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June 2012
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Did Obama Administration raid Medical Marijuana in order to pass Health Care Reform?

Lobby E-Mails Show Depth of Obama Ties to Drug Industry

The New York Times article doesn’t specifically address the question posed in the title of this post, but it does show a clear willingness on the part of the administration to give in to the wishes of the pharmaceutical industry if it would help pass health care.

It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to discover that a discussion had occurred about preventing the proliferation of non-pharmaceutical medicines.

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65 comments to Did Obama Administration raid Medical Marijuana in order to pass Health Care Reform?

  • Matthew Meyer

    Another angle to this that has crossed my mind is the reliance of ObamaCare on the Wickard decision behind Raich and the virtually unlimited interstate powers that decision underwrites for the feds.

    Is cracking down on medical marijuana some bizarre argument for interstate commerce powers in the health care arena?

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    • Francis

      I don’t think so. The Raich and Wickard abominations established the precedent that the feds have virtually unlimited power under the commerce clause. Actually exercising that power via the dispensary crackdowns doesn’t gain Obama anything from a legal perspective.

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  • Francis

    Without the deal, in which the industry agreed to provide $80 billion for health reform in exchange for protection from policies that would cost more, Mr. Obama and Democratic allies calculated he might get nowhere.

    $80 billion in “protection” money. Damn. I wonder if regular gangsters read stories like that one and feel like small-time losers.

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    • kaptinemo

      So…he and his cronies should be prosecuted under both the RICO and the Hatch Act. If this wasn’t racketeering by gaming the system in favor of the industry, and then using taxpayer funds to propagandize the public in favor of legislation that does not favor them but the above-mentioned industry, then what possible other laws might they be charged with breaking?

      Oh. Forget that. A silly daydream. I’m in early 21st century North America, Continental US zone. Corporations make the laws, while the people get bent over a desk by those same corps…whose pockets are overflowing with purchased politicians.

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      • kaptinemo

        Oh, and BTW, it would seem the government was in cahoots with the industry to maintain its’ monopoly over health case. Hmmm. Uncle Sam as a defendant in a Sherman Anti-Trust Act suit? Intriguing…

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        • Duncan20903

          Two words: sovereign immunity
          Two more words: fantasy, fantasy

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        • kaptinemo

          Yeah, I know. But I can dream, can’t I?

          When government’s the criminal, ‘justice’ is MIA…

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  • claygooding

    We already know that the pharmaceutical industry owns our government,otherwise the continued prohibition of marijuana would have stopped in 1974 when the University of VA was raided for using marijuana to treat cancer and showing success,,,

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  • christy

    Alcohol industry gives pay offs to politicians who kickback govt funding to the anti-drug groups to propagandize against marijuana. The nation’s largest alcohol lobby did it with Prop. 19 in California.

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  • off topic…

    Wyden amendment cheers industrial hemp supporters

    Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden proposed an amendment to the U.S. Farm Bill that would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana, allowing farmers to grow the crop that advocates say has many uses and sustainable benefits.

    The proposed amendment to the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 would allow states to set their own laws about industrial hemp cultivation.

    “Industrial hemp is used in many healthy and sustainable consumer products. However, the federal prohibition on growing industrial hemp has forced companies to needlessly import raw materials from other countries,” Wyden, D-Oregon, said in a statement. “My amendment to the Farm Bill will change federal policy to allow U.S. farmers to produce hemp for these safe and legitimate products right here, helping both producers and suppliers to grow and improve Oregon’s economy in the process.”

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  • Servetus

    Big Pharma has made some big moves with the FDA in the past in an attempt to become overlords to the vitamin and food supplement industry, a market which cuts mightily into their profit margins much like marijuana. Fortunately, they failed to take control. So manipulations of this type certainly have a precedent.

    We are plagued by corporatists who like the idea of an unhealthy public because they make a lot more money selling partially effective synthetic drugs having too many adverse side-effects. It reduces to the fact that you can’t even get cancer in this country without someone making a buck off it. And if someone can’t make any money off your disease, you die. Tough luck, stranger.

    That a classic medicine like the cannabinoids should be caught up in a much bigger problem with the FDA and Big Pharma has certain advantages. We are essentially allies with the vitamin and health food industries, which have fended off attacks by the FDA and various competitors in the past in ways that may help give credence to the MMJ movement. It may also be possible to use their defense strategies.

    Another potential ally is the health insurance industry, which has no reason to complain about MMJ because they don’t pay for it, and because it obviates the need for so many other types of expensive medications that they would otherwise be paying for.

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    • Matthew Meyer

      Servetus, what kind of vitamin and health food industry strategies for fending off big pharma attacks are you thinking of?

