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July 2011
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If it comes out of the drug czar’s mouth…

What a kidder…

The Obama Administration has made clear that science and research – not politics – should determine what is safe and effective medicine.

Right.

And, of course, he just can’t resist throwing out completely irrelevant treatment numbers.

… 150,000 people who showed up voluntarily at treatment facilities in 2009 reported marijuana as their primary substance of abuse.

The volunteerism of 149,999 of those had to do with choice.

“Either you show up at treatment, or you’re out of this house buster.”

“Either you go to treatment or you go to jail.”

“Either you sign up for treatment now, or the judge isn’t going to look at your case as favorably when you show up at court.”

The 150,000th person thought it would be a good place to pick up chicks.

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40 comments to If it comes out of the drug czar’s mouth…

  • Ben

    Marijuana abuse is real. It’s nowhere near as harmful as the physiologically addictive drugs that eat your soul from the inside out, but a great many people smoke too much weed, want to cut back, but aren’t able to do so.

    Is that a good reason to exert the full violence of the state against anyone involved with marijuana? Just ask Gil!

    • dt

      Even if some people need help cutting back, no one can claim with a straight face that marijuana is more addictive than nicotine or alcohol. Thus its limited addictiveness is not a good argument that its prohibition is not arbitrary.

    • undrgrndgirl

      cannabis “addiction” is no worse than caffeine addiction…

    • Notsure

      I gave up pot and cigarettes a week ago to heal my lungs. Guess which one I would choke a kitten for right now.

  • Peter

    This article on the government “Of Substance” blog has to be seen for what it is: defensive. Similar stuff can be found here on the ncjrs blog:

    http://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/pdf/whos_in_prison_for_marij.pdf

    • kaptinemo

      The prohibs always conveniently forget to add that it’s a charge of possession that launches the legal Juggernaut trundling forward to crush the unlucky soul that’s in its’ path. Then they, with wide eyes and faux shocked faces, tell the public that “No one goes to jail for pot”.

      It all starts with possession. So, yes, people do go to prison for pot. Lies of omission are still lies…

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Quite frankly, jail time is the least of a person’s worries. If that was the only potential worry I wouldn’t be here. Yeah, I know it scares people who’ve never been there. People that have, not so much. But that fear is how they scam people into begging for “treatment”.

  • dt

    The worst thing about the ONDCP post is the notion that it is illegitimate for individuals, communities, and states to determine what is safe and effective medicine. If a large community reasonably believes that smoked marijuana is safe and effective, then why should the lack of FDA approval mean that individuals who use marijuana deserve to be prosecuted?

  • rita

    @ dt — Actually, it IS illegitimate for states and communities to decide what is safe and effective medicine. The only person who has either the right or the responsibility to decide what goes into my body is ME. And if I decide that I need advice, that’s what doctors — not lawyers, not probation officers, not cops, not judges, not politicians, DOCTORS — are for. Let the states and communities worry about what goes on OUTSIDE my body. What goes on inside ain’t nobody’s business but my own.

    • dt

      I completely agree with you. By “community” I meant the community of marijuana smokers or the medical marijuana community, not like a town or a city. But yeah, what really pisses me off about the ONDCP post is that they think their position is based on “science and research,” but all of the science saying marijuana is safe and effective and all of our personal experience is completely illegitimate, and we deserve to be prosecuted, because there has been no FDA approval. And they think they’re helping us.

      • Windy

        I do not believe that “they think they’re helping us”. I think they KNOW that cannabis is as close to harmless as any substance can get, that the real, the ONLY, reason why they pursue this course is MONEY and POWER!

  • Tony Aroma

    Two things: First, just a couple of weeks ago, in response to the report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the Czar said that the drug war is working. He quoted statistics showing how much drug use has decreased. Now he’s talking about what a big problem drug use is. So either way you look at it — fewer drug users or more drug users — the drug war must keep going. I guess that’s the exact opposite of a Catch 22 — no matter the outcome, you are successful.

    Secondly, where can I get a list of those 209 federally-licensed cannabis researchers? How about a list of their research grants, which would include information about what exactly was being studied? Information on all federally-funded research of any kind should be available to the public. If you know where to look.

  • Me

    Don’t forget the “If you don’t go to treatment you will lose your job” statement. After all we are only here to help you become a productive member of society.

  • rita

    Laws shouldn’t be based on science and research, anyway.

    • dt

      Right on. Drug use does not violate anyone else’s rights, therefore it should not be criminal. End of discussion. But the busybodies think everyone else’s body is their business.

  • darkcycle

    How much money does the drug czar make? You’d have to pay me one hell of a lot to walk around and just be a tool.

  • DdC

    149,999 x $4500.00 = $674,995,500.00
    or
    1 showed up at Starbucks @ $5 for the Antidote = Strong Coffee

    Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA* Chairman and Founder
    The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
    Effective and Affordable Recovery $4500.00 for 30 days

    Cannabis, U.S.P. No. 96
    One Pint (475 CC.) Fluid Extract (Cannabis Sativa)
    Contains Alcohol 80 Percent
    Physiologically Standardized according to the U.S.P.
    Use-Antispasmodic, Sedative and Narcotic
    Average Dose-1.5 min. (0.1 cc.)
    Antidotes-Emetics to remove as much as possible.
    Strong Coffee as a respiratory stimulant.

