPn  02/10/95     Administration says drug use growing

By PAUL BASKEN
   WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. drug czar Lee Brown on Friday conceded a
growing use of illegal drugs nationwide, but urged the Republican-led Congress
not to abandon the administration's emphasis on treatment over enforcement.
   But Republicans, leading a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on drug policy,
branded the Clinton administration strategy a clear failure and insisted it
develop a tougher response that depends more on police, courts and jails.
   "A major share of the blame for the deterioration in the nation's efforts in
the war on drugs must be laid squarely on the lack of presidential leadership on
this issue," declared Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
    Brown, the administration's chief of drug control policy, did not dispute
that the problem was growing.
   "Drugs are readily available to anyone who wants to buy them," Brown said.
"Cocaine and heroin street prices are low and purity is high, making use more
feasible and affordable than ever.
   "Marijuana is increasingly available, potent and cheap, enticing a new
generation of users," Brown said. "Current coca cultivation in Latin America is
three times what is necessary to supply the needs of the U.S. market."
   But Brown insisted the administration -- which requested a fiscal 1996 drug
control budget of $14.6 billion, up 9.7 percent over this year -- had a "tougher
than ever" strategy for confronting the problem, led by its continuing emphasis
on treatment programs for hardcore users.
    Hatch made clear that Republicans were not satisfied either with President
Clinton's policies or his apparent attitudes.
   "President Clinton has failed in the first two years of his administration to
use his office as he should, as a bully pulpit against the use of illegal
drugs," and has pursued policies such as shifting interdiction efforts that have
been a "dismal failure," Hatch said.
   One of Brown's predecessors as drug czar, William Bennett, was even more
caustic.
   "During the 1980s, Nancy Reagan was ridiculed for her 'Just Say No'
campaign," Bennett told the committee. "But it turns out that 'Just Say No' is
far more effective than 'I didn't inhale.'"
   Bennett cited a "disturbing pattern" of administration activities, including
 an 80 percent reduction in Brown's staff; cuts of more than 600 drug-enforcement
positions in other federal agencies; suspension of military involvement in
monitoring drug trafficking in Latin America; proposals by administration
officials to reduce mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug offenses; and a
study of the possibility of legalizing certain drugs.
   Members of both parties agreed that the most disturbing statistics were those
showing increased levels of drug use among children. The number of high school
seniors who have used drugs grew 2.7 percent last year, and those who said they
used drugs within the past month jumped 3. 6 percent.
   Brown said the administration wanted to fight back against such numbers by
keeping the primary emphasis on treatment.
   "Research indicates that the best way to reduce the problem of illicit drug
 use and its consequences is to reduce the number of chronic, hardcore users,"
Brown said, and "the best way to reduce chronic drug is to provide effective
drug treatment in our communities, and in our jails and prisons."
   He said such chronic users "are responsible, directly and indirectly, for
much of the violence and crime associated with drug trafficking."
   Hatch disagreed, saying chronic users, "although they consume a large
percentage of total drugs, represent a much smaller percentage of total drug
abusers.
   "I believe that our limited resources would be better targeted at preventing
casual use that progresses to hardcore addiction, so that new hardcore users are
never created," Hatch said.
   The Republicans now controlling Congress have targeted prevention programs
 contained in the $30 billion crime package that the Democratic- controlled
Congress approved last year.
   A GOP crime bill expected to come to the House floor next week would
eliminate the prevention programs and use the funds for block grants to states
and munipalities so that local officials can decide how to use the money.
   It also would eliminate funding for special drug courts, which use a
coordinated combination of early intervention and drug treatment to target
youthful offenders before they graduate to more serious drugs and crimes.
   The legislation is the most controversial of the six crime-related bills
offered by Republicans. House Democrats and the Clinton administration have
promised to fight the bill because it would cut funding for a program to hire
100,000 new police officers nationwide.
    The Senate Judiciary Committee heard Friday from Delaware Supreme Court Judge
Richard Gebelein, who pleaded with Republicans not to eliminate funding for the
drug courts.
   "Drug courts fight crime smart, that is why in communities where they have
been created they are supported by the police and by the prosecutors," Gebelein
said in a statement delivered to the committee on behalf of The National
Association of Drug Court Professionals.



RTna 02/10/95      Republicans blame Clinton for drug policy failure

By Robert Green
     WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Republicans called President Clinton's drug policy a
failure Friday as the administration's anti-narcotics chief conceded the problem
was getting worse.
     "President Clinton has failed in the first two years of his administration
to use his office as he should as a bully pulpit against the use of illegal
 drugs," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said at a hearing on
drug control strategy.
     "For two years now, we have had an administration drug policy that has
shown little or no coordinated action. There has been a decline in prosecutorial
efforts, accompanied by a decline in seizures of illegal drugs as well," said
Hatch, a Utah Republican.
     William Bennett, director of drug control policy under Republican President
George Bush, said Clinton's attitude toward drugs was part of the problem,
citing Clinton's comment that he had once tried marijuana but did not inhale it.
     "Policy follows attitude. The Clinton administration has been AWOL (absent
without official leave) in the war on drugs. Indeed, it has shown much more
interest in the baseball strike than the devastation of the young by drugs,"
 Bennett said.
     Lee Brown, Clinton's director of drug control policy, said drug use among
teen-agers was increasing after several years of decline. He said illegal drugs
were readily available to anyone who wants them while hard-core drug use was
widespread and responsible for much of the nation's crime and violence.
     "Casual drug use is increasing, especially among adolescents," Brown said.
"The attitude among many young people today reflects an easy acceptance of drug
use, and less disapproval of those who do use drugs.
     "The growing availability of cheap, high-purity heroin raises concerns
about the possibility of another heroin epidemic," Brown added.
     Brown said the administration believed the way to fight drugs was through a
balanced program of prevention and treatment for users along with arrests of
 drug dealers and interdiction of narcotics shipments from other countries.
     Republicans want to stress enforcement and interdiction and reduce funds
for treatment and prevention but Brown said that would be a mistake.
     "The Republican crime bill seeks to destroy the careful balance of
punishment and prevention we all worked so hard to create. I hope that another
solution can be found to preserve the programs that we know work," Brown said.
  REUTER



RTna 02/12/95      Study shows government snitches controlling agents

NEW YORK (Reuter) - Highly-paid government informants are gaining increasing
control over their handlers and the laws to control the use of snitches are
often flouted, a study to be released Monday shows.
     The National Law Journal, a New York-based weekly publication, concluded
after a nine-month investigation that "law enforcement's reliance on informants
has grown to almost Orwellian proportions as snitches exert growing control over
 agents and judges fail to impose any checks or balances."
     The results of the study, which appear in the trade journal's current
issue, appear as publicity heightens over the trial of a militant Muslim cleric
and his followers who are charged with planning to bomb U.S. landmarks and
assassinate political leaders.
     One of the key witnesses in the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman will be
government informant Emad Salem, who was paid $1 million by the government for
his help.
     However, the Law Journal reports that most abuses by informants and law
enforcement officials stems from the country's war on drugs. The paper says that
new forfeiture laws have made drug busts "a law enforcement prize, generating
lots of cash both to pay informants and to increase their own operating
 budgets."
     It says that mandatory sentencing laws with their steep prison terms have
created powerful incentives for criminals to take any steps to avoid jail.
     The journal quotes federal Judge Stephen Trott of the Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeals as warning prosecutors that criminals will do anything to stay out of
prison, including "lying, committing perjury, manufacturing evidence, soliciting
others to corroborate their lies with more lies and double-crossing anyone with
whom they come into contact, including -- and especially -- the prosecutor."
     In addition to abuse by out-of-control informants and the agents who rely
on them, the journal found that rules for controlling the use of informants are
often flouted.
     "In day-to-day practice, there is almost no independent judicial oversight
 of the symbiotic relationship between agents and their highly paid snitches. And
when the details of these shadowy alliances do come to light, it is usually
because something has gone horribly, fatally wrong," the paper found.
     REUTER



APn  02/13/95      Crime-Informants

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Federal law enforcement agencies spent $97 million on
informers in 1993, nearly four times what they spent eight years earlier, the
National Law Journal reported today.
   In its Feb. 13 issue, the New York-based weekly quoted judges and others who
said the use of informers was getting out of hand.
   "The integrity of the criminal justice system is at stake," said Stephen J.
Trott, who headed the Justice Department's Criminal Division in the Reagan
administration and is now a federal appeals court judge. "There needs to be
 better control and supervision of informants."
   Michael Levine, who spent 25 years as an agent for the Drug Enforcement
Administration and the Customs Service, contended that federal agents have
abdicated responsibility by allowing "about 15,000 wild, out-of-control
informants" to take over investigations, even dictating what the agents do.
   Using paid informants was defended by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, whose
office relied mainly on a secret informant, Emad Salem, to build a case against
a group of men currently on trial on charges they plotted to blow up New York
City landmarks.
   "Problems with informants is an ongoing issue for us, but the use of
informants is essential to intelligence," White told the newspaper. "In many
cases, using informants is the only way to proceed."
    Salem, a former confidant of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is accused as the
spiritual leader of the scheme, was paid more than $1 million for his help,
prosecutors have said.
   "Most of the time there are two or three informants and sometimes they are
worse criminals than the defendant on trial," said U.S. District Judge Marvin H.
Shoob of Atlanta.
   "I can't tell you the last time I heard a drug case of any substance that did
not have at least one informant," Shoob said.



RTw  02/14/95     Honduran police make record pot bust

TEGUCIGALPA, Feb 14 (Reuter) - Honduran police arrested three men after
uncovering the largest marijuana plantation in the country's history, officials
said on Tuesday.
     Police spokesman Danilo Orellana said the plantation, located in Honduras'
rugged northern mountains, covered 2.4 square miles (6.2 sq km).
     Anti-drug agents found 1,616 pounds (733 kg) of harvested marijuana and
 125,000 plants growing on the land, he said.
     Orellana said the amount of marijuana found and the size of the plantation
were "without precedent" in Honduras.
     "We assume it's for export since it exceeds any kind of local demand," he
said.
     Orellana said the three men were being held but police were looking for
others linked to the huge operation.
     The marijuana was valued at $2.7 million.
  REUTER



UPn  02/14/95      us-crime-senate

   (ED: 1grafcrn5thgraf xxx he said. pickup6thgraf: constantine quoted --
correcting quote attribution to constantine said.
 (PR: constantine: KOHN-stan-tighn; freeh: FREE)
 FBI, DEA chiefs sound warning
 By MICHAEL KIRKLAND
   WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The nation's top federal cops sounded a warning
Tuesday before a Senate panel, saying that illegal drug trade and drug related
violent crimes are on the rise.
   "The solution (to the mounting drug problem) is going to be 10 or 15 years of
tremendous national will and the commitment of resources," said the chief of the
 Drug Enforcement Administration, Thomas Constantine.
   FBI Director Louis Freeh, testifying with Constantine before the Senate
Judiciary Committee on federal law enforcement priorities, said violent crime
has increased more than 50 percent in 10 years.
   "The level of fear is even higher," he said.
   Later Constantine said, "I don't think there has been a real war on drugs in
this country since the problem exploded on us in the 1960s."
   Constantine quoted a letter he received from an elderly woman who said she
was too afraid to walk through her own neighborhood because of gang and drug
activity.
   "I see children playing around crack pushers and drug users...For God's sake
something needs to be done. Do it," the woman wrote Constantine.
    Constantine said one-third of violent crimes and one-half of all homicides
are now drug-related -- but solving the homicides is generally below the 60
percent level, and below 50 percent in some cities.
   "Things will get worse before they get better," the DEA chief said. There has
been a sharp increase in violent crime among those aged 15-19, he said, and that
portion of the U.S. population is growing.
   Baltimore tops the list of U.S. cities with cocaine-related hospital
emergencies, at six times the national average, followed by New York at five
times the national average and Detroit at four times the national average, he
said.
   One Colombian drug cartel, which Constantine called the "Cali Mafia, " is
responsible for 90 percent of the cocaine that comes into the United States.
    The cartel is "the most powerful organized crime system that this world has
ever seen," Constantine said, and is "one of the most significant threats to the
American way of life."
   The DEA chief said the cartel flies tons of cocaine into airstrips in
northern Mexico for smuggling across the U.S. border, and in one night flies out
$20 million to $30 million in drug money collected in the United States.
   Committee member Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., asked Freeh and Constantine
whether corruption in Mexico was keeping that country from interdicting the drug
flights.
   Freeh replied that a newly elected Mexican administration "has a very solid
commitment" to fight corruption.
   In his testimony, the FBI director outlined the rise of crime in the United
 States and the commitment of his resources -- 9,742 FBI agents, as opposed to
38,000 police officers in New York City.
   "From 1960 through 1993," Freeh said, "the number of violent crimes reported
in America increased 567 percent. In the last 10 years it increased 51 percent.
The level of fear is even higher."
   Freeh highlighted organized crime as one of the bureau's main targets, but
said the problem has gone beyond the traditional organized crime families.
   Asian organized crime, including Chinese triads, criminally influenced
Chinese Tongs, Japanese Boryokudan groups, Vietnamese street gangs and Korean
criminal enterprises also are on the rise, he said.
   He also warned of the Russian-Eurasian crime syndicates that have begun to
operate in the United States.
    The Clinton administration budget for fiscal year 1996 includes 6 percent
increases in the FBI and DEA budgets, but committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch,
R-Utah, and ranking minority member Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del, pledged to work
for even more funding.



