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Using vigilance to stop dissemination of false information

Brought to my attention thanks to comments in the last post, is George Mason University’s Faculty Staff resources Fact Sheet on Marijuana.

Pretty much every university has one of these – many times it’s part of the contract that faculty and staff sign, and sometimes it’s also used to communicate with students (in some cases they, too, must sign to indicate that they’ve read it). I’m guessing that having a drug policy, and some kind of statement about the effects of various drugs, is part of a condition for federal funding, etc.

But the content varies widely. Some are quite truthful (and therefore bland). Others outrageously full of falsehoods (like this one). Most are a mix.

Since it’s a required thing, they pick one up from somewhere (often boilerplate recommendations from government sources) and disseminate it without any real vetting.

At the university where I work, I got ours changed. About the only really offensive thing in ours was a reference to marijuana causing lung cancer. I contacted the head of the Human Resources Department with information about the Tashkin study on marijuana and lung cancer, and they cheerfully changed the document to eliminate the lung cancer reference entirely.

In many cases, that’s all that’s needed. Simply contacting Human Resources and pointing out the factual errors. Often, the people in charge of disseminating these things either 1. are not aware of the truth or 2. never read the statement.

If you are a student, faculty, or staff member at a university, check out their drug policy documents. Look for verifiable factual errors (including those where there is strong dispute from other studies), and provide that information to the people in charge. Politely ask them to change the document to match current scientific facts.

These are people who pride themselves as working at institutions of higher learning and are usually receptive to facts (as opposed to government workers).

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38 comments to Using vigilance to stop dissemination of false information

  • darkcycle

    Wow. Just…wow.

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  • primus

    Excellent point. We must be ever-vigilant because the PTB have infinite money to support their liars, and many forums to shout out their lies. Every time a lie goes unchallenged, it gains cred.

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    • and also is the reason rebuttals need be nothing more than calm, factual, and mostly common sense. Perhaps – as it seems we’ve all grown a bit cynical in this – a dash of humorous sarcasm (quality only, remember, we’re raising the bar) is healthy. Let them be the asshats, because they are.

      They’ve tortured children (Straight Inc, The Seed) and even shot babies from the sky (Charity and her mom, Ronnie Bowers). Welsh Corgies w/ their 2″ long legs are a threat to 200+ pound drug worriers armed to the teeth. Inanimate objects can be evil. All drug policy reformers advocate drug use…

      … and all those names in the drug war victims litany deserved better than they got. Thinking of Peter McW’s death nauseates and infuriates me. Imagining the terror wrought on folks like Donald Scott or the frustration of Todd McCormick and his mother – I saw the inside of Terminal Island FCI and it wasn’t built for people in Todd’s state of health.

      Patrick Dorismond was saying “no” and got shot for it because he was black and the cop was a prick.

      Kathryn Johnston was old black and poor, reason enough I guess for Atlanta narcotics cops to shoot her…

      But prohibitionists will not – NOT! – discuss the names. And if we are to truly offer our dpr respects to these victims it is thru not forgetting them and telling the stories, over and over and over, haino haino haino…

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  • ezrydn

    How many people you know who IV MJ??? Come to think about it, I’ve NEVER met anyone who uses MJ via IV!

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    • primus

      I have never heard of it except in one suspect article written by a wide-eyed young girlie reporter. Is it even possible? I can’t see how that would be a good thing, and I wonder if it would even get you high.

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  • Francis

    It’s probably not a bad idea to suggest some replacement text, e.g.:

    “Marijuana, it’s a plant. While marijuana itself can’t kill you, the narcs might. So be safe. And enjoy!

    For a complete listing of marijuana’s benefits, refer to the document labeled ‘Francis’ Law’ in Appendix A.”

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  • darkcycle

    Wait…this isn’t a joke? Don’t ALL campuses have a fearless anti-drug war crusader on faculty, standing ready to offer helpful, factual correction in the interest of assuring the institution uphold the highest standard of truth? Pete? Please, don’t tell me it’s not true…

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  • Francis Soyer lightens up

    Read that intravenous marijuana use sentence and almost fell out of the chair. The cat ran off because of the hysterical laughter. I’ll think of that anytime a good laugh is needed.

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  • wow… that’s quite a list.

