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December 2009
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Open Thread

bullet image bullet image The Secret to Legal Marijuana? Women by Daniela Perdoma

Why women have signed onto marijuana reform — and why they could be the movement’s game-changers.

Good article.

bullet image Nicolas Cage new UNODC ambassador for justice

Mr. Costa said: “Nicolas Cage’s characters have exposed us to some of the darkest aspects of human nature. Now he is championing one of the most noble – the quest for justice. The Lord of War has become a messenger for peace, the Bad Lieutenant has turned into a good cop, and the inmate from Con Air has become a champion of prison reform. His star status and strong conviction on these issues will help us achieve security and justice for all.” […]

As UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice, Nicolas Cage will use the performing arts as an engine for global justice and victim support. “I intend to shine the spotlight on the need for global justice, publicize all the good work that UNODC is doing and highlight how we can all make a difference,” said Mr. Cage upon accepting his appointment.

And what about when the injustice comes from the UNODC (as in the entire international drug war)? Will Nick Cage speak up then?

bullet image Obama gets the question again (and then some)

“I appreciate the boldness of your question,” Mr. Obama said to laughter after a young man asked him if he would consider legalizing drugs, prostitution, gambling or nonviolent crimes. “That will not be my job strategy.”

“First of all, part of what you’re supposed to do in college is question conventional wisdom,” the president continued. “You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.”

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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27 comments to Open Thread

  • Nick Zentor

    … or nonviolent crimes?

    Doesn’t sound like a true drug policy reformer asking that question. Sounds like some clever prohibitionist popping the question and making it sound absurd from the start. Any true anti-prohibitionist knows that you can’t possibly legalize all “nonviolent crimes” without causing quite a bit of chaos. What he maybe should have said was “victimless crimes”.

    That question seems loaded from the beginning against drug policy reformists.

  • ezrydn

    And, as in the past, was probably followed by the proverbial Presidential snicker.

    “You questioned authority. That’s good. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Your answer? NO!”

    His answers are beginning to take hold with me, especially when he’s about to ask me to vote for him again. And, after seeing his current approval ratings by the public, all that “political capital” he said he had, I believe, has now placed him on the “credit card.” Political Capital is either used or lost. It doesn’t accrue interest!

  • Chris

    I agree, it was a badly worded question. He should have kept that last part out and simply suggested legalizing prostitution and drugs. At least Obama didn’t laugh, but calling it conventional wisdom? There’s nothing wise about it.

  • Shap

    Might be naive of me but I doubt the Prohibitionist credentials of the questioner and I was actually slightly encouraged by the response considering how politically he’s answered such questions in the past. The question was not artfully worded. However I don’t think you ask that question at a President’s town hall meeting unless you feel strongly that those acts should not be prohibited. In my mind, the prohibition has to bother you enough to go that far out of your way to ask that. Kind of surprised his response was not a flat NO on “drug” legalization considering how many politicians think it is such a radical view.

  • DavesNotHere

    Barack Obama’s standard of “conventional wisdom” had Obama endorsing Rod Blagojevich over and over in Illinois for ever higher offices, and then staying silent when his buddy Blago (D-Emil Jones backpocket) was caught. “Conventional wisdom” in 2006 about Blagojevich was that he was a crook, but Barack Obama endorsed and championed his re-election anyway.

    Barack Obama wouldn’t know “conventional wisdom” if he inhaled it. Obama’s been a drug war thug since his election in 1998 and has surrounded himself with fellow control freak drug warriors every chance he has gotten in order to further his career. Heck, he just begged Lisa Madigan (Illinois v. Caballes) to run for US Senate. He wants to promote someone who has taken away probably the biggest chunk of our civil rights outside the Patriot Act in the last 30 years to the US Senate. And Obama supported the Patriot Act too, and still does.

    “Conventional wisdom” says Barack Obama is a tool of special interests more interested in maintaining power for him and his political machine than in doing what is right, honest, and decent for the American people.

  • DdC

    My Gawd after 8 years of Boosh fascism and 8 years of Klintoonian PC Obama hasn’t scratched the surface of idiotic drug thugs and GOPerverts in the past years. No one ever said Obama would legitimize the drug war, not even Obama. He’s not my choice but keyrisk get a grop, he’s no degenerate Boosheney either.

