These copyrighted articles from news agencies  gradually accumulated over the years. 

TO SAVE, click on "file" in upper left corner of browser, then click on "save as" when menu pops down.  Remember to remember where you saved it.

      By Alister Bull

    AMSTERDAM, March 14 (Reuter) - French criticism of the
Netherlands' 20-year experiment on cannabis use has raised fears
that the Dutch may be forced to sacrifice their tolerance of
soft drugs to placate a powerful European Union partner.

    A parliamentary debate on the government's cannabis policy,
planned for Monday, has been overshadowed by French accusations
that Dutch drugs laws are leading its youths astray.

    Some Dutch say the French government is campaigning to crush
a liberal tradition of which they are proud.

    ``I resent the way France is trying to influence our debate.
The Dutch way of treating drugs is the best in the world. I
don't care what (French President Jacques) Chirac says. I care
what the Dutch people say,'' said the Labour Party's Rob

    France cited concern over Dutch drugs policy as a reason for
maintaining border controls when the Schengen open border pact
came into effect last year.

    The seven members of the EU's Schengen group ended passport
checks at airports in March last year and all except France
dropped internal border controls last July.

     Chirac withdrew from a planned drugs summit over
dissatisfaction with the Dutch and the row is likely to
resurface later this month at the EU Intergovernmental
Conference in Turin.

    ``The French are clearly stepping up the pressure,'' said
Doctor Sam Rozemond at the Clingendale Institute -- an
influential foreign policy think-tank based in The Hague.

    But others are less negative about the Netherlands' policy.

    On Wednesday, the government made public a letter from
Margarethe Nimsch, health minister in the German state of Hesse,
praising the liberal Dutch stand and urging the Netherlands to
resist foreign pressure to adopt a harder line.

    At present, Dutch law tolerates personal possession of up to
30 grams (just over one ounce) and allows this to be sold and
used in so-called ``coffee shops'' which attract thousands of
young Europeans to Dutch cities every day.

    During Monday's debate members of parliament will discuss
plans to cut the sale of cannabis to five grams (less than a
quarter of an ounce), reduce the number of places where it is
used legally and crack down on addicts who cause a public

    For some, France has already stamped its mark on the debate.

    ``When the (Dutch) cabinet began reviewing policy in 1994
there was still evidence of the liberal ghost. By September last
year, the atmosphere had clearly changed,'' said spokesman Wim
van der Camp for the centre-right Christian Democrats.

    The sale of hard drugs is banned in coffee shops and
outlawed on the streets, although police often ignore addicts
using and selling them to concentrate on catching big-time

    A relaxed attitude towards smoking a joint in public stems
from the conviction that soft drugs do not encourage dependence
on more harmful narcotics, while decriminalising their use keeps
the young out of the clutches of the pushers.

    The Dutch policy towards drug addicts is based on the
principle of treating addiction as an illness not a crime and
over the years has led the police routinely to ignore the
possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and other hard

    As a result, the incidence of AIDS and death among Dutch
addicts is significantly lower than in neighbouring countries.

    This approach has been blamed for tolerating an open market
in hard drugs on the streets of Dutch cities which finds few
defenders at home and hostility abroad.

    French complaints that efforts to stamp out chronic drug
problems which infect some of its northern cities have been
hampered by easy access to drugs in Rotterdam find some sympathy
in the Netherlands.

    Belgium, which lies between France and the Netherlands,
complies with the Schengen open-border policy and there are no
controls on the Dutch-Belgian border.

    ``They have the right to make their own stricter policies
and when our rules hamper this we must recognise our obligations
to our neighbours,'' said van der Camp.

    The Christian Democrats are campaigning for the closure of
all coffee shops, but van der Camp rejected the French policy of
tarring soft drugs with the same brush as heroin and cocaine.

    ``Our separation of soft drugs from hard may not have been
completely successful, but it is an attempt worth making. And
our health programmes for addicts are among the best in the
world,'' he said.

21:24 03-13-96

      THE HAGUE, March 6 (Reuter) - The Netherlands said on Wednesday that it would step up its efforts to reduce the impact of its liberal drugs policy on its neighbours, but would not alter the policy just for the sake of it.

    ``The Dutch have an obligation to minimize the negative effects (of its drugs policy) for other countries...and we realise there is a lot that can be improved,'' Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo told a press lunch.

    The Hague has come under fire, particularly from Germany and France, for its official tolerance of the sale and use of soft drugs such as marijuana.

    Drugs are illegal in The Netherlands but the sale of modest amounts of soft drugs from so-called ``coffee shops'' is allowed and police turn a blind eye to the possession of small quantities of hard drugs.

    France's dissatisfaction with Dutch laxity on drugs prompted President Jacques Chirac to withdraw last month from a planned five-nation drugs ``summit'' with Germany and the Benelux states.

    Paris has also cited Dutch drugs policy as a reason for maintaining border controls after the seven-nation Schengen open-border convention came into force last March.

    But Van Mierlo said that the Dutch would not change existing policy in the absence of a better alternative.

    ``I am not saying that we are absolutely unwilling to give up (our existing drugs legislation) but what I do not want is to give it up for a worse system,'' he said.

    ``Harmonisation is a two-way street. Schengen gives us the right to pursue our own policy...we not only have the right, but also the obligation, to pursue the best policy for our own citizens.''

    Van Mierlo claimed that Dutch policy on drugs had proved effective as The Netherlands had proportionally fewer drug addicts, fewer drug-related deaths and fewer instances of HIV infection among drug users than surrounding countries.

    Proposed changes to Dutch drugs laws, put forward last year and signalling a clampdown on hard drugs, contain many measures sought by the French, Van Mierlo said.

14:34 03-06-96

      WELLINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuter) - At least 250 people demonstrated outside New Zealand's parliament for the legalisation of marijuana on Tuesday and police made 11 arrests after some of the smokers lit up.

    The eleven were detained for smoking and possession of the drug and for obstructing the police.

    The demonstrators were members of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, which says half a million New Zealanders use the drug out of a population of 3.5 million. Aotearoa is the Maori name for the country.

    Spokesman Mike Finlayson told supporters the state should get out of people's lives and concentrate police resources on fighting violent crime.

00:26 02-20-96

      LONDON (Reuter) - Long-term use of Ecstasy, Europe's second most popular ``recreational'' drug after cannabis, can destroy the liver and damage the heart and brain, a study released Tuesday found.

    The effects were clearly seen in young men in their early 20s, indicating that the drug quickly causes widespread damage.

    Forensic pathologists at Sheffield University said autopsies of seven young men who had died after taking Ecstasy found ``striking changes'' in all their livers, including large areas of dead tissue. In one case there was ``massive'' damage.

    Their hearts were also damaged, as were the brains of three of them. Internal bleeding was found in the lungs of two and damage from loss of blood supply in the lungs of a third.

    Dr. Robert Forrest, who worked on the study, said all the men had levels of Ecstasy in their blood, which indicated the drug caused the damage. Three of the men, aged between 20 and 25, collapsed at a ``rave'' or dance party or at a disco.

    ``There's nothing else to cause it,'' he said in a telephone interview. ``You find the drug levels there, you find the pathological changes and you are faced with somebody dead, the question is, did the drug cause it?''

    Doctors say the drug has killed at least 60 people in Britain. The case of Leah Betts, who died after taking one dose of the drug on her 18th birthday, caused a nationwide outcry about its danger.

    A Council of Europe report last year showed it was the continent's most popular recreational drug after cannabis.

    Forrest said further study was needed, but urged other doctors to make careful autopsies of young people who died after taking drugs.

    ``The short-term risks of Ecstasy use are becoming increasingly more apparent, and questions must be asked about the long-term effects on the brain, liver and heart, considering the pathology in those who die,'' the researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

    The report said the damage to their organs was consistent with overheating -- which does cause some Ecstasy deaths. Users dance for for hours, often either suffering from dehydration, or drinking lethal amounts of water in an attempt to avoid it.

    But it was also consistent with amphetamine use. ``You get exactly the same thing in a cocaine overdose,'' Forrest said.

    Ecstasy, clinically known as methylenedioxymethylamphetamine, (MDMA), was first developed as an appetite suppressant. A derivative of amphetamine, it is a stimulant causing a rush of energy and heightened perception.

15:49 02-13-96

      By Paul Taylor

    PARIS, Feb 14 (Reuter) - A planned summit of France, Germany and the Netherlands next month on fighting the drugs trade has been postponed because insufficient progress has been achieved, the French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

    Paris and Bonn have been pressing the Dutch government to tighten its liberal drugs laws, saying most of the narcotics that enter their countries come via the Netherlands, undermining their tougher drugs policies.

    French President Jacques Chirac had an angry exchange with Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok on the issue at an informal European Union summit in Paris last June.

    The French Foreign Ministry said in statement on Wednesday a joint Franco-Dutch working group had made rapid progress on practical cooperation between police, customs, justice and health authorities in fighting drugs.

    But it said Paris and The Hague ``jointly considered it preferable to await further progress on all problems concerning drugs before planning a new meeting at the highest level.''

    French government spokesman Alain Lamassoure told reporters: ``Such a meeting...only makes sense if it achieves positive steps forward in the direction sought particularly by France.''

    The main problem remaining was harmonising Dutch legislation on the production and sale of drugs with that of other EU countries, he said.

    The newspaper Le Monde quoted French complaints of inadequate customs checks in the port of Rotterdam, where containers crammed with drugs went undetected.

    Diplomats said the Dutch had planned to hold the three-way meeting on March 7, possibly expanding it to include Belgium and Luxembourg.

    France said Dutch laxity over drugs was one of the main reasons for its decision to maintain border controls after the Schengen open-border convention among seven EU states came into force last March.

    Chirac complained that soft drugs were openly on sale in Amsterdam and French teenagers were making money by buying drugs on weekend trips there and reselling them in France.

    After French European Affairs Minister Michel Barnier visited The Hague last week, officials hinted that Paris might drop its border controls on the first anniversary of Schengen's implementation next month.

    Drugs are officially illegal in the Netherlands but the authorities tolerate the possession of small quantities for personal use.

    A review of Dutch drugs policy last September essentially upheld the status quo of the last 20 years. Dutch officials say their policy is working.

    They say the Netherlands has proportionally fewer drug addicts than countries such as France, Britain and Italy and they claim lower levels of drug-related deaths and HIV infection among drug users.

11:13 02-14-96

By Clay Evans, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News

DENVER--Feb. 9--To environmentalists, it's a crop that could halt the destru ction of forests.

To many farmers, it's an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a burg eoning international market.

To suspicious law enforcement agencies, it seems too close to a handy way to

 conceal a marijuana plantation.

It's hemp, and it got the thumbs-up in a legislative committee Thursday.

Sen. Lloyd Casey, a Democrat who represents parts of Broomfield, brought his

 hemp proposal to the conservative Senate Agriculture Committee for the second y ear in a row, and left with a victory on a 4-3 vote.

Casey's bill would legalize possession and cultivation of "industrial hemp"

in Colorado and would be exempted from laws governing marijuana. It also would a llow an individual to plant up to 5 acres of hemp in 1996 and 40 acres in 1997 f or research purposes under the aegis of the state Agriculture Department.

"This starts us out as a pilot program, very conservatively," said Casey, wh o saw a similar bill die in the same committee in 1995.

Witnesses from across the country stepped up to tell the committee that:

    Although hemp comes from the same plant species (Cannabis sativa) as marijua na, it contains only miniscule amounts of "psychoactive" material and should not

 be considered a drug.

Hemp production for use as fiber, seed and pulp for paper would be a boon to

 farmers and an environmentally sensitive alternative to using trees for paper.

"My family raised hemp on land where we'd been for 150 years in Kentucky," s aid Andy Graves, president of the Kentucky Hemp Grower's Cooperative, which cann ot legally grow hemp in the United States. "And there was not a history of dope smoking during that time."

But as if to show how skeptical law enforcement agencies are about the whole

 idea, the Denver Police Department confiscated a small bale of hemp that Casey had planned to show in presenting his bill.

Sgt. Anthony Lombard, a lobbyist for the police department and a friend of C asey's, snatched the bale away for "testing" even though Casey bore a letter for

 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency saying the bale, which has been shown in Kentu cky, Minnesota and Nevada without consequence -- is not in violation of drug law s.

Casey doesn't expect to see the bale again. He was told that he has legislat ive immunity from prosecution, but was still baffled by the move by Denver polic e.

"It's really kind of ridiculous," he said.

Hemp was a legal crop in the United States from the time of the Revolutionar y War into the 20th Century. It was grown and used for fiber during World War II , under a government-sponsored program called "Hemp for Victory."

But since being outlawed in the United States, other countries have taken up

 the slack on hemp production. It is grown in nearly 20 countries, including Can ada, England and Germany.

While law enforcement agencies have balked at the idea of growing hemp, farm ers have in recent years jumped on the bandwagon. In recent months, the Colorado

 Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation, representing more than 4.6

 million farmers, have endorsed legalized cultivation.


17:46 02-12-96

      By Tom Brown

    BOGOTA, Colombia, Feb 12 (Reuter) - Colombian President Ernesto Samper, who faces possible impeachment because of his alleged ties to drug lords, said on Monday his 18-month-old government had done more than any before it to fight the international drug trade.

    He said 584 Colombian police and security force members were killed fighting drug traffickers in 1995 and vowed in their names to continue waging an all-out war ``against this scourge that has caused Colombia so much suffering.''

    ``Never before has a government ... done so much in so little time against drug trafficking,'' he said in an annual speech listing the results of Colombia's anti-narcotics efforts in 1995.

    In addition to huge cocaine seizures and the jailing of six of the seven top leaders of the Cali cartel, he said his government's successes in 1995 included the arrests of 2,628 lower-ranking traffickers -- 106 of them foreigners.

    Samper said drug crop eradication in Colombia last year resulted in the destruction of 62,925 acres (25,466 hectares) of coca leaf and 10,615 acres (4,296 hectares) of opium poppy -- a 400 percent increase over 1994.

    He said the results might have been even more impressive, but the eradication programme -- one of the most ambitious in the world -- was hampered by inadequate air power and the fact that heavily armed leftist rebels provide protection for drug crops in at least 35 areas of the country.

    As part of the 29,640 anti-drug operations conducted by police and military officials across Colombia in 1995, Samper said 573 clandestine drug laboratories were destroyed together with vast quantities of precursor chemicals. And as part of an effort to purge corrupt elements from ranks of the National Police, he said, 3,194 policemen -- including 550 senior officers -- received dishonourable discharges in 1995.

    Alluding to a possible move by the United States to disqualify Colombia as a partner in the anti-drug fight, Samper said this would benefit no one but Colombia's drug lords. ``We can't do this alone. The only ones who benefit from a breakdown in the channels of judicial cooperation between our countries in the fight against drugs are drug barons themselves,'' he said.

    U.S. President Bill Clinton is required by law to certify each year by March 1 that Colombia, along with 25 other key drug-producing nations, has fully cooperated in meeting various counternarcotics goals.

    Decertification would put Colombia, the world's leading exporter of cocaine and a major producer of heroin and marijuana, into a group of pariah nations and automatically cut off anti-narcotics aid provided by the State Department. It would also remove sweeping trade privileges granted as a reward for Colombia's fight against drugs and throw international leading to the country into doubt.

    Diplomats concede the achievements listed by Samper are impressive, but there is widespread doubt -- especially after last month's prison break by the No. 3 leader of the Cali cartel -- about Colombia's ability to prosecute, convict and sentence its powerful drug lords in accordance with international legal standards.

    Allegations that Samper accepted up to $6 million in Cali cartel drug money to bankroll his 1994 election have also raised widespread doubts both in Colombia and abroad about his underlying commitment to the drug fight.

    His speech came just 24 hours before Colombia's chief prosecutor is expected to unveil up to five criminal charges against him stemming from the campaign finance scandal.

16:42 02-12-96

      BOGOTA (Reuter) - Colombian President Ernesto Samper said Friday that the United States would be committing a ``great injustice'' if it decertified his country as a partner in the anti-drug fight.

    He also said that anti-American sentiment was on the upswing in Colombia and that it threatened to spread further if Washington failed to recognize that the violence-torn Andean nation is one of its leading allies in the war against drugs.

    Samper, who is fighting for his political life because of charges that he used cocaine wealth to finance his 1994 election campaign, spoke in a Reuter interview at the presidential palace in which he reiterated his repeated refusals to resign and said he has widespread popular support and the firm backing of the military.

    ``One of my problems is that I have opponents but no opposition,'' the 45-year-old leader, looking rested and firmly in control, said as he discussed the political upheaval around him.

    He appeared completely unfazed by the expected reopening of a congressional probe into his campaign finances next week, even though it could ultimately lead to his impeachment.

    He is intensely aware of his ``dirty money'' image problems, both at home and abroad, including in the U.S. Congress however. And in the wide-ranging interview he conceded for the first time that he is concerned about the possibility that Colombia might fail an upcoming annual U.S. test of its commitment to the war on drugs -- the process known as certification.

    U.S. President Bill Clinton is required by law to certify each year by March 1 that Colombia, along with 25 other key drug- producing nations, has fully cooperated in meeting various couternarcotics goals.

    Decertification would put the country -- the world's leading exporter of cocaine and a major producer of heroin and marijuana -- among a select group of pariah nations and automatically cut off all anti-drug aid provided by the State Department.

   Business leaders -- many of whom recently urged Samper to step down because of fresh allegations of his campaign's ties to drug lords -- are especially worried because the virtual blacklisting of Colombia would open the way for Congress to remove sweeping trade privileges as a reward for its fight against drugs. It would also oblige U.S. representatives in multilateral lending agencies like the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to vote against granting any new credits to Colombia.

    ``Needless to it wouldn't be good for the country,'' Samper said when asked about the possibility of decertification. ``Not because it would worsen the political situation ... But because it would be an act of great injustice. It would be a denial of everything that Colombia has done in the fight against drug trafficking.''

    ``I don't think the United States would take the risk of losing the best ally it's had in the last few years in the fight against drug trafficking,'' he added, noting that it was on his watch that Colombia jailed six of the seven top leaders of the Cali cartel and launched one of the most ambitious drug crop eradication programs in the world.

    ``No country that has drug problems can throw the first stone when it comes to the possible infiltration of drug money in its domestic activity,'' he said.

    Diplomats say some of Samper's worst critics in Colombia secretly hope that the country will fail the annual U.S. drug test, since it would ratchet up the pressure for him to step down. But Samper acknowledged that it might also benefit him politically by giving him a ``nationalistic argument'' to play to the gallery and fan the flames of anti-American sentiment in Colombia.

    ``It's a sentiment that has been growing, unfortunately'' he said. ``An act of this kind (decertification) could of course have an influence on that sentiment.''

16:41 02-09-96

     RANGOON, Burma (Reuter) - Burma will not extradite opium lord Khun Sa to the United States, where he is wanted on heroin trafficking charges, Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw said on Friday.

    Ohn Gyaw's comments marked the first time a senior Burmese official has publicly said Rangoon had no plan to extradite Khun Sa, who surrendered to government forces last month.

    ``There is no question of extradition with any country,'' Ohn Gyaw said when asked about Burma's response to Washington's request to hand over Khun Sa, who was indicted by a U.S. court in December 1989 on various charges of drug trafficking.

    ``In 1990 we received a request from an embassy to have U Khun Sa extradited,'' he said. ``And we have called to the attention of that particular nation that there never existed any extradition treaty and we have no intention whatsoever of an extradition.''

    The United States, which does not have an extradition treaty with Burma, has repeatedly urged it to hand over the drug lord to face trial. Khun Sa denies the U.S. charges.

    Khun Sa and his Mong Tai Army (MTA) surrendered to the Burmese government at his Shan state jungle headquarters last month amid speculation he agreed to give up his guerrilla war in exchange for some form of amnesty.

    But Lieutenant-Colonel Kyaw Thein, a senior defence ministry official, denied that Burma had made any deal.

    ``We didn't have any negotiation or deal for the surrender at all. They just surrendered unconditionally.''

    When asked what would happen to Khun Sa, Kyaw Thein said:

    ``We will deal with this matter according to the law and processes for this is still going on. Right now I don't know when exactly this process will be finished.''

    A total of 12,690 MTA members surrendered in January, turning over 7,510 assorted weapons, the government said.

    ``Remaining members of the MTA are still coming in in small groups,'' Kyaw Thein said.

    Ohn Kyaw and Kyaw Thein made the comments at a ceremony to destroy confiscated drugs.

    About 1.750 tonnes of heroin, opium and marijuana were destroyed in front of about 100 spectators including diplomats and officials from United Nations organisations.

    Kyaw Thein said two non-productive drug laboratories had been found in MTA-controlled areas and the government was searching for more.

    He said the flow of drugs out of Shan state had not stopped despite the surrender of Khun Sa and the MTA members. ``But I can assure you that the amount of drugs produced in MTA-controlled areas will drop down very significantly.''

    Anti-narcotics officials estimate Khun Sa was responsible for about half of Burma's annual opium crop of more than 2,000 tonnes and U.S. officials say around 60 percent of the heroin on American city streets comes from Burma.

12:06 02-09-96

      By Tom Brown

    BOGOTA, Feb 9 (Reuter) - Colombian President Ernesto Samper said on Friday the United States would be committing a ``great injustice'' if it disqualified his country as a partner in fight against drugs.

    He also said anti-American sentiment was rising in Colombia and could spread further if Washington failed to recognise that the violence-torn Andean nation is a leading ally in the struggle against the narcotics trade.

    Samper, fighting for his political life because of charges he used cocaine wealth to finance his 1994 election campaign, spoke in a Reuter interview at the presidential palace. He reiterated his repeated refusals to resign, saying he has wide popular support and firm military backing.

    ``One of my problems is that I have opponents but no opposition,'' the 45-year-old leader, looking rested and firmly in control, said of the political upheaval around him.

    He appeared unfazed by the expected reopening of a congressional probe into his campaign finances next week, even though it could lead to his impeachment.

    Samper is intensely aware of his ``dirty money'' image problems, both at home and in the U.S. Congress, however. And in the wide-ranging interview he conceded for the first time that he is concerned about the possibility that Colombia might fail an upcoming annual U.S. test of its commitment to the war on drugs -- the process known as certification.

    U.S. President Bill Clinton is required by law to certify each year by March 1 that Colombia, along with 25 other key drug-producing nations, has fully cooperated in meeting various couternarcotics goals.

    Decertification would put the country -- the world's leading exporter of cocaine and a major producer of heroin and marijuana -- into a group of pariah nations and automatically cut off all anti-drug aid provided by the State Department.

