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Pot Politics

Rand reconsiders pot-shop study after L.A. city attorney complains – L.A. Times

RAND Removes Its Own Pro-Marijuana Dispensary Study – Toke of the Town

That’s right – this is the study that RAND put together showing that crime went up in areas after dispensaries were closed, countering the nonsensical hype that dispensaries were “crime-magnets.”

It wasn’t a particularly controversial report to anyone with a lick of common sense, but it sent a message that drug warriors hated, so they fought the study, seizing on the limitations of the data. Now RAND had made it very clear when they released it that the study was not comprehensive, that it only covered a short time and didn’t track exactly the days that dispensaries actually closed, so it wasn’t like they were claiming this was some kind of blue-ribbon project, yet the L.A. City Attorney’s office managed to get them to yank it, at least temporarily.

I’m all for RAND making corrections when warranted, and if they can make the report even better, great. But we’ll be watching to see if they actually follow through and return the report in its proper form, rather than permanently trashing it (or changing the thrust of the research) because of political pressure.

In the meantime, the original report is available at ASA.

The recent major federal crackdown on dispensaries is getting a lot of press, and most of it is unfavorable to the feds.

An example is Jacob Sullum’s OpEd in the Chicago Sun Times: White House tramples California pot laws

President Barack Obama promised a more tolerant approach to medical marijuana, saying he would not “circumvent state laws.” Instead he has delivered a crackdown more aggressive than anything under George W. Bush, featuring more frequent raids, threats to landlords and banks, and ruinous IRS audits. Although his underlings pretend they are respecting state law, they clearly have no intention of doing so.

Sullum counters Sabet:

“The legalization advocates misread the tea leaves,” says Kevin Sabet, who served until recently as senior policy adviser to drug czar Gil Kerlikowske.

The administration’s assurances were considerably more explicit than tea leaves. Attorney General Eric Holder, for example, said “the policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law,” as opposed to “organizations that are [distributing marijuana] in a way that is consistent with state law.”

I do find it interesting that Sabet would use the analogy of reading tea leaves – the notion that drug policy should be some indecipherable plant matter that is interpreted by whatever charlatan has the carny tent.

Perhaps it’s time for him to start reading the stems and seeds.

With all the furor and angst over medical marijuana, and now a clear and entrenched medical marijuana community that’s not going to go away regardless of IRS audits, federal crackdowns, and the fantasies of the L.A. City Attorney… is this perhaps a momentum shift toward the real solution of full marijuana legalization?

NORML seems to think so. Feds Keep Fooling Around With Medical Marijuana: Full Cannabis Legalization or Bust!

Rather than pour millions of dollars and human energy into creating a legally and politically contentious policy that allows some cannabis consumers who can obtain a physician’s recommendation to be immune from state (but not federal) prosecution during a time of general Cannabis Prohibition, all cannabis consumers, patients, cultivators and sellers and their families should focus their full attention and resources to once and for all legalizing cannabis for all responsible adult consumers.

Of course, this is part of a fundraising pitch, but the sentiment is real.

I know that some felt that we should never have bothered with medical cannabis at all. Others felt that medical cannabis was an important thing in its own right, and also that it would help pave the way by reducing public fear of pot. That seems to have had some value as polls over the past years have shown a weakening of opposition to legalization.

The need for medical marijuana will not go away, nor will the medical marijuana movement.

But it does appear that this may be an opportunity to demonstrate how completely out of touch and corrupt the federal government is in relation to cannabis politics and use that to help the movement forward toward full legalization.

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57 comments to Pot Politics

  • Scott

    As much as I loathe the suffering as a result of public servant crackdowns as part of the unconstitutional, ineffective, destructive, and expensive war on some drugs, I do believe that prohibitionists are shooting themselves in the foot when they rattle their sabers and take action.

    The fact is prohibitionists literally do not have a single point in their favor, so their actions will always call an increasingly negative light upon them, as more people awaken from their brainwashing.

    Obama (like many politicians across the political spectrum) is a lying sack, and I hope he and his kind get their just due.

    It is horrifying to watch a politician get away with telling whatever audience he is speaking to exactly what they want to hear, even if it conflicts with what he said to another audience, and end up on top of the power stage.

    “We the people” need to firmly organize and put down the net-resulting public servant revolution against the limits of power implicitly set in our Constitution, and find a constitutional and effective method for dealing with abuse in any of its many forms (drugs, money, sex, food, guns, etc.)

    Perhaps we can start by holding the mainstream media accountable for their self-serving role in preventing “We the people” from being properly informed in all of this?

