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February 2010
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Open thread

No time to post tonight. Keep the conversation going in the Marijuana Addiction post (great discussion there, both on DrugWarRant.com and on Facebook).

I’ll give my response soon, hopefully.

In the meantime, use this thread to talk about what else is going on.

Oh, and can I just repeat how much I despise spammers?

I was averaging about 100 spam comments a day — not too bad to sort through (I like to check them out just to make sure no legit comments get caught). Then about a week ago it shot up to 500, and today it was 940. Thank goodness for the Akismet spam filter.

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38 comments to Open thread

  • DEXtronaut

    http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/02/17/New-Study-Finds-Marijuana-Effective-Painkiller

    here’s an interesting article from cannabis culture that caught my attention, just another study for the government to outright ignore.

  • Hope

    jhelion

    Pretty good day, all in all, wasn’t it?

    :0)

  • denmark

    In the released review by the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research it said on the page numbered 6 that the cannabis was obtained from NIDA. What I’d like to know is what strain was it? Realize no one here can answer that however feel it’s a valid question.

    http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/CMCR_REPORT_FEB17.pdf

    On the numbered page 14 at the bottom it said in the last paragraph: These experiments contributed preliminary data to work that was later published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology
    (Giuffrida et al., 2004 – see reference list). A synthetic cannabis-like compound had no effects on the levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid, in blood or in brain tissue from regions involved in memory, motivation, movement, and wakefulness. Chronic, but not acute, treatment caused a marked increase in anandamide levels in the brain hippocampus, a region crucially involved in learning and memory.
    This study provides evidence indicating that exposure to cannabis-like drugs can alter endocannabinoid signaling in the brain. Alterations in this important signaling system might be involved in mediating the actions of cannabis in humans.

    Can someone explain in layman terms what that says? It sounded negative to me.

  • Nick

    My fault Pete.
    I keep spreading the rumors about how great of a site you have.
    Please (kind of), accept my apologies.
    Nick

  • Hope

    “This study provides evidence indicating that exposure to cannabis-like drugs can alter endocannabinoid signaling in the brain. Alterations in this important signaling system might be involved in mediating the actions of cannabis in humans.”

    In layman’s terms?

    It means someone is high. I think.

  • Just me

    Pete,
    Just your run of the mill buy me spam or have you pissed of the prohibs that much? LOL.

  • Bruce

    Total Information Awareness;
    I saw a Robin!
    His red Breast altered my endocannabinoid receptors!
    Crows love to devour the young Robins.
    A shotgun is so loud. what should I do?
    What would Johhnny Appleseed do?
    Endocannabinoid receptors reurning to normal
    I am re-entering depression.

  • “This study provides evidence indicating that exposure to cannabis-like drugs can alter endocannabinoid signaling in the brain. Alterations in this important signaling system might be involved in mediating the actions of cannabis in humans.”

    it means that they believe they will be able to develop some type of anti-cannabis pill or vaccine that will make it so you can’t get high

  • Another nice development, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) announced its journalism awards for 2009 and among them was an investigative muckraking story about some rogue narcs shaking down “mom and pop” convenience stores under the guise of paraphernalia busts:

    Distinguished Writing Award for Local Accountability Reporting
    Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, Philadelphia Daily News, for their series about a rogue squad of Philadelphia narcotics cops that systematically looted mom and pop stores under the guise of busting them for selling drug paraphernalia. The series prompted an FBI investigation, new police policies and a number of civil rights lawsuits. Direct, descriptive writing. Journalism that made a difference in the community.

    http://tinyurl.com/ygbxbr3

  • I started a short-lived blog as an experiment. It had few posts, no readers outside my immediate family and must have been at the bottom of page views, links or other signs of activity. Still, it got tons of spam.

    It still doesn’t look like the Google ads thing is working for this site. All I get are a lot of silly links to those expensive residential treatment spas that would cost your health insurer thousands for your 30-day “detox” stay, that is, if they went along with the diagnosis of “marijuana addiction/dependence”.

    Other popular sites have ads that are not really targeted to the title of the blog. I go to a site about urban cycling, for instance, and the ads are for “normal” things, clothing, cell phones, cruises, etc that have nothing whatsoever to do with bicycles. I’m sure if you could get some ads for other things than these silly narconon type programs which probably haven’t had a single click-through from your site, you might actually get some better funding to recover your costs.

