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June 2012
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Open Thread

Tech week for my show in Chicago, which opens on Friday. It’s going great, but keeping me busy. I’ll be posting more about it later, but in case you’re interested, it’s The Living Canvas: Eureka! running June 29 – August 11 at National Pastime Theater.


bullet image The Alternative World Drug Report

The Alternative World Drug Report, launched to coincide with publication of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2012 World Drug Report, exposes the failure of governments and the UN to assess the extraordinary costs of pursuing a global war on drugs, and calls for UN member states to meaningfully count these costs and explore all the alternatives.

After 50 years of the current enforcement-led international drug control system, the war on drugs is coming under unparalleled scrutiny. Its goal was to create a “drug-free world”. Instead, despite more than a trillion dollars spent fighting the war, according to the UNODC, illegal drugs are used by an estimated 270 million people and organised crime profits from a trade with an estimated turnover of over $330 billion a year – the world’s largest illegal commodity market.

In its 2008 World Drug Report, the UNODC acknowledged that choosing an enforcement-based approach was having a range of negative “unintended consequences”, including: the creation of a vast criminal market, displacement of the illegal drugs trade to new areas, diversion of funding from health, and the stigmatisation of users.

It is unacceptable that neither the UN or its member governments have meaningfully assessed these unintended consequences to establish whether they outweigh the intended consequences of the current global drug control system, and that they are not documented in the UNODC’s flagship annual World Drug Report.

This groundbreaking Alternative World Drug Report fills this gap in government and UN evaluations by detailing the full range of negative impacts resulting from choosing an enforcement-led approach.


bullet image Legal Aid Society Sues New York City over Bogus Pot Arrests

The lawsuit filed against the city and the Police Department Friday seeks the court to declare the practice illegal under state law and forbid officers from making the bogus arrests for which they should already be punished.


bullet image UAE death sentence for British man on ‘drugs charge’.

21-year-old man sentenced to death for selling 20 grams of pot.

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57 comments to Open Thread

  • more bad news for indigenous Americanos:

    Mexican Drug War’s Next Victims: Tarahumara Indian Runners

    And as the page loads the single comment… who could it be? Aaah… that Malcolm, he’s everywhere!

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    • Byddaf yn egluro:

      :-)

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    • Byddaf yn egluro:

      Selwyn Rungbottom, in “Molds that work for me” discusses the applied application of a sustained and ubiquitous approach to the art of obsessive-compulsive activism – representing the idea that it may be possible to be both manifest within the architectural space and the diegetic space of all narratives… i.e. present in multiple spaces at one time!

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      • I was just going to say that!

        Perhaps will come that day when as with William Gibson’s ponderings humans will jack directly into the interwwweb – and when that day comes, so too will come the peyoteros, the ayahuasceros, the ibogans, the llesceros and reindeer herders, meditators and that dimension of living consciousness (that dmtitious presence) will take virtual root. Then the line between “architectural space and the diegetic space of all narratives” will itself blur.

        Reminds me of that old Firesign dittie:

        how can you be
        in two places at once
        when you’re not anywhere at allll…
        (ba dum bum bum)

        The natural world is a trip. On the other hand the modern technological “wonder” that some call civilization is mundane, boring and ultimately self-defeating… without establishing a symbiosis w/ the natural order.

        I know there are those who call those of us from the ’60s and ’70s “the worst generation” but I, being from that era, disagree. And not necessarily because of the drugs topic. Rising shorelines are a reality, extreme weather less rare and more damaging. Back then we espoused embracing our environment, we worked hard at it. And there were many walls and barriers that fell because we pushed them over… and then they (the proverbial “them”) killed the dreamers and spat upon the dream. Peace? Hah!

        In a sane world hemp would be an answer. An answer to the starvation of the world’s poorest of the poor. An answer to natural disasters upon whole populations like in Haiti. A plant that can be used to build, bind, clothe and feed? A plant that laughs at weeds and needs no herbicides or pesticides? A blasted miracle… and banned…

        … meanwhile, the anti-Robin Hoods continue to pillage the village – the rich literally stealing from the poor.

        I think I need to go hiking out in Oregon’s high desert with those fun guys again…

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  • Servetus

    Niños Incómodos

    Mexican children play the roles of drug smugglers and kidnappers in this YouTube production of life and times in the Mexico Drug War:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=23H5Qwhndt4

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  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    :-)

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  • Happy International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking!

    I believe this is worth spreading:

    “What the Global Commission has to say to your (our) government(s)”

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.421604901215892.90176.108611532515232&type=1

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  • Russia’s top narc is off his meds and/or Quantum Leaping through past propaganda wars, at least that’s what this piece in The Daily Telegraph seems to imply:

    Yevgeny Bryun told a press conference in Moscow that the consequences of the Fab Four’s propaganda in the 1960s were still being felt.