    • Francis

      “I do believe that prohibitionist are shooting themselves in the foot when they rattle their sabers and take action.”

      I think this is exactly right. The point where a crackdown might have been effective at stifling momentum for reform has long since passed. Now the more the feds tighten their grip, the more star systems…er, states will slip through their fingers.

  • Ben

    Rand is anti-pot. Have been for a while. Their study was an anomaly.

  • DonDig

    The whole marijuana prohibition issue, like the alcohol prohibition last century, is at its core a personal freedom issue. If we continue to allow our government to limit inherent natural personal freedoms, all personal freedoms can become sacrificial. There is no legal justification for this in ‘the Land of the Free’. Surely we can no longer allow prohibitionists to hide behind the yellow press smear done on cannabis in the last century. The only question is when will enough people realize that defining the activities of a minority, (cannabis users), that are (arguably) causing minimal social harm, as criminal, is a policy that impacts everyone’s freedom.

    This is not an issue about the will of the majority: the will of the majority is what we use to elect candidates. The freedoms of a peaceful minority must not be infringed unless they are inflicting grievous social harm, and by every reasonable measure, cannabis consumers are not doing so. Informed people realize that cannabis prohibition causes much more hardship than its consumption.

    In this country traditionally we’ve been comfortable enough with our government attempting to maximize (or attempt to maximize) productivity. Perhaps in this case it would be prudent to remind our government that if they can’t achieve what they want, (and after forty years of trying that conclusion should be self-evident), they can always focus on minimizing harm. Creating a criminal class with the stroke of a pen was not good government back then, and attempting to maintain that same ‘criminality’ by decree now, is such a heinous affront to basic civil personal human rights, prohibition is a policy that can no longer be tolerated.

  • Francis

    I think the success of medical cannabis has been tremendously important in paving the way for full legalization. The drug warriors who worried about it being a “slippery slope” were right in that sense (and only that sense). Of course, the reason the slope is proving so slippery is because they were never on firm ground to begin with.

  • kaptinemo

    This is eerily reminiscent of something I read a long time ago, a old, old novel by a traditional (a.k.a. ‘paleo -)conservative author named Taylor Caldwell. The novel was titled “The Devil’s Advocate”.

    In it, the US has become outright fascistic, starting wars all over the planet with a choke-hold on any domestic dissent a la the Soviet Union. People are beaten down juuuuuust enough – until the Resistance infiltrates the government with the intent of using their official positions to make things even more repressive and so bad that the people finally revolt and regain their freedoms.

    It seems the government is doing this without any aid from such a Resistance. It appears Hell-bent on making things so bad that the average citizen is beginning to question its’ legitimacy, with each crackdown on what used to be traditionally untouchable, ‘unalienable’ rights.

    In this case, the ‘slippery slope’ leads us back to the traditional freedoms that prohibs mouth allegiance to, but do their damnedest to eliminate.

  • […] Withdraws Questionable Marijuana Dispensary Study That Claimed Crime Goes …LA Weekly (blog)Pot PoliticsDrug WarRantTHE Weed Blog (blog) -Newser -Los Angeles Timesall 145 news […]

  • Anxiolyticaction

    Salty Says:
    October 8th, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    “Hmmm…well I don’t think I can donate anymore. This government doesn’t give a shit about anyone. They will never listen. My money will go into growing more weed and buying even more guns to protect myself from my own government.

  • Matthew Meyer

    Here’s an apparently new study on cannabis and driving accidents, using various international surveys. I’m sure it’s full of holes, but it’s more fuel on the fire.

    http://news.health.com/2011/10/12/pot-smoking-may-more-than-double-crash-risk/

    • Francis

      Couple of quick thoughts:

      1) According to the study, the use of cannabis increased a driver’s risk of being in an accident 2.7 times. Two minutes on Google informs me that having a B.A.C. of 0.08 (i.e., right at the legal limit) increases one’s risk of being in an accident 11-fold. And driving while texting evidently increases your crash risk 23-fold. (That’s why I took the Oprah pledge.) So given that context, this is a pretty modest finding.

      2) My understanding of impairment studies conducted under lab conditions is that they show moderate impairment combined with generally adequate compensation. In other words, people impaired by cannabis tend to recognize that they’re impaired and make adjustments like driving more slowly. In contrast, people who are impaired by alcohol frequently do NOT recognize their own impairment and may actually drive faster. Not surprisingly, alcohol impairment has a dramatic impact on the likelihood of a fatal crash. Thus, even if cannabis impairment does increase your overall risk of an accident, I’d be very surprised to see a similar increase in fatal accidents. (And it makes a huge difference if we’re talking about doubling the risk of death or a fender bender.)