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  • Mr Ikesheeny

    What would Rand do in the Willard administration about these shenanigans debilitating to the goal of mitigating pain?

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  • kevin

    Big Pharma could make billions if they made Sativex as easy to get as Viagra.

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    • Duncan20903

      They pretty much have done that in every civilized country outside of the United States. GW Pharma is already profitable.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    There was a crash of a small, private aircraft on September 2, 2010 which led to the deaths of the 3 people on board. The cause of the crash is unknown, but that didn’t stop the NTSB from releasing the fact that the 73 year old pilot had traces of THC “in his system”. I’m sure everyone here can recite the hysterical rhetoric in news articles and the comments section under them. What I find remarkable is the treatment given the story by the San Mateo Daily Journal. It appears that they’ve included all of the available facts! They even included directions to the actual report if anyone was interested in reading it! My god, I feel like I’ve found a living woolly mammoth.

    Tip of the pin to Ms. Heather Murtaugh and the Daily Journal even though they almost made me drop dead from shock.

    Report outlines details of lagoon plane crash
    June 09, 2012
    By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

    /snip/
    To read the full report visit http://www.ntsb.gov and aviation then databases.

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  • Duncan20903

    Tommy Chong has announced that he has prostate cancer. It appears Rick Simpson will see his “hemp oil” put to the test under a microscope of public scrutiny.

    Comedian Tommy Chong fighting prostate cancer
    By the CNN Wire Staff June 9, 2012

    (CNN) — Tommy Chong, one-half of the marijuana-loving “Cheech and Chong” comedy duo, is battling prostate cancer, he announced Saturday on CNN.

    Having first noticed symptoms about eight years ago while incarcerated for selling drug paraphernalia, Chong said he was diagnosed “about a month ago.” He revealed his condition in an interview about his support for decriminalizing marijuana use and sales.

    “I’ve got prostate cancer, and I’m treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis,” he told CNN’s Don Lemon. “So (legalizing marijuana) means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested.”
    /snip/

    Fingers crossed for the man. Bracing for the baseless I told you so chorus from the prohibitionists. Deleting one of my best boilerplate lines.
    (You should be so lucky to be in half of Tommy Chong’s physical shape when you’re 74.)

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  • darkcycle

    Okay. This is so off topic I should be beaten with a stick. But hey, we’re all stoners here and as stoners we love exploring all aspects of the cosmos, both inner and outer. As such, many of us are science geeks. Plus, we like music, and this is way too cool not to share, so roll one before you press play and I promise you’ll have a grin on you face when you’re finally finished with these: http://www.symphonyofscience.com/videos.html
    No need to thank me.

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    • malc

      Thanks DC! But I was already moved to tears – my wife and daughter, thinking it was father’s day, just woke me with breakfast in bed and a new T-shirt :-)

      I have a very busy summer ahead of me, catching up on all the work I should have done instead of boiler-plating the universe. I’ll still be doing my bit, but until sometime mid-September, not nearly as intense as I’d wish to.

      I’m not worried anymore that we’ll ever get there; I feel we’ve turned the corner and are rolling merrily downhill; we’ve taught people how to find, and what to do, with the science; even journalists are now using the words ‘prohibition’ and ‘prohibitionists'; and the latter are not only starting to notice us, but also perceive us to be a great threat to their unconscionable, comfy scam.

      Love you all, especially you Pete, for providing us with such a cool couch!

      Have a great Summer, and be ye kind, one to another!

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      • darkcycle

        No worries, Malcolm. We’ll be seeing quite a bit of you, I’m sure. We all have actual lives, the largest part of which occur away from the monitor. That you are able to take this on and dedicate as much time and effort as you do is fantastic. I’ve been time constrained for pretty much the last year, and it may be worse before it gets better. So much for being “retired” If y’all are interested in what I been ..ahem…cultivating, the product website is now up. (Keep in mind that dc has yet to finally forge a deal so I’m not making anything on sales from that site. I’ll be putting up my own site up in addition to selling and distributing locally to retailers, and while there is a price and a shopping cart at the site, the product will not be ready for shipping for another few weeks.)The product is called “Axiom”:
        http://www.rxgreensolutions.com

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        • aye… it’s late spring/almost summer in the northern part of the northern hemisphere and that means… outside! Yay! Sunshine and everything…

          Hey, when you’re ready to use some quality photography let me know!

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        • Matthew Meyer

          can’t be shipped to CA!?! Too bad…sounds like compost tea, kinda.

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        • darkcycle

          Hasn’t been presented for approval in Cali. Not sure what the plans are for seeking approval. It’s a big giant market though, so I don’t think you’ll have to wait for long.

