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August 2012
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Open Thread

bullet image Good news in the effort to reduce highway robbery!

Under the consent decree filed today in the U.S. District Court in Marshall, police will now be required to observe rigorous rules that will govern traffic stops in Tenaha and Shelby County. All stops will now be videotaped, and the officer must state the reason for the stop and the basis for suspecting criminal activity. Motorists pulled over during a traffic stop must be advised orally and in writing that they can refuse a search.

In addition, officers are no longer using dogs in conducting traffic stops. No property may be seized during a search unless the officer first gives the driver a reason for why it should be taken. All property improperly taken must be returned within 30 business days.  And any asset forfeiture revenue seized during a traffic stop must be donated to non-profit organizations or used for the audio and video equipment or training required by the settlement.

Great job by the ACLU.


bullet image Remember Barry McCaffrey? What a tool!

He argued at length that “legalizing drugs would be an utter disaster,” claiming that “low-level users” don’t do time in the US, and concluding: “Portugal? Bullshit!”

That’s the kind of intelligent discourse coming from prohibitionists these days.


bullet image Just Imagine What Michael Phelps Might Have Done If He Hadn’t Smoked Pot?

As the sports world says a fond farewell to Michael Phelps, the most bemedaled Olympian that ever was, it’s worth remembering the idiotic moral outrage that exploded when this picture of the eventual 18-gold-medal-winning swimmer surfaced in early 2009


bullet image Olympic ouster brings marijuana issue to forefront

Lee said she and other Olympic athletes exhibit “camaraderie” in discussing with one another when best to stop marijuana use before expected testing. Lee estimated that at least “a good 50 Olympic athletes” use marijuana regularly before they stop in time for testing.


bullet image How A Single Oxycontin Pill Nearly Ruined One Man’s Life

Just one of many stories of the Kafkaesque nightmare that our drug war imposes on people.

When I hear prohibitionists excuse the drug war by saying “hardly anybody does time for possession in the U.S.,” I think of stories like this.

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35 comments to Open Thread

  • Duncan20903

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    I think that consent searches need to be abolished because when made at the behest of an authority figure with a gun these requests are inherently coercive. It’s very easy to say “all they have to do is decline” when you’re not the one talking to the guy with a gun.

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    • Francis

      I absolutely agree. And of course, these searches only get challenged when they find something. In my view, that shows that the search was coercive almost by definition. I’ve used the following analogy. A cop who claims that a search that uncovers incriminating evidence was the product of “consent” is like the mugger who steals a woman’s purse and then claims that it was just panhandling. After all, he only asked her for the purse, and he was merely holding a gun. The cop’s story is equally absurd.

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  • Duncan20903

    Gosh Arizona is run by a genuine ring of clowns. This one’s from the “epitome of hypocrisy” category:

    Horne says marijuana dispensaries illegal
    Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    By Howard Fischer

    PHOENIX — Attorney General Tom Horne said Monday that prosecutors are going to ask a state court to declare that the planned medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal and cannot be opened.

    Horne told Capitol Media Services that federal law prohibits anyone from selling marijuana. Yet the state is planning to issue licenses that authorize dispensary operators to do just that.

    “A state law cannot authorize a violation of federal law,” he said.

    Horne said despite his conclusion that dispensaries cannot legally operate, he is not prohibiting state Health Director Will Humble from proceeding with today’s planned lottery which will decide who gets the limited number of licenses that are available under the 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

    But Horne, in a formal legal opinion, pointed out that the certificates that will be issued today simply give winners of the lottery permission to proceed with setting up a dispensary.
    /snip/

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    • claygooding

      Sounds like good business for the guys selling generic medical marijuana in the alley,,and also allows every medical marijuana patient in AZ the ability to grow their own,,since none are located within 25 miles of anyone.

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    • divadab

      Here’s a guy whose only job is to enforce STATE law, in complete breach of his oath of office – ignoring State law to enforce federal law, shouting “Tread on me” to unjust dominion.

      Tom Horne, sellout and traitor to his State and its citizens.

