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April 2011
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Open Thread

bullet image Drug Courts: Martin Sheen Defends Them in Congress. But Do They Work? – outstanding article by Maia Szalavitz in Time Magazine.

I think Maia does a great job of really laying out the issues regarding drug courts – pointing out that yes, drug courts can be better than long prison sentences (both in effectiveness and cost) for serious drug addicts. But there are a ton of negative factors, including a lack of oversight, a tendency to “widen the net” of the drug war, and forcing people who are not addicts to admit that they are.


bullet image U.S. law would label Mexican drug cartels “terrorist organizations” – a really bad idea

The bill proposed by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) would authorize U.S. law enforcement agencies to use extreme measures to isolate the cartels and capture their leaders.

Mexican political leaders have been warning that any U.S. intervention in their drug war could trample Mexico’s sovereignty.

This week, Jorge Alberto Lara Rivera, Mexico’s assistant attorney general, said that if U.S. law enforcement operations continue in Mexico without the government’s consent, “that would make us reevaluate many issues in our relationship,” according to Mexican media reports.

Mexican government officials say they still control their own country despite a war on drug trafficking that has claimed about 36,000 lives since it started in December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon called in troops against the cartels.

McCaul says more serious efforts are needed by the United States as the drug cartels turn their weapons against U.S. law officers.

“Mexican drug cartels are terrorist organizations, and this designation will provide the necessary tools to effectively advance the national security interests of both Mexico and the United States,” he said.


bullet image Drug laws ‘may make matters worse’

Police efforts to fight drug gangs tend to lead to more violence and an increase in murders, according to a new international study.

The authors, writing in the International Journal of Drug Policy, admit they were surprised by their own findings.

Of course, we’re not surprised by this at all. And we’ve talked about a preliminary version of this report before.


bullet image S.F. pot case tossed as video contradicts police – this is another case beyond the original scandal, showing the pervasive extent of the violation of citizens’ rights.


bullet image National Cancer Institute scrubs “anti-tumoral effect” of cannabinoids from website from NORML. The government frantically stepped in to change the positive summary on the cover page at the NCI site (twice), forcing people visiting the site to go to the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section to find the information about cannabis and tumors.

NCI offers a rather weak explanation for its quick revisions.

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42 comments to Open Thread

  • warren

    #1.Drug cartels in Mexico are NOT terrorists this is an excuse to stick our imperalistic nose where it does not belong.#2. If Mexican officials had any BALLS they would kick the u.s. out of Mexico on their sorry ass skidding along the gravel and glass road.

    • DdC

      Drug cartels in Mexico are NOT terrorists

      No but the US Narkofascists are…

      Strong corporate profits amid weak economy?
      Corporate profits grew 36.8 percent in 2010, the biggest gain since 1950, according to Friday’s latest report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. No sign could be more clear that U.S. companies see the so-called Great Recession in the rearview mirror.

      The Corporate Muzzle

      Money Spent on the War On Drugs this Year DrugSense

      The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second.
      Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy

      State and local governments spent at least another 25 billion dollars.
      Source: Jeffrey A. Miron & Kathrine Waldock

      Arrests for drug law violations this year are expected to exceed the 1,663,582 arrests of 2009. Law enforcement made more arrests for drug abuse violations (an estimated 1.6 million arrests, or 13.0 percent of the total number of arrests) than for any other offense in 2009. Someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 19 seconds.
      Source: Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • The stupidity and irresponsibility of the U.S. government is beyond belief. Confronted with the abhorrent consequences of the War on Drugs, its own brainchild, the U.S. refuses to look at itself in the mirror and recognise that the problem emanates from its own kitchen where the prohibition regime is being cooked and whose uneatable policies are fed forcefully down the throats of reluctant dinners.

    It is so frustrating to see that the only response the U.S. government is able to come up with is the use of force. I wish it were a matter of lack of imagination, but I’m afraid is nothing but the inevitable expression of a malaise that runs very, very deeply in the U.S. psyche: violence.

