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April 2012
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Open Thread

I’ve been out of touch for a while, helping students with a fundraiser where they ended up keeping four square games going for 69 hours straight, along with having bands playing and other special events. They ended up raising about $15,000 for scholarships (partly due to one amazing $10,000 donor). I was there almost the whole time and always through the nights, cooking grilled cheese, panini sandwiches and breakfast sandwiches for the tired players.

So, fill me in. What’s been going on the past few days?

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51 comments to Open Thread

  • Hey, if anyone would like to help get another legalization initiative on the ballot this year, Oregon’s IP-24 campaign needs volunteers to help transcribe signed petition sheets into Excel spreadsheets (in order to check against the statewide voter database to determine whether signatures are valid or not).

    The campaign has already gathered 90,000 raw signatures and has until July 6 to submit 116,000 valid signatures. If interested in helping out, send an email to csle.volunteers@gmail.com.

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  • Surgery

    Even more people have decided its weird when you make plants illegal.

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  • darkcycle

    I understand, Pete. Few of us REALLY know the rigors a college professor are subjected to. Four square marathons and Panini sandwiches are the tip of the iceberg. Most people only see that tiny slice of a professor’s life. The department meetings with the funny hats and the ritual dancing, the tenure hazing with all that sticky peanut butter, the chicken march….nobody really sees that stuff.
    Most people don’t understand there’s a symbolic meaning behind the fact that as you progress to ever higher academic ranks, the robes and hats get sillier. The hidden reality behind the glitz and fame is singularly unappreciated.

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  • Nunavut Tripper

    Prairie Plant Systems , the company that has been growing the poor quality irradiated medical cannabis for Health Canada is wanting to set up a grow in a mine in Michigan of all places. Don’t we have any warehouses or holes in the ground in Canada?
    Interesting if the DEA would allow this when they’re rabidly attacking legit operations like Harbourside Dispensery and Oaksterdam.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/canadian-firm-wants-grow-medical-marijuana-old-michigan-140229798–finance.html

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    • Duncan20903

      I thought they got run out of Canada for growing crap and need new customers.

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      • Nunavut Tripper

        Yes they’re in direct competition with Mexico for the schwag market.

        Health Canada is phasing out the right for med patients to grow their own. Soon everyone will have to buy from the big growers whoever they may be…buddies of the politicians no doubt.
        As am MMAR license holder you will have to buy from these guys. If you don’t then it will be assumed you’re growing for yourself or buying from the black market so you’ll be raided by LEO.
        Pretty sure how that will play out.

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  • A Critic

    @Pete – the WSJ printed something that makes at least some sense: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303425504577353754196169014.html

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    • A Critic

      I just read Pete’s review of the book by these folks. Once their views are representative of the control freaks we shall be getting somewhere.

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    • primus

      That only makes sense if you agree with their basic premise, that the state has an appropriate interest in changing our behaviour vis a vis drug use. They then advance the straw man argument that the only proposed alternative to prohibition is outright legalization, infering an open, unregulated uncontrolled marketplace. Of course nobody is advocating that, though perhaps we should; then LRT (Legalize, Regulate and Tax) would appropriately be seen as the moderate middle ground that it is and avoiding the “horrors” of an open market. I couldn’t read much after that asinine assertion, so perhaps the rest had some logic to it, but the first para lost me.

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  • Francis

    Drug policy reformers frequently make the point that cannabis legalization threatens the pharmaceutical industry because cannabis can be used to replace so many prescription drugs. Cannabis is frequently more effective than prescription alternatives; it’s often orders-of-magnitude cheaper (this would be even more true in a legal market); and it’s always infinitely safer. What I’m trying to get a sense for is exactly how big that threat is. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry has $289 billion in annual sales. I’d be interested in seeing a breakdown by category (e.g., pain-killers, anti-depressants, anxiolytics, etc.) as well as an analysis of which categories cannabis threatens. I mean, presumably there are certain conditions that cannabis can’t treat and certain pharmaceuticals that cannabis can’t replace? (Right?) For example, here’s a wikipedia “list of best-selling drugs.” Lipitor is listed as number one. I don’t suppose cannabis lowers your cholesterol? (Have the drug warriors claimed that it raises it?)

