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January 2012
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Open Thread

bullet image BBC: Richard Branson drugs policy advice to David Cameron

It’s up to politicians, I think, to get the message across, and sometimes to ignore a newspaper like the Daily Mail and just get on and do what they believe is right. If you talk to any individual politician they know what’s right. […] [David Cameron]’s got to be brave as Prime Minister. You’ve got to do what’s right for the country and what’s right for society and individuals, and treat them like your children, or treat them like your brothers and sisters who have got a problem. You’d never throw your family into prison – you’d help them.


bullet image BBC: 100 years of the war on drugs. Interesting, though ultimately superficial account of the war on drugs over the past century.


bullet image U.S. spying on Mexicans using drones?

But does the U.S. government ever risk the international fallout of using the aircrafts’ high-tech surveillance abilities to take a peek south of the border – or share what they see with Mexican counterparts fighting for their lives?

The American public likely never will know.

“Officially, no,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, whose district hugs the Texas-Mexico border. “I will leave it at that.” […]

Exactly where they fly is classified.

The agency steps gingerly around Mexico surveillance. […]

She wouldn’t discuss whether the planes had flown counternarcotics missions over Mexico, saying Mexico should answer questions about its airspace.

The office of Mexican President Felipe Calderón declined comment.


bullet image ‘Blind mules’ unknowingly ferry drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border – a scary situation. Always know what’s in the trunk of your car when you cross the border.

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97 comments to Open Thread

  • Duncan20903

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    Quite frankly I find it hard to believe that the man wasn’t a knowing participant. Having one of those SENTRI cards would be very valuable and could certainly make a guy think he was untouchable. The man thinks to himself, “In the very unlikely event that they catch me I’ll just deny everything and flash my SENTRI card. See? I’m certified as law abiding.”

    If it went as he claims how is it that the people who put the product in his trunk knew that he was a SENTRI card holder? Did he advertise that fact in Mexico? How did they plan to get their product on this side of the border? They knew both his origin and destination? How did they get it into his trunk in the first place without breaking the lock? Do people in such a high crime area leave their cars unlocked? Why the heck would they go to all that much trouble when there are so many people available to hire? I haven’t heard that there’s a shortage of willing mules in northern Mexico.

    You may color me very skeptical because the entire story violates Ockham’s Razor. Could have happened as he said. Way, way more likely that he was in on it. When I hear hoofbeats I think horses, not zebras.

    • Deep Dish

      Did you read the article in its entirety? It answers your questions of plausibility. And why go through all the trouble, because the vehicles are mostly waved through with only a second’s glance.

      • Duncan20903

        I did read the article in its entirety. I posted the above after doing so.

        • Hope

          Duncan, did you miss the part below? Seems like it explains what you were wondering about. Once they had it set up and going it was actually a pretty slick device and and two plain duffel bags, each with sixty pounds in them weren’t too suspicious looking to carry around. Hundred and twenty pounds per load and no telling how many times he was loaded up, he crossed the border every single day, were probably worth the trouble for Chavez and Gomez.

          “According to the complaint, Chavez and Gomez allegedly paid lookouts to monitor SENTRI pass drivers — noting the time of day, as well as the make, model and color of their cars — as they drove over the bridge.

          The lookouts targeted students and professionals who typically have consistent routines.

          Once they identified a possible target, they followed the car as it returned to the Mexican side of the border. Then, they approached the car at night, copied the vehicle identification number (VIN) off the dashboard and gave the number to Chavez and Gomez.

          They also planted GPS tracking devices on the car so they could monitor its movements between Juarez and El Paso.

          The complaint alleges that Chavez and Gomez took the VIN to a Texas-based locksmith who had access to key code sources for the vehicles. With that information, the locksmith made two keys for each vehicle — one for Chavez and Gomez, and the other for Juarez-based accomplices.

          The co-conspirators allegedly used their copy of the key to unlock the trunk of the target vehicle at night and place two duffel bags inside. The bags contained about 60 pounds of marijuana each and were both secured with zip ties.

          The unsuspecting driver transported the drugs across the border unknowingly, and according to the complaint, Chavez and Gomez retrieved the drugs using their key once the driver was in the United States.
          It was a simple, effective plan. But there was one problem: All the cases had striking similarities. And that caught the eye of a judge — but not until after innocent people, like Andres, had been convicted of smuggling drugs.

