Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Contact:  Sun, 22 Feb 1998


The Treasury has launched an inquiry after a cannabis joint was found in a
smoking room close to the offices of Gordon Brown and Keith Hellawell, the
government's drug tsar, writes Yvonne Ridley.

The remains of the joint were discovered 10 days ago in an ashtray, after a
female member of staff reported that she recognised the distinctive smell
of the drug.

The offender left no clue except for a stubbed out, hand-rolled cigarette,
apparently containing traces of cannabis resin.

The smokers' room, which is directly beneath Hellawell's offices, is only
for the use of government employees. Civil servants are forbidden to take
drugs onto government premises and face disciplinary action or prosecution
if caught.

Some Treasury staff believe a visitor to the offices in Great George
Street, close to parliament, was responsible.

Others suspect staff from external agencies who go to the offices to carry
out routine administrative work.

The discovery is being taken seriously by internal security staff at the
government offices. Hellawell promised to take a hard line against cannabis
when he took on the role of drugs tsar last year, and is understood to be
unamused. He has reportedly complained about lax security.