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September 2012
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Open thread

I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma until Sunday, attending the Experiential Classroom througn OU. I’ve got homework and everything, so I’ll probably be swamped.


bullet image Ten Huge Issues Being Ignored in the Presidential Campaign.

ThinkProgress has this piece out and it’s nice to see that we’re not the only ones noticing. Number one on the list is Mass Incarceration and the Drug War.

One of the principal causes of the rise of mass incarceration is the War on Drugs, which has failed abysmally at limiting the use of dangerous drugs but succeeded wildly at aiding and abetting racial inequality in the United States and the murderous drug trade abroad. The Justice Department recently doubled down on these policies by initiating a massive crackdown on medical marijuana in states that have legalized the drug’s medicinal use.


bullet image LEAP video: Cop opens up about losing her brother to the war on drugs.


bullet image Great catch (Thanks to Evert and Transform).

The Swedish Government (one of the most rabidly pro-prohibition) makes a cogent case against prohibition…

‘In the opinion of the Swedish Government the prohibition against selling snus cannot be regarded as compatible with the principles of free movement of goods, since the prohibition is discriminatory and is not in proportion to the level of public health sought. The same level of health protection can be achieved by means of less intrusive measures.’


bullet image Denver Post editorial writer takes on the dirty tactics of the opposition to Amendment 64

Let’s have a real pot debate

I’m not here today to formally pick a side in the fight over marijuana legalization in Colorado, but I will suggest that one side is playing dirty.

The argument that legalization is about keeping kids safe doesn’t pass the smell test. And keeping information from voters smacks of timidity, incompetence, or both.

We should have a real pot debate.

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58 comments to Open thread

  • darkcycle

    Suppose I should relay the information that I did not win the Seattle Cannabis Cup. I was in there though, and the competition was mighty stiff. Next year I’ll have time to prepare. This year was short notice and I went with what I had.
    Had a lot of fun, saw a lot of people, enjoyed a real joint with one of our virtual couch-mates, and smoked a lot of pot.
    Spent the entire weekend surrounded by scummy drug users! Found them to be generally nicer, better educated and more friendly than your average schmoes…. And had a great time!
    I must also admit, the first San Fran Cup in 2010 was a landmark. But this cup in Seattle was a real “Next year in Jerusalem” moment for me. My batteries are re-charged.

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    • divadab

      Better luck next time, darko!

      What impressed me the most about the Cup was how much it was a regular trade show – booths with competing products, “here’s my card, give me a call”, seminars and panels on actual useful topics, and a bunch of people all in one place who I know and wanted to chat with.

      It’s an industry, pretty much self-regulated, that has grown from underground to more than cottage industry status in a very short time. America, land of the free! Left alone by government, Americans will create boomtimes. Just get the authoritarian liars off of our necks!

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      • kaptinemo

        “It’s an industry, pretty much self-regulated, that has grown from underground to more than cottage industry status in a very short time. America, land of the free! Left alone by government, Americans will create boomtimes. Just get the authoritarian liars off of our necks!

        And this is partly what the prohibs are so terrified of: normalization

        What they don’t seem to realize is that their window of opportunity to try to shift public opinion closed about the time the latest generation came along. By that time, the preceding two generations were already ‘acclimated’ to cannabis being a part of society. For them, it’s already a part of the culture; ostensibly the very same culture the culture warriors are so determined to ‘conserve’…at the cost of the lives they hoped to ‘save’. Lives which never needed ‘saving’ to begin with.

        Like I’ve said before, prohibs suffer from a neurosis that they believe everyone should share. That each succeeding generation has even less desire to adopt that neurosis only infuriates them that much more.

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  • divadab

    Re: 10 huge issues being ignored in the presidential election campaign:

    Is this a surprise? It’s a stage-managed TV show, a set-up, a reality tv simulacrum designed to manage the masses. They only mention the emotional issues that divide people into easily-managed opposing groups.

    I mean, it’s interesting in a symbolic sense, but until enough people figure out they need to vote for anyone but the usual red or blue suspects, the carney show will continue.

