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March 2012
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Open Thread

Very early tomorrow morning, I’m heading for New York. I’m taking 19 students for a week of theatre and walking tours. They’ll be seeing “Sleep No More,” “Death of a Salesman,” “War Horse,” “Newsies,” and I’ll be scouting out “Best Man,” and “Once” as possible shows for my community trip in June. In six days, I’m giving 8 walking tours and seeing five shows along with hosting an alumni gathering and working hard to eat my way through my favorite restaurants in Manhattan (and Brighton Beach).

So, I may not have a lot of time for posting, but I’ll try to add a new one when I can.

But I can always count on you folks to keep each other up to speed with the latest travesty that needs commenting and important news in drug policy.

As always, I’ll certainly be reading.

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92 comments to Open Thread

  • claygooding

    Have a good trip Pete and I envy the experience.

  • indeed… have a great time Pete. You somehow seem to be able to squeeze in some fun during these working tours.

    Here’s one that’s definitely worth a read, comments aren’t open and I can see why…

    And please, set all drinks down and swallow any liquids in your mouth before reading!

    *Spew Alert!*
    http://onlineathens.com/opinion/2012-03-09/faz-stossel-misinformed-drug-war

    • Peter

      wow. totally orwellian attempt tp rewrite history. nixons drug war has been consigned to the memory hole.

    • Hard to believe he wrote that letter w/ a straight face… Georgia, home once upon a time to grandma Kathryn Johnston before Atlanta PD narcotics “officers” (now former LEOs) shot her and planted pot in her house after shooting her, provides plenty of particularly bothersome examples of drug war madness. Check out this story from the same paper a month ago:

      http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v12/n133/a03.html

      Those must be some huge blinders on Mr Faz… I can’t imagine him having those on and being able to hold his head up.

      • travis

        Actually Allan that sounds pretty sexy.It’s all about saving our children,have a little respect.the boy is not “tramatized” he’s just BSing to get money he knows he doesn’t deserve.Should be pround they were looking for drugs.and superman underware. HEH his own damn fault for wearing it.

      • Maria

        Oh dear. This can’t be the same dude, can it? Ricky Redding for Sheriff. I’m sure there’s more than one Ricky Redding in Clayton County. But as far as I recall a resource officer is the scholastic euphemism for power trippin’ cop.

  • darkcycle

    Safe journey, enjoy the shows.

  • Servetus

    Vote now to allow Christians to smoke weed recreationally. Currently favored ‘Yes’ votes are 72% of total.

    Based on a follow-up survey on some religious groups’ attitudes toward marijuana, spinning off from Pat Robertson recently coming out to favor legalization, i.e.,

    The Vatican has said that the use of drugs causes “very grave damage on human health and life” and adds that “their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.”

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/09/10624653-pat-robertson-is-for-legalizing-marijuana-what-would-jesus-do

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      You’re kidding. There’s no way to classify getting high as anything other than a venial sin. Darn, all these years thinking that the Pope is infallible only to have my catholic view of the world shattered. How could a guy with such a cool car be such a herbert?

      • Servetus

        Trivia question: Who said the state (or Church) can do no wrong? Answer: Pope Pius IX. He invented the concept of papal infallibility.

        Some consider Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-1878), to be among the 25 most evil people in history.

        He was the only European leader to recognize the Confederacy during the Civil War. He was pro-slavery and a rabid anti-Semite. Pius came up with moral gems that included opposing the formation of the Association of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), allegedly because the Bible said that humans owe nothing to animals.

        A complete list of the alleged crimes against humanity, and the evidence against the ‘infallible’ activities of Pope Pius IX, can be found here:

        http://one-evil.org/people/people_19c_Pius_IX.htm

        With his 32-year reign, Pius IX is the reason the Vatican no longer chooses younger or middle-aged men to become pope.

  • Nunavut Tripper

    “P.S. No I don’t use marijuana and don’t advocate its use.”

    I find it interesting that often posters on some forums who do understand the corruption,danger and futility of cannabis prohibition
    will still be reluctant to admit their own use.
    They agree with us but still distance themselves from the herb itself.
    You have to admit that Dupont ,Hearst and crew created one of the most effective negative marketing programs in our history. 75 years after Reefer Madness and some people are still afraid of what the neighbors might think.