RTw  02/15/95     China province has executed 500 for drugs

BEIJING, Feb 15 (Reuter) - China's southwest province of Yunnan executed 466
people for drug offences in 1994 and said the amount of heroin seized fell for
the first time in 10 years, the Economic Information Daily said on Wednesday.
     Yunnan's war on drugs has shown no signs of abating, according to a report
in Wednesday's Legal Daily, which said 26 people had been put to death for drug
crimes this year.
      The province is China's anti-drug frontline because it abuts the
opium-growing Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, including north Burma, parts of
which are controlled by warlords who finance their armies by trafficking heroin
and opium.
     Yunnan authorities seized 2.81 tonnes of heroin in 1994, down from three
tonnes in 1993, and arrested 6,632 for drug offences, of whom 1,644 were tried
and sentenced to death or prison terms, Economic Information Daily said.
     "Four hundred sixty-six were shot to death," the newspaper said. A bullet
to the back of the head is China's standard method of execution.
     The most important arrest during the year was that of Yang Maojian, a major
trafficker, who was caught on May 8 as he entered Yunnan from Burma in a jeep.
He was executed for selling 270 kg (595 pounds) of heroin.
      Officials noted that after the death of Yang, whose brother is a warlord in
an opium-growing part of northern Burma, the flow of heroin into Yunnan slowed,
the paper said.
     The newspaper also reported a positive effect of the war on drugs, saying
Chinese experts had begun entering Burma to teach opium farmers how to grow
profitable and legalcash crops such as sugarcane, tea and rubber.
     The Legal Daily said that of the 26 executed in Yunnan so far in 1995, 19
were drug pedlars working inside the province while seven were cross-border
traffickers.
     One trafficker from Taiwan was put to death for buying 4.6 kg (10 pounds)
of heroin in Kunming, the provincial capital, the report said.
     Doctors believe Yunnan has at least 100,000 heroin addicts but say drug
 abuse has surged nationwide, mainly in major cities where citizens have been
enriched by market reforms.
  REUTER


APn  02/16/95      Drug War

By JOHN DIAMOND
 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The multibillion-dollar U.S. war on drugs has done little
to stop the flow of cocaine and other narcotics into the United States, a top
general told lawmakers Thursday.
   Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, head of the U.S. Southern Command encompassing all
of Latin America, said that despite a well organized and costly counter-drug
operation, "these current efforts are not achieving their purpose."
    Cocaine remains plentiful on the streets of the United States at stable
prices. Production in cocaine-growing regions continues to increase. Organized
seizures and destruction of cocaine crops eradicates a tiny fraction of total
production.
   "A multiyear effort involving substantial resources and enormous energy and
creativity," McCaffrey said, "has not had the effect we desired."
   Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee expressed concern that a $13
billion annual U.S. commitment to the war on drugs has produced so little.
   "Your message is candid but very discouraging," said Sen. Richard Bryan,
D-Nev. "I don't see how we impact this overall problem."
   Sen. John Warner, R-Va., suggested that the Pentagon conduct a "bottom-up
review" of its anti-drug efforts and develop new strategies.
    The military spends about $700 million contributing to the U.S. counter-drug
strategy. Most of the rest of the $13 billion annual drug war budget goes to law
enforcement agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, and to programs
designed to assist other countries combat drug production within their borders.
   McCaffrey portrayed an insatiable drug market able to adapt to law
enforcement agencies by quickly changing drug routes and methods of production.
   "All too often, progress in one area is offset by a negative development
elsewhere," McCaffrey said. "As long as there is domestic demand, some
entrepreneur will find a way to meet it."
   For example, where drug smugglers recently used Guatemala as a way station
for cocaine shipments from Colombia to Mexico, smugglers now are skipping the
halfway point and using Boeing 727-sized aircraft with multi-ton loads,
 McCaffrey said.
   McCaffrey said the Southern Command, headquartered in Panama, is turning its
focus to Peru as the source of 80 percent of the cocaine that reaches America's
streets. Having checked rebel insurrection and improved the local economy,
McCaffrey said, the government of President Alberto Fujimori "is now ready to
tackle narco-trafficking."
   While he acknowledged the difficulty of tackling the drug problem, McCaffrey
rejected suggestions that it is insurmountable.
   "I think part of the problem has been our decision to call it a war,"
McCaffrey said. "I prefer to think of it as more of a cancer. I don't think
about achieving victory but about dealing with the problem."



RTw  02/16/95     Australian farmers given a legal taste of cannabis

By Belinda Goldsmith
     SYDNEY, Feb 16 (Reuter) - Farmers in South Australia are being told to take
a long, hard, legal stare at cannabis, which is being touted as the most
environmentally sound crop of the 1990s.
     South Australia on Thursday became the second of Australia's six states to
give the green light for trial plantings of industrial hemp, which is already
 grown in some other countries.
     South Australian Health Minister Michael Armitage said the hemp was a close
relative of the marijuana plant but with low doses of the narcotic ingredient
THC and is ideal for making fibre for rope, clothing and paper.
     "In due course these trials may pave the way for new primary and processing
industries in this state," Armitage said in a statement on Thursday.
     Laws governing marijuana vary between Australian states and territories
from being totally illegal to allowing a person to possess enough for personal
use.
     Hemp was widely used around the world until the 1920s for a variety of
purposes, including ship sails, in medicines and as a fuel in lamps. Hemp lost
much of its popularity as the smoking value of the plant sparked anti-drug
 campaigns, which eventually saw the plant outlawed in many countries, including
Australia.
     Now, Armitage said, the South Australian government, following the lead of
island state of Tasmania, recognises the need for agricultural diversification
where farmers have been fighting one of the nation's worst droughts.
     "It (hemp) competes very favourably with cotton as a fibre producing up to
three times more fibre than cotton without the attendant requirement of
intensive irrigation and pest control programmes," Armitage said.
     Hemp has been widely hailed as the super crop of the 1990s as no pesticides
or chemicals are used in its growth and the amount of chemicals used in
processing is cut by 80 percent.
     Managing Director Marco Bogaers of Australia's largest cannabis clothing
 company, Slaam Streetwear, said the plants used to produce cannabis cloth are
genetically altered to promote long woody stems superior for making fibre and
less foliage and seeds and, importantly, less THC..
     "The level of THC in the cloth is extremely low, about 0.01 percent, and
you'd have to smoke about five pairs of jeans to feel any effect," Bogaers told
Reuters on Thursday.
     "But people have this fear the plant is a drug and would be exploited if
grown commercially," he said.
     Bogaers said cannabis cloth is becoming increasingly popular in Australia,
Britain and the United States for jeans and tops.
     He said the use of oil from the plant's seeds in cosmetics, shampoo and
even as a fuel was becoming popular.
      Slaam, which set up two years ago with a cannabis leaf motif on its
clothing, has an annual turnover of A$2 million (US$1.5 million) and now exports
to Japan and New Zealand.
     Bogaers said Slaam imports its cannabis cloth from Hungary and India with
cloth also available from Afghanistan and China, but is looking at investing in
a plantation in Vietnam.
     "We use the fact it's made of cannabis as a marketing ploy," Bogaers said,
"and people come and smell it and taste it.
     "But really it's just another fabric but stronger and about 15 percent more
expensive than cotton."
  REUTER



APn  02/23/95      Hero Award

By SCOTT BEKKER
 Associated Press Writer
   KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A teen-ager who rescued three people from a burning
house will receive a national bravery award despite his drug arrest, the Justice
Department said Thursday.
   "If I didn't get it, I'm still going to live my life," 16-year-old Mychael
Ramsey said after learning that he will receive the 1993 Young American Medal
for Bravery.
    Friends got the news before noon and finally found Ramsey, covered in white
paint from his painting job, late in the afternoon.
   The Justice Department notified him early this year that he'd been chosen to
receive the medal, but reversed that decision after a reporter asked about the
time he was arrested on a marijuana charge.
   Since then, program staff decided Ramsey should be honored after all,
spokeswoman Anne Voigt said.
   "The only criteria for the award is the act of bravery itself," Voigt said.
   The program was established by Congress in 1950 to recognize young people for
bravery and public service.
   No date has been set for the awards ceremony in Washington.
   On Dec. 12, 1993, Ramsey and his friends were driving to the store when they
 noticed a burning house. Boosted up by a friend, Ramsey broke a window with his
hand, climbed inside and helped an 83-year-old woman and her 67-year-old brother
to safety, then returned to lead the woman's retarded daughter out. He spent
several hours in a hospital recovering from smoke inhalation.
   Etta McKenzie, the insurance agent for the fire victims, searched for Ramsey
to thank him.
   She found that his father was in prison, his mother was unwilling to have the
teen-ager in her life, and he was living with 10 other people in a two-bedroom
house owned by his grandparents.
   McKenzie started a trust fund for Ramsey and nominated him for several
awards, including the Young American Medal.
   She said she told the Justice Department about the "very minor misdemeanor
 marijuana charge" last November.
   "I'm just pleased as I could be. I'm glad that it's over," McKenzie said.



AAP  02/26/95        WOODCHIP PROTESTS ATTRACT 8,000

   By Peter Krupka of AAP
   ADELAIDE, Feb 26 AAP - More than 8,000 people rallied in  Adelaide, Brisbane
and Canberra this weekend to protest the federal  government's decision to
wooodchip Australia's native forests.
   Adelaide led the charge with 5,000 people rallying from the  steps of the
state Parliament House today against the decision by  Prime Minister Paul
Keating's government last December to renew 11  woodchip export licences.
   Rally organiser Jo De Silva said it was the largest  environmental rally
seen in Adelaide in the past 10 years, adding  that the turnout was even more
impressive considering South  Australia had no native forest.
   "South Australia has no native forest left, but we are clearly  deeply
concerned about the destruction of Australia's native  forests," Ms De Silva
said.
   "We demand that the Keating government stands up to the woodchip
multinationals and starts listening to the Australian public."
   SA Democrat leader Mike Elliott said woodchipping needed to stop and
insisted the practice woud become obsolete as the use of  cannabis hemp fibre
and material from renewable pine forets became  more available.
   "South Australia can quite rapidly replace the need for any old  growth
timber by the use of timber from our own renewable pine  forest and hemp for
pulp fibre needs," Mr Elliott said.
   "Hemp, trial plantings of which will begin this year for  commercial uses,
offers a sustainable and environmentally sensible  replacement as a source of
fibre for paper making."
   Queensland Premier Wayne Goss echoed the sentiments and revealed  his
government had a policy against allocating or approving  woodchip licences for
native forests.
   "Unlike the other states, Queensland will not allocate woodchip licences in
respect of native forests," Mr Goss said.
   "We hope to see any woodchipping that is done in Australia moved
progressively to plantations and that's what's happening in the new Queensland
mill that's opening tomorrow. Not out of native forests,  out of plantations."
   The new woodchip mill, in the Wide Bay area, would use  plantation wood in
its operations.
   Mr Goss' comments followed a rally of about 2,000 woodchipping  protesters
in Brisbane yesterday.
   Wilderness Society national campaign director Kevin Parker said the granting
of woodchipping licences in Queensland would see the  production of more than
140,000 tonnes of woodchips from forests in  the state's south-east.
   In Canberra about 1,500 people marched from old parliament house to the
forecourt of the new Parliament House today as part of the  on-going protests
against woodchipping from native forests.
   The rally, organised by the Wilderness Society, was addressed by several
speakers including New South Wales Democrat MP Richard  Jones and the Green
candidate for next month's Canberra  by-election, James Warden.
   Entertainment was also provided by Australian musician John  Williamson.



circa  03/01/95      [untitled - Willie Nelson Testifies]

   WACO, Texas (AP) -- Willie Nelson passed up performing at the Grammys for
something more precious than an award: his legal rights.
   Nelson testified Wednesday in a hearing to suppress evidence against him in a
misdemeanor marijuana possession case. Nelson contends the evidence was seized
 in an illegal search of his car.
   "I think it was very important to be here today because it is becoming
apparent in this country that we are losing our rights one after another,"
Nelson said after the hearing.
   The judge agreed to study the issue. If convicted, Nelson could be sentenced
to six months in jail and fined $2,000.
   Nelson had been scheduled to perform "Moonlight Becomes You," the title song
of his Grammy-nominated album, during the awards presentation Wednesday night.
 