          …………….

          Others include a fourth-grade teacher and a sports medicine doctor. The blind mules had a few things in common: The bags were all secured the same way, each contained roughly the same amount of marijuana, and most of those caught drove a Ford. (The key code sources needed to create duplicate keys were much easier to access for Fords than for other types of vehicles, according to the complaint.)”

        • Duncan20903

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          .

          No Hope, “read the story in its entirety” meant that I read every single line. Not every 3rd line or between the lines, every single one. By now the readers here should have seen it happen enough to know that when I misread, don’t read, or for whatever reason am just plain wrong and I realize it that I acknowledge it. In this case I’m offering my opinion. I don’t have a clue why I would be mistaken or lie about my opinion. At least in this venue. I certainly hope no one’s under the mistaken impression that I think the guy should have been arrested or sent to jail. I’m 100% pleased that it worked.

          It’s OK for people to have differences of opinion you know. That 2 people can read the same story and come to diametrically opposed conclusions doesn’t need to be a problem.

          P.S. I believed Schapelle. Either everybody on our side of the table believed her or if they didn’t kept it to themselves. I have no clue how they kept quiet the fact that cannabis was the family business and that the Corbys had previously exported to Indonesia until years after she was sentenced, but there you go. An omitted fact changes everything.

        • Hope

          Schapelle… I believed her, too, Duncan.

          I also know you are exceptionally bright, well spoken, and smart but I thought that seemed so self explanatory that you must have slid past it in a hurry and missed the gist of it somehow. Rushing or something. I’ve done it myself.

          Sorry. You know I didn’t mean to slight you or what you said. Even the Super Duncan, as I see you, might let something slip by him now and then… but then again, I should have known better.

          It does look to me like he could have been innocent of what, to my mind, of course, shouldn’t even be a crime. All in all, he does sound sort of super whimpy, self righteous, straight laced, and whiny… so there is a good chance, to my mind, that he might be innocent and it does seems like a really slick scam that experienced smugglers could be operating.

          Sorry… keep up the knocking ’em down. I’m one of your biggest fans.

  • Duncan20903

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    Sonoma Man to Sue for Stolen Marijuana
    A Sonoma man is attempting to receive the cash value for six pounds of pot stolen during a home invasion robbery.
    By Chris Roberts
    Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012
    /snip/

  • darkcycle

    It makes sense, Duncan…I’d be as sceptical as you, but for the other SENTRI pass holders who were likewise caught. All had the same types of bags, prepared the same way with the same weights, they all drove Fords (least difficult vehicles to key forge),and all had regular schedules that left their cars in public parking. Had it been him alone, he’d be sitting in jail.

    • Duncan20903

      Did we ever cover how Schapelle Corby’s story finally came unraveled? She sure had everyone thinking she was just a pawn. Years after the fact we learn that cannabis was the family business.

      • darkcycle

        All I can say is AFAIC, that’s reasonable doubt. Please let my judge NOT be the Honorable Duncan20903. Here I would insert a youtube clip of Nipsy Russel doing “Here Comes the Judge” but I’m on this here mini tablet.

        • Duncan20903

          .
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          There’s a difference between sitting in the peanut gallery dressed in a lovely shade of skeptical and sitting in judgment. But I’ve played more than one or two seasons in the Black Market Major Leagues so I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what goes on in the locker rooms. Well maybe it was only triple A. I’m a long time retired but I might come out for the occasional old timers game.

          You may be talking to the only guy in America that thinks that the jury in O.J. Simpson 1.0 returned the correct verdict based on the evidence they heard. That would include O.J. because he knows he won the lotto with that stupid glove trick that Chris Darden just had to throw into the mix.

  • claygooding

    Kansas had a hearing on mmj but apparently the advocates were not very well prepared. The chairman asked if there was any science or doctors testimony to help them decide and no one offered any. Not even the IOM report,Judge Young’s ruling or Granny’s list.

    Medicinal pot hearing long on drama, short on science

    http://cjonline.com/news/2012-01-24/medicinal-pot-hearing-long-drama-short-science

    “Do we have any evidence on either side from sources like the National Cancer Institute, the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Opthamological Association Journal?” Trimmer asked. “I would hope that we have something in the medical profession that tells us whether these things work or not. I like to base policy on sound research.”

    I would think someone in Kansas knows about all that but,,you never can tell. Waiting for password email so I can tell them.

