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September 2012
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Open Thread

Some things have already been mentioned in comments but are worth checking out.

bullet image The Marijuana Myth: What If Everything You Think You Know About This Plant Is Wrong? by Laurel Dewey. A fascinating story of someone who set out to find the dangers of marijuana and instead discovered its benefits and wrote a book about it.


bullet image A video reponse to President Obama’s hypocritical Harold and Kumar phone call video.

Very well done. But next time, Shaleen, please get an actor. I’ve got all sorts of connections in theatre and could find you one.


bullet image So where’s that campaign against legalizing marijuana? by Patrical O’Callahan

Prediction for November: Washington’s going to legalize marijuana.

As far as I can tell, there’s little credible opposition to Initiative 502. (I’m not counting the “medical marijuana” people – who have a mercenary stake in its defeat – as credible.)

Last Wednesday, we were supposed to do a joint television interview of the initiative’s opponents and supporters. For something like this, we normally call the campaigns, and they eagerly supply the speakers.

The sponsors of I-502 responded immediately. But it proved hard even to find opponents willing and able to make their case in front of TVW’s cameras. […]

We wound up canceling the event.

Prior to elections, we often run point-counterpoint opeds about ballot measures. Today, my colleague Cheryl Tucker went looking for someone to write the counterpoint opposing I-502.

She called Anthony Martinelli, a medical marijuana guy whose name appears at the top of the “statement against” in the voters pamphlet. It turns out Martinelli has dropped out of the battle.

Take that back. There is no “battle” over legalization in Washington, except among marijuana users who want it legal in different ways and for different reasons. I think the initiative is going to pass by default.


bullet image Former Drug Czar Blasts Obama Pot Policy as ‘Insane’

I had forgotten about Dr. Peter Bourne, drug czar under Carter

But the urbane British-born psychiatrist is also disappointed. In a rare interview, he says the Obama administration’s approach to marijuana is “totally insane.” He thinks “they should be bolder,” urging Congress to decriminalize and considering an executive order if necessary. Currently, what they’re doing—raiding medical-marijuana dispensaries, defending pot’s classification as a drug as bad as meth—“doesn’t make any sense at all.”

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55 comments to Open Thread

  • claygooding

    Just found the article on Bourne,,rats leaving the ship????

    • Duncan20903

      Nah, Peter Bourne is a stand up guy. Not a rat and he was never on the good ship Propaganda.

      • claygooding

        That makes him the best of????? Every drug czar,including Bourne,knew marijuana was not the devils weed and probably were “briefed” on keeping marijuana schedule 1 to keep hemp off the open market,,the later development of satellite industries created by the drug czars policies(see urine analysis and now rehab) that are lobbying so hard to keep the politicians acknowledging that the drug war is even going on. Meanwhile,,the drug czars policies also opened up the drug czars next job,,after retiring on a public service pension,as with McGafferty,,big in rehab and urine anlysis,,and the one lobbying for Sativex,,all of them nothing but sharks.

  • primus

    When a psychiatrist says that something makes no sense, he is intimating that the person being discussed has a mental health issue. (sense being the opposite of nonsense, which is what the mentally ill spew) When was the last time Barrack had a checkup from the neck up?

  • ezrydn

    In the video, at first, I thought it inappropriate to use “Adagio for Strings” in the background but by the end, found it very appropriate. Obama lost my support with his “I don’t know what that says about the online community” comment, never to regain it.

    • Peter

      As you said, it becomes appropriate when the real face of the drug war is revealed at the end with whimpering shot dogs, cops jostling with each other to get a shot in and lives destroyed. This is what wikipedia says about Adagio for Strings: “full of pathos and cathartic passion” … “rarely leaves a dry eye.”
      We need more of this to get the message across that this is a real war with real victims, and people are getting hurt every day. Some sense of humor you have, Mr President.

  • Matthew Meyer

    …or at least do another take without the teleprompter hiccups!

  • hey all, please help my friend Rachel get her dog out of Afghanistan… I’ve known her since she was 3 (which means I was only in my twenties! So long ago…)

  • divadab

    Regarding Washington State: The quoted article is not factual. In fact, it’s propaganda. Consider this quote from the piece:
    “I’m not counting the “medical marijuana” people – who have a mercenary stake in its defeat – as credible”. I ask you – who but a partisan would insult the entire medical cannabis community to make his misleading point?