      3) I wonder to what extent multi-drug use (cannabis plus other drugs) is a confounding factor and how well this was controlled for.

      4) I wonder to what extent we’re just dealing with different populations, i.e. are people who are more likely to use marijuana more likely to be in accidents? I’d imagine that marijuana users are more likely to be young, male, and prone to risk-taking. I’m also guessing that these characteristics increase one’s risk of being in an accident. I would hope that these differences were controlled for in the study, but were they and how well?

      5) And finally, even if were shown that cannabis significantly increased the risk of an accident, that’s an argument for making driving while impaired illegal. It’s NOT an argument for asinine per se “drugged driving” rules based on nearly undetectable levels of trace metabolites. And it’s sure as hell NOT an argument for criminalizing the possession or sale of cannabis altogether.

      • Why isn’t it illegal to own a cell phone?

        • Francis

          Good point. For that matter, why isn’t it illegal to own a car? (I mean, that would really reduce impaired driving, right?) Apparently, it’s because the “logic” that says “if X can be used in a dangerous and irresponsible manner, the government should ban it entirely” only applies to things that conservatives don’t like.

        • Windy

          Francis, actually, it only applies to things social conservatives and all liberals don’t like.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Their habit of saying “it increases the risk by 5x!!!” is highly annoying. For example let’s take the 2000 study by Dr. Murray Mittleman done at Beth Israel Hospital in Massachusetts. That’s the one which had me hooked up to a sphygmomanometer for about a week after I read it and which the prohibitionists are referring to when they say that “smoking dope cause the chance of heart attack to increase almost 5x!!!”

        The study does indeed quantify the increased risk of heart attack in a person over 50 in the first hour after smoking as increased 4.8 times. It also numerically quantifies that risk as 1 in 100,000. It also analogizes the risk as less dangerous than having sex and equal to engaging in exercise. I haven’t read or heard anyone suggesting that people should give up having sex or exercising based on this study.

        There were 9 cannabis smokers in the study who had heart attacks an hour or less after smoking. They were fat and addicted to tobacco. The study is only about a short hair better than the monkey brain study. You recall the monkey brain study from the early 1980s right? That’s the one that proved that inhaling excessive carbon monoxide causes brain damage and attempted to shift the causation to cannabis.

        It really is mind boggling how different the text of these studies are compared to the headlines they generate. But a hard and fast rule of hysterical rhetoric is to use percentages when the number is tiny (merry wanna causes a 5000% increase in the chance of you head exploding!!!) and actual numbers when the numbers are huge but the percentages unimpressive. (Exxon had record profits of umpteen billion dollars!!!) While the Know Nothings aren’t very smart they certainly know how to follow rules and remain faithfully consistent to their mottoes.

        Just FYI from my week obsessing with the sphygmomanometer I found my pulse is unchanged by inhaling cannabis vapors. My blood pressure is lowered from between 130/70 or 120/70 to 100/60. I think it reasonable to speculate that my pulse is static because my body is used to the exogenous cannabinoids but that doesn’t explain why the blood pressure falls off a cliff like that. Regardless, neither is consistent with Dr. Mittleman’s assertions in the study.

        I did not take any blood pressure/pulse readings after using edibles, mainly because that was before I really got into edibles. I’m pretty certain edibles do in fact cause a significant increase in my pulse and I would speculate that’s because of larger amounts of cannabis being processed into the body at the same time rather than the slower, more steady increase in blood serum levels from inhalation. Edibles may in fact be more dangerous than using a vaporizer but this could be mitigated with knowing the amount being taken rather than using guesswork.

        Of the 124 patients who reported using marijuana in the past year, only nine were found to have smoked marijuana in the hour before their heart attack. Even though marijuana use was rare among study participants, the researchers found that in the hour after smoking marijuana the relative risk of heart attack increased 4.8 times. To evaluate relative risk, comparisons were made between the frequency of marijuana use in the hours preceding heart attack symptoms and the frequency of marijuana use over the past year, as recalled by study participants. When compared to non-users, marijuana smokers were more likely to be men. They also were more likely to be obese and to smoke cigarettes. A history of angina and high blood pressure was less common among individuals who smoked marijuana.