  • ezrydn

    Wore my LEAP shit to a party last night. Unexpected happened. Local police commander was there and we had a good talk, after I vetted him.

    He asked, “Why?” I said that all the illegal drugs have specific treatment regimes if they become problematic. However, there is NO treatment for bad drug policy. And it won’t “self-heal.”

    He agreed!

    • darkcycle

      For my own part, I went to the local donut pit for a cinnamon twist, and the whole shop was FILLED with uniformed BP agents and plainclothes supervisors. I was wearig my NORML hat. I felt like the only mouse at a cat convention. The stares were enought to heat my donut right back up.
      Kep smilin, but my twist and coffee were to go. This particular donut shop has a lifesize copy of the robot from “The Day the Earth Stood Still” On my way out the door I turned and said “KLAATU NICTU BARAATU” to the room as I left. Git ’em GORT.

  • Rebecca

    Your work sounds amazing— with reference to theater and drugs, you might check out The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess on broadway for a community trip

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Allow me to introduce Mr. Wendall Allen of N’Orleans, Louisiana. Don’t be confused by his lack of enthusiastic response. He’s quite dead the local SWAT team cured his “addiction” problem.

    Gentilly raid details show focus on marijuana
    Friday, March 09, 2012

  • ezrydn

    Interesting email this morning from the Consulate:

    This is a follow-up message regarding unfolding events in Guadalajara. In addition to our earlier message today regarding events which began sometime after 2:00 pm in Guadalajara, the Consulate has learned of the following security incidents at Colonia Lomas Alta behind the Plaza
    Mexico, and illegal blockades at the following locations:

    * Narcoblockade: Mariano Otero and Periferico;
    * Narcoblockade: Periferico and Lazaro Cardenas (past exit to Chapala/Airport);
    * Narcoblockade: Between Avenida Aviacion and Periferico, north of
    Avenida Vallarta (south of Valle Real);
    * Narcoblockade and undetonated grenades: Enrique Diaz de Leon, near University of Guadalajara (East of Consulate).

    At this time the Consulate cannot confirm whether there are any additional events. The Consulate is closely monitoring the situation and recommends that American Citizens remain in place until further information is available concerning the security situation. American Citizens should follow news reports on television or over the internet and exercise extreme caution while circulating in the city.

    Damn. And I was planning on going out shopping today. LOL Ya can’t worry over this crap, just flow with it. Seems cops busted a high ranking capo yesterday and this is how his group tries to free him.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      The Consulate…recommends that American Citizens remain in place…

      For the love of god “RUN AWAY” sounds like better advice. That’s not just a harmless bunny rabbit out there you know.

  • ezrydn

    A moving target? Ever been in combat? That’s a no-no. Follow-up message just received:

    Following yesterday’s major disturbances, there was no significant activity overnight and the Consulate is lifting its recommendation for American Citizens to shelter in place. The Consulate believes it is safe for American Citizens to go about their normal activities in Guadalajara, but recommends everyone exercise increased caution, particularly when traveling outside the city. The Consulate reminds all American Citizens of its standing guidance to use “cuota” (toll) highways whenever possible and avoid intercity travel after dark.

    Guadalajara’s considered a “safe” city by both sides. However, we do catch bad guys occasionally. Still, I feel it’s much safer here than “there.” That’s why I choose to live here. I leave you with a question: Being a VN combat vet, do you really believe I’d intentionally place myself in Harm’s Way?

    It’s like sharing the same beach in VN with the VC and NVA. I’m sure some here on the couch remember Vung Tau’s beach. Same applies here.

    • Duncan20903

      Being a VN combat vet, do you really believe I’d intentionally place myself in Harm’s Way?

      I don’t have enough information to even speculate. How much Rambo DNA do you have?