  • palemalemarcher

    I wonder if the AG of the US DoJ is cognizant of their recent edict’s deleterious effect on PWA’s. By that I mean the obsession with only federal law concerning drug prohibition. The consequence however of the aversion of our chameleon in chief’s governing style, may be ever expanding regimen of drug tests, for that always seems to be the rage of the GOP, ever since Reagan. The idea of taxing and regulating cannabis discussed here is an attempt at multi-partisanship, to mitigate having to do with less in todays tough economy.

  • palemalemarcher

    No matter how many times the potency issue is rebutted, the point is the ONDCP doesn’t want normalization! I do feel unsophisticated however in granting the ONDCP author yet another opportunity to spout another bromide of kant. I read there is no tar in bud, so in a roundabout way bongs are not needed.

    • Windy

      Bongs — Needed or not, that’s most people’s preference for smoking the herb.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Peer reviewed research commissioned by California NORML shows that bongs are the least healthful way of smoking cannabis. The water also removes THC despite the fact that it isn’t water soluble, and the result is that there is a higher ratio of those dangerous nasties created by combustion to THC after filtering the smoke through water. Of course no method of smoking holds a candle to the proven safety of vaporization.
        http://www.canorml.org/healthfacts/smokestudy.html

        You know, one of Dale Gieringer’s most remarkable talents is somehow managing to get GI cannabis from NIDA to use in studies sponsored by CaNORML. He must have pictures of Dr. Elsohly engaging in unspeakable acts of passion with farm animals or something.
        ————————————————————
        One thing we can say is certain about cannabis is that it’s completely counter intuitive in every respect. If the conclusion makes logical sense in the real world it just doesn’t apply to cannabis.

  • kaptinemo

    It’s hardly original to note that, just like other social movements of its’ day, drug prohibition is more like a religion than anything else. It has its’ dogmas, its’ catechisms (“Just say no, kiddies!”) and of course, its’ offices dedicated to ‘defending the faith’…which is the function the ONDCP serves. So when I see and hear the DrugCzar speak, any DrugCzar, I just think of him and his cohort as wearing robes and those funny hats Roman Catholic clerics wear in the Vatican, gibbering in high DrugWar Bureaucratese instead of Latin.

    Only, instead of feverish contemplation of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it’s more like how many armed and armored, house-invading DrugWarriors can dance on the heads of the innocent homeowners and kill x number of family pets. All to save the kiddies…and their paychecks.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      One of the biggest mistakes that the Catholic Church has ever made was deciding to hold services in the vernacular. It’s a lot easier to reject nonsense if you understand the words.

  • Steve

    I don’t what constitutes the difference between “abuse” and just “use” of cannabis, but obviously the media portrays everything as abuse. For those that overdo it with weed and are the type that it makes lethargic and lazy, I am sorry. For many who use it regularly, it provides creative thought, focus and motivation and I’ll take as much of that as I can get in this short lifetime…

    Another note: Doesn’t it just klll you (no pun intended) that cannabis is so demonized and yet there are hundreds, if not thousands of plants that you can freely grow on your property that would kill or do permanent damage to your body and mind with absolutely no concern…politics doesn’t care because there is no market for them….

    • Billie Budd

      I have often had that same thought whilst watering the rhubarb, nightshades, foxglove and datura…good come back to anyone shouting prohibitionist codswallop about Cannabis the Killer….

    • tommy

      When I was in “treatment” in the early ’90s they boldly stated that ANY use of ANY illegal drug, even once, constituted addiction.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        …because only an addict is willing to break the law to get high. It’s part of the Humpty Dumpty School of Sophistry that the Know Nothings so love. If a word gets in the way of their hysterical rhetoric they simply change the word’s definition.

        It’s actually valid for drinking alcohol addiction and was where the rule started. But like the bastardization of AA’s “a drink is a drink is a drink” (read: a beer is a drink, a glass of wine is a drink, a shot of liquor is a drink…truth) to “a drug is a drug is a drug (read: an aspirin is a drug, a dose of penicillin is a drug, a shot of heroin is a drug…say what?) it just doesn’t translate and loses all validity when applied to (some) drugs.

    • kaptinemo

      …there are hundreds, if not thousands of plants that you can freely grow on your property that would kill or do permanent damage to your body and mind with absolutely no concern…

      Think of it as a demi-conscious (or in the worst prohibs, conscious) expression of Social Darwinism. Prohibs have made no secret of the fact that they would prefer ‘druggies’ die off in order to ‘purify’ the gene pool. This was, in fact, the goal of the eugenicists who were involved in formulating the first drug laws at the beginning of the last century.

      They really don’t care…because they figure that anyone who dies from accidental poisoning courtesy of munching on the wrong plants is too stupid to be allowed to breed. How compassionate, huh?