    There is at least one initiative gathering signatures for a real legalization measure (I-514), and the groups “Sensible Washington” and “Patients against I-502” have several spokespeople. (Read the comments on the original article). Even a simpleton could have taken 5 minutes to do a google search and find these people. That Patrical O’Cowshit didn’t and couldn’t makes him a damn lying propagandist.

    I-502 is bad law. Read it for yourself and see why.

    • claygooding

      I am not there to vote on it but if I was,,I would vote for it,,because I know that marijuana will fix any “bad” laws written in ANY effort to end hemp prohibition,,,as more str8’s try marijuana as a medicine and a recreational drug,the support for complete legalization will grow,,marijuana use and knowledge have gotten us this far and it will take us the rest of the way.

    • darkcycle

      Sorry, Diva, the whole medical community is NOT opposing I-502. I’m a part of that community, and I support it. I-514 is a distraction, and, sorry, it has no chance. There is already a legalization question on the ballot, that’s I-502. I’m supporting it, flaws and all, because I know that when we remove penalties for ALL smokers, medical patients benefit too. It’s nothing but pure selfishness motivating the opponents of I-502 in the medical industry, and they’ve done their patients no favors by whipping them into a frenzy. My only hope is that the contingent of patients who have fallen for this is too small to make a difference in the election.
      And even if it is not in my interest to see this pass, I know that in the larger scheme, it is so critically important that this become law…

      • Duncan20903

        Haven’t I heard about the League of Women Voters somewhere? Wait, don’t tell me, it’s right on the tip of my tongue.

        Marijuana debate: Thursday evening at Town Hall
        by Jonathan Martin

        The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County is hosting a panel debate on drug policy reform and marijuana legalization at today, Thurs., Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Seattle’s Town Hall. Panelists include two supporters of Initiative 502, which would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use – former U.S. Attorney in Seattle John McKay and former Spokane County public health director Dr. Kim Marie Thorburn. Commander Pat Slack of the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force will be taking the con side. I’ll be moderating and taking audience questions.
        /snip/

      • divadab

        I never said the whole medical community was opposing 502. I said this hack writer insulted the entire medical community by calling us fake.

        I’m sticking to my guns – bad law (I-502) is worse than no law. It’s a compromise with the forces of prohibition and this is not an issue for compromise. Cannabis prohibition is absolutely wrong, all its outcomes are bad, and the only solution is outright ending of it. period.

      • Windy

        darkcycle, if I-517 is on the ballot I will vote for it, too (I would actually prefer it over 502); there is no law saying you cannot vote for more than one legalization measure on your ballot.

    • Matthew Meyer

      5 ng / ml may not have great scientific backing and no home growing really sucks.

      But I-502 actually will regulate the production and sale of cannabis for adults who want it because they want it.

      It’s insane that some folks prefer the status quo to an imperfect but large step forward. I guess they figure we’ll wait until next time and pass some perfect tomato-model bill.

      I’m with dc, I hope they (you?) are not enough to make a difference in the vote.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Let’s make sure to note that while I-502 does not authorize home cultivation for those who choose to enjoy cannabis it does not touch the medicinal cannabis patient’s current entitlement to cultivate a limited number of plants under Washington’s law.

        • divadab

          It’s a good thing patients can still cultivate, because under 502’s new, unscientific, per se dui standard, no patient will be able to drive unless they quit their meds. Sad but true. I-502 is bad law.

        • claygooding

          divadab,,what makes you think the WA legislature won’t pass the same dui law if 502 doesn’t pass?

          Then you have turned down a legalization law to protect yourself from nothing.

      • Matthew Meyer

        divadab, I think most of us are familiar already with the anti-502 hysteria.

        Here’s a tip: if you can’t drive without getting pulled over for seeming impaired, you should stay home whatever you have drunk, smoked, dabbed, or otherwise consumed. That is general advice for any medication.