  • Francis

    There’s been some talk recently about cigarette taxes, and it occurs to me that a reasonable measure of the relative size of the tax on a particular drug is how much the average user can expect to pay in a given year. I’ve actually never in my life smoked a cigarette… er, a tobacco cigarette. So I had basically no idea how much they cost, let alone what portion of that is taxes. Holy crap, are they expensive! (And yeah, I realize I’m probably a little behind the class on this one.) I also had no idea how much the taxes varied by state. Let’s say you live in New Jersey which has one of the higher cigarette tax rates, you’re paying $2.70 a pack in state taxes and $1.01 in federal taxes. So if you have a one-pack-a-day habit, you can expect to pay about $1350 a year in taxes for the “privilege” of being a smoker in the Garden State. And that’s just the taxes; it obviously doesn’t include the price of the cigarettes themselves. And if you’re a two-pack-a-day smoker in Jersey, you’re looking at around $2700 in annual taxes. If you’re in New York which has a $4.35 per pack tax, those numbers go to $1950 and $3500. On the other hand if you’re in Missouri (17 cents a pack), you’re looking at either $430 or $860.

    The U.S. median annual income is only around $27,000. So I’d say that the effective cigarette tax rate in the U.S. ranges from “pretty damn high” to “friggin’ outrageous.” Of course you’re going to see a grey market develop at those rates. I’m amazed that it’s not bigger.

    Does anyone have any idea what the equivalent numbers are for alcohol, i.e. what does the average drinker / heavy drinker pay annually in alcohol taxes? Also, what do most people envision as a likely tax rate on cannabis when it’s legalized?

    • strayan

      The average cost of a packet of cigarettes in Australia is $17.00.

      1.5% of the smokers here are estimated to be regular users of unbranded tobacco (black market stuff).

    • darkcycle

      Oh, it’s even better than that, Francis. They justify those taxes by claiming that smokers place an unfair burden on the rest of society vis a vis medical costs. That went unquestioned for decades ’till someone did the research and found that lifetime medical expenditures for smokers were on average LOWER than the lifetime costs of non smokers. Two reasons identified were smokers died younger than non smokers, and they died QUICKER after getting sick.
      So….logical move would be to shift this tax to tax NON SMOKERS for placing a burden on us helpful smokers, who don’t cost anywhere near as much, right? Of course not…..taxes keep going up and the mouths selling these taxes just keep right on spewing what are now shown to be lies. Sound kinda familiar?

      • strayan

        That study was funded by Philip Morris in the Czech Republic. It is bogus. There is nothing good about premature death or smoking related illness.

        I disagree with darkcycle on this big-time.

        The tax on tobacco is not high enough.

        • darkcycle

          I never said it shouldn’t be high, Strayan. And I never said tobacco smoking was a good thing. All I was doing was pointing out the appropriate study. I have not heard that study is bogus, please share the information so I’m not caught out by some prohibitionist in the middle of a public thread, won’t you?? I’m cool with it being bogus, I just want the good information, hey?

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          The New England Journal of Medicine prints propaganda produced by “big” tobacco? Who’da thunk it?

          http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199710093371506

          My mom never smoked, never drank, and ran up $500k in medical bills in her last 2 weeks of life. Dad took a lot longer to die but for his terminal illness in total cost about $650k. Dad was a Navy man so I can’t imagine he didn’t drink to excess from time to time but that ended decades before he died. Neither did he smoke. Dying isn’t cheap for anyone.

          The accounting that passes for an accurate assessment of costs for tobacco related by the anti-tobacco crusaders would make an Enron accountant blush with envy. When you hear that the sin taxes for drinking and tobacco smoking don’t cover costs you need to be aware that it’s a bald faced lie. They’ll count the health care cost of the dead smoker but don’t bother to account for the fact that the smoker would have incurred costs when dying regardless. They count these costs regardless of who actually ponied up to pay the bill. They leave out the extra maintenance costs the smoker would have incurred had he lived longer.

          I’m kind of shocked that anyone familiar with the habits of the zealots that perpetrate these frauds would be so certain that the zealots aren’t scamming. They’re using the same playbook as the Know Nothing prohibitionists use in their arguments.

          So tell me, are the health insurance companies stupid? They won’t pay a penny for smoking cessation programs or drugs. What to try Zyban or Chantix to quit smoking? Want to buy the nicotine gum, patches, or inhalers? Pull out your payment card because your health insurance isn’t going to pay a penny. They must think that it’s cheaper to treat the smoking related diseases than for a few prescriptions.