UPsw 03/01/95      Willie Nelson fights charge

   WACO, Texas, March 1 (UPI) -- Country singer Willie Nelson went to court
Wednesday to fight a marijuana charge.
   Nelson attorney Ron Moody said he wants to supress evidence in the case
because the officers did not have probable cause to search his client's car when
they found him parked along Interstate 35 near Waco.
   County Court at Law Judge Mike Gassoway did not say when he would rule on the
motions made at the pre-trial hearing.
   Nelson was arrested May 10, 1994 by Hewitt police officers who found him
sleeping in the car. They checked the car and arrested him after finding the
alleged marijuana cigarette in the ashtray.
    Moody said Nelson appeared in court to refute testimony by an arresting
officer that he was seen putting the cigarette in a leather bag.
   The arresting officer, who no longer works for the Hewitt police, did not
testify at the hearing, but another officer at the scene did.



UPn  03/01/95         Inmates, guards charged with drug smuggling

   ALLENTOWN, Pa., March 1 (UPI) -- Four former inmates and two guards were
among eight people charged Wednesday with smuggling drugs into the Lehigh County
Prison in Allentown, Pa.
   A federal indictment alleges that the girlfriends of two inmates helped
smuggle nearly 100 pounds of cocaine and marijuana into the prison over a
three-year period ending in early 1994.
   Connell McGeehan, agent-in-charge at the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration office in Allentown, said the operation was headed by a father
and son inmate team who sold the drugs to fellow convicts.
   McGeehan said two women delivered some of the drugs to Charles Riddick, 45,
 and his son, Charles Jr., 26, during visits to the prison. The women, Thersa
Cordero and Shannon Sicher, were also named in the indictment.
   Authorities said the two guards, Daniel Blount, 29, and Joseph Torok, 30,
also delivered drugs to inmates.
   The indictment also charged two other inmates, Ronald Watts, 25, and Douglas
Krause, 28, with participating in the smuggling operation.
   McGeehan estimated that more than 33 pounds of cocaine and 67 pounds of
marijuana were smuggled into the prison.
   Charles Riddick Senior was also charged with selling homemade knives known as
"shanks," to his drug customers.
   "The guys he sold the drugs to needed protection from other inmates, "
McGeehan said.
    If convicted, all eight suspects could face maximum life prison sentences.



APn  03/01/95     Computer Goof

By RICHARD CARELLI
 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unlawful arrests based on computer errors made by court
employees don't always require throwing out evidence seized afterwards, the
Supreme Court ruled today.
   In an Arizona case pitting computer-age police work against privacy rights,
the court expanded just a bit a "good-faith" exception to its rule excluding
illegally seized evidence.
    The 7-2 decision means Arizona prosecutors may use as evidence the marijuana
seized from Isaac Evans' car after the Phoenix man was arrested because a police
computer wrongly listed an outstanding warrant against him.
   Evans' 1991 arrest had been based on a computer record that showed a warrant
for his arrest over some traffic citations. In fact, the warrant had been
dropped 17 days earlier.
   The Arizona Supreme Court had ruled that the seized marijuana could not be
used as trial evidence against Evans. The state court never determined, however,
whether police officers or court employees were responsible for the outdated
computer information.
   "There is no basis for believing that application of the exclusionary rule in
these circumstances will have a significant effect on court employees
 responsible for informing police that a warrant has been quashed," Chief Justice
William H. Rehnquist wrote for the court.
   "Because court clerks are not adjuncts to the law enforcement team engaged in
... ferreting out crime, they have no stake in the outcome of particular
criminal prosecutions," Rehnquist said. "The threat of exclusion of evidence
could not be expected to deter such individuals from failing to inform police
officials that a warrant has been quashed."
   In a concurring opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor emphasized for herself
and Justices David H. Souter and Stephen G. Breyer that the ruling does not mean
police always can rely on a computerized system that "routinely leads to false
arrests."
   "In recent years, we have witnessed the advent of powerful, computer-based
 recordkeeping systems that facilitate arrests in ways that have never before
been possible," O'Connor said.
   "The police, of course, are entitled to enjoy the substantial advantages this
technology confers," she said. "They may not, however, rely on it blindly. With
the benefits ... comes the burden of corresponding constitutional
responsibilities."
   Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, saying the
court lacked the authority to overturn the Arizona Supreme Court ruling because
it had been based on state, not federal, constitutional law.
   The case is Arizona vs. Evans, 93-1660.



RTf  03/02/95     "Fake" pot helps multiple sclerosis sufferers

(Release at 2359 GMT Thursday, March 2)
    LONDON, March 3 (Reuter) - A synthetic drug that mimics the effects of
cannabis could relieve some of the pain and other symptoms of multiple
sclerosis, British researchers reported on Friday.
    The drug, nabilone, helped relieve the pain from muscle spasms, the annoying
need to urinate frequently at night, and promoted a general sense of well-being
 in one patient, they reported in the Lancet medical journal.
    Dr Christopher Martyn and colleagues tested a patient who had asked for the
drug because he knew it acted like cannabis.
    "After reading accounts in the press that smoking cannabis had improved the
symptoms of other patients with multiple sclerosis, a 45-year-old man with
multiple sclerosis persuaded his general practitioner to prescribe nabilone,"
they wrote.
    The patient reported such an improvement that Martyn and his colleague tried
more tests to rule out the possibility of a placebo effect -- which would mean
the patient got better because he expected to. He passed.
    "Our experience with this patient suggests that synthetic cannabinoids might
be of value in the treatment of spasticity and that a randomised controlled
 trial that included objective measurement of muscle tone would be worthwhile,"
they wrote.
    Cannabis was used to treat pain and other ailments for more than 5,000 years
before modern governments banned it as an illegal drug. Queen Victoria was even
reported to have used it.
    Advocates of re-legalising it for therapeutic uses say it alleviates
symptoms of cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.
    Nabilone, the synthetic version, is normally prescribed to cancer patients
to help nausea from chemotherapy.



AAP  03/02/95     NOVEL SOLUTION TO ABORIGINAL ALCOHOLISM: LET THEM SMOKE

   By Kevin Ricketts of AAP
   LISMORE, NSW, March 2 AAP - A self-confessed cannabis user and  some-time
dealer said he had a deal with a senior Tenterfield  policeman allowing the
dealer to sell cannabis to Aborigines in the  town.
   Sydney "Jim" Hall, giving evidence to the NSW Police Royal  Commission
sitting in Lismore, said Senior Sergeant David King was  concerned about the
drunken behaviour of some of Mr Hall's friends.
   "He said beer was causing most of the trouble around town. I  told him that
 it was my Aboriginal friends who were doing most of  the drinking and fighting
and if they (the police) allowed them to  smoke pot, that would put a stop to
the trouble," Mr Hall said.
   "He said: 'I'll leave you to do your thing as long as it stays  quiet.'
   "He did leave us alone, except for the raid one year later."
   Mr Hall, 35, also proved himself an able barrack room lawyer.
   When another lawyer acting for the Police Services' interests  then put to
him: "So, you have no respect for the laws of the  state?" he retorted, "I
believe in most laws of the state - I don't  believe in that one."
   Barrister: "So you think Aborigines can be weaned from alcohol  by cannabis?"
   Mr Hall: "I think it's far more effective."
   Barrister Robert Sutherland, who is representing Sen Sgt King,  and other
 barristers acting for NSW Police Service interests, have  painted Sen Sgt King
as a church-going family man of forceful moral  views - even as "the sheriff" of
Tenterfield - who caused the local  arrest rate to rise substantially.
   But the man who lost out to Sgt King as Officer-in-Charge of  Tenterfield,
Sen Sgt Terrence "Peter" Lewis, has given evidence  showing a more sinister
picture of a man who was dictatorial, had  influence in the Police Service
hierarchy and held the threat of  "the green form" - a transfer out of
Tenterfield - over any  dissenting staff.
   "I remained a mushroom," Sen Sgt Lewis told the Royal Commission  when asked
why he had not reported alleged wrongdoing by Sgt King  earlier.
   AAP kr/rmg/srw



RTw  03/03/95         Dutch police make record marijuana haul

    AMSTERDAM, March (Reuter) - Dutch police said on Friday they had seized 17
tonnes of marijuana and arrested 22 suspects in the biggest seizure of the drug
made in the Netherlands.
     "It's the dream of every policeman to make a haul like this," said Frederik
Jansen, chief of the organised crime division in Enschede, where the drugs were
found.
      He said the drugs were seized from two containers late on Thursday after
200 police raided 27 locations in Enschede, in the northwestern Netherlands.
     Police said they believed the drugs were destined for Germany.
  REUTER



UPwe 03/09/95        Nancy Reagan laments lack of leadership

By BRYAN SIERRA
   WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- Former first lady Nancy Reagan returned to
Washington Thursday to criticize a lack of national leadership in the war on
drugs and call for a renewal of the "Just Say No" campaign she began more than a
decade ago.
   Reagan was lavished with praise by the Republican-led House subcommittee as
she arrived to testify about the Clinton administration's drug policy. The
chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee, Rep. William
Zeliff, R-N.H., called her "truly one of a kind."
   The former first lady, wearing a tan plaid suit, said she agreed to testify
 before the committee because she was concerned that the nation is "forgetting
how endangered our children are by drugs."
   "I decided to speak today only after much soul-searching," Reagan said.
   Citing the disclosure that her husband, former President Ronald Reagan, is
suffering from Alzheimer's disease, she said: "As you can imagine, I have very
pressing concerns keeping me busy in California right now, and I do not like to
be away for long.
   "I have come because my heart pulls me here and because my husband and
everything he stands for calls me to be here," she said.
   Reagan, who championed the "Just Say No" drug prevention campaign during the
Reagan administration, said she was "disappointed" that the gains made during
the 1980s were showing signs of faltering.
    "I'm worried for the first time in many years tolerance for drugs and the
mistaken perception that 'everyone is doing it' is creeping back into our
national mentality," she said.
   "How could we have forgotten so quickly?" Reagan asked. "Why is it we no
longer hear the drumbeat of condemnation against drugs coming from our leaders
and our culture?"
   While never mentioning President Clinton by name, Reagan said current drug
policy focuses too much on treatment and not enough on prevention.
   "The real solution is to dry up the demand, and that can only come through
education and strong moral leadership," she said.
   "Where has it gone?" she asked. "It seems as though this country has lost its
drive to keep the drug issue -- and especially drug prevention -- in the
 national spotlight. Today, the anti-drug message just seems to be fading away."
   But the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, Rep. Karen Thurman, D- Fla.,
defended the Clinton administration's record and said the new, Republican-led
Congress was responsible for not following through on Reagan's legacy.
   "The facts show that President Clinton has been in the forefront on this
issue," she said. "He has requested a record $14.6 billion to combat drugs."
   But the House, Thurman said, is failing to live up to its commitment to the
war on drugs.
   "The Appropriations Committee has recently zeroed out all funds for
school-based drug programs, including the Drug Free Schools Program, which
started during President Reagan's administration in 1987," she said.
   At the White House, chief of staff Leon Panetta agreed, saying, "I think
 we've got a record that the administration is proud of."
   "I think what the Republicans need to do is to tell us how they can criticize
us on one hand for our drug program, and at the very same time propose to
eliminate the drug-free schools program which affects 94 percent of the school
districts in this country and is aimed at trying to teach and counsel kids to
avoid drugs," said Panetta. "That's what Mrs. Reagan has been fighting for most
of her life. I would hope that she would equally criticize the Republicans for
what they're proposing."
   Another Democrat on the panel, Rep. Cardiss Collins of Illinois, said that
efforts such as the "Just Say No" campaign needed to be backed up by tough
legislative action.
   But Reagan defended her campaign, and said it was never meant as the only
 weapon in her husband's anti-drug efforts.
   "Some critics have said that 'Just Say No' is an oversimplification, " she
said. "Well of course it is, that's what made it appealing to children, that's
what made it effective."
   But she said it was not the total answer, and was never meant to be.
   Reagan said the catch phrase "Just Say No" came out a conversation she had
with a young girl.
   "The 'Just Say No' phrase grew out of one child's question to me on how to
respond when someone offers you drugs," she said. "I answered 'just say no,' and
it became, in many ways, a rallying point for the prevention effort."
   In closing, Reagan said she is often asked what she misses most about her
eight years in the White House.
    "In retrospect, I think what I miss most is the sense of common national
purpose that so many of us felt as we tried to protect the children," she said.
   After her testimony, Reagan met briefly at Senate Republican leader Bob
Dole's office with Dole, Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott, House Speaker Newt
Gingrich and House Republican leader Dick Armey.