      Tom Horne, eager supporter of the Marxist policies of the Obama White House.

      Tom Horne, total disgrace.

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      • Duncan20903

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        If that isn’t befuddling enough, you should listen to his arguments in favor of The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (AKA SB-1070). It’s enough to make people want to resign from the human race.

        I submit that we need to do away with elections and go to the involuntary conscription model for staffing our government. No more campaign financing to squabble about, no hanging chads brouhahas, and if we get the random number generator to be truly random we’ll have an a truly representative cross section of the population running our government. (some people seem to think I’m joking about this. I assure you that I’m 100% serious. No, I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.)

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  • divadab

    “obama is a Marxist” – only tonto could believe this in his slavish delusion.

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  • divadab

    Incidentally, is anyone else confused by the ban on cannabis at the Olympics as a “performance-enhancing drug”? I thought the dreaded weed was dangerous, addictive, with no medicinal value but only deleterious effects.

    Amazing these prohibitionists – they can suck and blow at the same time! Their boyfriends must be happy!

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  • Duncan20903

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    Often prohibitionists will ask, “what kind of message does it send the children if we make hippie lettuce legal?” When I hear this I often reflect back to my own childhood. I spent a lot of time watching first run Adam West Batman shows, all the cartoons on Saturday morning, and every month you’d find me waiting anxiously for the mail carrier to bring the new edition of Mad Magazine.

    I don’t know, perhaps today’s youth is different. Perhaps they’re holding their breath to hear speeches made by politicians on TV, watching re-runs of C-Span highlights on Saturday morning, and anxiously await their mail carrier to arrive with the latest edition of The Congressional Record.

    I’ve spent many sleepless night wracking my brain to recall the first time I ever got a message from a politician. I’m confident that the first message that I got from a politician was sent me shortly after I first registered to vote in 1980. That message was, “vote for me and send me money.” In the intervening 3 decades I’ve gotten thousands of messages from politicians, all of them more or less identical to the first.

    Anyway, the point of this post is to notice that for the first time in recorded history, a politician has sent a message to NORML. Very clearly, Governor Pete Shumlin of Vermont called up Allan St. Pierre and said, “vote for me and send me money.”

    Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the pro-marijuana group NORML, doesn’t get many calls like this. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin rang him up last week, he said, and told him he’d like to be a national spokesman for the marijuana reform movement.

    “I’ve taken tens of thousands of phone calls,” St. Pierre said. “Not many from sitting governors.”

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    • stlgonzo

      So right. I hold politicians up for contempt not as role models. Other than Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.

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  • Servetus

    Former military General Barry McCaffrey, is an unfit 69-year-old war criminal who should be sitting in a jail cell at Leavenworth, and who was made drug czar by Clinton probably just to get him out of the military.

    As drug czar, McCaffrey was busted (by NORML and the FCC) for wasting $25-million in taxpayer money to illegally embed covert anti-drug messages into TV scripts of Smart Guy, Beverly Hills 90210, Chicago Hope, ER, The Drew Carey Show and 7th Heaven.

    No bigger braying jackass exists than McCaffrey. Portugal and the rest of the world should declare him persona non grata. That he gets interviewed by the MSM at all is sad. Like most drug war advocates, he doesn’t understand human nature in a way that would ultimately lead him to answers that could alleviate the prohibition problem. He only understands lies, force and violence.

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  • stlgonzo

    U.S. Government Website Admits Drug War Enforcement Causes Violence

    By Sean Dunagan, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    http://www.theagitator.com/2012/08/07/u-s-government-website-admits-drug-war-enforcement-causes-violence/

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  • James

    Concerning the ACLU/asset forfeiture story, This is a only a good start. No matter what courts have ruled, asset forfeiture is clearly illegal as a 4A violation and is theft under color of law and should be treated as such.

    This week, Radley Balko at TheAgitator.com has guest bloggers which includes Eapen Thampy from Americans for Forfeiture Reform. Go have a look.

