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October 2009
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Open Thread

bullet image Links to all the testimony from the California legalization hearing.

bullet image Parents wake up and decide that they may not be so happy after all with having someone watch their child pee.

bullet image More Evidence That Vaporization Works by Bruce Mirken

The article also provides some new practical information on vaporization, suggesting that a temperature of 230 degrees Celsius is ideal, and that using smaller amounts of marijuana in the vaporizer produces more vapor, but does not extract THC more efficiently, so there is no apparent gain in using an amount less than about half a gram at a time.

bullet image Pot Is More Mainstream Than Ever, So Why Is Legalization Still Taboo? by Steve Wishnia

More members of Congress have publicly questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii than have endorsed legalizing marijuana.

Sad.

To win that support, St. Pierre says, the legalization movement needs to sustain grassroots activism and become more multiracial instead of being almost all-white and mainly male. Advancing legalization would also need the support of charismatic politicians early in their careers, as “it’s impossible to flip a 50- or 60-year-old alpha male in Washington.” […]

“We have not achieved the political legitimacy of the gay and lesbian community,” he concludes. “As long as 0.1 percent of cannabis consumers are involved with their own liberation, reform is unlikely.” If just 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 36 million pot smokers would get involved, he says, that would be a constituency of 360,000 activists.

bullet image How’s that big fence working?

SAN MIGUEL, Ariz. — A pickup truck in Mexico pulls up to the 5-foot vehicle barriers that make up part of the multibillion-dollar border fence. A retractable ramp is extended from the truck, forming a bridge up and over the barriers.

Then, a second pickup — this one loaded with a ton of marijuana — rolls over the bridge and into the U.S.

With gadgetry such as custom-built ramps as well as ultralight planes, false doors and good old-fashioned duct tape, smugglers have demonstrated unbounded creativity when it comes to sneaking drugs across the Mexican border. And the U.S. government acknowledges there is only so much it can do to stop the flow. [AP]

Thought so.

bullet image DEA to the elderly: be sure to schedule your pain for times of the day when we allow pain medication to be distributed.

bullet image DrugSense Weekly – a weekly review of the most interesting or relevant articles in the press and on the web related to drug policy reform.

bullet imageDrug War Chronicle – weekly update of drug war news and analysis from Stop the Drug War.org.

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12 comments to Open Thread

  • I’m watching part 2, and at 1:16:28, Sara Simpson from the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement practically makes the best arguments for regulation by listing all the terrible facts about illegal grow operations and Mexican cartel violence. Look how bad it is while it’s illegal, so we should keep it that way!

  • DdC

    My reply to Bruce Mirken… In thousands of years…

    … Seems vaporizing was popular before Jesus. Different method that might be interesting. Like a sweat lodge full of kyndbud vapor. But wingnuts have killed people with sweat lodges so do it right, get reputable assistance.

    The Scythians played a very important part in the Ancient World from the seventh to first century BC

    Cannabis was an integral part of the Scythian cult of the dead, wherein homage was paid to the memory of their departed leaders. After the death and burial of their king, the Scythians would purify themselves by setting up small tepee-like structures which they would enter to inhale the fumes of hemp seeds (and the resinous flower calyxes surrounding the seeds) thrown onto red-hot stones.

    In a famous passage written in about 450 B.C., Herodotus describes these funeral rites as follows:

    …when, therefore, the Scythians have taken some seed of this hemp, they creep under the cloths and put the seeds on the red hot stones; but this being put on smokes, and produces such a steam, that no Grecian vapour-bath would surpass it. The Scythians, transported by the vapour, shout aloud.

    It is most likely the seeds described by Herodotus were seeded buds, and that the charred seeds found by archeologists are what was left over from the burnt buds.
    The Scythians; High Plains Drifters by Chris Bennet

  • bill

    It just struck me reading the links in this post that the common theme of many of them is the outright intellectual dishonesty or, perhaps, the comfort of self-delusion of people too lazy, too willfully ignorant, or too fucking stupid accept incontrovertible evidence Even more disheartening is that this intellectual or willful self-delusion is commonplace in the US.

    Think about it. We are a nation of people inundated by lies over exceedingly important issues. Wars in the MidEast and SW Asia, healthcare reform, climate change, biological evolution, the near-collaspe of the world’s economy and the enabling of it by our politicians. The list is long and each topic has its small cotiere of people railing against the endless lies.

    IT makes me sad to think of the future of the US and the world with the cavalcade of lies and stupidity in the US; particularly because much of the lies are pumped out by the media and by our “leaders” in government. Even more disturbing is the thought of the loss and delay of what mankind could accomplish if we didn’t have to deal with this dishonesty and stupidity.

    Too bad that Mark Twain was right when he said “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”. Life would be much simpler and, i think better.

  • Hope

    There have always been a few parents aware of the dangers and unseemliness of school/government drug testing of their children. It seemed unreasonable and wrong to me, and many others, from the very start.

    I’m so thankful that more parents are waking up to what is being done to them and their children.

    It’s outrageously invasive. It’s also, very much, about a submission to authority thing… a humiliation thing… a putting you in your place thing.

    It’s “smacked” wrong to a lot of people from the beginning.

    How much deeper can government get into our lives and our bodies?

    Why do prohibitionists, all the people that support this dangerous and deadly prohibition, even those that do so by silence and acquiescence, all prohibitionists, all of them, refuse to reason?