APn  03/13/95       Israel-Cannabis

   JERUSALEM (AP) -- A panel of experts on Monday recommended that Israel's
parliament ease laws against the use of marijuana and hashish.
   The report, commissioned by parliament's Committee Against Drugs, recommended
not prosecuting anyone possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis-based drugs.
   But the panel stopped short of endorsing legalization, saying the public
would oppose such a move.
   The report reflects the growing debate over illegal drug use in Israel, which
is growing, although it is less widespread than in the West.
    Panel member Shlomo Sandak, who heads the Marijuana Legalization Association,
called the report "a big step forward toward legalization."
   Moshe Levy, a former military chief and leading activist against drug use,
argued that users of hashish and marijuana should be punished since more than a
quarter go on to more damaging substance abuse.
   "We are sending a mixed message to our youth," Levy told Israel Radio.



RTw  03/16/95        Cambodia cracks down on marijuana use

     PHNOM PENH, March 16 (Reuter) - The seizure of more than one tonne of
marijuana marks the start of a crackdown on the illegal sale and possession of
the drug, the head of Phnom Penh's anti-narcotics police said on Thursday.
     "We've confiscated more than one tonne of marijuana from markets in Phnom
Penh and it will be burnt within the next 10 days," said Heng Pao.
     Pao said using or selling marijuana violated a law based on a former United
 Nations anti-drugs regulation.
     Cambodia does not have a hard drug problem and until recently marijuana was
openly sold in markets in the traditional medicine section, along with antler
horn.
     Marijuana is used by many elderly Khmer for sleep disorders and as a food
additive.
     Pao said smugglers or others caught in possession faced from five to 15
years in prison if convicted.
     However, he said Cambodians using marijuana as a traditional medicine would
not be prosecuted but would be counselled on its dangers.
  REUTER



APn  03/17/95        FBI Abroad

By MARCY GORDON
 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new FBI training academy in Budapest, Hungary, and a
proposed U.S. law enforcement operation in Beijing are drawing the ire of Sen.
Ernest Hollings, D-S.C.
   At a hearing Thursday on the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration budgets,
Hollings said he was concerned that the two agencies' new foreign programs could
divert needed resources from domestic law enforcement.
    "This bothers me," Hollings, senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations
subcommittee with jurisdiction over the two agencies, told FBI Director Louis
Freeh. "I need more DEA agents down here on 14th Street. I need more FBI agents"
in domestic training programs. "I've got a grave misgiving about this."
   Hollings said he was disturbed, among other things, about the Clinton
administration's budget request of $2 million for the next fiscal year for the
FBI's international training academy in Budapest, which is expected to begin
operations next month.
   The academy grew out of Freeh's 10-day trip to Russia and Eastern Europe last
summer, an unprecedented visit to the region by an American FBI chief.
   The trip's aim was to establish ways for U.S. and Eastern European law
enforcement agencies to work more closely to combat international organized
 crime, drug smuggling, money laundering, hate crimes and trafficking in
radioactive materials. Freeh opened an FBI office in Moscow on that tour.
   "The wave of crime coming out of Moscow is not affecting Muscovites only,"
Freeh told Hollings. He said the Moscow office, which cost about $1 million to
set up, already has uncovered a computerized embezzlement scheme that drained
more than $8 million from a U.S. bank.
   Freeh said international crime is a major issue facing law enforcement in the
1990s and that FBI investment in foreign training would benefit the United
States. The training is needed, he said, to provide partners for U.S. law
enforcement's efforts to stop the spread of emerging Eastern European and
Russian organized crime groups in America.
   The FBI also is seeking $420,000 in new funding for establishing a joint
 FBI-DEA operation in Beijing to combat Asian organized crime.
   Hollings, asking DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine about heroin
trafficking arrests in Southeast Asia, said, "We've been through this. We've
been through burning the poppy fields. ... We need all the help we can get here"
in the United States.
   The FBI's total budget request for 1996 is $2.35 billion, up about $150
million from this year. The DEA is seeking $810 million, an increase of $16.6
million.
   Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, subcommittee's chairman, said he supports an
administration proposal to impose a surcharge on civil money penalties and
criminal fines. "I'm a strong supporter of fining people who violate the law,"
he said.



AAP  03/17/95        NSW: CANNABIS DAY TOMORROW

   SYDNEY, March 17 AAP - A national day of action will be held  tomorrow in
support of decriminalising cannabis.
   In Sydney, supporters of the plant will rally outside parliament  house to
protest against anti-cannabis laws.
   The Sydney HEMP Embassy will display uses of the plant, which  includes
creating fibre and paper as well as a narcotic relaxant,  at a noon ceremony.
   Organisers said rallies would be held around the country to  expose what they
claim was the "fallacy of prohibition".
    Prohibition End and the NIMBIN HEMP Embassy are fielding  candidates for the
NSW lower house at the March 25 election.
   Sydney HEMP Embassy spokesman Kal Gulson said tonight the war on  drugs had
been lost.
   "It is time for retreat. In 70 years the war has claimed freedom  of choice,
clean soil, rivers and the native forests," he said.
   "A new strategy is required. End prohibition now."
   AAP ch/br



AAP  03/18/95        PRISON PSYCHOLOGIST ON DRUGS CHARGES

   BRISBANE, March 18 AAP - A prison psychologist appeared in the  Brisbane
Magistrates Court yesterday on drugs charges, The  Courier-Mail newspaper
reported today.
   The paper said Michael William Lannen, 48, of the southside  Brisbane suburb
of Graceville, was charged with supplying a  dangerous drug, possession of a
dangerous drug, producing a  dangerous drug and possession of a drug utensil.
   It was alleged that he supplied cannabis to a prison farm inmate  on February
9 this year, the paper said.
    The Courier-Mail said the court was told that Lannen would plead  not guilty.
   He was allowed bail to appear again in the Brisbane Magistrates  Court on
April 19.
   AAP rad/mg



APn  03/19/95        Pot-South America

By The Associated Press
   Laws on possessing marijuana for personal use in South America:
   ------
   ARGENTINA: No jail or fine for possession; users usually must undergo
court-supervised rehabilitation.
   ------
   BOLIVIA: Possession illegal. No move to decriminalize.
   ------
    BRAZIL: Possession illegal. Attorney general proposes to end jail and fines,
substituting mandatory rehabilitation for users.
   ------
   CHILE: Possession illegal. Weak support for decriminalizing, but no formal
proposal to change law.
   ------
   COLOMBIA: Possession of small quantities of all drugs legal; permitted
"personal dose" for marijuana is 20 grams.
   ------
   ECUADOR: Possession illegal. No move to decriminalize.
   ------
   PARAGUAY: Possession illegal. No move to decriminalize.
    ------
   PERU: Possession of small amounts legal; judges decide what constitutes
"personal" amount.
   ------
   URUGUAY: Possession for personal use not penalized; law does not specify
quantity for "personal" amount.
   ------
   VENEZUELA: Possession of up to 20 grams not punished; users must go through
drug treatment program.
   End Adv for Sunday March 19



APn  03/19/95        Pot-Ayahuasca Tea

   RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- Supporters of legislation to decriminalize the
use of marijuana cite the precedent of ayahuasca tea.
   Banned for years as a dangerous hallucinogen, ayahuasca proved too deeply
rooted in Brazilian religious rituals to eradicate. The government removed it
from a list of illegal drugs in 1987 and now allows its use in ceremonies.
   The bitter tea, brewed from a jungle vine and a leaf, has been used for
centuries by Amazonian Indians to induce visions and contact the dead. They call
it the "wine of the soul" and the "medicine of medicines."
    Rubber tappers in the Amazon learned about it and used the drink in religious
cults that have spread across Brazil.
   One sect, the Cult of the Holy Daime, mixed Indian beliefs with Roman
Catholicism. Founded in 1930, Daime has 14 temples and 2,000 followers in Brazil
and abroad.
   Even larger is the Vegetable Union, with more than 7,000 members. The British
rock star Sting took part in rituals earlier this year at the sect's main temple
in Brasilia, the national capital.
   Domingos Bernardo, vice president of the National Drug Council, said the
government legalized ayahuasca because users showed "positive participation in
society as citizens."
   The U.S. government bans the tea.
    End Adv for Sunday March 19



APn  03/19/95       Brazil and Pot

By GARY RICHMAN Associated Press Writer
   RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- From the Amazon jungle to Ipanema beach,
marijuana is part of a daily routine for many Brazilians. Routine, but illegal.
   Now, for the first time, the country is seriously discussing a proposal to
end jail time and fines for the use and possession of the drug. Users would
instead have to go through mandatory drug treatment. Trafficking would remain a
crime.
   Congress is scheduled to vote on decriminalization by July. Attorney General
 Nelson Jobim is lobbying for the bill.
   "It's absurd," to put users in jail, Jobim said in an interview. "The drug
user must be helped and not persecuted as a criminal."
   Under current law, marijuana users can be sentenced to 2 to 3 years in prison
for possessing as little as 20 grams of marijuana. Trafficking carries a penalty
of 3 to 15 years in prison.
   Three South American nations -- Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela -- already
have systems similar to the one proposed by Jobim, while the possession of small
amounts of marijuana is completely legal in Colombia and Peru.
   But events in Brazil are closely watched because it is the continent's
biggest and most populous country.
   When Jobim called for a national debate on drugs, Brazilians responded
 immediately.
   Decriminalization was a cover story for Veja, the nation's most widely read
newsweekly, and the idea has been discussed in depth on all five commercial
television networks.
   It even was endorsed by Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, the conservative Roman
Catholic archbishop of Salvador and primate of Brazil.
   "Europe and the United States distinguish between the trafficker and the
user," Neves said in an interview with the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. "Users
need therapy and treatment."
   The attorney general has a similar view.
   "What Jobim envisions is the system in some American states where the
consumer, when caught for drug possession, is given a chance to go to public
 health classes and to be rehabilitated, if he's an addict," said his press
secretary, Paulo Felix.
   For many Brazilians, the government is simply recognizing a practice that is
too widespread to be suppressed.
   On a summer afternoon along Rio's fashionable Ipanema beach, dozens of
beachgoers openly light up cigar-sized "baseados." A few yards away, police
officers stroll by, ignoring the haze of sweet-smelling smoke.
   Marijuana is a fixture among reggae followers in the northeastern city of
Salvador, the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. For some Amazonian Indians, it
is a sacred plant. And for many residents of the northern backwoods, marijuana
is just another leaf to smoke.
   "For the first time, Brazil is looking at drug use realistically," said
 Domingos Bernardo, vice president of the government's National Drug Council.
   Most of Brazil's marijuana comes from the arid northeastern states of Bahia,
Pernambuco and Piaui or from neighboring Paraguay. For many farmers, the plant
is a lifesaver.
   "Marijuana plantations keep many rural farmers alive," said Rio congressman
Fernando Gabeira, a member of the tiny Green Party. "It pays more than other
crops, and big landowners quietly support decriminalization because of the
economics involved."
   Gabeira, a former guerrilla and political exile, ran on a campaign to
legalize "light" drugs -- marijuana and hashish. But the first step is
decriminalization, he said.
   "It's totally absurd that a foreign tourist caught with one joint is deported
 from the country and never allowed to come back," he said.
   Experts say Brazil's "problem" drug is cocaine, not marijuana.
   The Brazilian Heart Association recently warned that a rising number of
teen-agers and young adults are dying of heart attacks related to cocaine use. A
public health study says 25 percent of new AIDS cases stem from injecting
cocaine.
   Cocaine, which comes from neighboring Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, also is the
focus of widespread violence. With cocaine selling for about $20 a gram -- more
than 150 times what marijuana brings -- rival drug lords in Rio battle for turf
and distribution rights. Last year, gang shootouts got so bad the army was
called in to combat the drug violence.
   "It's easier to find cocaine for sale than grass," said a Brazilian marijuana
 user, who agreed to speak on condition he not to be identified. "People who only
smoke grass take care not to mix with cocaine users."
   The idea of decriminalizing marijuana has its foes, of course.
   "I'll fight to the end to prevent decriminalizing any drugs," said Alberto
Corazza, chief of the Narcotics Investigation Department in Sao Paulo. "It's
asking for trouble, and will just make our job harder."
   For Corazza, marijuana is the foot in the door that can lead to the use of
more dangerous drugs and other crimes.
   "It's all or nothing," he said. "If you let people smoke grass, you're giving
them an open invitation to experiment hard drugs."
   President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has not said whether he would sign a
decriminalization bill. But he is no stranger to the issue.
    When he was running for mayor of Sao Paulo in 1985, Cardoso admitted he once
had smoked marijuana. Many experts think that admission led to his narrow loss
in the election.



