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January 2012
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Open thread

It’s been suggested in comments that we have an annual Prohibitionist of the year award. I think it’s a great idea.

Perhaps, in addition to the big award, we could have a few sub categories, such as Most Outrageous Single Prohibition Action (OpEd, quote, etc.), Prohibition Apologist of the Year, etc.

What other categories would you suggest? And when should we give the award?

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46 comments to Open thread

  • Hey Pete, sorry for getting off-topic here, but would like to again invite fellow Drug War Ranters to please have a look at my new site: http://www.ctprimaryproject.com.

    Please use the sign-up form to leave feedback if you’re so inclined.

    If you know anyone who is registered to vote in Connecticut (or may know others who are), please let them know about this site.

    Thanks!

  • C

    pot elitist of the year – meaning a pot should be legal only, anybody who is into anything else is undeserving of attention/credibility type of person should get the award. you know, the person who is so selfish and self consumed as to think pot is the only drug that deserves to be legalized and thereby sorta says, “im actually just like all these prohibitionists, except i smoke pot, but i really shouldn’t be labelled a user, i should be able to smoke pot – which should be legal – and stand side by side with the prohibitionists to point my finger down at the heroin user (and that is what i, the writer of this reply is. and yes, i am proud of it. and no , i dont care what anybody’s judgements against me are cause i get involved in the cause of drug reform to kind of belong, not to be shut out by pot smoking elitists.)

    • claygooding

      At one time I was a pot elitist until I really looked at prohibition,,,it is the evil elephant in the room and has done more damage to our society than any illicit drugs can do.

    • MemeOnWire

      Let us know where they are and we’ll smoke them out!

    • Rick Steeb

      Cannabis is the planet’s most widely beneficial plant species. Its prohibition is a crime against humanity. In all too many ways. Its legalization is the MOST logical and important, elitist or not.

      • Francis

        Geez Rick, angling for a nomination already? 😉 (Only kidding!) I hear what you’re saying, and I actually mostly agree with you. Cannabis is certainly a logical starting point given its massive popularity. And I’d even agree that it’s the most important in the sense that eliminating cannabis prohibition will immediately affect the most people’s lives. But that doesn’t mean ending cannabis prohibition is the most important issue to everyone. And the fact is that we’re all equally entitled to sovereignty over our bodies and consciousness, regardless of our drug of choice. Again, I think we’re mostly in agreement. It’s just that your comment read a little harsh to me, especially given how much our society has attempted to marginalize heroin and other “hard drug” users.

      • darkcycle

        Rick, marijuana prohibition affects more people, but it could be easily argued that prohibition of hard drugs costs more in terms of lives lost.

      • Rick Steeb

        I’m not talking about “marijuana” I mean the prohibition of HEMP. As an assault on the planetary ecosystem, not “just” human rights. Half of ALL pesticides are used on cotton, c.f. Hemp requires ZERO pesticides and can replace much of cotton’s fiber uses, or rotate between other crops and improve the soil. There is no more nutritious food item than hemp seed. Hempcrete. Storm crow. Jack Herer. The truth is out there!

        Of course heroin and LSD should be legally available to those who can use them responsibly. Should fentanyl be OTC too?

    • Leonard Junior

      Word, guy; I just hope you’re cautious when you stick a needle in your arm.

  • You’ll also need an award trophy to be presented with all honours. A Dunce Cap of Nescience? A pair of Harness Winkers of Selective Blindness? A figurine of a Droopy with a Cherry-Picker’s Basket? An Ether Bong of Righteousness?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I was going to suggest a gold plated douche bag trophy. We’d have called them the Douchies. Unfortunately someone has beaten us to the punch. Perhaps we could pay royalties and get the rights?

  • Francis

    About a week ago, Pete had a post on this story:

    Police in B.C. are reluctant to tell the public what unique markings are on ecstasy pills suspected to contain a lethal additive linked to five deaths in the province.

    That’s because they don’t want users thinking they’re sanctioning the rest of the pills.

    For a few days, I was trying unsuccessfully to understand, well basically, what the f*** is wrong with these people?! It seems like in the best case, the drug warriors are indifferent to harm-reduction approaches, and in the worst cases, they are actively hostile to them. WHY is that? I think I’ve figured it out.

    Harm-reduction strategies are embarrassing to the prohibs because they are so often necessitated by prohibition. After all, why do ecstasy consumers need to get their pills tested to see if they contain lethal additives? Because they’re buying them in an unregulated, black market created by prohibition.

