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January 2012
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Open Thread

bullet image Sponsor Of Bill To Require Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients is Arrested For DUI

Yep. All we’re saying is that our hard-earned tax money shouldn’t be going to pay for some drugged-up legislator passing bad laws.


bullet image Meth Hype Could Undermine Good Medicine

Meth’s persistent bad boy reputation means that medical marijuana dispensaries will not be expanding their offerings to include speed any time soon. Still, the idea is not as totally outlandish as it might seem.


bullet image Cop or Soldier? – a fun quiz over at The Agitator that shows the challenge of telling those two apart.


bullet image Rocking in the drug-free world

Here’s a story about a “drug-free world” that actually doesn’t bother me at all, but in fact is inspirational. Rocker Sabrina Barajas has decided to go for a “straight edge” lifestyle in her own drug-free world along with those who choose to go the same way.

What makes this story different from the other drug-free world stories is that this is a choice for Barajas, not an attempt to force it onto others.

Barajas is a lyricist and drummer for the Oxnard punk band Facing the Fallen, and is the only member claiming to be straight edge, “Everyone has different opinions on how they choose to live their life, and I choose to live mine sober,” said Barajas, who meets a wide variety of musicians and fans as an intern at Camarillo’s Rock City Studios. [...]

“Being straight edge is not a criteria that I have for friends. I have learned that a lot more people are straight edge than I thought, but I haven’t seen it growing into a larger movement. Just that it’s there is good enough for me.” 

Good for you. Live your own life and don’t let others tell you how you should live it. There will always be others who think as you do that will support your decision, as well as good friends who prefer another lifestyle who can broaden your perspective without threatening your being.


bullet image Gary Johnson at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government: It’s Time to End the War on Drugs

We own the internet – it doesn’t matter if it’s a conservative site or a liberal site, the commenters are almost always going to be predominantly in favor of legalizing marijuana (still a few opposed, though).


bullet image Iran executes people on drug charges; world gives Iran cash

For drug-related offences alone, it put 488 people to death in 2011, the Amnesty International reported last month. Iran denies violating human rights in this case, saying its chosen form of justice leads to less crime. [...]

In recent years, Iran has received international assistance, including from several European countries and the United Nations, to help stem the drug flow across its borders.

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47 comments to Open Thread

  • JDV

    >Iran is a key transit route for narcotics smuggled from neighbouring Afghanistan, which produces more than 90% of the world’s supply of opium.<

    Note that even in a country where they EXECUTE traffickers, trafficking continues, apparently unabated since Iran is described as a "key route."

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  • claygooding

    We could buy the raw opium from the farmers and napalm it right there,cheaper than we can try to interdict it after it hits the black market,,proof that stopping drugs is not what “drug control” is about.

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    • Duncan20903

      The problem with that plan is that demand remains; supply rises to meet demand. You have as much chance of stopping that from happening as you do getting a rock to fall up.

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      • Dante

        Ok, then. Buy up all the raw opium, burn most of it and sell the rest through ABC stores to those that want/need it. Regulate and tax it just like alcohol.

        This would save Trillions of taxpayer dollars.

        {sound of alarm clock going off}

        Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

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  • Quax Mercy

    Pete, et al.,
    Back when J.Gettman’s request for Re-Scheduling Cannabis was denied (July, ’11), we heard this meant they could be challenged in court. Next we heard was that the Pharma Lawyers were going to handle the case (?). What I’m wondering is when & how might we support this effort? To what degree will it be open? C-Spanned?

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    When I read that first headline I thought they wanted to test only welfare recipients that got popped for DUI.
    ———-
    Let’s try it like this, shall we?

    State Representative Arrested For DUI; Sponsored Bill To Require Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

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    • Easier fix: I added the word “is”

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Well you’re never going to become a recognized expert if you go around doing everything the easy way. Sheesh!
        ———-
        Nobody mentioned Desoxyn® in the article about meth. What’s up with that?

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        • Chris

          Desoxyn is non-existant to journalists. e.g. http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v12/n033/a02.html?1171
          “It’s Time To Legalize All Drugs Except Meth”

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .
          I was including the comments below the article. It was mentioned in the Tuscon Weekly comments about the current devil in ‘drugs’ form.