    Vote for Rocky Anderson or Gary Johnson, I will. (hee heeheeeheee…….)

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    • Windy

      It only takes winning 34% of the votes to win in a three way election and Johnson could easily get that with the former Ron Paul supporters, the independents who hate both Romney and Obama, the democrats who are angry or just disillusioned with Obama, then add in the 52% of people who want the war on marijuana to be ended and we have have a winner folks, and it’s NOT a democrat nor a GOPer, ITS a libertarian who’ll obey the Constitution, imagine that, OMG!

      I posted the above in another forum and someone reminded me it is the vote counters about whom we need to be concerned. He was correct, of course. The counting NEEDS to be carefully observed by those who are NOT dem or GOPer to make certain all is above board.

      Of course, then we have to hope like hell the electors follow the wishes of the voters.

      But if we are lucky enough to help him win, once he’s in office he can veto all the unconstitutional shit congress produces while getting rid of the CSA and some of the other stuff we want him to do. I just wish he had Ron Paul’s foreign policy knowledge and attitude in addition to his other attributes.

      Additionally Ron Paul’s attorney is trying to force all 50 States to count and REPORT write-in votes, that could work to Ron Paul’s (and our) benefit (but not to Johnson’s) if they succeed before the election.

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  • Deep Dish

    According to the Colorado secretary of state, right now the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana has $87K cash remaining on hand, compared to just $30K for their opposition, Smart Colorado. That’s about a multiple of three. Smart Colorado just burned through half its cash, probably from getting drunk every weekend, while Regulating Marijuana stayed in the green, saving more than it spent, probably from sitting on the couch. Hopefully this financial advantage will help keep the polling numbers up.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      They’ve also prepaid advertising slots in the main stream media for October through Election Day. That’s better than cash in a checking account.

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    • kaptinemo

      Not every prohib is in it for the desire to ram their self-righteous neuroses down the throats of their fellow citizens.

      Some really are in it only for the money. They’ll make whatever noises their talking points du jour require, but in the end, it’s the security of a meal ticket that actually motivates them. The ‘mercs’, I call them; mercenaries. Who’ll take anyone’s pay.

      I have vastly more respect for sex workers. At least, you usually get some honest work out of them for your money…they don’t have to lie for their catechisms…

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  • Peter

    Gov. Hickenlooper “the former brew pub owner.”
    Of course, he has no dog in this race…

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  • claygooding

    National Black and Latino Police Groups Announce Endorsements for Amendment 64

    http://tinyurl.com/brcvrcd

    A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who support Amendment 64, the Colorado ballot measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol, held a press conference on Thursday to release a letter of endorsement signed by law enforcers from across the state and to announce the endorsement of the national police organizations Blacks in Law Enforcement of America and the National Latino Officers Association.

    Leap is leaping!!!!!

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    • claygooding

      I really appreciate LEAP’s contributions to end this insanity and have considered asking them if they want someone from the other side of the issue,,a drug war veteran with extensive experience on the receiving end of the law enforcement and judicial persecution but don’t have the education or skills I think they would require..perhaps dark could,or several others on the couch could give them another perspective for their issues.

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      • back when I jumped in to help LEAP w/ their writing projects there was many a time I’d just grin… cops and I on the same side – on the issue of drugs!

        No fiction can ever be as weird as real life…

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        • claygooding

          I made a copy of my first check recvd for moderating the “News” forum,,right after WeedMaps took over,,the first legal money I ever made from marijuana and the cops couldn’t do nothing to me for it.

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  • Bruce

    Been having the wierdest shivers. Left side, right side, both sides at once. Aren’t GMO’s great? Mmmust hhave mmore.

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  • Francis

    Now this is a great infographic. Oh sure, it doesn’t contain much (accurate) info, but you can’t say that it’s not graphic. (Via Jacob Sullum.)

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  • Duncan20903

    Why Gary Johnson Won’t Shut Up About Marijuana
    It sure looks like someone spiked Mr. Johnson’s water with LSD, no?