    Business leaders, many of whom recently urged Samper to step down because of fresh allegations of his campaign's ties to drug lords, are especially worried because decertification could open the way for Congress to remove sweeping trade privileges granted as a reward for Colombia's fight against drugs.

    It would also oblige U.S. representatives in multilateral lending agencies like the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to vote against granting any new credits to Colombia.

    ``Needless to say it wouldn't be good for the country,'' Samper said when asked about the possibility of decertification. ``Not because it would worsen the political situation ... But because it would be an act of great injustice. It would be a denial of everything that Colombia has done in the fight against drug trafficking.''

    ``I don't think the United States would take the risk of losing the best ally it's had in the last few years in the fight against drug trafficking,'' he added, noting that Bogota has jailed six of the seven top leaders of the Cali cartel and launched one of the most ambitious drug crop eradication programmes in the world.

    ``No country that has drug problems can throw the first stone when it comes to the possible infiltration of drug money in its domestic activity,'' he said.

15:12 02-09-96


 SAN FRANCISCO (Reuter) - An appeals court Friday overturned marijuana possession charges against three defendants who claimed they used the drug as part of their Rastafarian religion.

    The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco held that Rastafarians can defend themselves against charges of simple possession of marijuana on religious grounds.

    The three-judge appeals panel overturned the marijuana possession charges against the three defendants but upheld convictions of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute the drug and money laundering.

    The defendants claim to be members of the Rastafarian religion, which advocates the ceremonial use of marijuana.

    Citing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the appeals court said Dawn Meeks, Lexi Bauer and Calvin Treiber may be retried on the possession of marijuana counts.

    The court said that the government could challenge them on whether they are in fact Rastafarians.

    ``The government should be free to cross-examine them on whether they, in fact, are Rastafarians and to introduce evidence negating their asserted claims,'' the court said.

    ``It is not enough in order to enjoy the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to claim the name of a religion as a protective cloak.''

    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 strengthened protections for religious groups.

    A U.S. District Court in Montana had refused to allow the defendants to present a religious defense.

    The three defendants, arrested in Montana in November of 1992, were convicted in 1993 of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute the drug and money laundering.

20:41 02-02-96

      MEXICO CITY, Jan 30 (Reuter) - An agent who was voted ``Policeman of the Year'' in a northern Mexican state has been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking after being detained with 436 pounds (198 kg) of marijuana, the Televisa television network reported on Tuesday.

    It said Jose Armando Cruz Gutierrez was voted policeman of the year just two months ago by colleagues in the Chihuahua state detective force who gave him a new car as a prize.

    The attorney-general's office confirmed Cruz's arrest, adding in a statement that three other policemen were detained with him including Chihuahua state detective police commander Gerardo Maximiliano Coronel and his wife.

    The group were travelling in two official cars and were armed with pistols and AR-15 assault rifles. They claimed they had seized the drugs as part of their police duties but were unable to prove that, the statement said.

15:14 01-30-96

    BELLINGHAM, Wash., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Hemp Textiles International Corporation (dba HempTex(TM)) announces the commercial production of its new HempWol(TM) yarn.  Made in the USA, HempWol(TM) yarn is spun from 50% hemp and 50% wool fiber.  HempTex(TM) is the first company to develop an American-made hemp/wool yarn combination.

    The HempWol(TM) yarn, which has many knitting and weaving applications, will make its debut on January 30 at both the Outdoor Retailer show in Reno, NV and the MAGIC show in Las Vegas, NV, where apparel manufacturer, Indigenous Designs of Belmont, CA will be exhibiting its new line of high-end sweaters made of HempWol(TM).

    According to HempTex(TM) President David Gould, "HempWol(TM) combines the strength and durability of hemp with the softness and moisture-wicking properties of wool.  Hemp fiber is about 3 times stronger than cotton and at least twice as abrasion resistant.  And, hemp cultivation does not need pesticides and other chemicals, making it less of an impact on the environment.  Plus hemp fiber is naturally resistant mold, making HempWol(TM) an overall great yarn for sweater application."

    On a world-wide basis, hemp is a rapidly expanding market trend. Renewed interest in hemp as a sustainable source of fiber for textiles, paper, construction materials and other products has stimulated business development in Asia, Eastern Europe, Canada and the US.  Not only is hemp one of the strongest and longest natural fibers known, but it can be grown in many climates and virtually without the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, reducing associated health and environmental risks.

    HempTex(TM) is an industry leader in research and technology of producing, processing, blending and spinning hemp fiber.  Recently, the company has been experimenting with textile mills in the US to perfect the weaving of HempWol(TM) and other HempTex(TM) yarns.  In addition to yarn production, the company is developing a line of knit and woven fabrics made from its various pure hemp and blended yarns.  HempTex(TM) is also a direct importer and wholesaler of hemp textiles, supplying apparel, accessories and footwear manufacturers throughout the US and Canada.  An important goal of HempTex is to help develop American-made hemp yarns and textiles.

CO:  Hemp Textiles International Corporation

ST:  Washington



      AMSTERDAM (Reuter)- A German tourist was left without a leg to stand on when sniffer dogs at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport detected about a pound of marijuana hidden in his artificial limb, ANP news agency said Friday.

    Police said the 33-year-old man had arrived on a flight from Ghana with the drugs hidden inside his false left leg.

12:03 01-26-96

      By Alister Bull

    AMSTERDAM, Jan 22 (Reuter) - Daimler pulled the plug on Fokker on Monday, casting a huge shadow over the Dutch plane maker which pioneered passenger aircraft development and whose planes have plied the skies for three quarters of a century.

    German parent Daimler Benz AG withdrew financial support for Fokker -- cutting a cash lifeline which had kept the Dutch firm airborne for months.

    But behind the current crisis lies a glorious past.

    Founder Anthony Fokker furnished German fighter ace the Red Baron von Richthofen with deadly tri-planes in World War One.

    Founded as a commercial company in 1919, Fokker has designed and built over 125 different types of plane, including the Fokker IV which made aviation history in 1922 in crossing the United States coast-to- coast.

    It gave birth to the eight-seater Fokker VII in 1924 and made the first direct flight from the Netherlands to Dutch Indonesia in the same year.

    The death of its founder in December 1939 and the German invasion halted project development during World War Two, but in 1946 it was rebuilt by the post-occupation government, which was eager to foster an independent Dutch aerospace industry.

    A 10-year marriage to German plane-maker VFW in the 1960s foreshadowed Fokker's 1993 rescue by Daimler Benz AG unit Deutsche Aerospace (DASA), but recession pushed Fokker into the red and prompted the first of many state bailouts in 1987.

    The company was back in the black by 1990 with record profits of 83 million guilders ($50 million) and predicting good times ahead -- spurring merger talks with DASA.

    Within a year the turbulent aircraft industry had placed Fokker back on the rack -- shattering its finances and destroying all hope of an equal partnership with DASA.

    Eager for Fokker's impressive know-how and long track record, DASA agreed to pay 880 million guilders in October, 1992 for a 51 percent stake.

    But, as the aircraft market nosedived, the German firm imposed new conditions and forced the cost down to 686 million guilders in a deal that was finally sealed in March, 1993.

    Until Monday Daimler had stood by Fokker and had said it did not regret the investment -- loyalty which exacted a high price as things began to sour within months of the purchase.

    On February 1, 1994 Fokker made the first of a string of job cuts, laying off 1,900 workers in a bid to trim costs.

    A month later it disclosed a record loss of 460 million guilders -- followed in July by a joint cash injection from Daimler and the Dutch state as they pumped in an additional one billion guilders to shore up the company. The government warned then that this would be the last time it spent money on Fokker.

    But by the end of 1994 the company was back in trouble, slashing a further 2,000 jobs and calling for another one billion guilders to stay in business.

    Six months later the company posted record first-half 1995 losses of 651 million guilders -- wiping out shareholder equity and leaving it clinging to a German cash life-line.

    Fokker again went cap in hand to its two major shareholders, presenting a survival plan -- including a request for another 2.3 billion guilders -- which was promptly rejected by the government as inadequate.

    The last three months of 1995 were punctuated by rumours the company was on the verge of seeking creditor protection -- forcing its shares to an all-time low of 5.00 guilders -- as the government and Daimler tried to agree fresh cash.

    But time ran out last Friday after a 90-minute meeting between Daimler chairman Juergen Schrempp and Dutch Premier Wim Kok failed to clinch a deal, leaving Fokker on the brink.

    On Monday the company's worst fears were realised. Fokker and Daimler shares were both suspended.

    A few hours later Daimler announced it could no longer support the Dutch company, switching off the life support machine on a founding member of the European aviation industry.

    ($-1.659 Guilder)

09:57 01-22-96

      RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 22 (Reuter) - The governor of Rio de Janeiro state said he might smoke a marijuana cigarette to understand better the issues involved in a debate over legalisation of the drug, newspapers said on Monday.

    ``If the arguments were fierce, or rather, if opinions were very divided, then I'd end up smoking one to see what it is,'' Marcello Alencar was quoted as saying in two Rio dailies.

    Alencar, responding to a Sunday protest on Ipanema beach against a police crackdown on marijuana smokers, said he was against freeing up the use of the drug because possible side-effects of marijuana were unknown.

    A bill due to be discussed shortly in Brazil's Congress would replace jail sentences with fines for possession of marijuana as a first step towards decriminalization.

    Fernando Gabeira, a Green Party congressman who drafted the bill, was among a dozen protestors on Ipanema beach demanding an end to arrests of marijuana smokers and sympathisers who warn of the approach of police patrols by blowing whistles.

10:24 01-22-96

      KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 17 (Reuter) - A seaplane owned by pop singer Jimmy Buffett was shot at by Jamaican police who apparently thought it was being used by a drug smuggler, officials said Wednesday.

    The singer, said to be in Jamaica on a visit with Island Records empresario Chris Blackwell, was not on the plane when the shots were fired Tuesday. It was hit by gunfire, but neither of the two crew members aboard was hurt, said Jonathan Morrison, assistant superintendent at the Jamaica Police Information Centre.

    He said police shot at the amphibious plane as it was taking off near Negril, a beach resort area on the Caribbean island's western end.

    He said authorities were investigating the matter Wednesday as it is ``not quite regular'' for the police to open fire on suspicious aircraft.

    ``We're not clear why it would have been necessary to shoot,'' he said. ``We're still gathering information.''

    The area near Negril is considered a major marijuana producing region, and growers utilize private airstrips and small planes to take the illegal drug to the United States.

    Buffett, listed by Forbes magazine as one of the world's richest entertainers, is best known for his hit song ``Magaritaville.'' The singer has a home in Key West, Fla.

19:50 01-17-96

      By Sutin Wannabovorn

    BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuter) - A Burmese official and close aides to opium kingpin Khun Sa Sunday shrugged off United States demands that Burma extradite the drug lord to the U.S. where he is wanted on heroin trafficking charges.

    A senior Burmese official insisted that the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) would not hand over Khun Sa, who was indicted by a U.S. court in New York in December 1989 on various charges of drugs trafficking. Khun Sa denies the charges.

    ``That all the Americans do, they talk and talk. But if they are serious why didn't they assist us in the first place ... these people never appreciate what we are doing.

    ``They always say nonsense about the SLORC and now they want this guy back so let them talk. When they get tired they will stop,'' one Burmese official told Reuters in reference to a U.S. demand to extradite Khun Sa.

    ``We will deal with the guy by ourselves. We are not going to send him to the States.''

    The United States Jan. 4 offered a $2 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Khun Sa.

    Anti-narcotics officials estimate Khun Sa was responsible for about half of Burma's annual opium crop of more than 2,000 tons and U.S. officials say around 60 percent of the heroin on U.S. city streets comes from Burma.

    Winston Lord, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Saturday urged Burmese authorities to hand the drug lord over to the United States to face trial.

    Khun Sa officially surrendered along with his Mong Tai Army (MTA) to the Burmese government at a ceremony at his jungle headquarters Jan. 7 amid widespread speculation that he agreed to give up his guerrilla war in exchange for some form of amnesty.

    ``We would urge the SLORC ... to not only convict, or detain Khun Sa, but in fact to extradite him to the U.S.,'' Lord told a news conference in Bangkok.

    ``If the SLORC has made a deal ... this would be extremely serious...a defeat for the control of drugs in all our countries,'' he said. ``The entire international community would be distressed if one of the world's leading drug traffickers...were to be let free,'' he said.

    Burma does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

    The Burmese official shrugged off Lord's remarks.

    ``Myanmar (Burma) is a sovereign country.'' he said when asked why the SLORC would not likely to cooperate with the U.S. and extradite Khun Sa.

    A close aide of Khun Sa's said his boss was still living in his Ho Mong headquarters under heavy protection of Burmese troops.

    ``Not sending him to face trial in United States is one crucial point among the 10-point agreement,'' an MTA officer told Reuters in a telephone interview.

    The MTA official said Khun Sa and about 8,000 of his civilians followers are being treated well by SLORC officials at the Ho Mong jungle town on the edge of Shan state, about  18 miles from the Thai border.

    ``The SLORC officials have issued Burmese identity cards to the people who used to live under control of MTA. Everyone is legal now, so they can travel anywhere in Burma,'' the officer said.

    Khun Sa would eventually move from being the leader of his guerrilla troops to be chief of a volunteer militia for Burma's army attached to Shan state, his close aide said.

10:09 01-14-96

      WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The Adidas sports equipment company Friday rejected a request by the top U.S. government drug fighter to withdraw a line of athletic shoes called ``The Hemp,'' denying the name glorifies drug culture.

    Saying the shoe is made from hemp, Adidas rejected the contention of U.S. drug czar Lee Brown that the name was chosen as part of a ``cynical marketing game'' because ``hemp'' is street slang for marijuana.

    ``I don't believe you will encounter anyone smoking our shoes anytime soon,'' Adidas America President Steve Wynne wrote in reply to Brown, director of National Drug Control Policy, who Friday denounced ``The Hemp'' shoes, which are to go on sale in the next several months.

    ``The people at this shoe company apparently think this is cute, but it is really quite deadly -- especially at a time in which more and more of our young people do not fear illegal drugs and as a result, are using them,'' Brown said in a letter to Wynne.

    He said hemp was common slang for marijuana. ``There can be no doubt as to the cynical marketing game being played by selling a shoe with the name 'The Hemp' to capitalize on the drug culture...'' he said. ``I implore you to not market any shoe or garment with a name glorifying the drug culture.''

    Brown said initially he had not received a reply to his letter but later in the day he released another statement and Wynne's reply.

    Wynne said Adidas America fights drugs and ``we will continue to support other efforts to combat this problem.''

    ``I would suggest that your time, and the taxpayers money, could be more appropriately committed to finding a way to stem the sewer of illegal drugs that runs through our country ...'' Wynne wrote to Brown.

    In reply, Brown said the Adidas executive missed the point. ``What your shoe is made of is not the problem,'' he wrote. ``The problem is what you call it. The sarcasm in your letter shows a blatant disregard of the fact that we have a crisis among kids who think using marijuana is the thing to do.''

19:01 01-12-96

      WASHINGTON (Reuter) - U.S. drug czar Lee Brown asked the Adidas sports equipment firm Friday to withdraw its line of athletic shoes called ``The Hemp'', saying the name glorifies drug culture.

    ``The people at this shoe company apparently think this is cute, but it is really quite deadly -- especially at a time in which more and more of our young people do not fear illegal drugs and as a result, are using them,'' Brown said in a letter to Adidas America President Steve Wynne.

    Brown, director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement that he had not received a reply to his letter urging Adidas to stop promotion and sales of the shoe, due to be distributed in the next few months.

    Brown said Hemp was common street slang for marijuana. ''There can be no doubt as to the cynical marketing game being played by selling a shoe with the name 'The Hemp' to capitalize on the drug culture...'' he said in his letter. ``I implore you to not market any shoe or garment with a name glorifying the drug culture.''

14:12 01-12-96

      ZURICH, Jan 10 (Reuter) - Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who invented LSD in 1943, celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday still convinced his discovery would have medical uses if research had not been blocked by a worldwide ban.

    Hofmann accidently created ``acid'' while researching a migraine cure at Swiss chemical company Sandoz in Basle and became the world's first tripper by testing it on himself, resulting in a hallucinogenic bicycle ride home.

    LSD became the trademark of the 1960s hippie generation, resulting in a complete ban under narcotics laws that ended research on its potential in medicinal and psychological treatment.

    ``They tossed out the baby with the bathwater,'' Hofmann told Reuters from his his home near Basle. ``I regret that LSD was banned because it was done due to abuse by the drug culture, not due to its medical properties.''

    Hofmann said he believes the drug should be made available to the medical profession, like heroin or morphine, and that psychiatrists should be able to test it in treating disorders.

    Hofmann received numerous rewards in his career for less controversial discoveries, including substances for treating old age illnesses, post-birth bleeding and circulatory problems.

    ``I've been celebrating all week. Last weekend it was colleagues from around Europe, tomorrow I will have a small private party and at the weekend there's big family party,'' he said.

12:35 01-10-96

      PARIS (Reuter) - Morocco has become the world's top cannabis-exporting country despite the government's proclaimed intention of cracking down on the drug, a drugs watchdog said Thursday.

    A spokesman for the Paris-based Drugs Geopolitical Watchdog (OGD) said up to 1,500 tons of cannabis was now exported every year from Morocco which had overtaken the region of Pakistan and Afghanistan to become the largest source of the drug.

    The French daily Le Monde said the OGD, in a secret report to the European Union last year, accused people close to King Hassan II, two former government ministers, businessmen, mayors and members of parliament of covering for drug-traffickers.

    The spokesman confirmed that the OGD had sent a report on Morocco to the EU. But he said Le Monde's report was based on a preliminary version which had been leaked by the EU.

    He said the final version contained no personal accusations although it said traffickers enjoyed high-level protection.


Reut14:24 11-02-95

    By Gilles Castonguay
    BOGOTA, Oct 18 (Reuter) - Colombian Foreign Trade Minister
Daniel Mazuera criticized the U.S. government's rejection of a
banana import agreement between Europe and Latin America as
inconsistent with its tradition of rewarding countries for
their cooperation in the drug war.

    Mazuera told Reuters a proposal in the U.S. Senate to
impose trade sanctions against Colombia and other Latin
American banana producers would likely nullify recent victories
against drug trafficking.

    "Having been able to show results in (the fight against
drug trafficking) during the last few months, their attitude
appears to us to be completely inconsistent," he said. "It
would constitute a very big set back in our relations."

    Colombian army and police virtually dismantled the powerful
Cali drug cartel during an intensive operation in the
southwestern city earlier this year, putting all but one of its
leaders in jail.

    Soliders and police have also embarked on a massive
eradication program to rid the country of thousands of hectares
of coca, opium and marijuana plantations.

    Mazuera said the trade sanctions would force hundreds of
thousands of banana workers in the Colombian northwestern
region of Uraba to resort to growing illegal drug crops. The
region is the country's largest banana producer and exporter.

    "It seems to me inconvenient for the continental policies
of the United States to destabilize Colombia more than it is
already," he said, referring to Uraba's guerrilla and
paramilitary violence that has killed more than 600 people this

    Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador signed an agreement with
the European Union in 1994 setting an import quota of 2.29
million tons of bananas per year.

    Under the agreement, which came into effect this year,
Colombia is responsible for 21 percent of the quota.

    U.S. fruit companies like Dole Food Co Inc <DOL.N> and
Chiquita Brands International Inc <CQB.N> oppose the agreement
because it allows producers to circumvent them and deal
directly with EU consumers.

     The president in charge of Uniban SA, the largest banana
exporter in Colombia, said Dole and Chiquita had nevertheless
benefited from the agreement since their subsidiaries in the
country were responsible for part of the quota.

    Guillermo Henriquez Gallo said Dole and Chiquita were
together responsible for about 22 percent of the country's
exports to the EU.

    Colombian President Ernesto Samper also warned the United
States of forcing poor farmers into growing illegal drug crops
to make a living.

    Colombia is the third largest banana exporter in the world
after Ecuador and Costa Rica, shipping 1.5 million tons of the
fruit in 1994.

    -- Bogota newsroom + 571 6107544

Rtr 16:13 10-18-95

      HOLLYWOOD (Reuter) - President Bill Clinton's drug czar Thursday condemned a new collection of songs called ''Hempilation,'' which glorifies marijuana and, he said, markets drugs to ``the young and innocent.''

    ``I would ask the producers and performers of this project: How irresponsible can one be?'' said Dr. Lee Brown, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    ``What kind of people would coax children down this road to destruction when our hospital emergency rooms and prisons are jammed at record numbers from drug-related cases?''

    Brown was in Hollywood to urge entertainment executives to be more mindful of the impact on youths of television, movies and advertisements and exercise some self-censorship.

    ``One thing I do not advocate is government censorship,'' he said at a ``Drug Violence and Youth'' symposium sponsored by the Entertainment Industries Council.

    ``But certainly some self-regulation and self-monitoring are not too much to expect.''

    Brown said recent surveys show a significant increase in the use of marijuana and other drugs among high school students, along with a reduction in the preceived harmfulness of drug use, and a growing acceptance of the drug culture.

    ``Hempilation,'' released recently by Nashville-based Capricorn Records, features 17 performers extolling the pleasures of of pot-smoking with songs such as ``Who's Got the Herb?,'' ``I Wanna Get High,'' and ``Legalize It.''


Reut01:12 10-20-95

By Jennifer A. Galloway, The Wisconsin State Journal  Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News

Oct. 18--The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture has invited 75 executives and researchers to a private meeting in Minnesota on the commercialization of hemp, the woven fiber derived from marijuana plants.

This week's meeting of the North American Industrial Hemp Forum was organized and paid for in part by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to promote industrial uses of hemp, said Bud Sholts,  director of the agency's agricultural diversification program.

"As we begin to move from a petrochemical economy toward a carbohydrate  economy, industrial fibers are going to be critical," Sholts said. "There is a  market out there for a crop that everyone has steered away from."

Not any more. Hemp, once considered a poor step-sister to other fabrics, has  suddenly become the darling of the fashion and textile industries.

J. Crew and Ralph Lauren sell hemp bags. Patagonia makes hemp backpacks.  Adidas sells the Hemp Shoe.

"We saw it as a big trend and jumped on it," said Michele McSperritt of Adidas in Portland, Ore. "It's just a booming trend."

The problem for United States companies is that it is illegal to grow, and  industry would rather buy hemp locally than import it, Sholts said.

That's why the state agriculture department is involved in the effort to  commercialize the crop, he said.

