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Drug Czar, Hemp, and Lies

For those who were not aware, Governor Schwarzenegger bowed to pressure and vetoed the hemp bill in California.
Well, this got the drug czar all excited in his “blog” with the bizarre entry: Terminated! Gov. Schwarzenegger Vetoes Pro-Drug Hemp Bill
Scott Morgan has already responded: Someone Tell the Drug Czar That Hemp Isn’t a Drug, but I couldn’t resist as well, because the entire post is classic ONDCP doublespeak — probably written by one of the big guys there (probably Riley) and not just an intern.
So let’s take a look:

While drug legalization groups extol hemp as some kind of miracle-plant, many Americans aren‰t getting the full story. Industrial hemp and marijuana are not just “related” — they come from the same cannabis sativa plant.

1. Note the use of “drug legalization groups.” Of course, they’re not the only ones, but he paints it as a special interest thing this way.
2. “…extol hemp as some kind of miracle-plant” is a set-up in terms of language for a counter-point, and yet no actual counter-point is given — it’s just worded in an ominous way. It’s like saying “Some people say that brownies taste great, but in fact, they’re actually made with chocolate.”

The real agenda of hemp enthusiasts is to legalize smoked marijuana and it is no coincidence that legalizing hemp would complicate efforts to curb the production and use of smoked marijuana by young people.

Again, notice the use conjoined statements that have no connection, but are merely used together to sound conspiratorially ominous. And not even the slightest attempt is made to justify the statements, both of which are extremely weak. Also note the gratuitous use of the phrase “young people.” Apparently law enforcement is too dumb to differentiate between hemp and marijuana, even with labs to test for THC content (and regulations for growing hemp). This stupidity will cause cops to somehow assume that any marijuana being grown (and destined for use by young people) must be industrial hemp and so should be ignored. Following this reasoning, the drug czar must be looking into outlawing hibiscus as well.

California Governor Schwarzenegger understands this, and that’s why he vetoed a bill that would have made the drug more available. He also made this point:

“Under federal law, all cannabis plants, regardless of variety or THC content, are simply considered to be ‘marijuana,’ which is a federally regulated controlled substance,” he said, adding that failure to get a permit to grow it could lead to criminal charges.” [AP]

Governor Schwarzenegger understands what? That cops are too dumb to identify regulated plants, and because of that, we need to deny farmers additional opportunities for livelihood while we import hemp from other countries?
Then note how the drug czar approvingly links to Arnold making the point that there’s no difference between industrial hemp and marijuana under federal law. This is another way that the drug czar lies. He knows that the CSA specifically exempts industrial hemp from Schedule 1, but by linking, he lets Arnold make the fraudulent claim even though his link is a lie — a specific intent to deceive.
In their lawsuit (pdf) against the DEA for growing hemp in North Dakota, Monson and Hauge note the specific language in the Controlled Substances Act that excludes industrial hemp.

The term ”marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether
growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such
plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or
preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the
mature stalks
of such [cannabis] plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt,
derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin
extracted therefrom), fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plantá.

21 U.S.C. Ű802(16)(emphasis added). In fact, the express exclusion of hemp stalk, fiber, oil and sterilized seed was adopted by Congress more than 60 years ago in order to make clear that Congress‰ intention was only to regulate drug-cannabis and that it did not intend to interfere with the legitimate hemp industry.

(For more on the North Dakota case, visit VoteHemp.)
Back to the czar’s “blog.”

Marijuana is not a harmless substance. Public health experts know that cannabis is much more powerful today than it was 30 years ago and has been proven to be psychologically addictive. If we are to make the drug problem in America smaller, we must push back against the forces that spread misinformation and promote policies that would lead to increased use of dangerous drugs.

OK, you should be adept at spotting it by now. Note the first two sentences. See how he combines “not a harmless substance” with “more powerful today.” Even though there’s no evidence at all that any actual increase in potency has any negative effects (since marijuana use is self-titrated.) And psychologically addictive? Sounds bad, but just about anything can be psychologically addictive (eating, work, running, video games, etc.)
The last sentence? Again you’ve got the completely unfounded ominous combination (industrial hemp=lead to increased use of dangerous drugs). And then…
Well, I like to think of this as a personal response. I may be reading too much into it, but… Just about a week ago, I published this piece about how the drug czar is required by law to lie. It got picked up by digg and got a ton of visibility. (See Scott Morgan’s piece on how digg and other internet viral modes help get our message to lots of people.) And now the drug czar warns of the “forces that spread misinformation.”
Hmmm. Right.
“bullet” Bonus round: In this CNN story, can you spot the tactics?

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, however, is skeptical because of the burden hemp would place on law enforcement resources. Also, hemp advocates are regularly backed — sometimes surreptitiously — by the pro-marijuana movement, the office alleges.
“ONDCP cautions that, historically, the hemp movement has been almost entirely funded by the well-organized and well-funded marijuana legalization lobby,” said spokesman Tom Riley. “All we do is ask people not to be naive about what’s really going on here.”

“bullet” Laugh of the day comes from DEA spokesman Michael Sanders who claims that the DEA has no interest in policy — it only enforces the laws.

“When it comes to laws, we don’t have a dog in that fight,” he said.

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