          Francis figured that a pack a day smoker in New Jersey will pay $1350 a year in tobacco taxes. The Canadians say that a smoker costs an extra $800/year. I certainly place more trust in research done in Canada but even there they’re not discounting end of life costs or the years of maintenance costs that are avoided by the earlier death of the smoker.

          http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/publications/cannabis/bck/7

          Yeah, the tobacco companies misled the public. The crusading zealots are almost as bad in their habits with regard to the truth.

      • Peter

        fans of taxing tobacco claim that raising the price has led to the drop in use. sabet and co claim thats what theyre doing with prohition. taxation (and education) must be a more efficient means of achieving this as proved by use patterns for tobacco compared with most prohibited drugs

        • claygooding

          -There is a problem with Sabet’s plans,,,price is going down recently for marijuana and every tobacco user I ever met always say they need to quit for their health,,so prices may bump them into quitting but I have only met a few that say they need to quit smoking weed fot their health.

        • Harold Beaver

          Speaking of taxes, there is one argument that I saw Kevin Sabet use that did not get any criticism.

          He claims that if Marijuana were legal tax evasion would become a major problem because the cartels would try to undercut the taxes (much the same way smugglers try to get past the tobacco taxes).

          The problem with this argument is that it sounds plausible because one can easily imagine people selling marijuana on the side without tax after legalization.

          The problem is that RIGHT NOW, income from black market transactions are taxable, we just don’t get a chance to collect the tax. Add in sales taxes in many, if not most states.

          RIGHT NOW we have massive tax evasion due to prohibition. If we legalize it, and only collect 50% of the taxes, that’s a big increase from the current situation.

          Kevin Sabet, without realizing it, is arguing that the tax situation will improve under legalization.

  • Anyone living in Missouri? A certain former LEO that wears a large cowboy hat in the halls of WDC is planning a gig in MO in June. Looking for folks along US 36 and is in search of overnight hosts for he and his bicicleta.

    If able to assist, please contact me via email at allan_e(at)efn.org

    June… former cop, big hat, bicycle, roof, bed/couch, help and thanks.

  • Peter

    What’s the matter with Kansas?

    • lol… talk about loaded questions…

      Here’s one to wet your whistle:

      LSD ‘helps alcoholics to give up drinking’

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Did you know that Bill W was a very enthusiastic fan of LSD as a treatment for drinking alcohol addiction but the rest of the drunks shouted him down. Bill W tripping with Aldous Huxley, now there’s something no one could have thought up except that it’s true.

        Bill W also loved his séances and ouija boards so I’m not sure his opinions are anything definitive. The man was a nutcake, no doubt.

    • darkcycle

      Witches on bicycles, tornadoes, and flying monkeys.

      • Witches on bicycles, tornadoes, and flying monkeys.

        No shit, those little monkeys scared the crap outta me as a kid. Now it’s just the old lady riding her bicycle in the tornado I worry about.

  • thelbert

    fans of firesign theater are bummed to learn of the death of peter bergman. skippy the bush kangaroo told me.

    • bummer… FT was a big part of my young adult life. Thankfully, young GIs turned me on to Firesign while I was in the USAF. Nothing I’d read or heard prepared me for the military experience any better than FT… absurd, comical and totally circular.

      Who can forget such fine commercials as Bear Whiz Beer (that’s why it’s yellow!) and Dead Cat Soap (there’s a dead cat in every bar!). And it was Firesign that taught me, truly, Everything I Know Is Wrong!

      For your viewing pleasure, Deputy Dan Has No Friends:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFb7ExHlvLY

      And for those unfamiliar… Firesign’s schticks were literally burned into the brain of any drug influenced (or not, these guys were merciless)) brain and at any chance encounter of Bozos, the conversation could and usually would quickly turn into a Firesign skit. The culture of Firesign is shadowy and somewhat rare, yet somehow… seems to be everywhere.

      ~ Shoes for Industry! Shoes for the Dead! “What chance does that returning deceased war veteran have for that better paying job?”

    • malc

      Yesterday, I couldn’t get it to load. Worked now though.

      ‘ .. it’s about hurting supplies and taking drugs off the streets”

      Pathetic indeed; Thanks Strayan!

      Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of prohibitionists. For there is none worthy of the name but ‘God’s market forces’, whom heaven, earth and sea obey.

