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January 2010
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Open Thread

I’m trying to set up a new backup system for my laptop and so far all I manage to do is crash, losing half-written posts in the process.

So let’s turn it over to you for a bit.

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35 comments to Open Thread

  • Dudeman

    How about this provocatively titled article?

    Marijuana Much Riskier Than Alcohol

    http://www.therealitycheck.org/?p=10527

    Sounds like a personal challenge to Mason Tvert.

  • Hope

    The GCW just posted this over at Cannabis News.

    I hope it’s as important as it looks like it is.

    US waves white flag in disastrous ‘war on drugs’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-waves-white-flag-in-disastrous-war-on-drugs-1870218.html

  • Dudeman- that’s the one I was working on when my computer crashed. It’s a real doozy.

    Hope -that one is definitely worth reading, but it doesn’t really deliver as I thought it might.

  • Hope

    Yes… the last line is a bit soft.

    But it has some things in it I hadn’t heard before and that sound like they might be true.

    It’s a good article… but I’d hoped it meant more than the last line indicated.

    It seems like quite a few people are very impressed by the article.

    Guess we’ll see if it stays quiet in our media about the news he speaks of.

  • Jon d,

    Thank goodness open thread again!
    I’ve (in alias) posted a couple of times before (pete’s got my number,no doubt), explored the messageboard,… this seems to be a more real time experience.
    On that note, I’d like to add this (to the mix of editorial and commentary offered in this discussant fellowship) here:
    http://news.independentminds.livejournal.com/5625264.html?page=2#comments

    Sorry, if this falls short in some way. Peace to all

  • Jon d,

    Looks like Hope beat me to it!

  • we’re real good Jon d… when we’re good. And, when we’re bad… we crash.

    Sorry Pete, hope you’re finding the healing balm.

  • Duncan

    DC City Council proposed a new version of I-59. Washington Post is reporting patients won’t be allowed to cultivate, 5 dispensaries will be permitted, 1000 feet from schools or youth centers, presumably they’ll have to locate in the middle of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. Hmm, maybe adjacent to Blue Plains would qualify, that’ll teach them potheads.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011902488.html

  • Jon d,

    Life is a journey …

  • DavesNotHere

    Virginia decriminalization bill

    Del. Harvey B. Morgan, the Republican who represents Virginia’s 98th district, is sponsoring a bill in the General Assembly to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana.

    I have to wonder if this whole private health insurance mandate debate is helping our cause by forcing us to think about the actual reality of locking people up who haven’t harmed others. Not having private health insurance doesn’t harm anyone else, the exact same as using drugs. Sure, you can make arguments of the “social collective costs” of not having corporate insurance, but those are the same fallacies of the drug war. Not having corporate health insurance hurts no one but themselves. Locking them in a cage for their own good sounds exactly like the drug war to me. Expanding drug war policies to our health care isn’t playing as well as they planned.

    Hope, thanks for that link, but I was disappointed. There was no info backing up his claims. Wishful thinking for an old British socialist wanting to make Obama, Venezuela and Bolivia look good, while making Bush and pre-Bush America look bad is what I got out of that article. Obama increased the Plan Columbia budget, which pretty much shoots down his wishful thinking. There are no white flags being waved in this administration.

  • DdC

    US Waves White Flag in Disastrous ‘War on Drugs’
    By Hugh O’Shaughnessy??? Kin?

    Articles About Cannabis and Drug Policy (Portland NORML)
    Analgesia, anticonvulsant action, appetite stimulation, ataraxia, antibiotic properties and low toxicity were described throughout medical literature, beginning in 1839, when William Brooke O’Shaughnessy introduced cannabis into the Western pharmacopoeia.
    CIBA Foundation Study Group, 1964, pp. 45, 49.
    “Hashish–Its Chemistry and Pharmacology,”
    American High Society

    Ganjawarnews * Ganjawareness 2010

  • Hope

    I was disappointed, too… but I did a search on the author. He’s no novice or politician. He’s been reporting seriously on Latin America for decades.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_O%27Shaughnessy

    The disappointment came from the word “Should” in the last line of the column.

    “This year should be the year that common sense vanquishes the mailed fist in an unwinnable war against an invisible enemy.”

  • I’m also a little wary when I read a Hugh Shaughnessy column. I got burned a couple of years ago when he falsely reported that th US was shutting down Plan Colombia.

    But in all fairness, this was a good piece.