"This has nothing to do with recreational uses of marijuana," Sholts said.  Agricultural hemp has no THC, (tetrehydrocannabinol), the plant's narcotic  compound, he said.

Before the U.S. banned hemp production in 1937, Wisconsin was the country's  largest producer of the crop used for paints, fuels and building materials,  Sholts said.

He organized the meeting set for Thursday and Friday with David Morris of the Institute of Local Self Reliance in Minneapolis, William Holmberg of the  American Bio-Fuels Association in Arlington, Va., and Neal Jorgenson, executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison.

The state has spent about $2,000 on invitations and travel costs to the Oct.  19 conference and another gathering on the same topic held in Bloomington in  March, Sholts said.

Companies such as Weyerhaeuser, International Paper, and Patagonia,  researchers from the U.S., Canada and Europe, as well as hemp associations from around the world are expected to attend.

Sholts said the event was by invitation-only to prevent people with a  "different agenda" from diverting the meeting's purpose. A Sept. 11 mailing from Sholts on state agriculture department letterhead to the meeting's guests  included a "confidential" invitation list.

"We didn't want any pre-meeting publicity," he said. "If people with a  recreational agenda come then these heavy hitters from industry are going to go home."

Sholts said he would not classify the meeting as secret, but said "this is not a normal, regular, open-for-discussion conference. It is a strategic planning conference."

The agriculture department did not publish a public notice or inform or invite chairmen of the Legislature's agriculture committee of the meeting.

Under state law, notice of public hearings are required only for governmental bodies.

"This group would not have to meet the state open meetings law," said Ron  Sklansky, attorney with the Legislative Council in Madison.

Sholts said the meetings is being held near Minneapolis because that is where the group wanted it.

Agriculture Secretary Alan Tracy did not return phone calls Tuesday.



THE KRFN OPINION FORUM: One of a series of

           differing viewpoints on government regulation.

Newt Promises To Unleash The Dogs Of War (And Big Government)

      And Sic 'Em On Drug Users.  He Knows Better

By Nick Gillespie

LOS ANGELES--Last November, Newt Gingrich interpreted Republican
electoral gains as a stunning rebuke of "bigger government...and
bureaucracies deciding how you should spend your money."

Well, sort of.

The speaker's recent calls for a new and improved War on
Drugs make it clear that he still thinks government alone should
decide whether you can spend your money on, say, a marijuana
cigarette. (He seems to have few problems with the tobacco

"The first time we execute 27 or 30 or 35 people at one time,
and they go around Colombia and France and Thailand and Mexico,
and they say, 'Hi, would you like to carry some drugs into the
U.S.?' the price of carrying drugs will have gone up
dramatically," says Gingrich, who usually favors free trade.

He has promised to "personally" introduce legislation making
the importation of "commercial quantities" of drugs a capital

Dealers would be limited to one judicial appeal, to be filed
within 18 months of conviction.

USERS--SUCH AS GINGRICH HIMSELF, who has admitted to smoking
pot--would be sentenced to two days of public service a week for
a year (four days per week for second-time offenders).

Gingrich's rhetoric and proposed strategy obscure a number of
facts relevant to the War on Drugs, a big-government-style
program that, at the local, state and federal levels, costs
taxpayers as much $25 billion a year.

For starters, dealers and users already face severe

Indeed, roughly 60 percent of all federal prisoners and 20
percent of all state inmates are serving time for drug-related

And drug offenders, thanks to a plethora of mandatory-minimum
laws, are precisely the sort of prisoners who end up doing hard

In 1992, the length of the average federal drug sentence was
82 months, up from 47 months in 1980.

SECOND, THE DEMAND for "illicit" drugs--that is, illegal drugs--
seems to exist independent of supply and legal prohibitions
(which the speaker, as no stranger to American history, must
recognize are largely responsible for the violence associated
with drug dealing).

Despite massive interdiction efforts and a historic increase
in arrests, drugs remain readily available to most people who
want them.

Still, over the past 20 years or so, drug use has pretty much
declined across the board, with the major downward spike coming
before the Reagan-era War on Drugs was mobilized.

AS THE U.S. DEPARTMENT of Health and Human Services reports in
the 1995 edition of its National Household Survey on Drug Abuse,
Main Findings 1992:

"The central the continued overall decline

    in the use of illicit drugs, alcohol and cigarettes by...the

    206 million Americans who were civilian, non-

    institutionalized and age 12 years or older in 1992. This

    broad ebbing of substance use has been in progress since the

    late 1970s/early 1980s, steadily reversing the rising tides

    recorded in earlier data."

THE FACT THAT DEMAND for both legal and illegal drugs has
declined suggests individuals make "use decisions" quite apart
from government's view on the matter.

And, indeed, on some level Gingrich recognizes the limits of
any possible governmental War on Drugs.

Even as he pushes for an escalation of the conflict in terms
of cops deployed, dollars spent and civil liberties curtailed, he
cites the need to win the hearts and minds of combatants.

"VICTORIAN ENGLAND," says Gingrich, "changed the whole momentum
of their society. They didn't do it through a new bureaucracy.

"They did it by reestablishing values, by moral leadership
and by being willing to look at people in the face and say, 'You
should be ashamed when you get drunk in public. You ought to be
ashamed if you're a drug addict.'...I think moral force matters."

Gingrich's view of 19th century England is debatable, as is
his consistent characterization of drug users as children or

BUT IT'S CLEAR that the Victorian idea of moral suasion--as
opposed to government force--is preferable in a country that has
supposedly repudiated "bigger government and bureaucracies."

After all, as the speaker puts it, you should be able to
decide "how you should spend your money" and, by extension, how
you choose to live your life.

Gingrich would do well to remember that he and his cohorts
were elected to get government out of people's pocketbooks and
lives altogether.  End

NICK GILLESPIE is assistant editor of Reason, a commentary
magazine based in Los Angeles. His views are not necessarily
those of Knight-Ridder Financial News or its editors.

KRFN WELCOMES opinion articles and letters to the editor. Send
submissions to Sally Heinemann, editorial director, Knight-Ridder
Financial News, 75 Wall St., 22nd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.
You may also call (212) 504-7701, fax (212) 809-4643 or send
Internet email to

      By Tom Brown

    BOGOTA (Reuter) - President Ernesto Samper, who has been dogged by allegations of drug-related contributions to his election campaign, said Tuesday that nothing in Colombia had been untouched by the long arm of its drug trade and its enormous power to corrupt.

    ``We have known no permanent peace in our international relations, which are affected by this virus of humanity,'' Samper said.

    ``There is no institution or economic activity that hasn't been touched by or tried to be infiltrated by this immense corrupting power,'' he said.

    The embattled president's comments came in a speech at the national palace in which he outlined the government's successes in fighting drugs since he took office 14 months ago.

    He did not refer specifically to ongoing investigations into charges that his 1994 campaign received millions of dollars in contributions from the Cali drug cartel.

    But the Colombian leader, who has denied any personal wrongdoing in connection with his campaign finances, said Colombia's drug cartels had set out on a carefully orchestrated campaign to destabilize society by ``trying to stigmatize good citizens and to Satanize their enemies.''

    In his speech, peppered with pleas for great international aid and understanding, Samper said Colombia is leading an all-out war on the drug trade and should receive recognition.

    ``Colombians have a right to be judged internationally by a different image than the one transmitted daily by international news agencies,'' he said.

    ``We have a right to be recognized for the leadership we have assumed in combating the serious scourge of drug trafficking ... We have a right as well to demand a greater commitment and a greater understanding from all countries.''

    He said Colombians are on the front line of the drug war and no one needs to tell them about its costs, noting that it had taken the lives of four of the country's presidential candidates, two former justice ministers, an attorney general, 12 Supreme Court justices, nearly 100 judges and prosecutors and more than 2,000 police in the last decade.

    He added that his government has earmarked more than $1 billion a year for battling the drug trade -- only 10 percent of which is covered by foreign aid -- and that nobody should doubt his own commitment against drugs.

    ``We have spent resources that otherwise could have been used to benefit and improve the quality of life of thousands of Colombians,'' Samper said.

    Among other successes, he said the most ambitious drug eradication program the world had ever seen was currently under way in Colombia. And he said the government recently jailed six of the top seven leaders of the Cali drug cartel -- the world's largest drug trafficking organization.

    In a list of statistics indicating the scale of Colombia's lucrative drug trade, Samper said his 14-month-old government had overseen the destruction of 956,790 pounds of cocaine, nearly 730,000 pounds of cocaine base, more than 952,000 pounds of coca leaf and more than 584,000 pounds of marijuana.

Reut18:20 10-10-95

      BEIRUT, Oct 10 (Reuter) - Lebanon's first trial of a parliamentary deputy on drug-dealing charges opened on Tuesday with MP Yahya Shamas facing a possible sentence of up to seven years jail.

    Shamas, whose eastern Bekaa Valley constituency was a flourishing centre for marijuana and opium cultivation during the 1975-90 civil war, denied any links to the narcotics trade as the trial opened before a Beirut criminal court.

    ``I deny and denounce everything in the indictment charging me with drug dealing because I have no links to it,'' the Shi'ite Moslem deputy told the three-member tribunal.

    Shamas was arrested in November after parliament lifted his immunity to allow him to be prosecuted.

    He is charged with ``possession, processing, smuggling and dealing drugs.'' Another 29 people including three Turkish citizens were also charged with involvement in drug dealing with Shamas. Twelve of them were in court.

    Shamas dropped a bombshell in November by alleging that other people in high places were involved in drug-dealing.

    He told parliament his troubles with the law began after a row with Syria's top army intelligence officer in Lebanon, Brigadier Ghazi Kanaan, over a real estate deal with a Syrian businessman.

    Kanaan is the most powerful Syrian official in Lebanon, where the presence of 35,000 Syrian soldiers makes Damascus Beirut's main power broker.

    Lebanese authorities have cracked down on the cultivation of narcotics in since 1992 with the help of Syrian troops.

Reut11:25 10-10-95

      TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuter) - More than 70 percent of Japanese caught possessing marijuana in 1994 were either teenagers or in their twenties, a record high for that age group, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Monday.

    A record 2,103 were caught violating the law on marijuana control in 1994, up from 2,055 people the previous year.

    Of the total, 1,510 were those in their teens and twenties, a ministry white paper on drugs said.

    Eight of those caught were junior high school students, compared with none in 1993.

    ``Junior high school students seem to want to try marijuana light-heartedly in the same way that they are curious about smoking cigarettes,'' a ministry official said.

    Moreover, 69 were high school students, up from 40 the previous year, while 76 were college students, up from 45 in 1993.

    ``Marijuana use is widespread among youths because they appear to have an impression that it's easy and less harmful to take compared with other stimulants,'' the official said.

    Japanese authorities confiscated 97 kg (214 lb) of marijuana resin in 1994, up 67 kg (148 lb) from the previous year.

    They also seized 290 kg (639 lb) of dried marijuana in 1994, down from 322 kg (710 lb) from 1993.

Reut10:52 10-09-95

Subject: Interpol
Date: 95-10-03 21:44:55 EDT
From: (Carl E. Olsen)

FYI, I thought this group would appreciate the following, posted today on
Join Together Online.


Bob Curley


Interpol Chief - Drug War

The illicit drug industry and organized crime are the biggest threats to
global stability in the post-Cold war era, according to the head of the
international police agency Interpol.

Reuters reported Oct. 1 that Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall
said that law enforcement agencies around the globe are "pretty
overwhelmed" in the fight against drug and crime organizations. "If you
look at the real threat to our societies today what you have is a
combination of organized crime and drug trafficking," Kendall said. "They
have the ability to corrupt our institutions at the highest level. If they
can do that, then it means our democracies are in real danger."

Kendall condemned the absence of a coordinated attack against drug
trafficking, and said that demand reduction, not supply reduction, is the
key to stemming the tide of drugs and money. Some drugs should be
decriminalized, Kendall added.

In addition to adding great wealth and power to existing organized crime
operations, drugs have spawned new mafia-type groups in the former Eastern
Bloc, and drug money has fueled the activities of guerrilla units and
insurgency movements around the world, Kendall said.

Kendall said that politicians  merely talk "about the war on drugs, the war
against organized crime.

"If you really mean it, then let's think of putting the resources into it
that you would put into a war," he said.

Date:  10/2/95

Distributed by:
 441 Stuart Street, Sixth Floor
 Boston, MA  02116
 Gopher: 7003
 Tel:  617-437-1500
 Fax:  617-437-9394

Posted by Bob Curley for Join Together;

(Substance Abuse/Hot Off the Press/Illicit Drug News)
10/2/95 -- Handsnet -- HN3078

Sent: October 2, 1995 5:19 pm PDT Item: R00EgAB

  *  Carl Olsen                   *            *
  *  Post Office Box 4091         *    *
  *  Des Moines, Iowa 50333       *    *
  *  (515) 262-6957 voice & fax   *        *

----------------------- Headers --------------------------------
From  Tue Oct  3 21:44:41 1995
Received: from ( []) by (8.6.12/8.6.12) with SMTP id VAA15372; Tue, 3 Oct 1995 21:44:39 -0400
Received: by (5.65/DEC-Ultrix/4.3)
 id AA09574; Tue, 3 Oct 1995 20:43:52 -0500
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 20:43:52 -0500
Message-Id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
From: (Carl E. Olsen)
Subject: Interpol
X-Mailer: <PC Eudora Version 1.4>

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Scott Imler, Treasurer,
Southern Californians for Compassionate Use (the medical marijuana
initiative) today issued the following statement regarding a segment of
the show "48 Hours" relating to the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club
which aired on CBS television across America last Thursday evening.  In
San Francisco, it was preempted because of Warriors basketball and will
air Sunday (4/14) at 4:30 p.m. on KPIX, Channel 5, the CBS station.

Following is Mr. Imler's statement:

The CBS "48 Hours" program which aired last Thursday evening was
factually inaccurate, misrepresented the efforts by so many to help
thousands of seriously ill people and was an ill deserved character
assassination of Dennis Peron, the acknowledged leader of a grass roots
movement.  Finally, the "48 Hours" segment was a journalistically
dishonest and unfair view of the San Francisco Cannibis Buyers Club.

This program aired in California just days before a deadline for
gathering signatures which would place the issue of medical marijuana on
the November ballot.  A flood of calls from our supporters across
California suggest the numerous distortions and the effort to present what
is basically propaganda against the initiative is no accident.      A
significant number of people appear to believe the decision by CBS to air
the show at this time is a very specific attempt to sabotage the signature
gathering effort for this initiative.

For political operatives to use a major television network such as CBS
to manipulate the election process in California is reprehensible.  Should
this perception be false, that it exists is given credibility not only by
the air date, but also by recent incidents on shows such as "60 Minutes"
where compromise and the distortion of information has created significant
embarrassment to CBS.

The program was journalistically dishonest for several reasons:

1.  The program reports San Francisco Proposition P, a resolution
supporting medical marijuana failed.  That is false.  It passed with 80%
of the vote.  The method of presenting this false information created a
perception that Mr. Peron operates without the blessing, support and
encouragement of the surrounding community.  When anyone or anything gets
80% of the vote, they have support.

2.  The CBS "48 Hours" character assassination of Dennis Peron was a
blatant distortion of Mr. Peron, his motives and the grassroots effort he
has built to help thousands of people.

3.  In the attempt to smear Mr. Peron, his incredible leadership of a
six year effort to gain passage of legislation at the state level was not
mentioned.  Instead, the choice was made to create the image of Mr. Peron
as a self-centered profiteer.  That distortion was cruel, mean spirited
and unfair.

It would seem more than a small matter that several times the
California State Senate and the California State Assembly have both passed
this bill only to have it vetoed back by Governor Pete Wilson.  Governor
Wilson, not Mr. Peron, may, in fact be the person who has acted against
the people.  How else does one interpret Governor Wilson's decision to
veto this bill, for obvious political reasons, and thus deprive thousands
of help they desperately need.

4.  The fact that the Cannabis Buyer's Club provides effective
medicine at one seventh the month cost of ineffective pharmaceutical
alternatives, a key reason this projects exists, was not deemed important
to the producers of the segment.  We believe any fair portrayal of the
financial implications of the medical marijuana problem would, in our
opinion, include such a comparison.

5.  CBS chose not to give focus to the fact that doctors prescribe it,
patients use it and grow it, and clinics, Co-Ops and Cannabis Buyer's Club
distribute it.

6.  CBS ignored the simple conclusion that now only one question is
remaining.  That is how to provide legal, safe and affordable prescriptive
medical access to marijuana with the least possibility of diversion for
non-medical purposes.

7.  Finally, the tone of the CBS "48 Hours" program has seriously hurt
the ability of our volunteers to gain the signatures they need to realize
a state imposed deadline for this initiative to qualify for the November,
1996 ballot.  We find ourselves compelled to wonder if this effort is tied
to alliances which CBS has with pharmaceutical corporations, tobacco and
alcohol manufacturers and also ties to such groups as the Partnership for
a Drug Free America.  Was CBS influenced by any of these groups?  We would
like to know.

In summary, we believe it is a tragedy CBS chose not to track the
genesis of the buyer's clubs, the principles on which they are founded or
the doctrine of law that provides for their activities.  Instead CBS chose
to focus on gossip, spite and scandal.

We want America to know the Cannabis Buyers Clubs are not a perfect
system.  Nobody ever wrote a book on how to provide medical marijuana to
over 8,000 seriously ill people in the midst of an absolute prohibition.
We've had to make it up as we go along and there have been plenty of
mistakes.  We've tried our best to confront them honestly and directly,
learn from them, make the needed modifications, and move on.

We also strongly believe CBS has, through the dishonesty of the
segment and the time of airing in relation to the initiative process, has
created the very real potential to jeopardize the health and well being of
thousands of individuals who rely on Cannabis Buyers Clubs for safe and
affordable access to medical marijuana.

Through this statement we are requesting KPIX, the CBS affiliate in
San Francisco, to provide time following the airing of the show in San
Francisco for us to respond to the distortions of this CBS "48 Hours"
segment.  Additionally, we would request the producers of the CBS "48
Hours" show correct the factual inaccuracies in their next program.

CO:  Southern Californians for Compassionate Use; CBS, Inc.; San
     Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club

ST:  California, New York



04/13/96 22:57 EDT

      By Kevin Drawbaugh
    CLEVELAND (Reuter) - Eli Lilly & Co. is going to court to shield Prozac from a generic drug firm hoping to make a knock-off copy of the world's top-selling antidepressant.

    Lilly said Thursday it filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Barr Laboratories Inc.

    Pomona, N.Y.-based Barr said it is challenging the U.S. patents protecting Prozac, a blockbuster drug with 1995 worldwide sales topping $2 billion.

    The battle that ensues may be long, but analysts gave Barr slim chance of beating Lilly's powerhouse legal staff.

    ``I don't think Lilly is vulnerable here,'' said NatCity Investments analyst David Lebedeff.

    Prozac is protected from competition in the United States by two patents -- one covering its basic chemical compound until 2001 and one covering its therapeutic use until 2003.

    Prozac's patent expired in Canada this year.

    ``We believe our patents are very sound and we will defend them very vigorously,'' said Lilly spokesman Edward West.

    Barr said it has filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for permission to manufacture 20-mg capsules of fluoxetine hydrochloride, Prozac's chemical name.

    Barr said the FDA accepted the application for review.

    ``Millions of consumers are spending approximately $6 million a day for this medication, and its usage is rapidly growing,'' said Barr Chief Executive Bruce Downey.

    ``We believe the patents protecting Prozac from competition are invalid, and the patent protection -- and monopoly pricing that results -- are unjustified in this case. As a result, the burden on American consumers is unwarranted,'' Downey said.

    Patent-jumping -- or challenging a patent before it expires to gain a market advantage -- is a key Barr strategy that has had mixed results.

    ``Barr has a history of challenging patents like this,'' Lebedeff said.

    The company said it has challenged three other patents.

    Barr said it settled with Zeneca Group Plc over its challenge of patents for the breast cancer treatment, tamoxifen citrate. Barr said it distributes that drug.

    Barr was beaten in its challenge of the patent for the AIDS drug AZT against Glaxo Wellcome Plc, it said. A third challenge to Bayer AG's patent for Ciprob, an antibacterial agent, will go to trial this fall, Barr said.

    Lilly is asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to rule that the Barr challenge to Lilly's Prozac patents is without merit.

12:43 04-11-96


By Lindsay Chaney, Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif.  Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News

Sep. 18--Although there are hundreds of variations on how to brew beer,  these are the basic stages: 1. Malting : Grain, usually barley, is soaked in water so that it can absorb water and begin to sprout or germinate. Germination takes about 36 hours and occurs when the grain has absorbed about 45 percent of its weight in water.

2. Roasting : When germination is complete, the barley malt is heated in a kiln. The color and taste of beer are determinated by this process. Lower  temperatures produce pale malts used in pale ales and lagers that are crisp  and clean-tasting. Medium temperatures produce caramel malts used in brown  ales, bock and amber lagers that have a nutty or caramel taste. High  temperatures roast the grain and are used in porters and stouts. The roasted  malt gives a mocha or chocolaty taste.

3. Mashing : After roasting, the barley malt is crushed. It is then mixed with hot water in a large vessel called a mashing tun. If the brewer uses adjuncts, such as rice or corn, they are added at this time. The mash, which resembles a thin porridge, stays at about 150 degrees for several hours. Then it is filtered, and the liquid that is drained off is called wort (rhymes with Bert). The barley and other cereal solids that are left behind may be sold to farmers as animal feed.

4. Boiling : The wort is transferred to another kettle and boiled for several hours. Hops the flower of a plant related to hemp are added during this process. Hops are what give beer its bitterness and part of the flavor and aroma. Some brewers add hops during the next stage fermentation which is  called "dry hopping." After boiling, the hops are filtered out and the hot  wort is cooled quickly in a refrigeration unit.

5. Fermenting : The cooled wort is now placed in a fermenting tank and yeast is added. The yeast cells multiply and feed on the sugars in the wort,

producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. There are two general types of yeast ale yeasts and lager yeasts. Ale yeasts ferment at the top of the brew and lager yeasts drop to the bottom. The fermenting stage usually takes eight to 12 days for lagers and five to six days for ales. Ale fermentation is done at a higher temperature than lagers. When the fermenting stage is over, the "green beer," as it is now called, is sent to a maturation tank.

