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Drug Fight May Refocus On State's Big Suppliers

Drug Fight May Refocus On State's Big Suppliers image
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LANSmG- Michigan pólice agencies may shift their emphasis to trying to knock the big pushers and suppliers of illegal drugs out of business. This. was the theme Thursday as federal and state officials explored ways to coordínate their drug-control program and to make them more effective. Among those attending the meeting called by Lt. Gov. James H. Brickley were Robert Pinco, who is with the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs in the Department of Justice; Atty. Gen. Frank J. Kelley; Col. John R. Plants, State Pólice Director, and County tors and Sheriffs. Purpose of the meeting was to try to achieve greater cooperation between federal and local law-enforcement agencies. A proposed law, which has been passed by the House and is pending in the Senate, was cited as necessary to help local pólice agencies achieve a greater degree of cooperation with federal authorities. The bilí would regúlate drugs and bring Michigan law up to date with existing federal laws. Richard D. McLellan, administrative assistant to the governor, s a i d it was agreed that current laws are considered ineffective in controlling the sale and use of drugs in Michigan. The n e w approaeh, he explained, would bring Michigan into conformity with federal regulations so that greater cooperation between the two levéis of law-enforcement agencies could be achieved. Major emphasis would be put on knocking the big suppliers and pushers out of business, he said. Coupled with that would be greater use of treatment and care facilities. If the supply of illegal drugs can be reduced, McLellan said, then the treatment programs have a b e 1 1 e r chance of cutting down the demand. The measure would list drugs which would come under the category of "controlled substances," such as narcotics and so-called dangerous drugs. The State Board of Pharmacy would be given broader powers under the proposal to regúlate the manufacture and distribution of the controlled substances. Under the terms of the bill, marijuana would be considered a controlled substance but placed in a category which would get it out of the hard-narcotic class. Marijuana is listed as a "nonaddictive" substance which is "not capable of overdose usage and resultantl self-destructive effects." I