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December 2009
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Open Thread

Have at it! After reading names at Winter Commencement this morning, I’m heading up to Chicago to see old friends and some shows.

bullet image Pain.com has a point-counterpoint on whether FDA should approve medical marijuana. Bruce Mirken of MPP wins handily. Theresa Hong has the counterpoint.

bullet image Tanya Treadway’s Unconstitutional Vendetta by Jacob Sullum is an update on the legal harassment of Siobhan Reynolds (advocate for pain doctors).

bullet image The heroin and cocaine trade: clear on the problem – unclear on the solution. Transform points out what I have long felt about our drug policy academics.

What is lacking, however, is any comment or analysis of the fact that it is very specifically prohibitionist policies (combined with high, and growing, demand) that fuel this extraordinary price inflation. There is also no mention of the fact that there are parallel legal markets in both coca/cocaine and opium/heroin (for medical and other legal uses) that do not demonstrate this same dynamic, and do not feature any criminal activity whatsoever, at any point in the production and supply chain.

Instead, Kilmer and Reuter’s piece “argues, rather lamely, that ‘Answers are hard to come by in the quest to fight drugs‘”

bullet image Scott Morgan and Flex Your Rights have been working hard on the sequel/update to the very useful “Busted” video. Here’s a preview of the upcoming 10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

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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17 comments to Open Thread

  • Bruce

    Getting fingerprinted by a lady officer a wonderful experience for Quasimodo.
    “She held my hannd”
    Heidi B. hottest RCMP officer EVER!

  • DdC

    How the drug czar uses lazy reporters by Pete Guither
    Cannabis Culture Dec 11 2009
    Ashley III Halsey, the Washington Post reporter bamboozled by Drug Czar, won’t admit he got his facts wrong on impaired drivers.

    America’s Role in Mexico’s Drug War
    Dec 11 2009
    Newsweek: Is the U.S. to blame? That was the question at the latest Intelligence Squared US debate.

    Los Angeles Postpones Vote On Restricting Marijuana Shops

    Hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles got a reprieve Wednesday as the City Council delayed a vote on regulations that could, by some estimates, leave less than a dozen in business.

    Bail Revoked for Heart Surgeon Facing Marijuana Charges
    David Bruce Alle
    n, a former local heart surgeon, will remain in jail following his latest arrest on charges of felony witness manipulation.

    Miami Police Shot Protester, Then Laugh About It Barry Cooper
    More kops behaving badly: this time shooting a non-violent female protester in the face with rubber bullets and then bragging and joking about it.

  • InsanityRules

    Has the first documented
    death from marijuana occurred?

    “Sheriff’s deputies in Bay County, Florida said a 23-year-old man was hit with a stun gun and died after choking on a bag of marijuana he ingested during an attempted arrest”.

    Is this a great country, or what? The cops must be so proud that they saved Mr. Grande from the perils of the evil reefer. I can’t think of another single incident that so aptly illustrates the stupidity of America’s marijuana policies. Just completely f*%ked up.

  • DdC

    I thought this sounded familiar. Not the first, as with the first it has been determined it is actually still just death by drug war.

    28th NOVEMBER, 2003 scroll down 3rd story
    First ever death by marijuana?
    A 24-year-old Texas man choked to death on a bag of marijuana he stuffed down his throat in an apparent attempt to hide it from police officers early Wednesday.

    Well I guess its true…

    Toke-A-Day May Keep Old Memory Functioning
    November 19, 2008

  • Hope

    Bay County.

    It’s one of those incidents that so aptly illustrates the insanity of this prohibition.

    It’s one of the many reasons that we realize that they, the lovers of this prohibition, must be, are, in fact, completely crazy. Insane. Irrational. Nuts. Ignorant. Monsters. Or something.

    They, those who cling to prohibition, can’t see it though. Because of their hatred and fear usually. But sometimes it’s greed and ignorance and lack of…. something.

    It’s so sad.

  • Bruce

    Rumor has authorities contemplating legalizing drugs but outlawing Rocknroll. Uh Ohh
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbH6udJ3GaA

  • Hope

    Prohibitionists and their enforcers will hurt or kill a person over pot. They do it. A lot.