  • Hope

    Well, your experience, Pete, definitely puts a damper on my welling and ebbing hope. Thank you.

  • jackl

    I thought I’d share this http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/1/17/826120/-Martha-Coakley-and-the-third-rail-of-marijuana-reform DailyKos diary I posted the other day where I wondered if Martha Coakley’s problems were worsened by her stubborn and persistent high-profile opposition to the marijuana decriminalization referendum in Massachusetts last year that outpolled Obama and led to a landslide 65% victory (approximately 2,000,000 out of 3,000,000 votes cast).

    As you might expect, my diary was angrily slammed by most of the Kos dittoheads, most of whom share the notion that marijuana laws are beyond political discussion and are trivial and stupid issues considered only by “stoners”. Except for Ben Masel and several others who were helpful. Many people accused me basically of being a troll, a Republican, a saboteur rather than consider what I had to say, which is this:

    Yes, I am an activist. I contributed money to this initiative, so yes, I might notice that the thing was opposed by the cops, mayors and some tight-ass AG named Martha Coakley. Maybe it would have been OK if she quit after the thing passed in a landslide, but she didn’t. Noooooooo, she did the arrogant, obstructionist thing and tried to get municipalities to pass some new draft ordinance that reinstated marijuana arrest penalties at the local level.

    Now, all I’m saying is that 2,000,000 people got off their butts, got to the polls and voted FOR this. That’s more people than voted in the entire special election Tuesday. Don’t you think at least some of these pro-pot people were turned off enough by Coakley’s antics just last year to either stay home or vote for the other guy?

    Yeah, she was a lousy campaigner, Obama’s health care program is in trouble, blah blah, but why is it that almost no one sees Coakley’s high-profile opposition to a popular initiative in the last year’s election might not bode well for her own election just months later?

  • Tim

    The Evangelical Christian front group Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is trying to push the pot use will defile your virgin daughters meme.

  • ezrydn

    I just ran across something interesting that I was unaware of: http://www.johnsonforamerica.com/

    You should all go over and answer their poll they have on the front page, on the right. While you’re there, go to his blog and select the “drug reform” tag to see what his position is.

    This guy needs to be watched. While not “3rd Party,” definitely the “3rd Mind Set.” Even more so that our last set of “promises.”

  • claygooding

    “they’ll have to locate in the middle of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. Hmm, maybe adjacent to Blue Plains would qualify, that’ll teach them potheads”.
    They ought to set an Island up in the reflective pool,in front of the Washington Memorial,it would be most fitting!

  • InsanityRules

    Jackl – I jumped in to support your assertion at dKos that marijuana reform may have hurt Coakley’s chances. A candidate can’t spew reefer madness rhetoric, lies and insults at 65% of the voters and not expect some repercussions. That, and her refusal to admit there might have been faulty convictions during the “recovered memories” child sex hysteria made her sound like a right-wing shill. Not the way to win in MA!

    At some point politicians are going to realize that the political winds surrounding marijuana are changing. The reefer madness stuff doesn’t fly anymore – at least among Dems and most Inds. And actually, real conservatives have been with the program for a while, too.

  • KBCraig

    LEAP member and active duty New Hampshire cop Brad Jardis has announced that he cannot and will not arrest any medical marijuana user for possession.

    http://freekeene.com/2010/01/18/nh-cop-refusing-to-arrest-medical-cannabis-users/

  • Hope

    Brad Jardis, an amazingly courageous and valiant man.

  • Servetus

    Today, a prison riot in Mexico, north of Durango, has resulted in the deaths of 23 inmates incarcerated for drug offenses.

  • Voletear

    Gary Johnson’s candidacy is exciting news. He is a solid anti-prohibber.

  • DdC

    Coakley’s high-profile opposition to a popular initiative in the last year’s election might not bode well for her own election just months later?

    Good post. Don’t worry about the lapdogs Jacki, Coakley’s karma caught up. I can only imagine the amount of suck up Neokrats keeping Teddy as far away as possible, from potentially reducing his tumor with Ganja. Oh but don’t mention these drug thug politicops buried the evidence in 74 and then went on to outlaw research. Drug worriers are beyond party politics as usual. Their agenda circumvents everything we think of as America. Burying research? Lies and being stigmatized by those who probably toked on weekends during their rebellious youth. I mean went to a rock concert after bumming a few joints. The PC crowd rarely stick their necks out for anything. It wouldn’t surprise me if Coakley fought against the Ganja law because it might remove her shot at the Senate if Teddy was helped. Seems the voters were more concerned with her not getting in than the neocon. Stoners have become a real force to reckon with I reckon.

