A Westwood shampoo manufacturer has sued the head of a national anti-drug organization, alleging that he defamed the company in a recent newspaper article. Alterna Inc. filed the civil suit against Glenn Levant, a former deputy Los Angeles police chief and founder of DARE America Inc., a private, nonprofit group that promotes the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program to schoolchildren nationwide. The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Levant made false and malicious statements about the company when he said in a Nov. 6 Los Angeles Times article that the company's Alterna Hemp Shampoo "is a subterfuge to promote marijuana" because its ads feature a cannabis leaf. In a news release, the company said it would drop the suit if Levant retracted his statement in the newspaper, paid the company's legal fees and financed "correctional advertising to inform all Alterna customers of Levant's inaccurate comments." Levant called the suit "a cheap publicity gimmick" that is without merit.