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    • darkcycle

      As a medical professional, I’ll tell you…take thirty percent right off the top of that. Possibly MORE. As I have emphasized in the past, with no risk of overdose, minimal side effects, and zero risk of drug interaction it can and should be used as the front line medication inthe treatment of literally dozens of conditions. Think about it, suddenly some of the most profitable and widely prescribed medications in the pharmacopea relegated to second-string status virtually overnight. That is BILLIONS in sales. And that’s only the start, what if it turns out that cannabis DOES treat some forms of cancer? That looks more likely by the day. Pharmaceuticals is the MOST PROFITABLE business on the planet. You think they’re gonna give that market chunk up to people like darkcycle, Clay and some guy who goes by Duncan20903?

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      • claygooding

        Marijuana should be a first try medicine,,for a lot of the ailments our society is faced with,,sleep aids,mood elevators,,and too many to put up “Granny’s list” for.

        I place big pharm’s losses at 50% or better and they know it.

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  • Servetus

    A home drug-test pusher is sending out freebie marijuana detection kits to parents.

    In a scheme destined to promote the kind of dangerous drug use that results from diverting teenagers away from smoking marijuana to using alcohol and meth instead, public menace Debbie Moak, founder of notmyKid , claims her home marijuana tests “give parents a way to verify if their kid is drug-free — and give kids an easy excuse to say no to drugs.

    The last bit is blatant false advertising. Eliminating marijuana use does not make a kid drug free. It makes them desperate to find and use alternative drugs that don’t show up in drug tests. Ms. Moak is a true believer in the gateway drug argument, an idea for which the resulting pathology is on full display in this example.

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    • darkcycle

      That there is a woman motivated by grant money, donations and social status. She doesn’t give two shits about the kids. I know the type, look at the photos, she has a Mercedes stuck to her heel like a piece of toilet paper. If I told you about some of the scum who I’ve had to suck up to for contracts in non-profits, and how they LIVE (often on the taxpayers dime, but ALWAYS on the backs of their grossly underpaid employees), you’d likely never give another dime to non profits. Luckily, all non-profits aren’t as corrupt as those operating in the fields of mental illness and addiction “treatment”. But I’ve seen and even worked for some doozies. She’s a grifter, I knows ‘em when I sees ‘em.

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      • some might remember our gal Linda copping to pulling in $40k doing what she does (scaring little children?) for Calvina & Co.®… and speaking of, I went and checked up on her yesterday and the poor gal wallows alone on some central CA website – no commenters, not many views… in other words, she found the perfect place!

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  • Maria

    Awesome Pete. It’s always nice to hear that there’s still people willing to donate to a good cause even in “this” economy.

    Past few days I’ve found out that High Times is willing to swallow Reefer Madness style rhetoric – as long as it’s not about pot. Yay hypocrisy.

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    • darkcycle

      I’m not sure it rises to the level of hypocrisy, but it does on it’s face sound disappointing. I wonder if there aren’t other considerations at play here. The allegations against Backpage may or may not be substantial, but Rick Cusick has a good sense of when it’s best to cut bait…
      As an executive editor he’s privvy to a lot of internal information, being a part of the village voice media (Trans-High is partially owned by the Voice, IIRC). May be a good idea if there’s heat to be had. No reason to allow High Times to be smeared if there is going to be a shitstorm coming…they have enough to worry about. Besides, I’ve met Rick, and he doesn’t sound like a timid, so much as a very shrewd guy.

