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November 2009
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Open Thread

It’s still a holiday week, but I’m back home now after a wonderful visit with my parents. I have internet access again, and am working to catch up (along with enjoying the weekend).

I’m noticing a lot of tension in the comments from some folks. Don’t overdo it. It’s good to get worked up, but it’s unproductive to be randomly angry at the world. I won’t allow the comments section to degrade into a lot of unrelated anger. Discussions are much better.

And again, thanks to all the folks who keep me informed with useful links and information. Additional thanks to the wonderful folks at Transform.

bullet image Did US law spur Mexico’s meth sales?

The US slowed production of meth by cutting off key ingredients. But a blow to US methamphetamine labs became a boon to La Familia drug gang in Mexico.

Yep. That’s exactly the way the drug war works.

“The entire history of US interdiction policies toward Latin America in the 20th century has created that pattern. The inadvertent [results] of crackdowns or interdiction policies in the Andes, and in the Caribbean, have always had enormously adverse effects,” says Paul Gootenberg, a history professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and the author of “Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug.”

bullet image Speaking of how the drug war works… Program to help truckers attracts drug smugglers

A U.S. program that offers trusted trucking companies speedy passage across American borders has begun attracting just the sort of customers who place a premium on avoiding inspections: Mexican drug smugglers.

bullet image Interesting and useful document (pdf): Legislative Innovation in
Drug Policy
by Martin Jelsma, Transnational Institute.

bullet image Israel Moves Toward Expanded Medical Marijuana Law

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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25 comments to Open Thread

  • kaptinemo

    From the second article on shipping:

    “But among the small fraction of trucks that are inspected, authorities have found multiple loads of contraband, including eight tons of marijuana seized during one week in April.”

    Tons.

    Tons.

    TONS

    Now, think of a hammer. Inscribed on its’ side is the word FAILURE. You heft that hammer up over your head, swinging it down, slamming it squarely on the noggins of the prohibs with a corresponding sound effect “Tonnnns! Tonnnns!”, the sound echoing from impacting hard, empty skulls.

    In a rhetorical way, that’s exactly what needs to be done, and right now.

    Another tack to take with the prohibs: how many TONS and TONS got through? Those tons that escaped have to be vastly greater than what has been interdicted. How much was spent catching what little got captured?

    Raise that hammer, folks. Raise that hammer and swing it, for the prohibs can’t dodge it coming.

  • Duncan

    Yes, every day I read LE holding up what proves that prohibition doesn’t work as proof of its success, and read comments from people who believe it.

    Sometimes I wish I was a moron. Because then total idiocy wouldn’t be so annoying.

  • I unleashed my tension relentlessly and personally last night via e-mail to NORML and KSL.COM.

    I shoot my big fat ugly mouth off every single chance I get now a days..but don’t worry…it’s usually________’s.

  • Chris

    “Random inspections with summary execution on the spot of the driver in front of all the other waiting truckers might reduce smuggling a bit.”

    Apparently this guy didn’t read the article – the driver’s options are to take a bribe or take a bullet. They really don’t have a choice, and killing them for being caught at the border wouldn’t solve anything. It’s not like drug cartels care about the driver. Why do people always suggest such stupid, emotional options as solutions?

  • ezrydn

    I’ve got an inquisitive question. When there’s a house raid and they find guns, they usually take them. Do the take all the kitchen knives, forks and scissors, too? Why are guns the only weapon they confiscate? Would a power bow be taken? Ask the next cop you run into. 🙂

  • Emil von Fernanper

    Prohibition works great for drug cartels and the mafia.

  • DdC

    Works for the outlaws too.