    Why do they refuse to be rational? Why are they so afraid?

    They are so afraid of allowing the masses such “Liberties”, that they will kill and abuse people for their consumption of a prohibited plant or medicine.

    Maybe it’s those war drums throbbing in their brains.

    They fear reason like it’s a trick.

  • DdC

    Marijuana Advocate Mason Tvert
    Launches Petition Targeting Drug Czar
    SAFER activist starts campaign aimed at Drug Czar
    Gil Kerlikowske, who says that legalization is “a non-starter”.

    Religious Challenge Update by Chris Bennett

    The Prohibitionist Argument in Under a Minute by Bruce Mirken
    This video is being distributed by a group opposing legislation to tax and regulate marijuana in California. Seriously. We are not making this up.

    A Bit More on That Vaporizer Study by Bruce Mirken
    Yesterday I posted a brief summary of a new study of vaporization of marijuana as an alternative to smoking. Since that original post, I’ve spoken to a couple of researchers about this study, and they raised a few points that seem worth sharing.

    Another California Poll by F. Aaron Smith
    Finds Overwhelming Support for Open Medical Marijuana Sales

  • kaptinemo

    “They fear reason like it’s a trick.”

    Willful ignorance cannot withstand logical scrutiny, and never has been.

    I often liken the prohibs to the Cardinals of the Roman Church’s Inquisition, who visited Galileo to interrogate him about the wonders he claimed he’d seen through his telescope.

    Ol’ Gal tried to ‘lead the horse to water’ by offering them a peek through his ‘scope, and the Cardinals declined, claiming they already knew everything they needed to, courtesy of the Bible. And so Galileo’s works, as well as those of Kepler, Brahe, etc. remained on the Vatican’s Banned Book list for over 400 years. So far as I know, they still are.

    When someone is tricked into investing in a fraud, they feel both sheepish and defensive. When someone voluntarily invests in a fraud – such as drug prohibition agents do – they become loudly and threateningly defensive as compensation for that cognitive dissonance that they have knowingly pimped their intellectual integrity for a paycheck that’s dependent upon the maintenance of lies.

    It must really rub their souls raw, but they did it to themselves. The problem is, they are also hurting others with their insistence upon prosecuting laws based upon those lies, and the bigotry that came from those lies. But that will last only for as long as there’s money to be made peddling those lies, and the money has, in fact, run out.

    The impersonal economic piper doesn’t care about those lies, he wants his payment, and will exact it. And this country doesn’t know it yet, but it will rue the fact that hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars have been p!ssed away on this Children’s Crusade of a DrugWar when we so desperately need them now. It only remains for some enterprising pol to make that connection, and the DrugWar is finished.

  • DdC

    Kapt’ they become loudly and threateningly defensive as compensation for that cognitive dissonance that they have knowingly pimped their intellectual integrity for a paycheck that’s dependent upon the maintenance of lies.

    Twice as many peace officers die by their own hand as are killed in the line of duty implies a suicide rate for law enforcement personnel of epidemic proportions.

    Just coincidence?

  • DdC

    Not new stupid tricks… Remember the reporter wingnut that was going to inject cannabis to show the dangers and to re-classify it back to a schedule “B”. Which they did.

    Reefer madness across the pond

    Reporter Smokes Marijuana to Enhance Story comments

    The BBC is understood to be keen to show the film on the eve of a decision by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to recriminalise cannabis by upgrading it from C to B status. Her decision is expected in the spring.

    How’s that war on drugs going? Brit/Mex\DeCrim

    Brits Copycat U.S. D.E.A.th… A-Motivated?

    It’s Official: Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith Have Lost Their Minds

    Yep, despite all the evidence and the science,
    British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is calling for cannabis
    to be re-classified back up to “B” from “C.” Pete Guither

  • DdC

    It’s Time To End This Modern Prohibition

    Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon used the unfortunate phrase “War on Drugs,” launching a misguided crusade that has encouraged street violence, eaten away at state budgets and packed our prisons with nonviolent offenders.

    The nation’s punitive approach to drugs has turned us into a penal colony. We lock up more of our citizens per capita than brutal dictators like Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro.

    There’s an old saying about seeing the opportunity in a crisis. Perhaps the multiple crises caused by the Great Recession —which has bled state and local treasuries and swelled the federal deficit — will prompt lawmakers to end this futile era of prohibition, which has been costly far beyond the money spent.

    Cash for Kush?
    Just in from Stockton, Mary parks her car and enters the downtown Oakland coffeehouse — but she hasn’t come all this way for a cup of joe. Instead, she peruses a menu of dozens of strains and preparations of marijuana, all grown in California, all taxed, all legal. Producing a wad of cash and proof of her age — but no doctor’s note — for a fragrant ounce of “purple kush,” she departs a satisfied customer, perhaps grabbing a snack at a nearby restaurant before hitting the highway.

    How Much Does It Cost to Build an Air-Conditioned Drug Smuggling Tunnel?

    War on drugs: Definition of insanity

    Another California Poll by F. Aaron Smith
    Finds Overwhelming Support for Open Medical Marijuana Sales

  • Toroidotove

    Hello everyone,

    Im new to the forum and just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Daniel and I’m form Australia. I’ve been a long time lurker who has finally decided to make an account and contribute.

  • Fidel Castro may not be a hero for western countries but he did a good job in providing subsidized medical care in Cuba’-`

  • the us hates fidel castro but he has lots of achievements too in Cuba.-“