  • LTR

    I wanted to call attention to conservative intellectual heavyweight George Will’s Nov. 29th column in the Washington Post:

    George Will’s Op Ed

    A letter in response to Will

    One section in particular really got my attention. It’s when he said the following:

    “State governments, misunderstanding markets and ravenous for revenue, exaggerate the potential windfall from taxing legalized marijuana. California thinks it might reap $1.4 billion. But Rosalie Pacula, a Rand Corp. economist, estimates that prohibition raises marijuana production costs at least 400 percent, so legalization would cause prices to fall much more than the 50 percent assumed by the $1.4 billion estimate.

    Furthermore, marijuana is a normal good in that demand for it varies with price. Legalization, by drastically lowering price, will increase marijuana’s public health costs, including mental and respiratory problems, and motor vehicle accidents.”

    Curious as to what else she said and I seemed to recall her name in a newspaper at one time, I googled around and saw NORML has recently wrote a response to some of her claims being printed in the LA Times.

    NORML’s response to Rosalie

    I found all this kind of disheartening because an earlier comment George Will made on a weekend talk show could have lead some to believe that he may be sympathetic to legalizing marijuana. It doesn’t seem to be the case at all in his new column. It would be nice to convince such a conservative that the merits of legalizing marijuana are real. Taking the word of one Rand Corp economist on a deep and complex issue, and glossing over the physical and mental health issues along with motor vehicle accidents without a deeper evaluation of the literature is intellectually dishonest. Will is smart enough to realize this, so I have to assume he remains a staunch enemy of the noble efforts to tax and regulate cannabis for adults and is willing to distort complex issues related to the subject in favor of a prohibitionist mindset.

  • DdC

    Will is still a shill. One thing about prices. Only if the Feds remove the bogus scheduling of Ganja will the prices drop. As long as its a state issue with Feds still capable of busting people, prohibition prices will stay. To those states trying to collect taxes, although illegal to tax a vegetable, none the less if they taxed prohibition priced pot they would rake in a bundle. $60 an eighth is more than the streets.

    As for more respiratory problems, we have none now except for schwag “marijuana” maybe, that would end with legitimacy and kynd bud. No problems driving, less driving actually. Far less if boozers switched. Just Rand being lazy, expanding on Reefer Madness.

    All we absolutely need is a law against pundits BS.

    A Dubious Medical High by George Will

    corrosive to respect for the law.
    MEDICAL’ MARIJUANA INVITES ABUSE
    WHAT HAS COLUMNIST WILL BEEN SMOKING?

    The law is corrosive and deserves no respect.

  • Osborne Perry Anderson

    The kid asked the right question… all of it. Wrong Answer… from the coward that pretended to be a constitutional law professor. Yeah right, and the DEA aren’t NWO pharma pigs. The only right answer, ALWAYS question conventional wisdom, at the very least… especially when it’s ILLEGAL. Don’t they teach the children anything in school these days?

    And Cage, what a tool, didn’t know whe was that stupid… now an evil supporter of the NWO Dumb Evil Assholes too.

    A word to the wise is infuriating.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  • Bruce-e

    FREEZE I’m Michelle Obama Put you hands in the air and give me back my honey..lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv53gKx0cyo&feature=player_embedded#

  • Bailey

    No comments about Cage and Costa? Isn’t there an arguement to be made that UNODC is trying to capitalize on the Cage’s bad ass characters rather than find a celebrity ambassadore who is an actual role model for a drug and crime free life?

    “Here’s our new Ambassadore for not doing drugs or committing crime. You can see him in Bad Lieutenant, his new film where he does drugs and commits crimes.”

    Is there anyone with enough video editing savy to cut together as many clips of Cage’s on screen rude behavior with Costa’s announcement?

  • Chris

    http://cannabisnews.com/news/25/thread25239.shtml

    “The problem with that is that prescription medications are exempt from the sales tax.

    So, ipso facto, if it’s taxed, pot isn’t medicine.”

    This doesn’t really follow. If it’s taxed and not prescribed, that doesn’t mean it’s not medicine, just that it’s not prescribed.

    “But the big problem is with federal drug laws that list marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no legitimate medical use.”

    “The conflict between states and the feds over regulation rights has been fought several times over several issues, including drugs. The feds won.”

    Who won in California?

    Thirteen states now have some sort of medical marijuana law. But the legal status of pot is fuzzy in all of them and some “patients” end up as jailed inmates.

    “Medical marijuana is a ruse. If lawmakers believe it can do more good than harm, there’s only one thing to do:

    Legalize it.”

    Wait, what? So this person doesn’t think cannabis is medicine, but would rather skip the whole medicinal thing and jump to legalizing it for all purposes? Fine by me I guess.

  • InsanityRules

    Chris – the column you quoted appeared today in my hometown newspaper, the Reading Eagle. The have a penchant for printing factually-challenged prohibitionist hackery.