    I think there’s a second and more fundamental reason. Prohibition is, by its very design, the antithesis of a harm-reduction approach to drug use. It is, in fact, a harm-promotion approach. The logic of prohibition goes something like this. Drug use is bad because it can hurt people. So no one should use drugs. But for some strange reason, some people use them anyway. The “solution” then is to make drug use really hurt via criminal punishment. Then people will make the “right” decision and stop using drugs. That was the theory anyway. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way. But instead of admitting defeat, year after year the drug warriors doubled down on a failed strategy with more and more violence and ever-harsher penalties. “We had to destroy the drug users in order to save them.”

    • Peter

      “Harm promotion approach…” great term, needs wider exposure.

    • primus

      If you follow the logic trail, it gets even worse: During alcohol prohibition, the bootleggers bought denatured industrial alcohol and re-distilled it, rendering it drinkable. The feds added methanol, knowing it is not possible to separate the two alcohols, thus poisoning anyone who drank this brew. During the 1970’s, the feds sprayed paraquat on cannabis crops, not to kill them but to harm the tokers back home. When they refuse to identify the lethal pills, my cynical side concludes that they are complicit (at least) and perhaps guilty of the poisoning. Why else would they refuse to identify the bad pills? In other words, this is your government on prohibition. Evil, not?

  • SOPA

    Don’t forget about the copyrights to any portraits or works of art Comrades. Infringement will not be tolerated especially by maggot infested dopesmokers. (Relax:Sarcastic)

  • MemeOnWire

    Did I leave anybody/anything out?

    Not yet convinced that this magic plant can actually enhance and improve human abilities? Here are just a few of the many highly motivated athletes whose drug of choice is cannabis/marijuana:

    * Usain Bolt, the 2008 World Record holder of the 100 and 200 meter sprint.

    * Michael Phelps, the most decorated swimmer ever with 14 Olympic gold medals.

    * Tim Linecum, the National League baseball’s Cy Young Award winner for 2009.

    * Santonio Holmes, the Super Bowl XLII’s MVP.

    * Mark Stepnoski, two-time Super Bowl champion. “I’d rather smoke than take painkillers.”

    * Randy Moss, NFL single season touchdown reception record (23, set in 2007), and the NFL single-season touchdown reception record for a rookie (17, in 1998). Moss has founded, and financed many charitable endeavors including the the Links for Learning foundation, formed in 2008.

    * Ricky Williams, the Heisman Trophy Winner in 1998. Throughout his life, Williams has dealt with anxiety and depression. He used to advertise the prescription drug Paxil. However he later stated “Marijuana is 10 times better for me than Paxil.”

    * Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored (38,387), games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots and defensive rebounds. During his career with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. He has a prescription to smoke marijuana in California, which he says he uses to control nausea and migraine headaches. He has been arrested twice for marijuana possession.

    * “I just let him know that most of the players in the league use marijuana and I have and do partake in smoking weed in the offseason” – Josh Howard, forward for the Dallas Mavericks. Howard admitted to smoking marijuana on Michel Irvin’s ESPN show.

    * “You got guys out there playing high every night. You got 60% of your league on marijuana. What can you do?” – Charles Oakley (Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets)

    * “I personally know boxers, body builders, cyclists, runners and athletes from all walks of life that train and compete with the assistance of marijuana,” – WWE wrestler Rob Van Dam

    * Some of the best cricket players of all time, like Phil Tufnell and Sir Ian Botham, have admitted to regularly using marijuana to deal with stress and muscle aches. In 2001, half of South Africa’s cricket team was caught smoking marijuana with the team physiotherapist. They were celebrating a championship victory in the Caribbean.

    • claygooding

      I read that already and liked it the first time.

      My response there:

      “”Additionally, marijuana is considered a “gateway” drug, with the potential to lead users to other drugs such as cocaine.””

      According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse marijuana is not a gateway drug but since drug dealers carry other illicit drugs,cocaine,meth and other substances,the marijuana user is exposed to other drugs and peer pressure to try them.

      Answer: Put marijuana in a licensed regulated market and remove the dealers from people’s and your children’s lives.

      “”Moreover, the secondhand smoke marijuana produces can have an intoxicating effect on others nearby, especially children.””

      This is a fear mongering myth,because second hand smoke is mixed with so much air that the amount of active ingredients are not concentrated enough to effect others,however the actions of the people smoking it may cause people to emulate their actions.