        While smoking marijuana was found to be less risky as an immediate trigger of heart attack than using cocaine, it is roughly as dangerous as exercise for a fit person and more dangerous than sex for a sedentary person.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065616.htm

        ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

        /snip/
        Conclusions—Smoking marijuana is a rare trigger of acute myocardial infarction. Understanding the mechanism through which marijuana causes infarction may provide insight into the triggering of myocardial infarction by this and other, more common stressors.
        /snip/

        /snip/
        Because of the small number of exposed cases, we were unable to evaluate whether the risk of having a myocardial infarction associated with smoking marijuana differed in subsets of patients.
        /snip/

        http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/103/23/2805.long

        ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

        Oh, couple of other things that Dr. Mittleman said which is almost never reported in the media:

        /snip/
        Despite the high percentage of people younger than 50 years old who report they use the drug – 12.5 percent – Mittleman doesn’t foresee an epidemic of pot-triggered heart attacks. For a 50-year-old baby boomer without other risk factors, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the absolute risk of having a heart attack in the crucial first hour after smoking marijuana is one in 100,000, he says.
        /snip/

        /snip/
        Mittleman admits he can’t explain exactly how pot could trigger a heart attack. It might be due to cannabis, the active ingredient of marijuana, or merely the smoke from a burning plant, he says. Smoking marijuana and tobacco both involve the latter, and both are now implicated in raising the risk of heart disease.

        http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2000/03.02/marijuana.html

  • This just underscores the need not only for new leadership in drug policy reform but a new strategy. For anyone to consider where we are now to be progress is simply silly. Our drug policy reform leaders were completely seduced by Obama’s wink and a nod. And while intentions are always good, let’s not forget they are what pave the way to hell.

  • Anxiolyticaction

    .. But a few things the “war on drugs” does accomplish is it serves as a major reason to increase federal funding for all kinds of Gestapo-like tactics at every level of government; it provides justification for governmental restrictions of civil liberties; and it is a major excuse for the exponential growth of the emerging police state. And dare I even mention the fact that it is now absolutely certain that persons (at the highest levels) and agencies within the federal government have been (and are) reaping gargantuan profits via illegal drug trafficking.

    … America desperately needs State governors to draw a line in the sand against this federal leviathan for the protection of the liberties and freedoms of the citizens within his or her State! Let me say it bluntly: we desperately need a State governors to tell the feds to go to Hades!

    …. In the meantime, combat veterans, people who have taken certain prescription drugs, people who have shown up on no-fly lists, and now people who have been lawfully issued a particular medical card can be denied their right to keep and bear arms by the US government. When will the American people ever have enough?

    Chuck Baldwin is an American politician and founder-pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida.

  • claygooding

    Feds to target newspapers, radio for marijuana ads
    Michael Montgomery / California Watch / Oct. 12, 2011

    Federal prosecutors are preparing to target newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets that advertise medical marijuana dispensaries in California, another escalation in the Obama administration’s newly invigorated war against the state’s pot industry.
    Feds to target newspapers, radio for marijuana ads

    http://yubanet.com/california/Feds-to-target-newspapers-radio-for-marijuana-ads.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Yubanet+%28YubaNet.com+Headlines%29#.TpYokXKVqXY

    This month, U.S. attorneys representing four districts in California announced that the government would single out landlords and property owners who rent buildings or land where dispensaries sell or cultivators grow marijuana. Now, newspapers and other media outlets could be next.

    U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy, whose district includes Imperial and San Diego counties, said marijuana advertising is the next area she’s “going to be moving onto as part of the enforcement efforts in Southern California.” Duffy said she could not speak for the three other U.S. attorneys covering the state, but noted their efforts have been coordinated so far.

    Please continue watching 12 to 15 ads for the pharmaceutical companies messages nightly,,even though the side effects include a leaking sphincter and possible death.

    • Servetus

      U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy is going to mess with weeklies and other advertising venues to eliminate medical marijuana messages? Good luck on stopping the message.

      When the feds cut cigarette advertising, the cigarette companies simply pocketed the money they would otherwise spend on ad copy. Sales of cigarettes were unaffected. The message went out in other ways.

      The only people to lose in the impending and useless Duffy crusade will be the local weeklies and other news outlets which can no longer advertise MMJ dispensaries, but who will resent the loss of revenue and retaliate by doing far more to promote drug legalization in articles and editorials (another bullet in the foot for the feds).

      As for censoring medical information, I think Ms. Duffy has taken on way too much. Kids have a right to know that a particular medicine exists for a particular symptom or illness. Holding back a message as important as that is likely to get a government ripped to pieces by the very people being targeted for an imposition of ignorance. Maybe D.A.R.E. can impose some of their own ignorance and stop mentioning marijuana at all to kids. But then if D.A.R.E. can’t talk about what they’re trying to prohibit, they’re out of business.