    Decades and decades of spiralling crime, murder, corruption, you name it, have taught the U.S. government nothing, absolutely nothing. One has to be totally stupid and useless, or rottingly cynical to continue supporting the War on Drugs policies.

    Gart Valenc
    http://www.stopthewarondrugs.org

  • Duncan20903

    Lots of stuff is better than a sharp stick in the eye. It doesn’t make them desirable.

  • the drug laws may make matters worse article is a hoot. “We were shocked I say, shocked.” Holy cow, they found out the pile of shit they’re holding (the WOD) is really a pile of shit (and we’ve been telling them that for nearly 4 decades). Who coulda known???

  • Ed Dunkle

    It won’t be long until drugwarrant and others like it are declared terrorist organizations.

  • divadab

    Malcolm Kyle – excellent screed! Down with the cruel, stupid, and unjust Prohibition Regime! Freedom in our bodies!

    Washington State residents: PLease sign I-1149, an initiative which would end penalties for adult possession, cultivation, use, sale, and transport of cannabis.

    The prohibitionists are backed into a corner, hysterical and dangerous, as their corrupt lying worldview is exposed. Keep working, stay happy, their brutal dominionist ideology is ending and they will be called to account for their evil anti-human ways.

  • chris

    Posting from hash bash. This is surreal.

    • DdC

      MARIJUANA REVOLUTION by John Sinclair

      Marijuana Revolution Poster

      White Panther Party
      Our program is Cultural Revolution through a total assault on the culture, which makes us use every tool, every energy and any media we can get our collective hands on. We take our program with us everywhere we go and use any means necessary to expose people to it. Our culture, our art, the music, newspapers, books, posters, our clothing, our homes, the way we walk and talk, the way our hair grows, the way we smoke dope and fuck and eat and sleep — it is all one message, and the message is FREEDOM!

      • DdC

        Thousands Pour Into Ann Arbor for 40th Hash Bash

        Thousands of people filled the University of Michigan Diag in Ann Arbor today, many of them echoing the same message sent at the first Hash Bash 40 years ago: Legalize marijuana.

        However, the details of the message have evolved since the 2008 passage of Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act , which prompted dispensaries for the still-controlled substance in and around Ann Arbor and the state.
        Read More…

        Montana Man Could Get Life for 3 Grams of Marijuana
        As Montana lawmakers debated the fallout of Montana’s medical marijuana law Wednesday, some of the same points were playing out in a Missoula County courtroom. full story

        40 years of Hash Bash: Marijuana festival started in 1972 in Ann Arbor stands test of time
        Mar 31 2011
        Thousands filled the University of Michigan Diag last year for the 39th annual Hash Bash. The 40th annual celebration of cannabis takes place this Saturday at noon.

  • Servetus

    If Mike McCaul (R-Texas) succeeds in rebranding Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations, he risks inducing the cartels to act like terrorists, making matters worse. Right now, the cartels act like drug cartels, which they are. Cartel confrontations with Mexican authorities and governments elsewhere typically use guerrilla tactics, not terrorist acts. The cartels don’t willingly target civilians.

    Speaking of terrorism, from the AP, ex-Colombian-president Alvaro Uribe is getting extra-special legal protection from the U.S. government to help Uribe avoid testifying in a lawsuit about what he knows of right wing death squads hired by the Drummond coal company in Alabama that have allegedly resulted in civilian deaths in Colombia.

    Seems the feds want the plaintiffs to “exhaust other avenues” of information gathering first; in other words, to waste their resources looking for where significant information will not be found instead of going to a primary source, who obviously knows too much.

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/03/31/general-us-uribe-subpoena_8385587.html

  • here’s one of those things that tho’ totally OT is on topic, from an excellent piece in the NYT on slavery and “contrabands” at the start of the Civil War, How Slavery Really Ended in America:

    On the evening of Nov. 9, 1989, a tumultuous throng of people pressed against the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie, in response to an erroneous announcement that the ban on travel to the West would be lifted immediately. The captain in charge of the befuddled East German border guards dialed and redialed headquarters to find some higher-up who could give him definitive orders. None could. He put the phone down and stood still for a moment, pondering. “Perhaps he came to his own decision,” Michael Meyer of Newsweek would write. “Whatever the case, at 11:17 p.m. precisely, he shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, ‘Why not?’ . . . ‘Alles auf!’ he ordered. ‘Open ’em up,’ and the gates swung wide.”