    Teddy Kennedy’s Cannabis Brain Tumor Cure

    Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74

    Teddy Kennedy and The Ultimate Tragedy of Liberalism.

    His Brain Tumor Is of the Type That Cannabis Might Cure.
    Suppressed Research May Claim Another Drug War Victim.
    Posted by Richard Cowan on 2008-05-20 16:20:00

    As it happens, there have been several studies showing that glioma cells can be killed by cannabinoids.Incredibly, at least one of these studies was suppressed by the US government

    Had the medical potential of cannabis not been suppressed to satisfy the needs of the Drug War’s prohibitionist propaganda, scientists might have developed ways of using cannabinoids to treat this type of cancer that would be far more effective than the treatment that he is going to have to endure.

    Witch hunts and the war on weed 20 Jun, 2002
    The persecution of “witches” was really a war on sacred plants that continues today.

  • Servetus

    Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley did more than just screw-up by opposing medical cannabis in an arrogant rebuke of its 81-percent approval ratings.

    During her campaign, she also claimed that there were no more al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. She got into a hissy fit with the Boston Globe for thinking she should be “standing outside Fenway Park” and “shaking hands,” as if such a thing demeans her.

    It’s bad enough she’s a former prosecutor. She reminds me of California’s odious AG Dan Lundgren and his nauseous, losing bid for governor. Prosecutors often create too many enemies, who have far too many influential friends and relatives, for a gung-ho, anti-drug AG to survive very long in an alternate political arena. Unfortunately some do, people like former New York mayor and 9-11 all-star Rudy Giuliani, another vile enemy of friendly little cannabis.

    I think the lesson Democrats should walk away with regarding the Coakley debacle is that medical marijuana has become a litmus test for political candidates, especially Democrats. If a candidate doesn’t get it with regard to medical cannabis, then they don’t get it with science, reason, compassion, or democracy either. And there are millions of voters out there who really care about that.

  • DdC

    The Marijuana Wars: Pro vs. Con
    CBS News on location: Oaksterdam University’s Richard Lee vs. drug-warrior Republican Paul Chabot.

    Russia’s Space Agency Helps Drug Police Spot Cannabis Fields
    Drug police in Russia’s Far East have joined hands with the Federal Space Agency in spotting cannabis fields.

    Virginia Delegate Morgan Seeks To Decriminalize

    Va. Lawmaker Proposes Medical Marijuana Bill

    LA City Council Passes MMJ Dispensary Ordinance

  • DdC

    US Supreme Court crushes campaign finance restrictions
    Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined Kennedy in the majority opinion.

  • kaptinemo

    “…but why is it that almost no one sees Coakley’s high-profile opposition to a popular initiative in the last year’s election might not bode well for her own election just months later?”

    Because they don’t want to. Because to do so is to admit the rising power of cannabists as a voting bloc…and because they would have to acknowledge a long-standing injustice which they have tacitly – and in the comment sections deriding cannabis law reform as not being ‘serious’ enough to earn their respect – publicly acceded to.

    The Democratic Party that once loudly proclaimed its’ support of civil rights for minorities has been cravenly silent when it comes to the abrogation of precisely those same civil rights for the largest, most ‘rainbow’ minority of them all.

    The Dems have traditionally been ‘weak sisters’ and ‘milquetoasts’ when it comes to drug law reform, almost always taking the easy way out and voting with authoritarian Republicans in a pathetic attempt at appearing ‘tough on drugs’, even when they knew it was all bull. As a party, they’ve paid for their stupidity and cowardice every election for the past 20 years, thanks to the millions of potential voters shut out of the democratic process who would have been natural allies, but were instead marginalized and politically voided.

    The Dems have the drug laws they helped vote for to thank for the 2000 Election debacle and all that came after. All that misery could have been safely avoided if every minority could have voted, instead of huge numbers of them being disenfranchised thanks to drug convictions brought about by Dem votes.. But the Dems don’t want to admit that. Nope. Nuh-uh. Might make them look (wait for it)…‘weak’.

    As if anyone who wasn’t following their antics this past year (not to mention the previous 8) wouldn’t know that…

  • kaptinemo

    That’s ‘previous 8 years’ I should say.

  • Gary Johnson has modified his drug policy advocacy. While once in favor of repealing drug prohibition across the board, he now advocates keeping narcotics and all other drugs, save cannabis, illegal.