    • David L Marsh

      Clay, The full transcripts of the four Iowa board of pharmacy hearings is available on PDF format at iowamedicalmarijuana.org…. There are 247 pages of public record testimony from the Iowa City hearing including data from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy… This is a great resource site.

  • IsaacTheMule

    .

    “Honey, how about for first-time offenders, under 5 grams, we cut off their feet and have their urethras laced shut, and for repeat offenders we saw them slowly in half?

    That’s simply exquisite, my dear! And, before the maggots and worms devour their bodies, we can commission an Artist to immortalize it all.”

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/24/gary-johnson-gingrichs-ideas-on-drug-pol#comment_2791023

  • divadab

    Re: Richard Branson – “You’ve got to do what’s right for the country and what’s right for society and individuals, and treat them like your children, or treat them like your brothers and sisters who have got a problem. You’d never throw your family into prison – you’d help them.”

    The problem is the attitude of government that citizens are a herd to be controlled. It’s about DOMINION, not what’s right. Prohibition laws just give government a tool to brutally enforce dominion. It’s a systematic flaw, which too many in government rather consider a feature, not a bug.

    The police are supposed to be public servants, not masters. Prohibition incents the police to abuse their authority and asset forfeiture laws incent the police to be racketeers.

    Very bad SYSTEMATIC design.

  • claygooding

    And even if the wosd ends tomorrow we will be fixing all the problems it has already created or aggravated for two decades or more.

  • Duncan20903

    Bob Sharpe writes an LTE with 9 paragraphs!

  • Peter

    Was drug warrior/hypocrite Mitch Daniels really the best the Republicans could do to counter Obama’s sotu address? Obama has his own issues with hypocrisy but he at least paid lip-service to the idea that we should all play by the same rules. Daniels, as demonstrated by his fervent support for Bill Bennet’s crack down on cannabis users, clearly thinks otherwise. Here he is justifying his arrest for two shoe boxes full of cannabis as somehow different to what happens to Joe Public in the same circs: “In calling for enforcement of drug laws against even casual users — publicizing the names of arrestees, at least minimal fines or jail time for those convicted and requiring no-use policies from colleges and other beneficiaries of government funds and so on — William Bennett is exactly right. The threshold test of seriousness on the drug issue — for President Bush in reviewing the plan and for your congressman in reacting to it — will be their enthusiasm for these sections. In my opinion, any public official who shrinks from user sanctions should be disqualified from further participation in the drug debate.”
    Read the whole article here:

    http://prospect.org/article/mitch-daniels-drugs

    and here: http://reason.com/blog/2011/02/25/mitch-daniels-disappearing-fel

    • Chris

      In my opinion, any public official who shrinks from user sanctions should be disqualified from further participation in the drug debate.

      Users who don’t fear prosecution can participate in public policy debate and are more willing to educate others on their personal experience. That’s what they want to avoid, as it makes treating them like sub-humans with no rights much more difficult.

  • Duncan20903

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    I think Dennis Romero must have gotten into his kids’ headstash.
    Marijuana Laws Would Ban Employers From Firing Medical Users, Loosen Penalties For Growing: Sacramento Lobbyists Block ‘Em

    He was acting normal (for an idiot) at 6 AM.

  • We will all do well to support Richard Branson in any way we can, including spreading his message regarding the end to the war on drugs, and the beginning of sensible drug regulation which allows for harm reduction measures to be applied. Young people have good reason to be wary of billionaires, but this guy connects with them. I appreciate seeing news about Virgin’s founder here. Now all we need is somebody to make deep connections with the senior voters across the U.S.

    • Peter

      Not so sure about Branson “connecting” with young people in quite the way you suggest. I’m sure his long term agenda includes VirginSpliff to go along with VirginCola. Check out Tom Bowers excellent biography of Branson….he’s not quite the cuddly nice guy he’d have us all believe, being more in the mold of a sweater-wearing Robert Maxwell….besides which, there is zero chance of Cameron accepting his “advice” on this subject. This has all the hallmarks of the usual Branson publicity stunts.

  • darkcycle

    Already on it, ty. Check out NORML’s Silver Tour at http://www.silvertour.org and support your local Tuna.

