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May 10, 1978 - Image 3

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-10

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The Michiaan Daily-Wednesday, May 10, 1978-Page 3

Paraquat kits
under attack

By JUDY RAKOWSKY
If fear of paraquat poisoning is
causing you to curtail your dope smok-
ing, don't let the new drugstore
paraquat test kits lead you to drop your
guard.
The kits, designed to detect the
presence of the toxic herbicide which
the Mexican government is spraying on
marijuana fields, are inadequate, ac-
cording to Alfred Cook of the Michigan
Bio-Medical Laboratory in Flint. Cook
says his team of PhD chemists gives no
credence to the reliability of the kits.
"IT LEAVES a lot to be
desired-those kits won't help
anybody," said Cook. "It's a com-
plicated chemical reaction and some
neophytes can't just read about it and
put out a kit."
The Flint laboratory is authorized by
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Ad-
ministration to test marijuana samples
for paraquat. Cook encouraged all pot
smokers to send a sample to the Flint
laboratory because, he pointed out,
"You're playing with death and the
average person is not aware of it."
Cook described the symptoms of the
paraquet poisoning according to its
stages of accumulation in the body:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anoxia
(loss of breathing capabilities), loss of
consciousness, coma and finally death.
Cook said he is afraid that it will take a
death from paraquat poisoning to really
arouse public concern.
THE LABORATORY found 26 per
cent of the 1000 samples tested in a
single week contained up to 230 parts
per million (ppm.) of paraquat. Cook

said the commercial test kits barely
detect amounts of the herbicide of up to
200 ppm., which is considered a very
strong concentration. Even then the
color of the solution that indicates
paraquat's presence quickly faded.
A Lansing representative of the
National Organization for the Reform
of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Roger
Winthrop, agreed with Cook on the
fallability of the test kits. Some kits are
ineffective because they contain the
wrong chemicals for detecting
paraquat, he said.
Winthrop cited tests performed by
Michigan State University, the Drug
Education Center and Pharchem of
California, and stated, "Nobody is
willing to say these kits work." The
chemicals have a brief shelf life and
cannot be relied upon for an accurate
indicator reaction.
COOK SAID HE is very disillusioned
by conflicting reports originating from
various U.S. post offices over the
legality of allowing marijuana to travel
through the postal system to testing
centers.
"I think the policy has been handed
down, it's just not on the local level
yet," said Cook. Until the post office
announces its position on the situation,
Cook added, "I can't encourage people
to send samples."
However, he pointed out that postal
workers are not in a position to open
mail, and postmarks cannot be traced
to a sender. Individuals are further
assured of anonymity because they
need only enclose a seven-digit iden-
See PARAQUAT, Page 14

Kansas gay rights ordinance repealed AP Photo
Rev. Ron Adrian, head of the group seeking repeal of Wichita, Kansas' gay rights
ordinance, registers yesterday before casting his ballot in the citywide referen-
dum. With over half the votes counted, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor
of repeal. See story, Page 9.
City may swi'tch to
punch card voting
By DAN OBERDORFER struction booklet. Each candidate
Ann Arbor voters going to the polls in would be listed in the instruction
the upcoming August primary may find booklet and would have a number
they don't know how to vote - literally. beside his or her name. The voter would
The city is contemplating switching punch out the perforated square on the
to a new punch card method of voting IBM card corresponding to the desired
then which would save an estimated candidate.
$30,000 annually, according to a report IF THE CITY does abandon its 204
issued by City Administrator Sylvester lever machines, they could be sold for
Murray. $61,200 according to Murray.
THE NEW SYSTEM, which has been Murray told Council during a brief
under City Council scrutiny since 1973, discussion of punch card voting Mon-
seems to have enough support to be ap- day night that the city should expect a
proved during budget hearings later savings of $29,290 for fiscal year 1978-79
this month. It is currently in use in 11 if the punch cards were utilized. He said
other governmental units within his figures included provisions for the
Washtenaw County. necessary new equipment to be pur-
Mayor Louis Belcher said he supports chased over a five-year period but do
the measure and foresees no difficulties' not include the revenues which may be
in its passage. procured from selling the old machines.
The punch card voting device con- The bulk of the savings would come
sists of three components: an IBM pun- from a reduction in the number of work
ch card, a punching stylus, and an in- See CITY, Page 7

Trade denial defended

From Staff and Wire Reports
The State Department yesterday said
the denial of the sale of infrared
geological equipment by an Ann Arbor
firm to China does not represent a
policy change and should not
discourage future U.S.-China trade.
The application for an exportation
license was made by the Daedalus Co.
for a total contract value of $7 million.
The contract includes aircraft and
geological scanning equipment, which
the government suspects will be rebuilt

and used to intercept U.S Military
communications.
DAEDALUS' president Alan Parker
is attempting legal recourse for the
denial, but he is awaiting a response to
his four Freedom of Information Act
requests. Parker filed the requests last
Friday, and he maintains that he will be
granted the permit after the matter is
straightened out.
Hodding Carter III, a State Depar-
tment spokesman, said, "The denial
See TRADE, Page 14

today
to answer questions about President Carter's
Happenings-..-. proposed jet sale to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
... don't get rolling until noon when the Com- Sitting side-by-side were Secretary of State Cyrus
mission for Women holds an open meeting in room Vance; Defense Secretary Harold Brown; Under
2549 LSA ... at 3, the Biological Research Review Secretary of State Warren Christopher; Gen. David
Committee (Committee C) meets in 3087 School of Jones, acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff;
Public Health I. Visitors are welcome but should and Paul Warnke, chief U.S. disarmament
call 764-5435 in advance . . . Ohio State Prof. G. negotiator. The senators had plenty of questions for
Freud talks about "The Properties of Orthogonal Vance, Brown, Christopher and Jones. But during
Polynominals" at 3 in 3201 Angell Hall ... the first two hours, no one had a query for poor
finally, a reminder that Project Outreach Paul Watnke. Then there was a brief break during
registration will be open until Friday. Many projec- the hearings when Warnke was heard to tell an aide,
ts are still looking for interested satudents. For "I'm exhausted by this strain on my capabilities."

~1

the hospital's parking lot for an afternoon of
rooting on their slow-moving steeds. But alas,
hospital spokesman Tom Lake says "There's just
not enough interest among the house staff. It takes a
lot of time to groom a turtle for this race. For the
last two or three years it's been sinking. Now, it's
sunk." In recent years, the derby was part of
Preakness Week, a series of festivities leading up to
the running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico
Course. Some 80 of the hard-shelled creatures were
entered last year. The grand prize was-what else-
an engraved bedpan.
On the outside ...
You can put that umbrella away because it will be
partly sunny today with no showers in sight. Expect
a high in the low 60s, a low near 40.

more information, call 764-9179 or drop by the
Outreach office, 554 Thompson.
Brain strain-...
An impressive array of officiAlssat together at a
hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Turtle tales-.
The 47-year-old Johns Hopkins Hospital Turtle
Derby has slowed to a halt, the victim of apathy.
The annual race was a spring rite that brought doc-
tors, nurses and aides from their medical posts to

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