    The Iron Curtain did not unravel at that moment, but that night the possibility of cautious, incremental change ceased to exist, if it had ever really existed at all. The wall fell because of those thousands of pressing bodies, and because of that border guard’s shrug.

    That’s all it takes, one guard, one night watchman at the Watergate… and lots of people pushing on that wall.

  • so I wonder what it will take to get drug policy folks to hit the streets?

    I’s just reading about protests in Honduras ( Honduras is Burning: Eye-Witness Report on Repression ), Canadian Mining Corps weaseling into Mexico’s Sacred Lands ( Sacred Indigenous Site in Mexico Threatened by Canadian Mining Company ) and land seizures in Guatemala ( Evictions of Native Families Add Fuel to Fire Over Land Access in Guatemala ). And I caught those after reading a story in the WaPost by Marc Fisher on what sparked the wave of this popular uprising sweeping N Africa, definitely worth the read ( In Tunisia, act of one fruit vendor unleashes wave of revolution through Arab world

    And this bit of reading made me ask myself what will it take to get us drug policy types on the streets. We already have corrupt cops, armed government raids on our homes that too often result in death… we have a government that is blatantly lying about drug policy, a congress that has voted in more extreme laws and harsher punishment based on those lies… we have a Supreme (hah! that’s a title that it seems ought to be deserved more than claimed) Court that has created “drugs exceptions” to the Bill of Rights where none exist and claims the Constitution as if it were their sovereign territory… we have a class of wealth that is ripping us off to the tune of trillions of dollars yet not one of those Wall Street SOBs has gone to jail…

    … and did you hear? The execs for TransOcean (one of the 3 companies responsible for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster) just received their 2010 safety bonuses? Word

    How pissed off do we have to get about being pissed on before we stand and say “no more”… hmmm?

    • Julian

      I may be completely wrong but, I feel most people are not aware of the extent to which these injustices exist and how they actually affect them. A good example comes from Psychology Today. They did a study to see how people view other people and discovered that, on average, when shown a picture of an illegal drug user or a homeless person the part of the viewers brain that is associated with identifying human faces did not react. IE: People do not view the homeless or those who use illegal drugs as people. On top of that most people still believe that this collateral damage is an exceptable sacrifice in protecting the rest of us from the evils of drugs. Or put more correctly, the Evils of the drug war are more acceptable then the “evils” of no drug war. The only two options, in my eyes, are 1) make everyone aware of how evil the drug war actually is so they take to the streets with ire and distain for the establishment that perpetuates this fool hearty war (I would love to see this happen but I believe it is impossible) or 2) completely agree with them but in a manor that makes the way you want to fight the war on drugs more effective in all facets (I have found this to be the most effective means of achieving the end we so desire). Which is why I love debating people on drug prohibition and telling them I support the war on drugs but think we should define what our ultimate goal is in this drug war (outlawing all drugs? minimizing harms caused by drugs? et cetera)and then decide the best way to achieve that goal. Prohibitionists cannot defend against the “what is the ultimate goal of this war?” because the only options are a completely drug free America (which angers many alcohol consumers) or something else they cannot quite define without contradicting things they will try to say later in the discussion or without supporting what you are going to say about using regulation to restrict access to drugs thus reducing the harms of drugs. Once you force them to define the goal they are stuck with it and the only goal they can say without pissing off the majority of the people around them is “Reduce the harms these drugs cause to our society and its members.” To which we have the ultimate response “Why not regulate them strictly so that children cannot have access? So that police do not waste limited resources chasing adults who do not have a problem with abuse and can focus on those who do, like we do with alcohol? Why not tax them like we do cigarettes so we can use that money to fund our war on drugs, prevention, and treatment efforts?” Try as they may they cannot stick to their definition of the goal and condemn regulation without being a blatant hypocrite to everyone who is watching.