          What seems beyond just about everyone is the fact that the choice isn’t binary. That includes the people on our side of the table although our cohort’s majority isn’t quite the supermajority of the other side.

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        • Rick Steeb

          The fact that it’s issued to ADHD school kids and air force pilots doesn’t fit well with the “evil meth” meme…

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  • PoorOldBill

    At least he wasn’t caught humping mules for Jesus!

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  • Hi team – wondering if I could get your input on the following. I am trying to dumb down a comparison to the WOsD for the little brains:

    Let’s say a group of people consider the number of dirty cars a detriment to society. A majority of these people decide to gather money from everyone else and build a car wash. This majority of people has mandated that everyone must pay $5 every week to wash their car, for the good of society. However, after you pay your $5 and run your car through the wash, your car is still dirty. So you pay another $5 and run it through again. Yet the car comes out just as dirty as before. So the majority gets together again, gathers more money from everyone, and builds an even bigger car wash that employs more people who are paid from the money that is gathered from everyone. This new, larger car wash uses the same method to wash the cars. Not surprising, the cars still come out as dirty as ever. From a monetary standpoint, that car wash is like the war on (some) drugs, which is just as fiscally irresponsible (truly anti-conservative) as building that car wash and continuuing to pay to try to get your car washed.

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    • Duncan20903

      It won’t work. They’ll just insist that the cars are coming out clean and that it’s just you hallucinating that the cars are still dirty because you’re high on drugs.

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  • Jose

    I just wanted to share some insanity from our local paper. A woman delivering a child at our local hospital was “tested” and returned a positive for cannabis. As a result she was not allowed to leave the hospital with her newborn. She was stopped in the hospital lobby trying to exit with her child in a mesh bag. I can’t condone her use during pregnancy but better cannabis than any other intoxicant. I honestly wonder how quickly things would change if the double standard regarding alcohol use was abolished.

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    • PoorOldBill

      This may have come via Duncan or Clay?

      Here’s a study concerning Mortality within the First 2 Years in Infants when exposed to Cocaine, Opiate, or Cannabinoid during Gestation – pediatrics.aappublications.org

      A total of 2,964 infants were drug-tested at birth to see if they were positive for drugs – cocaine, opiates and cannabis were studied and compared to drug free infants.

      During the first two years of their lives, 44 babies from the original group died. The death rates were :

      
“No drugs at birth” deaths … 15.7 deaths per 1000 live births

      
“Cocaine positive” deaths … 17.7 deaths per 1000 live births

      
“Opiate positive” deaths … 18.4 deaths per 1000 live births

      
“Cannabis positive” deaths … 8.9 deaths per 1000 live births

      The “cannabis positive” infants rate of death is almost half of the “No drugs” infants death rate.

      When it comes to failure to thrive, cannabis can be a significant improvement in the outcome.

      http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/100/1/79.full

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      • Duncan20903

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        Not me. IIRC Granny Stormcrow was the first person I saw post that.

        It really is stunning to have the American Academy of Pediatrics on our side. What about the children indeed. Don’t forget about Dr. Seth Ammerman’s article on page 11 in the Winter 2011 issue of California Pediatrician, “Medical Marijuana: Update for the Pediatrician”
        http://www.aap-ca.org/news/caPed/California%20Pediatrician%20-%20Winter%202011.pdf

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      • Jose

        Thanks for the facts. Somehow, it comes as no surprise to me that once again science proves contrary to popular belief on the matter.

        Unfortunately, for the mother, this is Texas. A typical judge here probably would not care if 500 pediatricians entered the court room and told ‘em otherwise. I await the day that our evangelical legislature finds a way to re-define possession to include a positive drug test. I mean, come on, it is inside the person.

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    • Francis

      Yep, and that 8.9 deaths per 1000 figure for “cannabis positive” babies includes babies that ALSO tested positive for opiates or cocaine. There were 157 babies in the “cannabinoid only” subgroup. The number of those babies that died? Zero! (See the breakdown here.)

      Now that’s admittedly a pretty small sample size. But it’s not THAT small. If you assume as your null hypothesis that cannabis use does not reduce infant mortality, then such babies should, on average, have a death rate of 15.7 per 1000 (same as the “no drugs at birth” group). If that were the case, the odds that you’d get this result (no deaths in a group of 157) are only 8.3%. (That’s 0.9843 raised to the 157th power. Whoh says math isn’t fun?) The study in question was done in 1997. Why the hell hasn’t anyone followed up on this with a larger study to investigate the possible benefits of cannabis use during pregnancy on infant mortality?! … Oh yeah, never mind.