  • DdC

    Depends EZ,
    If its close to Christmas they take everything on the grounds that it was purchased with drug profits. Toys, furniture, cars, houses, cash and drugs to give snitches to trap more sick people. Brandishing knives and dogs are justification to open fire. Must be pretty bad for Oh Henry Hyde to say something…

    FEAR: Forfeiture Endangers American Rights

    “Civil asset forfeiture has allowed police to view all of America as some giant national K-Mart, where prices are not just lower, but non-existent — a sort of law enforcement ‘pick-and-don’t-pay.”
    —U.S. Representative Henry Hyde

  • DdC

    “Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning,
    why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment
    prohibiting anybody from learning anything?
    If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why,
    in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.”

    ~ Will Rogers

    HEMPOLOGY 101 CLASSES Sept 09
    Is that time of year. As the University settles into classes,
    Hempology began its 4th year of the Lecture Series.

    VIU Hempology welcomes Jodie Emery
    Vancouver Island University

    At This School, It’s Marijuana in Every Class By Tamar Lewin
    CN Source: New York Times November 28, 2009 Southfield, Mich.

    At most colleges, marijuana is very much an extracurricular matter. But at Med Grow Cannabis College, marijuana is the curriculum: the history, the horticulture and the legal how-to’s of Michigan’s new medical marijuana program. “This state needs jobs, and we think medical marijuana can stimulate the state economy with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars,” said Nick Tennant, the 24-year-old founder of the college, which is actually a burgeoning business (no baccalaureates here) operating from a few bare-bones rooms in a Detroit suburb.

    How Much Weed Humor Can NYT Writers Roll Into a Cannabis College Profile?
    By Foster Kamer November 28, 2009
    After getting into Tulane, NYU, USC, Michigan State, an Ivy, a safety school, and whatever liberal arts school you threatened your Republican parents with actually attending, there’s only one you really need to worry about: Cannabis College. Bongs away. Yes, the real Hogwarts—of Weed, naturally—actually exists, and got a wonderful New York Times feature this week in which, like every other time the New York Times tries to talk about weed, we anxiously await whatever bush league-level snickering they can sneak into the copy. Since B-Real isn’t an adjunct professor, this could prove difficult for them.

    Cannabis College Home

    “A violently active, intrepid, brutal youth that is what I am after…
    I will have no intellectual training.
    Knowledge is ruin for my young men.”

    ~ Adolf Hitler quoted by John Gunther “The Nation”

  • claygooding

    When an accredited college or medical university offers doctors and interns training in the use of marijuana as a medicine,then we have won.
    It is the one thing missing in our movement for recognition that marijuana has been a medicine to mankind since a caveman threw a funny smelling bush on the campfire. And then he killed a brontosaurus and ate it,by himself.

  • claygooding

    Something of note:
    “Drug cartel leaders find safety in Bolivia”
    I predicted when Mexico made possession of drugs in small quantities that the cartels would probably start moving out of Mexico,so the violence would calm down and they could start making millions while selling less marijuana,
    by developing Juarezdam and Cancundam,for the multitudes of people that would vacation there if not for the violence. Found the above headine earlier but forgot to copy but you can find it. Now,with the cartel leaders moving their operations to a country that has had enough of our governments war on drugs,they will be able to increase their wealth without having to move marijuana,and other drugs across our borders.It is the smart business move and maybe it will reduce the deaths of innocents and law enforcement personnel. If the violence decreases over the next 2 month’s,they could make a killing(pun intended)at the spring break,this year.

  • claygooding

    oops,left out the word decriminalized,after quantities,sorta.

  • claygooding

    PS. “Marijuana is addictive to people the same way sex is,anything that good needs repeating!”

  • DdC

    They know…
    Now they know we know…’

    73 groups for medical cannabis

  • DavesNotHere

    “Why are guns the only weapon they confiscate?”

    You have most Democrats and a good chunk of Republicans to thank for gun prohibition and zero tolerance policies. The most dangerous thing on earth is a woman’s mind, in my opinion, but I ever so rarely want to see those confiscated. The same superiority mentality being used to outlaw guns was used to oppress women.