      So why would a U.S. attorney waste her time on federal censorship with so many other and far more important legal matters are pressing? Well, according to her bio: “Ms. Duffy worked in the Narcotics Enforcement Section as an Assistant United States Attorney where she prosecuted Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) cases targeting large-scale drug trafficking organizations.”

      In other words, Laura E. Duffy is a one trick pony.

      • kaptinemo

        Ms. Duffy’s attempt to break the rice bowls of the only prospering dailies in an economically depressed locale, in a time of near universal fiscal meltdown, serves to illustrate the illogicality of prohibs.

        Mess with people’s livelihoods in a time when things are good, and most are ‘fat, dumb and happy’, and few will care but those affected.

        Do so in times like these, however and it immediately becomes an issue of survival, and the teeth and claws come out.

        In an aside: The prohibs just seem Hell-bent on causing the largely nebulous, soft, wispy political efficacy of the average cannabis consumer to harden into something that will not only organize effectively but strike back hard, politically.

        It’s almost as if they want to be catalysts for the destruction of prohibition. They just don’t seem to realize that the social ferment sweeping the country can also be translated into action on the part of reform organizations…given enough impetus. And the Feds are generously supplying plenty of that. A backlash is inevitable…which everyone but prohibs seem to understand.

        I had a feeling that when Prop19 failed to pass, in no small part because of the apathy of cannabis consumers themselves (and certain de facto traitorous Fifth Column elements within the ranks of said consumers) some prohib goof in Warshington (not a typo) would think that that was the signal to begin cracking down.

        This is what happens when you fail to pass what would have caused the Feds to think twice in their predations. 19 wasn’t perfect, but it would have caused a major log-jam in the Fed’s plans to ramp up the repression. It would have forced CA State legislators to stand up for their constituents. And, above all, it would have caused the Feds to realize that they had awakened a sleeping giant, the electorate itself, and that they would have to be on their best behavior from now on, lest the now mobilized electorate begin to become even more politically active, and start to really demand – and get – such changes as budget cuts to the predatory agencies.

        keep, pushing, Feds, keep pushing. You’ll push so hard that when we push back, you’ll find you’ve been at the edge of the cliff you tried to send us over.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      First Amendment? What the heck is a First Amendment?

    • malc

      Thanks Pete!

      Interesting to see that she’s deleted all her previous stuff there. I had recently countered them all with facts & stats ;>)

    • darkcycle

      Oh my, and still with the same child-frightening photo. Activist1 is BAAAAACK…

      • darkcycle

        I can’t do it. I can’t comment there. I don’t know why, she’s such an easy target. And she’s making even less sense than usual, too.

        • malc

          Just bludgeon her head against the wall with a few studies or anything factual. She’ll appreciate that!

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .
          C’mon DC, that’s simply not possible.

        • kaptinemo

          IMHO, Linda is nothing more than ‘training wheels’, a whetstone to sharpen a newbie reformer’s rhetorical knife on. I’m sure that she actually loves the attention, perhaps because it’s the only attention she may ever receive.

          She probably imagines herself a Queen of the chessboard, when in fact she’s a Pawn of the professional prohibs…who could care less if she disappeared tomorrow, as the number of bottom-feeder level ‘useful idiots’ within the prohib hierarchy are legion.

          But…since the upper-level prohibs are too chickensh*t to debate us, we have to make do with the small fry. Oh, well…

        • right on the money kap’n

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      It’s shocking that they don’t sell Linda Taylor costumes to wear on Halloween. But it’s probably a good thing for Ms. Taylor that there’s one day a year where people don’t scream in horror and faint when they encounter her in public because everyone figures that she’s in a Halloween costume. If there’s ever been anything that needs to be prohibited, it’s her face. Why the heck isn’t there a criminal charge for ugly in public? What about the children that she traumatizes when they see her on the street? How the heck did she get a picture of herself? How many cameras were broken before one worked?

      (I apologize in advance for the gratuitous and shallow comments about Ms. Taylor’s physical appearance. But don’t hold your breath waiting for a retraction.)