6. Maturing : During this period, the various chemicals in the beer react with one another to produce new odors and flavors, while certain rough tastes are eliminated. Lagers are matured for several days to several months at  temperatures around 32 degrees. Ales are matured for one or two weeks at 40 to 45 degrees. During the maturing process, brewers use various procedures to  clarify the brew. This is also when brewers condition the beer, adding  effervescence by one of several methods. One of these is to add a small amount of partially fermented beer to the vat. This process produces additional carbon dioxide and is called "krausening."

7. Racking, canning and bottling : Traditional draft beer is racked that is, it is transferred directly, with no or minimal filtration, from the maturation vat into barrels or kegs. Beer that goes into bottles or cans in usually first pasteurized or filtered or both. Some brewers pasteurize their beer after it is bottled. Through various channels, the beer is then distributed to the consumer.


      LONDON (Reuter) - A Japanese Airlines kimono worn by the late Beatle John Lennon was auctioned Thursday for $27,900, auctioneers Christie's said.

    A Japanese collector, bidding by telephone, paid three times more than expected for the ``happy coat,'' one of eight kimonos that the airline made specially for the Beatles when the group went to Japan in 1966.

    The coat was among items offered for sale by Lennon's first wife, Cynthia. The auction raised a total of $61,900 -- more than twice as much as expected.

    A British fan paid $8,370 for a pot that Lennon used to stash his marijuana. The small leather-clad barrel has handles of crossed hookah pipes.


Reut16:57 09-07-95

      THE HAGUE, Sept 15 (Reuter) - The Netherlands, which tolerates the use of soft drugs like cannabis, on Friday signalled a tougher approach to hard drugs.

    Acknowledging that drug-related offences and links with organised crime are on the increase, the government said it planned to build more jail cells and step up existing mandatory drug rehabilitation programmes.

    But it made clear it will continue to tolerate its famous coffee shops, where marijuana and cannabis are sold openly, and the growing of home-grown cannabis.

    The proposals will moderate a 20-year social experiment that involved tolerating soft drugs and viewing hard-drug users as people needing help rather than as criminals.

    It turned Amsterdam into a mecca for Europe's drug-seeking youth while critics said it allowed organised crime to flourish.

    It angered neighbouring countries and France threatened to block the Schengen agreement on open borders because of the flow of drugs from the Netherlands.

    ``The cabinet rejects legalisation of soft and hard drugs,'' the Dutch government said in a review of its drugs policy.

    ``Tracking and prosecuting drug traffickers, particularly those with cross-border operations, will continue to be given top priority by the Dutch police and the judiciary,'' it said.

    It signalled a tougher stand against so-called drug tourists who flock in to buy cheap, readily available heroin and cocaine.

    The cabinet insisted, however, that it would continue to treat addicts as people who need help rather than as criminals and will also maintain distinct policies on hard and soft drugs.

    The proposals recommend providing free heroin to chronic addicts under a trial scheme to be launched in Rotterdam.

    Justice Minister Winnie Sorgdrager told Dutch television: ``None of us advocates the use of drugs, nor tobacco or alcohol, but we know that they are used.''

    ``Bona fide coffee shops have proved their worth,'' the government said, but it added that the amount of cannabis these shops would be allowed to sell for personal use would be cut to five grammes per transaction from 30 grammes.

    ``Provided the strictest conditions are met, the police and judiciary will not take active action against the small-scale growing of Dutch-grown cannabis,'' the government said.

    Lovers of home-grown Dutch grass -- known as Nederweed or ``skunk'' on the streets -- have claimed this will help keep organised crime out of the soft drugs business.

    ``We have 675,000 regular soft drug users in The Netherlands, but even so there are only 25,000 hard drugs addicts,'' Health Minister Els Borst said.

    ``These figures confirm our view that if one keeps the two markets separate it becomes possible that people use soft drugs, sometimes experimenting with them for years -- and then stop.''

    ``Stopping (using soft drugs) is also easier because no physical dependency is created. (Soft drug users) may do this without stepping up to hard drugs,'' she said.

Reut16:56 09-15-95

      By Alister Bull

    AMSTERDAM, Sept 8 (Reuter) - After a 20-year experiment which has enraged neighbouring countries and turned Amsterdam into a mecca for European youth, the Netherlands is about to tighten the world's most liberal drugs policy.

    Cannabis is openly sold and consumed in thousands of so-called coffee shops across the country and even possession of a hard drug like heroin is tolerated by the authorities.

    But next week the government will present proposals for change against a background of mounting public concern that a soft line on drugs has allowed organised crime to flourish.

    European Union partners are demanding a tough stance. France has threatened to block the Schengen agreement on open borders, claiming the flow of drugs from the Netherlands is unstoppable.

    At home, opponents want the experiment abandoned and the coffee shops closed while even its advocates admit the system is open to abuse.

    Some had hoped the cabinet -- a coalition of three parties from the right and left -- would relax the rules further, but this is now thought unlikely because it would unleash a storm of international criticism.

    Instead, the government is expected to clamp down on the number of coffee shops and close those they even vaguely suspect of links with organised crime.

    But it will continue to treat addicts as people who need help rather than as criminals and will also maintain distinct policies on hard and soft drugs. In short residents and tourists alike will still be able to smoke a joint with impunity.

    ``There are more problems with the coffee shops than there should be. But the basic idea that soft drugs should be allowed in a non-criminal environment is still widely supported,'' said criminologist Ed Leuw who works with the Dutch Justice Ministry.

    Dutch drug policy has long been the most relaxed in Europe, but the rash of coffee shops -- blasting reggae music and choked with queasy-looking youths -- is a fairly recent phenomenen.

    First appearing in the late 1970s, numbers spiralled in the early 1990s and now Amsterdam, a city of 700,000, has a coffee shop for every one thousand inhabitants.

    Many advertise their wares with a cannabis leaf sign which also helps to prevent confused tourists unwittingly eating hash-laced ``space cake'' with their cup of capuccino.

    But the coffee shops have suffered in a public backlash against the influx of foreign drug addicts, who scour Dutch cities to buy cheap heroin and cocaine.

    ``I wish we could have closed the coffee shops on January 1, 1969,''  said Wim van der Camp, a member of parliament and spokesman on drugs for the right of centre Christian Democrat party which strongly opposes a further relaxation in the law.

    Unable to turn back the clock, he admits they have their benefits. ``Now the coffee shops are an accepted part of Dutch society. They give you some control -- some checks and balances. We don't want to recriminalise soft drugs.''

    The government proposals to be presented to parliament this month are expected to recommend the country experiment with providing free heroin to chronic addicts.

    Cannabis growers will also be allowed to rear a small number of plants for their own use or for sale to local coffee shops.

    Lovers of home-grown Dutch grass -- known as Nederweed or ``skunk'' on the streets -- claim this will help keep organised crime out of the soft drugs business.

    Mario Lap, a director at the International Foundation on Drug Policy and Human Rights, said Nederweed had exploded in popularity in the last three years, driving out varieties imported from Latin America and North Africa by criminals.

    ``In the last four years Dutch-grown grass has been one of the most successful import-substitution stories in economic history,'' said Lap.

    But the problems of defining a small producer and the danger that home-grown grass will find its way onto the export market could yet thwart liberalisation in this area.

    Van der Camp said his party would oppose relaxing the rules on growing cannabis and said the Netherlands must be sensitive to the concerns of its neighbours.

    ``France and Germany have got a point. As a member of the European Union the Dutch must adapt,'' he said.

Reut22:38 09-07-95

      THE HAGUE, Aug 10 (Reuter) - The Dutch government launched a diplomatic offensive on Thursday to head off criticism of plans which could relax the country's drug laws even further.

    Dutch embassies will be given draft copies of the proposed new laws next month so foreign critics of Dutch drugs policy ``don't have to rely on press stories,'' a Justice Ministry spokesman said.

    Details of the government's proposals have not yet been released, but they are due to go before parliament in September.

    Drugs are illegal in the Netherlands but the sale of modest amounts of soft drugs from so-called ``coffee shops'' is allowed and police turn a blind eye to the possession of small quantities of hard drugs like heroin.

    A government experiment last year to give free heroin to chronically ill addicts was widely condemned as the thin end of the wedge.

    Persistent complaints from neighbours like France has led to a clamp-down on coffee shops in border cities like Maastricht, while police in Rotterdam are turning back foreign visitors whom they suspect of crossing the border to buy cheap hard drugs.

    In June, newly-elected French President Jacques Chirac was reported to have told Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok: ``Either you fight drug trafficking or I close the borders.''

Reut08:37 08-10-95

    THE HAGUE, July 24 (Reuter) - Dealers peddling soft drugs at hundreds of so-called coffee shops throughout the Netherlands are entitled to the same unemployment benefits as ordinary workers, a government advisory body has ruled.

    ``Dealers who keep to the rules under which sales of soft drugs such as cannabis and marijuana are tolerated should be able to sign on like everyone else,'' a spokesman for the social affairs ministry said on Monday.

    Drugs are illegal in the Netherlands, but the sale of cannabis is tolerated, making the country's drugs policy one of the most liberal in Europe.

    ``Everyone who pays their premiums is entitled to unemployment and sickness benefits. There's nothing new about this,'' the ministry spokesman said.

Reut06:32 07-24-95

Prison Life, HBO plan documentary series

    By Rex Weiner

    HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Life behind bars will be the subject of a documentary series produced by HBO in association with Prison Life Magazine, a controversial periodical published for the captive audience.

    ``Prison Life Presents: Prisoners of the War On Drugs'' is the first hourlong installment, according to publisher/editor-in-chief Richard Stratton.

    Future series installments will cover a range of issues including death row and sex in prison.

    Based in New York, the glossy bimonthly has published three issues under Stratton, previously editor of the Fortune Society newsletter and a former inmate of the federal prison system. Listed as editor-at-large is Stratton's wife, Kim Wozencraft, whose autobiographical book about life as an undercover-cop-gone-bad was the basis of the 1991 MGM movie ``Rush.''

    Oliver Stone is the subject of a featured interview in the upcoming issue of Prison Life. According to Stratton, the director speaks of his own jail experiences resulting from a long-ago marijuana bust, and explores his fascination with prison subjects.

    The Stone interview is part of a special section, ``Hollywood Goes to Prison,'' examining recent films such as ``The Shawshank Redemption'' and ``American Me.''

    Mostly written and illustrated by prisoners, PrisonLife was recently banned from the California state prison system. Stratton plans a legal challenge to the ban, and told Daily Variety, ``What are they going to do next -- ban HBO?''     The documentary, to be produced and directed by Marc Levin (HBO's ``Mob Stories,'' ``Gang War: Bangin' in Little Rock'') starts shooting this month. Executive producer for HBO is Sheila Nevins and the coordinating producer is Kary Antholis.


Transmitted: 95-01-02 19:15:08 EST

National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws
SUITE 1010

T 202-483-5500 * F 202-483-0057 * E-MAIL NATLNORML@AOL.COM
Special Bulletin - Special Bulletin - Special Bulletin - Special Bulletin
January 26, 1995

Dutch Justice Minister Wants to "Regulate" Marijuana Supply

     In a January 21 interview with the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (The
People's Newspaper) published in The Hague, the capital of The Netherlands,
the Dutch Minister of Justice, Mrs. Winnie Sorgdrager, said she wants to
"regulate the supply of cannabis products" being sold in more than 1,300
coffeeshops around the country.
     The article explained that Sorgdrager is following her party's opinion
"that the current policy allowing retail sale of marijuana and hashish has
to have its logical sequel in arranging the supply of the products..."
     Dutch policy is that "the sale of cannabis products at the 'frontdoor'
of the coffeeshops is tolerated by the Justice ministry but the supply at
the 'back door', or even more, large scale production, are strictly
prohibited.  Criminals have therefore taken over that part of the market."
Sorgdrager said that she believes that "we have to dispose of this hypocrisy
about that back- and front door."  She is working with her colleagues in the
Health Ministry on a Drug Report to be issued this summer.
     Most of the hashish sold is still imported (smuggled in), but most of
the marijuana is now grown in the Netherlands.  The smuggling is especially
dominated by violence-prone gangs from North Africa and Lebanon.  The
article goes on to explain that "Sorgdrager is seriously considering a
division and regulation of the cannabis market...." separating the domestic
cannabis from imported hashish smuggled in by criminals from abroad.  The
objective is to create a means of supplying the Dutch market while
preventing exports.
     The Dutch have followed the current policy for many years, so if there
were any serious social or individual health problems associated with
cannabis use, it would have become obvious by now.  It is also worth noting
that, until recently, most of the cannabis consumed was imported hashish
which is much more potent than most marijuana.  This means that the "new
potent marijuana" line pushed by the DEA has no relevance to the Dutch
experience or to the supposed threat posed to America by the average
marijuana consumed today which -- according to the U.S. National Institute
on Drug Abuse -- is between 3 and 4%, far below the average for hashish.
     The article also explained that Sorgdrager does not want to use the
terms "liberalization" or "legalization" but prefers to use the term
"regulation."  The Dutch have long been pressured by France, Belgium and the
United States to arrest marijuana users, but the Germans, Swiss and others
in Europe are moving toward the Dutch model.  The Dutch policy generally is
to try to reduce the level of violence in their country, which nationwide
has about half as many murders as does Washington, D.C., alone.  Amsterdam
is slightly larger than Washington, but has less than one tenth the number
of murders.
     On January 12th, NORML carried an exclusive report on the protests by
the Dutch government to the United States concerning misrepresentations by
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration regarding Dutch drug policies and
their social consequences.  The DEA has not yet responded.  The statement by
the Dutch Justice Minister has also been ignored by the American media,
while The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial today entitled "Eighth Grade
Potheads."  If the editorial's hysteria was well founded The Netherlands
should resemble the United States, Bosnia, or some other violence ridden
society and should have a very high rate of marijuana use and hard drug
addiction.  Just the opposite is the case.
     While American prohibitionists commonly claim that "the Dutch legalized
drugs and it did not work," in fact all drugs remain illegal in The
Netherlands.  As is the case in the U.S., most Dutch "drug related" violence
is the result of prohibition, not of the drugs themselves -- except for
alcohol -- again as in the U.S.  While it is Dutch policy to tolerate the
small scale sale and possession of cannabis, -- and no one is arrested for
the possession of personal amounts of any other drug -- the sale of hard
drugs is vigorously prosecuted.  Any "cannabis coffeeshop" which is
suspected of selling hard drugs is closed immediately.  One of the primary
objectives of the "coffeeshop" policy is to separate cannabis from the hard
     This policy has been very successful, hence the DEA opposition to it.
Maintaining the connection between marijuana and hard drugs is a vital
component of U.S. drug policy.  This is the basis for the claims that
marijuana is a "stepping stone", "threshold", "gateway" to using other
drugs.  The success of Dutch policy demonstrates that this is just the
opposite of the truth, so the Dutch policy must be misrepresented until they
can be pressured into merging the drug markets through blanket prohibition
as has been done in the U.S.
     In fact, very few marijuana users in America ever become hard drug
users, but the ratio is even lower in The Netherlands.  Ironically,
marijuana use by Dutch teenagers is much lower than in the U.S.  Over 30% of
U.S. high school seniors have used marijuana in the last year, while only
12% of Dutch 18 year olds have ever used cannabis.  It is Dutch policy to
strongly discourage teenage cannabis use through honest drug education that
is credible and effective -- because it does not exaggerate in order to
frighten politicians, editorialists and other impressionable subgroups.
     Richard Cowan, the National Director of NORML, announced today that
NORML will begin a program to encourage American opinion leaders -- and
ordinary citizens -- to visit The Netherlands to see for themselves the
success of Dutch cannabis policy.  "When Americans ask what would happen if
we legalized marijuana, they don't have to use their imaginations to find
out.  They can just use their passports.  Americans certainly don't need to
go to Holland to get marijuana, but they should go to Holland to be reminded
of what we all used to know: FREEDOM WORKS."
     (For more information on marijuana potency, Dutch cannabis policy, the
"gateway" theory, and surveys on American and Dutch teenage drug use,
contact Allen St. Pierre at NORML 202-483-5300)


Carl Olsen
Post Office Box 4091
Des Moines, Iowa 50333
(515) 243-7351

----------------------- Headers --------------------------------
From Thu Jan 26 21:59:43 1995
Received: from by with SMTP
 ( id AA174015583; Thu, 26 Jan 1995 21:59:43 -0500
Return-Path: <>
Received: by (5.65/DEC-Ultrix/4.3)
 id AA21453; Thu, 26 Jan 1995 20:58:04 -0600
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 20:58:04 -0600
Message-Id: <>
X-Sender: (Unverified)
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
From: (Carl E. Olsen)
Subject: NORML News 01-26-95
X-Mailer: <PC Eudora Version 1.4>

Subject: NORML News 01-20-95
Date: 95-01-28 05:11:00 EST
From: (Carl E. Olsen)

SUITE 1010

T 202-483-5500 * F 202-483-0057 * E-MAIL NATLNORML@AOL.COM
... a weekly service for the media on news items related to Marijuana

January 20, 1995

Another Federal Judge Declines Drug Cases and
Agrees That Marijuana Should Be Decriminalized

     December 25, The Buffalo News reported, "Troubled with three long-term
sentences he felt forced to make in recent weeks, U.S. District Judge, John
T. Curtin says he will stop hearing drug cases in the coming year rather
than continue to be part of a system of punishment that 'just isn't working.'
     Curtin, citing restrictive sentencing guidelines in federal drug cases,
told The Buffalo News he will join a boycott that was begun last year by
some other judges."
     Judge Curtin also told The Buffalo News that, "He ... feels Congress
should take a close look at the decriminalization of marijuana, but not
cocaine or other hard drugs.  [Emphasis added -- ed.]
     Since May 1993, an estimated 50 senior federal judges (out of 849
federal judges) have begun a boycott of drug cases.  "Boycotting" judges
have cited excessive punishment via mandatory minimum and guideline
sentencing as their reasons for declining to hear drug cases.
     Curtin told The Buffalo News that the bigger issue is that today's
anti-drug program isn't working.  He said he would rather see the federal
government spend more money on education, counseling, and drug prevention
programs, rather than towards putting people in prison.
     "You don't even have to think of it in moral terms.  In financial
terms, it just isn't working," Curtin said.

First Annual HEMP AID Benefit Concert Announced

     January 11, Atlanta, Georgia, In the tradition of Live Aid and Farm
Aid, two marijuana activists have joined forces to present HEMP AID - a
Benefit for the Re-legalization of Marijuana.
     James Bell (Founder of Georgia NORML) and Theresa Yarbrough, current
Director of GA NORML, hope that the First Annual event will not only raise
consciousness of the impact that marijuana prohibition has on the lives of
millions of Americans, but that it will also raise much needed cash which
will be used to fight legal battles and help to secure the freedom of
marijuana prisoners.
     Bell knows the impact of the marijuana laws.  He's presently finishing
a two year sentence in a Georgia Prison Work Camp (for the sale of few
ounces of marijuana).
     Yarbrough learned the peculiar and excessive effects of marijuana
prohibition when she was arrested in 1993 for possession of one pound of
marijuana in her home.  Later convicted, she was sentenced to ten years
probation and banished from residing in GA's District 31-- removed from her
community for possessing marijuana.
     Both activists have been instrumental in organizing some of the largest
pro-hemp events.  The two organizers want it to be known that 1.) HEMP AID
is not intended to be a 'Let's smoke pot event' but a 'Let's help people
event', 2.) negotiations are under way to secure a national head-line rock
group for the First Annual HEMP AID Benefit.
     Date: Saturday, May 20th, 1995
     Contact: Theresa Yarbrough at (706)-235-3475
     Location: Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia
     Access: FREE (donations are requested)

Actor Tim Robbins Tells Playboy He Favors Marijuana Legalization

     In the February issue of Playboy magazine, actor Tim Robbins expounds,
at length, on marijuana prohibition and some of its effects:
     Playboy: If they put you in charge of the war on drugs, what would you do?
     Robbins: Legalize Marijuana.
     Playboy: And then?
     Robbins: And then we would save an enormous amount of taxpayer money,
specifically on the penal system, which is overloaded with marijuana
abusers.  It's unbelievable.  When I did the Shawshank Redemption, every
guard I talked with who had worked in a prison had this opinion: Legalize
marijuana.  There's no reason these kids should be here....
     Marijuana is just like any other thing that might not be good for you.
If you do too much of it, it can screw up your life.  But it [marijuana --
ed.] can't screw up your life like cocaine or heroin or downs or ups or LSD.
     Playboy: Is this an admission that you still smoke pot -- or was that
just a phase you went through as a kid?
     Robbins: I take the Fifth.  Considering the fact that it's still
illegal ... put it this way: Considering the fact that I've used it in the
past, and know what it is, and seen the results of it, I don't view it as a
dangerous drug....
     But I don't want to advocate anything like [smoking pot] in print,
because it's a different thing for different people....
     Playboy: So what would you say if your kids came to you one day and
said: "Dad, did you ever take drugs in the Sixties and Seventies?"
     Robbins: I would say, "No, it was the Eighties."  Yeah, I would be
honest with them.  And I'd tell them exactly what each drug does to you.
     Playboy: You realize that, having admitted these things now, you've
just disqualified yourself from being a Supreme Court justice or the
attorney general.
     Robbins: Well, I didn't say I inhaled.

Police Respond To Arson Report -- Find DARE Graduate Burning Mother's

     December 15, Longmont, Colorado, The Associated Press (AP) reported
that "Police responding to reports of an arson attempt found an 11-year old
boy who told police he was burning his mother's drugs."
     AP went on to report that "The boy told an officer he had been through
the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, and when he found the
suspected marijuana he became scared and decided to burn it...
     The mother told police she had been storing the drug for a friend for
the past eight years, the report stated."
     AP reported that no charges were filed in the case and that the
family's been referred to Social Services for follow-up visits.


Carl Olsen
Post Office Box 4091
Des Moines, Iowa 50333
(515) 243-7351

----------------------- Headers --------------------------------
From Thu Jan 26 21:55:43 1995
Received: from by with SMTP
 ( id AA090235343; Thu, 26 Jan 1995 21:55:43 -0500
Return-Path: <>
Received: by (5.65/DEC-Ultrix/4.3)
 id AA21169; Thu, 26 Jan 1995 20:56:59 -0600
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 20:56:59 -0600
Message-Id: <>
X-Sender: (Unverified)
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
From: (Carl E. Olsen)
Subject: NORML News 01-20-95
X-Mailer: <PC Eudora Version 1.4>

Supreme Court to Review Quayle Accuser's Case

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The Supreme Court Friday agreed to consider reinstating a lawsuit by an inmate who said U.S. officials conspired before the 1988 election to keep him from telling reporters he once sold marijuana to Dan Quayle.