    “Doctor spends a great deal of time as SWAT team member”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-swat-doctor-29-bd-nov29,0,349534.story

    Sounds like a good amendment to the Nationalist Obamacare, to mandate at least one Doctor on every SWAT team raid and lock any Doctor in a cage that refuses to go, like the FEDS will be able to do to poor people when they can’t afford health insurance or fail a piss test.

    What’s it cost to make a quarter pound cheeseburger at home? Say, $.80? At McDonalds they charge $2 for the same thing. I say we tax the ingredients to make hamburgers at home so that it costs almost as much to make your own hamburgers as it does to buy them at McDonalds, and then we’ll make up an excuse of “tax fairness” to justify an outrageously high.

    Use that tax on the ingredients to make hamburgers to pay to lock Doctors in cages that won’t go on SWAT raids or to lock poor people in cages that can’t afford to pay big corporate insurance premiums. That is exactly what this country needs.

    Open and insane thread.

  • claygooding

    Suggestion for Obama:Close down the ONDCP and all it’s drug war agencies and use their budget to pay for your health care reform.

  • Tim

    Pot-TV has been moving a lot of their old material over to youtube. Here’s a classic I found:

    The John Walters Remix

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXpw23yGuFI

  • DdC

    Are we following the news or is it following us?

    End ‘Medical’ Sham and Just Legalize Marijuana By Joe Kuschell
    CN Source: Record Searchlight November 29, 2009 California
    First off, let me say that any hint of a comparison of these marijuana dispensaries and their staff to pharmacies is a downright travesty. Pharmacies are licensed and regulated with very strict state and federal laws. The staff are trained, licensed professionals who have their fingerprints registered with the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and state and local law enforcement. They have cleared criminal background checks and are devoid of any substance abuse issues.

    Former Deputy Drug Czar Still Looks For Marijuana Prohibition To Pay Her
    Reading a puff piece on one of the most disingenuous anti-cannabis activists in America, Dr. Andrea Barthwell of IL and VA, made my eyes roll as the contradictions and hypocrisies kept coming out–like a parade of clowns in one’s mind.

    US IL: Info Junkie: Andrea Barthwell

    NeoCon Flicts of Interest Bush Barthwell & Drugs

    All we absolutely need is a law against pundits Bullshit.

    US FL: Column: A Dubious Medical High by George Will

  • Tim

    Ugh…

    http://tinyurl.com/y8zc3nr

    DR. DAVE: As long as you have the so-called “new fake I.D.” of a medical marijuana prescription, you get to sit in a plush dining room and order specially prepared food and beverages while you listen to Kenny G play blues sax on Bose surround-sound.

    BILL: But, if the pot is actually prescribed, say, for glaucoma and to relieve pain in terminal patients, isn’t calling it a ”fake I.D.” a bit over the top?

    DR. DAVE: Bill, please don’t swallow all their hype. Do you see any optometrist’s eye-wear dispensary hosting a pot café?

  • Paul

    I was interested in the George Will article. He is kind of mushy on drug legalization, alternately criticizing the drug warriors and the legalizers at the same time.

    I think his judgement regarding the benefits and costs of drug legalization have merit. There will be some consequences for legalizing MJ, and maybe less benefit to the treasury than proponents are touting. But I think the consequences of legalization will be far more tolerable than the consequences of prohibition.

    One thing he points out is that the medical MJ scene, which has come about as a back door into legalization, is corrosive to respect for the law. That may be true, and if the law was so respectable in the first place I may have more sympathy for that argument.

    However, I see little respectable about anything but the most basic of laws these days. Not in the law itself, in the way laws are created, in they way they are enforced, or in the way they are judged. There is much to be feared, of course, but not respected or loved.

  • Bruce

    I had an absolutely stunning quote of the day but forgot what it was. Something good, something,, alcohol bad. Something,,, something good ,,,alcohol bad…
    Imagine Einstein after 15 beers, the jerk genius.
    Liberty good, tyranny bad, tolerance somewhere in between.

  • Flip RacMcgroin

    DDc that Will Rogers quote was great I laughed aloud. Thank you!

