Newsbriefs 6/18/99

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Jane Tseng, [email protected]

AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister's Drug Guide "Propaganda," ACT Health Minister Charges

ACT Health Minister Michael Moore says the Prime Minister's new "Tough on Drugs" leaflet is "a piece of propaganda" and has urged him to withdraw it, The Canberra Times reported. The leaflet was distributed in a meeting of police and health officials last week. Moore charged that the leaflet contained several inaccuracies and departed from the national drug strategy by failing to mention harm minimization, which is a significant part of Australia's drug policy. In addition, Moore said the Prime Minister had misinterpreted a study on the Swiss Heroin Trial in a way that would back his opposition to one occurring in Australia.

KENTUCKY: Hemp Beer Brewer Sues Ad Agency

Kentucky Hemp Beer, a subsidiary of Lexington Brewing Company, has filed a lawsuit against Ketchum Advertising for producing advertisements that associate the beer, which is brewed with hemp seeds, with marijuana. Phrases such as "undetectable to police dogs" appeared on the ads, which appeared last summer in advertising trade magazines. Kentucky Hemp Beer claims that it never gave permission to Ketchum Advertising to make or distribute the ads. The agency's creative director, Lee St. James, said he created the ads in hopes of gaining Kentucky Hemp Beer as a client. St. James reportedly printed 1,500 posters featuring the ads, but only distributed a few.

"If you can't do fun ads for a product made out of marijuana seeds, what can you do?," St. James told the Wall Street Journal last year.

But industrial hemp activists, many of whom hate to see marijuana confused with hemp, disagreed. "Nobody that I know in the agricultural end of the hemp industry wants anything to do with the legalization of marijuana," Joe Hickey, executive director of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, told the Lexington Herald-Leader last week.

The beer company is seeking $2 million for lost sales and punitive damages.

CALIFORNIA: Prosecutor Charged with Drug Trafficking

Orange County, California deputy prosecutor Bryan Ray Kazarian was charged in federal court on Monday with serving in and providing confidential information to a drug-trafficking ring. Other members of the ring included in the charges were top members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang in Orange County. The ring allegedly shipped materials to Orange County to be used to make methamphetamine. Kazarian was not released on bail and if convicted, could serve up to 20 years in prison.

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Issue #95, 6/18/99 Reformers Slandered, Harassed and Threatened at House Subcommittee Hearings on Legalization | Juvenile Justice Bill Expected to Pass with Worst Provisions Intact | Swiss Vote Again to Continue Heroin Experiment | Palliative or Repressive? Conservative-Sponsored Legislation Impacts on Pain, Suicide and Drug Policy Debates | Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Moves to House Floor | Geraldo Rivera Drug War Report This Weekend (6/20) | Newsbriefs | RESOURCES: Kids and Drug Education, Drug Control Strategies, Medical Marijuana Report, Hemp Video | New Research Finds Marijuana Offenders Crowding Nation's Prisons and Jails | Canadian Senator Urges Drug Policy Review, Endorses Legalization of Marijuana, Soft Drugs | Errata on Breyer Appointment | Editorial: US House of Repression
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