    “After The Beatles went to expand their consciousness in India ashrams, they introduced that idea – the changing of one’s psychic state of mind using drugs – to the population,” he said. “When business understood that you could trade on that – on pleasure and goods associated with pleasure – that’s probably where it all began.” Mr Bryun said tough measures were needed to combat mass culture and advertising which promoted drug use today. /snip/

    Again, it would be funny, if it weren’t tragic.

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    • Duncan20903

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      Well you’ve got to admit that our lives would be significantly different if the Beatles and Bob Dylan hadn’t gotten together on their day off and invented merrywanna back in 1964. Of course we can’t discount how Cheech and Chong hired that guy to go into his laboratory and increase the potency by up to 200,000% either.

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  • Duncan20903

    Uruguay’s Plan to Legalize Marijuana Sales: Should the Rest of the World Follow?

    Uruguay’s proposal to legalize marijuana sales – and make its government the sole seller – reflects a growing worldwide urge to find new and less violent solutions to an old but more deadly drug war.
    By Tim Padgett
    June 26, 2012

    A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot and killed a suspected drug trafficker in Honduras over the weekend after the suspect, according to U.S. officials, reached for a gun. That’s better drug war news than last month’s tragedy – when Honduran cops accompanied by D.E.A. agents (who U.S. officials say did not fire their weapons) accidentally shot and killed four innocent civilians, including two pregnant women, on the Mosquito Coast.
    /snip/

    Am I a bad person because I laughed my ass off when I read that a dead DEA agent is better news than dead citizens and fetuses? Seriously, can anyone imagine hearing that in a major MSM outlet in the past? By the “past” I mean through May of 2012 or so, perhaps even the first few weeks of June.

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    • claygooding

      I think Michelle opened the door for the news media to start a witch hunt of their own,,her defensive answers and refusal to give honest answers has put blood in the water and the sharks in the congressional arena are not the only ones out there.

      As Kapt said,,the damage she did has not begun to be measured,,it is why I changed from hate to warm fuzzy feelings,,now I would like to just tow sack her and throw her in the river,,,instead of waterboarding her to death.

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    • Matthew Meyer

      Dunc, no DEA died; it’s better (ostensibly) because it was a Honduran drug dealer, not innocent Indians.

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      • Duncan20903

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        Sheesh, that’s what I get for posting before morning coffee is in the bloodstream. I swear it said “A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent was shot and killed…” when I read it. Daddy made sure I learned that if something seems too good to be true that it probably is and I never seem to remember that when it matters.

        My momma talkin’ to me
        Try to tell me how to live
        But I don’t listen to her
        ‘Cause my head is like a sieve.

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  • Peter

    Where’s our 21st century Martin Luther who can nail the Alternative World Drug Report to the door of the UN headquarters? How long can they go on ignoring such a glaring case to answer? Congratulations to all those, including LEAP, who put this this damning report together.

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  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    Three policemen die in a gunfight at Mexico City’s main airport after being sent to detain other officers suspected of drug trafficking.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-18581077

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  • claygooding

    If the DEA Can’t Tell Us the Difference Between Marijuana and Heroin, Who Can?

    http://tinyurl.com/8767df6

    “”Last week, DEA chief Michele Leonhart got quite a bit of attention with congressional testimony that left a lot of people shaking their heads in frustration. Here’s what everyone is talking about:
    (Questions asked by Polis)

    The whole thing ought to speak for itself, but it’s worth repeating that the person who is literally in charge of stopping everyone from taking drugs is somehow incapable of explaining to us the difference between the various drugs we shouldn’t be taking. It’s her job to know a lot about this, and her complete lack of insight is less than impressive.”” ‘snipped’

    DEA Chief Administrator Slips Up, Says Medical Marijuana Is Between Patients and Their Doctors

    http://tinyurl.com/7qwell5

    “”By now hundreds of thousands of people have seen that DEA chief administrator, Michele Leonhart, was grilled by a congressional committee about her stance on marijuana policy earlier this week. She eluded anything controversial that came her way. Something that has been overlooked though was that when she was asked about the efficacy of medical marijuana, Leonhart admitted she believes “that’s between [a patient] and his doctor.”

    The DEA has always been at the forefront of raiding medical marijuana dispensaries and arresting and jailing medical marijuana patients and providers.