  • Francis

    Ok, so I got inspired and decided to investigate alcohol tax rates. So the state tax rates on beer range from two cents a gallon (Wyoming) to $1.07 a gallon (Alaska) with a median rate of 18 cents. The federal beer tax is $18 a barrel or around 58 cents a gallon. According to wikipedia, annual per capita beer consumption in the U.S. is 81.6 liters (21.5 gallons), but that figure presumably includes non-drinkers. If we assume that only around half the people in the U.S. are drinkers, we can double that number to 43 gallons a year. (That comes out to about 1.25 12-ounce beers per day.) So if you drink that much in Wyoming, you’re going to pay about $25 in total annual booze taxes. If you drink that much in Alaska, you’re going to pay around $70 a year. If you take your drinking a little more seriously and consume a gallon of beer every single day (which is almost 11 12-ounce cans), you’re still only looking at around $600 a year in Alaska or around $220 a year in Wyoming.

    So I think we can safely say that we tax booze at a DRASTICALLY lower rate than we do cigarettes. I’m sure that difference (like all other aspects of our drug policies) is completely science-based.

    *That $3500 figure in my first post should be $3900 ($1950 x 2). This is more math than I’d done in a while.

  • Francis

    Any smokers here who have tried e-cigarettes? What are your reactions? How easy it is to substitute them for a cigarette habit? Are they cheaper than cigarettes? Significantly so? What’s your take on them as a harm reduction strategy? My sense (from the little I’ve read) is that they are a much, MUCH safer alternative to smoking. It seems like we should be promoting the hell out of them as a harm reduction strategy, no? I guess I’m surprised that I haven’t heard more about them and that more smokers are not making the switch. My sense is also that the nannies that seek to control our lives aren’t big fans of e-cigarettes — presumably because people enjoy them *shudder* and some people are using them not as a smoking cessation tool but as a smoking substitute.

    • claygooding

      You can also load the filter/cartridge with hash oil,,from what I have heard and my sister uses hers and says it is better than a patch or gum as a substitute.

      I quit cigarettes 3 years ago and changed to snuff,,doctor told me that snuff ia appx 50% safer than cigarettes,,I told her if it took 40 years for the tobacco smoking to ruin my lungs,,then in 40 yrs when my bottom lip falls off,the women I am dating by then probably won’t even notice.

    • darkcycle

      Yeah, they actually tried to BAN e-cigs, claiming they “didn’t KNOW if they were harmful”, hence they should be banned. The real reason they tried to ban them is that e-cigs CAN be used to vaporize hassh oil…or..he-he..if you know the little secret, whole cannabis can be extracted to work in the e-cig. I know the secret, talked with a chemist who developed the process at the Cannabis Cup in SF, and I reverse engeneered it from a sample I brought home…I remember my chemistry, see? (P.S., I’m TERRIBLE at keeping secrets….that’s why they didn’t like me in intel so much.) Heh-heh-heh, it’s odorless.

      • darkcycle

        Oh, and of course, the big pharma did not like the fact that it was nicotine substitution that was NOT under their control.

        • darkcycle

          Here ya go, Primus: Extract 10g “extraction of your choice” (wet or dry, just make sure the extract is DRY when you start) You then combine extract w/4oz glycerine in a tightly sealed small (baby food size) jar and heat mixture in water in your crock pot at 180 f. for 24 hours. remove from heat, allow to cool, open jar and add 4 oz food grade Proyplene Glycol (NOT etheylene glycol, it’s poisonous anti freeze cousin), re seal and return to heat for 12 more hours. Allow to cool, filter and use in you e-cig. Caution…this is STRONG and can really make you stupid if you’re not careful. It lasts a LONG time, and can be stored in an airtight, light restricting container in your fridge for as long as two years. This is the shit. This is classified “eyes only”. Did I say that??

      • primus

        If you don’t share your secret, heads will roll.

        • darkcycle

          See above. You will not find this recipe online anywhere else.

        • drwoo

          I have looked and still have almost a gallon of proyplene glycol left. It seems I was missing the glycerine and the extract part. I tried with dried herbs. Would BHO work for this?