  • Shap

    In case anyone wants to read a prohibitionist addiction treatment point of view and get a little angry.

    http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_14289807

    Key words are at the bottom of the article, he runs FEDERALLY FUNDED marijuana addiction research. Wonder if the feds require an agenda before allowing disbursement of those federal funds.

  • claygooding

    ALERT!
    http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/CMCR_REPORT_FEB17.pdf.

    ‘Gold Standard’ Studies Show That Inhaled Marijuana Is Medically Safe And Effective
    Thu, 18 Feb 2010 02:00:05 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

    The results of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of inhaled marijuana consistently show that cannabis holds therapeutic value comparable to conventional medications, according to the findings of a 24-page report issued earlier today to the California state legislature by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).

    Four of the five placebo-controlled trials demonstrated that marijuana significantly alleviated neuropathy, a difficult to treat type of pain resulting from nerve damage.

    “There is good evidence now that cannabinoids (the active compounds in the marijuana plant) may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment for … neuropathy,” said Dr. Igor Grant, Director of the CMCR, at a news conference at the state Capitol. He added that the efficacy of smoked marijuana was “very consistent,” and that its pain-relieving effects were “comparable to the better existing treatments” presently available by prescription.

    A fifth study showed that smoked cannabis reduced the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. A separate study conducted by the CMCR established that the vaporization of cannabis – a process that heats the substance to a temperature where active cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion – is a “safe and effective” delivery mode for patients who desire the rapid onset of action associated with inhalation while avoiding the respiratory risks of smoking.

    Two additional clinical trials remain ongoing.

    The CMCR program was founded in 2000 following an $8.7 million appropriation from the California state legislature. The studies are some of the first placebo-controlled clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis as a medicine to take place in over two decades.

    Placebo-controlled clinical crossover trials are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ method for assessing the efficacy of drugs under the US FDA-approval process.

    “These scientists created an unparalleled program of systematic research, focused on science-based answers rather than political or social beliefs,” said former California Senator John Vasconcellos, who sponsored the legislation in 1999 to launch the CMCR. Vasconcellos called the studies’ design “state of art,” and suggested that the CMCR’s findings “ought to settle the issue” of whether or not medical marijuana is a safe and effective medical treatment for patients.

    “This (report) confirms all of the anecdotal evidence – how lives have been saved and pain has been eased,” said California Democrat Senator Mark Leno at the press conference. “Now we have the science to prove it.”

    Full text of the CMCR’s report to the California legislature is available at online at: http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/CMCR_REPORT_FEB17.pdf.

  • claygooding

    With the now scientific proof that smoked marijuana is a medicine,will they now remove marijuana from schedule 1?
    Especially since it was furnished the marijuana for these clinical studies by NIDA and all studies approved by the DEA and NIDA? Will Kerli stand up and say smoked marijuana is not a medicine?

  • Just me: The big influx of spam has been just these bizarre random list of links that look like this:

    52 converter to cm
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    lolita pedo top bbs hcpt
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    (Each line a link to a URL that includes that line without spaces as a subdomain of a domain in India.) They then seem to re-direct to Google Search with the referring subdomain credited in the re-direct. I’m not sure what benefit they hope to gain from it.

    Jackl — Yeah, the rehab places keep showing up and the ad revenue is way down. At first I thought it was because of Google choosing to send me only those because of my domain name. But there’s another possibility… The rehab places may be bidding high to get on my site (not my site particularly, but sites that have certain phrases and words). The kinds of key words that exist here may appear to them to be ideal (not realizing that, in our case, it’s the reverse). Thus, they’re outbidding the national retailers, who are likely to low-ball it (but get lots more clicks). It’s just a guess.

    I’m still hoping Ad-Brite will kick in and start delivering some good ads (Google ads only show up when Ad-Brite doesn’t have anything better for me.) The other advantage with Ad-Brite is that people can specifically choose to advertise on this site So… if you’d like to reach all the fine folks who sit on Pete’s couch, click on “Your Ad Here.”