      Again, I may be completely off on this and if I am please let me know what you think would be a better approach. As always, thank you for letting me be part of this.

  • Servetus

    The NCI revision of their website information on cannabinoids makes a big deal out of the fact that the FDA has not approved the use of medical marijuana, as if the FDA is the end-all and be-all of medical science.

    I once crossed paths with a ranking official of Australia’s equivalent to the FDA, currently called the Department of Health and Ageing Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA official informed me that they don’t automatically okay a drug just because the FDA has previously approved it. They run their own tests. The reason, obviously, is the Australians know the FDA is often a captive agency of U.S. Big Pharma, and that the FDA can’t always be counted on to properly screen new drug applications.

    • DdC

      Good one Douglas,

      The 1906 US Pure Food and Drug Act reflected this by giving dictatorial power to the USDA Bureau of Chemistry to declare a substance ‘dangerous’ or deleterious to human health’ WITHOUT any scientific requirements, while setting up certain substances (while lacking any justifiable science) … Fathom that: an Act empowering the US Department of Agriculture to effectively ban anything EXCEPT that agricultural commodity of Tobacco.

      After Vietnam and the Ganjawar, it’s incredible how many naive twits still post their appeasing and compromising denialists reform of reality. Still believing in the flag jerking fake democracy going to saved them. The high and mighty arrogance of these Untied States of Anemicans. USA!qaeda fits. Makes one think its possible for humans to make people sick just to sell them medicine. The same Big Ag pesticide corporations are siblings of Big Pharma and all tied into Big Oil. Chemtrails spewing aluminum oxide or pcb’s, dioxins and now radiation. Fossil fools over filler up with Ethyl. Crude oil plastic over veggie oil plastic, trees over Hemp, cotton over Hemp, polyfibers over Hemp. Cattle Dairy and Fish over Hempseed and Oil. White Powders over Nature’s Ganja. Gasoline Buses over electric trollies. Shelving solar panels and profits on every damn “Police Action” since Korea. That’s probably why they’re Fascists practicing Imperialism.

      Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

      “Another weapon I discovered early was the power of the printed word to sway souls to me. The newspaper was soon my gun, my flag- a thing with a soul that could mirror my own.” Adolph Hitler

      Corporations That Own Our Media – 03/14/00
      In the process, the usual democratic expectation for the media — diversity of ownership and ideas — has disappeared as the goal of official policy and, worse, as a daily experience of a generation of American readers and viewers.

      Oh but don’t tell dunkem, he makes such a specticle of himself when he learns of his Uncle Scams treachery. Can’t Heppen Here…

      • DdC

        How Weed Works
        Dr. Sean McAllister and his research team at the California Pacific Medical Center has been studying cannabidiol with interesting results. When CBD is injected into rats with cancer, for instance, the tumors disappear. CBD could be the cure for cancer? The challenge that research team faces is getting the dosage perfect, as too much CBD makes the tumors bigger.

        Grandmother Arrested In Drug Raid
        CN BC: Matas, Robert Globe and Mail 01 May 2011

        Medical Marijuana Lobbying Debuts in D.C.
        The $1.7 billion medical marijuana industry made its lobbying debut in Washington on Wednesday with its official trade association launching an effort for changes in federal tax law that would put medicinal purveyors on equal footing with fully legitimate businesses.

        Dan Rather: Mexican Standoff
        Five years into Mexico’s U.S.-backed war on drug trafficking, the sale of narcotics continues to be a one of Mexico’s most profitable industries — earning violent cartels an estimated $30 billion each year, or roughly three to four percent of Mexico’s GDP.

      • DdC

        Time to stock up on my magic soap…

        Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One!
        5 Generations and 150 Years of Soapmaking Excellence
        Marking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.