APn  03/21/95        Federal Execution

By JAY REEVES
 Associated Press Writer
   BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A judge Tuesday blocked the execution of a drug
kingpin nine days before he was to become the first person put to death by the
U.S. government since 1963.
   U.S. District Judge James H. Hancock ruled additional time was needed to
consider issues raised by David Ronald Chandler.
   Defense attorney Natasha Zalkins said new and "very sensitive" evidence had
 come to light that proved Chandler's innocence. Hancock granted a defense
request to seal the evidence from public view.
   Chandler, 42, of Piedmont, had been scheduled to die by injection March 30 at
the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., for the 1990 contract murder of Marlin
Earl Shuler, a member of his marijuana ring who had become an informant.
   The triggerman, Charles Ray Jarrell, who was promised $500 but never got the
money, testified against Chandler and got 25 years in prison.
   Chandler was the first person sentenced under a 1988 anti-drug law that
allows the death penalty for killings associated with a criminal enterprise.
Five others have since been sentenced to death under the law.
   On appeal, Chandler argued that the law is unconstitutional and that
prosecutors withheld evidence and knowingly used false testimony.
    The last civilian executed by the federal government was Victor Feuger,
hanged in Iowa in 1963 for kidnapping and murder. The last military prisoner put
to death was John Bennett, hanged at Leavenworth in 1961.



AAP  03/22/95       PRO MARIJUANA ACTIVIST FAILS TO CONVERT APPEAL COURT

   BRISBANE, March 22 AAP - A pro-marijuana activist has failed in  his attempt
to have the Court of Appeal overturn Queensland's  cannabis laws.
   Roger Gregory Brand, a 38-year-old public servant, of Bardon in 
north-western Brisbane, was fined $300 after pleading not guilty in  the
Brisbane Magistrates Court last December to possession of  cannabis.
   Brand admitted he had been smoking a joint during a  demonstration outside
parliament house last October, but maintained  cannabis was not a dangerous drug
and should not be listed as such  under the Drugs Misuse Act.
    He was also appealing against the fine saying it was excessive.
   Chief Justice John Macrossan told Brand the court had no power  to change the
law and was not about to enter into a discussion on  the philosophical basis for
it.
   "You say the law should be changed, but we can't change the law,  so we can't
go far in this argument," Justice Macrossan said.
   Dismissing the appeal after the 10 minute hearing, Court of  Appeal
president, Justice Tony Fitzgerald, told Brand he was only  using the court as a
forum to promote his reasons for his views on  marijuana.
   AAP smk/br 



APn  03/22/95       Cannabis Club

By MICHELLE LOCKE
 Associated Press Writer
   SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Behind the nondescript door is no ordinary smoky dive.
If your nose doesn't detect the sweet smell of marijuana, the sign behind the
bar says it all: "Thank you for pot smoking."
   At the San Francisco Cannabis Buyer's Club, AIDS, cancer and glaucoma
patients come to buy and smoke the illegal weed they say is one of the few
things that give them relief.
    "This is about love," said Dennis Peron, who founded the club after his
partner died of AIDS in 1990. "People in the autumn, in the sunset of their
lives, have a right to any medicine that helps them feel better."
   Although Peron knows he is risking arrest, the 3,200-member club has yet to
be busted.
   In 1992, the city Board of Supervisors, in a unanimous resolution signed by
Mayor Frank Jordan, ordered police and the district attorney to make enforcing
laws against marijuana as medicine their lowest priority.
   "The mayor supports medicinal use of marijuana as long as it's under the
supervision of a doctor," said Jordan spokeswoman Meredith Halpern.
   To join the club, you have to produce a photo ID and a doctor's letter
certifying a condition that could be alleviated by pot. Members are issued a
 prosaic-looking membership card (and if you lose it twice, you're out.)
   The club, on the second story of a drab building near the Castro, San
Francisco's mostly gay district, buys in bulk and sells at a small markup.
   Since the drug is purchased underground, it's more expensive than growing
your own, and members are charged $5 to $25 a gram. But Peron said that's about
50 percent cheaper than street prices.
   Similar clubs have been formed in major U.S. cities in recent years, said Bob
Randall of the Washington-based Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics. But he
wouldn't say where or how many, because the clubs are illegal.
   On a recent morning, the clientele at the nonprofit San Francisco Cannabis
Buyer's Club reflected the democratizing power of disease.
   Old, young, black, brown, white, well-dressed and grungy were all represented
 in the 50 to 100 people sitting at small tables or lounging on couches as
candles glowed dimly through the haze and a stereo pounded out '70s hits.
   Hazel, a 75-year-old retired office manager, said she takes a couple of tokes
a day, just enough to relieve the pressure in her eyes from glaucoma but not so
much that she gets that "very uncomfortable" feeling of being high.
   Michael, who has Hodgkin's disease, stops by every two weeks for the only
cure he's found for the waves of nausea that follow his chemotherapy.
   Bob, a 36-year-old AIDS patient whose face is covered with the dark lesions
of Kaposi's sarcoma, said he comes to the club for the marijuana that keeps his
appetite up and the support that boosts his spirit.
   "I love the interaction. I draw from it. I've met some of my best friends now
from this club," he said.
    "A lot of times, you can't turn things off. It's like I have all these
problems and I have to deal with them all the time. With marijuana, I just kind
of drift away. It's my only way to turn it off sometimes."
   At one counter, volunteers sold food made with pot for those who can't smoke,
including brownies, cookies, spice cake and Merry Pills, high-grade marijuana
soaked in olive oil and encapsulated.
   Security is tight. Two doormen guard the stairs leading to the club.
   Supporters of the club include Angela Alioto, a member of the Board of
Supervisors whose husband died of cancer four years ago.
   "I think it is of utmost importance that people who are dying be able to get
any kind of medication that makes even five minutes of their life better," she
said.
    Advocates say marijuana eases nausea and loss of appetite caused by cancer
and AIDS treatments, relieves muscle spasms in people with spinal cord injuries
or multiple sclerosis and alleviates the pressure that blinds glaucoma
sufferers.
   Opponents say those assertions are unverified. Last summer, the Clinton
administration upheld the ban on the medicinal use of marijuana. In California,
an effort to legalize such uses was vetoed in September by Gov. Pete Wilson.
   Randall, one of only eight people in the United States legally allowed to
smoke marijuana, would rather see marijuana dispensed by prescription.
   "I appreciate the service that's being performed" by the marijuana clubs, he
said. "But in terms of being a rational solution to a very serious medical
problem, they aren't it."



APn  03/22/95        People-Nelson

   AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- You win some, you lose some. Just ask Willie Nelson.
   Less than a year after paying the bulk of a $9 million tax debt to the
Internal Revenue Service, a smiling Nelson praised a judge who agreed that
police had no business searching his gray Mercedes when they found him asleep
alongside a highway in May. Nelson had pulled over and nodded off after a long
night of poker with friends.
   Police found less than an ounce of marijuana in the car and charged him with
misdemeanor possession.
    "If those guys had given me an option that I could have lived with, I might
have just paid the fine and went on, but they didn't," Nelson said Wednesday.
   Instead, Nelson said, authorities wanted to give him six months probation,
fine him and take his driver's license away.
   "All this for something I felt like was an illegal search and seizure, and I
felt strongly enough that I wanted to take it to court," Nelson said.
   On Monday, McLennan County Court-at-Law Judge Michael Gassaway granted
Nelson's motion to bar certain evidence from trial, including the marijuana and
any statements Nelson made after the search.
   The state failed to establish probable cause for the search, Gassaway ruled.
   Prosecutor Alan Bennett said he was considering an appeal.



RTna 03/22/95         Marijuana evidence thrown out in Nelson case

     WACO, Texas (Reuter) - A McClennan County judge has  disallowed as evidence
marijuana taken from Willie Nelson's car last May during an arrest of the
country singer for possession of the drug.
     Court-at-law judge Mike Gassaway based his ruling, which was released
Wednesday, to throw out the evidence on a March 1 pretrial hearing in which
defense attorneys questioned the legality of the search of Nelson's
 Mercedes-Benz.
     Hewitt police officers had found Nelson asleep in his car along Interstate
35 near Waco early one morning last May. He told police he had pulled over on
the side of the road to rest after a night of playing poker with friends, and
admitted there was a small amount of marijuana in his car.
     The prosecution's case was complicated by the fact that the arresting
officer, Mike Cooper, resigned from the Hewitt police department due to an
unrelated matter after the Nelson incident.
     At the pretrial hearing in March, the back-up officer at the scene was
called to testify instead of Cooper. But the judge apparently needed the
testimony of the arresting officer because he wrote in the ruling, "The court
has no proof of necessary probable cause relied upon by the arresting officer."
      Assistant District Attorney Alan Bennett said District Attorney John
Segrest would make a decision in the next two weeks on whether to appeal the
judge's ruling or to just drop the case.
     Nelson's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.



RTw  03/23/95        Pizza man arrested for delivering marijuana

     HAMILTON, New Jersey, March 23 (Reuter) - Police arrested a New Jersey pizza
delivery man for selling marijuana on his pizza runs.
     Ryan Kemble, 20, would have customers call his pizzeria and make a special
order that was a code for the drug, police sergeant Michael Olesnevich said.
     Alerted by a tipster, police managed to buy marijuana from Kemble in the
restaurant parking lot last Friday.
      Then they trailed Kemble and arrested him after he was done with his
delivery route, because "we know what it's like to be waiting for that pizza to
come," Olesnevich said.
  REUTER



UPn  03/23/95        Pot charge against Nelson dropped

   WACO, Texas, March 23 (UPI) -- A county judge dismissed marijuana possession
charges against Willie Nelson, ruling that the singer's May 1994 arrest in the
small central Texas town of Hewitt was illegal.
   Saying "Don't do it in Hewitt," Nelson took the opportunity to call for the
legalization of marijuana.
   "I think it should be taxed and regulated like your cigarettes," said Nelson,
who for years has admitted being a regular marijuana user.
   Nelson was returning to Austin from a late-night poker game in Hillsboro last
May when he pulled over to sleep on Interstate 35. He was arrested by Hewitt
Police Sgt. Michael Cooper, who suspected marijuana was in Nelson's car when he
 peered through the window and saw a hand- rolled cigarette and some rolling
papers.
   Judge Michael Gassaway ruled Wednesday there was insufficient evidence to
justify a search of Nelson's car, a 1986 Mercedes, and ordered the pot charge
dismissed. Cooper has since been fired from the Hewitt Police Department.
   "Willie's free," proclaimed Joe Turner, Nelson's lead attorney.
   Turner said there were discrepancies in the officer's version of where he
found the marijuana, and that during the encounter, police twice switched off a
microphone that was part of the patrol car's video recording system.
   "He was not a fan," Nelson said of the arresting officer. "I do think that
once he found out who I was, he thought this might be good for his career."