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      • Duncan20903

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        There almost certainly are ads placed on Backpage by such illicit sex traders although I find it doubtful that they cater to or welcome such assholes. The blame for the percentage of human trafficking ads most certainly belongs to the laws that prevent any regulation of such activities. With licensed hookers or brothels Backpage could have a requirement that only license holders could advertise. But as it stands they have to look the other way unless the activity is blatant.

        Why are so many perverts into kiddies? Maybe I’m lucky because I’m into the MILFs. They know exactly what they’re doing. ’nuff said.

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    • Duncan20903

      Oh my. Dennis Romero is going to hear about this for certain.

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  • Adam-Symbiosis

    Really interesting piece on the therapeutic use of psychedelics in the NY Times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/how-psychedelic-drugs-can-help-patients-face-death.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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    • Francis

      Great article, but passages like these still grate:

      If psilocybin can so reliably induce these life-altering experiences, why have the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have taken magic mushrooms recreationally not had this profound experience?

      Um, I’m pretty sure that many of them HAVE had such experiences. What an obnoxious attempt to delegitimize “recreational” use. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that the “carefully controlled setting” of the study and the assistance of a therapist to help process the psilocybin experience can be helpful for some individuals, but the suggestion that they’re necessary for the experience to be therapeutic or lead to personal growth is asinine.

      If David Nutt, in Britain, is able to prove the efficacy of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, would the F.D.A. ever consider approving it for that use? And if that ever were to happen, what sort of slippery slope would we find ourselves on? If, say, end-stage cancer patients can have it, then why not all individuals over the age of, say, 75? If treatment-resistant depressives can have it, then why not their dysthymic counterparts, who suffer in a lower key but whose lives are clearly compromised by their chronic pain? And if dysthymic individuals can have it, then why not those suffering from agoraphobia, shut up day and night in cramped quarters, Xanax bottles littered everywhere?

      Would FDA approval of psilocybin be a “slippery slope”? I certainly hope so. Where would it stop? With any luck, with freedom for all adults to decide for themselves what goes into their own bodies.

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      • Duncan20903

        Ohmygod, they might actually approve it for anyone who would gain benefit! Oooooh, the humanity, the humanity I say!

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      • claygooding

        As long as it is not trying to legalize pot as a medicine,I think any schedule 1 drug would be removed as evidence came in attesting to it’s medical attributes,,only pot will never have medical uses.

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      • darkcycle

        Controlled setting and attending therapist??? That sounds like a recipe for a bad trip to me… WTF? A pleasant day, out in nature, as far as possible from “attending therapists and controlled settings”. A friend to have along for human contact and away you go. Your odds of a life changing spiritual event go up exponentially. Trust me, I used to be “Mr. Mushroom”.

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  • Duncan20903

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    So The Motley Fool addresses cannabis re-legalization vis a vis private prison stocks:

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/23/legalizing-marijuana-impacts-on-prison-systems-and/

    /snip/
    If the economy can benefit from it, the government can save and make money from it, and consumers can enjoy it, it might be high time to end the prohibition on marijuana. Maybe we should let the industry catch fire legally and let it blaze.

    On the other hand, the legalization of marijuana may make it more difficult for prisons to meet their prisoner quota.
    /snip/

    ———-
    Google is diligently working to obviate the lame argument that cannabis should remain illegal because it would increase impaired driving, by eliminating driving, not just impaired driving. In this video a blind man takes a car out for a drive. Is it really now just a matter of cost or was the car getting some help from the person in the passenger’s seat? When he goes out by himself I’ll be impressed.