        Industrial Hemp: A Sustainable Alternative to Problematic Raw Materials

        Stop TransFair’s “FairWash” of Personal Care!
        OCA and Dr. Bronner’s File Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Complaint Against
        TransFair and Fair Trade Cheater Brands Avon and Hain Celestial
        http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/stop-transfair.cfm
        nternational trade has failed to deliver a better standard of living to many impoverished farmers and workers in the developing world, where unfair and exploitative prices, wages and working conditions prevail, trapping millions in poverty. TransFair licenses its seal for a fee on products and brands that have as little as 2% fair trade content.

        In response, the “Fair Trade” movement, fueled by hundreds of retailers, NGOs, mission-driven for-profit “Alternative Trading Organizations” and conscious consumers, has established criteria and standards for fair pricing, wages and working conditions in farming and processing of diverse commodities and products. Products certified to these standards empower farmers and workers, and their families and communities, enabling them to improve their lives and livelihoods.

        Truth and Lies in Organic Personal Care

      • DdC

        To Avoid Getting High, Pot-Busting Cops Wore Protective Gear
        Mar 31 2011
        In a major marijuana bust in New York, “DEA agents, NYPD cops and members of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s office wore protective gear to avoid getting contact highs from the veritable forest” according to the NY Post.

        Cheech and Chong Shoes From Nike?
        Mar 31 2011
        Sole Collector website says Nike will produce Dunk Hi sneakers to salute the world’s two most famous stoners.

        Saint Stephen and the Theo-Cons vs. The Devil’s Weed
        With an election coming and Conservative support indicated in the polls, is Canada under threat of becoming a Theocratic Dictatorship?

        Dem Rep. Jared Polis Calls on Congress to End Marijuana Prohibition
        Speaking alongside industry advocates, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) called Wednesday for Congress to end the prohibition on marijuana, stressing the need to reduce drug violence while hailing the medical cannabis market’s capacity for growing the economy.

      • DdC

        Save Canada’s Cannabis Culture: Vote Out The Conservatives on May 2
        CANNABIS CULTURE – Calling all Canadian marijuana users! A federal election has been called and Canada needs your help. It’s now time to stand up and rescue our country from Stephen Harper and his anti-democratic, pot-hating Conservative Party. Vote against the Conservatives on May 2, 2011 and SAVE CANADA!

        U2b: Cannabis Culture: It’s Time To Vote!

        Harsh Toke: Marijuana Legalization Bill Dies in Washington State
        By Chris Grygiel, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer – Tuesday, April 5 2011

        House Bill 1550 didn’t advance out of the relevant committees by Friday evening – a key cutoff date during the 2011 Legislature.

        Technically, the measure could be incorporated into a budget bill in the final weeks of the session, but that seems highly unlikely. full story

      • DdC

        Election in Canada – It’s Time to Get Active!
        As you’re probably heard, we are now in the midst of a Federal Election in Canada! That means S-10 is now dead, and that we have a chance to defeat Stephen Harper! full story

        Keys Group Pissed at Scott, Sends Him Urine
        A new political action group started to combat Scott’s new drug testing policy for government employees plans on sending the new governor a jar full of urine to save officials the trouble of traveling south.

        Can The City Do That?
        Can the city legally require an entire industry-legal at the state level but verboten federally-to close its doors while it seeks the city’s blessing?

        “You politicians have got to look further ahead;
        you always got a putter in your hands,
        when you ought to have a driver.” -Will Rogers

      • DdC

        Did You Know?
        Felon Loss of Voting Rights, on Procon.org

        Did you know that nearly 1 in 40 people in the US voting population are barred from voting due to criminal convictions? Read about it on felonvoting.procon.org, part of the ProCon.org family.

        ProCon.org: Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues

        Slavery: Another Fine Product Still Made in the USA!
        SLAVERY IS STILL LEGAL in the USA. Contrary to what we may learn in school, the American Civil War did not see the complete abolition of slavery in 1865. The 13th Amendment to their constitution reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime…”

        Great numbers of newly freed blacks were quickly ‘convicted’ and forced to work without pay in state prisons. For those unfortunates all that happened was that ownership of slaves transferred from private parties to the state. Today, with the advent of private, profit-making prisons and prison factories slavery still exists and is moving back to the private sector.