  • Peter

    The Guardian has a report on the significance of the WOSD going in to the Florida primaries and lists the candidates stances on it. Gingrich, unsurprisingly, emerges as the most scary.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/25/florida-primary-candidates-drug-policy

    0 0

    • claygooding

      It is why the Republican’ts are pushing him so hard,,don’t you know the industries wanting to keep hemp off the open market and the prison systems full are pumping money into his campaign.

      • Peter

        You got that right….the cynicism of both Gingrich tailoring his positions to get the maximum donations, and the prison industry who will benefit most from his proposed life sentences for first offence importers just beggars belief.

    • … ummm… isn’t the Guardian a UK paper? And why do we need to travel to the British aisles to get gnus on where Repub candidates stand on drug policy? Hmmm?

      Oh heck… I answered my own question – it’s the liberal media! Damn them.

      • Peter

        the guardian online has a us edition with many american writers. i believe the us edition has a larger readership than the uk version.

  • Servetus

    MPP has revealed an ambitious Strategic Plan for 2012 for changing state and federal laws regarding medical and recreational marijuana. The organization plans to raise $4.3 million for the effort.

    http://www.mpp.org/about/strategic-plan-2012.html

  • claygooding

    The Postal Service busted a grow operation:

    Dozens of homes raided in marijuana investigation dubbed ‘Operation Sweet Leaf,’ many arrested

    http://www.9news.com/news/article/244822/71/Dozens-of-homes-raided-in-marijuana-investigation

    “”DENVER – Twenty-five homes were raided across the Denver metro area as part of a large-scale marijuana investigation, 9Wants to Know has confirmed.

    Sixteen people have been arrested in what officials have deemed “Operation Sweet Leaf.” Seven kids were taken to social services after arrests were made.””snip”

    And it was not a medical grow..strictly commercial according to evidence so far.

    • John

      “It is very concerning these criminal enterprises are operating in neighborhoods posing risks to families, children and our postal employees who process and deliver the mail,” said Oscar Villanueva, Inspector in Charge, of the Denver Postal Inspection Service.”

      Jeez, you’d think this guy was talking about people shipping poorly packed kilos of anthrax around the country, not just some dried flowers. The financially strapped USPS should be grateful for any business they can get, and not be wasting money on Mr. Villanueva’s salary.

  • Servetus

    Germany’s marijuana politics are often overlooked, even though “each German state has a different legal limit – of between 6 and 15 grams – for personal use.”

    The ongoing political games and rhetoric involving marijuana use are eerily reminiscent of what happens in the U.S., but the pathological element has been removed through legalization for possession. In Germany, no less. In this piece, the ‘Left party’ wants to open exclusive cannabis clubs:

    http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20120125-40315.html

  • claygooding

    As much as the German people like to drink beer I would bet they will embrace cannabis the same way eventually.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      When the Dutch started squawking about “drug tourists” who drove or took the train into the Netherlands (particularly Maastrich) to buy cannabis at a coffee shop, act like buffoons and urinate in places other than designated urination areas they certainly seemed to think that a lot of them were German.
      ———-
      We’ve all heard the horror stories of children who get their parents busted for cannabis law violations. Here’s the story of a 4 year old in Meriden, CT who couldn’t form the mens rea required but managed to do it anyway. Evidently kiddies can’t come into any contact with cannabis or it’s child abuse. I wonder how it would have played if he brought in some scotch or smoking tobacco. I’ll bet his parents are double guessing themselves over teaching the child how to share.

      Kid, 4, Brings Marijuana to School, Hands it Out as “Snacks” Submitted by NORML on Jan 24, 2012
      By “Cannabis Karri”

      On Tuesday morning police were called to an elementary school in Meriden, Connecticut, after a four-year old special needs student brought nine bags of marijuana to school with him.

      The boy, who attends the grade school in a pre-kindergarten class, took out nine individually wrapped bags for marijuana from his pocket at snack time to share with the other kids, telling them he brought everybody snacks.
      /snip/

      The pre-kindergarten teach knew something weird was happening the moment that the urchin sauntered into the room like he was the epitome of cool and then reached into his pocket saying, “ excuse me while I whip this out.

  • thelbert

    i don’t know about now , but in 1970 in aschaffenburg, hash was all that was available. $1/gram. GIs had to pay top dollar.

