Newsbrief: Hempster Becomes Local Hero in Icy Pond Rescue 2/27/04

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Viewers of NBC local news in and near Washington, DC last Friday night heard about two young girls who fell through the ice of a thawing pond in Loudoun County, Virginia, and the neighbor who rushed in and pulled them out. "Authorities thank Eric Steenstra" for rescuing the girls, the news report concluded.

If any hemp food enthusiasts or others following the issue happened to be watching, they might have wondered if the hero of Loudoun County was the long-time hemp activist by the same name. Indeed, Eric Steenstra, best known to Drug War Chronicle readers for his work with the organization Vote Hemp (, was standing on the deck of his Broadlands, VA, home when he noticed the two girls in an icy pond nearby. One was already in the water. He took off, but by the time he got to the pond both had fallen through the ice.

Steenstra, a 6'4" 40-year-old, jumped into the pond, finding the water over his head, and managed to push the first girl to shore. By then, the second girl had disappeared beneath the water, but Steenstra dove in and found her and got her to shore. She coughed up water, but neither girl was seriously injured.

Streenstra is a bit embarrassed by the media attention his selfless act attracted, he told DRCNet. "I don't think I did anything different from what anyone else would have done," he said modestly. "There were a couple of kids in big trouble, and I happened to be there at the right time. I have two girls of my own," he explained.

The mother of the two girls, ages 6 and 8, called to thank him, Steenstra said. "I'm just glad it turned out okay," he added.

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Issue #326, 2/27/04 Editorial: Needless Danger | Nevada Voters to Get Second Chance to Legalize Marijuana | New York: Medical Marijuana on the Move in Albany and NYC | South Dakota "Internal Possession" Drug Law Upheld | Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Denies Federal Appeal in Medical Marijuana Case | Newsbrief: Campaign Watch -- Nader on Drugs | Newsbrief: Utah Federal Judge Questions Mandatory Minimums | Newsbrief: South Carolina Urine Felon Jailed for Six Months | Newsbrief: Psychedelic Pioneer Humphry Osmond Dead at 86 | Newsbrief: California Narcs Kill Wrong Man | Newsbrief: Hempster Becomes Local Hero in Icy Pond Rescue | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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