    Classification: Depressant, Hallucinogen

    In spite of all the herb I’ve smoked (and in 40 years one can smoke a LOT of pot) I’ve never hallucinated on ganja. Can’t say I’ve ever really found it depressing either, usually quite the opposite.

    Method of Use: Smoking, eating, and intravenous injection

    that is a gut-buster… maybe the person that wrote that lived on the least coast and had to suffer thru the age of the pinner when I suppose a joint could have been rolled tight enough to inject… [eye roll here]

    Marijuana is the common name for a crude drug made from the plant Cannabis Sativa.

    huh? what drug “made” from cannabis?

    Signs and Symptoms Oh boy!

    Decrease in school or work performance; truancy

    Neglect of personal hygiene

    Change of friends

    (and I love this next one, a perfect typo!)

    A motivational syndrome (which motivational syndrome?)

    Marijuana impairs or reduces short-term memory, alters one’s sense of time, and reduces the ability to do things which require concentration, swift reactions, and coordination.

    Tell that to Ross Rebagliati and Michael Phelps…

    Lung cancer- marijuana smoke contains more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke. Smoking three to five marijuana “joints” a week is equivalent to smoking 16 cigarettes every day.

    Decreased masculinity.

    Impotency. Male users of marijuana may experience an inability to function sexually.

    [...] birth defects in offspring.

    Decreased femininity. Marijuana use by females increase the amount of testosterone in the body, causing an increase in acne and such male characteristics as body and facial hair, and flattening of the breast and buttocks.

    Chronic users lose interest in achieving goals [...]

    Certainly didn’t affect Mr Obama’s desire to become the greatest pot head hypocrite on the planet!

    Evidence shows that 60 percent of marijuana users go on to use harder drugs while the odds against non-users trying other substances are 98 to 1.

    WOW! of course they did add this interesting caveat at paragraph’s end:

    However, there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana causes the use of more potent substances.

    And that was just my highlights! Good dog! Taken straight from the desk of Harry Anslinger…

    and at the very bottom is this:

    Source: Valencia Community College Project Infusion Module, Orlando, FL.

    the “Project Infusion Module” is apparently funded thru the Development Education Initiative ( http://www.deionline.org/ ) which is funded thru the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And when I go and search the Valencia CC site for “Project Infusion Module” I get… hmmm de dummm (waiting on dial-up)… a long document of goals and such…

    What I’m finding interesting is that the Valencia CC Project Infusion Module shows up on a google search in two places – George Mason U and a site called “teen-anon.”

    It really sounds like either someone on faculty at GMU is very lazy or very anti-drug. Their LSD and psychedelics page is cribbed from the US Dept of Ed book “What Works. Schools without Drugs” from 1987

    by changing my search parameters just a bit… I’m being led into a googlegroups discussion on politics/drugs… 1996, some guy named David Pletcher is an eloquent legalizer… nope dead-end there.

    So… Monday means a phone call or email to someone at Valencia Community College. It’s the cat in me ya know, sometimes my attention gets grabbed and off I go.

    Sun is shining, time to hit the great outdoors. Fair sailing y’all.

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    • darkcycle

      Good Kitty! Look, honey, the cat brought us another present! *cat drops decapitated mouse on floor*

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      • my fixed male cat thinks my daughter’s 1 year old 70 lb pit bull/boxer mix female is his g/f… he’s always bringing her mouses.

        Love them little mouses, mouses fun to eat, bite their little heads off, nibble their tiny feet. (B Kliban)

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    • claygooding

      I think the proper strain of marijuana may be one of the best treatments for depression and if not the best,the safest,,never met a giggling depressed person yet.

      I never suffer from depression except when I can’t find weed,,,or my bic won’t work.

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    • I think I’ve followed Alice… when I google just a quotation mark enclosed snip “A marijuana cigarette or “joint” is made from the dried particles of the plant.” it gives all these weird pill mill “discussion” sites on if pot is worse for you than tobacco.

      stranger and stranger (I thin’ I smell a Calvina, Queeksdraw). Here is virtually the same thing, tho’ condensed a bit: http://www.cdsfl.org/CommonDrugs.htm

      it also leads to a “free college papers” (oppapers.com) page…

      and our perseverance leads to a letter to the editor from one Audrey E Fields in the St Augustine, all the way back to July 11, 2001. And that letter has been (according to its author) taken from the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association fact sheet.