  • thelbert

    nose bleed cure:medical bacon

    • Duncan20903

      The indoor grow room was invented in the meantime. Also they get to move pretty freely between since they joined the European Union. They’re a hop, skip, and a jump from the Dutch seed banks. The British often call commercial grade hashish “soapbar” with the same tonal undercurrent of disgust that a Californian expresses when he talks about Mexican cartel brickweed.
      ———-
      I still want to find some bald guys and get them to apply an infused topical for as much as 90 days. It would likely be very high or exclusivelyCBD he scalp is just lousy with CB-2 receptors. But I haven’t been able to find any bald potheads except for Dick Cowan.

      If we could cure baldness it would be game-set-match. I understand lots of bald guys are willing to spare no expense to find a cure. I’ll betcha the FDA could get it approved in less than 6 months because lots and lots of bald guys work there.

      • Francis

        Have the drug warriors claimed that cannabis causes baldness? Then you’d know that it’s actually a cure.

        • The entry I submitted to the Urban Dictionary, “Francis’ law”, was rejected….bummer. I think they need corroboration, if it were submitted by, say, a few, or even a whole bunch of people, it might make it….

    • Duncan20903

      The indoor grow room was invented in the meantime. Also they get to move pretty freely between since they joined the European Union. They’re a hop, skip, and a jump from the Dutch seed banks. The British often call commercial grade hashish “soapbar” with the same tonal undercurrent of disgust that a Californian expresses when he talks about Mexican cartel brickweed.
      ———-
      I still want to find some bald guys and get them to apply an infused topical for as much as 90 days. It would likely be very high or exclusively CBD because the scalp is just lousy with CB-2 receptors. But I haven’t been able to find any bald potheads except for Dick Cowan.

      If we could cure baldness it would be game-set-match. I understand lots of bald guys are willing to spare no expense to find a cure. I’ll betcha the FDA could get it approved in less than 6 months because lots and lots of bald guys work there.

  • NoHolidaySince1949

    What makes your clock tick?

    http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock

    * In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana — making a calculated total of 853,839.

    * Of those, an estimated 750,591 people (45.8%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone.

    * By contrast, in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana “violations”, of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone.

    * From 1996-2010, there were 10.1 million arrests for marijuana possession and 1.4 million arrests for the sales and distribution of marijuana, equaling a total of 11.5 million marijuana arrests during that fifteen year time frame.

    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Total

    * Marijuana “violation” arrests were 39.9% of total prohibition arrests in 1995 increasing to 52.1% of such arrests in 2010.

    * During this same period, arrests for marijuana sales and distribution fluctuated between 5-6% of total prohibition arrests, while those for simple possession increased from 34.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2010.

    * Arrests for marijuana possession have risen from about a third to about a half of all prohibition violation arrests over the fifteen year 1995-2010 period.

    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Share

    • Dew-Bee

      We dont believe you chief, we have been lied to about the effects of pot for years, why should we heed your warnings about this? Maybe we better find some of this and check it out.

      The Children

    • Peter

      Found myself laughing as I read about the horrors of Bath Salts….reminded me of the Brass Tacks satire about “Cake” in which a number of gullible British celebs and pols were conned into making fools of themselves over this new, made up, drug shocker:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbq3kc29Tmg

  • punk-assGerry

    The Reform synagogue is not sponsoring Sunday’s event or taking a position on the issue, but Rabbi Anthony Fratello says he’s stood at the bedside of cancer and AIDS patients and sympathizes with those who believe marijuana can alleviate pain and treat illnesses, but can’t legally obtain it.

    “As a religious leader, as a person of conscience, I’m in favor of people being able to get access to substances that may provide them some relief,” he said.

    The Union for Reform Judaism has called for medicinal marijuana research and use under physician supervision. Platshorn says he has asked several local Reform synagogues to host his program there, too.

    The Silver Tour

    • darkcycle

      That’s Bobby Tuna. Reaching out to pass one to the elders.

      • darkcycle

        The Tuna was my next door neighbor at the first US Cannabis Cup in SF a coupla years ago. We shared cabs to the venue and ate meals together for three days. A tip top guy, and a good program to boot. I’d like to see it replicated all over the country.

        • CowboyFrog

          “The elderly may benefit from using marijuana to treat an increasing number of conditions from insomnia to multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease that plague them as they age.”

          “My generation invented marijuana as we know it. They’re really a receptive audience,”

          “We go into places where people are not aware or educated, but possibly curious about medical marijuana. I make it a point to not work with audiences of activists.”

