DRUG WAR BRIEFS:Suicide Vs. The Royal Treatment

January 12 - The Washington Post reports the upcoming DEA ban on hemp foods, effective February 6: Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), said the DEA's decision "is the kind of thing that undermines the credibility of the so-called war on drugs. There is no basis for the complete prohibition. The amount of THC in these food products are so infinitesimally small -- are addicts going to carry around barrels of pretzels? . . . This is from the same administration that says it's okay to have more arsenic in water than it is to have hemp in cereal."

January 13- Morning News of Northwest Arkansas reports: In the Natural State, as efforts by activists to get medical marijuana on the November ballot have fallen short, a well-known state senator from Little Rock says he plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Sen. John Riggs, D-Little Rock, told The Morning News this week that he thinks state lawmakers, after studying the medical-marijuana issue, will "recognize the facts and have enough compassion" to legalize the now-illicit drug for medicinal uses.

January 14- The (WI) Capital Times reports: A talented junior at Lake Mills High School came home and shot herself to death after being caught at school with a marijuana pipe.

Emily Wedel, 17, was the daughter of Frank and Susan Wedel of Lake Mills. She was one of a set of triplets and also had an older brother.

At school, she was active in sports, music and other activities.

Wedel died at home Thursday at about 4 p.m. of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

"The cause of the death was not drug-related, but there was an incident earlier in the day that was a shock to the family. She was caught at school with a new marijuana pipe," said Police Chief Kathleen Hansen. "She had used it and was caught, but there had never been any other incidents like this before."

Hansen continued, "She was a very gifted child, very musical, in dance and as a singer. It has been a shock to the community. She sang before games and was an athlete on the basketball team. She was involved in cross country, soccer and other activities."

As the news spread through the community Friday evening, parents and students gathered at the high school, where counselors were available.

January 14- The UK Scotsman reports: Prince Harry will escape expulsion from Eton College after he admitted smoking cannabis, despite the school's policy of automatic dismissal for pupils found to have dabbled in drugs.

The 17-year-old prince risked the school's ultimate sanction after he admitted to Prince Charles that he had smoked cannabis at Highgrove, at a nearby pub and at private parties in Gloucestershire last summer.

In recent years, several pupils have been expelled for involvement with drugs under the hardline policy operated by Eton headmaster John Lewis.

Mr. Lewis was informed by Prince Charles of the young prince's admissions but chose not to enforce the school's normal policy of expulsion. Instead, he decided to limit his weekend passes from the college to deny him the opportunity to indulge in drinking and drug taking.

After Harry confessed to his father that he had smoked cannabis, the Prince of Wales arranged for his son to visit a drug rehabilitation centre in London where he could see at first hand the effects of drugs on the lives of regular users.

Tony Blair, whose own son Euan was found drunk and incapable in Leicester Square at the age of 16, was quick to praise Prince Charles's handling of what he acknowledged was a difficult situation, saying: "I know this myself. I think the way that Prince Charles and the Royal Family have handled it is absolutely right and they have done it in a very responsible and, as you would expect, in a very sensitive way for their child."

Send tips and comments to Kevin Nelson kcnelson@premier1.net.

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