      Of course ya havta unnerstand my Calvina paranoia… I saw Valencia CC is in Florida. Calvina is in Florida… so naturally… right? Well, close but no cigar, nothing on Clavina in a search of the FADAA site. She does like to invoke their name tho’…

      and the origins of that “fact sheet” is the FADAA: http://www.fadaa.org/resource_center/just_the_facts.php
      altho’ it is a rewrite/edit.

      What made it weird was that each little snipped quote would bring repeat sites from other phrases but new ones as well.

      “Ok, let’s not ALL use the same quote. Those pro-druggies might figger it out.”

      6º of Calvina…

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  • Hempy the Clown

    “Where suspicion fills the air and holds scholars in line for fear of their jobs, there can be no exercise of the free intellect. Supineness and dogmatism take the place of inquiry. A problem can no longer be pursued to its edges. Fear stalks the classroom. The teacher is no longer a stimulant to adventurous thinking; she becomes instead a pipe line for safe and sound information. A deadening dogma takes the place of free inquiry. Instruction tends to become sterile; pursuit of knowledge is discouraged; discussion often leaves off where it should begin.” – — William O. Douglas — (1898-1980), US. Supreme Court Justice

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Many here might recall the controversy in Montana leading up to the de facto repeal of that State’s medicinal cannabis patient protection law. The centerpiece of the argument was that teen use had skyrocketed. No, not for a few years after the law had been passed, but in the past couple of years. No the statistics haven’t been published but you can take our word for it. A month after the Legislature did it’s deed the statistics were published and guess what? Well we don’t call Francis’ Law a law for nothing. Montana youth use from 1999 to 2011 down 4%, from 2009 to 2011 down 2%. What a shocker, eh?

    Well if you wonder why I say that the motto of the Know Nothing prohibitionist is “never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric” just take a look at today’s Missoulian. You got it. Medical merrywanna is causing Montana youth use to skyrocket.

    It’s no wonder that the Unabomber went stark raving mad in Montana.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Man, nobody ever taught me how to mainline muggles! That’s got to be a neat trick.

    Oh, just as a technicality scientists can make THC injectable using that voodoo that they do so well. I think it takes some very expensive equipment and they have to manipulate or eliminate gravity or some such spectacular sleight of hand but it is possible. At least if you’ve got the money, honey.

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    • Nunavut Tripper

      Do the people who believe in that negative reefer madness
      stuff question the info ?
      If you knew nothing about weed other than the George Mason University
      information page wouldn’t you wonder
      ” If it’s that horrible why is it so damn popular ” ?

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  • Peter

    OT
    articles in the guardian:

    “Watershed summit will admit that prohibition has failed, and call for more nuanced and liberalised tactics”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/07/war-drugs-latin-american-leaders

    “We have to find new solutions to Latin America’s drugs nightmare
    Narcotics should be legally available – in a highly regulated market”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/07/latin-america-drugs-nightmare?intcmp=239

    “Time for Obama to join the debate over the failed war on drugs
    This week, at a summit in Colombia, the president has a chance to show he understands there has to be a political solution”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/07/drugs-obama-latin-america?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

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  • BagOfKittens

    AUSTRALIAN police suspect a nephew of Cambodia’s Prime Minister of involvement in a heroin trafficking and money laundering syndicate targeting Australia.

    Police have uncovered a global crime syndicate importing more than $1 billion of drugs into Australia annually, with connections to government and policing officials across Asia.

    Our Man in Cambodia

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  • ezrydn

    On the topic of bad info, I keep hearing “Obama could reclassify Cannabis w/o Congress if he wanted to.” If that’s true, where is it codified? I don’t see it in the CSA.

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    • claygooding

      I believe the DOJ can reschedule drugs,,allowed in the CSA,,but where the orders have to come from,,,congress or maybe just a committee in congress or the president,,not sure.

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    • A Critic

      Obama could sign an executive order reclassifying cannabis. If he can authorize the assassination of American citizens without any due process…that’s entirely doable. Would it be constitutional or legal? Does it matter at this point?

      He could also pardon everyone convicted of a drug crime, and keep doing that until they stop arresting people for drug crimes.

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    • claygooding

      IF I recall correctly when cocaine and meth were removed from schedule 1 it originated from NIH after clinical trials were completed,,overseen and controlled by the DEA and NIDA as per requirements for all schedule 1 drugs.