  • Duncan20903

    .
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    That’s my doctor! Grinspoon Endorses California Ballot Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Wine

    To the best of my knowledge this is the first time he’s endorsed a specific re-legalization measure.

    • SkinTrader

      “Mostly I think people don’t know what they’re opposed to,”

      “I call it cannabinophobia. It’s like a grand delusional system that huge numbers of people have embraced. They oppose [cannabis] thinking it’s dangerous when in fact it is one of the most extraordinary plants – in terms of its many utilities – that nature has given us.”

    • Matthew Meyer

      Says in the article he already endorsed RCPA. Will any CA legalization measure make the ballot?

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        The people promoting the Regulate Cannabis Like Wine initiative say they’ve got the funds to get it on the ballot. IIRC they’re about a month into the 150 days allowed for collecting signatures.

  • darkcycle

    May I just say I hate hermaphrodites? It’s not a “gay” thing, or even a human thing. Particularly when I paid big money to a “reputable” seed seller/breeder for said hermaphrodites.

    • claygooding

      One of my strains is hermaphrodites,,every plant is female and each makes about 5>10 seeds per plant and occasionally one with no seeds. I must be used to seeded pot,,it don’t bother me,,the convenience of all seedlings being female is a plus.

      • darkcycle

        Clay, it kills your yields and reduces the quality. Remember, I’m growing for other patients as well as for myself, so my standards need to be kept high. It truly burns me when said seeds sell ten for a Benjamin. That’s just wrong, I would NEVER pass on unstable seeds to another person, not even for free. If my seeds have any instability, I will carefully note the percentage of plants that will show the trait.

        • claygooding

          All I am doing is making sure my money isn’t being spent killing someone,,since I don’t live in a medical state.

          It started as an experiment to see if it was economically feasible and with as little expenditure as possible,so far it is well worth the effort in cost reduction and has increased the quality of the available market stuff.

          I use it for arthritis,ptsd and copd,,,to increase my lung function.

          Some day,over the rainbow,I will venture into exotic growers land but for now I must go onward,thru the fog!

      • darkcycle

        With the internet and a few dollars seeds are available anywhere mail is delivered. I f the postal service intercepts them, which almost never happens, they just send a letter. It says in effect that live seeds are a no-no, but if you really want them back you should come get them in person. To date, I don’t know if anyone has ever taken them up on that offer…

        • claygooding

          The yield difference between seeded and seedless isn’t noticeable to the eye,,perhaps some electronic scales would pick it up and the potency difference would have to be measured by a machine because I can’t tell much difference.

          These plants are not loaded with seeds and that may be why.

        • darkcycle

          Depends on how seeded, if it is only a few seeds, it won’t kill you. It’s the ones that threaten to seed your whole damn garden that are the mothers.

  • claygooding

    Patient Advocates File Appeal Brief in Federal Case to Reclassify Medical Marijuana

    Lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit challenges DEA denial to reschedule marijuana for medical use

    http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=7051

    “”Washington, DC — The country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), filed an appeal brief today in the D.C. Circuit to compel the federal government to reclassify marijuana for medical use. In July 2011, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied a petition filed in 2002 by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC), which was denied only after the coalition sued the government for unreasonable delay. The ASA brief filed today is an appeal of the CRC rescheduling denial.””

    Will they be able to ignore an appeal the way they did the first one?

    • Matthew Meyer

      Joe Elford says this is another chance to put evidence of cannabis’s medical uses on the record.

      Carl Olsen seems to think that, when dealing with the feds, we’d get more mileage by using an argument he claims comes from the Oregon assisted suicide case: that what constitutes “currently accepted medical use” is determined by what the states allow.

      Anyone looked at the case he’s talking about to form an opinion about this?

  • Francis

    I love the poll National Review is running on their homepage right now. “Putting aside Ron Paul, who won the Jacksonville debate?” At least they’re acknowledging the fact that they’re trying to ignore him.

  • claygooding

    British Cannabis Laws Downgraded 27th February?

    http://pr.cannazine.co.uk/201201261578/green/eco-news/british-cannabis-laws-downgraded-27th-february.html

    “”Well kind of. Police force numbers across the country are at an all time low , having fallen by over 6000 in the last year and clearly something has to give as the thin blue line is drawn even thinner by slashing cuts to enforcement budgets. In certain quarters, even amongst the rank and file, cannabis is that ‘something.””