    The Obama administration has already authorized more raids on medical marijuana dispensaries than George Bush had in his entire presidency. But now we know that the head of the organization leading these raids thinks the issue should be left to medical professionals. Her comments scream hypocrisy and have outraged advocates across the country.”” ‘snipped’

    It is cranking up out there and sounding ominous,,,for the prohibs.

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  • Duncan20903

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    British man sentenced to death in UAE for selling marijuana
    A British man has been sentenced to death in the United Arab Emirates after he and another man were found guilty of trying to sell 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana to an undercover officer.
    /snip/

    Executions are relatively rare in the UAE but do occasionally take place.

    In February 2011, a man convicted of raping and killing a 4-year-old boy in a mosque bathroom was executed by firing squad in Dubai. It was the first time in three years the UAE had put a prisoner to death.

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  • Peter

    Evidently the judiciary of the UAR considers raping and killing a 4-year-old boy in a mosque bathroom an equivalent crime to selling 3/4 oz of cannabis, and deserves equal punishment.

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  • darkcycle

    http://tinyurl.com/76wwc7u
    My two cents worth: “Sad. The entire issue misread again. “CeaseFire” is a band aid on a sucking chest wound. Until we address the causes of the majority of this violence in our cities, this blood bath will only get worse. The “War on Drugs” is the proximal cause of this violence. Change the drug laws, legalize and regulate and the motivator for much of this goes away.
    But the economic plight of these cities and their residents will continue to cause massive social issues until the fundamental problems of opportunity and equality are addressed. “CeaseFire” distracts and glosses over the real issue. It clouds the public’s mind with a “solution” that only disguises the real causes of this problem. End the Drug War. Legalize and regulate. Invest in our own and each other, and to hell with the banks and the rigged markets. Overbuild the system with a system of our own that embodies fairness and real freedom of the markets. Not corporate freedom, and slavery for all the rest. They won’t change the system…. but we do not have to participate!”

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  • darkcycle

    Oh yeah, That business deal is off. They will be marketing “Axiom” without me. They structured it so there was next to no margin, AND they tripled the projected price. I cut bait.

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    • darkcycle

      Harrumph. HELL-OOO…feeling a little unappreciated here…
      Two likes for an expensive fart in a phone booth and only one for a link to a mostly on topic story and a well crafted comment? What’s next? Passing the joint around me on the couch? Where’s the love?

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Assemblywoman Angelini Says Decriminalizing Marijuana Sends The Wrong Message

    Do you think decriminalizing marijuana sends the wrong message to children? Weigh in on our Patch poll.

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    • Byddaf yn egluro:

      I posted my brand-new boilerplate:

      Prohibition’s underlying ideology is based wholly on fear, hate, envy, and greed – leading universally and invariably to abject failure, economic collapse, sickness and war.

      Ending prohibition would greatly reduce, even almost eliminate, the market in illegal narcotics, cause a reduction in the number of users and addicts, greatly curtail drug related illness and deaths, reduce societal harm from problematic abusers, and bring about an enormous reduction in the presence and influence of organized crime. The people who use drugs are our own children, our brothers, our sisters, our parents and our neighbors. By allowing all adults safe and controlled legal access to psychoactive substances, we will not only greatly reduce the dangers for both them and ourselves but also greatly minimize the possibility of ‘peer-initiation’ and sales to minors.

      Never have so many been harmed and impoverished by so few, so quickly. Prohibition is not just an extremely expensive accident. Like any harmful and completely ineffective policy, it was connived and implemented by immoral, malicious, fools. It cannot be ended soon enough.

      After many decades of drug-war-dystopia, don’t we all deserve a healthy, safe and prosperous future?

      Just say no to prohibition-insanity, prohibition-corruption, prohibition-violence and prohibition-terrorism!

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  • Duncan20903

    Does anyone know the release date for Synthetic Reefer Madness? A genuine man bites dog news article, who’da thunk it?

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  • Duncan20903

    Mr. Mujica, just say “fuck you asshole, enough is enough”.

    UN: Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay Would Be “Serious Violation” of International Conventions
    6/26/2012

    The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime warned Uruguay Tuesday that any initiative to legalize production and consumption of cannabis would be a violation of the country’s international commitments to combat narcotic drugs.

    Asked about the government of Uruguay’s reported plan to legalize marijuana, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs on Crime Yury Fedotov told reporters he still hadn’t seen any official confirmation or document that put the government’s decision into practice but that he was following developments closely.

    “Should it happen of course that would be a serious violation of the Single convention and Uruguay is a party to this convention. “ he said. “I’m also aware that the President of the International Narcotic Control Board is planning an urgent mission to Uruguay to discuss the situation with the authorities of this country.”

    The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is the principal international agreement aimed to curb the possession, use, production and trade of drugs as well as to help promote cooperation to combat trafficking.