      Answer: Quit spreading myths to support your theory.

      “”Also consider the increased number of impaired drivers that will be on the road.””

      Every testing of subjects on simulators has shown little to no impairment for people using marijuana and many people drive safer on marijuana than even when they are straight. The following quote from Pete Guither sums it up nicely:
      “”The drunk driver speeds through the stop sign without seeing it.
      The stoned driver stops and patiently waits for it to turn green.
      The choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol is the safer choice!

      “”Society is not politically, legally or socially prepared for legal recreational marijuana.””

      You are not ready for legalized marijuana,,over 50% of Americans are. Society may not be politically,legally and socially prepared for legal marijuana but that is what change is,,the adaption of new circumstances and situations is what keeps us evolving instead of becoming stagnant.

      “”We will have to develop field tests to detect impaired drivers as well as additional laws pertaining to the use of marijuana in public places and around others (such as children or drivers).””

      We have had a side of the road impairment test that has stood the test of time quite well and used by every law enforcement agency in America,if a person can pass the impaired driving test then the amount of drugs in their system is irrelevant. If they fail it they are required to do further testing to determine what caused the impairment and a ticket is issued. Been going on for years.

      The people that support the prohibition “to protect the children” are actually putting their children on more danger of being able to get marijuana and other drugs,,dealers do not check ID’s,,only cash.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      How about the Texas Rangers’ new bonus baby, Yu Darvish? He denies it, saying he likes to wear shirts with English writing and that he had no idea it signaled an interest in something more. Well the writing may have been in English but I’m pretty certain the pot leaf is a globally recognized hieroglyph.

  • primus

    How about an award for Whopper of the Week? There could be playoffs at year’s end, and lots of publicity as each lie is spread through the interweb.

  • darkcycle

    Hmmmm….subcatagories….the rotten cherry award, for worst cherry-picked statistics. How about the WATC (“What about the Children”) catagory, for handwringing above and beyond the call. How about the straw-man bashing award…for exceptional efforts defeating arguments nobody has posed….
    Gosh…we’ll run out of prohibitionists before we run out of awards. It’ll be like pee-wee baseball…everyone gets a trophy.

    • claygooding

      Imagine the ego popping significance of not winning an award because your diatribe against ending prohibition actually helps end prohibition.

  • claygooding

    Does anyone else feel like a buzzard sitting on a fence,waiting on a prohibitionist to stick his head up?

    It feels crowded/good on this couch full of buzzards.

  • claygooding

    Lorraine Redig: Drug war is damage control

    http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/opinion/letters/article_566e5bfa-421f-11e1-aff6-001871e3ce6c.html

    “”Our leaders almost habitually use damage control to fight serious problems caused by prioritizing profits before human rights. Damage control isn’t designed to correct anything. On the contrary, it maintains the leadership and unjust policy goals, that cause the damage.””

    I thought it was an article supporting the wosd but it turns out to be a Christian appeal for an end to it,,,pretty good.

  • Duncan20903

    .
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    I predict that Kevin Sabet will sweep the awards. The only questions are where will we hold the ceremony, and how do we trick him into attending?
    ———-
    In the “some people just don’t like the police” category:

    The opposition Forum for Democratic Changer leader, Dr Kizza Besigye, on Friday drew on his medical knowledge to allege that the conduct of brawny commandos deployed in a special police van to trail and arrest him during demonstrations shows they are drug abusers.

    “I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that they are full-time high on marijuana,” the opposition politician told a press conference at the IPC headquarters on Katonga Road in Kampala. “I am saying this both as an experienced observer and a medical worker.”

    Police Spokesman Asuman Mugenyi, however, denied the allegation, calling it a “concoction”. “He is entitled to his opinion which is a concoction,” Mr Mugenyi said. He added: “I don’t think he would have kind words for the police. Any sane person would see that the allegations he is making are lies.”
    /snip/

    • PossibleLocation

      “The only questions are where will we hold the ceremony, … ?”

      May I refer the honorable gentleman to the first post on this thread.

  • Prohibitionist of the Year – open category, citizens, bureaucrats, politicians, law enforcement, cartel heads (the leaders, not the ones they sever)(perhaps a close-up of hands on prison bars… Lady Liberty bound and gagged…)

    Most Dumberest
    – – Politician
    – – LE/ CrimJustice
    – – Bureaucrat
    – – Citizen

    Hearst Trophy – Excellence in Yellow Journalism, 2 categories
    – – Worst News Story
    – – Worst Oped

    The Constitution Award, the most egregious, anti-Constitution action, statement, judicial decision… open to individuals, media, judicial panels, gov’t agencies, etc. (perhaps an image of the Bill of Rights, with a few lines blacked out…)

    • claygooding

      The way the congress is swinging at it,,just show a blacked out page.