      The criminalization of this plant is a crime against humanity.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Do Rastafarian women quit smoking pot when they find out they have buns in the oven? I guess I could probably read the study and find out. But pregnancy is a “third rail” of this issue and I’m not going to touch it. Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise you know.

        In the 1980s Melanie Dreher and colleagues at UMass Amherst began a longitudinal study to assess the well-being of infants and children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy. The researchers lived in rural Jamaican communities among the women they were studying. Thirty cannabis-using pregnant women were matched for age and socio-economic status with 30 non-users. Dreher et al compared the course of their pregnancies and their neo-natal outcomes, using various standard scales.

        No differences were detected three days after birth. At 30 days the exposed babies did better than the non-exposed on all the scales and significantly better on two of the scales (having to do with autonomic stability and reflexes).

        Follow-up studies were conducted when the kids were four and five (just before entering school and after). The moms were defined as light users (1-10 spliffs per week), moderate (11-20), and heavy (21-70). Consumption of ganja tea was also taken into account.

        The children were measured at age four using three sets of criteria: the McCarthy scale, which measures verbal ability, perceptivity, quantitative skills, memory and motor; a “behavioral style” scale measuring temperament, based on a 72-item questionnaire filled out by the child’s primary caregiver; and a “quality of housing” index to indicate socioeconomic status.

        “No Differences at All.”
        /snip/

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    • claygooding

      I may have mentioned the part of the study pertaining to cannabis,,but I got the info from Granny also.

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  • Chris

    Meth’s persistent bad boy reputation means that medical marijuana dispensaries will not be expanding their offerings to include speed any time soon. Still, the idea is not as totally outlandish as it might seem.

    The only thing outlandish about this statement is that the author doesn’t realize that meth is schedule 2… meaning you might be able to get it at your local walgreens/riteaid/hospital) with an actual prescription. Meth is a safe, legal mediine and marijuana is a 100% dangerous substance no one should ever use for any reason, so says the federal government. There is no reason I can conceive of why a medicinal marijuana dispensary would want to touch this.

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    • claygooding

      LOL,,I am waiting until employers with a lot of ditch diggers starts putting it in the watercans about halfway through the shift.

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  • claygooding

    Mother brought marijuana to juvenile probation camp, deputies say

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/mother-marijuana-probation-camp.html

    “”Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested a woman attempting to visit her son in a probate camp Saturday after they found marijuana and a fake medical marijuana card while searching her purse, officials said.””

    We just had an article that stated people with higher IQ’s are more likely to use cannabis,,guess it didn’t prove that stupid people don’t use cannabis too. She shouldn’t have used that fake card.

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    • Duncan20903

      We only have the word of the police that it was fake. All that proves was that the cop didn’t recognize it. There’s no ID card required in California and they have several different voluntary card issuers. Mine were issued by OCBC but I also ended up with one that the Medicann quack who wrote my rec issued.

      But even presuming that she has a legit rec it’s still idiocy to carry it into a correctional facility. But as I like to tell the prohibitionists, with more than 200 million of us one can find any manner of human being imaginable in our number. Remember the rocket scientist in San Francisco (2006) on his way to sell a couple of pounds to a dispensary who bumped into a couple of DEA agents on their lunch break? Since he was carrying it in a box labeled with a popular hydroponics brand name and they smelled it the agents confiscated his wares. He proceeded to call the SFPD and demand their arrest for robbing him. SFPD declined to make the arrest.

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  • darkcycle

    Still w/o a laptop…waiting to hear from Dell (again) w any luck, they’ll just replace the machine. Anyway, I am stuck since it’d hard to get a minute to nip in here to the office to do…you know…stuff.

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  • ezrydn

    16 out of 21.

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  • Francis

    Holy crap! This never happens. In reply to one of my comments over on this cnn story:

    korden: I always cringe coming into these particular topics as there are countless posters yelling LEGALIZE LEGALIZE! And usually I discount them because their approach is very binary. You, on the other hand, have changed my opinion on the matter. I think you’re right for the right reasons.