  • claygooding

    I have already sent copies of the above study to all my legislators,the A.G. and the ONDCP. I know the last two already have copies,but I wanted to make sure they had access to the science. I also sent the link and asked Obama
    if reducing peoples medical prescription costs would be effective in reducing health care costs.
    Now they have the science,do they ignore it or laugh it off as before?

  • John

    Every time I think about prohibition finally ending I get so sad thinking about all those fine folk at the DEA losing their lively hood. I think we should give them jobs enforcing the CAN SPAM act. Let them hunt down and torture the spammers as dutifully as they have the druggies.

  • kaptinemo

    John, I have an even better solution: The Army.

    Joining the Army now is the surest way to see combat. I mean, isn’t that what they’re hoping for, dressing like a photo negative of a Star Wars Stormtrooper, busting down doors, and waving weapons around? Such experience in urban ‘warfare’ would be invaluable in a place like Baghdad. Plenty of opportunity to show how brave they are when the opposition there does what it doesn’t do here (how many of their victims here shoot back?).

    Oh yes, they’re really good against hospice denizens, 14 year old girls, old men, quadraplegics, etc. Let’s see how really good they are against someone armed to the teeth and mad as hell we invaded their country and killed their children, all for oil.

    But I gather they’d rather not. Not after all the p!ssing and moaning they did at DEAWatch about being sent to A-stan.

    My Marine Da had such pegged, but good. Whenever he heard some chickenhawk pol who never spent a second in uniform get all bellicose about demanding military action, he used to say, “Bulldog mouth…puppydog a$$”. And that about sums it up…

  • Servetus

    The fate of the East German secret police, the STASI, provides a good example of what might happen to drug agents in the post-drug-war era.

    When the Wall fell, the STASI burned out every paper shredder in the GDR trying to destroy the files that detailed their activities. There was too much paper. An attempt to obtain more shredders from the West failed. Investigation files survived that gave the names of the STASI, as well as those they spied on. The secret files were made public by the German government, giving the victims of the surveillance and mistreatment the opportunity to revisit their past in detail.

    In unified Germany, a few of the top STASI people were sent to jail for specific crimes, but the rest were mostly pensioned out. At first, the STASI used their old tactics to try to rewrite the STASI’s history through preventive measures. Former agents followed writers working on stories about the STASI, threatened them, and in one case staged a mock kidnapping.

    When that strategy failed, the STASI retreated and went underground. Rejected, dejected, and friendless, former STASI officers began meeting secretly in small groups where they dressed up in their old uniforms, got drunk, discussed the good old days, justified their existence against all criticism, and defended Communism to the hilt. No sense of guilt about the past. No contrition. Just brain rot and a totalitarian dedication to a waste of human potential.

  • Ruediger Birkenfeldt

    “it means that they believe they will be able to develop some type of anti-cannabis pill or vaccine that will make it so you can’t get high”

    Ugh. A drug that makes you unable to get high from cannabis, now THAT’s gonna be a true gateway drug. Besides if it alters the functioning of your endocannabinoid system, perhaps permanently, who can foresee the side effects? I guess it’s okay if it’s done for (that means to) the human guinea pigs children.

  • Duncan

    They can already block cannabinoid receptors, the drug is called Rimonobant, brand name Accomplia. Sold as a weight loss drug, it’s not approved in the US because of too many suicides and attempts among test subjects.

  • kaptinemo

    For those of you who are scratching their heads as to why i take such a global economic view of things when it comes to domestic drug policy, and why i say that we may see the end of cannabis prohibition shortly, I offer the following link: The China That Can Say No: The Financial Underpinnings of US Hegemony and Transformations in the South. (Please keep in mind that this was written and presented prior to the Meltdown. Much of what was predicted has already happened.)

    On page two, you will find the following:

    “The bullishness of the late 1990s was replaced with cautious optimism during the post-2001 recovery, yet this time fewer pundits were willing to deceive themselves (or their readers) about the source of US living standards. Since 2001, foreign investors buying US Treasury securities paid for more than four-fifths of the $1.3 trillion the US government borrowed to pay for two wars, tax cuts, and an increase in Medicare expenditures on pharmaceuticals. During the same period, foreign capital invested over $700 billion in mortgage securities backed by the US government such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With housing as the main basis of wealth for most Americans, and equity borrowing on existing mortgages a key source of cash for consumption of durable goods (cars, appliances, etc.), US residents have relied on a steady flow of cheap – that is, low-interest – capital to sustain their purchasing power (ibid, Baker and Rosnick 2005).