    His site also suggests he’s positioning himself to run for president as a Republican in 2012. I agree with ezrydn that Johnson be watched, but perhaps for different reasons…

  • Voletear

    Thanks for the update Dan. I wasn’t aware that Johnson was that politically maleable. Damn. I can’t imagine how he could think he’ll be able to successfully walk away from his former advocacy.

  • DdC

    Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul are the only “Americans” in politics, running on reality issues concerning the Ganjawar. Outside of Jello Biafra maybe. No strings just end it. Now with corporate and special interest complete ownership of the elections, thanks to the fascist supremest. An individual with ideals of realism backed by the Constitution has as much chance as Cheech or Chong. Might as well put the USA on E-Bay. Wonder why Johnson, a wealthy republican near the Mexican border would change his policy? He climbed to the top of Mount Everest, despite a broken leg. He is an avid triathlete who runs several miles each day and abstains from all recreational drug use, caffeine, alcohol, and some sugar products. But apparently not dioxins spewed from fossil fools GOPerverts are addicted too. How many Calvina PDFA this is your egg on drugs commercials will we now see with unlimited campaign contributions from non citizen multinational corporations? Inch by inch two steps forward in some places, 3 steps back in others? The Untied State of Anemica!

    Drug WarRant Endorses Kucinich for Democratic Nomination 12/15/03
    Backed by Willie Nelson…

    Dennis Kucinich Talks about Drug Policy U2b

    We advocate legalizing marijuana. We do not advocate the legalization of any other drugs and believe that harm reduction measures should be implemented.
    Gary Johnson

  • I wouldn’t count Johnson out so quickly. He’s by far the best one to take on the Ron Paul mantle out there for the Republican ticket, and he’s far more electable. He’s more electable than any other drug policy reform candidate out there.

    His toughest part in getting the Republican nomination will be the cultural conservatives who will look at him as a liberal druggie. Slight re-positioning would be logical if he’s serious about trying a run.

    If you want a pure Presidential candidate that supports exactly what you do and doesn’t adjust to political winds, then be prepared to enjoy a nice post-election party with the other four people who voted for him.

  • DdC

    With new corporate unlimited financing Johnson and Paul are the druggie runners of the GOP, same with Kucinich if he bucks the Unions, Insurance or War Machine. As long as money is able to corrupt, it will. As long as money runs the Elections, Courts, Legislature and Ganjawar, might as well make some of it. $400 ounces don’t look so bad standing in front of the cash register. The joints still burn the same as “legal” ones. Patients I care for have always got it before and after the quasi laws. If Both sides are getting wealthy fighting the war, what is the incentive to stop again? Please spare the “compassion” bs. There is no compassion among fascist, just how it might look. If you get votes or donations you “say” or even “do” what needs to be said or done. Squirrely fucks in the 70’s with suits and page boy haircuts trying to be hip. Log Cabin Gay Raygunites? Pat Boone, Afro American auxillary KKK?

    Johnson’s rich and was a governor in NM, same qualifications as Exxon’s Sara sara Pralin. Paul aligns with the GOP in fecal unrealistic matters while Kucinich voted against the Patriot Ax, The Biraq war police actions and consistantly against the drug war. Making him the most anti Neocon and Neokrat of the bunch. Plus he’s backed by Willie Nelson. If you look up American, you see his picture. He’s actually running a local truckstop on Bio-diesel not talking about the future. Johnson was a novilty to stoners when there was little to no serious support, except Kucinich, Barney and ummmm Buckley and Chomsky. We need to provide something for the Apathetic unregistered and registered non voting, but the priority would be remove the corruption of disenfranchising with similar sounding names, rigged no paper trail Diebold and swiftboat intimidation. But how now brown cow when the childish supreme fascists throw out the entire rulebook. Buy as many candidates as you want but not one doobie for your sick granny.

    The bestist candidate for 2012 is definitely… here.

  • DdC

    PART 1 of 2 – SCOTUS Decision

    PART 2 of 2 – SCOTUS Decision

    Tons of hemp videos

    Overcome the Politics to Stop Children Dying in Pain
    There’s a growing body of research proving cannabis – either smoked or in a liquid – eases the excruciating pain of cancer patients, the spasms of MS sufferers and the crippling effects of arthritis. The active ingredient, THC, slows the progress of Alzheimer’s, reduces tumour growth in lung cancers and inhibits the spread of breast cancer.