        • darkcycle

          Extract of your choice, Dr. I’m not sure of the qty with oil though. Approx 2oz dry flowers would be a start, or three sugar leaf. Still need the full heating process…and I am guessing the glycol and glycerine can be added all together at once in that instance. 😉

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Francis, here’s a link to a site that sells and promotes e-cigs, and they have on open forum were the fans of e-cigs post their thoughts.
      http://www.madvapes.com/

      There’s no reason to believe that it’s not a significant piece of harm reduction. The hazards of smoking come from igniting vegetation and inhaling the gases produced by combustion. The zealots like to point out that chewing tobacco is also supposedly a cause of cancer but the association is significantly less than with smoking, to the point were it’s not particularly significant.

  • Francis

    WTF? I was under the impression that there’d been some vote / tentative agreement that everyone would get behind RMLW?

    • claygooding

      The federal government is using the oldest tactic in the book,,divide and conquer,,by driving wedges between mmj users and user mostly.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Declared dead, but the patient still has a pulse and is kicking pretty hard for a dead man. Don’t count out Kubby & crew yet.

      Francis, I’m mad at you now. You must have some really fine cannabis if you’re thinking that the potheads will agree to put aside their dissension and work together, and you don’t even offer to share!

  • Peter

    anyone know how many of those pardoned by haley barbour in mississippi were convicted for drug offences? all i can find is about are the murderers and robbers etc.

  • darkcycle

    Looks like it might work, too.

    • i can assure you that it does indeed work. I don’t agree that it is odorless. Adding mint makes a very pleasant vapor experience and masks the floral aroma

  • Chris

    Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/go-to-trial-crash-the-justice-system.html?_r=3&src=tp

    Susan, silent for a while, replied: “I’m not saying we should do it. I’m saying we ought to know that it’s an option. People should understand that simply exercising their rights would shake the foundations of our justice system which works only so long as we accept its terms. As you know, another brutal system of racial and social control once prevailed in this country, and it never would have ended if some people weren’t willing to risk their lives. It would be nice if reasoned argument would do, but as we’ve seen that’s just not the case. So maybe, just maybe, if we truly want to end this system, some of us will have to risk our lives.”

    P.S. Comparing our justice system to slavery does an injustice to the indefensible horror that was the middle passage and our “peculiar institution.”

    Why do the commenters always have to be so stupid?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Birds got to fly, fish got to fry…it’s the way of the world.

      I wouldn’t for a second say that those who claim control of other peoples’ bodies are as heinous as those that promoted or defended slavery. I think that it would be fair to say that it’s about as important as where you’re allowed to sit on a public bus.

      That being said, on my list of things to do is to go find some opinion pieces published in the 1850s. I’m willing to bet that arguments against slavery in that day were met with very similar arguments as we see in favor of the heinous policy of prohibition…it’s not very important, they’re just intelligent monkeys…the law is the law…the slaves could never care for themselves, they need someone to take care of their needs…etc, etc, etc.

      It’s all about who owns a persons body.

    • darkcycle

      A protest such as you name has been tried. It didn’t work, and backfired badly on those who tried it. IIRC it was about 1978 and it was either New York or Washington DC. The result was the district attorney merely declined to press charges. But the arrests stayed on record and the charges would be reinstated if the charged people put a foot wrong. It dogged those people for years and some wound up actually having those charges brought back up. Somebody maybe has a better recollection than I? Anybody? I can’t recall particulars…

    • Francis

      The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial.

      This seems… um… wrong. Now maybe you want to argue that the practice of plea bargaining isn’t inherently coercive because you’re not punishing people who refuse to plea bargain; you’re simply rewarding people who do plea bargain. Frankly, I don’t buy that argument, but I least understand it. Then I read this:

      More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury. Most people charged with crimes forfeit their constitutional rights and plead guilty.

      So even if plea bargaining isn’t inherently coercive, THAT seems like a pretty good indicator that our current system IS.

      • darkcycle

        I believe the call was prosecutor’s discretion. He/she didn’t file the charges, just let them hang there. Your right to a speedy trial only kicks in once you are charged.