    And now Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are historical toast. The US real estate market is toast. As will soon be the commercial rental market. Uncle Sam is going hog-wild with the printing presses at the Treasury with nothing to back the money but more IOUs in the form of more Fed Reserve Notes. And that has caused China to divest itself of most of the US debt it ‘bought’, and now Japan, which itself is struggling with the crushing effects of the Meltdown, may soon follow suit.

    What that means is a drastically reduced amount of funding for government….which has never been wholly and exclusively funded through tax revenues. Tax revenues only go to pay on the interest of the loans – not the principle – foreign governments make to Uncle through the Fed Reserve, which is a consortium of private banks.

    It’s cut-back time. And that means drug prohibition is doomed to eventual death. Because it, like so many other government endeavors, requires foreign money to run…and that’s about to dry up sharply.

  • DdC

    Cannabinoid Studies Released
    The state-funded California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research announced that its studies have shown marijuana to have therapeutic value in a report released on February 17.

    New Study Confirms Marijuana as an Effective Painkiller
    A new California state-sponsored study has found that medical cannabis can reduce pain for patients suffering from HIV/Aids, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

    UC Studies Find Promise in Medical Marijuana

    Clinical Trials Show Medical Benefits of Pot

    Calif. Research Shows Pot Can Ease Muscle Spasms

  • DdC

    Raw Video: Colbert Meets ‘Polite Mob’ in Canada

    Gary Johnson on Legalizing Pot, Cutting Medicare, and the Legacy of Ron Paul
    Feb 17 2010
    “It’s never going to be legal to smoke pot [and] do harm to others. It’s never going to be legal for kids to smoke pot, OK? That said, we’re arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country on drug-related crime. Half of what we spend in law enforcement, half of what we spend in the courts and half of what we spend in the prisons is drug-related.”

    Vick’s Admission on Marijuana Use Raises Question
    Feb 16 2010
    Football star/dogfighter Michael Vick tries to blame his problems on marijuana. Says: “Everything that I was doing off the field, in regards to the marijuana and everything else, it didn’t slow me down, but it definitely slowed my developmental process.”

  • DdC

    DEA Agent Changes Tone After Threatening to Raid Dispensaries
    DEA special agent Jeffrey Sweetin first said “the time is coming when we go into a dispensary, we find out what their profit is, we seize the building and we arrest everybody.” Now he says the DEA is “not declaring war on dispensaries.”

    Colorado Medical Marijuana Lawyer Filing Complaint Over DEA Raid
    Feb 16 2010
    A medical marijuana lawyer wants the U.S. Department of Justice to discipline agents who raided a the home of a marijuana grower in suburban Denver.

    We Won’t Raid Medical Marijuana Producers . . .
    So Long as They Aren’t Successful at It. And They Don’t Talk About It.
    Feb 16 2010
    REASON MAGAZINE: The DEA is not only unapologetic, they appear to be blatantly ignoring last year’s directive from the Obama Justice Department instructing U.S. attorneys to allow medical marijuana growers and distributors to operate so long as they’re complying with state law.

    ACLU To City: Return Medical Marijuana

    Medical Marijuana Patients and Supporters Rally
    DRCnet

  • DdC

    STOP THE RAIDS!!!
    Join us Thursday (2/18) when President Obama is in Denver
    DRCnet

    Time to prohibit drugs prohibition
    Feb 17 2010
    THE GUARDIAN: From Juárez to London, the real victims of the ‘war on drugs’ are not the criminal gangs but ordinary young people.

    Medical Marijuana Week 2010
    Every year, Medical Marijuana Week focuses public attention on the need for safe access to medical marijuana.

  • LHALLET

    I got this as a gift for my birthday, it’s like the best place ever to hide your stuff. My book was sitting out on the coffee table and no one even noticed when I had people over lol. I never knew anything like this existed so I was really excited about it!!!