      And after removing the writ of habeas corpus,,a pillar of freedom since somewhere around 714AD,,it is going to be hard to find a topper.

  • claygooding

    Pot-based prescription drug looks for FDA OK
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/22/pot-based-prescription-drug-looks-for-fda-ok/

    FoxNews / AP / 1,22,2,12

    SAN FRANCISCO – A quarter-century after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drugs based on the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, additional medicines derived from or inspired by the cannabis plant itself could soon be making their way to pharmacy shelves, according to drug companies, small biotech firms and university scientists.

    After thirty five years of trying to synthetically produce a pill to do what marijuana does,,pharmaceutical companies give up and make the same medicine being sold in dispensaries all over several states with mmj laws,yet the medicine the dispensaries sell will still be Class 1,no approved medical uses. Proof positive that marijuana is prohibited to protect big pharmacy profits.

    • Francis

      Hmm, this is the first I’ve read about Acomplia. From the same story:

      One of the first drugs to build on those breakthroughs was an anti-obesity medication that blocked the same chemical receptors that trigger the munchies in pot smokers. Under the name Acomplia, it was approved throughout Europe and heralded as a possible new treatment for smoking cessation and metabolic disorders that can lead to heart attacks.

      The FDA was reviewing its safety as a diet drug when follow-up studies showed that people taking the drug were at heightened risk of suicide and other psychiatric disorders. French manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis, pulled it from the market in late 2008.

      Who would have guessed that a drug designed to work (essentially) as an anti-marijuana would have negative side effects? I mean, you’d think it would be a veritable cure-all! (Maybe they should have named it “Accomplice” instead?) Seriously, if you’re trying to lose weight, but don’t feel like risking “suicide and other[?] psychiatric disorders,” you might want to read this.

      • claygooding

        Comments are open at the article,,bottom of the article in small letters with the share buttons.

      • darkcycle

        Oh, Acomplia is BAAAD stuff. The drug was approved breifly in Europe for weight loss. The people who took it couldn’t stay on the medicaton because of the side effects. It is truly the opposite of TCH, in that many of the people who took it said that it took away their desire to….everything. Eat, to play, to fornicate, or even to watch tv. They told the same story, all of them:it sucked all the joy out of anything they loved to do. The neurotransmitter Anandamide is aptly named: Anannda is bliss in sanskrit. Acomplia is an anandamide blocker. It is a bliss blocker. Therewere more than a few suicides linked to Acomplia

  • oooh… The Obama Award, obviously for hypocrite of the year.

  • PossibleLocation

    Inspired by something Duncan said on a comment thread somewhere:

    All Prohibitionists eventually get to experience utter loneliness – also known as “the sadomoralist condition”. This is usually accelerated by the deep realization that it’s simply not possible to prove any of the nonsense they’ve been spouting for at least the last four decades. It’s this type of loneliness that often turns their attention to a higher power, the one that usually comes in liquid form. This is a serious terminal affliction and not one that a shrink, philosopher or priest can help with. Ultimately, they become trapped in a situation where they have literally nobody left to relate to. In such situations it is our civic duty, and moral obligation, to point them to the nearest high bridge.

  • darkcycle

    Existential dispair seems to be someting reserved for truculant teenagers, artists and prohibitionists, who must periodically understand the utter futilty and the ultimate destructiveness of their life’s work. Assuming, of course that they have the capacity for occasional “moments of clarity”.
    Also, pleas forgive the errant typo. Dell is fixing my laptop and will return it to me in SIX TO TEN WEEKS!!!! I hate them. I bought this new tablet computer thingy today to ride out the absence,but I thik I will learn to hatethis quickly as well. This key board sucks s**t

    • Thanks! JustWhatWasNeeded

      Most Prohibitionists eventually get to experience utter loneliness – also known as “the sadomoralist condition”. A form of existential despair as they begin to finally realize the utter futility and destructiveness of their life’s work. This is ultimately compounded by the deep realization that it’s simply not possible to prove any of the nonsense they’ve been zealously propagating for at least four decades. It’s this type of loneliness that often turns their attention to a higher power, and one that usually comes in liquid form. This is a serious terminal affliction and not one that a psychologist, philosopher or priest can help with. Eventually they become trapped in a very dark place where they have literally nobody left to relate to. In such situations it is our civic duty, and moral obligation, to point them to the nearest bridge.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        How dare you suggest that we pollute our waters with the cadavers of decomposing prohibitionists? Do you know the variety of foul gas that their bodies release after death? What about the little fishies? Don’t you care about the fish?