    John Forester, the column’s author, is taking some pretty good heat in the comments. Join me in calling for a correction or retraction here if you’re in the mood.

  • zwitterion

    I smell a coward who won’t be re-elected in the near future. Way to bring about all that hope and change

  • claygooding

    I smell a whole congress that needs to be flushed,the good with the bad,until Washington gets the message
    that ignoring or laughing off problems is not the way to keep their jobs.

  • DdC

    Looks more like Cage copped a plea or made a deal…

    Excessive Spending Blamed For Nicolas Cage Bankruptcy
    November 10th, 2009
    In October, Nicolas – who has been forced to put several of his properties on the market after failing to pay $6 million in back taxes to IRS. The 45-year-old grossed a collective $3.9 billion over the course of his more than 25 year career, but Cage’s lavish purchases have left his checking account running on empty.

  • DdC

    Do You Support Legal, Unregulated, Untaxed, Cultivation For Personal Adult Use?

    Petition for the Immediate Re-Legalization of Marijuana by implementing “MRPP” (MARIJUANA RE-LAGALIZATION POLICY PROJECT, pronounced: “merp”) through a Special Joint Session of Congress.

  • Hope

    “Taking the word of one Rand Corp economist on a deep and complex issue, and glossing over the physical and mental health issues along with motor vehicle accidents without a deeper evaluation of the literature is intellectually dishonest.”

    True, LTR.

    I’m disappointed in Will. I have been for a long time.

  • BluOx

    Nicholas Cage is a wristwatch, product salesman. Obama’s ‘HOPEaDOPE’ stategy is working as well as the ‘SAMEol’CHANGE’ policy.

  • did anyone else see email from ASA about their “protest” at the California Narcotics Officers Association convention? It’s Classic! from the email:

    California Narcotics Officers Association Gets Educated
    Over the past two months, ASA has been confronting a group of California law enforcement officers who are trying to undermine the state’s medical cannabis law.

    Thirteen years after voters enshrined a right to safe access in the state constitution, the California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA) continues to publicly insist that “there is no such thing as medical marijuana.” So when ASA learned that the CNOA was conducting “trainings” on how to subvert local regulations and shut down medical cannabis dispensaries, it was an opportunity to educate them on upholding the law.

    For the first action, more than 100 protestors with colorful signs lined the streets outside the CNOA event in October. The luncheon training was titled “The Eradication of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County” and featured both the LA City Attorney and the District Attorney.

    For last month’s CNOA training conference in San Francisco, ASA staged a “welcome” for officers. ASA staff and local activists in business attire, lapel flowers, and “welcome to CNOA” badges greeted arrivals with packets of ASA educational information about medical cannabis. By the time hotel management told ASA activists they had to leave, more than two-thirds of the literature was already in the hands of officers.

    “They were expecting protesters, but we were so well dressed and nice that they couldn’t help but take our welcoming packet,” said Don Morgan, ASA associate director. “Two attendees even came out to look at the protest they had heard about. We had a nice chat and gave them our information to read. They took it and walked back in without realizing we were the protest.”

  • DdC

    Medical Marijuana Documentary Nears Completion
    Santa Cruz, CA — Aspiring filmmakers Charlie Hall and Bevin Bell-Hall approached the Santa Cruz-based Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana with the idea of a certain kind of documentary. Five years later, the two have emerged with an entirely different kind of film.

    WAMM

    Most Criminal Activity Starts With Drug Issues

    Czech Govt Allows 5 Cannabis Plants For Personal Use From 2010
    The interim Czech government, led by chief statistician-turned-Prime Minister Jan Fischer, Monday took another step towards making casual marijuana smoking a worry-free affair

    Hempseed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.
    (Czechoslovakia Tubercular Nutritional Study, 1955.)

    Nicholson Disappointed with Changes to Crime Bill
    The Senate has altered a Conservative tough-on-crime bill to remove mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of growing fewer than 200 pot plants.

  • Life is so serious, this subject is so serious, take a break, inject a little humor into things. I made this funny little music video for you all to enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/wboune

    Hippie Holidays!

  • DdC

    Ah the Holly Jollies for Christmas… Good one…
    Here’s a few for your next one Old Hippie…

    Oh Baby

    Oh Bama

    Marley

    Willie

    Dog

  • Its not the crash of realestate market but actually It is because of Current Economic Crises.

  • Wow that is a great point, thanks for pointing that out! I’ll be back again soon, I hope to see some more great content in the future from you!