        I doubt you’ll find anyone here who will defend cannabis DUI as a great public policy. But I, at least, understand that I-502 is better than what we have now, and the opportunity cost is too great to just think we can wait until next time, then really hit it out of the park.

        • Windy

          The problem isn’t being stopped while just driving around, the problem is the DUI checkpoints, which happen randomly around the State. With passage of this law, you can bet those checkpoints will increase.

        • darkcycle

          Windy, even at those checkpoints, they are looking for evidence of impairment. They do NOT randomly pull people out of their cars and test them.

        • Windy

          darkcycle, do you ever read at the Agitator? Incidents of being pulled out of a car by a cop, even when there is no indication of impairment, happen a lot more regularly than you might think. And then there are the drug dogs, trained to alert by signal from their handler, which give the cops another reason to pull you out of your vehicle and tear it apart (even when you have not given consent to search, the dog’s alert is enough to be called probable cause). I think there are going to be a lot more incidents of pot DUI than most of you, the pressure for revenue is intense and will drive this travesty of justice. That is not to say I will not vote for 502, I probably will, but I will also vote for 517 if it is on the ballot and hope that 517 gets more votes than 502. (Funny/odd, 517 is the Levi’s style hubby wears).

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    So the North Dakota medicinal cannabis patient protection law ballot initiative was not certified by the Secretary of State because of fraudulent signatures. Well at least there were arrests. Bailiff, whack their peepees!

    Eight NDSU players charged on medical marijuana petition fraud

    None of the players were dismissed by the team as would have happened if they were found with unauthorized metabolites in their urine. Boys will be boys you know.

    Apparently there’s more than one way to prevent the passing of a ballot initiative. Though I suppose it’s still possible that the Arkansas State Supreme Court may actually rule in favor of letting the voters vote.

  • ezrydn

    Dead people vote all the time!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Yes, but the dead that vote are registered voters. If these mischievous lads had gone to the trouble of copying names off of the voter registration rolls nothing would have been said whether those voters were dead or alive. According to the article I linked they didn’t put much effort into their fraud.

      In Virginia they would have been charged with “theft by deception” in addition to the political fraud charge. You’d think North Dakota would have a similar law. But I guess they don’t get to upset about people ripping off cannabis law reform advocates up that way. From my POV these assholes committed a couple of high crimes and misdemeanors and should get at least a taste of the Graybar Hotel’s hospitality.

  • kaptinemo

    I’ve said it many times before, and it still needs saying: Dr. Bourne was THE ONLY qualified person to ever hold the position. Everyone, and I mean everyone afterward was nothing but a political hack in search of a bolthole to worm their way in and suck down a taxpayer-supplied salary while, in many cases, pontificating about what later was discovered to be their own particular neuroses.

    After Bourne, the ONDCP became America’s version of an Ahnenerbe, acting as a clearinghouse for culture war nonsense, desperately attempting to find a way to rationalize the irrational when it came to drug policy. A den of taxpayer-funded professional mendicants.

    And when the history of drug prohibition is finally written after its’ demise, the ONDCP, with its’ unbelievable mandate to lie to its’ paymasters and interfere in the democratic process will be held up as an example of American ‘exceptionalism’ gone exceptionally insane.

  • skootercat

    Allan, I think Toby is a great way to support troops, in particular your life long friend. So sad that the world has come to roasting puppies. Saw your comment at the Guardians page and I think the goal will be reached sooner than the October chip-in date. Keep us posted how its going and if we have to double down to get ‘er done.

    Taking advantage of this open thread, has anyone heard of Robert Leone and his run in with the PA State Police in 2010? Take a gander:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5eOknaXgYU&feature=youtu.be
    Do we need oversight.

  • claygooding

    Study: Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid “Proven To Be Safe” In Humans

    http://tinyurl.com/8e7d2b2

    “”The oral administration of the non-psychotropic cannabis plant constituent cannabidiol (CBD) is safe and well tolerated in humans, according to clinical trial data published online by the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design.

    Investigators at Kings College in London assessed the physiological and behavioral effects of CBD and THC versus placebo in 16 healthy volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial.””

    More science for Obama and Kerli to ignore.