RTec 03/24/95      France seizes drugs to show borders still policed

PARIS, March 24 (Reuter) - French customs officials said on Thursday they
had seized more than three tonnes of cannabis resin concealed aboard a Dutch
trawler and found by a sniffer dog called Haddock.
     The officials said the action was intended to demonstrate that Paris would
remain vigilant policing its borders for illegal drug shipments after France and
six other European nations drop internal border controls on Sunday.
      Officials said that 3,323 kg of cannabis resin was seized by customs
officals on Wednesday during a search of the Dutch vessel Nicol at sea off
northern France.
     After the drugs were detected, the boat was ordered into the port of
Boulogne-sur-Mer. No arrests were reported.
     "This shows that we will be vigilant in monitoring our sea borders against
illegal shipments of drugs and goods," a customs spokesman said.
     On Sunday, when the so-called Schengen treaty comes into effect, seven of
the 15 European Union countries drop internal border controls with each other.
The agreement was named after the Luxembourg town in which it was originally
signed in 1985 by five countries -- Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France
and Germany. Spain and Portugal signed up in 1992.
      Critics say the treaty will give free rein to organised crime bosses, drug
barons and money launderers to travel at will among the signing nations. But
supporters say it will help these countries to concentrate more effort on
external EU borders.
     Officials say random identity checks are relatively useless in catching
criminals compared to investigations.
  REUTER



APn  03/25/95   Clinton-Drugs

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Gennifer Flowers knew Bill Clinton as an occasional
marijuana smoker who carried his own joints and once talked about getting high
on cocaine, according to excerpts from her new book in New York magazine.
   "By the way, he most certainly did inhale," Flowers writes in "Passion &
Betrayal."
   When asked about the book Saturday, Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry said, "The
White House is not going to comment on any cash-for-trash stories."
   Clinton denies Flowers' claim that they had a 12-year affair ending in 1989.
    The excerpts, in the magazine's April 3 issue, mostly focus on Clinton and
drugs.
   "When he casually put his hand in his pants pocket and pulled out a joint one
night, I was startled but kept silent," she wrote. "I thought how foolish it was
of him to carry marijuana around, but it was typical of his bulletproof
attitude."
   She also wrote that Clinton once told her, "I got so f----- up on cocaine at
that party."
   As Arkansas governor, Clinton refused to block his brother Roger's arrest on
drug charges. During the presidential campaign, he said he once tried marijuana
but did not inhale.
   Flowers' book, published by Emery Dalton, is due out in late April.



WP   03/26/95          Drug Cases Vs. Privacy Comes to High Court This Week

By Joan Biskupic
Washington Post Staff Writer
      A pressing constitutional question -- how far can government go to stop
drug dealing without invading the privacy of individuals and their homes --
comes to the Supreme Court this week in two cases of nationwide interest.
    The first case, testing whether elementary school athletes in rural Oregon
can be forced to submit to drug tests, reflects the contemporary dilemma of the
nation's drug scourge.
     The second dispute, over whether police who have a search warrant need to
knock and announce themselves, recalls the nation's common law history and the
English rule that before the sheriff break into a home he "make request to open
doors."
     The search case from Arkansas is more poignant in light of a Boston tragedy
one year ago. The Rev. Accelynne Williams, a 75-year-old retired Methodist
minister, died of heart failure after the police mistakenly forced their way
into his apartment, threw him to the floor and handcuffed him. The police
warrant was for another apartment.
     The court cases, to be argued Tuesday morning, provide the justices with an
unusually straightforward test of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against
unreasonable searches and seizures. Given the court's great latitude for police
 searches in the past 20 years, both cases could yield rulings allowing more
intrusions on personal privacy in the name of stopping illegal drug use and
other crimes.
    "These are not just cops-and-robbers types of encounters here," asserts
Boston University law professor Tracey Maclin. "If the [challengers to
government searches] lose, a lot of innocent people could be affected." Maclin
referred to students who would be tested for drugs although they have done
nothing to rouse suspicion and people whose residences police may mistakenly
invade. He wrote a brief on behalf of the ACLU asking the court to require
announced police entries.
    But Solicitor General Drew S. Days III, who is supporting both types of
searches for of the Clinton administration, said mandatory urinalysis could
 deter drug abuse and an unannounced police entry can protect officers, prevent
destruction of evidence and foil escape.
     When an officer approaches the home of a suspected drug trafficker, Days
wrote, "There is a significant possibility that persons inside will be armed . .
. and that the premises will have been fortified in anticipation of a police
raid."
     The Fourth Amendment says the "right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures
shall not be violated." The contemporary court has broadened the notion of a
reasonable search, given police more leeway and prosecutors greater ability to
use improperly seized evidence in court.
      Still, Eleni Constantine, counsel for the National Association of
 Attorneys General, cautioned that the new cases "may not be an easy victory for
law enforcement" and the dominant conservative side.
     "There is a center to this court," she said, "and the liberal wing is
feeling its oats." She noted that in two recent criminal law cases, the more
liberal justices, John Paul Stevens, Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
were able to pick off the votes of Sandra Day O'Connor and David H. Souter.
     Schools nationwide are watching the dispute from Vernonia in northwest
Oregon, which asks for the first time whether the drug testing of middle and
high school student athletes who have not engaged in any suspicious behavior is
constitutional. Three years ago, James Acton, then in seventh grade, was kept
off a football team because his parents refused to sign a urinalysis consent
form.
      "If the court ruled that [urinalysis] was permissible," said Larry Johnson,
with the Virginia High School League in Charlottesville. "I think you'd see a
lot of schools try to do it. Everybody realizes that drugs have spread to
younger and younger kids."
     Vernonia school district officials said drug and alcohol abuse was rampant
in their sports program and threatening student safety. In 1989, after drug
education classes, an off-duty police officer and a drug-sniffing dog apparently
failed to deter narcotics use, the district began testing of student athletes
for marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines. Urine samples were collected from
athletes at the start of each season and then at random intervals. Vernonia says
the intrusion to students' reasonable expectations of privacy was minimal
because students, and especially athletes, already are subject to substantial
 regulation.
     The district and its supporters rely on two lines of cases: one saying that
school officials do not need a warrant to search a student because students have
a lower expectation of privacy; the other allowing random drug testing when
public safety is an issue. In 1989, the court allowed mandatory drug testing of
certain U.S. Customs Service employees involved in drug interdiction or carrying
firearms and, separately, upheld the testing of railroad workers after major
accidents.
      "Why would you want to stop with the threat of a train wreck when you
could solve problems in schools, too?" asked Timothy R. Volpert, the district's
lawyer.
     In his court papers, Volpert stressed the isolation and way of life in the
 logging community of 3,000 residents northwest of Portland: "The town has few
recreational opportunities or organized entertainment programs for elementary
and high school students. As a result, community life in general centers around
the schools, with interscholastic athletics playing a dominant role."
     Judy Acton, who refused to sign her son's urinalysis consent form, said in
an interview, "We should be dealing with specific behavior rather than violating
the privacy of all the kids who go out for sports." She said it should be a
parental, not school, choice whether children are tested for drugs.
     "I don't have anything to hide, but I do have something to protect," she
said. "We feel [forced drug testing] would violate our trust in our sons." James
is now 15, and Judy and Wayne Acton also have a 13-year-old son, Simon. Judy
Acton described the family, which has a modest business making silver crafts and
 jewelry, as tight-knit.
     The Actons' lawyer, Thomas M. Christ of the ACLU Foundation of Oregon, said
Vernonia overstates its drug problem and that, irrespective of any crisis,
"students do not surrender their expectations of privacy in their excretory
functions when they attend school or go out for sports."
     The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose 1994 ruling is now before the
high court, said the drug testing policy violated both the Fourth Amendment and
a similar privacy guarantee in the Oregon state constitution.
    The Arkansas search case began when police failed to knock before they
entered the Malvern home of Sharlene Wilson on New Year's Eve 1992 and found
drugs, records of narcotics sales, weapons and ammunition.
     Wilson, who is serving a 31-year prison sentence for delivery and
 possession of various drugs, argues that the common law requirement that an
officer knock first is fundamental to the Fourth Amendment's protection against
unreasonable searches. She tried unsuccessfully to keep the evidence found in
the search out of her trial on the possession charges.
     The knock rule, while tempering the privacy intrusion, may stop an occupant
from fighting an "unknown" intruder and prevent property damage.
     Some states already have allowed exceptions for drug cases, because of how
easily suspects can destroy evidence and because of fears for police safety. The
Arkansas Supreme Court upheld Wilson's conviction, saying that the Fourth
Amendment does not require police to announce themselves. Arkansas officials say
states should be left to decide how they can best guarantee that searches will
be reasonable.
    Both cases of Vernonia School District v. Acton and Wilson v. Arkansas are
likely to be decided by late June.



RTna 03/27/95       No sunny forecast for world climate talks

By Kevin Liffey
     BERLIN (Reuter) - If the spectacular highwire act intended to symbolize the
balancing act facing world governments at this week's U.N. climate conference is
anything to go by, the outlook is bleak.
     The high-wire artist lost hold of his balancing pole in high winds and
rain, fell, and just managed to grab the wire to avoid tumbling 150 feet to his
 death on central Berlin's Alexanderplatz square.
     As over 1,000 delegates from at least 128 nations gather over the next 11
days to find ways to cut atmospheric pollution and avoid climatic disasters,
environmentalists have been using vivid ways to bring the message home.
     Some are taking a practical approach, stressing the need for energy
conservation to cut emissions from power stations by launching a campaign for
the use of energy-saving lightbulbs.
     Others, fearing that radical climate change could eradicate entire
habitats, are bringing together inhabitants of the Brazilian rainforest with
inhabitants of the Spree forest wetland south of Berlin to compare experiences.
     Another group plans a lecture on using cannabis-hemp instead of trees for
paper-making -- perhaps a hint in the direction of conference delegates who are
 likely to use up 1.5 million sheets of paper, albeit recycled, in formulating
their positions.



UPwe 03/28/95        Court hears school drug testing case

By MICHAEL KIRKLAND
   WASHINGTON, March 28 (UPI) -- Drugs had become so pervasive in an Oregon
school district, that the school board was forced to begin random drug testing
of its athletes, an attorney told the Supreme Court in argument Tuesday. 
   However, attorney Timothy Volpert said the testing did not constitutionally
have to be limited to athletes -- who signed a consent form for urinalysis in
order to participate in sports -- but could have been given to all of the
students in the Vernonia, Ore., schools.
   The Vernonia school system is trying to save the random drug tests, which a
federal appeals court said violated the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable
 searches.
   Vernonia is a small logging community with about 3,000 residents, but what
the school district claims happened to its children could be any parent's
nightmare.
   The town had little trouble with drug use in the school system until the late
1980s, when teachers began to notice "a startling and progressive increase in
students' use of drugs and alcohol," according to a brief filed with the Supreme
Court.
   "...The glamorization and use of drugs and alcohol became more blatant" over
time, the brief said. "Students boasted about drug use.. .There was an almost
three-fold increase in classroom disruptions and disciplinary reports between
1986 and 1989...Athletes turned in classroom assignments which bragged about
 drug use."
   The school district board began random drug-testing athletes in the spring of
1989.
   The urine-analysis testing targeted use of amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine
and LSD, and the urine sample was produced in the presence of a teacher.
   Not everyone in Vernonia agreed with the new program, however.
   Wayne and Judy Acton, representing their son James, then 12, filed suit three
years ago in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., saying the program was a
product of teacher hysteria.
   A U.S. District judge upheld the testing program, but a panel of the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals reversed last year, and the full appeals court refused
to hear the case. The school district then asked the Supreme Court to reverse
 the lower court ruling.
   Tuesday, Justice David Souter asked Volpert whether the school district ever
considered "a drug testing scheme based on reasonable suspicion" rather than
randomness.
   Volpert said such a scheme was not considered, and argued that random testing
had more of a "deterrent effect" and was "far less intrusive than fingering
individual athletes" for testing because of their behavior.
   The attorney conceded that the random drug testing over four years produced
only "two or three" positive results, but said that was part of the deterrent
effect.
   Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General Richard Seamon supported Volpert.
   Seamon said the random drug testing was justified in Vernonia  "because of
 the rise of an apparent drug culture."
   Speaking for James Acton, who was present in the courtroom with several of
his schoolmates, lawyer Thomas Christ told the justices that Vernonia could not
justify its random testing under the guise of classroom order.
   "If that's the goal, you don't need urine testing to detect and punish
disorderly conduct," Christ said.
   Justice Anthony Kennedy asked Christ to assume there was "a nationwide drug
problem in the schools." Would that justify random drug testing, Kennedy asked.
   Christ said no, "you don't need drug testing to solve behavior problems."
   Justice Stephen Breyer questioned Christ about the intrusiveness of the
testing. Men and boys "urinate in men's rooms all over the country, " Breyer
said. "It isn't a tremendously private thing, is it?"
    "We all urinate, that has to be conceded," Christ replied, and referring to
his own nervousness added, "In fact, I might do so here."
   But the lawyer said in Vernonia, drug testing "is compelled by the
government...they're watching you."
   A decision in the case is expected sometime next fall.
 (No. 94-590, Vernonia School District 47J vs. Actons)



APn  03/29/95       Jamaica-Ambassador's Son

   KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- The son of Jamaica's ambassador to Washington and a
friend were convicted Wednesday of trying to smuggle 100 pounds of marijuana
into the United States in cans labeled as pineapple juice.
   Brian Bernal, 21, and his friend, 24-year-old Christopher Moore, were both
sentenced to a year in jail. However, Magistrate Mahadev Dukharan released them
on $15,151 bail each pending appeals -- a process that could take months.
   Bernal's parents, Richard and Margaret, were in the courtroom for the
sentencing.
    Bernal and his brother, Daren, were arrested in April 1994 at the Kingston
airport after police searched their luggage and found marijuana concealed in 96
cans labeled as juice. The brothers were traveling to Washington, where Brian is
studying architecture at Howard University.
   Dukharan dismissed the case against Daren Bernal, now 17.
   Brian Bernal testified that Moore gave him two cartons containing the cans to
take to Moore's sister in Washington. Both men denied knowing the cans contained
marijuana.
   Last year, then-Foreign Minister Paul Robertson said the government had no
plans to replace Ambassador Richard Bernal because of his son's troubles.