    • aaah… the Oakdale Leader, now there’s an impressive… something. Like one of those intersections you pass out on some back country road where a traffic jam is 3 cars and they’re all beaters and there’s a country market on the corner that hasn’t had it’s porch swept or its windows cleaned in decades and the porch dog has mange and snarls at anything on two legs. The gas pump is so old and unused the price is at $.22 a gallon…

      Well at least she now “intellectually” masturbates in semi-private seclusion. (and I know, the words Linda and intellectual are mutually exclusive and I apologize if my phrasing has gagged anyone)

      It is nice to see however that she can’t her BS anywhere w/o being countered. If anyone cares to ask her… find out when she’s going to debate me in public. I’ll be in her area again somewhere around this xmas/new years.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    I find it intriguing that Rand’s pulling the dispensary:crime study is making national news. It’s on the AP newswire. Go figure that one out.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/study-on-calif-marijuana-clinics-and-crime-removed-by-national-think-tank-after-complaints/2011/10/11/gIQAYkoYdL_story.html

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I must say that I think that the knee jerk reactions describing Rand as anti-cannabis are ill advised. Yes, they have been, but they did manage to publish this particular study which just can’t be included in that description. Perhaps they’re dipping a toe into the water to see what happens?

      The name Tashkin used to be attached to a hack scientist who produced research on demand for his ONDCP masters. Today Dr. Tashkin’s 2006 research study is probably the research most referenced in support of cannabis law reform.

      Eric Sterling is one of the best friends the cannabis law reform movement has. You remember Mr. Sterling was ass deep in writing the insane and unjust mandatory minimum laws in the 1980s don’t you?

      If a Know Nothing prohibitionist figures out that his opinion isn’t based in fact, he immediately ceases to be a Know Nothing. Personally, I think such people are deserving of kudos and pats on the back. Is there anyone here who’s never wholeheartedly believed something that turned out to be pure stupidity upon further reflection? If so you’re a better man than I am.

  • ezrydn

    Yeah, the Cupcake is a bit fickle, isn’t she? Girl can’t find a safe haven from us “legalizers.” Boneheads DO make good rattles, don’t they?!!

  • so let’s see… if the feds are going to be picking on the media next about pot, after they silence them are they going to then go after those folks who write letters to the editor? And after they silence them are they going to go after those who write letters to their elected officials? And after they silence them are they going to then silence the few elected officials who are speaking out?

    Shooting themselves in the foot? Hardly… it kinda tightens my gut to think it, but the coat of polish they put on their the-state-will-protect-you-from-everything coup is about to get nasty. Just put in your mind the view of images of the security around political conventions – cement crash barriers, chain link fences topped with razor wire, police in kevlar with automatic wepaons – and understand, they are very afraid of the people and will not surrender their power without first trying to expand and tighten its controls on us.

    Either that or the system works – really – and everything will work out… nah, I just can’t see that… muck boots and hard hats will be required.

    I’m generally a happy person. I joke and talk talk to strangers. I know that the benefit of being down is that up is the only alternative… but these folks are talking real smack and it’s time to shut them up. There is no doubt that as things stand they will never acknowledge cannabis as medicine unless it is of the Sativex®, big pharma produced variety. They will continue to raid and arrest and harass and lie and shoot… and kill. But all this doesn’t make me happy. They’ve destroyed too much that is good about this country, my dad didn’t slog thru the European winter so we could become this… this… neuer reich. He’d be pissed were he still alive.

    May the spirit of Peter McWilliams visit them in their dreams…

  • excellent article:

    U.S. Crackdown Highlights Mixed-Up World of Medical Marijuana

    In the nearly 15 years since California, America’s motherland of marijuana production, passed Prop 215, the landscape has grown ever more Byzantine. Many of California’s 58 counties have adopted their own, often wildly differing thresholds as to how much medical marijuana one can legally cultivate or possess.

    “If you’re going to transport medical marijuana from Mendocino to Los Angeles, you have to through something like 17 counties to get there,” Allman [Sheriff Thomas D. Allman of California’s Mendocino County] points out. “That means you would have to know the laws of 17 counties. We need a billboard on every county line, with the regulations for that county, because I don’t think that’s a fair way to do it, the government not telling the people what the laws are.”

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Really all you need to know are the traffic laws. California doesn’t let their jack boots pull people over for no reason.

  • claygooding

    apparently it is a big push,,reports coming in of raids in Mendicino and other cities today,,all targeting the big dispensaries and growers,,people that went too big too quickly,,it seems.

    Is it hurting patients,yes,,is it helping the cartels,,yes,,but the dispensaries they hit are the millions of dollar a year catagory and one of the grows had 25,000 plants,,,come on now,,,,isn’t that just a wee bit over the limits?

    The IRS attacks will force the federal judge to decide some interesting decisions and for them to disallow a mmj defense is going to be irrelevant,,they will never find a jury that does not realize that any trial like that is over mmj.