      However,,apparently those drugs were not kept from becoming a medicine by the ONDCP because they did not do everything possible to stop them from becoming legal as a medicine.

      It is the main reason I believe that the ONDCP was created for and too keep hemp off the open market and all the other drug laws are just a smoke screen too keep people from realizing it.

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      • SecondThat!

        “and too keep hemp off the open market and all the other drug laws are just a smoke screen too keep people from realizing it.”

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I honestly wish that Jack Herer had left hemp buried in the dustbin of history. Don’t forget that hemp would cause a significant decline in GDP because it’s less expensive and more durable.

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  • darkcycle

    The way I read it there are two ways to ADD a substance to the CSA, by Congressional action and DEA administrative process. DEA has used this as well as their emergency powers to add drugs to the schedule several times. If the DEA can administratively add drugs, why can’t they remove them? DEA is under the direction of the DOJ, which is under the control of the Executive. I think the language allows rescheduling by DEA…

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    • darkcycle

      Here’s a Wiki-slice from the entry on the CSA:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_substances_act
      “Proceedings to add, delete, or change the schedule of a drug or other substance may be initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or by petition from any interested party, including the manufacturer of a drug, a medical society or association, a pharmacy association, a public interest group concerned with drug abuse, a state or local government agency, or an individual citizen. When a petition is received by the DEA, the agency begins its own investigation of the drug.

      The DEA also may begin an investigation of a drug at any time based upon information received from laboratories, state and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies, or other sources of information.

      Once the DEA has collected the necessary data, the Deputy Administrator of DEA,[10] requests from HHS a scientific and medical evaluation and recommendation as to whether the drug or other substance should be controlled or removed from control. This request is sent to the Assistant Secretary of Health of HHS. Then, HHS solicits information from the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and evaluations and recommendations from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and, on occasion, from the scientific and medical community at large. The Assistant Secretary, by authority of the Secretary, compiles the information and transmits back to the DEA a medical and scientific evaluation regarding the drug or other substance, a recommendation as to whether the drug should be controlled, and in what schedule it should be placed.

      The medical and scientific evaluations are binding to the DEA with respect to scientific and medical matters. The recommendation on scheduling is binding only to the extent that if HHS recommends that the substance not be controlled, the DEA may not control the substance”
      So it seems the entire process can be directed from the White House. I don’t see a congressional involvement in rescheduling drugs. To repeal the CSA would take Congressional action. (I think! I’m not the JD here, Ez!)

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  • claygooding

    10 Fold Drug Use Increase Noted Among 50- To 64-Year-Olds Since 1993

    MedIndia http://www.medindia.net/news/10-fold-drug-use-increase-noted-among-50-to-64-year-olds-since-1993-99862-1.htm#ixzz1rTYKPdxt

    “”Thus far, illicit drug use has not been customary in the elderly. But, it is likely to become increasingly general as generations that use drugs more frequently reach an older age.

    New research published today in the journal Age and Ageing has found that the lifetime use of cannabis, amphetamine, cocaine and LSD in 50-64 year olds has significantly increased since 1993 and is much higher than lifetime use in adults aged over 65. The study also found that drug use in inner London was higher than the overall UK average.””

    Our parents are outnumbered,,,finally.

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  • claygooding

    The Class of ’65 turns 65

    http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=337832

    “”The generation that didn’t trust anyone over 30, that graduated the year Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt and the Grateful Dead played their first San Francisco concert, seems determined to delay their dotage. The typical boomer believes old age starts at 72 — two years older than the life expectancy in 1965 — with 61 percent saying they feel nine years younger, according to the Pew Research Center.””

    I remember the mini-skirts,,some especially well and Grateful Dead went to Nam with me,,,damn my eyes.

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    • darkcycle

      Followed the Dead around on the West Coast whenever I could manage it. I spent a lot of summers deliberately unemployed and between contracts in the eighties for just that reason. Between San Fran and Oakland, Portland, Eugene, L.A. Redrocks, you could catch eight or nine shows in a summer. Married and divorced first wife in those years. 1974, first large rock concert of my life, Grateful Dead, L.A. Coliseum. I miss Jerry. *sniff*

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  • Cy Klebs

    Most of the tars can be culled from the smoke with a water pipe. But the prohibs already know there are no concrete instances of catalyzing illness due to MJ; so the proliferation of paraphernalia measures.

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