    The justices said they would hear an appeal by Brett Kimberlin arguing that the case should be allowed to proceed to trial and that a lower court was wrong in dismissing the lawsuit.

    The high court will hear arguments in the case in April, with a decision expected by late June.

    Kimberlin seeks damages in the civil suit and claims his constitutional rights were violated.

    The lawsuit charged that prison officials in Oklahoma, on direct orders from then-U.S. Bureau of Prisons chief Michael Quinlan, put Kimberlin in solitary confinement right before the 1988 presidential election.

    Besides Quinlan, the lawsuit also named Loye Miller, then the Justice Department's chief spokesman in the Republican administration.

    After consulting with Miller and officials from the Bush- Quayle campaign, prison authorities put Kimberlin in solitary confinement after learning he planned to hold a news conference to claim he sold marijuana to Quayle in 1971.

    Kimberlin was kept in detention until a week after the election, preventing him from publicizing his allegations against Quayle, then running for vice president.

    The Justice Department during the Bush administration supported Quinlan and Miller in arguing that the lawsuit should be dismissed.

    But the Justice Department under the Democratic Clinton administration switched its position and recommended that the high court hear Kimberlin's appeal.

    Quayle, who served as Bush's vice president and previously as a congressman and senator from Indiana, has denied Kimberlin's charges. The Drug Enforcement Administration has said it believes Kimberlin's claim was false.

    Quayle, who has returned to Indiana, is considering whether to run for president in the 1996 election.

Transmitted: 95-01-20 18:20:23 EST

Canadian province to study decriminalizing drugs

    VANCOUVER, Jan 20 (Reuter) - The Canadian province of British Columbia said Friday it would look into decriminalizing some drugs like heroin under certain circumstances in an attempt to combat overdose deaths.

    The province's chief coroner Vince Cain proposed not prosecuting users for possessing some drugs and perhaps even providing heroin to some hardened addicts. His ideas were outlined in a report released Friday on reducing drug deaths.

    ``I am recommending the decriminalization of simple possession of specific 'soft' and 'hard' drugs....I am suggesting the possibility of providing heroin to seriously addicted people in a para-medical model,'' Cain said.

    Such moves may reduce drug-related crime and trafficking and encourage addicts to enter treatment programmes, he said.

    Such an approach, which treats drug addiction as a health problem rather than a crime, has been tried elsewhere, including the Netherlands and Liverpool, England, Cain said.

    Overdose deaths have soared in British Columbia on Canada's Pacific coast due to an influx of extremely pure heroin from Asia.

    Illegal drug use is the leading cause of death in the province for people between 30 and 44 years old and heroin was involved in 90 percent of those deaths in 1993, Cain said.

    Cain did not name the drugs he wants decriminalized and said they should be determined through further study.

    Marijuana and hashish are commonly considered soft drugs, while cocaine and heroin are usually classified as hard drugs.

    Government officials announced the creation of a task force to explore the proposals and officials said they planned to discuss them with counterparts in Canada's federal and provincial governments.

    ``This represents a significant shift in social policy which cannot be undertaken without national consensus,'' said British Columbia health minister Paul Ramsey.


Transmitted: 95-01-20 18:23:31 EST

Dutch govt to lodge protest over U.S. drug report

    THE HAGUE (Reuter) - The Dutch government said Thursday its embassy in Washington would lodge a protest over a U.S. government report that it said grossly misrepresented the country's drugs policy.

    A report from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that said Dutch authorities condoned the street trade in drugs was described by Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo as a ``blatant violation of the facts.''

    ``We have instructed our embassy in Washington to point out our opinion of the report to the U.S. authorities,'' said a foreign ministry spokeswoman.

    The DEA report was entitled ``How to hold your own in a drug legalization debate.''

    Drugs are illegal in the Netherlands, but the sale of cannabis in euphemistically named ``coffee shops'' is tolerated and the possession of small quantities of heroin and cocaine allowed for personal use.

    The Dutch claim this liberal approach has helped contain the number of its addicts. But France and other countries have heavily criticised Dutch policy, saying it encourages drug use.


Transmitted: 95-01-12 12:53:12 EST

The Drug Policy Letter, Fall 1994, page 26:


     Last year, the American Bar Association elected George
Bushnell, Jr. to be its new president. Bushnell touched off a
publicity bombshell.
     "I personally favor decriminalization of all drugs," Bushnell
told USA Today on June 28.  One reason, Bushnell added, is that "it
takes the profit out of it, which in turn reduces the
attractiveness of the drug activity among kids."
     Bushnell said he was expressing his own opinion, since the ABA
currently takes no position on drug policy reform.
     Bushnell, who is 70, grew up during alcohol prohibition, which
helped to make up his mind on the subject. In a Rolling Stone
question-and-answer session, Bushnell recalled that Prohibition
fueled black market-related crime. "Once alcohol was again
legalized, that kind of crime went out the window," he said.
     Did his public remarks stir up any controversy for him? No one
wrote the ABA to protest, which meant two things to Bushnell: "One
is that the question of the decriminalization of drugs is not as
controversial as conventional wisdom would deem it to be," Bushnell
said. "Second, that decriminalization is recognized as an issue
that really ought to be debated."
     To contact the ABA write to 750 North Lake Shore Drive,
Chicago, Il. 60611, or call (312) 988-5000.
Sincerely,     |      |  Post Office Box 4091
Carl E. Olsen  |  |  Des Moines, Iowa 50333
Iowa NORML     |  |  (515) 243-7351

Black Market for Tobacco Thrives at Texas' First 'Smoke-Free' Prison
By Stephen Power, The Dallas Morning News

 HUNTSVILLE, Texas--Dec. 1--On the surface, Texas' first tobacco-free prison looks just like state officials said it would. The day rooms are free of cigarette butts, the floors don't have tobacco juice stains and the cells smell more like hospital rooms heavy with disinfectant.
 But after 10 months in business, the $30 million, 2,000-bed Holliday Unit has one problem, guards and inmates say.
 Tobacco is still getting in. It comes in all shapes and every manner of disguise - in hidden pockets that inmates sew to their uniforms before being transferred to Holliday; in oil cans brought by work crews from prisons where  tobacco is allowed; and, occasionally, by guards looking to make extra money.
 Already a black market in tobacco is spreading among the transfer facility's 1,843 inmates. Some pay as much as $1.50 for a single cigarette. A pack can go for $15 to $20.
 When the Texas Board of Criminal Justice voted unanimously Nov. 18 to ban tobacco from all prisons and parole facilities beginning March 1, some civil liberties groups warned of a potential backlash by angry inmates. But at the Holliday Unit, a transfer facility where the ban has been in effect for 11 months, prison officials and even some inmates play down those fears.
 The real trouble, they said, will be keeping tobacco out. "You can't stop it; you can only control it," said Major Curtis L. McKnight, who has overseen 337 guards at Holliday since the prison opened in January. "The demand for this (tobacco) i definitely increasing. The inmates have nothing else to do but sit  and talk all day about how they're going beat the system."
 As many as 40,000 of the state's 100,000 inmates smoke, and last year they spent $5.35 million on tobacco, which can be bought only through prison commissaries, according to the office of the criminal justice executive director.
 What worries some prison officials in Huntsville is that once the ban takes effect, the demand for tobacco will surge, leading inmates to invent new ways to elude guards.
 Holliday Warden Mickey Liles also frets that the policy will be hard to enforce since prison officials have to contend with other contraband being smuggled.
 "Nobody thinks about cigarette smuggling," he said. "It doesn't have the same taboo on it as smuggling marijuana or cocaine or other drugs."
 No one accuses Holliday of lax enforcement. Although some inmates said they know guards who sell tobacco, the facility has exhaustive procedures for finding it.
 Inmates sent to Holliday undergo a strip search upon arrival. Guards rifle through their clothing. If any tobacco is found, inmates may surrender it or have it sent to a relative.
 Punishment for tobacco-related offenses is severe. Inmates caught with it can face up to 15 days in solitary confinement - a six-by-nine-foot cell. Since January, at least 30 inmates have been disciplined for violating the policy, Warden Liles said. The trouble is, many inmates do not fear punishment.
 "Once you're locked up, who cares?" said Juan Velez, 26, a former carpenter from Dallas serving four years on a drug-related charge. "It doesn't matter where you do your time."
 When state officials opened the Holliday Unit, they knew keeping tobacco out would not be easy. All but two of the guards have worked in other state prisons and are experienced dealing with criminals. But in a few cases, the cunning of Holliday inmates has surprised even them.
 Just two months ago, a guard received word that a work crew from another prison was smuggling tobacco through the prison's back gate. The crew, whose prison allowed smoking, had been coming to Holliday every day for a month to repair air conditioners.
 During their visits, crew members brought oil cans with false bottoms - each can containing two or three ounces of tobacco. When guards weren't looking, Holliday officials said, the work crew would exchange its cans for cans kept by Holliday prisoners assigned to the maintenance staff.
 The Holliday cans contained payment of $45 in postage stamps. "There's big money to be made," Major McKnight said of the incident, which netted about 20 ounces of tobacco. "It will be very hard to monitor this. All we can do is be very careful with our strip searches."
 Finding a place to smoke isn't easy, most inmates said. From 3:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., prisoners are busy raising hogs, sweeping floors, cleaning barns and preparing food.
 But one inmate who asked not to be identified said he knows several day rooms where inmates can get away with smoking. Guards check his living area four times a day: 6:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. When the guards leave, he said, inmates light up.
 "We do it right here," the man said, pointing toward his bunk. "But to get some, you've got to know people. It's easier for someone who's been in here for a while."
 Not all inmates are so crafty. Lee Jackson, 27, smoked three packs of Winstons a day before he arrived at Holliday on May 20 from the Dallas County jail. Now Jackson, convicted of drug possession, snacks on peppermint twists and chocolate chip cookies.
 "I've gained 15 pounds," said Jackson, tugging at the white T-shirt that covered his belly. "This is cruel and unusual punishment."
 One thing Jackson can't gripe about is the air quality: Compared to some prisons, Holliday is a breath of fresh air.
 At the Wynne Unit, a 2,500-bed facility just across the road, inmates complain of smoke-filled day rooms and poor ventilation.
 Hallways and cells reek of cigarette smoke. Some inmates look pale. Their teeth are crooked and dark. Even their uniforms look scruffy and drab compared to the snow-white outfits worn by inmates at Holliday.
 "I can't wait for this new policy," said Arliss L. Linder Jr., 37, a nonsmoker who has spent six years in Wynne on a burglary charge. "There's no ventilation here."
 Likewise, some inmates at Holliday said they don't mind the ban. Nathan Miles, 24, a burglar from Texarkana, said it helped him quit smoking.
 So did employee Joy Black, a physician's assistant who asked to be transferred to Holliday from her job at Ellis I, another prison in Huntsville. She said she knew working in a smoke-free environment would help her break the habit.
 "I was smoking three packs a day before," said Ms. Black, 59, who works in the prison infirmary. "Now I'm down to less than a pack a day."
 Warden Liles hopes that attitude will rub off on inmates, who make do at Holliday without a formal smoking-cessation program. He said a recent survey of 172 employees showed that 125 favored the tobacco ban, 32 opposed it and 15 registered no preference.
 In addition, Liles said, the policy saves money and lives by reducing the number of inmates at risk to smoke-related conditions such as emphysema and asthma.
 "The real fear some inmates have is of the unknown," he said. "The way you manage anything is with communication. You have to get out there and talk to the inmates and let 'em know what's happening. If you get them past the fear, it will be okay."
 But older inmates harbor doubts. "These guys who will be here for life, they live for little things like a cigarette or a cup of coffee," said Larry Spraglin, 44, serving a 20-year sentence for burglary and unauthorized use of  a car. "I can't see how you can get them to give up the little luxuries of their life."

Transmitted: 94-12-01 17:27:27 EST

Kentucky Governor Looks into Creating, Legalizing Marijuana-Free Hemp
By Todd Pack, Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.

 FRANKFORT, Ky.--Nov. 24--Kentucky farmers are looking for a crop to  supplement burley, so the state is looking to the past to find one: cannabis  sativa.
 Hemp. It's the same plant some still grow in Kentucky, but illegally:  Marijuana. Gov. Brereton Jones yesterday set up a task force to study whether a drug-free strain of hemp can again be a viable crop in Kentucky.
 Fibers from the plant stalk could be used in paper and fabric production,  he said.
 Jones said he does not want to legalize it for smoking, nor does he see hemp as a substitute for tobacco, the state's most profitable legal crop.
 He said: "If there are crops which can be grown legally for a profit in  Kentucky, which we are currently not growing, then we as public officials have a duty to examine these crops and provide answers for the farmers of  Kentucky.''
 The 17-member task force will study potential markets and legal barriers,  Jones said in a news conference.
 When the task force makes its recommendations by Oct. 30, 1995, "we will know whether Kentucky can produce a drug-free hemp."
 Hemp was first raised legally in Kentucky in the mid-1700s, and was used to make sailcloth and rope. The market waned in the 1860s with the popularity of superior, imported fibers. Kentucky had a second hemp boomlet during World War II as imported fibers became scarce.
 Illegal hemp has flourished since the mid-1970s, particularly in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. Marijuana income is thought to add greatly to the economy of some parts of rural Kentucky.
 Jones took a pre-emptive strike at potential critics, chastising those who might misrepresent his intentions.
 While he supports the idea of legalizing hemp production, "I am opposed to the legalization of marijuana" he said.
 Billy Joe Miles, an Owensboro farmer and businessman who will head the task force, said it seems likely a non-narcotic strain of hemp could be created by genetic engineering.
 These plants could be genetically altered so that they would be easily  distinguishable from illegal plants, he said.
 Kentucky State Police Commissioner Jerry Lovitt, who sits on the task force, said he is open to the idea of legalizing hemp for industrial use but  acknowledged it could create problems for police.
 Industrial hemp is grown in Europe and Canada, and might make a good  supplemental crop for burley, said task force member Hal Hamilton, director of the Community Farm Alliance.
 No one knows exactly how much an acre of hemp would be worth, but Hamilton guessed $200-$500 an acre. Burley is worth about $3,000 an acre.
 The task force also includes Agriculture Commissioner Ed Logsdon, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Bill Sprague and agriculture professors or department heads from six of the state's eight public universities.
 Gatewood Galbraith, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who has advocated legalizing marijuana and resurrecting the state's hemp industry,  was not named to the task force.
 Jones said including him would have made the task force a "political  committee."
 Jerry Hammond, Galbraith's running mate, attended the news conference in the Capitol.
 He said he was disappointed that Galbraith wasn't named to the task force, but commended Jones for creating the task force. "These fellows will come up with the truth," Hammond said.

Transmitted: 94-11-25 10:53:21 EST

High times at Amsterdam dope ``harvest festival''

    By Sara Henley
    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuter) - Several hundred Americans Thursday launched an unconventional Thanksgiving festival in this so-called ``drug capital of Europe'' to celebrate the marijuana harvest and select the top home-grown variety.
    The five-day ``High Times Cannabis Cup,'' organized by New York-based pot-smokers' magazine High Times, is also a platform for activists trumpeting the non-intoxicating practical uses of cannabis hemp, the fibrous plant from which marijuana is derived.
    ``It's the most non-toxic thing on God's planet -- and it's illegal in the USA,'' said Jack Herer, Los Angeles-based author of a 1970s underground book on the prohibition of hemp, ``The Emperor Wears No Clothes.''
    The festival is technically the magazine's seventh cannabis competition, but it only opened to the public last year when about 50 ``gourmet'' American smokers met.
    ``The purpose of this festival is to establish an international standard for the quality of cannabis seed and to celebrate the many wonderful uses of this plant, cannabis,'' said Steven Hagar, High Times editor.
    This weekend organizers expect up to 800 people, mainly from the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany and France. Official judges' passes give access to Saturday's ``council,'' or judging ceremony.
    ``The council begins with silent meditation and a pipe ceremony,'' proclaimed a white board in the registration hall. ``Priority is given to those with offerings, who may speak for as long as they keep the council pipe filled.''
    There were no police near the Cup's packed registration hall, where would-be judges formed a line up two pungent flights of smoke-filled stairs to register.
    U.S. authorities punish marijuana smoking severely. While drug use is illegal in the Netherlands, personal consumption is tolerated and marijuana freely sold in ``coffee shops.''
    Besides selecting the most potent pot grown in the Netherlands, the festival includes an exhibition of the uses of hemp as fabric, fiber, soap, lubricating oil, medicine, paper, biodegradable plastic, pesticide and food.
    ``If you eat hemp seed morning, noon and night as part of your diet you dissolve all the plaque, or cholesterol in the arteries,'' claimed the bearded Herer, who believes he cured his son's asthma by blowing marijuana smoke in his face.
    The festival also features a fashion show of hemp fabric designs, from blue jeans to Victorian-style underwear. Seminars will discuss ``Tasty Hemp Food'' and tackle a debate about biological versus technological methods of growing hemp.
    A bus tour of coffee shops will take ``official judges'' to sample their wares and help them reach the tough decision about which is this year's best.
    ``You just smoke as much as you like and get on the bus,'' said a visitor from Illinois.
    But this made Alan Dronkers, Director of the Sensi Seed Bank and winner of last year's contest, apprehensive.
    ``If you smoke the Indica first you get so stoned you can't appreciate the Sativa,'' he said. ``Sativa is famous for its much lighter high, it's sweeter ... it's very pleasurable.''

Transmitted: 94-11-24 12:16:04 EST

Hemp as a Kentucky crop under study

    FRANKFORT, KY (Reuter) - Kentucky's governor Wednesday formed a task force to study whether hemp would be a viable crop for a state where tobacco has long been king.
    Hemp, formally known as Cannabis sativa, yields a fiber that is used to make cordage. The narcotic hashish is also derived from this tall Asian plant.
    ``Everyone knows that the Kentucky economy is heavily dependent upon agriculture,'' Gov. Brereton Jones said in a press release.
    ``If there are crops which can be grown legally for a profit in Kentucky which we are currently not growing, then we as public officials have a duty to examine these crops and provide answers for the farmers of Kentucky,'' he said.
    The task force, mostly representatives of the agricultural community, is to gather information about the feasibility of hemp growing. Jones said he hoped to have an initial report within six months.
    The task force, however, will not hinder marijuana-eradication efforts in Kentucky.
    ``I am unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana,'' he said.
    Hemp was grown widely in North America during colonial times and used for twine, cloth, rope and paper. During World War II, Kentucky became a major producer of hemp as part of the war effort.
    It is grown commercially in Europe and Asia largely for use as pulp for paper mills.

Transmitted: 94-11-23 20:43:17 EST

Scientists advocate marijuana for the ill

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Without calling for a complete decriminalization of marijuana, a group of scientists Tuesday called on the federal government to expedite research into the drug's medicinal use for the seriously ill.
    In a petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, the Federation of American Scientists pointed out that whole cannabis is already in clinical use by patients suffering a variety of illnesses, including AIDS and epilepsy.
    The federation, in a one-sentence petition, said, ``based on much evidence from patients and doctors alike on the superior effectiveness and safety of whole cannabis ... we hereby petition the Executive Branch and the Congress to facilitate and expedite the research necessary to determine whether this substance should be licensed for medical use by seriously ill persons.''
    In releasing the petition, the federation noted that it did not have a policy on whether the law should be changed with regard to non-medical uses of marijuana.
    It said it simply wanted to ensure that the research necessary to determine whether marijuana should be legally available for extremely ill persons was completed promptly.  REUTER

Transmitted: 94-11-15 16:33:13 EST

Country's Use of Export Quotas Fails to Please U.S. Producers
By Brian Johns, Journal of Commerce

 SAN FRANCISCO--Oct. 13--China's implementation of export quotas on  agricultural products is drawing little praise from U.S. producers, according  to a trade attorney.
 On the contrary, the Chinese government's recent move to impose quotas on 13 commodities is viewed as a feeble reaction to trade sanctions being pursued by U.S. honey and fresh garlic producers, said Michael Coursey, an attorney representing the two sectors.
 "We are not impressed, and we are not buying it," Mr. Coursey said. "There is no real indication that the program has any teeth in it.
 "On the one hand, it looks like the Chinese are taking responsibility and trying to keep imports from disrupting the U.S. market," he said. "On the other hand, you can take the cynical point of view that they have just taken these actions to forestall anti-dumping complaints."
 Earlier this month, the American Honey Producers Association filed an  anti-dumping petition against China, charging the country with selling honey  at prices 170 percent below the cost of production.
 The action - taken with the American Beekeeping Federation - will lead to the second International Trade Commission (ITC) examination of Chinese honey this year.
 Simultaneously, U.S. producers of fresh garlic are pursuing their own action.
 Domestic growers have since last year waged an anti-dumping campaign against their Chinese rivals, faulting them for driving down the price of garlic on the domestic market with cheap imports.
 In July, the Commerce Department mandated that importers post a bond or cash deposit equal to 376.67 percent of the invoice value of Chinese garlic,
 a move that largely froze imports. A number of importers have gone out of  business.
 However, during a recent garlic hearing before the ITC, a representative of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce testified the 1993 swell in garlic exports was a freak event that happened after the government relaxed export controls.
 Further, the Chinese government responded to the seemingly uncontrolled  exports by amending its Foreign Trade Law, which sets numerical export quotas  for a number of agricultural commodities.
 In particular, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Cooperation (MFTEC), with approval from the State Council, implemented an experimental program of public quota bidding on certain exported goods. These include honey, garlic,
 lumber, hemp and licorice and the quota is to be applied on a global basis.
 Also, China clamped down on the number of export licenses it grants. As such, all applications must now be sent to a special representative of the MFTEC. "Last year what happened was an aberration, a one-time deal due to a lot of conditions beyond our control and beyond the control of the Chinese  authorities," said Zia Fattahi, president of Global Trading Inc. in Brea,  Calif.
 Officials at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., were unavailable for comment.