    I don’t know where she got it but there’s a stamp inside that says ‘hollow bookstore’. I bet it can be googled or something right? lol.

  • DdC

    The Hollow Book Store
    Recycled books that have been hollowed out
    to protect the things that are important to you

    * Looks just like a real book making a great hiding place with your other books (it’s made from a real book)
    * A wide selection of books so that you can have the book you want
    * Great as a gift – You can give that special person a book that has meaning to them
    * Reasonably priced – prices start at $13.95, specials are always available
    * Guaranteed to please or your money back
    * Steep discounts starting at two or more books

    Enter Our Wide variety of Stash Can
    Welcome to BingSmokes.com Online Smoke Shop.
    We carry a wide variety of safe stash’s…
    Fake Cigarette Stash
    Battery stash
    Monster stash can
    Mini stash can
    Bottle stash
    Soda stash can

    Better yet, don’t let em in without a warrant!

  • DdC

    IS IT LEGAL FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS TO BUY GUNS?

    Gun shop manager Patrick Jones says he wants to sell as many firearms as he can.

    But Jones won’t do business with known medical cannabis patients, such as Army Spc. Sean Merritt, an honorably discharged and disabled veteran.

    That refusal has drawn criticism from Merritt and other medical marijuana advocates, who have twice gone to Redding City Council chambers to denounce Jones, who happens to be mayor, for violating patients’ rights.

    “There is nothing in state law that says I cannot own or possess a firearm,” Merritt said at a recent council meeting. “And to be told as such is branding me as a severe mental patient or a felon. I am neither.”

    Jones has said he is merely following the law – in this case, a federal law that forbids gun dealers from selling firearms to anyone who is “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana.”

    Would-be gun owners are required to fill out a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF ) form that poses questions about the buyer’s criminal history, mental health, citizenship and drug use.

    Along with marijuana, Question 11e on the ATF form asks about “any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”

    If a buyer marks “yes” to Question 11e, the sale cannot go forward, Jones said. continued…

    The apparent conflict between state and federal law has put some gun dealers in a tough position.
    ~ Christine Gasparac,
    press secretary for the state Department of Justice

    Canister of Gov rolled joints
    Federal IND Patients
    Recipients of Legal Medical Cannabis, provided by the U.S. government under the Investigational New Drug Program (Compassionate Access I.N.D.)

    Believe it or not, the federal government sends free pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes to a special, but dwindling group of patients on a regular basis beginning in 1976 with Robert Randall. It all started when Robert was arrested for growing cannabis on his back deck and had to prove that this medicine was essential in to prevent his progressive loss of vision from glaucoma. Robert Randall won his case and subsequently the federal government allowed him access to the federal cannabis supply through the Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) Program that was under the authority of the FDA.

    FORMER SMUGGLERS NOW LEGIT AT MEDICAL POT CONVENTION
    Three decades ago, Bruce Perlowin was smuggling hundreds of thousands of pounds of Colombian marijuana to California in fishing boats passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. His childhood friend, David Tobias, was trafficking dope across turquoise Caribbean waters to Florida and Georgia. On Saturday, at a Los Angeles medical marijuana trade show teeming with entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on California’s legal pot market, the two chums were reunited as business consultants marketing “solutions for an emerging industry.”

    ALL THINGS MARIJUANA BLOOM AT CONVENTION CENTER
    There were cannabis creams and THC soda, doctor green thumbs, hemp nurses, and even a marijuana chef all taking part in the green festivities at HempCon 2010.

  • DdC

    Irish Widow Brings Case Over Cannabis ‘Link’
    A widowed mother-of-six has brought a High Court challenge to a coroner’s finding that cannabis smoking contributed to the death of her young husband from a heart attack.

    Marijuana Use By Seniors Goes Up as Boomers Age By Matt Sedensky
    CN Source: Journal Gazette February 22, 2010 Miami

    In her 88 years, Florence Siegel has learned how to relax: A glass of red wine. A crisp copy of The New York Times, if she can wrest it from her husband. Some classical music, preferably Bach. And every night like clockwork, she lifts a pipe to her lips and smokes marijuana.

    Long a fixture among young people, use of the country’s most popular illicit drug is now growing among the AARP set, as the massive generation of baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s and ’70s grows older.

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