UPn  03/30/95        FBI chief: U.S. not winning drug war

   WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- The United States is losing the war on drugs
and international cooperation is the key to stopping more than 1, 100 metric
tons of cocaine and heroin being produced in the world each year, FBI Director
Louis Freeh said Thursday.
   A grim-faced Freeh appeared before a House crime subcommittee to outline the
latest U.S. strategy to fight drugs and the violent crime associated with them.
   Of particular concern is the estimated 820 metric tons of cocaine and 314
tons of heroin produced each year, which U.S. officials say are the most
prevalent drugs. At least an eighth of the world's cocaine production was seized
in the United States last year.
   "There are no larger threats to our national security and the safety of the
public than the flood of cocaine and heroin into this country, and the huge
amount of crime caused by drugs," he said.
   "What is the status of this fight against drugs? Clearly, the nation is not
winning," he said. "Further, we cannot by ourselves overwhelm the problem. It is
one that is international in scope."
   Freeh said the FBI is opening foreign offices, including one in Moscow and
one in Beijing, as part of an attempt to establish a "strong and effective
presence overseas."
   He said the FBI is also working with foreign law enforcement agencies in
joint investigations and exchanges of information, personnel and training.
   DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine echoed the FBI chief.
   "Any strategy designed to control our domestic drug problem is doomed to
failure if we cannot also stem the tide of heroin and cocaine flooding across
our borders at the direction of the Cali mafia (in Colombia) or the Burmese
warlord Khan Sa," Constantine said.
   Constantine called the notorious Cali cartel "our No. 1 public enemy" which
is receiving more and more help from Mexican traffickers. He estimated that
three-fourths of the cocaine, a third of the heroin and a third of the marijuana
entering the United States came over its southern border.
   The DEA plans to have more personnel assigned to Andean nations and to
intensify efforts along the Mexican border.
   Constantine said those efforts must be accompanied by more aggressive action
to cut drug use in the United States. Of particular concern, he said, was an
increase last year in drug use among teens -- the first increase after 14-year
decline, accompanied by significant increases in violent crimes committed by
teens.
   The DEA chief predicted that the "echo of the baby boom" -- children whose
parents were part of the post-World War II baby boom -- would show itself
possibly in "another crime wave early in the next century" if drug trends are
not reversed.
   He said that could hit by 2005, when the United States will have more
teenagers than ever before with many approaching the 18-to 24-year-old age group
-- traditionally the most violence-prone of all.



PA   03/30/95        MAJOR PLEDGES TO PURSUE WAR ON DRUGS

By Alison Little, Parliamentary Staff, PA News
   The Prime Minister today promised the Government would do all it could to
help stamp out the trade in illegal drugs.
   Pressed at Commons question time to take tougher action against drug dealers,
Mr Major said Leader of the House Tony Newton was preparing a comprehensive
 anti-drugs strategy.
   He declared: "There is no doubt about the danger of this particular trade,
and we will do all we can, both domestically and internationally, to help stamp
it out."
   He added: "The Government has already taken a number of initiatives in line
with our European and other international partners."
   Mr Major was replying to Spencer Batiste, Tory MP for Elmet, who referred to
reports "that in the Middle East seven drugs dealers were executed, while in
Leeds a gang of drugs dealers burned down the house of a black policeman".
   Mr Batiste demanded: "Is it not time in this country, in our war against
drugs dealers, that we treat them as the mass murderers which they are in fact?"
   The Prime Minister told him: "I believe everyone in this country would share
 the distaste for drug dealers that you refer to."



PR   03/31/95        $1.1 MILLION CASH FOUND IN STORAGE LOCKER IN NEW JERSEY

    PHILADELPHIA, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Duffel bags containing more than $1.1
million in cash believed to be proceeds from an illegal drug operation have been
recovered from a public storage locker in Sicklerville, NJ.
    Michael R. Stiles, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
announced today that the cash was seized in connection with the arrest of a
suspect in the drug operation.
    A complaint and warrant was issued March 29 against Miriam Cartagena, a/k/a
Miriam Perez, (DOB 4/25/61), of 6423 Walton Ave., Pennsauken, NJ, charging her
with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and traveling in interstate commerce
between Philadelphia and New Jersey to distribute the proceeds of an illegal
drug business.
    She was arraigned before Magistrate Edwin E. Naythons and is currently in
custody awaiting a pretrial detention hearing on April 4, 1995.
    The cash was discovered when the Drug Enforcement Administration, acting on
an anonymous tip, executed a search of a storage locker on the Black Horse Pike
in Sicklerville, NJ.
    The defendant is the wife of William Cartagena, allegedly a leader of the
Mascher and Indiana Drug Posse, which was indicted on conspiracy and cocaine
distribution charges in 1993.  William Cartagena is awaiting trial on those
charges.
    The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Drug
Enforcement Administration, Camden; the Internal Revenue Service, the
Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Narcotics
Investigation.
    The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph T. Labrum III,
and M. Taylor Aspinwall.
    /delval/
    -0-                       3/31/95
    /CONTACT:  Fred Hamilton, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Attorney's
Office, 215-451-5636/
CO:  U.S. Attorney's Office ST:  Pennsylvania IN: SU:



APn  03/31/95       Bolivia-US-Extradition

   LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivia extradited the former head of its anti-drug
agency to the United States on Friday to stand trial on cocaine trafficking
charges.
   Col. Faustino Rico Toro was ordered extradited by Bolivia's Supreme Court,
which ruled in favor of a U.S. Embassy request submitted last year.
   Rico Toro, who maintains he is innocent, left Friday from the southeastern
city of Cochabamba aboard a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plane for
Miami.
   Rico Toro, 63, was named to head Bolivia's anti-drug force in February 1991
by former President Jaime Paz Zamora, but was forced to step down 10 days later
after Washington threatened to suspend economic aid to Bolivia.



APn  04/01/95        Netherlands-Soft Drugs

By JENIFER CHAO
 Associated Press Writer
   AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- Marijuana with your coffee? It's a favorite
tradition for some in Amsterdam, but one that officials in the Dutch capital are
less than high on these days.
   The city wants to halve the number of coffee shops allowed to sell hashish
and marijuana, the latest move to restrict the flourishing Dutch drug trade.
Authorities are rethinking their permissive approach to drugs after finding some
 "soft" drug outlets have been used to sell cocaine and heroin.
   "We've had problems with the coffee shops for years," police spokesman Klass
Wilting said Saturday. "Regulations will give us better control over them."
   Local authorities allow hundreds of coffee shops nationwide to sell hashish
and marijuana in small quantities.
   Although drugs remain illegal, the Dutch have long felt that a
non-prosecution approach allows easier monitoring by law enforcement
authorities.
   But pressure from neighboring European states with tougher drug laws has
forced a reconsideration, and Amsterdam has been shutting down coffee shops it
found to be dealing in "hard" drugs like heroin and cocaine.
   Sales and possession of drugs intended for personal use are not prosecuted.
 Police focus their efforts on stopping large-scale trafficking.
   What they don't want is over-the-counter sales of hard drugs that would
increase the problem of drug tourism from other European countries.
   Coffee shops can operate as long as they follow a set of guidelines which ban
hard drugs and sales to minors under the age of 16.
   A maximum of 1.05 ounces of soft drugs can be sold per purchase.
   But Amsterdam authorities want that age minimum raised to 18 and want all
shops to close by midnight, instead of the usual 1 or 2 a.m.
   Under the proposed legislation, no new coffee shops would be allowed in
Amsterdam, and existing ones would not be permitted to sell both soft drugs and
alcohol.
   Authorities hope coffee shops will switch to the more lucrative business of
 selling alcoholic beverages.
   The City Council will vote on the proposal in June. Its chances are good,
given the prevailing conservative mood.
   "There are really too many coffee shops here," said Ray Bangma, who works at
one of the city's biggest, Coffeeshop 36. "Less of them might mean better
business for us."



RTw  04/01/95        Singapore arrests 32 over drugs at disco

   SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuter) - Police arrested 32 Singaporeans on Friday in
connection with drug consumption and possession at a popular discotheque, state
television said.
    Those arrested included patrons and employees of the disco Zouk and a drug
trafficker, state television said on Saturday.
    The outlet is now under investigation by the Central Narcotics Bureau,
 television said. Bureau officials were unavailable for comment.
    About 850 grams of cannabis and several hundred pills containing controlled
drugs were found at the site. Police believe parties were held after operating
hours in which drugs were freely passed around.
    No other information was available. Under Singapore's tough drug laws, the
death sentence is mandatory for anyone over 18 years of age found guilty of
trafficking in more than 500 grams (18 ounces) of cannabis, 15 grams (half an
ounce) of heroin or 30 grams (an ounce) of morphine.
  REUTER



UPce 04/02/95        mi-hashbash

   Weather cools marijuana rally
   ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 1 (UPI) -- More than 3,000 people gathered at the
University of Michigan campus Saturday to join in the 24th annual Hash Bash, a
festival celebrating marijuana.
   Speakers and performers advocated legalizing the drug, but gray skies and
40-degree temperatures left them with a smaller audience than in previous years.
Rain fell in the afternoon, driving away all but the most dedicated celebrants.
   The focus of the all-day event was a one-hour noontime presentation by HEMP
(Help Eliminate Marijuana Prohibition) Ann Arbor. Musicians played and sang
about their experiences with the drug, and Shawn Brown, a student libertarian,
 cited legal, moral and logical grounds for repealing the prohibition of
marijuana.
   Other speakers advocated the use of hemp, a fiber obtained from the same
plant as marijuana.
   "We support (marijuana's) medical use as well as other uses like paper, cloth
and stuff like that," said HEMP Ann Arbor member Diana Christoff, a U-M student
from Plymouth, Mich.
   In the crowd, marijuana was being used for recreation only. Dozens of people
cast wary glances over their shoulders before lighting up.
   On patrol were U-M campus police, the Ann Arbor Police, the Washtenaw County
Sheriff's Department, and the Michigan State Police.
   "If we see someone smoking marijuana," said Lt. Joe Piersante, of the
 university's Department of Public Safety, "we will move in and arrest that
individual."
   University spokesperson Julie Peterson said police made 73 arrests for
marijuana possession.
   Peterson estimated Saturday's crowd at 3,500, considerably smaller than in
past years. The university said some 6,000 people gathered at last year's Hash
Bash, when the weather was sunny and warmer.
   "All in all," said Peterson, "it was a relatively subdued Hash Bash, much
quieter than last year."
   Still, local merchants noticed a surge in customer traffic. Cafes and
restaurants did two or three times the normal amount of business. Mark TerHarr,
manager of Splash, an alternative clothing store that features hemp products,
 said "there's more people, but most of them are just looking."
   Street merchants also took advantage of the crowds. Hemp and cotton t-shirts
with all kinds of pro-pot slogans and psychedelic designs were available on
nearly every corner.
   Gonzalo Ruffat, a U-M student from Bethesda, Md., was selling vodka bottles
converted into water-pipes labeled "for tobacco use only."
   "We made about 120," said Ruffat, "and they're selling pretty well."
   After the rain began, the Hash Bash crowd dispersed, leaving behind thousands
of cigarette butts, papers, trash, broken bottles and ashes from the plant they
gathered to celebrate.