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    • divadab

      The prohibition of cannabis, in one issue, represents much of what is wrong with America today:
      1) The prohibition was the result of a corrupt process to benefit a coalition of monopoly capitalist interests (big cotton, Dupont, W.R. Hearst’s pulp and paper businesses, brewers and distillers) and law enforcement.
      2) It is based on lies and propaganda BY OUR Government! 3) It is unconsitutional except we have a corrupted Supreme Court.
      4) It is racist, originally designed to keep the brown people down.

      What better issue to run on that encapsulates how far our republic has fallen into dominionism and police statism from its founders’ ideals?

      But you, Duncan, missed all this to take a cheap stupid shot at someone courageous enough to try to do something about it. You are part of the problem.

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      • darkcycle

        Will you guys share a peace-pipe already?

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        • divadab

          Not if he continues to go for the cheap insult rather than respectfully debate.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I’m not participating DC. I’ve said my piece and toodled. There’s just no percentage in further debate when 2 parties are so far apart. Regardless, that picture of GJ makes him look like he’s dosed. Anyone who doesn’t like that perception should take it up with the editor that chose that particular image to attach to the story.

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        • darkcycle

          Disagree. The percentage gained is an understanding of an opposing viewpoint. Universal agreement is not possible, but no agreement at all is not the alternative.
          I just had a friend of nearly thirty years unfriend me on facebook because I don’t support Obama. Now how pathetic is that? Don’t be that guy.

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        • divadab

          Well I admit that I mistook a joke about Gary Johnson’s appearance for an insult to his advocacy of re-legalizing cannabis. But I don’t like being called a “detestable human being” who should be “dating Kevin Sabet” for daring to criticise I-502. And I haven’t seem any apology forthcoming.

          I really enjoy the respect that is usually present on this board – and just won’t participate in the bait and insult inflicted on so many boards. Especially during election time.

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        • Francis

          *eyes peace pipe, clears throat*

          Uh, if you guys aren’t gonna hit that, I mean, there’s no sense in letting it go to waste…

          *coughing deeply*

          But seriously, you guys really should get in on this.

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    • Peter

      glad somebody called out hickenloopers rank hypocrisy

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    • Windy

      I wonder if the alcohol companies’ opposition to normalization of marijuana might suddenly fade away if all of the 52% of Americans who want normalization were to boycott all forms of alcohol (beer, ale, wine, liqueurs, and spirits) distributed by the major brewers/vineyards/distilleries, making it clear that we are doing so because they are funding the opposition to a return to sane policies concerning cannabis/hemp?

      Pretty sure that would make a HUGE dent in their bottom line.

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  • Well, here is some interesting info straight from the big O himself
    – “If we can reduce demand, that means less cash flowing into these drug cartels. And we have actually beefed up our investment and support in prevention, because we have to treat this as a public health problem in the United States, not just a law enforcement problem.”
    http://tinyurl.com/8lmtpk8

    He still has no intentions to change anything.

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  • things are getting a little testy in CO (yay!):
    64 Law Enforcement support

    To which the No on 64 folks came back w/:

    Marijuana: Amendment 64 opponents dub Tony Ryan, decorated Denver officer, a rent-a-cop

    And Mason Tvert came back w/ this:

    “While this smear is not surprising, given the No on 64 campaign’s attempts to mislead the media and the public on every aspect of our initiative and our efforts, we cannot sit by quietly as an honorable and courageous member of law enforcement is treated with such disdain.

    “Lt. Ryan should be credited, not discredited, for the fearlessness he has shown in speaking out against the policy of marijuana prohibition. As the No on 64 campaign has unwittingly demonstrated, the larger law enforcement apparatus is not open to a rational discussion about the merits of dedicating massive resources to enforcing marijuana laws. From their perspective, marijuana prohibition is an employment improvement program. As long as they keep arresting people, federal funds keep flowing to their departments. And by spending their limited time going after non-threatening marijuana users, they do not have to spend as much time preventing and investigating more dangerous crimes.