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  • Dante

    “No property may be seized during a search unless the officer first gives the driver a reason for why it should be taken.”

    I can hear it now “Because FUCK YOU, that’s the reason”.

    “All property improperly taken must be returned within 30 business days” or else what? “Whoops, sorry about that, we took 6 years to return your property. Have a nice day.”

    Nothing will change until the police/prosecutors suffer, big time, for doing these things.

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  • Here’s the key info from the abstract that puts the lie to folks who claim that there are studies that prove the significant danger of marijuana and driving.

    The quality of the studies that have assessed risk varied greatly. There was a tendency for the estimated effects of drug use on accident risk to be smaller in well-controlled studies than in poorly-controlled studies. Evidence of publication bias was found for some drugs. The associations found cannot be interpreted as causal relationships, principally because most studies do not control very well for potentially confounding factors.

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    • Duncan20903

      If they really wanted to do an accurate study without confounds there’s an island about 600 miles east of Southern Florida. On this island you find a not insignificant number of whack job religionists who have been constantly smoking pot since at least 1930. That’s 80 years, eight decades, 80% of a century. Even better they eat a diet that would make any extreme health fanatic to blush with envy. They don’t use smoking tobacco and use of drinking alcohol is minimal to non-existent. We don’t know the long term health risks of choosing to enjoy cannabis? Just go ask the Rastafari.

      P.S. We still don’t know the long term effect of Viagra but it has cost a number of men their penises and a few thousand have suffered an FDA approved death.

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      • claygooding

        On the Viagra,,,how many women were scraped off the ceiling after riding a 4 hr erection.

        And,,the main ingredient in Viagra is fix-a-flat.

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  • Francis

    Aren’t we almost due for this year’s Gallup poll on legalization? It looks like last year’s poll, which showed 50% support for reform (up from 46% in the previous year), came out in October. I’m optimistic that this year’s results could show another significant rise in support, maybe 3-5%. If that’s the case (and it gets widely publicized), I think it could really help cement the perception that legalization is inevitable. Once that perception really takes hold (among the general population), that should encourage some people who are currently on the fence to join the winning team. That could provide a nice little boost for November’s ballot initiatives.

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  • darkcycle

    The quiet guy on the end of the couch in the Guy Fawkes mask has put out a very nice “who’s-who” in prohibition. Actually has some useful info.
    http://1anonymouslegion.com/narcowarriors/

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  • Duncan20903

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    My word, the medicinal cannabis vendors in Arizona aren’t very forgiving when it comes to rippers.

    Medical Marijuana Grower Who Was Shot and Stabbed Runs a “Compassion Club”

    Shot and stabbed but still alive. The guy who attempted to rip him, not so much anymore. Isn’t it funny how the press attempts to frame the victim of the crime as if he were a perpetrator? No, I guess it isn’t.
    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    Modesto homeowner shoots and kills marijuana burglar Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012

    I’ve got to admit that stories like these give me a warm fuzzy. I suppose that makes me a bad person. Oh well.

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    • stlgonzo

      I am afraid of stories like these. I can hear the prohibitionists using this as a reason why MJ is so dangerous.

      Although I am a supporter of the right to bear arms.

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      • Matthew Meyer

        I’m pretty sure the feds realize that cutting off dispensary access to bank accounts and debit machines is likely to increase the violence associated with the cannabis trade.

        And then that just proves how dangerous the stuff really is!

        I think they call that a win-win situation.

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      • Duncan20903

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        That would be the way they’d spin it whether it was the grower or the ripper that ended up deceased. It genuinely amazes me how some prohibitionists think that if there weren’t a grow that the ripper would instead be singing in the church choir on Sunday, working full time at the soup kitchen feeding the hungry, and helping diminutive elderly women negotiate busy traffic in their spare time if those evil pot plants hadn’t hypnotized them into becoming a violent criminal.

        It isn’t like these things never happened before. It’s the calling the police to report it that’s new. Any way you look at it that’s a benefit for society at large. Armed home invaders shouldn’t be given a free pass to target certain people. If they don’t have a grower to rip and need some money you better believe they’d stick up John and Jane Q. Public.