  • DdC

    Since when is heavy mental, rock and roll?
    Outside the parameters, the same as Elvi,
    Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Alvin Lee, Johnney Winter, even Clapton are guitarists.
    Humble Pie, Mountain, Bad Finger, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple maybe the last,
    Then commercial disco pop teeny bop pat boone fake copies.
    This seems more Rayguns day, Clean cut Punks without the street savvy, buying their stories instead of living them. Company men.
    Beauty saloned hair, dead cow suits and noise bands.
    More fermented hops and barley chuggers than stoners.
    Pretend bikers snorting white powders on chromed choppers,
    fancy boys played by the systems label.
    Freaks of nature, like log cabin gays or drug worriers.
    Totally uncomfortable in the element, just selling something.
    Coping out to the moneysluts. Plastic fantastic Oz dwellers.
    Guess I just never got the social relevance,
    of banging heads in a moshpit to eardrum bursting metallic sounds.
    I have a whole drawer full of knives, forks and spoons,
    pots and pans I occasionally bump together
    but I wouldn’t consider it music either.
    mho, whatever floats yer boat… Try some Richard Wagner or Sousa,
    they’re pretty good at rallying blind raged boys around the moshpit.
    I guess you could make an argument that getting fucked up,
    is better than shooting people and burning them in ovens.
    Just don’t get the social relevance. What’s the message?
    What are they trying to communicate? What social import.
    They have been delegated to the VH1 archives of 80’s weirdos.

  • Bruce

    Rammstein rubs a lot of Americans the wrong way.
    It was meant to be so. The members of the band were at the forefront of a vociferous protest to have the Ramstein Flugtag88 cancelled because of a string of prior serious airshow crashes. Wierdos….hmmm they pull no punches nor should anyone.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAe2OKcnNbo&feature=player_embedded

  • Paul

    Prohibition leads to all kinds of violence, death, and despair in all the forms we have become so familiar with. As Hope said, Prohibitionists and their enforcers will hurt or kill someone over pot, and they do it a lot.

    I think people swayed by logic are most susceptible to arguments that show there would be less misery and death if drugs were legal.

    People who oppose legalization on religious or moral grounds MAY be swayed by more emotional arguments, like, “What would Jesus think of two and half million people living their lives in cages?”

    And some people are just impervious to either logic or emotion.

  • kaptinemo

    “And some people are just impervious to either logic or emotion.”

    Truer words were never spoken. To paraphrase Yeshua the Carpenter, “The stupid ye shall always have among you.”

    But even the stupid feel the pinch in the wallet come payday, when half of what they make is stolen from them under false pretenses and then promptly p!$$ed away by government..

    A fact that we reformers have having notable success in pointing out, lately, and therefore must continue to do so.

    Since we were doing just that, here and elsewhere, for many years prior to the fiscal meltdown of 2008, we’ve become the Jeremiahs of the day. Only now, people are listening, as the Media is echoing our premise, and pols are reacting with special committees that cannot help but officially admit the failure of the drug laws.

    NOW IS THE TIME. All the various forces and factors that favor our eventual success have come to together to create a confluence. Many seemingly different streams are converging to form a river that could wash away drug prohibition. And no amount of stubborn stupidity is going to stop it.

  • kaptinemo

    Sorry, I meant ‘A fact that we reformers are having notable success in pointing out, lately, and therefore must continue to do so.’

    Insufficient caffeine intake this morning. Like most people, I need my morning drug…just like most prohibs do, pouringa cuppa joe while they rattle on about the importance of being ‘drug free’. The nice thing about being a reformer is that we’re much more honest than they can ever be…

  • Duncan

    Some people like decaf, tobacco smokers have ultra low nicotine cigs, and then there’s near beer. If cannabis were legal do you think somebody might breed a strain of non-psychoactive hemp to appeal to that demographic?

  • ezrydn

    DdC,

    I would venture that he choked on the baggie, not the contents. If’n he’d injested the contents, he probably could have taken the blow to the stomach and announced “It’s Cheetos Time!” While the contents are “airated,” the bag is a solid barrier to breathing. Like a plastic bag around the head, the plastic didn’t kill him, lack of air did.

  • DdC

    Yea I figured that EZ, stupid act, still caused by prohibition. There was also the guy killed by the 100 pound bail of hemp that fell on him in the barn. Seriously I did read somewhere once that a couple people were indirectly harmed and died. I think they laughed too hard while eating and choked. No overdoses. I’m sure adulterations have harmed and rip offs and jail, but these are prohibition.

    Medical Marijuana Apartheid: Different Rules Apply

    NO More Policy, it’s a plant. 215 has it covered in Cali.

    Note. Compassionate Use Act not the MMJ Act

    * has been recommended by a physician

    * person’s health would benefit

    or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

    * no physician in this state shall be punished,

    Any individual who provides assistance

    * upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician

    * The department shall establish and maintain a voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients who satisfy the requirements of this article and voluntarily apply to the identification card program.

    * “Qualified patient” means a person who is entitled to the protections of Section 11362.5, but who does not have an identification card issued pursuant to this article.

    * It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5.

    * A qualified patient or a person with an identification card

    * Any individual who provides assistance

    * A designated primary caregiver who transports, processes, administers, delivers, or gives away marijuana for medical purposes

  • Paul

    Duncan:

    I’ve wound up with “non-psychoactive” MJ on more than one occasion, and we all know it when we accidentally buy MJ Light. Can’t say I’ll be in the market for that, but I’m sure some will.