Transmitted: 94-10-13 03:15:58 EDT

U.S. Prison Population Tops One Million Inmates

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The U.S. prison population has topped one million inmates for the first time as the number of convicts behind bars keeps setting new records, according to a Justice Department report released Thursday.
    The report by its information-gathering unit, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, said the prison population totaled 1,012,851 inmates at the end of June, double the level set in 1985.
    The agency said the number of inmates in state and federal prisons increased nearly four percent or almost 40,000 inmates during the first six months of 1994.
    Over the past 12 months, the prison population swelled by 7.5 percent or more than 71,000 inmates, the second largest annual increase, according to the report.
    The biggest annual increase of 80,000 inmates occurred in 1989-90 and last year 70,000 prisoners were added. For the past five years, the increase has averaged nearly 64,000 inmates.
    The trend of more criminals behind bars dates back to 1980.
    The report gave no reasons for the explosion in the prison population, but experts have cited more arrests for drug violations, more violent crimes in inner cities and tough new sentencing laws as factors behind the bulging prisons.
    The $30 billion crime bill signed into law by President Clinton last month includes funds to build more federal prisons to ease the severe overcrowding.
    The report said California with 125,000 inmates had the largest prison population, followed by Texas at 100,000 inmates. The two states accounted for more than one in five prisoners nationwide.
    Other states with large prison populations include New York at 66,000 inmates, Florida at 56,000, Ohio at 41,000 and Michigan at 40,000.

Transmitted:  94-10-27 23:02:33 EDT

Cannabis seeds expensive bait for Scots anglers

    EDINBURGH, Oct 25 (Reuter) - Police said on Tuesday they were investigating reports that a firm set up with government backing was openly selling cannabis seeds and telling customers how to grow their own hashish.
    Sunlight Systems, operating out of a former school in Edinburgh's port of Leith, sells the seeds as fish bait. Owner Chris Meliniotis, who lives in Amsterdam, says this is legal as they do not contain the active ingredient of the illegal drug.
    But he said two workers had been sacked for breaking rules at the firm, which has offices in several British towns.
    ``They did sell cannabis seeds as fish bait at 40 pounds ($65) for 10 seeds,'' Meliniotis told the Edinburgh Evening News. ``That is quite legal.
    ``But they broke all the regulations I ever laid down by giving customers advice on how to grow the seeds into cannabis plants,'' he added.
    ``I admit it is extremely expensive fish bait but business is doing very well. We have a turnover of about 1.5 million pounds ($2.5 million) a year.''
    Police stressed that while selling cannabis seeds for fish bait was a ``grey area,'' possessing or supplying the drug was illegal. ``Anyone producing, growing, or cultivating a cannabis plant is guilty of a criminal offence,'' the spokesman said.
    Sunlight Systems was founded in London in 1980 with the aid of a 55,000 pound ($90,000) government guarantee.

Transmitted: 94-10-25 15:50:57 EDT

Prescription drugs biggest road killer-scientist

    LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuter) - Prescription drugs may cause at least 1,000 deaths a year on British roads and are a bigger killer than drunk driving, scientists said on Monday.
    Research showed that hundreds of accidents could be blamed on people who had taken anti-depressants and tranquillisers.
    Psychiatrist Dr Tony Hale told a Granada Television documentary: ``I think that there are between 500 and 1,000 fatal road traffic accidents a year attributable directly to the effects of one particular group of anti-depressants.
    ``You could probably double that if you included all central nervous system drugs.''
    Professor Ian Hindmarch of the University of Surrey said blood samples from 300 seriously injured patients at two London hospitals showed 16 percent had a prescribed sedative in their blood while only 14 percent had alcohol.

Transmitted: 94-10-17 09:48:31 EDT

Conservatives, police blast German hashish ruling

    BONN, Oct 20 (Reuter) - Chancellor Helmut Kohl's conservatives and police on Thursday denounced a local German court for ruling that hashish users should go unpunished for having up to four kilograms (8.8 lbs) of the drug.
    Kohl's parliamentary expert on legal affairs compared the judges who issued the ruling to another German court that sparked international outrage in August by appearing to condone the anti-Semitic views of a far-right activist.
    ``Judges who celebrate their ideology rather than sticking to the law put judicial independance in question and destroy the foundations of our justice system,'' Norbert Geis, from Kohl's Christian Democrats (CDU), said.
    The court in the northern city of Luebeck went further than a controversial Supreme Court decision in April that effectively ended prosecution for possesion of ``small amounts,'' a term left to local authorities to define.
    The Luebeck court said expert testimony had proven that hashish was safer than alchohol or cigarettes and did not automicaticall lead to use of harder drugs like heroin.
    The head of the police detective's association Bdk said the Luebeck decision undermined anti-drugs efforts.
    ``If the Luebeck hashish ruling is accepted nationally, then that will mean the bankruptcy of all German drugs policy,'' BdK chairman Eike Bleibtreu told a radio interviewer.
    Unlike neighbouring Holland, which fully tolerates the use of hashish and marijuana, German law sets jail terms of one to five years for possession. But the Supreme Court decision fits into a gradually spreading policy of not prosecuting minor possession cases.

Transmitted: 94-10-20 13:10:19 EDT

California Firm Considers Central Kentucky Site for Paper-Making Plant Kenaf
By Joseph S. Stroud, Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.  Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
 LEXINGTON, Ky.--Oct. 25--Call it hemp without the headaches. It is kenaf, a hemp-like fibrous plant that so closely resembles hemp that a stand at the University of Kentucky's Spindletop research station was nearly destroyed by police not long ago.
 UK agronomist Morris Bitzer says kenaf is far more practical than hemp as a source of paper, wood products and other material. In fact, he says a  California firm is seriously considering a site in Central Kentucky for a  paper-making plant.
 "I think kenaf has more potential here than hemp," Bitzer said. There is no tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in kenaf. And Bitzer says research he has done at Spindletop proves that kenaf can be grown without the fingerlike leaves of the hemp plant.
 That would help eliminate the possibility of mistaking it for marijuana, he said.
 If a paper plant did locate here, Bitzer said, it could mean thousands of  dollars in new farm income for Central Kentucky farmers - possibly as much as  $55 a ton, according to one analysis.
 An acre of kenaf produced an average of 10.9 tons in one experiment, he said.
 Bitzer said the California company that is considering Kentucky was talking about between 200,000 and 250,000 acres a year in kenaf production.
 Obstacles to legal production of hemp in Kentucky include: 1) Political: Possession of any part of the hemp plant is currently illegal in Kentucky. So legalizing its use for other purposes would require a change in the law. Given the controversy surrounding marijuana, this surely would be a difficult political proposition.
 2) Legal: If the state did legalize the growing of hemp for uses other than as a narcotic, that could create problems for people whose job is to enforce drug laws. Physically there is very little difference between hemp for marijuana and hemp for other purposes, although they generally are grown in different ways. Drug enforcement officials say that even closely monitored hemp production could cause confusion or tempt growers to disguise marijuana as hemp.
 3) Mechanical: It has been so long since hemp production was legal that the technology used in growing and processing it is badly outdated. Research has been discontinued because possession of hemp in any form has been  discontinued. How long would it take to bring the processing of hemp up to  date?
 4) Economic: If laws are changed and legal hurdles are cleared, would hemp be more economical than products competing with it? For example, is it better than trees as a source of wood and paper? Is it better than cotton for fiber? There has been no legal hemp production for so long that no one knows the answers to those questions. And since few if any existing markets for products made with hemp, those would all have to be developed from scratch.

Transmitted: 94-10-25 03:22:39 EDT

Kentucky Farmers Wanting to Abandon Tobacco Production, Might Find New Crop
By Joseph S. Stroud, Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.  Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
 LEXINGTON, Ky.--Oct. 25--Kentucky farmers trying to move away from tobacco could produce a crop that's already used in some countries for making paper, fuel, cooking oil, fabric and bedding for horses.
 The problem: It is illegal. It is hemp, better known by the name given to its leaves: marijuana. Despite the legal obstacle, a growing number of people in Kentucky are saying what gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith has said for years - that hemp is a good source of fiber that could be used for a multitude of purposes.
 "This industry could, by itself, replace tobacco in the state," said Paul Peters of Elizabethtown, who has urged state officials to legalize non-  narcotic hemp production. He hopes to help develop markets if hemp production  is legalized.
 University of Kentucky agronomists Morris Bitzer and Scott Smith said they are skeptical about whether hemp could be effectively produced in Kentucky, let alone whether it could replace tobacco.
 Bitzer and Scott said there are other fiber crops that seem to have greater potential and fewer hurdles to clear before they can be produced legally.
 Smith, the chairman of UK's agronomy department, said he has seen no evidence to suggest there is a market for any hemp product beyond coarse fiber, or rope.
 Despite his skepticism, Smith acknowledges that not much is known about hemp or its marketability.
 "The real question is one I can't answer, and that is: 'Can it be a serious commercial enterprise?' " he said. "There is not anybody around here who claims to know much about it."
 Smith and Bitzer said they are concerned that renewed discussion about legal hemp production is a cover for something more sinister.
 "My suspicion is that this is a spillover in part from the interest in  legalizing marijuana production," Smith said.
 Advocates of legal hemp production couldn't disagree more. They say hemp  plants could be selectively bred to have low levels of THC, or  tetrahydrocannabinol, the active drug in marijuana.
 They contend it could compete with everything from cotton and wood to gasoline and plastic, providing basic needs economically without harming the  environment.
 That raises the question of how law enforcement authorities would tell the difference between low- and high-THC hemp. The answer, in Canada, Great  Britain and other countries where it has been tried, is to have registered,
 licensed fields closely monitored by police through a program to test THC  levels.
 How well that works in practical terms is one of the questions being debated.
 Bill Ruzzamenti, chief of public affairs for the federal Drug Enforcement  Administration in Washington, said legalized production of hemp is a risky  venture. He said all hemp plants have some THC in them and are therefore  narcotics.
 "We just think it's an idea that hasn't been proven, and it's an idea that seems to have more pitfalls than possible advantages," Ruzzamenti said.
 The argument for legalized hemp production has gained credence recently as Kentucky's tobacco farmers earn less and less from their leading cash crop.
 From the early 1800s until the World War I, Kentucky supplied most of the  nation's hemp - despite the fact that it grows best in areas with cooler  temperatures and more frequent rainfall.
 "For decades Kentucky led the nation in the production of hemp, and yet her climate is not particularly suited to the crop," wrote University of Kentucky history professor James Hopkins in his book (ITAL) "A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky." (END)
 At one time, Hopkins said, hemp was grown on 503 of 844 farms in Fayette  County.
 Hemp production became illegal in 1937, although it resumed briefly when it was needed for war materials during World War II.
 In Canada, which had its first government-approved experiment in hemp  production in Ontario this year, the number of farms was reduced from 12 to  two after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said there was too much hemp to  monitor effectively.
 Joe Strobel, the Ontario farmer who is spearheading the hemp experiment in Canada, said he was a tobacco farmer until he decided to try hemp. Now he is sending hemp to nine companies in the United States and Canada for a variety of experimental uses, to see how it competes economically with other products.
 Strobel said the results of the first year were mixed, but added, "Definitely the potential is there."
 He also said he has never smoked marijuana and has no interest in legalizing it.
 "I'm 65 years old," he said. "I was way past my foolish age when that came along."
 Nathan Boone, a graduate student who has been doing research on hemp for the Community Farm Alliance, said there was enough evidence to show that hemp  "needs to be looked into more in-depth."
 "We don't know if it's legitimate until we put a serious effort into seeing if it's legitimate," he said.

Transmitted: 94-10-25 03:27:45 EDT

Now Virgin looks at financial services...and dope

    LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuter) - Flamboyant British tycoon Richard Branson is pushing his Virgin brand to new limits, suggesting the name might be used to sell financial services -- and even marijuana.
    ``We are considering financial services generally but any scheme is at least a year off,'' a spokesman for self-made multi-millionaire Branson said on Thursday.
    He said the Virgin airline, retail and leisure empire was talking to various potential partners in Britain.
    Virgin has already diversified into computers, vodka and cola, signing up supermarket giant Tesco Plc to sell the fizzy drink in Britain.
    And Branson is not ruling out marketing Virgin marijuana, if it were ever legalised.
    ``If (marijuana) was ever legalised and it was proved to the satisfaction of the BMA (British Medical Association) that it was harmless, he'd obviously consider it,'' the spokesman said.
    Financial analysts say Branson is astutely optimising a well-recognised brand name. Sceptics wonder if he is not over-stepping the mark.
    ``First Virgin vodka, now Virgin cola. Virgin nuts can't be far behind. Virgin on the ridiculous obviously beckons,'' the Financial Times newspaper said earlier this week.  REUTER

Transmitted: 94-10-13 09:04:15 EDT

Britain bars American marijuana smoker

    LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuter) - An American who smokes up to 12 marijuana cigarettes a day for medicinal purposes was forced to return home after Britain refused to allow him to bring the illegal drug into the country, a newspaper said on Friday.
    Bob Randall, 46, receives the drug free on prescription from a chemist in Washington D.C. who is licensed to supply him. He claims he will go blind within days unless he smokes the drug.
    ``He has been forced to return to America because the Home Office (Interior Ministry) refused his lawyer's application for the right to bring the reefers with him,'' The Times said.
    Randall, who is one of eight people in the U.S. allowed by law to receive the drug on prescription, had been invited to meet politicians and academics in London as part of a campaign to legalise marijuana for medical use in Europe and the United States.

Transmitted: 94-10-13 18:42:47 EDT

Florida Glaucoma Patient Campaigns for Legal Marijuana
By Kevin Davis, Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

 HOLLYWOOD, Fla.--Oct. 5--Elvy Musikka says she began smoking marijuana 18 years ago to save herself from going blind. When she got busted for growing pot in the back yard of her Hollywood home in 1988, she tried to explain to police that she needed it to treat her glaucoma.
 "Tell it to the judge," they said. A year later a Broward County judge agreed with Musikka, saying the use of marijuana was a medical necessity for her condition.
 The case propelled her into the national spotlight as one of a handful of people allowed to smoke the illegal weed.
 Since that ruling in 1989, Musikka, 50, has dedicated her life to spreading the word on what she says are the medical benefits of marijuana. She has become a spokeswoman for the legalization of marijuana not only for medicinal purposes, but also for recreational and commercial use.
 "It has become a full-time job for me. It's something I have to do," Musikka said. "I have to give something back."
 She used to buy marijuana illegally. It was the only way, she said. Her pot now comes by prescription, sent in metal canisters filled with 300 pre-rolled joints and a label that says "use as directed." For Musikka, that means she smokes about 10 joints a day, paid for by the government.
 Musikka says it's not easy being one of the country's few legal pot smokers. She says she gets strange looks when she lights up in public places and says she has been stopped many times by police. She carries a letter from the federal government explaining her case.
 Musikka, with the help of friends, has been writing letters to officials at the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department, urging them to reclassify marijuana so it can be prescribed more widely as a medicine.
 Advocates of marijuana as medicine say the drug helps people suffering from glaucoma, combats nausea for chemotherapy patients and AIDS patients, and can help reduce muscle spasms in people suffering from neurological conditions.
 "All they keep telling me is that they need more research," Musikka said. "I think I'm scientific evidence."
 DEA officials have stood firm in their position that no studies show that marijuana is beneficial.
 "This is a scam by the drug culture," said Wayne Roques, demand-reduction coordinator for the DEA in Miami. "We feel sorry for all the sick people out there and want to help them, but this hurts them."
 Roques says he has files of medical studies on marijuana use that cite its dangers, including links to cancer. He also has written on the subject, arguing that marijuana advocates use ill people to draw sympathy to their cause.
 "People believe it's a relatively harmless drug. It's not," Roques said. "When you smoke something, it goes into your lungs. They're taking risks."
 Musikka disagrees. "Alcohol is a worse danger," she said. "I wish my kids would smoke pot instead of drinking."
 Lawyer Norman Kent of Fort Lauderdale, a board member of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, or NORML, defended Musikka in her court case and watched her rise to celebrity status. He thinks she's fighting for a good cause.
 "Elvy is one of those people who took a negative in her life and made it a positive," Kent said. "When she came out of the closet on her case, we found out there were hundreds more like her."
 Musikka now wears clothes made of hemp and fills her briefcase with literature that cites beneficial uses of the plant, the history of marijuana use and its medical applications.
 For four years, Musikka has been on the road, traveling to college campuses, talking to state legislatures and at public rallies, spreading the word that marijuana should be legalized. She cannot drive and depends on others for transportation. Lately, she has been riding in a camper that features a traveling hemp museum.
 Musikka, a native of Colombia, said she has been smoking pot since 1976. She said she has been unable to hold a full-time job since 1980 because of her deteriorating sight. Friends must do most of her reading for her.
 Glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the United States, increases pressure within the eyeball, causing a progressive loss of sight.
 Musikka said that traditional drugs used in treating glaucoma provided only temporary relief and that some had nasty side effects. She has had at least 14 eye operations since childhood for cataracts and glaucoma and says she lost the sight in her right eye after one operation.
 She said she will continue to fight for legalization of marijuana. "I will as long as there is one person out there who's suffering," she said. "It's a medical and moral issue. You cannot punish the seriously ill like we are doing."

Transmitted: 94-10-05 15:35:43 EDT

Interpol boss clashes with France over drugs

    By Alister Doyle
    PARIS, Oct 12 (Reuter) - The boss of the international police group Interpol, clashing with France's Interior Minister, appealed on Wednesday for the decriminalisation of drug abuse.
    Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall told an international narcotics conference that education and mandatory treatment for drug addicts would often help more than making criminals of them and locking them up.
    ``I favour decriminalisation'' of drug abuse, he said.
    Shortly before, hardline Interior Minister Charles Pasqua told the same conference that drugs had eclipsed nuclear weapons as a global menace and that ``defeatists'' favoured solutions like decriminalisation.
    ``One argument is that we should classify drugs and that 'soft drugs' could be covered by a different legislative treatment and benefit from legalisation or depenalisation,'' he said, sitting near Kendall.
    ``What problem would be solved by the legalisation of cannabis?'' he asked an audience of about 50 experts at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO).
    ``None, in my opinion,'' he said. ``There are no 'soft' drugs.''
    ``Drug trafficking threatens to plunge us into a new conflict on a global scale. An all-out war against drugs should be launched around the world by the international community,'' Pasqua added.
    While Kendall said he favoured decriminalisation, he said he bitterly opposed any formal legalisation of drugs.
    Kendall said legalisation would encourage abuse by making drugs more widely available. Decriminalisation would mean drug abusers could be ordered to take treatment to get over their addiction as a substitute for jail or fines.
    The international drug trade is estimated to be worth $400 billion a year -- enough to threaten to destabilise democracies, Kendall and Pasqua agreed.
    Kendall, expanding on arguments for decriminalisation made earlier this year, said Sweden provided perhaps the best model of how to handle drug abuse.
    He said Stockholm had invested heavily in education and medical, psychological and social rehabilitation programmes for abusers. In Sweden, ``the number of drug addicts has fallen and especially the number of addicts hit by AIDS,'' he said.
    By contrast, many other nations spent too much cash on trying to stop smuggling rather than discouraging consumption.
    He said a recent study in the United States showed 73 percent of all cash spent on fighting cocaine went to stopping trafficking in the country while just seven percent went to reducing domestic demand.
    Kendall also said Interpol, based in the southern French city of Lyon, was severely hampered by underfunding in combating the booming drug trade -- he said Interpol's $28 million budget was less than the cost of running the Lyon opera house.
    Interpol groups 174 member nations.
    He said 20 tonnes of heroin, 200 tonnes of cocaine and 2,000 tonnes of cannabis were seized worldwide in 1993. Since 1985, seizures of heroin have surged 300 percent, cocaine 1,000 percent and cannabis 250 percent.


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuter) - Security guards found about 120 marijuana plants growing on the grounds of a northern California factory owned by electronics firm Hewlett-Packard Co., the company said Tuesday.

Jeff Weber, a spokesman for Hewlett-Packard's facility at Santa Rosa, 50 miles north of San Francisco, said that last Friday a worker at the plant found a hose leading from the company's irrigation system near a baseball field to a heavily-overgrown open space on plant grounds.

The worker alerted security guards who went to investigate. At the end of the hose, they found a drip irrigation system and about 120 marijuana plants, Weber said.

The security guards notified police who took away the plants, Weber said.

"It's very surprising and we're quite unhappy about the situation," Weber said, adding that it was the first time that marijuana plants had been found growing on company property.

Some 2,200 employees work at the 195-acre facility in Santa Rosa where Hewlett-Packard manufactures electronic test and measurement instruments.

The plant is ringed by a perimeter fence and guards are posted at the main entrances.

It was not known who was cultivating the plants.

Transmitted:  94-08-23 17:45:04 EDT

Judiciary to probe bombshell Lebanon drug charges

    BEIRUT, Nov 28 (Reuter) - Lebanon's prosecutor-general said on Monday he would investigate allegations linking members of parliament, a government minister and the president's son to illegal drug dealing.
    Deputy Yahya Shamas caused a sensation when he made the allegations last Thursday as parliament voted to strip him of immunity so he could be prosecuted on drug dealing charges.
    Prosecutor-general Munif Oueidat said he had received all records of the session in which Shamas made the accusations.
    ``I received...this file in which deputy Shamas talks about drugs and officials involved with them,'' Oueidat told reporters. ``The judiciary is keen to pursue any stories of this sort.''
    The declarations in parliament are privileged under Lebanese law. But Shamas was arrested on drugs charges on Friday after becoming the first Lebanese deputy to have his immunity lifted in a drugs case.
    Before the vote he named President Elias Hrawi's son Roy in connection with an attempted killing related to a consignment of drugs at Beirut port.
    The president's son issued a statement denying the Shamas remarks and said he would sue the deputy in court.
    Shamas also linked an unnamed deputy, the son of another lawmaker and the chauffeur of an unnamed minister to drugs.
    The Shi'ite Moslem deputy also said a well-known Lebanese businessman, an unnamed French embassy security officer and 10 pilots of Lebanon's Middle East Airlines were involved in drugs.
    He said drugs cases were frequently hushed up and dropped in Lebanon.
    He denied the charges against him, saying his own troubles with the law began after a row with Syria's top army intelligence officer in Lebanon, Brigadier Ghazi Kanaan, over a disputed Beirut real estate deal with a Syrian businessman.
    Shamas faces up to seven years in jail if convicted of drugs dealing. He represents a constituency in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley where opuim and cannabis cultivation was rampant, especially during the 1975-90 civil war.
    Authorities launhed a wide campaign last year against cultivation and dealing.

Transmitted: 94-11-28 11:31:13 EST

      By John Sanders

    LONDON, March 8 (Reuter) - Lloyd's of London on Friday sent 34,000 members worldwide the first estimates of their share of the final bill for its record eight billion pounds ($12.23 billion) plus losses announced over the past five years.

    Although provisional, the estimates are expected to be within 15,000 pounds of the final reckoning, due in May, for each of the market's individual backers, known as Names.

    The so-called ``finality bills'' are part of a complex strategy which Lloyd's hopes to have in place by August.