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        • malc

          DC, if the product is as good as your web page then you’ll have no worries!

          The quality of the comments everywhere, lately, has gone off the scale. Here’s kevin11’s, from 3 hours ago:

          “In Holland, use rates among youth are 1/3 of what they are in the U.S., even though marijuana is sold openly to adults in coffee shops there. “Regulation and legalization is NOT a solution.”? So you prefer the current unregulated system where the drug dealers can make money selling weed to kids. You are advocating a return to alcohol prohibition to solve the problems of alcohol abuse? Were you paying attention in history class? Did you not know that prohibition did not reduce supply or demand; and caused trafficking violence. “continue making the substances difficult to obtain”? WHAT?!?! What part of this article led you believe that marijuana is “difficult to obtain”? Life is very different from reality in “caseworker land”. “

          http://tinyurl.com/84q2mwg

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        • darkcycle

          Guy’s, it’s the Maker/national distributor’s website (if everything had gone as planned, it WOULD have been my website, bummer, but there are still ample opportunities for smaller regional distribution, and that’s where I fit.) BTW, it is a fantastic product, particularly on our favorite plant!

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    • Jake

      darkcycle, if you like that you might like this (if not already seen); The Sagan Series – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FFWHR9AiJo

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  • Windy

    Also off topic (blame dc for his OT link), but Radley posted this in his Saturday links:
    “There’s a run on rope — and not the camping kind.”

    I gotta say, first thing I thought of when I read that was this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XFYMjkFYPg
    (LOVE this Arlo style folk song by Jaime Brockett)

    The link was actually about rope intended for bondage type sexual encounters.

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    • are we ever really off topic? If so, we don’t stray far… and that’s funny because a year ago I had no clue about such a specific use rope product. One of my photo clients uses such in her pursuits so now I know…

      And I havta say, if ever anyone has a chance to catch Arlo (that’s Arlo Guthrie for you sprouts) live, he’s still a hoot in performance.

      And speaking of performers… back in the mid to late ’70s there was a young white S African that had learned guitar in the townships, African style. Johnny Clegg had 2 groups, Savuka and Juluka, that were outstanding and he’s touring the US (including the 51st state, Canada) this year again, a quality show not to be missed.

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  • strayan

    You know that business week piece I posted (above) about the lengths the DEA are going to, to protect people from harmful drugs?

    Well they’re about to go to court because they can’t get enough thiopental sodium, the drug used in death penalty injections.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3972.short?rss=1&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bmj%2Frecent+%28Latest+from+BMJ%29

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    • strayan

      Err no, got the FDA and DEA confused.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        It’s not possible to get someone confused who is already confused.
        ~~ Confusedus
        ———-

        Here’s another one from the “Jack booted thugs hate dogs so much they’ll even shoot their own dogs” category:

        Oakland County K9 officer shoots police dog after it attacked him

        That’s two this year that I know about. I don’t know if it’s true or not but I’ve heard people say that if you kill a police dog doing its duty that you would be charged with cop killing. Is there any chance that we might start to see human cops start to whack other human cops? I mean on purpose, not from so called friendly fire. I know, I know, wishful thinking. A guy can dream can’t he?

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  • Mr Ikesheeny

    Did you know, the concern, BMS had a very favorable quarter profit this year. Although I have no link offhand it shows that MMJ posed no threat to earnings.

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    • claygooding

      Under prohibition and the acts of the federal government’s gestapo mmj is being kept from harming their profits,,end prohibition and hear them scream.

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  • help spread the word on this please…

    U.S. Supports Mexican Activist’s Peace Caravan

    Mexican poet-turned-activist Javier Sicilia has received the U.S. government’s backing for his planned month-long peace caravan in that country aimed at drawing attention to drug-related violence and communicating his anti-drug war message.

    Sicilia, who heads the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, or MPJD, was received here Friday by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne and spoke to him about his plans for the caravan, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 12 in San Diego and cover several southern U.S. states before making its way to Chicago and New York and ending in Washington in mid-September

    -snip-

    U.S. activists, including representatives of the San Francisco-based human rights advocacy group Global Exchange, will take part in the peace caravan.

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  • Duncan20903

    My only problem with the way things have changed is that I’m still wondering if I’m asleep and dreaming.

    Hot off of the Associated Presses:

    Efforts to relax pot rules gaining momentum in US

    By DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press
    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Catharine Leach is married and has two boys, age 2 and 8. She has a good job with a federal contractor and smokes pot most every day.