    How do the new Sentencing Guidelines impact on cannabis offences

    http://www.release.org.uk/comment/375-how-does-the-new-sentencing-guidelines-impact-on-cannabis-offences

    “”We have received a number of emails from cannabis activists asking for clarification on how the new Sentencing Guidelines will impact on cannabis cultivation and possession. Release provided detailed advice to the Council and has welcomed many of the changes in the guidelines as an improvement on the previous regime, but in relation to cannabis, there has only been a slight shift in approach.””

    Someone ring Kapt’s doorbell,,it’s happening!

    • Peter

      still keeping the criminal conviction and record though, to keep their political masters in washington happy

      • claygooding

        True,,but even the step down from jail to possible community service for 9 plants or less is a huge drop.

        It will make more people grow like me and thousands of others around the country,,just enuff for me,,don’t buy no marijuana,don’t sell no marijuana,,take the crime out of marijuana.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Demi Moore had to go to the ER because she got too high. So far she’s kept what she was ingesting private but the gossip rags have it narrowed down to synthetic cannabis, hippie crack, or Red Bull energy drinks.

    The headline says she was smoking something but after reading the article I think they used editorial license. I sure hope it wasn’t synthetic cannabis. Not that I’ve got any affection for it but a lot of people appear to be unable to differentiate between synthetic and the real thing. From time to time I wonder why there weren’t any tragedies from synthetic cannabis until the prohibitionists discovered it in 2010. I know that’s at least 6 years after its introduction because that was the year I sent a nastygram to High Times Magazine telling them they were dastards for running ads for rip off products. Perhaps all the people rushed to the ER in that time kept their use from their doctor but I can’t fathom why you wouldn’t tell your doctor about the use of a legal substance if it sent you to the ER.

    • darkcycle

      Yeah, Ashton ditched her, so she’s auditioning a fresh batch of seventeen year olds for possible casting.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I’m only worried about the blowback if it’s synthetic cannabis. Lots of people that aren’t following the subject are going to hear about it because she’s a movie star.

  • claygooding

    The government didn’t advertise it by prohibiting it until they had control of the market.

  • Malx

    This is typical deceit, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from organizations that profit from prohibition. — What’s happening in Mexico is clearly the result of Prohibition. The heading on that chart should therefore read ‘Prohibition Violence in Mexico’. Maybe you should remove it, photo-shop it then put it back up.

    http://www.theweedblog.com/illegal-drug-market-violence-in-mexico-infographic/

  • thelbert

    i heard on tv that the drug that sent demi to the hospital was nitrous oxide

  • anybody want to participate in providing lessons on the Constitution and searches to HSers?

    Seems that on

    My comment is awaiting moderation (my comments usually are pretty moderate), the site is a host site for HS journalism. Where better to do some schoolin’ perhaps…

  • don’t know what happened there…

    Seems that earlier this month at Kettle Run HS in Nokesville, VA Drug Dogs Sweep Hallways, Classrooms

  • Duncan20903

    I-502 was certified today. The only thing that can stop it from being there is if the Legislature adopts it after voting. It’s an interesting system.

    • Swooper420

      Unfortunately, it needs to be defeated. It’s a bad law in that it sets, without any scientific evidence, a 5 ng/liter THC content in your blood. This means that basically every patient in WA cannot drive, as therapeutic levels of THC in blood can be over 15 ng/liter, yet the patient is not impaired.

      • thelbert

        i have to disagree swoop, sure there would be strict limits on metabolites, but the cops still have to observe erratic driving in order to pull you over. if the weed doesn’t cause erratic driving what’s the problem? i used to drive stoned in washington state quite a bit and only got pulled over when breaking the traffic laws ( 20 years: 2 tickets). people are too lazy anyway. imo people should walk and ride bicycles . i put more miles on my bicycle than my car since i was diagnosed with diabetes. going on 25,000 miles since 2000. pursuit of happiness is a right, driving is a privilege granted by the state. if the 5ng/liter limit turns out to inconvenience the stoners they can always change the law, that is the beauty of our democracy.

        • claygooding

          With every simulator testing of subjects showing little to no impairment,,it sounds like a no-brainer to me,,hold the legislatures nuts to the fire and make them show proof of impairment,,they can take volunteers,get a simulator and make the prohibs prove marijuana causes impairment.

          I will volunteer for the testing on skunk,,have not had any of that for awhile.