    Its aims are to end Names' litigation over their losses, offer Names a way to retire from the market and ensure the future of Lloyd's by transferring all old liabilities into Equitas, a new reinsurance company.

    Chairman David Rowland, in a letter to Names, warned of ``serious consequences'' if this chance to secure the 300-year-old market's future and put the problems of the past behind it was missed.

    ``The opportunity to bring about the reconstruction and renewal of Lloyd's is fast approaching,'' he said. ``It will not be repeated. If we miss this opportunity, the consequences will be very serious (and) none of us should be under any illusion that any alternative proposal offers greater comfort.''

    Names, who will receive their estimates in the next few days, welcomed the distribution of the final statements, but repeated their call for an increase in a 2.8 billion pounds compensation fund that is a key part of the overall strategy.

    The Association of Lloyd's Members, representing some 9,500 Names, said, ``The 2.8 billion pounds pot must be increased to reduce the pain of badly-hit Names.''

    Rowland said efforts will continue to find more money for the compensation package before Names are asked to approve the offer in the summer.

    Lloyd's estimates that some 16,000 Names face a finality bill within their funds at Lloyd's, while more than 9,000 will have to pay the maximum bill of 100,000 pounds over and above their funds at Lloyd's.

    However, since the bulk of ``funds at Lloyd's'' are in the form of guarantees on assets such as shares and property, many Names, although not driven into penury, may have to sell some assets and accept a drop in their living standards.

    To assist Names who may otherwise be forced to sell their home to pay their bill, Lloyd's is considering a ``special mortgage plan'' if there is sufficient interest in such a scheme.

    A fortunate 5,000 Names, who avoided the worst performing insurance syndicates such as Gooda Walker and Feltrim, will receive a cash payment from the settlement deal.

    A few Names will be excluded in full or part where Lloyd's believes they ``through demonstrated misconduct, have contributed to Names' losses.''

    One problem that remains to be resolved by Lloyd's concerns 2,600 U.S. Names, many of whom have secured temporary court protection from paying any money owed to Lloyd's.

    A Lloyd's spokesman said it was dealing with U.S. legal authorities. ``Lloyd's case has not been heard. We are confident we can resolve this difficulty,'' he added.

    Acceptance of the settlement offer is vital to the formation of Lloyd's Equitas reinsurance company, into which all 1992 and prior liabilities will be transferred.

    If Names do not approve the offer and Equitas does not proceed, Lloyd's could fail its solvency test in the autumn and be ordered by the Department of Trade and Industry to cease trading, Rowland warned.

    ``Lloyd's could go down,'' he said. ``Indeed in May when I put out this offer in its framework form last year to the members (Names) I made it absolutely clear that it was going to be their choice.''

 ($1-.6542 Pound)

10:28 03-08-96

      By Ian Hodgson

    COVENTRY, England, Jan 17 (Reuter) - A woman whose mother died in a car crash threw off her coat and stood naked in front of a thousand worshippers on Wednesday, interrupting a service marking the centenary of Britain's car industry.

    Her body daubed with slogans, she told the congregation in Coventry Cathedral: ``In the spirit of Lady Godiva I'm here to mourn the death of my mother and the 17 million people killed directly by the motor car.''

    The woman, in her 30s, railed against the motor car for about four minutes before being led outside. A male protester was also led away after shouting slogans.

    According to legend, Lady Godiva was the wife of an 11th century earl who rode naked through Coventry in broad daylight. Her husband said he would cut taxes if she did.

    During the service two cars, an 1897 Daimler and an electric prototype, were driven to the altar. Daimler set up the first car company in Britain, in 1896 near the cathedral site.

    ``At the heart of the great centenary which we celebrate today is a story which appears in this act of worship as a tale of two cars,'' the Bishop of Coventry, Simon Barrington-Ward, told the congregation.

    ``The first car can symbolise for us the thanksgiving we want to express for all that we have received through the invention of the motor car.

    ``The second car can represent the penitence we feel, and in every celebration there must be room for penitence, over the ways in which we have all of us let this invention be misused,'' he said, recalling that the first road death also occurred in 1896.

    Relatives of road accident victims and environmentalists gathered outside the imposing church in central England, built on the site of a cathedral destroyed by German bombs in World War Two.

    ``Seventeen million people have been killed on the roads since the car was invented. The service today is extremely crass. They have turned the cathedral into nothing more than a car showroom,'' said Shane Collins of the Green Party.

16:42 01-17-96


      LONDON (Reuter) - A British amnesty called after a London headmaster was stabbed to death outside his school has netted almost 40,000 knives, police said Monday.

    Interior Minister Michael Howard told reporters: ``The overwhelming response bears strong testament to the will of many of us to rid this country of violence.''

    ``The result of the amnesty is that there are around 40,000 fewer chances of getting hurt from dangerous knives,'' he said.

    The government has also proposed tightening the law on carrying knives. A new bill proposes two years' jail for people carrying knives without good reason.

    The amnesty followed the public uproar that greeted the death of Philip Lawrence, stabbed outside his West London school last month when he went to help a pupil being attacked.

15:17 01-22-96

      WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Two senators introduced a bill to repeal a new law that makes it a crime to make available to minors ``indecent'' material on the Internet.

    The Communications Decency Act, signed into law Thursday by President Clinton as a part of a larger telecommunications bill, metes out criminal fines of up to $250,000 and two years in prison for violations.

    Civil libertarians, privacy activists and Internet supporters are challenging the law in court, saying it is unconstitutional and amounts to censorship.

    Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said he was introducing the bill with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., ``because Americans shouldn't have to wait for court action to have their First Amendment rights protected.''

    He added that while the new law is ``well intentioned,'' it is ``improperly targeted at so-called 'indecent' speech on the Internet which is protected by the First Amendment.''

    Instead, he added, lawmakers should have targeted obscenity or child pornography, the transmission of which is already a violation of criminal law.

    ``While doing nothing to further protect children online, the act compromises the right of every American to free speech,'' Feingold said Friday.

    Feingold and Leahy opposed the provision, which won broad support in the Senate and was later adopted by House and Senate negotiators crafting the final telecommunications bill.

07:32 02-10-96

      PARIS (Reuter) - A French teen-ager who gave her boyfriend a steamy kiss outside the school gates was suspended for a day for indecent behavior, the school said on Valentine's Day.

    ``I didn't see it myself but I was told it was very long and passionate,'' said an official at the Watteau state high school in Valenciennes in northern France.

    The headmaster judged the kiss was so torrid it amounted to indecent behavior. The girl, aged about 15, whose name was not disclosed, has returned to class after being ordered to stay home for a day last week to cool off.

10:28 02-14-96

      By Maggie Fox

    LONDON (Reuter) - British physicists said  Wednesday they may have found out how electromagnetic fields generated by power lines, and even by small electrical appliances, can cause cancer.

    In a report controversial even before its publication, they said they had found that power lines attract radioactive particles from radon gas, which are believed to cause cancer.

    ``They have discovered that the mains leads (power cables) to ordinary domestic appliances are able to attract the radioactive products of radon present in everyday room air,'' the International Journal of Radiation Biology, which published the findings, said in a statement.

    ``They have found evidence in similar studies that the same harmful concentrations of radon products may be present around overhead power lines. The electromagnetic fields associated with the lines can therefore concentrate a cocktail of potential carcinogens.''

    Denis Henshaw and colleagues at the University of Bristol looked at reports going back nearly 20 years that show people, especially children, living close to high-voltage power lines turn up with more cases of cancer.

    There is some evidence that the electromagnetic fields generated by power lines can change the genetic structure of rats, but no evidence it hurts people.

    But Henshaw has worked with radon, a gas emitted by uranium and present almost everywhere. It is especially high in houses built on granite -- for example, in Devon and Cornwall in south west England.

    ``Alpha radiation from radon and its decay products (known as daughters) is one of the most powerful carcinogens known,'' Henshaw told a news conference.

    He set up plastic films that collected radioactive particles from radon in various places around ordinary homes.

    The particles not only collected around power lines, but the electromagnetic field produced by all power lines were making them oscillate.''If you inhale an oscillating aerosol...they have a greater chance of sticking,'' Henshaw said.

    The Medical Research Council, which sponsored the study, said such particles would be breathed in more easily.

    ``The issue goes broader than these radon decay products,'' Henshaw said. Outdoor power lines could attract aerosols, small molecules carrying such radioactive particles, and start them oscillating, too. This could be dangerous for people walking by them.

    ``Conceptually, I think it's fair to say this is a breakthrough,'' Barry Michael of the Cancer Research Trust told Channel Four television.

    But Britain's National Radiological Protection Board called the idea ``implausible.''

    ``The weight of evidence would suggest that the presence of electric fields will, if anything, slightly reduce human exposure to radon daughters,'' it said in a statement.

    ``It has not been established that exposure to radon daughters causes any other cancers,'' it added. ``I'm sorry. It's simply wrong,'' Henshaw said in reply. ``The experimental evidence shows an increase around the source.''

    Henshaw and his colleagues stressed their findings did not show that the radon attracted by power lines caused cancer, but said more study was urgently needed.

11:35 02-13-96
      REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuter) - A violent snowstorm crippled Iceland Wednesday, closing roads, tearing down electricity pylons and triggering avalanches.

    All residents of the northwestern seaside village of Sudavik -- where 14 people were killed in an avalanche in January -- were evacuated from their homes, police said,

    The Keflavik international airport some 16 miles from Reykjavik was closed Wednesday afternoon and airport officials said flights Thursday morning from the U.S. and Europe were unlikely to be able to land because of high winds.

    Early winter storms are relatively common in Iceland, which lies just below the Arctic Circle.

    Police said most rural roads were closed by the snow storm and an avalanche destroyed a garbage disposal plant at Isafjordur in northwestern Iceland.

    Sunday, two passengers died when violent gusts of wind blew a bus off a road in the remote north.

    Meteorologists forecast the storm would continue on Thursday.

Reut18:47 10-25-95

      STOCKHOLM, Oct 25 (Reuter) - The Swedish parliament voted on
Wednesday to deregulate the country's electricity industry from
January 1, 1996.

     Parliament voted 238 to 45 to allow electricity consumers
to choose supply from a number of electricity producers, as in
neighbouring Norway.

     Sweden's ruling Social Democratic Party joined opposition
conservatives in proposing the deregulation, which is likely to
see the introduction of a spot market for electricity prices.

Reut18:29 10-25-95

      UNITED NATIONS, Oct 24 (Reuter) - Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson said the United Nations should consider creating an international tax on currency dealings to solve its financial crisis.

    In a blunt speech on Tuesday to a special U.N. session celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the world body, Carlsson also hit out at free-riding member states that fail to pay their dues.

    ``They want more and more from our common organisation. Yet these countries are not willing to pay their membership fees. That is simply not acceptable,'' he said.

    He said the United Nations, which is owed more than $3 billion, must develop sustainable systems of financing that reduce its dependency on one large contributor -- an allusion to the United States, whose arrears amount to $1.25 billion.

    ``However, this may not be enough. I believe that the time has come to seriously discuss alternative methods of getting the necesary resources to the United Nations system,'' he said.

    ``We need to explore the possibility of creating an international tax on foreign currency transactions.''

    ``We need to consider the possibility of introducing charges for the use of common global resources such as sea-lanes for ships or ocean-fishing areas or an extra tax on air tickets,'' Carlsson said.

    Carlsson, whose controversial ideas have no chance of getting off the drawing board, said it was a shame so many members did not pay what they owed. ``The United Nations can not be more than what its members allow it to be,'' he said.

 REUTERReut 04:23 10-25-95

      BRESKENS, Netherlands (Reuter) - Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated from their homes in this southern Dutch town Tuesday while air force bomb disposal experts worked to defuse five 1,000-pound bombs dropped during World War II.

    ``We found five...1,000 pounders while we were preparing the ground for a new housing development,'' a spokeswoman for the mayor's office said.

    She said 1,700 people out of the town's 4,000 population were evacuated in one of the biggest such operations since the war.

    Four of the five bombs, possibly dropped by the U.S. or British air forces toward the end of World War II, had been made safe and were due to be moved later today. People were expected to move back into their homes later in the day.


Reut11:50 10-24-95

By Jennifer A. Galloway, The Wisconsin State Journal  Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News

Oct. 18--The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture has invited 75 executives and researchers to a private meeting in Minnesota on the commercialization of hemp, the woven fiber derived from marijuana plants.

This week's meeting of the North American Industrial Hemp Forum was organized and paid for in part by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to promote industrial uses of hemp, said Bud Sholts,  director of the agency's agricultural diversification program.

"As we begin to move from a petrochemical economy toward a carbohydrate  economy, industrial fibers are going to be critical," Sholts said. "There is a  market out there for a crop that everyone has steered away from."

Not any more. Hemp, once considered a poor step-sister to other fabrics, has  suddenly become the darling of the fashion and textile industries.

J. Crew and Ralph Lauren sell hemp bags. Patagonia makes hemp backpacks.  Adidas sells the Hemp Shoe.

"We saw it as a big trend and jumped on it," said Michele McSperritt of Adidas in Portland, Ore. "It's just a booming trend."

The problem for United States companies is that it is illegal to grow, and  industry would rather buy hemp locally than import it, Sholts said.

That's why the state agriculture department is involved in the effort to  commercialize the crop, he said.

"This has nothing to do with recreational uses of marijuana," Sholts said.  Agricultural hemp has no THC, (tetrehydrocannabinol), the plant's narcotic  compound, he said.

Before the U.S. banned hemp production in 1937, Wisconsin was the country's  largest producer of the crop used for paints, fuels and building materials,  Sholts said.

He organized the meeting set for Thursday and Friday with David Morris of the Institute of Local Self Reliance in Minneapolis, William Holmberg of the  American Bio-Fuels Association in Arlington, Va., and Neal Jorgenson, executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison.

The state has spent about $2,000 on invitations and travel costs to the Oct.  19 conference and another gathering on the same topic held in Bloomington in  March, Sholts said.

Companies such as Weyerhaeuser, International Paper, and Patagonia,  researchers from the U.S., Canada and Europe, as well as hemp associations from around the world are expected to attend.

Sholts said the event was by invitation-only to prevent people with a  "different agenda" from diverting the meeting's purpose. A Sept. 11 mailing from Sholts on state agriculture department letterhead to the meeting's guests  included a "confidential" invitation list.

"We didn't want any pre-meeting publicity," he said. "If people with a  recreational agenda come then these heavy hitters from industry are going to go home."

Sholts said he would not classify the meeting as secret, but said "this is not a normal, regular, open-for-discussion conference. It is a strategic planning conference."

The agriculture department did not publish a public notice or inform or invite chairmen of the Legislature's agriculture committee of the meeting.

Under state law, notice of public hearings are required only for governmental bodies.

"This group would not have to meet the state open meetings law," said Ron  Sklansky, attorney with the Legislative Council in Madison.

Sholts said the meetings is being held near Minneapolis because that is where the group wanted it.

Agriculture Secretary Alan Tracy did not return phone calls Tuesday.


      JERUSALEM (Reuter) - Israel's Supreme Court rejected Sunday a request by jailed nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu to return to Rome where secret agents seized him in 1986 for passing secrets to a British newspaper, army radio said.

    Israeli radio stations said journalists were barred as Vanunu entered the Jerusalem courtroom escorted by dozens of guards.

    After the closed-door hearing, he was returned to his cell in a prison in Ashkelon, southern Israel. A justice ministry spokeswoman said the three-judge panel rejected both of his requests. She declined to elaborate.

    Army radio said the other request was to cancel the appointment of new Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who as prime minister in 1986 ordered Vanunu's kidnapping from Rome to Israel.

    Foreign reports said Vanunu was lured to Rome from London by a beautiful blond Israeli secret agent named Cindy.

    Vanunu has been in isolation since his conviction for espionage and treason at a secret trial. A court sentenced him to 18 years in jail in 1986 for giving the London Sunday Times smuggled photos of Israel's Dimona nuclear complex.

    According to foreign reports, Israel has built at least 200 nuclear weapons at Dimona. Israel has never confirmed having atomic weapons although Peres said Friday that Israel was willing to ``give up the atom'' once the region achieved peace.

10:05 12-24-95

      LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuter) - A British soldier on an ill-fated mountain expedition will return to Borneo to thank the jungle ``medicine woman'' who saved his badly injured hand with a potion of snake flesh, bones and herbs.

    Sergeant Bob Mann slashed open the palm of his right hand and almost severed two fingers on his machete when descending the previously unconquered Low's Gully on Mount Kinabulu.

    His hand turned gangrenous. Mann and a colleague stumbled through the jungle, battling dehydration and starvation until they found a village.

    There an old lady forced the injured arm into a jar of snake potion. Doctors said they believe it saved Mann from amputation.

    He is now returning to Borneo to make a television documentary about his epic battle for survival. ``The biggest thing for me is going back to thank the villagers that nursed us,'' he told reporters on Monday.

    Last September, a British army inquiry sharply criticised two senior officers who led the expedition that was lost for almost a month.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Neill was marooned on Kinabulu with Major Ron Foster and three Hong Kong Chinese soldiers before being rescued by Malaysian forces.

    Five other soldiers in the group decided to make their way down the mountain and raised the alarm. Accusations that they had acted without authorisation were dismissed by the inquiry.

Reut16:45 09-04-95

      BUENOS AIRES, Aug 29 (Reuter) - Argentina is increasingly pessimistic about negotiations with Britain over oil and gas exploration in the disputed Falkland Islands, Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella said on Tuesday.

    ``I wouldn't write the epitaph yet, but they are going very badly,'' he told reporters, describing Argentina's position as ``very inflexible, because we don't want to compromise our rights of sovereignty the least bit.''

    In 1982 Argentina and Britain fought a 10-week war over the remote South Atlantic islands, called Malvinas in Spanish. About 1,000 servicemen died after Britain sent a task force to repel an Argentine invasion ordered by the military junta.

    Argentina still claims sovereignty but the government of President Carlos Menem has worked on improving commercial and diplomatic ties with Britain while putting the Falklands issue under a separate diplomatic umbrella.

    British Gas and Argentine oil giant YPF are keen on a joint venture to explore for oil and gas deposits around the islands once a diplomatic framework is found.

    But the Argentine government threatens to fight in court any unilateral attempt by the Falklands to call a tender for exploration licenses -- which the islanders threaten to do in October if no deal is reached with Argentina.

    The Argentine president's brother, Peronist Senator Eduardo Menem, has tabled a motion to ban any firm that takes part in such a tender from doing business in Argentina.

    Bilateral talks are reported to be bogged down on whether Argentina should have any share of resources found deep inside Falklands territorial waters. Di Tella insists Argentina must be compensated financially for any resources extracted from anywhere around the islands.

    ``Either we get some economic benefit or there is no agreement,'' he said. ``The alternative has been known from the outset: if there is no agreement, we plan to oppose legally with all possible means unilateral exploitation by Britain.''

Reut14:16 08-29-95

      BOLOGNA, Italy (Reuter) - Two Italian traffic policemen who ticketed a truck that had a dead man sprawled in the cab may be investigated for failing to perform their public duties properly, officials said Monday.

    They said they had asked the head of Bologna's traffic police for a full report into the incident. The parking fine had meanwhile been canceled.

    Authorities said the traffic policemen found the truck parked askew on the sidewalk, against the flow of traffic and with its hazard warning lights flashing.

    After waiting one minute for the driver to return they left a fine on the windshield without checking the cab.

    An autopsy was being carried out on the dead man who was believed to have suffered a heart attack.

Reut12:31 08-21-95

      EDINBURGH, Aug 22 (Reuter) - Scottish police are looking for a hypnotic dog whose disappearance has halted a sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.

    Oscar, billed as the world's only canine hypnotist, ran off while being exercised by owner and co-star Hugh Cross. Monday's show on the Festival Fringe was called off after the labrador's defection.

    Cross warned anyone seeing Oscar not to look him straight in the eye. That's how he hypnotises people.

Reut08:39 08-22-95

    By David Crossland     FRANKFURT, Aug 9 (Reuter) - Demonstrators seeking compensation for surviving slave workers of Nazi-era chemicals firm IG Farben were shouted down and thrown out of a meeting of the company's successor on Wednesday.

    About 10 former slaves and sympathisers were ordered to leave the shareholders' meeting after disrupting it with chants and whistles.

    The present firm, IG Farben in Abwicklung <IGLG.F>, was formed in 1955 to liquidate assets of the the company that made "Zyklon B," the gas used in Nazi death camps, and which exploited 350,000 slaves it bought from the SS.

    After the war IG Farben was broken up and its plants were transferred to Hoechst AG <HFAG.F>, Bayer AG <BAYG.F>, and BASF AG <BASF.F>, Germany's three largest chemical firms today.

    The liquidation of IG Farben in Abwicklung is taking so long because it is still trying to reclaim property seized from IG Farben by World War Two victors.

    Its shares, or liquidation certificates, are still traded.

    "Owners of IG Farben shares also have a share in the liquidation of Europe's Jews," Peter Gingold, an Auschwitz survivor, told the meeting.

    The demonstrators belong to a lobby group called "Never Again" which was formed this year to seek compensation for more than 10,000 former slaves still alive.

    The group wants IG Farben as well as BASF, Hoechst and Bayer to admit moral responsibility for the deaths of thousands of workers and to pay compensation.

    Survivors see little hope of success in suing BASF, Hoechst or Bayer, which argue that they are not responsible since they are not the legal successors to IG Farben.

    The ex-slaves are also aware that they would probably not live to see the outcome of a long legal action. But they see a chance in pressing claims against IG Farben.

    "We created the wealth IG Farben owns today," Hans Frankenthal, president of Germany's Auschwitz Committee and a former IG Farben slave, told a meeting of the lobby group this week.

    "It was created with our sweat and our blood and with the lives of our brothers and sisters. The entire assets of IG Farben should be transferred to a foundation."

    Many German firms used slave labour during the war and some large companies such as Daimler-Benz AG <DAIG.F> and Volkswagen AG <VOWG.F> have admitted as much by hiring historians to publish frank accounts of their wartime activities.

    IG Farben, which provided Hitler's war machine with everything from synthetic rubber to drugs, stood out by running its own concentration camp at Monowitz in Poland to ensure it had a regular supply of labour.

    "One Sunday in every month we had to parade naked in front of guards and managers. Those that had become too thin were sent into into the gas at Auschwitz," Frankenthal said.

    IG Farben built Monowitz because the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camps were 10 km (six miles) away from its rubber plant, too far for workers to commute.