  • vickyvampire

    Hey Bill Cunningham how took over for Matt Drudges show in 2007 does his show every Sunday night for ABC with a about 8 million or so in audience share he had on one of the Leap guys and was surprised for being very conservative Bill Cunningham was pro-pot thought is was a health issue and said pot smokers were not violent like alcohol users WOW wanna bet someone is watching his ass and trying to get dirt on him he is not towing the pro-hib line I’m serious folks.

    Yeah Allan I understand about Mix up world of Medical Marijuana Laws and each county having there own laws but even if we do not know law Law enforcement does not care they say ignorance or law does not apply you still breaking a law irregardless in their book.

  • claygooding

    strange,,I just searched LA Times and SacBee,,not an article about any of the raids at either paper?????

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    The prohibitionists really need to start praying for a significant supply shortage. Considering the quantities of cannabis plants “eradicated” this year including 501,000 in California, 300 acres of plants in Mexico, 91,000 in Oregon, 22 tons in a boxcar, etc. if the market doesn’t suffer these people may as well just pack it in. Isn’t it harvest time yet? Here’s the latest megafarm:

    $400 million worth of marijuana plants found

    Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder says there are at least 300,000 marijuana plants in a huge outdoor grow operation. He says the plants have a street value of $400 million.

    “This is a grow like what they are finding on the west coast,” said Special Agent Jordan. “This isn’t just significant for Tennessee, but also Missouri and Kentucky and Illinois and a number of other states around here.”

    Sheriff Vastbinder says the plants were found near Reelfoot Lake.

    He says the grow operation was found in a five square mile area.

    “It left me speechless,” said Sheriff Vastbinder [contradicting himself].

    He says tunnels and caves had been built into the hillsides. Deputies also found showers and evidence of people living among the plants.

    “These people had come and built a little settlement,” said Vastbinder. “They worked hard to cultivate this crop. There were 1000’s of pounds there ready to be shipped out.”

    Sheriff Vastbinder says a citizen stumbled upon the plants and alerted authorities Monday.

    “It’s on private property,” said Sheriff Vastbinder. “The area is just so remote. The owner had no idea.”
    /snip/

    Of course not Sheriff, I didn’t know a thing.

    While it isn’t that hard to boggle the mind of a redneck Sheriff from Clampett country I must admit that the size of these grows has my mind boggled. Are people really harvesting grows this large? Other than police “eradication” officers of course.

  • claygooding

    It sure doesn’t say much for their helicopter patrols.

  • DdC

    RAND Corporation (Research ANd Development) is a nonprofit global policy think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces by Douglas Aircraft Company. It is currently financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations including the healthcare industry, universities and private individuals. The organization has long since expanded to working with other governments, private foundations, international organizations, and commercial organizations on a host of non-defense issues. RAND aims for interdisciplinary and quantitative problem solving via translating theoretical concepts from formal economics and the hard sciences into novel applications in other areas;

    Secrets of the RAND CORP Exposed
    http://www.infowars.com/secrets-of-the-rand-corp-exposed/

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    The 300 acre farm was very well hidden from aerial surveillance. It was a producer of cognitive dissonance that the growers did so well insuring that they didn’t have to worry about the flying pigs but their grow stuck out like a sore thumb because it was the only flipping thing in the middle of the vast desolation of a godforsaken Mexican desert. I really hadn’t known before that cannabis would grow so well under such dark shade cloth.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Have we heard about Asian drug cartels before?

    Operation Gang Green. Isn’t that just precious?

    More details, locations released on massive drug raid
    Nearly 300 officers involved in biggest bust in county history

    By Craig Brown and Paul Suarez

    An interagency task force of police descended on dozens of Clark County locations Thursday as they staged the largest single drug raid in local history.

    As of late Thursday afternoon, 43 people had been arrested and an estimated 6,800 plants seized.

    Nearly 300 police from Southwest Washington and the Portland area and federal officers are involved in the raids, which are being led by the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force. They are the culmination of Operation Gang Green, an investigation that has been ongoing since 2009.
    /snip/

  • kaptinemo

    Being an ersatz historian, this latest push reminds me of nothing so much as the German attempt to forestall the inexorable Allied advance in 1944, commonly referred to as “The Battle of the Bulge”. For all its’ seeming invincibility, it was in fact the last gasp of the Wehrmacht, a desperate gamble that didn’t pay off.

    Think about it. The prohibs know the inevitable budget crunch is coming. It’s already happening in small towns across the US, where local municipalities are having to reduce or eliminate entirely their police forces. More and more people are taking a very sharp look at the finances of their local governments, with an intent to cut waste and re-allocate resources.