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    • Props to Uruguay for getting ahead of the curve, but oh how much tastier it will be when the good old US of A stands in flagrant violation of the UN Single Convention. Just a few more years folks and then it will be Sweden and Russia carrying the torch alone…

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    • kaptinemo

      What’s happening in Uruguay is the next obvious step.

      Since Bolivia exited from the UN Single Convention Treaty almost a year ago, other Latin American nations have been watching it with an eagle eye, to see what (if anything) the Colossus to the North would do. Which turned out to be, just as predicted, nothing.

      The Imperium is busy elsewhere, over-stretched to the breaking point, and hasn’t much time to devote to its’ ‘backyard’ right now. Wikileaks has shown just what Warshington thinks of its’ neighbors, and that’s got them understandably riled up, so there’s no love lost between them. Mexico has shown what happens when LA nations listen to (Crazy) Uncle Sam and make “…a real war!” on the cartels. The alternate routes are being closed off, one by one, and there’s nothing left to do but the inevitable. Uruguay is just stepping to the front of the queue, early.

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      • claygooding

        All it takes is written notice 6 months prior to Uruguay legalizes and they will not be a member of the Single Convention Treaty,,,

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        • Duncan20903

          .
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          Christ you people like to use lots of extra words. Your statements, boiled down into a nutshell: “Mr. Mujica, just say ‘fuck you asshole[s], enough is enough’.”

          P.F., the parasites will only be able to distract the rest of the governments with promises that rearranging the deck chairs will save the ship for so long. Rats know when a ship is sinking. If the alpha rat bails the rest will be right behind it. If the US withdraws the treaties will collapse within days, possibly hours.

          …and they said she’d never go down.

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        • Duncan20903

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          Please remember that the States aren’t party to the Single Conventions. That seems to be a fact that almost everyone misses. Please refer to Article I Section X of your Constitution of the United States of America for details.

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      • Wait, is Bolivia still out of the Convention? I remember reading that they were going to withdraw and then rejoin “with reservations” or something. If they’re still out after a year, that’s exciting news!

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  • If the DEA Can’t Tell Us the Difference Between Marijuana and Heroin, Who Can?

    http://tinyurl.com/7udebg3

    I missed this one by Scott Morgan. In the Huff too:

    http://tinyurl.com/8767df6

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    • Peter

      another screed from cj in the comments at stdw arguing leonharts point that heroin and cannabis are no different. guess the two extremes of the spectrum have gone full circle and met round the back. does this leave the rest of us as the real “third way”?

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  • CJ isn’t accomplishing anything.

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    • Duncan20903

      He’s certainly got me rethinking my opinion of opioid fans.

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      • Peter

        I’m half seriously wondering if “CJ” isn’t a creation of Kevin Sabet (Cevin Jabet?)designed to warn the public of the dangers of “extreme legalizers,” and to counterbalance extreme prohibs like Leonhart. Oh I forgot, he works for people like Leonhart so they must be “balanced” and not extreme. Extreme prohibs must be people like the judiciary of the United Arab Republic or China, right?

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    • claygooding

      CJ’s desire for mariholics to embrace his drug of choice is dependent on the lovers of weed NOT having the intelligence to pick a drug that has the inherent dangers associated with heroin or other drugs that can be just as debilitating when used on a regular basis.

      I don’t see many people on this couch that have not tried almost every drug out there and for the majority marijuana was enough,,but not for CJ,,my sympathy to him and anyone that has made a decision similar to his but even though legalization and regulation will remove most of the harms from opium based drugs,,it will not remove the addiction levels and I,for one,,choose not to be addicted to anything else in my life.

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  • Duncan20903

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    Dear Abby,

    I thought you were dead.

    signed, Confuzzled

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  • darkcycle

    Good one up at the Alternet:
    http://tinyurl.com/7xboupt

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    • claygooding

      This is the “too much money in marijuana to legalize it” that Clinton spoke of,,they have empowered the cartels so much that they are now a player in the money market,,and a declaration of independence from the Federal government may be what it takes to ever take them out of it.

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  • You might want to pass this on to folks you might know in Chicago, from Tom Angell at LEAP:

    The Chicago City Council just voted 43-2 to decriminalize possession of marijuana. Please see below for some information about a supporting petition authored by LEAP’s Jim Gierach, which brought in more than 2,000 signatures from Chicago constituents over the past 24 hours.