    Prisoners at Monowitz lost weight rapidly because of poor diet and those on hard labour had a life expectancy of six to eight weeks.

    Frankenthal estimates that 30,000 workers died there.

    IG Farben in Abwicklung paid 30 million marks in compensation to the Jewish Claims Conference in 1957 but that money was not made available to 100,000 Polish slaves.

Rtr 09:40 08-09-95

Dog breath goes garlic in Britain

    LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuter) - British pets have brought new meaning to the term ``dog-breath'' with a mysterious epidemic of garlic-scented halitosis.

    Dog-owners across eastern and central England have been bringing their fetid-breathed companions to veterinarians, complaining that the odour is so pungent they can barely stand to stay in the same room.

    Ray Butcher, vice-president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, said on Tuyesday that several colleagues had reported they were mystified by the phenomenon.

    He said it was probably not a serious health problem, but rather the result of something the dogs ate.

    ``It's an oddity rather than a serious worry because there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with any of the dogs, other than their breath smelling of garlic,'' he said, adding that the animals might be eating some kind of plant or wild herb.

    Vets said no one brand of dog food seemed to be to blame but they were checking to see what else the affected dogs had in common.


Transmitted: 95-01-31 13:51:36 EST

      LONDON (Reuter) - Long-forgotten X-rays of Hitler's skull and some of the dictator's medical records have been discovered in a file labeled ``Investigation into the Whereabouts of Hitler'' in London's Public Records Office.

    Employee Ann Binns, who specializes in the conservation of documents, made the surprise discovery Tuesday while performing routine repair work on office documents.

    ``I was shocked at first. I couldn't understand why we had them,'' employee Ann Binns said Wednesday about her find.

    The file was marked as containing X-rays, but Binns had no way of immediately knowing what she was holding in her hands.

    ``I always scan through the documents at first to see what the materials are and how long the job will take me. After a quick read, I knew -- this is Hitler,'' Binns told Reuters.

    The five X-rays were taken more than 50 years ago after an unsuccessful plot to blow up the German leader left him with injuries to his ears and sinus problems.

    Public Record Office spokeswoman Anne Crawford said three of the pictures were taken by German physician Irwin Giesing who treated Hitler following an assassination attempt in 1944, when a table leg shielded the Fuehrer from the worst of a bomb blast in his Rastenburg headquarters.

    The War Office came by the pictures when Theo Morrell, Hitler's personal physician, was questioned after World War II and his papers seized. In 1980, they were transferred to the Public Record Office.

    The X-rays and records have now been copied in anticipation of huge public interest. The originals have been placed in a secure section of the Public Record Office.

Reut08:10 07-12-95

      ATLANTA, Oct 18 (Reuter) - Former president Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that the federal and state anti-poverty programmes of the past 30 years have proved to be an ``abject and almost unanimous'' failure.

    As if taking a page out of a Republican Party hymn book on socio-economic issues, the 71-year-old elder statesman gave his endorsement to urban development programmes that work in cooperation with private industry.

    ``I would say of the Great Society programmes of the Johnson years, all of the federal programmes that have concentrated on low-income areas, what I tried to do ... what has been done by other leaders coming after me, in general the failures have been abject and almost unanimous,'' Carter said.

    Despite the outpouring of federal dollars spent since the mid-1960s in an attempt to alleviate the plight of the poor, the problems have not been overcome, Carter said, without elaborating.

    The former president was speaking at a news conference held to unveil a new phase of The Atlanta Project, a programme of national scope that uses corporate dollars to meet urban development goals set by inner-city residents.

    ``One of the major goals of the Atlanta project has been, still is and will continue to be the breaking down of the barriers between those of us who have all we need and those of us who are desperately in need,'' Carter said.

    ``I see the biggest single national problem now to be the division that exits among American people, separating us from each other because we just don't understand each other,'' he added.

    Launched in 1991, the Atlanta Project has focused on issues such as teenage pregnancy, school dropout rates and affordable housing for the poor.

    A second phase, set to begin in 1996, is expected among other things to allow corporate sponsors ranging from United Parcel Service to McDonald's to have greater flexibility in providing resources for job training and education.

Reut18:50 10-18-95

     ADDIS ABABA, Oct 15 (Reuter) - Cash-strapped Ethiopia will receive $45 million dollars in foreign aid from former colonial power Italy.

    The pledge was made in an agreement signed by Italian foreign ministry chief of staff Emanuele Scammaca who left the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday after a three-day visit to Ethiopia.

    Under the terms of the agreement, $26.2 million will be part of Italy's development assistance to Ethiopia while $18.2 million will be offered as a soft loan.

    The Italian diplomat told an airport news conference that his government was also considering the return of several Ethiopian historic relics including the ancient Obelisk of Axum.

    ``Italy has signed an agreement that ensures the return of Ethiopia's obelisk to its historical place,'' Scammaca said.

    He had earlier met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and other senior Ethiopian officials in talks which focused on bilateral relations, officials said.

Reut10:25 10-15-95


    This winter a visit to Amsterdam is more attractive and  affordable than ever.  To accommodate travelers "Winter, The  Amsterdam Way" travel packages are available from November 1, 1995  until March 31, 1996.

    Visitors benefit from discounted hotel rooms in the hotel  category of their choice (ranging from deluxe to budget class), and  also receive the Culture and Leisure Pass, a voucher booklet (total  value of $75) giving free admission or discounts on entrance to many  museums, attractions and other places worth seeing.

    "Winter, the Amsterdam Way" prices vary, depending on the hotel  category chosen, ranging from Dfl. 119 (about $75) for 2 nights  including breakfast based on double occupancy in a budget hotel to  Dfl. 325 (about $200) for 2 nights in a deluxe hotel.  Additional  nights are available for discounted prices.

    For reservations, call the Netherlands Reservations Center in  Holland at (011-31) 70-3202500, or fax at (011-31) 70-3202611.

    The Amsterdam Tourist Office has published a colorful and  informative brochure that describes this attractive package in  detail.  For copies, call the Netherlands Board of Tourism at  312-819-0300 in Chicago.



Netherlands Board of Tourism, New York

Loraine Netto, 212/370-7360, ext. 18

    ELMSFORD, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE FEATURES)--Sept. 12, 1995--KLM  Royal Dutch Airlines and its partner Northwest Airlines, will be  offering the popular "Amsterdam Super Stay" package this coming  winter season from their 11 U.S. gateways.

    This value-priced package, positions Amsterdam, one of Europe's  most exciting and dynamic cities, as a year round destination,  offering KLM/NW passengers flexibility and affordable comfort at  deluxe hotels; a perfect mini vacation or shopping spree before  Christmas without the crowds and long lines of the summer season.

    According to Toon Woltman, Sr. Vice President, Area Manager  North America and Mexico, "for over 75 years KLM has been dedicated  to the demand and satisfaction of its customers.  The continuation  of the `Amsterdam Super Stay' is a prime example of this  philosophy."

    Passengers must travel on KLM/Northwest's transatlantic  joint-venture flights from their 11 gateways: (New York, Boston,  Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston,  Memphis, Atlanta and Washington); and packages start at $539.00 per  person from New York, including air fare, four days/three nights  accommodation at deluxe hotels in Amsterdam, hotel service charges  and taxes, plus a daily buffet breakfast, based on double occupancy,  with single supplement at a slightly higher rate.  Additional nights  are available at special prices with no limit on extra nights.

    Those wishing to stay on, traveling the country side or visiting  friends, can benefit from a special Alamo car rental package at  great value, starting at $11.00 a day to $56.00 a week with  unlimited mileage.  Excluded are the 17.5% VAT, airport service charge,  fuel, additional driver fee, drop-off charges and other optional items.

    All air and land bookings have to be made at least four days  prior to travel and for more information on the "Amsterdam Super  Stay" call KLM at: 1-800-3-747-747.

    Together, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and its partner Northwest  Airlines serve more than 370 cities in over 81 countries on six  continents.



KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Odette Fodor-Gernaert, 914/784-2480

   (Writes through with new quotes, background)

    By Richard Balmforth

    MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuter) - A three-man Russian and German crew aboard Russia's Mir station has had to extend its stay in space by 44 days because of a cash shortage that has hit rocket production, a space official said on Thursday.

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said lack of cash was delaying production of a new rocket which was to put up a fresh crew next January to replace the trio. They have been on the orbiting Mir since September 3.

    The announcement was the latest setback to Moscow's once-prestigious space programme, now bedevilled by a cash crisis and rivalries between branches of the space industry since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    An official spokesman at the Mission Control Centre outside Moscow would neither confirm nor deny the report.

    But other officials said news of the delay had been circulated on October 5 among those involved, including the European Space Agency (ESA) which is partially funding the current flight.

    The original plan had been to send up a replacement crew on January 7 to relieve Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Avdeyev and German astronaut Thomas Reiter.

    But a lack of cash to the assembly plant had delayed production of the new Soyuz U-2 and relief cosmonauts Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachev will not now be able to blast off to Mir until February 21, the official said.

    Generously funded during Soviet times when it was used to match the Americans in the superpower stakes, Moscow's space programme can now count on only comparatively meagre state financing.

    It relies heavily on cooperation with its former rivals through a series of U.S. shuttle flights and with the ESA.

    The ESA is paying $60 million for Reiter's flight and last year's by Ulf Merbold, also German, under an agreement signed with Russia's Energiya corporation which built the Mir.

    Accounts by officials on Thursday suggested clearly that the delay in production of the new Soyuz U-2 was linked with rivalry among links of the Russian space programme, each of which are vying for a slice of the ESA windfall.

    The ``Progress'' assembly factory in Samara, central Russia, which produces the Soyuz rockets is not financed by Energiya but by the state Russian Space Agency which draws its funds from the state budget.

    Cost of producing the new Soyuz rocket is put at 15 billion roubles ($3.3 million), officials said.

    Energiya spokesman Sergei Gromov, speaking to Reuters on Thursday, put a brave face on the delay, saying: ``From a purely technical point of view, the extension will help us because it will give us time to do further work.''

    The three cosmonauts, who represent the 20th expedition to Mir, have been carrying out an intensive programme of scientific experiments including research into effects of weightlessness.

    Under the contract between the ESA and Russia's Energiya, Reiter's flight was supposed to last 135 days.

    Gromov added however that no extra money would be expected from the ESA for the additional days in space.

    Technically, the Mir crew could return to earth on the original date on the Progress craft which is docked alongside.

    But Russian space officials want to avoid this since the Mir -- in permanent orbit since 1986 and ageing rapidly -- could suffer a grave technical fault at any moment if left unoccupied. This in turn could make it dangerous for any incoming crew.

    Plans to replace Mir with the international Alpha space station are well under way. But the speed at which this ambitious project goes ahead will depend on the outcome of the series of shuttle flights over the next two years.

Reut08:56 10-12-95

      REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuter) - Icelandic President Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the world's first popularly elected woman head of state, said Monday she was retiring after 16 years in office and would not run in elections due to be held next July.

    Finnbogadottir, 65, told a news conference she would not stop working and was looking forward to working with multimedia. Iceland has one of the highest computer ownership rates per capita in the world.

    The president said, ``I'm grateful to all those people who have tried to persuade me to change my mind.''

    ``I'm interested in working with multimedia. i would like to look to the future and I think I can do such work better as a private person rather than in this office,'' she said.

    Finnbogadottir has been consistently popular since being elected in 1980. Outpolling three male opponents to win the presidency in 1980, she was re-elected unopposed in 1984 and won a third term in 1988, with around 95 per cent of the vote -- an almost unique event in a democracy -- before being re-elected in 1992.

    After becoming president, Finnbogadottir traveled widely, using her command of several languages to present her North Atlantic island nation in the best possible light.

    At home, she aroused controversy over what Icelanders saw as her extravagance. In 1981 she overspent her budget by 700 percent. Unrepentant, she got her budget increased.

    Finnbogadottir vehemently defended her position that the presidency should remain a mostly ceremonial office. ``The role of the president is to be a symbol for the nation of unity and identity,'' she said.

Reut15:26 10-02-95

   (Release at 1800 GMT Oct 1, previous Hong Kong)

    LISBON, Oct 1 (Reuter) - Nearly nine in 10 voters in the tiny enclave of Macau on China's southern coast abstained in Portugal's general elections on Sunday, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

    Only 1,800 of Macau's 12,499 registered voters cast ballots, an abstention rate of 85.60 percent compared with an abstention rate of 84.91 percent in 1991 in Portugal's last elections.

    Lusa said the ruling centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) won 50.09 percent of those votes cast, followed by the opposition Socialist Party (PS) with 33.55 percent.

    Four of the 230 seats in the Portuguese parliament are elected by Portuguese emigrants, two chosen in Europe and two outside Europe. The results of the emigrant vote will be known on October 11.

    Macau's governor Vasco Rocha Vieira said earlier major political guidelines governing the enclave, which reverts to Chinese rule on December 20, 1999, would remain intact after Portugal's elections, Lusa reported.

    It quoted him as saying Macau matters were above party politics and all Portuguese parties regarded Macau as a ``national issue.''

    Macau has a population of almost 400,000, most of whom are ethnic Chinese.

Reut12:35 10-01-95

      JERUSALEM (Reuter) - Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, jailed for passing secrets to a British newspaper, is on hunger strike to protest against his solitary confinement, Israeli prison officials said Monday.

    They said Vanunu, held in isolation since he was kidnapped by Israeli agents from Rome in 1986, was only taking water since Sunday.

    An Israeli court convicted Vanunu of espionage and treason at a secret trial in 1986 and sentenced him to 18 years in jail after he gave the London Sunday Times photos of Israel's Dimona nuclear complex.

    Israel Radio quoted Vanunu as saying he was unable to meet anyone, including other prisoners, at the Ashkelon prison.

    Last month Vanunu asked a court to order Israel to return him to Rome where Israeli agents seized him, radio reports said. According to foreign reports, Israel has built at least 200 nuclear weapons at Dimona.

    Israel has never confirmed having atomic weapons.

Reut10:11 10-02-95

      By Blaise Szolgyemy

    BUDAPEST, Hungary (Reuter) - Spanish Gypsy dancer Carmen swung, swayed and gyrated to flamenco rhythms on a Budapest stage to kick off the first international Gypsy cultural festival.

    An audience of several hundred warmly applauded late  Thursday as Carmen -- really named Maria Serrano -- and her ensemble went through a routine of rapid dances, musical-type pieces and sensual ballet to the sounds of their own Gypsy band.

    Organizers said the four-day festival, entitled ``Rom Som'' (meaning both ``I am Gypsy'' and ``I am a human being'') aims to show the world, and Gypsies themselves, the diversity of their culture.

    Immigrants from northern India, Gypsies arrived in eastern Europe in several waves beginning in the 13th century. They later spread west and as far as Latin America and Australia, although most still live in Hungary, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.

    For Hungarian spectator Eva Kallai, Carmen's performance brought home to her the diversity of her ethnic group.

    ``It's great to see someone from so far away and realize she is Gypsy like me,'' she said after the show. ``It's the first time she has come here and I loved her performance.''

    Set apart from the rest of the population by their darker skin, Gypsies suffered official discrimination until the 19th century. During the Nazi occupation of Europe they were, alongside the Jews, among the chief victims of Hitler's racist fanaticism and many died in concentration camps.

    Popular prejudice in Europe has even survived the collapse of fascism and the legal emancipation of Gypsies.

    There have been deadly racial attacks against them recently in both Hungary and Romania.

    Traditionally nomads, most east European Gypsies have now given up their famous covered trailers for permanent housing. Many, however, live in racially segregated districts in poorest parts of town.

    Few achieve a high standard of education and, during Hungary's post-communist restructuring, Gypsies were often the first to be fired when firms shed workers.

    In fact, few Gypsies turned up for Thursday's Carmen performance or for a Gypsy jazz session at another Budapest location.

    Tickets costing the equivalent of $16 and $5 respectively might have proved beyond the budget of most Hungarian Gypsies who live below the official poverty line of less than $100 a month, Kallai said.

    Still, chief organizer Tivadar Fatyol said the festival had an important message.

    ``We want to show the wealth of our culture,'' Fatyol told Reuters. ``The world is a bit upside down now, with way too much hatred, so we will show what we are -- no better or worse than the rest.''

    Friday night, the festival was to feature the Russian Gypsy Theater and Yugoslavia's Teatro Roma Phralipe, which is staging an adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in today's Sarajevo.

    There will also be poetry readings Saturday while two Budapest hotels are highlighting Gypsy cuisine and a cinema is showing a weekend of Gypsy films.

    Hungarian President Arpad Goncz formally opened the festival earlier Thursday.

Reut12:13 09-01-95

   GENEVA, Aug 17 (Reuter) - Memphis Airport, base of U.S.

express freight carrier, Federal Express <FDX.N> was the world's
busiest cargo airport between January and April 1995, according
to Airports Council International (ACI) figures.

   These show that the airport handled 555,225 tonnes of cargo
during the period, question, up five percent on the first third
of 1994.

    Tokyo's Narita Airport was ranked second in ACI's
January-April 1995 cargo airports table as a result of reporting
536,115 tonnes, up 10.5 percent on the same period last year.

    In third place was New York-JFK airport, which handled
503,550 tonnes, up 24.7 percent on the first four months of
1994, when the airport was ranked seventh in ACI's cargo
handling traffic table.

    The world's 20 busiest cargo airports between January-April
1995, with the volume they handled, the percentage increase over
the same period in 1994 and, in parenthesis, their ranking  in
January-April 1994, are as follows:
    1 (1)   Memphis           555,225 tonnes   (up 5.0 percent)

    2 (2)   Tokyo Narita      536,115 tonnes   (up 10.5 percent)

    3 (7)   New York-JFK      503,550 tonnes   (up 24.7 percent)

    4 (6)   Miami             501,297 tonnes   (up 23.1 percent)

    5 (3)   Los Angeles       497,408 tonnes   (up 6.8 percent)

    6 (4)   Frankfurt         475,042 tonnes   (up 8.2 percent)

    7 (9)   Hong Kong         436,995 tonnes   (up 15.9 percent)

    8 (5)   Louisville        436,484 tonnes   (up 5.6  percent)

    9 (8)   Chicago           404,605 tonnes   (up 3.6 percent)

    10 (11) Seoul             385,345 tonnes   (up 23.9 percent)

    11 (10) London Heathrow   359,030 tonnes   (up 12.2 percent
    12 (12) Singapore         353,716 tonnes   (up 14.9 percent)

    13 (13) Amsterdam         326,414 tonnes   (up 13.4 percent)

    14 (15) New York-Newark   312,456 tonnes   (up 19.8 percent)

    15 (14) Paris-CDG         307,439 tonnes   (up 12.5 percent)

    16 (18) Anchorage         277,658 tonnes   (up 26 percent)

    17 (16) Atlanta           261,409 tonnes   (up 1.9 percent)

    18 (17) Dallas-Fort Worth 249,582 tonnes   (up 11.1 percent)

    19 (20) Taipei            235,851  tonnes  (up 22.0 percent)

    20 (19) San Francisco     215,702 tonnes   (up 7.8  percent)

    -Air Cargo Newsroom Tel +44 171 542 8982 Fax+44 171 542 5017

Rtr 09:25 08-17-95

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 28, 1995-- Cellular One today introduced The TransGlobal Card, a special type of  phone card with a unique information chip that, when inserted into a  European-manufactured cellular phone, enables Cellular One's Greater  Bay Area customers to enjoy cellular service while traveling in over  30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

   Customers can make cellular calls while traveling  internationally and can be reached directly on their local Cellular  One number.  Additionally, a 24-hour toll free customer service  number enables TransGlobal Card members to get immediate assistance  in English.  The ease of using The TransGlobal Card will end the  current frustration many people encounter trying to make phone  connections while traveling in foreign countries.

The TransGlobal Card is Not a Calling Card

   The TransGlobal Card looks like a typical phone calling card,  but it is not.  It is a Subscriber Identification Module, or SIM,  card.  Built into the wallet-sized card is the chip needed for  cellular calling in countries that use a cellular technology known  as GSM, or Global System for Mobiles.  GSM is the standard for  cellular service in most of Western Europe, Hong Kong, Australia  and many other parts of the world.  GSM differs from the AMPS system  used in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  The TransGlobal Card can be  inserted into any GSM phone to make it operable internationally.  A  GSM phone will not work without a TransGlobal or SIM card.

Bay Area No. 1 Market for Foreign Travel

   "This service is particularly attractive for our customers in the  Greater San Francisco Bay Area, which is rated the No. 1 market for  foreign travel per capita in the U.S."(a) said Cellular One  president Sue Swenson.  "Whether someone is trying to do business  while on the road locally, nationally or internationally, or just  stay in touch while vacationing, the ability to have anytime,  anywhere communication is an invaluable asset."

As Economical, Far More Convenient Than Landline Calling

   To use the TransGlobal Card, Cellular One customers can either  rent a GSM phone from United Kingdom-based Cellhire, LTD -- $99 for  two weeks -- or, if they are frequent travelers, buy one for  approximately $600 to $800.  A customer need only provide  three-to-five days' notice to Cellular One prior to leaving on a  trip.  A tested GSM phone and pre-programmed TransGlobal Card will  be sent by express delivery.

   Calls dialed by the cellular customer cost $2.49 a minute (price  includes all long distance and cellular airtime charges), less than  or equal to the cost of calling card calls through AT&T.  Calls  customers receive while traveling cost $2.49 a minute plus long  distance charges.  A year's subscription to The TransGlobal Card is  $49.95.

   The TransGlobal Card can be used in the following countries:   Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,  France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong,  Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey (Channel Islands), Latvia,  Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain,  South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirate.

   The TransGlobal Card is the latest in a series of product and  service introductions by Cellular One that has added substantially  to the value of cellular calling.  It follows such recent  innovations as reduced and uniform roaming rates within the U.S. and  a special option for Unlimited Night and Weekend Calling for a fixed  monthly charge.

   Cellular One is the leading cellular company in the Bay Area and  the exclusive provider of digital cellular service.  It is a  partnership of two communications companies: AirTouch  Communications, San Francisco, CA; and AT&T Wireless, Kirkland, WA.

   Note to Editors: (a) According to The Lifestyle Market Analyst,  1994, an annual lifestyle study by National Demographics and  Lifestyles, Inc., 28.2 of households in the San  Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area participate in foreign travel  annually.  That is the highest percentage in the U.S., 1.93 times  the U.S. household rate of participation.

   --30--ac/sf* eh


Cellular One

Karen Schornstein, 415/827-5676

Pager, 253-0441


Torme & Kenney

Steven Freemire, 415/956-1791