    With towns, cities and counties and States becoming increasingly strapped, the only way that this massive raid could have been funded is with Federal grants…which will, inevitably, fall under the same sharp, unsparing eye of a public badly in need of life support via social safety net programs. P*ssing that money way on stunts like this is being noticed, alright. It won’t be long before everyday people, working stiffs and soccer moms and whatnot begin asking the very same questions we’ve been asking all this time. But the pols will not be able to ignore them the way they have us; the public is not only aroused but angry, as the Occupy Movement clearly shows. And that anger will translate into political action.

    One of the DrugWarriors’s greatest allies was public apathy; who cared about a bunch of dopers, lock ’em all up, I say! Well, the bill for that attitude has come due, and its’ staggeringly high. The times have truly changed; apathy isn’t cheap, anymore.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      kaptinemo, I agree with you. This Federal government action is nothing more than a Hail Mary play in the final seconds of the game. Nobody except the Know Nothings seems particularly impressed. And why should they? We’ve been kicking the Feds collective ass for 15 years now.

      I was asked “What part of Federal Offense fails to penetrate the haze?

      I responded, “What part of “we’re not afraid of the big bad wolf” fails to penetrate your sycophantic mind? What’s he gonna do, will he huff and puff and blow our house in? No sir, not by the hair of our chinny chin chins.

      The only problem with the above is that it has us cast in the role of the pigs, and that’s bass ackward.

    • Windy

      Except government cannot create high paying, lasting jobs. The best government can do is to make it easier for businesses to succeed — end all the unconstitutional wars, close all overseas bases and bring all the military home except for the guards at our embassies and rely on diplomacy and free trade (not the managed trade we suffer under today) rather than might to influence other nations; get rid of the huge overlapping bureaucracies and alphabet agencies and repeal all the unnecessary regulations (many of which are stupid, because they often don’t even apply to the businesses upon which they are imposed), impose fewer and lower taxes, indulge in less picking and choosing of which businesses succeed and which fail via the regulatory collusion with bigger competitors, grants, etc.; take back the power it gave away to the Fed and end the fiat money, inflationary fiasco the Fed has created; stop spending more than the the revenue it takes in so that the economy recovers; and then get the HELL out of the way! The entrepreneurs will do the rest.

      The very best thing we as citizens can do is push government back into the limits the Constitution commands; and the fastest way to do that is to get Ron Paul nominated and elected with Gary Johnson as his running mate.

      • Windy

        I should clarify, government can only create high paying, lasting jobs within government itself — bureaucrats and elected officials. It cannot create those kinds of jobs in the private sector.

        • darkcycle

          Police officers, fire fighters, teachers, garbage men, dog catchers, street crews, mail carriers,…..etc, etc, etc….
          C’mon, that doesn’t withstand even cursory scrutiny.

        • Windy

          dc, note every one of those jobs you listed IS a government job, Government cannot create good wage, good benefit, permanent private sector jobs. We already have a quarter of the people working in this country working in (or for, as in contracts) government. That is NOT a sustainable situation.

  • kaptinemo

    OT, but no less important.

    We all know how corrupting the DrugWar is on police, to the point that they lie and plant evidence to meet arrest quotas. One NYPD cop has broken the ‘blue wall of silence’ and said just that.

    From the article:

    “According to Anderson, who testified at trial Wednesday, New York City police regularly planted drugs on innocent people to meet quotas. Anderson should know. He was arrested in 2008 for planting cocaine on four men in a bar in Queens. His statements are the first glimpse into a culture of set-ups at the Brooklyn South and Queens Narc squads where eight corrupt cops were arrested.

    Anderson says his own stunt was a tactic to help officer Henry Tavarez meet his buy-and-bust quota. But the incident was not limited to a handful of men. According to Anderson, “It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators.”

    The swine who did this better hope that they don’t wind up in prison next to those whose lives they’ve destroyed. Few things inmates hate, even worse than they hate child molesters, are cops…

    • and conversely I discovered while idling a few days inside FCI Terminal Island… they dutifully appreciate and respect those who are inside for standing up against the feds.

      I even met Salvador Allende’s former finance minister whilst there. He was a pediatrician from Texas I believe, who violated his parole by crossing the border to attend to an extremely sick child. And I met a bank robber… a murderer… I saw John DeLorean in the federal courthouse while being led to the bus to prison by federal marshals (they were split on the issue of nuclear weapons, one thought we were doing our patriotic duty, the other thought we were commie scum).

      I can’t imagine the pressure cops like these would be under…