    One down, a few hundred million to go. ;)

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  • Bill Conroy over at NarcoNews:

    Fast and Furious Is One Among Many Similar Drug-War Warts

    Turf Wars, Agency Budgets and Case Stats Trump Lives in the Era of Prohibition

    Ever since ATF’s Fast and Furious gun-running operation was catapulted into the national spotlight in early 2011, the focus has been on the politics influencing the police work and the manipulations behind intelligence operations, with little to no attention paid to the dysfunction of the drug-war bureaucracy.

    A report released by the US Government Accountability Office in June 2009, some three months before Operation Fast and Furious was even launched, underscores that dysfunction in succinct detail. Advance copies of that report were provided at the time to “the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and State and to the Office of National Drug Control Policy,” GAO documents state.

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  • claygooding

    The American Medical Assn newspaper ran an article on the 4 governors recent effort to petition to re-schedule cannabis.

    Governors push reclassification of marijuana for medical use

    http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/01/16/gvsc0116.htm

    Is it time for medical providers in the 16 states where mmj is allowed to start speaking up? Anecdotal evidence from doctors would carry more weight than from many of the mmj patients.

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  • This sounds interesting.

    Cannabis increases creativity in people with low creativity

    According to research of the University College London, UK, with 160 cannabis users, who were investigated one day under the influence of cannabis and one day sober, cannabis influenced psychosis-like symptoms and verbal fluency as a measure of creativity. Subjects were divided into four groups of creativity level. The drug increased psychosis-like symptoms in people with the highest and lowest creativity. In addition, acute cannabis use increased creativity in people with low creativity. (Source: Schafer G, et al. Conscious Cogn. 2012 Jan 7. [in press])

    This was included in the IACM bulletin for January 15, but hasn’t yet been published on their website; also the latest issue of Consciousness and Cognition available online is from 2011, so I can’t link to the actual paper yet. But considering the relatively large sample size, it appears somewhat relevant to the dialectic of WoSD.

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  • marc

    The Canadian Liberal party just added marijuana legalization to their platform: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/15/liberal-vote-legalize-marijuana_n_1207388.html?ref=canada.

    While the article says it is non binding the measure received 77% of the vote at its convention. Over 50% of Canadians support full legalization and this is the first time I have seen a major party endorse full legalization. (conservatives and liberals are seen as the major parties in Canada, although the NDP did very well in the last election.)

    This is a marked contrast to their previous decriminalization efforts of the Chretien era that were later abandoned. Could be very good news but we will have to see how they pursue this.

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    • darkcycle

      Say now…that’s an event worthy of note. It was the fragmentation of the Canadian Left into multiple parties (including Mr. Emery’s marijuana party) that allowe Harper to get the Presidency in the first place. Maybe they’re serious about winning the next one, instead of going down in flames.

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  • Duncan20903

    “Dr.” Robert DuPont’s LTE, Washington Times 1/16/2012 Marijuana study flawed

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  • darkcycle

    Uh-oh…another police informant shot dead, one more dead due to police coersion….this at Alternet, I ran straight back here with it, so I’ve yet to read past the first paragraph…
    http://www.alternet.org/story/153768/get_busted_for_marijuana%2C_work_as_police_informant%2C_get_killed_how_the_drug_war_turns_arrests_into_deaths/

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    • darkcycle

      …odd. I’m at a loss for a comment. As an indictment of the drug war, that story needs no help from me.

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      • Duncan20903

        Res ipsa loquitur is very much my favorite comment. Unfortunately I don’t get to use it very often.

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    • Duncan20903

      It’s very interesting that they identified Ms. Hilliard as a woman. Not many people are aware that being born with a penis doesn’t necessarily make a person male.

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  • pvtpyle

    18/21 Helicopter and M60 led me astray.

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  • Here’s one from LEAP worth passing around, really well done, over at the LEAP blog:

    Speaking out, but still silenced: Anonymous cop criticizes War on Drugs

    As an active duty veteran police officer, I would love to publicly join Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and freely speak out against the drug war. However, I am scared, yes scared, to join LEAP publicly. Although many active duty law enforcers are already speaking out publicly with LEAP and maintaining their careers (more on them later), I believe I would be punished by my department for my advocacy or perhaps even fired.

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