    While she worries that her public support for marijuana decriminalization and legalization could cost her a job or bring the police to her door, the 30-year-old Warwick resident said she was tired of feeling like a criminal for using a drug that she said is far less harmful than the glass or wine or can of beer enjoyed by so many others after a long day’s work. Like others around the nation working to relax penalties for possession of pot, she decided to stop hiding and speak out.

    “I’m done being afraid,” she said. “People in this country are finally coming around and seeing that putting someone in jail for this doesn’t make sense. It’s just a changing of the time.”

    Somebody pass the balloon to that lady. Oh wait, never mind. Here it is in my hand. Gosh, I’m so embarrassed!

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    • Peter

      “We are more worried about soda — for health reasons — than we are about marijuana,” said one opponent, Rhode Island state Rep. John Carnevale a Democrat from Providence.

      Boy! Prohibitionists’ arguments are getting easier and easier to shoot down in flames…. if we are “more worried” about soda, why are we not caging soda drinkers and the board of Coca Cola?

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      • Duncan20903

        Free the refills!

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      • Francis

        Here’s an obnoxious column that compares the ban on large sodas to the war on drugs… and draws the entirely wrong lesson. Here are some excerpts:

        I think anything-goes libertarians and quick-to-spank nannies are both wrong. Correct policy and common sense reside between the extremes. Like so much in life, the issue is one of degree, not absolutes. But degree matters.

        While not all illegal drugs are created equal, some are quickly addictive, sure as anything to destroy health and normal functioning and fatal if you aren’t really, really careful, which some people aren’t when high.

        [RUNS THROUGH FAMILIAR, LAME PRO-WOsD ARGUMENTS]

        So now we come to Mayor Bloomberg, who is fighting everyday decisions by everyday Americans to no end, except, as far as I can see, to make things worse. He is in effect saying to New Yorkers they are children who must be watched over by all-wise government curtailing their need for self-responsibility.

        I love that bit about “everyday decisions by everyday Americans” (which are presumably different than the depraved decisions of “drug users”). Just your typical freedom-for-me-but-not-for-thee-style hypocrite.

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      • Peter, give the nannies out there time, they’ll make it worse for drinkers of pop. And Coca Cola is bracing for it. They just put former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on their board. That is obviously political, because Daley can barely manage to put together a proper sentence and ran Chicago into all but bankruptcy. Daley does bring clout, connections, and a willingness to screw people over without a care.

        Daley probably just nudged Bloomie into size control efforts. Instead of people buying 24oz, enough will buy two 16 oz in twice as many containers. There’s got to be more profit in there for someone. Looks like more garbage for garbage haulers for one.

        What they aren’t doing with pop is to stop spending ANY government money buying it for their offices and staffs and events and petty cash and every dollar. They need to do that before they start telling everyone else how to consume pop.

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  • Peter

    OT….don’t know if you’ve all seen this already but here’s Obama answering a kid’s question “Why do people hate you?” His answer shows he is totally oblivious of the millions who supported him in 2008, but who won’t be in 2012, because of his u-turn on prohibition. He blames it all on party politics and business as usual. Time to wake up and smell the coffee Barry:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BewOcp1JtDU&feature=fvo

    watch him patronize the kid just like he does when asked about cannabis.

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  • Along these lines, I’ve got another question.

    Did the Obama Administration raid Medical Cannabis in order to silence legalization activists like Richard Lee who donated heavily to Prop. 19? That is the Chicago Way, after all.

    Obama’s Chief of Staff who was making these deals with corporate health care was none other than Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, where almost 90% of the convictions for cannabis possession are black people with an average amount of $55 worth of cannabis.

    Obama might not be so horrible if we could get him away from all the asshats he surrounds himself with. Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Valerie “slum lord” Jarett, Bill “Dick’s bro” Daley, Emil “mushmouth” Jones Jr., Allison “subsidy welfare queen slum lord” Davis,Todd(ler) Stroger, Joe “Lock up Chong and his bong” Biden, and I could go on for days with this list. Obama had ZERO administrative experience and it shows with him letting these tyrants run all over us.

    Obama voters obviously didn’t use any intellect behind their vote beyond the surface of McCain bad, Obama good. We may as well just had them sing for the Presidency and have everyone vote by phone.

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    • darkcycle

      He chose those people for a reason, Jeff. An administration can be defined by the advisers and appointees a President chooses, look at Nixon and Kissinger and Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. No, please don’t use the homies to excuse the head Gangsta.

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      • Absolutely darkcycle, they’ve all been different degrees of bad in my lifetime, GOP and Dem alike. Rumsfeld is an Illinois GOP pay to play member, as is Ray LaHood, and George Ryan… They’ve all been bad, I was focused on this one.