        UNICOR operates 90 prison factories and is rapidly expanding. San Quentin inmates enter computer data for the Bank of America. Prisoners in New Mexico take hotel reservations by phone. Hawaiian convicts pack golf balls and at Folsom they manufacture stainless steel vats for beer brewers. The list goes on and on.

        Slave Labor Means Big Bucks For U.S. Corporations
        At the same time, the United States blasts China for the the use of prison slave labor, engaging in the same practice itself. Prison labor is a pot of gold. No strikes, union organizing, health benefits, unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation to pay. As if exploiting the labor of prison inmates was not bad enough, it is legal in the United States to use slave labor. The 13th Amendment of the Constitution states that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States.”

      • DdC

        “The acute toxicity of cannabis is very low, and there are no confirmed cases of deaths from cannabis overdose in the world literature. Long term heavy cannabis use does not appear to produce severe impairment of cognitive function.” – Report of the National Task Force on Cannabis (Australia, 1994)

        Montana House Panel Amends, Approves New Medical Pot
        US MT: Johnson, Charles S. Missoulian 06 Apr 2011

        Not Guilty Verdict Concludes Emotional Court Trial
        US MT: Broadt, Lisa The Lake County Leader & Advertiser 07 Apr 2011

      • DdC

        Officials Can’t Stem Flow Of Jail Narcotics
        CN AB: Column: Jacobs, Mindelle Edmonton Sun 06 Apr 2011

        Hash Bash No. 40
        US MI: Column: Gabriel, Larry Metro Times 06 Apr 2011

        The Great Duopoly Debate
        US CA: Graham, Meredith J. Chico News & Review, the 07 Apr 2011

        Cannabiz
        US CO: Crawford, Bryce Colorado Springs Independent 07 Apr 2011

  • strayan

    There’s something I want you all to listen to about the black slave trade being put on trial:

    http://sydney.edu.au/podcasts/2011/slavery_rethinking_the_past.mp3

    Lord knows the drug war needs to be as well.

  • malcolm kyle

    It’s not everyday you make a new alliance

  • darkcycle

    Brief word..Sorry, all. Please disregard anything posted under the darkcycle moniker for at least the last couple of weeks. Profound disruptions to my health ( I have had a back/neck injury) coupled with major changes in circumstances beyond my control, yet affecting my continued well being have occurred recently. This has resulted in random, hurried, obviously emotional and poorly thought out posts tumbling forth from my computer recently. When the pain and the pharmaceuticals subside, and things steady out I’ll try to explain on another open thread, since it’s OT but very salient. Please accept my apology.

  • tommy

    Nice article in The Hook, an alt weekly here in Charlottesville VA. href=http://www.readthehook.com/89511/equinoxer-activist-making-soldier-war-against-war-drugs

  • Jake

    One step closer to the pharma profits… http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20327-cannabislike-drugs-could-kill-pain-without-the-high.html

    “This is an important breakthrough in the long-sought separation of intoxicant effects of THC from its desired medical effects,” says Les Iversen at the University of Oxford in the UK, who studies the effects of marijuana.

    Also interesting in that it states Sativex is being trialled in the states? Is that true, because its a pure extract i.e. raw cannabis + alcohol, and I thought that wasn’t allowed over there? (maybe confused with Canada?):

    No psychotic effects been seen in the US, where Sativex is being trialled to combat pain in cancer patients.

    (Link to journal: http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchembio.552.html)

    • Duncan20903

      There’s no confusion, Sativex is in phase 3 of the FDA’s approval process. The DEA is quietly moving organic THC from schedule I to Schedule III to facilitate its approval I have absolutely no clue why some people emote with the wailing and gnashing of teeth when they hear that people in all 50 States are a lot more likely to get needed medicine. I’m also clueless why people thought that the medicalization of cannabinoids would take any other path. Did people actually fall for the Know Nothings red herring that authorizing cannabinoid medicine would lead to re-legalization? I’ve never been able to figure out how they think that nonsense would happen.