    ***PRESS RELEASE***

    *CHICAGO RESIDENTS SUPPORT MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION VIA ONLINE PETITION*

    *More than 2,000 Chicago residents sign online petition launched by former prosecutor within 24 hours supporting Chicago’s proposal to make marijuana possession an infraction instead of a misdemeanor.*

    *CHICAGO, IL *– More than 2,000 Chicago residents have signed a petition on Change.org started by a former Cook County prosecutor in support of a city proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

    Jim Gierach, a former assistant state’s attorney of Cook County and current member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), started the petition on Change.org to show the council members that Chicago citizens want police spending less time enforcing marijuana laws and focusing more resources on the city’s rising violent crime problem. LEAP is an organization of current and former members of law enforcement who are speaking out about what they call a “failed war on drugs.”

    “I expect the City Council to show great leadership by decriminalizing marijuana possession today,” said Gierach. “As a prosecutor, I’ve seen first hand that our marijuana laws aren’t working. This proposal shows that our leaders here in Chicago realize that focusing on this nonviolent crime is not only costing us tax precious dollars, it’s costing precious lives.”

    The proposal already had support from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, local police, and a majority of the 50 city council members before Gierach started his petition. But Gierach hopes the petition shows that there is public support for reforming drug laws.

    “Supporting marijuana law reform isn’t going to hurt politicians,” he added. “Polling consistently shows that voters support marijuana
    legalization in growing numbers.”

    The new proposal allows Chicago police to ticket rather than arrest those who are caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has stated that the measure will free more than 20,000 hours of police time each year that is currently spent on making and processing arrests for small amounts of marijuana.

    Live signature totals from Jim Gierach’s campaign:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/decriminalize-marijuana-in-chicago

    For more information on Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, please visit: http://www.askleap.org

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  • Duncan20903

    Brace yourselves my friends, a new and highly annoying piece of hysterical rhetoric is being born as I type:

    Medical examiner: Only marijuana found in system of Fla. Man in face-chewing attack
    By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 7:15 PM

    MIAMI — Lab tests detected only marijuana in the system of a Florida man shot while chewing another man’s face, the medical examiner said Wednesday, ruling out other street drugs including the components typically found in the stimulants known as bath salts.

    There has been much speculation about what drugs, if any, would lead to the bizarre behavior that authorities said Rudy Eugene exhibited before and during the gruesome attack that left the other man horribly disfigured. A Miami police union official had suggested that Eugene, who was shot and killed by an officer, was probably under the influence of bath salts.

    The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner said in a news release that the toxicology detected marijuana, but it didn’t find any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs. Eugene also tested negative for adulterants commonly mixed with street drugs.

    The department ruled out the most common components found in bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine and have been associated with bizarre crimes in recent months. An outside forensic toxicology lab, which took a second look at the results, also confirmed the absence of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and LSD.
    /snip/

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    • darkcycle

      Of course, it’s the Wa. Po. They’re the USA’s own “Daily Mail”.
      Plus, how stupid is that “addiction expert” they found? Dopamine my rosy red ass. Cannabis does not affect dopamine levels.

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      • Duncan20903

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        Actually it’s the Associated Press. This story is already on 369 news outlets. AP stories get posted mindlessly by a lot of news outlets. You’ve got to remember I’m in the DC ‘burbs and Google knows that. WaPo stories very frequently pop at the top of my news searches. Of course there’s no doubt that Google knows all, sees all, but that’s neither here nor there.

        It’s on HuffPo too. Now this is amusing:
        Pending Comments 173 (as of now).
        ———-
        What? Cannabis doesn’t affect dopamine?? I thought that’s why they call it dope!!!

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    • Servetus

      Worst case of the munchies ever.

      Why can’t the propagandists just find a partially digested Big Mac and leave it at that?

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    • Peter

      he may have consumed cannabis two weeks before. so what?

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      • Duncan20903

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        Post hoc ergo propter hoc is almost a religion with the prohibitionist world, that’s what. It doesn’t have to make sense, have any factual basis, or not be laughably absurd to conclude that any cohort with over 160 million members isn’t going to lose a few to psychoses. The latter is especially laughable considering that those with psychoses are attracted to joining our cohort.

        Remember, the rule is that anything negative that happens anywhere in the general vicinity of cannabis was caused by the cannabis. He chose to enjoy cannabis, he went wacko, case closed.

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  • Bruce

    Holy Sh!t!
    Man on Cannabis turns off light, saving energy!
    Man on cannabis sees airplane on fire, puts out blaze!
    Man on Cannabis swerves, misses Raccoon!
    Man on Cannabis returns lost wallet containing cash!
    Man on Cannabis, siggh, My Hero!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GguPC2U2EaI&NR=1

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  • darkcycle

    Here we go. More ammunition for when Kleiman claims “There’s no one in prison for pot”:
    http://tinyurl.com/857kuf9

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