        I watched years of Obama in the Illinois General Assembly. I knew he was going to surround himself with asshats when he ran for US Senate. David Plouffe is another major Obama asshat. The media hasn’t paid any attention to Obama’s advisers and appointees, just like it always is.

        You’re right, its no excuse, but he did intercept joints in his Choom group back in the day. 15 years of politics evidently took care of that. He could be more evil, and that’s no excuse.

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    • The first time I saw Obama I thought to myself “There is the next President of the United States”. He sounds like the inteceptor that he is – a silver tongued wonder.

      If he beat his own Choom buddies out of a hit, where is he going with the Country? The “gang” of voters that had high hopes for ending the war on drugs and legalizing marijuana were some of his staunchest supporters.

      Little did they know, they weren’t any more important to Barry than his Choom buddies.

      We have been intercepted.

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    • claygooding

      When the Democratic party put Joe Biden,one of the writers of the Re-authorization act that requires the drug czar to lie to America,it reminds me of Johnson and Kennedy,,when Kennedy would not go to war in SE Asia,,Johnson,a warmonger was put in.

      A lot of the people just don’t realize that the corporations running this country are prepared to kill our president if he doesn’t sing their songs but almost any Nam vet knows it and at any time.

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  • Ron

    END WAR ON DRUGS
    VOTE
    GARY JOHNSON 2012
    http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/drug-policy-reform

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  • I’m sure we all knew this was coming. A shame Calderon couldn’t get his head out of his ass and do this sooner.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/world/americas/us-braces-for-mexican-shift-in-drug-war-focus.html?_r=1&hpw

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  • Servetus

    “10 Facts Everyone Should Know About New York City’s ‘Stop-And-Frisk’ Policy”:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/06/10/496984/10-facts-new-york-city-stop-and-frisk/

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  • strayan

    http://www.ismp.org/quarterwatch/pdfs/2011Q4.pdf

    A report by a watchdog group has concluded that prescribed medicines are “one of the most significant perils to human health resulting from human activity.” The group based their conclusion on their analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration’s database of serious adverse events.

    Check this:

    these were the drugs that health professionals and consumers told the FDA were causing serious and fatal side effects:

    http://i.imgur.com/2ngPT.png

    Hmmm. Anyone notice anything about that table?

    Where are the opioids?

    http://i.imgur.com/cBSky.png

    Why hello there acetaminophen.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Did somebody mention opioids?

      FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Banning Vicodin and Percocet

      Well there you go wise guy! The FDA wants to ban both of these opioid based painkillers! I suppose next you’re going to sniggle and quote the fact that they said “the reason the FDA is considering changing their recommendations is that acetaminophen overdose is currently the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S.” It doesn’t change the ***FACT*** that these are ***OPIOID BASED*** drugs!

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      • Duncan20903

        I apologize, on my way to see Nurse Ratched now.

        But seriously, I knew acetaminophen was bad for the liver but only this morning learned that it’s the leading cause of liver failure in the US. For the love of the gods and all that’s holy, in what manner of madhouse do I live?

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Hey, whaddayouknow, here’s an ambulance chaser that specializes in acetaminophen induced injuries:

          http://www.mytylenollawyer.com/

          What a clever URL! From the link above:

          THE MOST EXPERIENCED TYLENOL TEAM

          Our acetaminophen team has been working in this area for over 10 years and has unmatched knowledge, experience, and results when it comes to securing compensation for victims and families who have suffered acetaminophen related liver injury, failure or death. Although we are located in Atlanta, our practice in this area is national in scope.
          /snip/

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        • thelbert

          i don’t know if it works for tylenol damage, but i read about a guy whose liver was destroying itself. he was put in a room to die, when one emergency room doctor decided to give him a massive dose of alpha lipoic acid, which saved his life. if i recall correctly he had eaten a wild mushroom that started the liver damage.

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        • Thelbert – I just read that the other day. They gave him an new injectable extract from milk thistle that saved him.
          http://tinyurl.com/7czru8g

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      • TieHash

        The acetaminophen is added to those medications to “denature” them so that it becomes harmful to ingest them. The actual opioids are far less toxic than the acetaminophen and overdose can be more easily treated.
        It also has to do with the Controlled substances act and drug schedules, mixing the active ingredient with acetaminophen makes it less controlled. e.g. Codeine is a schedule II by itself but when mixed with acetaminophen is moved to schedule III, or V.
        This is in addition to Propoxyphene (Darvocet) which was a schedule V ( the least controlled ), yet was one of the most toxic and addictive pain relievers, but did not produce reliable euphoria.

        Bottom line: US drug law has no basis in reason or science.

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