        • NothingToCelebrate

          I don’t actually have a problem with that; I hate fish ever since my dyslexic granny got a botched hysterectomy from a Sturgeon.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Well I’d wager that day at work gave the sturgeon a haddock.

          Regardless, I think the whole business is fishy. [drumroll] [rimshot]

  • Cannabis

    For the annual Prohibitionist of the year award I nominate Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX 21st District).

    • claygooding

      2nd

      He is from San Antonio and probably gets bags of $100 bills from his gardner,Jesus to keep prohibition rolling,howsomever,,Christian Science is telling too,,,he will be eligible for the bottle when all this mess gets cleaned up.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    More bad luck for Smiling Bob:

    Watson arrested on poss. of marijuana
    Due in court on Feb. 2nd

    Sunday, 22 Jan 2012, 12:59 PM EST
    By Mallory Moretti

    SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Former House Minority Leader Robert A. Watson has been arrested on marijuana charges.

    South Kingstown Police Lt. William Buckley confirmed with Eyewitness News, that Watson was arrested late Saturday night after a snow plow operator witnessed Watson driving erratically in South Kingstown.
    /snip/

  • Norm Kent nails it over at CounterPunch:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/20/obamas-war-on-medical-marijuana/

    I am supportive of each and every person who wants to use marijuana medicinally or recreationally. The point I raise for your consideration is that many honorable reformers who wholeheartedly believed in unfettered legalization may have unintentionally compromised their principles when they enthusiastically endorsed medical marijuana initiatives.

    By submitting to a regulatory authority supervising the dispensation of marijuana in a controlled environment, we did not stand our ground and insist that responsible adults be allowed to freely acquire cannabis without restrictions, regardless of whether they were ill or not. We instead accepted what the government gave us, because decent and honorable reformers saw the medical programs achieving two goals.

    First, they were fulfilling a legitimate need while being responsive to a demanding public. We wanted cannabis accessible medically, and we grasped for it, at any price or cost.

    Second, these noble experiments were excellent stepping-stones that we all hoped would logistically facilitate knocking the government out of the marijuana regulation business entirely. We chose medical because it was expedient and would push the needle our way. Now we can all have our medical cards, but look at the hand we have dealt ourselves. Instead of using marijuana privately in our homes, we have told the government where they can find us. That is pretty ironic in and of itself, isn’t it?

    As a sidenote… Bill Moyers is back on PBS. I’m watching his second program in his return to public TV now. The man is good. His new programs kinda make me wanna puke… he’s started on the economy. Keyword from last week’s opener – obscene.

    Tonight’s show is on the bailout and the big banks and how they’ve grown under Obama, how the banks have risen in power and how it all is undermining the whole financial structure of our country.

    Highly recommended! (I think they’re available for viewing at PBS online).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      While I agree that it’s time to move on from the focus on MMJ I thoroughly disagree that it wasn’t a good idea. This is with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. When I quit volunteering for NORML in 1994 it had much to do with the fact that we were completely marginalized and irrelevant. While we can most certainly credit the advent of the Internet for helping to get us to this point, the fact of the matter is that Dennis Peron’s notion that patients that were otherwise not people who chose to enjoy cannabis using the medicine would go a long way to changing the perception of pot crazed maniacs which a surprisingly large number of people held was correct. Just last year I can recall at least a half a dozen legislators in various States either introducing or supporting MMJ bills and noting that they knew someone who had benefited from its use. Time to move on? Yes, the process of medicalization is in full swing and no longer needs any help. Time to call past choices a mistake? Hardly. To me it’s self evident that it worked. I know lots of people have a wild hair up their collective ass about “big pharma” taking over. To me those people sound just like the prohibitionists that can’t accept anything but medicine in a pill. I’m sorry that those who hold that opinion don’t realize that there’s room and need for both. All IMHO of course.
      ———-
      As of today a search of the USPTO database for the keyword “cannabinoid” returns 6,119 items. That’s up from 4,917 in mid-December 2010.
      http://www.patentstorm.us/search.html?q=cannabinoid&s.x=0&s.y=0&s=s