  • http://tinyurl.com/9c2x46o

    “A 2011 Gallup poll showed 50% of overall American voters support legalization of marijuana.

    62% of voters from age 18-29 support legalization. 67% of liberal voters support legalization.

    57% of Moderates, Democrats, and Independents support legalization.

    56% of voters from age 30-49 support legalization.

    More than 70% of all Americans support medical marijuana.

    These are the demographic groups President Obama’s campaign is trying to reach.”

    Tonight at the DNC Joe Bidens speech made specific reference to one line that Joe repeated:

    “It is never a good bet to bet against the American people”

    I hope Joe can read the stats and take his own advise.

    • kaptinemo

      Ol’ Joe did bet against the American people. He created the ONDCP in its’ present form. Whose mandate, for a Democrat, is distinctly undemocratic: to use its’ taxpayer-funded resources to act against the expressed desires of American taxpayers promoting drug law reform.

      Now, with over half the population wanting legal cannabis, Ol’ Joe and his putative Number One are faced with that political and social DrugWar Russian Roulette that other Administrations have been able to dodge. The game whose pistol barrel is tamped with the words “Drug law reform”. Worse, for them, the round is in the chamber, and it’s a revolver with 50 hammers, and several of them are falling in slow motion right now, in the form of new bills for MMJ laws.

      Think about that. New bills for medicinal cannabis laws…often in deeply conservative States, like Arkansas. If that doesn’t say that Americans want the laws changed, despite what has been happening Federally with the crackdown, I don’t know what does.

      For Biden and his DrugWarrior friends, they bet against the American people…and they lost. It’s time to pay up, boys.

      • claygooding

        I feel like there is a time bomb sitting in the prohibitionist camp that cannot be ignored by political campaigns in the upcoming election debates,not only in the presidential fiasco but at every level of government as politicians start courting the huge voter’s block awaiting sanity to start happening.

        What kind of cuts to the prohib camps suffer when politicians see them as a failed policy?

        • kaptinemo

          Clay, I’m waiting for the usual “Saul of Tarsus” moment (in this case, more opportunistically pursued than any intellectual satori) where a pol looks at the stats, realizes that s/he is on the wrong side of history, and does a 180 degree turn on prohibitionism.

          Not that I’d trust them, of course. But the time’s coming when it becomes obvious to the most ignorant and bombastic pol that the wind changed, and changed years ago. 2009, in fact. Our time has come, and it’s just a matter of how long it takes the pols to have the ‘scales fall from their eyes’ while the people in most cases were never blinded to begin with.

  • Jose

    I think we can safely admit that I-502 is not our ideal law. But honestly, it is a pipe dream to think that uncle sam will remove his fang dentures and let an mj law slide without punishment for their preconceived (albeit ignorant)notions of impairment. It’s already done with alcohol. They know there are big bucks in dui arrests. My brothers dui cost him $30k over several years. DUI is a cash cow and the gubmint leeches are foaming for it!

    I-502 will show the world that society will not collapse on the first day of legalization no matter how desperately they will it. However….

    Many prohibs and bible belt conservatives will need therapy when they see that (G)god does not smite Washington state off the map!

    • Servetus

      Problem is that bible belt conservatives don’t do therapy. They pray, or consult their pastors, etc. Psychologists and psychiatrists are mostly off their list of life’s remedies because they’re considered to be atheists, psychiatrists in particular.

      Instead, as bible belt conservatives, they’re likely to attempt to do the work of the Great Spaghetti Monster by sabotaging marijuana law reform in Washington in a manner similar to what’s happening with medical marijuana in Arizona. Legalizers in Washington need to anticipate and prepare for these attacks in advance.

      BTW, the bible belt has been called ‘heart attack alley’ by cardiologists due to the religious types who avoid alcohol and because it’s thought that moderate alcohol consumption can offset heart problems caused by stress and fatty diets.

    • kaptinemo

      I’ve said before that a State that re-legalizes will become the domestic equivalent of ‘joining the Nuclear Club’; Uncle will not attack a State that goes legal again as the Feds would learn very quickly how much that would cost, not only in taxpayer dollars used to try to thwart the process, but also in political and social capital.