      • Chris

        This was the issue I had in mind while reading the article. Life in prison with inflated charges and draconian sentencing vs taking a plea bargain seems like Hobson’s choice to me. The whole point of plea bargaining seems to be to get people to give up their right to a trial so that jury nullification isn’t even an option. I would never, ever choose to convict someone obviously guilty for a non-violent drug crime involving only consenting adults. That is unconscionable.

        And you have people in the comments saying “well they are guilty, so plea bargaining is a good thing! They’re lucky to have the option to get off with a lighter sentence!” Uh, yes, they probably are guilty, but they shouldn’t be arrested in the first place. I want my opportunity to take part in real justice, but the system seems to be designed to make that as unlikely as possible.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I’ve recently been thinking about “consent” searches. It’s almost impossible to talk people into the idea that they can just say no in a purely hypothetical. It seems to me that the notion is so inherently coercive from the everyman’s point of view that it rises to the level of not being voluntary. Have you ever seen TV cops say, ‘well if you don’t consent we’re going to (tear up your house/close your business/beat up your grandmother) followed by consent? It’s black letter law that consent given there is presumed to be coerced. The cops can’t even ‘take it back’ once they put it on the table.

        • Francis

          Yeah, that’s a really great point. And the only time a “consent” search is challenged is when the cops find something. The fact that a person “consents” to a search when they presumably know they’re carrying contraband is pretty compelling evidence that coercion was present.

          A cop who claims that a successful search was “consensual” is like the mugger who steals a woman’s purse and then claims that it was just panhandling. After all, he only asked her to give him the purse. (And geez, it’s not like he brandished the gun; he was just showing it to her.)

  • darkcycle

    Arguing with Vivian McPeak is frustrating as hell. FB friends should check out the thread on my wall. RE: I-502.

    • Duncan20903

      WTF happened to Facebook? I’m lost…

      • darkcycle

        Timeline. You really should use your account more. Malcolm, Francis and I chat about you quite a bit. You could find out what we’re saying in your absence. the thread is really nothing. viv is part of the cadre that thinks the .05ng/ltr limit is a deal breaker. He’s sayin’ (loudly) that he won’t support it. He has alot of pull.

        • darkcycle

          I ought to know better than to try to argue with him, Ive known him for almost thirty years now and we always wind up butting heads. His un-endorsement carries more weight with more potheads than any other in the state, though. I had to give my two cents (whoodda thunk?).

        • claygooding

          That 5 nano is really throwing a wrench in the works on the 502 and the problem is that the law is based on fear mongering by the ONDCP and not scientific or practical experience.

          There are no studies showing whether a person is even impaired at 5 nano level tmk and using chronic users to see if 5 nanos even effects them.

          How can you write a law with no proof of harm?

        • darkcycle

          To get it by the know nothings.

        • Francis

          I agree that the 5 nanogram limit shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it also seems like an unforced error. It’s the flip side of Prop 19’s overreaching by attempting to protect employees against discrimination for marijuana use. Lesson? Keep it simple!

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I’ve pretty much withdrawn my support for the medicinal advocates. There appears to be a fairly significant discussion about proposed medicinal cannabis patient protection laws here in Maryland. You won’t find any substantial arguments from me in the comments. It helps that all 3 bills suck but it was the west coast “profits before people” whores like Steve Sarich that cinched the deal. I’m sure that my absence doesn’t amount to even a paper cut level of injury but I’m not the only person disgusted with the so called medicinal cannabis advocates.

          I’m not seeing that much difference between the established medicinal cannabis advocates and the big pharmaceuticals anymore. Well, except that the medicinal people are just wannabe pikers. But I’m very hopeful that the per se limit is going to sway a significant number of fence sitting outsiders. From my observations it’s a make or break issue for a lot of outside people. The fact of the matter is that all things considered it’s a barely substantial concession for our side but seems to be of great importance to the fence sitters.

          For all the States that have adopted the zero intelligence tolerance laws I’m aware of only a few isolated instances where it resulted in conviction. I can’t even recall any potheads whining about it. I think there’s a very good reason for that. The reason is ‘who the fuck gets pulled over for suspicion of “drugged” driving for pot?’ I’m encouraging our people to reflect on their past and ask themselves if the 5 ng cut off would have had any effect on their lives. In my 34 1/2 years of being a cannabinoidian the answer is never. I’ve never even met anyone that has gotten pulled over and tested much less convicted.