      In phase 1 they test it in test tubes and simulations. If nothing bad happens they use animals in phase 2. Phase 3 means there are human beings taking the drug being tested. One major reason why FDA approval isn’t the panacea of safety that the Know Nothings make of it is because the numbers of study subjects are pretty small and stuff like “rarely causes death” only show up in a minuscule percentage of people prescribed the medicine. For example, between 1/1/1997 and 6/30/2005 2,254 people died as a direct result of taking Viagra. I don’t think its unreasonable to presume that at least 10 million men in the US have used it. If the 2,254 also includes deaths from overseas patients then the ratio of number of deaths:people prescribed Viagra is incredibly small and not likely to be observed in clinical trials that use a couple of hundred subject at most. The expense of testing would be prohibitive and would likely take a decade or longer to catch a rare adverse effect.

      http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000145#drugdeathchart

      I know people like to think that it’s all about money but the extreme testing has the country’s thalidomide tragedy as a significant causal factor for the medical establishments inclination to err on the side of caution.
      But if we can use thalidomide as a salient example of why kneejerk ban it forever is wrong, wrong, wrong. Thalidomide was banned for between 3 and four decades. Today it’s an approved medicine and shows great results in shrinking tumors. The fact that all those thalidomide babies suffered such extreme birth defects is no reason to not use it as medicine for a person who isn’t or likely to become pregnant.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide

      “Thalidomide must not be taken by women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant while taking this medication. Even a single dose of thalidomide taken during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects (physical problems present in the baby at birth) or death of the unborn baby. A program called System for Thalidomide Education and Prescribing Safety (S.T.E.P.S.®) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make sure that pregnant women do not take thalidomide and that women do not become pregnant while taking thalidomide. All people who are prescribed thalidomide, including men and women who cannot become pregnant, must be registered with S.T.E.P.S.®, have a thalidomide prescription from a doctor who is registered with S.T.E.P.S.®, and have the prescription filled at a pharmacy that is registered with S.T.E.P.S.® in order to receive this medication.

      You will need to see your doctor every month during your treatment to talk about your condition and any side effects you may be experiencing. At each visit, your doctor may give you a prescription for up to a 28-day supply of medication with no refills. You must have this prescription filled within 7 days.”

      from:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001053/

      • Jake

        Duncan, thanks for clearing that up about the scheduling/testing. One thing though, if organic THC is being moved to Schedule III how can that include Sativex as it more than just THC (whole plant, CBD etc.)? Also, isn’t that move pretty big news?

  • Windy

    I have a question for every American. Why do we even bother having (and paying for) a congress? They’ve given away all their duties and powers to the Fed and the Prez, so why are we taxpayers paying members of congress to go sit in DC doing only things that are harmful to the Constitution and our freedom? It was congress which created the idea of prohibition and it is congress which must end it; but they ignore the whole thing as if it doesn’t even register in their minds. We should either abolish congress completely or demand they do the work the Constitution requires (and no more than the Constitution requires).

  • Vivian McPeak (nicely done Vivian!)

    Enough medical marijuana. This is silly. Just legalize it for everyone.

    As a cannabis reform activist for over two decades, it is stunning for me to witness the conversion that is taking place in this country. It is demoralizing to see that America will most likely legalize marijuana, but for all the wrong reasons. Forget the injustice, never mind the gross human rights violations that have been committed against millions of Americans for years – there is money to be made.

    Yes, finally, reform activists are talking a language the American public can connect with: financial gain.

    Today I read in the newspaper that Nike is rushing to capitalize on marijuana’s newfound notoriety. Ah, yes, the corporate shoe manufacturer that has its products made in China for pennies is teaming up with Cheech and Chong, the comedy act that has for years reinforced the hurtful negative memes and stereotypes that have been used to justify imprisoning millions of pot smokers. A match made in hemp heaven.

  • @ Windy,

    What about electing the right people? As they say, every country has the politicians it deserves!