  • DdC

    That was a pre-internet oldie Flip…
    We need more Will Rogers’…

    “Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”
    – Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1898

    Detroit Cannabis College Offers Course in Growing Marijuana
    A school in Detroit, Med Grow Cannabis College, offers courses in how to grow, use and profit from medicinal marijuana.

  • DavesNotHere

    5 years in jail for “illegal” Viagra? Sheesh.

    http://www.pjstar.com/homepage/x441560970/Police-Supermarket-found-illegally-selling-Viagra

    “Shop Rite’s owner, Vasant K. Patel, 39, 2909 W. Quartz St., was arrested during the Nov. 5 search after police found loose Viagra pills inside plastic baggies stuffed inside boxes, police spokesman Doug Burgess said. He was booked into the Peoria County Jail and was released Nov. 9 on $10,000 bond.

    Patel was indicted by a Peoria County grand jury on Nov. 17 on a charge of unlawful possession with intent to deliver, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. His next court date is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Thursday.”

  • DdC

    ‘MEDICAL’ MARIJUANA INVITES ABUSE

    WHAT HAS COLUMNIST WILL BEEN SMOKING?
    I wish that for once, a “know it all” journalist such as columnist George Will actually would do some research before writing such drivel ( “Drop ‘medical’ from medical pot laws,” column, Page D3, Nov. 29 ).

    corrosive to respect for the law.
    Paul

    The law is corrosive and deserves no respect. The fallout is less respect for law enforcement. Can’t put the cart before the horse. Those who enforce corrosive laws are corrosive to society. As they have been. Cops are now relegated to be District Attorney gophers. Making cases to win profits for the state. Believing they loose when an innocent victim goes free. This is no way to maintain Peace. Forcing cops to regulate by church or corporate influence and greed by the state for tax revenue has no bearing on the Ganja plant or its effects. Can’t tax a vegetable. Justice has left the building and respecting this vigilante horde of DEAth LAPDogs is anti-American.

    There is no way to “merit” BS. There is no way to “merit” physical harms that don’t exist in reality, just because an opinion or law changes. No victims now, no victims for a thousand years. No victims. Just because we stop stigmatizing and incarcerating people for choosing a safer substance won’t make it dangerous or hazardous. California consumption leveled off after Prop 215. But even with lower prices bringing more tokers, and probably less booze and booze related accidents. There is still no physical basis for psychic predictions of increased harm. Just the facts ma’am.

    100 million toke safely in the present combat zone with prohibition being the only harmful factor, and usually only to inexperienced. Same ones paying more for the convenience of a Buyers Club and entering the system. So Will fails his readers in objective journalism with fantasies and delusions of propagandists. Something W.F.Buckley had the guts to avoid. Will’s appeasing the Fla Drug War Industrial Complex with Yellow Journalism, and pretty damn typical at that. There is nothing out of the ONDCP or its puppet departments that isn’t anecdotal, data manipulations and repeated, boring propaganda. Always sometime in the future and when past futuristic reefer madness catches up where is George Will? Crap forced on school kids for 3 generations. Its no different than assuming there must be something wrong with witches or gays. They wouldn’t go to all that trouble if they were innocent.

    Plus the incentive of profits. Wall Street prohibition paraphernalia profits. Keeping competition off the Wall Street Dow Jones profits. Funding gazillions to the media and Madison Ave Advertising. Each decade a new and improved bogeyman, hobgoblin or statistic. Never is the fraud exposed, or given adequate exposure when it is. Fear tactics and fuzzy numbers repeated by hackers like Will do a disservice to the readers. Bidens lie RAVE Act or Nixon’s lie CSA are held together with wishful thinking and false prayers. Shuck and Jive not a part of the laws of Physics. 4 decades and chicken little still reigns. While the media keeps selling Kellogg’s and Krap regardless of reality.

    “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
    ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. RIP
    Commentary in The National Review,
    April 29, 1983, p. 495
    DWR: Wednesday, February 27, 2008