        The morbidly amusing thing about this is that the same prohibitionists will turn around and argue that organized criminal syndicates would just commit other crimes if denied their profits from vending black market cannabis. As I’ve said before, consistency and continuity are not the strong suits of the Know Nothing prohibitionists.

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  • Servetus

    Caravan for [Drug] Peace, starting in August in San Diego, CA and arriving in Washington, DC in September:

    http://www.caravanforpeace.org/caravan/

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  • Servetus

    Ongoing police union trouble:

    “Retired NYC Police Protest Union Support for Stop and Frisk”

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/10781-retired-nyc-police-protest-union-support-for-stop-and-frisk

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  • Duncan20903

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    This one’s from the “kicking ass and (quietly) taking names” category. Those sneaky North Dakotans have submitted 20,000 signatures to the Secretary of State to have a medicinal cannabis patient protection law on the ballot on Election Day.

    ND likely to debate medical marijuana proposal

    BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota voters are likely to have a chance this fall to decide whether marijuana may be used legally as a pain reliever, an option the Legislature has never addressed and that South Dakotans have rejected twice.

    Supporters of medical marijuana have been circulating a citizen initiative to put the issue on the November ballot. On Monday, Dave Schwartz, campaign director for a pro-medical marijuana group called North Dakotans for Compassionate Care, delivered petitions that he said contained about 20,000 signatures to North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office.

    The petitions need about 13,500 signatures from North Dakota voters for the initiative to qualify for a vote. Jaeger has about a month to review the petitions and decide whether they are valid.
    /snip/

    It’s nice to see but don’t get your hopes up. In 2010 South Dakota defeated a similar ballot initiative by a margin of just 63.3-36.7.

    linky
    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    I recall the late 1970s/early 1980s when it was common knowledge among citizens and police alike that choosing to enjoy cannabis caused that person to have extreme pupil dilation. Of course it was patently untrue but it appears that the State of Colorado hasn’t yet figured it out. illustration

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  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    Ryan Donaghy Chairman of the Board Donaghy Sales, LLC Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    Ron Fowler Immediate Past Chairman Liquid Investments, LLC Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    Tom Reyes Vice Chairman Crest Beverage, LLC; Gate City Beverage Distributors-San Bernardino;Harbor Distributing, LLC-Anaheim, Gardena , Santa AnaAlcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    David “Duke” Reyes Chief Financial Officer Crest Beverage, LLC; Gate City Beverage Distributors-San Bernardino;Harbor Distributing, LLC-Anaheim, Gardena,

    Santa AnaAlcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts
    Peter Heimark Secretary Heimark Distributing Co. Triangle Distributing Co.Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    Terence Fox NBWA CA Director M.E. Fox and Co. Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    Travis Markstein NBWA CA Director Markstein Beverage Co. Sacramento;Markstein Beverage Co. San Marcos Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    Cherisse Alford CBBD PAC Chair Alford Distributing Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    Jeff Jordano Management Committee Member Pacific Beverage Co.Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts

    T.J. Louderback Management Committee Member Anheuser-Busch InBev Sales Inc. of Pomona and Antelope Valley Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts
    etc. etc. etc.

    http://1anonymouslegion.com/narcowarriors/

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  • Duncan20903

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    I must say that Election Day is shaping up to be the most significant in the history of cannabis law reform, or at least neck and neck with Election Day 1996. From the “my esteemed opponent is ‘soft’ on ‘drugs’” category:

    Galef Scoffs At ‘Advocacy’ Claim On Medical Marijuana
    by Jessica Glenza

    CORTLANDT, N.Y. – Assembly member Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) says a statement that her “top advocacy issue this year is legalizing marijuana,” made by Republican challenger Kim Izzarelli, is a misrepresentation.

    Galef is co-sponsor of a bill with more than four dozen other Assembly members to legalize possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana prescribed by “a designated caregiver for a certified medical use,” according to the language in bill number A7347.
    /snip/

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