          “You can’t free a fish from water”

          ~~ 217th rule of acquisition

        • darkcycle

          Jeez…that’s a blanket statement that condemns a huge swath of people for the activities of a relative few. And Vivian (I assume that’s the reference) ISN’T a medical advocate…he’s a LEGALIZATION advocate, like us, so he should know the costs of his activities. The cynic in me thinks he may just be protecting his CAREER as an advocate and his precious festival. But I know Viv too well to think that could really be the case. So I’m frustrated and confused by his position.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Re-legalization will do more to protect patients than a medicinal cannabis patient protection law. Did you hear that Angel Raich got the bum’s rush from UCSF hospital? Where the heck was Dr. Abrams?
          http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/03/medical_marijuana_patient_kick.php

          It’s not as if I’m going to start lobbying against patient protection laws. These people know best so they sure don’t need or want my help anymore.

  • primus

    The entire drug prohibition/war/fiasco was created with no proof of harm. Why should things change now?

  • claygooding

    It just seems like a good lawyer could challenge the state to prove that a driver was actually impaired at 5 nano or that the state would have to prove that 5 nanos would impair a majority of drivers,including chronic users that maintain under levels most people would be napping in their chair from..

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      The 5 ng/ml limit is going to apply to people who have a script for Marinol or Sativex too. Our interests aligned with those of big pharma, imagine that. Will Bayer allow their profits to be pulled over by the police?

  • darkcycle

    I for one would readily trade the remote possibility of a DUI for the remote possibility of a drug conviction. DUI’s don’t get you fired, thrown out of public housing, have your kids removed from your custody, or inspire cops to midnight SWAT raids. Given a CHOICE (and it seems in this case we here in Washington ARE being given a choice), I’m pretty clear which I would choose.

  • on another topic for this open thread…. Does anyone know about vaporizers and smart meters? I have read that the powers that be (pun intended) use smart meters to detect grows, but what about vaporizers?

  • primus

    vaporizers use small amounts of electricity and use is sporadic. Grow lights use large amounts of power, and the cycles are easier to spot. There is no way the electricity used by a vaporizer will get you busted.

    • claygooding

      Have seen what led’s can do,,,high voltages for self supply aren’t necessary and can be very discreet. No heat issues at all,not even with infra red. Stealth growing has come a long way.

      Got some new lites coming with fluorescent micro-lites imbedded in plastic sheeting similar to mylar,,,going to be very interesting.

  • claygooding

    Micro-cavity arrays: Lighting the way to the future Another new high-tech lightbulb. Only its not a bulb, its a sheet, and it is more efficient than flourescent lights and does not contain mercury.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/afoo-mal111711.php

  • Gotta love those hare-brained, who-needs-facts anti-ganjists:

    Zero Tolerance Marijuana DUI Bill Introduced In California

    A bill that would establish a zero-tolerance driving under the influence (DUI) standard for marijuana has been introduced in the California Legislature.

    The bill, AB 2552, sponsored by Norma Torres (D-Pomona), would make any driver found with above-zero levels of cannabinoids in blood or urine presumptively guilty of DUI.

    • 90thComment

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat-baiting

      “The rats were turned out loose at once in a 12-feet square, and the floor whitened, so that the rats might be visible to all. The set-to began, and Billy exerted himself to the utmost. At four minutes and three quarters, as the hero’s head was covered with gore, he was removed from the pit, and his chaps being washed, he lapped some water to cool his throat. Again he entered the arena, and in vain did the unfortunate victims labour to obtain security by climbing against the sides of the pit, or by crouching beneath the hero. By twos and threes they were caught, and soon their mangled corpses proved the valour of the victor. Some of the flying enemy, more valiant than the rest, endeavoured by seizing this Quinhus Flestrum of heroic dogs by the ears, to procure a respite, or to sell their life as dearly as possible; but his grand paw soon swept off the buzzers, and consigned them to their fate.”

  • 91stComment

    Please make sure your guns are locked away and there are no prohibitionists in your immediate vicinity before watching this:

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/health/Dying-Patient-Kicked-Out-of-Hospital-for-Using-Medical-Marijuana-142425965.html