APn  04/03/95        Pakistan-US Drugs

By RICHARD PYLE
 Associated Press Writer
   NEW YORK (AP) -- Two of Pakistan's most notorious drug barons were on their
way to the United States on Monday to face charges of heroin and hashish
trafficking, U.S. officials said.
   Iqbal Baig and Anwar Khattak, already serving prison terms in Pakistan for
drug smuggling, left that country Sunday evening just hours after a high court
in Rawalpindi rejected their appeals of a U.S. demand for extradition.
   There was no word from federal authorities on exactly where or when they
would arrive in the United States.
   U.S. Justice Department sources in Washington, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said the final destination was federal court in the Brooklyn borough
of New York City, where the two would be arraigned on 102 counts of drug
smuggling.
   The FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. attorney's office
in Brooklyn all said they had no information about the case.
   A Justice Department official described Baig, about 58, as Pakistan's top
drug lord and Khattak, 43, as a close associate. In 20 years of drug smuggling,
both became wealthy and politically influential and traveled with armed
bodyguards, the official said.
   He said Baig also is charged with conducting a criminal enterprise under the
federal "drug kingpin" law.
   Monday's extradition appeared timed to precede Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto's visit to the United States, which begins Wednesday.
   The United States has pressured Pakistan to crack down on drug trafficking,
and Ms. Bhutto wants U.S. aid to combat drug smuggling and terrorism in
Pakistan, which she portrays as a moderate Islamic state in need of Western
help.
   Opium poppies are widely grown in neighboring Afghanistan, where law and
order collapsed during 16 years of war. Opium is transported to western
Pakistan, refined into heroin and shipped on to Europe and the United States.
   In 1993, the United States gave Pakistan a list of 17 suspected drug lords
that it wanted extradited. Seven were sent here that year and most of the others
are held in Pakistan. Baig and Khattak were arrested in Lahore in 1993 and later
convicted of drug smuggling.
   This case is the second high-profile extradition of a suspect from Pakistan
to the United States in recent months. Ramzi Yousef, accused of masterminding
the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center, was arrested in Islamabad on
Feb. 7 and flown to New York to face trial.



PA   04/04/95        POLICE `SORRY' FOR DRUGS RAID AT PENSIONER'S HOME

  By Brian Unwin, PA News
   Police have apologised after officers searching for drugs used a battering
ram to smash their way into the home of a 79-year-old woman.
   The seven officers with two sniffer dogs told emphysema sufferer Willma
Mitchell, who was in bed with an oxygen mask over her face, they were looking
 for cannabis.
   Police found no drugs in the home. They arrested Mrs Mitchell's grandson,
John Newark, 19, but released him without charge after a seven-minute interview.
   Mrs Mitchell, of Hadrian Park, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, said she planned to
make an official complaint, adding: "I was so frightened I nearly died."
   Northumbria Police have expressed regret over any distress caused during the
operation and have made arrangements for the door lock and a pane of glass to be
repaired.
   A spokesman said they had been acting on a tip-off and obtained a search
warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
   "Where the presence of drugs is suspected, entry to premises must be gained
as quickly as possible," he added.



WP   04/04/95      Drug Lords' Influence Pervading Mexico; Neighbor, Last Line of Defense for
                   U.S., Now Likened to Colombia

By Douglas Farah
Washington Post Foreign Service
     Three weeks before Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was
assassinated, he made a swing through Monterrey to attend a fund-raising dinner.
 Among those invited was a leader of one of the country's most powerful drug
trafficking cartels.
             A counter-narcotics adviser to Mexico's attorney general warned
Colosio and the drug kingpin, Humberto Garcia Abrego, was scratched
unceremoniously from the presidential candidate's guest list. 
             "But it shows you how deeply the drug traffickers have penetrated
in Mexico," said Eduardo Valle, the former anti-drug adviser, who fled Mexico
after Colosio's assassination a year ago and now lives outside Washington. "It
was not thought of as unusual that someone like Garcia Abrego be openly
invited."
             Drug traffickers are widely blamed for the murder of Colosio, as
well as the slayings on May 24, 1993, of a Roman Catholic cardinal and on Sept.
 28, 1994, of a top political leader. The three killings shocked Mexico, once
viewed as one of the hemisphere's most stable countries, and came as the United
States and Canada joined Mexico in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
             The Mexican organizations, in recent years, have seen their
political and economic clout grow as they have tightened their alliance with a
new group of traffickers emerging in Colombia, tied to the Cali cartel --
expanding cooperation not only in the lucrative cocaine trade, but also in the
joint production and transport of heroin, according to law enforcement sources.
             What makes the expanding role of Mexico in drug trafficking
especially dangerous, U.S. officials said, is that the fight in Colombia, home
of the most powerful cocaine cartels, is widely viewed as lost, a victim of a
lack of political will there as well as the traffickers' ability to penetrate
 and corrupt even the most senior levels of government.
             Amid accusations that Colombian President Ernesto Samper took money
from the Cali cartel for his campaign and is unwilling to move against the Cali
leadership, Mexico -- and its 2,000-mile border with the United States -- is now
seen as the last line of defense and primary battleground in the war on drugs.
             "We cannot have a successful counter-narcotics strategy without the
governments of Colombia and Mexico on board," a senior law enforcement official
said. "We don't have Colombia anymore. Mexico is not quite Colombia, but if left
unchecked, it has all the earmarks of Colombia eight or 10 years ago when the
cartels were consolidating their base, gaining control of the media and
co-opting government institutions."
             Mexican Attorney General Antonio Lozano acknowledged recently that
 some of his country's drug gangs have grown into large organizations, but he
rejected the idea that they have infiltrated as deeply into politics and the
economy as in Colombia. "In no way can we talk of those levels," he said in a
meeting with Washington Post reporters and editors.
             U.S. narcotics experts said that while Mexico has long been viewed
as a major transshipment point for narcotics -- including cocaine, heroin and
marijuana -- to the United States, it had not been seen as a central
battleground like Colombia. Now, U.S. officials estimate that at least 70
percent of the 650 to 1,000 tons of cocaine consumed in the United States enters
by land from Mexico.
             In a recent report, the State Department said Mexico "is a major
source country for marijuana and heroin available in the United States and is
 the principal transit route for cocaine entering the United States. It is also a
major money-laundering center. It is therefore critical to U.S. drug control
efforts."
             In an admission of how Washington has viewed Samper since before
his election, the State Department denied annual certification of Colombia's
full cooperation in the drug war last month, although it issued a national
security waiver that allows aid to continue. Robert Gelbard, assistant secretary
of state for international narcotics and law enforcement, has publicly condemned
the "overall atmosphere involving serious corruption which has really pervaded"
many Colombian institutions.
             Gelbard said the Clinton administration is "very concerned" about a
December 1994 incident, first reported by the Senate Foreign Relations
 Committee, in which Colombian police in Cali tried to capture Miguel Rodriguez
Orejuela, one of the world's most-wanted drug traffickers.
             Senior U.S. officials said police received a tip that Rodriguez
would be at a daughter's birthday party at the Intercontinental Hotel. He was
not captured, and within two days both Samper and his defense minister
apologized for the raid, saying it had endangered women and children. U.S.
officials were outraged by the apology and said reports in the Colombian press
saying that it was made after Rodriguez called Samper demanding an apology were
"credible," although unproven.
             Samper denies any connection with the Cali cartel and has said the
United States does not appreciate Colombia's efforts against drug trafficking.
             Robert Bonner, director of the Drug Enforcement Administration
 (DEA) from 1990 to '93, said that as Mexican traffickers become stronger, there
is a "growing danger of the Colombianization of Mexico, where the traffickers
become so powerful they will be able to influence the legitimate institutions of
government."
             He and U.S. officials said that Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo
has moved more aggressively than any of his predecessors to crack down on the
drug organizations that have gained influence.
             Zedillo allowed the arrest of Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of
former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, on charges of ordering the murder
last September of political leader Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu. Zedillo also
added drug trafficking to the charges against Ruiz Massieu's brother, Mario Ruiz
Massieu, who is in a U.S. prison and is accused in Mexico of covering up the
 murder of his brother and protecting Raul Salinas. Millions of dollars have been
found in his bank accounts, indicating ties to drug trafficking, Mexican
officials say.
             It is Mexico's proximity to the United States and a long tradition
of smuggling across the border that first led to the alliance of Mexican
trafficking organizations with the Colombians. Narcotics experts date the first
formal alliance to 1984, when the DEA had begun attacking smuggler routes
through the Caribbean, driving the Colombians to look for alternatives.
             The key link, the officials said, was Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros,
a Honduran now serving a life sentence in the United States for drug
trafficking.
             Matta Ballesteros, who was arrested in 1988, worked with both the
 Medellin and Cali cartels in Colombia, and set up ties to Mexican traffickers
such as Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. Caro Quintero was
involved in the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Felix Gallardo is in
jail, but his operation still flourishes.
             Valle, the former counter-narcotics adviser, whose information was
corroborated by law enforcement sources and administration officials, said that
initially the Colombians would drop large loads of cocaine in northern Mexico,
and Mexican organizations would move them across the border for a fee -- usually
about $1,000 a kilo -- where Colombians directed distribution.
             In the early 1990s, the Colombians, especially the Medellin cartel,
which was in disarray and facing cash-flow problems, began paying the Mexicans
in drugs, not cash. The Mexican organizations began setting up their own U.S.
 distribution networks, a much more lucrative way of operating. Instead of $1,000
a kilo, they were able to sell cocaine for up to $15,000 a kilo. 
             In the last two years, the Colombians began flying multi-ton
shipments of cocaine directly from Colombia to northern Mexico.
             Now an entire cargo often is turned over to the Mexicans, who pay
for it in cash and then are in charge of transporting and distributing it -- the
soaring profits ushering in a new era of drug-trafficking influence in Mexico.
             U.S. officials said Mexicans bring back loads of cash for the
Colombians and the money is flown back to Colombia on the aircraft.
             "From the Colombians' point of view, this operation is much more
secure," a senior U.S. law enforcement official said. "There is only one
shipment, they deal with one person on the Mexican end, and there is less
 personnel and therefore less risk of leaks or other trouble. For the Mexicans,
it means hundreds of millions more dollars."
             A senior official said that while moving drugs in large, single
loads is riskier than dividing it up into several smaller ones, "they don't get
caught very often. Knowing how they move things and stopping those movements are
two very different things."
             The Mexicans move the drugs across the U.S. border by land using
tractor-trailer trucks, cars with hidden compartments, recreational vehicles and
people on foot.
             "Anything that moves is fair game," a U.S. law enforcement official
said. "They can put thousands of trucks on the road every day, and leave it to
us to try to pick out the few that are carrying cocaine." 
              Over time, officials said, three major trafficking organizations,
and about a dozen smaller ones, have grown up in Mexico, dividing up the border
area and the profits. As in the Cali cartel, the groups are largely based on
family ties, making them difficult to penetrate. 
             According to Valle, Bonner, and officials on both sides of the
border, the main groups are:
    The Tijuana cartel, run by brothers Ramon and Benjamin Arellano Felix, among
the most wanted traffickers in Mexico, and suspected of the 1993 murder of
Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo. A third brother, Francisco Rafael, was
arrested in 1993 and is in prison. In March 1994, Mexican police said Ismael
Higuera Guerrero, a chief lieutenant of the Arellano Felix group, was being
protected by state police in Tijuana when they fought a battle with their
 federal counterparts who were seeking to arrest Higuera.
    The Juarez cartel, with at least two factions, controls the middle area of
the border. One faction reportedly is run by a nephew of jailed drug lord
Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo. The other, law enforcement officials said, is run by
Rafael Aguilar, a former federal police commander. His organization, the DEA
said, smuggled in 21 tons of cocaine confiscated in 1989 in Sylmar, Calif. --
the largest bust in DEA's history.
    The third group, and, according to law enforcement officials, the strongest
at this time, is the Gulf cartel, run by the Garcia Abrego family, which
controls the region along the Gulf of Mexico. It is based in Tamaulipas. Juan
Garcia Abrego, the brother of the man who did not come to dinner in Monterrey,
is on the FBI's most-wanted list.
               While Zedillo's efforts so far to go after traffickers and those
they have corrupted are drawing praise, the outcome is far from certain.
             "Drug trafficking is not a problem of Colombia or of Mexico," Valle
said. "We are dealing with . . . transnational corporate structures. Traffickers
have not yet taken over in Mexico. They still cannot block all decisions made,
and things can move forward. But we are only one step away."

End


Compiled by

Paul Stanford