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    • darkcycle

      Oh for gods sake. If I could get my hands around the neck of that author…. Every SINGLE pathetic pun, and cheap joke ever overused, all in a single, detestably shallow analysis of the potential impact of legalization. I could have written that in fucking ninth grade. In fact I think I DID write that in ninth grade. Francis? who do I see about suing this guy for theft of intellectual property? Wait, never mind, I don’t ever want anybody to know I could have authored that. That is so awful it’s offensive. (Boy, am I a hyper-critical sumbitch today or what? What do you expect? When I got here somebody had cleaned off the coffee table, Brandon was sitting in my spot on the couch and Clay was playing video games when we could have been watching the reruns of Family Feud. I hate missing Richard Dawson. It all you guy’s fault)

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      • Duncan20903

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        The 12 steppers serenity prayer comes in handy with writers who insist on including puns in their articles. I’m not certain what causes these people’s obsession with re-telling jokes that were old and worn out in 1965 but I determined that if I didn’t start ignoring it that my head would likely implode. It did help a little by going out and reading numerous articles on other subjects and ascertaining that this phenomenon is not limited to articles about cannabis and/or the fans of cannabis. It just seems worse because there are so damn many stupid puns available on this topic.

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  • darkcycle

    Afghanistan under U.S. Occupation is producing more than Heroin, it’s producing junkies.
    http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/13455

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  • it’s business as usual here in Oregon Pete. We’ve got this pesky east coast drug war loving politically connected prohibitionist and former US Atty in Oregon that was involved in the federal raids on collective gardens last year… running for the state AG position.

    His opponent, a U of Oregon grad and lifetime Oregon lawyer and judge, Ellen Rosenblum is a “lowest priority” type gal. She’s putting a lot of her eggs in the dpreformers’ basket. She’s toured the coop, gladly welcomed a fundraiser put on by Oregon’s dpr community.

    I went so far as to re-register as a Dem for this. Because the Repubs aren’t running a candidate, the Dem primary next month will determine our state’s next AG.

    There is some heat being generated on both sides. The sense of things I’m getting feels a lot like the march at WTO in Seattle… the closer to midtown we got there were more police, the stronger the scents of chemical warfare and an unwelcoming look to the streets.

    With George W Obama increasing drug war spending I suspect the reason for that in these times is they’re reinforcing the ramparts for a strong defensive stand AND they have an offensive agenda brewing as well.

    I cruised the news programs this weekend and not one – not even Gwen Ifel on PBS – ever got past the SS/hooker/$47 part of the Colombia story. The ability of certain entities to shift public attention from real issues to tantalizing distractions is a wonder to watch. Nauseating it is but damn, they’re damn good at it.

    Like Pete said the other day, I fear for my country…

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  • kaptinemo

    Since this is an open thread:

    What do you want to bet that the Curator has no clue that the DrugWar is in fact a continuation of ‘Jim Crow’?

    The New Jim Crow Museum is Now Open to the Public

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  • darkcycle

    Glad we have an open thread. OT but too good not to share…Nemo, better put down your coffee cup..
    http://www.dontevenreply.com/

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    • primus

      That is a downright pitiful argument Chabot makes; I was a waste of skin at age 12, and my parents made me go through rehab, and because I couldn’t handle the kind herb, nobody else should ever have any, at all, never. I drank deeply of the drug warrior’s teachings in rehab to the point that whereas I formerly got high on pot, now I get high on pot prohibition. You should too. Un Hunh. Oh, and LEAP is a fringe group because they let people join who aren’t actually cops, you know, from the overall citizenry. In my books that makes LEAP all that much less ‘fringe’.

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      • Duncan20903

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        LEAP lets non-LEOs join as full fledged members? I thought lay people could buy something like an associate supporting membership. Did I just pluck that thought from the air? If I did I think they should be breaking out the LEO and non-LEO members.

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  • darkcycle

    Oh boy, is it good to have an open thread. So OT, but too good to miss, a car ad from craigs list in Everett, down the road here: BEST CLASSIFIED ADD EVER.
    http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/2977737272.html

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  • thelbert

    today generalisimo barry mc caffrey was on kpbs in san diego. talking about wars and veterans and the va. he said the ususal things about our military, but he did not say one word about any heroin problem. he did say we have the most battle-hardened armed forces in the world. he did say there may be some alky problems. the drug war didn’t come up.

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  • thelbert

    i forgot to say that by the looks of his melon, ol’ barry himself may have an alcohol problem.

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