    • Randy

      The old “use is abuse” canard has been around a long time. Just like all the other pro-WOD sloganeering, it’s used not to inform or enlighten, but just the opposite. It’s used to muddy the waters.

      If “use” isn’t “abuse”, then someone might question the premises of drug prohibition, and we can’t have that, can we?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      One thing about the Know Nothings that just kills me is they think there are only to modes for humans concerning cannabis, those being either dedicated to wake and bake or total abstinence, with nothing in between. From my observations the fans of wake and bake are a single digit percentage of those who enjoy cannabis. But that’s where the nonsense about surgeons, fork lift operators and school bus drivers comes from.

      But even if we’re talking about people who are high 24/7/365 cannabis is still the best choice as far as long term effects and externalities like impaired driving.

      • Windy

        Hey, I love to wake and bake, but I don’t stay high all day, I enjoy the morning load but I don’t do another until late afternoon or early evening or (most often) until just before bedtime to help me sleep. Except on rare occasions (vacation, holiday party, etc.) I don’t do more than two loads a day.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    An alcoholic in San Francisco has a choice of over 700 AA meetings every week, and in many different languages to accommodate the unregistered guests.
    http://www.aasf.org/

    A junkie in San Francisco has his choice of 115 NA meetings every week.
    http://portaltools.na.org/portaltools/MeetingLoc/SSearchResults.cfm

    San Francisco CA is arguably the cannabis capital of the United States.

    A pothead in San Francisco has a choice of 3 (three) meetings every week, and oddly a once monthly meeting of Merrywanna Anonymouse. (women only)
    http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/meetdt1.shtml

    (Please don’t say merrywanna addicts can go to NA, that’s horse shit. They can do so if they enjoy being ridiculed and marginalized for thinking that their “addiction” is real.)

    • Peter

      I think there are a relatively small number of cannabis users who do find that drug problematical (as 12 Steppers would say, whose lives had become unmanageable) and these folks are welcome in NA.
      Obviously the dependency is psychological rather than physical and it is probably closer to addictions to sex or codependency than heroin and alcohol. As an NA member with 22 years I have seldom noticed any ridicule of cannabis users who identify as addicts. Many of course do attend because they are court ordered and as soon as any probation ends they tend to stop coming. No doubt the prohibs count these attendees as voluntary seekers of treatment for cannabis addiction, to add to their propaganda campaign.
      Addiction has a pretty wide definition and i’m sure some might argue that what we do here on this blog is addictive, and i couldn’t really argue with that.

  • Jillian Galloway

    On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” After forty years of trying to destroy “the drug menace in America” we still *haven’t* been able to destroy it and it still *hasn’t* destroyed us. Four decades is long enough to realize that on this important issue, President Nixon was wrong! All actions taken as a result of his invalid and paranoid assumptions (e.g. the federal marijuana prohibition) should be ended immediately!

    It makes no sense for taxpayers to fund the federal marijuana prohibition when it *doesn’t* prevent people from using marijuana and it *does* make criminals incredibly wealthy and incite the Mexican drug cartels to murder thousands of people every year.

    We need legal adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies for exactly the same reason that we need legal alcohol and tobacco sales – to keep unscrupulous black-market criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana must be made legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

    “There’s something extraordinarily perverse when we’re so concerned about preventing addicts from having access to drugs that we destroy the lives of many times more people, either through untreated pain or other drug war damage”.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Speaking of people driving “impaired” by cannabis, back in the 1970s there was a singer named Harry Chapin who had a number of hit songs but unfortunately died in 1982 of a heart attack at age 38. One of his biggest hits was called Taxi. That song would cause the Know Nothings of today to have kittens.

    In the tradition of the 1970 it’s a long 6 1/2 minute song and it’s the last verse that’s salient.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z-6fAgxKRY

    It’s strange, how you never know,
    But we’d both gotten what we’d asked for,
    Such a long, long time ago.
    You see, she was gonna be an actress
    And I was gonna learn to fly.
    She took off to find the footlights,
    And I took off for the sky.
    And here, she’s acting happy,
    Inside her handsome home.
    And me, I’m flying in my taxi,
    Taking tips, and getting stoned,
    I go flying so high, when I’m stoned.

    Harry’s money is still feeding the hungry to this day. Just another example of a worthless pothead.
    http://www.harrychapinfoundation.org/about.php

    • I remember Harry. Saw him once in Davenport, Iowa for a benefit concert – just him and a guitar. If he needed backup singers for a number (Mr. Tanner), he’d invite some audience members up. At intermission, he sat on the edge of the stage and chatted with us. What an amazing man– life cut way too short.

      • kaptinemo

        I recall his songs, but never saw him in concert. When you heard the lyrics, you realized the man was singing from experience about the unpredictability of life, about paths not taken and regretted, about real love and loss. An authentic artist if ever there was one.

    • Windy

      Was one of my fav songs back then, that and Jamie Brockett’s “Legend of the USS Titanic” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XFYMjkFYPg) with its “497 and half feet of rope” and the “wet roach”.

  • Buc

    I just love how there’s no comment section.

    You must be a pathological liar to honestly state what he is stating.