      With any Federal (a.k.a. Imperial) attempt at trying to force a State to forgo the democratically expressed will of its’ people, that last bit of the facade, the rationale for holding this country together would fall away, and there would be no more reason for the States to play the ‘Union’ farce game, anymore. Such delegetimization would in turn lead to open rebellion against central authority. (The Tenth Amendment Movement is a perfect example of the core of that reasoning.)

      Fred the Fed knows this. That’s why he’s trying to ‘play chicken’. The only problem is, he’s trying to ‘play chicken’ with a steamroller. A steamroller that, with a wrong move on the part of the central government, could suddenly acquire rocket sleds.

      ‘Fred’ knows that a State that goes legal again will be a catalyst that will cause a reverse flow of power to move from Elites in Warshington back to the States (as Raich would have done if it had been favorably ruled on, which is why it wasn’t).

      A State that successfully defies Federal power through peaceful means is just as dangerous to those in power as an armed mob would be. Which is why they’re sweating bullets in DeeCee right now over these initiatives.

  • N.T. Greene

    I know I’m from MA, but I feel like many of the anti-I-520 groups do not truly understand the ramifications of their actions. For some, they honestly believe that if they defeat this measure they can simply get the other one passed in the next year. This is, and I have no other word for it, insane.

    When Prop 19 was defeated in California, what happened? Despite it being rather close and basically the first of its kind, what happened in 2012? A whole lot of nothing. Things actually got a bit worse in CA after it was defeated. Now, if the opposition thinks for a moment that after all the fearmongering they are engaging in that a voter base is simply going to forget, or be SMART ENOUGH TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE INITIATIVES, well… a non-scientific per se THC limit is the least of your worries. And really, if that and no homegrows is all you have, you can god’s-honest-truth shove it. And you need to hear that. I try to be nice normally, but really. We are on the crux of the greatest civil rights advancement in the 21st century and you want to hold it up because you have to actually pay the taxes and can’t drive under the influence? Your doomsday scenarios leave out one big issue. And that is in order to get a DUI in the first place, you have to be driving in a way that suggests you are intoxicated. And if you don’t think that when those arrests start happening that there will be a backlash, you’re simply wrong, and that backlash should strengthen your movement, not weaken it. There are other ways of dealing with this without downvoting I-502. You do that and the 2013 initiative won’t have a chance, and you’ll have delayed nationwide progress by (give or take) ten plus years.

    All because you’re afraid the cops will suddenly treat the tokers disproportionately bad. News flash. They already do, and you still get away with things like Hempfest. And the idea that they’re going to spend their limited resources to cart every toker downtown for a blood test is totally insane as well.

    Pick up a copy of Rules for Radicals. Sometimes to win the bigger fight you have to be willing to compromise at first. It is not an insult to the grander ideal. It is a testament to your devotion if you are willing to endure a far lesser evil for a period for the ultimate triumph of the good.

    /endrant

    • N.T. Greene

      …edit: About the ten years bit. This assumes that no other state succeeds in passing their initiatives. It would be ideal if all three did, and the resultant SC battles would be epic if ultimately on our side. However, any holes in the floodgate will only widen with time, as we have seen with MMJ. However, the longer we allow it to be delayed the longer it will take to establish the best possible policies and the longer it will take to eliminate federal level scheduling in favor of state level regulation.

      That is what I truly believe is coming. It should be done to all drugs really. Just remove federal scheduling for all drugs entirely in favor of state level regulation and scheduling. Some areas may stay exactly the same, but areas where change is needed can temper their laws as such and engage in more effective harm reduction strategies.

  • California’s dispensary system has been decimated and is almost extinct. That followed the defeat of Proposition19. The biggest sabotage of I-502 can now come only from the legalization crowd itself, an act that would be like shooting yourself in the foot.

    Barring an act of civil unrest, things will not change overnight into a perfectly designed solution. Expecting a dream to become realized overnight is unrealistic. Biting the bullet to take a step in the right direction has to realized for what it is – real progress.