    Gart Valenc
    http://www.stopthewarondrugs.org

  • DdC, until you learn to show me some respect by following the simple rules I’ve given you many times, all your posts will need to be moderated.

  • DdC

    Pete this is one stop in many examples I post for others to see what gullible twits have to say. If censorship is your bag then deal with it. Compromising with the truth is not why I post and sparing the feelings of moneysluts is weak. I’m supposed to hate my enemies, not barter with them. If some sound vibrations bother your religious upbringing then you will probably have to censor them. But they don’t bother me and I have no clue what words are distasteful to you, so censor away. Sorry, but Respect is earned and I will never respect a moneyslut or their groupie trolls like _________.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold
    is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

    Thomas Jefferson

    mod·er·ate
       /adj., n. ˈmɒdərɪt, ˈmɒdrɪt; v. ˈmɒdəˌreɪt/ Show Spelled [adj., n. mod-er-it, mod-rit; v. mod-uh-reyt] Show IPA adjective, noun, verb, -at·ed, -at·ing. –adjective

    1. kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense: a moderate price.

    Reasonable and proper are opinions that change with each forum and poster.

    2. of medium quantity, extent, or amount: a moderate income.

    3. mediocre or fair: moderate talent.

    mediocre truth?

    4. calm or mild, as of the weather.

    A little rebellion now and then is a good thing
    and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

    THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to James Madison, Jan. 30, 1787

    5. of or pertaining to moderates, as in politics or religion.

    Appeasing, selling out, see: snitch, lesser evil, nice but not precise…

    “The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed.”
    Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

    • DdC —
      If you’re saying that you can’t respect the rules here because you’re posting the same stuff everywhere, then you’re just spamming. I am able to observe different modes of interaction when I’m writing for a newspaper, talking to a conservative group, posting on my blog, or talking with friends. In this way, I’m able to convince more people.

      You’re quick to call censorship, but you fail to even listen to the reasons for our discussion guidelines. And don’t give me that bullshit about me not liking certain words because of my religious upbringing. If that’s the case, then maybe you need to spend a little less time posting volumes of other people’s stuff and actually start paying attention to what’s going on.

      I have no objections to the words “idiot” or “moron,” etc. In fact, I often use them myself, when referring to public figures. We don’t, however, use them to refer to posters here in our comment threads.

      It’s not because my ears are sensitive, or I’m afraid of the words. In fact, there is one person you can call names in our discussion threads, and that’s me. It won’t chase me away, because it’s my own blog. No, the reason for the rules is because this is a valuable discussion room and I want to encourage people of a wide variety of viewpoints to feel comfortable about posting, discussing, and yes, even arguing.

      You can say “you’re wrong, and this is why.” That’s perfectly OK. You should do that. But it doesn’t serve a conversation to call people idiots and sluts. That is the technique of someone who doesn’t have the truth on his side and is trying to shut down opposing views through name-calling.

      Some discussion boards may be made up of nothing but ganja freaks gathered around in a circle-jerk who don’t want to hear other people’s opinions and call them names until they go away. That’s fine. It’s not productive, but that’s a choice. But that’s not Drug WarRant.

      If you can’t understand why a policy of encouraging robust discussion isn’t appeasement or promoting mediocrity, then I, quite frankly, don’t have anything to say to you.

  • denmark

    Washington state is about to get blasted by the attor u.s prick up here. They’re sending letters to “marijuana stores” (their words), and telling the landlords they’re running an illegal operation.
    My Collective doesn’t know anymore than I do.
    Dammit, damn them all to hell.

    Cannabis saved me from physical death. Now they want to kill me.

  • MaipFrisa

    Hi Members,
    I want to discuss about something important that surely is a little bit OT, but I hope that this forum is so good quality, that not so much out of this topic will be tolerated. I am a old age girl with a moderate passion for the seeds marijuana and I spend time to put together information about this website. When you own more information about seeds marijuana, don’t mind to send me an email or PM. In advance thx,

    thanks,

    Karel