      • I agree that the 5ng per se limit is a drawback. However, State Senator Kohl-Welles is introducing a new medical marijuana patient protection bill which should take care of the problem.

        According to a summary of the bill, it, “Disallows conviction of DUI for qualifying patients based solely on the presence, or presence in a certain concentration, of components or metabolites of cannabis. Proof of actual impairment is required.”

        http://cdc.coop/lobby2012

        I-502 needs to be passed. It may not be perfect but it’s a big f***ing step in the right direction.

  • From Neill Franklin at LEAP:

    In an ongoing effort by the White House to engage the public via the internet, President Obama will answer questions from YouTube users in his annual live-streaming town hall forum this *Monday, January 30*. LEAP speaker Stephen Downing poses this question to the president:

    “As a retired LAPD deputy police chief with 20 years experience, I saw the failure of our country’s drug policies. Polls say more Americans now support legalizing marijuana than support prohibition. What do you say to this growing voter constituency?”

    To vote, please visit http://www.youtube.com/whitehouse [
    http://www.youtube.com/whitehouse ] and search for ‘LAPD’ in the search box on the right side to find Stephen Downing’s question. *Voting ends Saturday, January 28 at midnight EST.

    Last year, LEAP’s question was voted the number-one question for the president, and President Obama responded that legalization is “an entirely legitmate topic for debate.” Since then, his actions have been in conflict with his rhetoric – and in conflict with what American voters want. Help LEAP ask Obama to address the nation on marijuana legalization – please vote now [ http://www.youtube.com/whitehouse ]!

    Thank you,

    Major Neill Franklin (Ret.)
    Executive Director
    *Your donation puts LEAP speakers in front of audiences. To support LEAP’s work by making a contribution, please click here [ https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5663/donate_page/donate-leap ].

    • Peter

      i suspect that obama will sidetrack that qu by simply disputing that the wosd is a failure, with some cherry picked stats to “prove” it. more likely still he ll just ignore the whole topic.

      • claygooding

        Onward through the fog,,,we must ask,even when they laugh,we must petition,even when they lie,,we must try because we are right.

  • and Officer Anonymous continues, getting coverage outside of LEAP’s blog:

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/27/meet-law-enforcement-against-prohibition

    • claygooding

      When LEAP has Anonymous #420 in sequential order,,they will jump to #1000 quickly.

      Great guys there,,and they have done more to change LEO opinions than anything we have done.

  • claygooding

    Jeffries: More Marijuana Reform Needed To Rein in NYPD

    http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/jeffries-more-marijuana-reform-needed-to-reign-in-nypd/comment-page-1/#comment-56144

    “”A form of “classic entrapment” used by the NYPD to catch marijuana users must be ended by reducing the charge for possession of small amounts of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation, Fort Greene’s assemblyman proposed last night.

    Possession of small quantities of marijuana “out of plain view,” say, in a pocket, was reduced to a violation in 1977. But the higher penalty remains for drugs that are “in plain view” — a penalty that provides an incentive for officers to stop and frisk otherwise innocent people in hopes of getting their small stash into open view, said the assemblyman, Hakeem Jeffries. “” ‘snipped’

    Until the federal government quits paying LEO to bust marijuana or states/cities make marijuana possession a misdemeanor offense with no arrest,,the police will continue to chase the gold.

  • claygooding

    A friend of mine was assisting his spouse grade 1st grade tests for her class..the test consisted of counting from 1>12,,,in Chinese

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    An article about medicinal cannabis in the publication of a main streat media outlet? With not a speck of hysterical rhetoric? Who says the world isn’t going to end this year?? No quotes from addictionologists, LE, or even one politician? How will people know what to think unless a politician advises them? Surely there can be no doubt that these are the end times!

    Area’s medical pot dispensaries operate like health care centers
    JEREMY PAWLOSKI; Staff writer
    Published: 01/29/12 4:05 am
    Updated: 01/29/12 1:35 pm

    “If you don’t like medical marijuana … then you aren’t going to like the future,” reads the slogan on a T-shirt for sale at The Healing Center, a medical marijuana outlet in downtown Olympia that welcomed a steady stream of customers on a rainy afternoon in January.

    John Dimler, an elderly man who walked in using a cane, said he smokes marijuana to help with the pain from his encephalomyelitis, a virus that put him in the hospital for 45 days in 2001.
    /snip/