    • darkcycle

      Well, it hasn’t been exactly decimated… yes the largest and highest profile dispensaries have been taken down, but not all, by far. And as one is taken down, another sprigs up. Delivery services and private caregivers have been left alone…so far. The industry suffered a setback, for certain. It is equally certain that Obama lied and set these business owners a trap. But where there is money to be made, and a potential window to be exploited, there is an eager line of people waiting for the opportunity to do so.

      • Matthew Meyer

        Delivery services would require a much greater investment of resources to bust: you can’t just send them a letter like you’d do a brick-and-mortar store.

        It just might be the viable future for cannabusiness, as long as the feds keep this up.

        Of course, in its own ways it makes things sketchier and less legitimate, like exposing delivery drivers to robbery.

        I do think the feds did a pretty nice job putting the kibosh on the emerging normalcy of dispensaries, at least in some areas.

      • I didn’t mean to sound so bleak. Playing whack a mole is a tiresome, and destructive game. I like the dispensary system.

      • Windy

        darkcycle and other Whatcom County residents, have you heard about why mayor Linville of B’ham fired the B’ham police chief? Apparently the city council made her do it, and the reason was because he busted that dispensary on the south side. Interesting, no?

        • darkcycle

          Huh? I had not heard that. If it’s true it’s quite a development, and worthy of note, even to those outside of our pot friendly little community.

  • Maria

    Off topic from the initiative topic but Ouch. You think you’ve had bad birthdays?

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/07/victim-philadelphia-plane-explosives-hoax-later-arrested-in-texas/

    Guy flying home for his birthday weekend and a “friend” calls in a prank about him carrying a “dangerous substance.” Thousands of dollars are spent in routing the plane back, summoning law enforcement, searching and detaining him. Finally he’s found to be the victim of a hoax and allowed to go home. He’s let go by the feds.

    On getting home he’s promptly arrested on an outstanding possession charge.

    Texas authorities said Shell had outstanding warrants for two drug-possession charges — less than 2 ounces of marijuana and less than 28 grams of a controlled substance. He was jailed Friday morning on $3,000 bond in Collin County near Dallas.

    Once again, let’s all nod at the prohib talking point “No one’s ever arrested for possession.” Wahwahwah.

  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    nailed

    Stop the Federal Drug Lord Subsidy Program!

    • claygooding

      excellent show from Montel,,if we could get the intelligence community out of the drug business it would reduce a lot of political pressure to maintain prohibition,,but the money is so good>>>>>>>>

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I think maybe it’s time we acquire the phrase, “what about our children” at least in Colorado. Seriously, what is wrong with these prohibitionists? How in the world can a claque be so convinced that they know the truth but never notice that they’re so flipping wrong, wrong, wrong month after month, year after year, decade after decade?

    Marijuana Usage Down Among Colorado Teens, Up Nationally: Study Shows

    /snip/
    Youth marijuana use in Colorado went down 2.8 percent from 2009 (24.8 percent) to 2011 (22 percent).

    Youth marijuana use nationally went up 2.3 percent from 2009 (20.8 percent) to 2011 (23.1 percent).

    In 2011, youth marijuana usage in Colorado fell below the national average — 22 percent in Colorado, 23.1 percent in the U.S.

    But the CDC report didn’t just measure youth usage, it also measured drug availability on Colorado school grounds. The report shows:

    Availability of drugs on school grounds in Colorado went down 5 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (17.2 percent).

    Nationally, illegal drugs offered, sold or given on school property was up 3.1 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (25.6 percent).

    Availability of illegal drugs on school grounds in Colorado is below the national average by 8.4 percent — 17.2 percent in Colorado, 25.6 percent in the U.S.
    /snip/

    Francis’ Law strikes again. They can run, but they can’t hide anymore.

  • Former DEA heads urge Holder to speak out against pot ballots

    http://t.co/SnOnEmJB

    Is the DEA afraid of the end of days?

    • claygooding

      Tandy is lobbyist for Motorola,,Bartels was investigated for corruption,,and most are “involved” in industries that lose funding or profits if anyone dismantles the incarceration nation they built.

      • Peter

        thanks for that clay amd also for your comment at the reuters site. the vested interest of these parasites needs much wider publicity. its a carreer path: 4 years as head of dea and then into a lucrative post in the industries that feed off prohibition