    “The pressure to remain silent was evident last year, when Dan Hartman was removed as the head of Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division after penning a column describing the benefits of a regulated medical marijuana market over an unregulated, underground market in the context of a local ballot initiative. Attorney General John Suthers, the state’s chief law enforcement official, referred to this expression of an opinion as ‘unethical.’ Yet, we have heard nothing from Mr. Suthers over the past few months as sheriffs, drug task force members have proactively voiced their opposition to Amendment 64, despite the fact that their departments financially benefit from maintaining marijuana prohibition.

    “Current and former members of law enforcement who have the courage to stand up to a powerful bureaucracy should be praised for advancing the public dialogue, not fired, intimidated or insulted. We hope that Roger Sherman will help move us toward a more tolerant and respectful society by publicly apologizing to Lt. Ryan today.”

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    • mmm… Tony was one of the cops on the scene at Columbine… smart, well spoken… check out this Oped from 2008: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n139/a02.html?1163

      The diminishing power of the Prohibs has them circling the wagons. I swear Roger Sherman is using Linda Taylor as an advisor. That the No on 64 folks are funded by the Semblers comes as no surprise.

      And when they take to publicly insulting an ex-cop of Tony’s regional stature they shoot themselves in to foot. (too bad it wasn’t the same one they put in their mouth)

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      • claygooding

        One of the comments was that the NO on 64 folks were the best thing we could have as opposition,,every time they open their mouth the polls go up “in favor” at least 100 voters.

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        • I’m surprised we haven’t seen a vid of some big blond on a corner in Denver shouting “it’s a scam people!”

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        • kaptinemo

          The prohib leadership won’t debate…and the bottom-feeders of their food chain can’t debate.

          The leadership can provide all the talking points they want, but if what the intended audience hears is the equivalent of Tourette’s-like hysterics and grunting from the bottom-feeders, then the effort is doomed from the get-go.

          “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Shakespeare’s Macbeth Act 5, Scene 5.

          The prohib ‘tale’ has never lacked for willing, useful idiots to tell it. And as is so like such idiots, they never realize how much they’ve been used until their usefulness comes to an end and they’re discarded.

          This is what DuPont did with the ‘Concerned Parents (translation: Control Freak) Movement’, and after he got his expanded bureaucratic fiefdom with its’ increased funding, he ever-so-off-handedly brushed them off. The poor fools received the experiential analog of wiping one’s behind…with them as the paper.

          And with today’s contemporaries of the previous groups repeating the same mistakes of being used by the same forces, it would appear that they are constitutionally incapable of learning from the past.

          Oh, there’s a ‘scam’, alright…and the bottom-feeder prohibs, like the ‘mark’ in any con game, get took, every time…and like idiots, they come back for more.

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  • Obama speaking at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Sunday… this Oregonian sure hopes Oaksterdamians give him a warm greeting.

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  • daksya

    Over in the UK, David Nutt, formerly of the ACMD, is planning to dose volunteers with MDMA and then perform some brain imaging tests on them for a live program on Channel 4. Predictably, this has courted controversy, and the Guardian hosted a ‘conversation‘ between Prof. Nutt and a Julia Manning from a health thinktank.

    A choice quote from the anti-drug Manning to show the true foundation behind the latent public support or apathy towards the WoD:

    Use of drugs is symptomatic of profound malaise; we are letting down young people and children if we imply taking drugs is something that could have value. It’s not the drugs that are in question…

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Here’s an interesting headline attached to an editorial in the Seattle Times:

    America’s destructive war on marijuana: A drug dealer protects his turf

    The drug dealer in question is Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and the drug is drinking alcohol.

    /snip/
    Alcohol peddlers and their political allies are simply trying to preserve a government-mandated monopoly — health, safety and facts be damned.

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    • Peter

      guess hickenlooper cant even fall back on that fav response of prohibs that goes “society has enough problems with alcohol, why introduce another intoxicant”

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  • darkcycle

    “Let’s give it a try! Seriously, what’s the worst that can happen?” (thanks, Scott!)
    http://tinyurl.com/d6bt88q

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  • Windy

    I haven’t read thru the thread yet, so if someone has already mentioned this pardon my duplicate. Over at Huffpo is an article you’ll all want to read:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/marijuana-and-cancer_n_1898208.html
    Marijuana And Cancer: Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers
    and a commenter you’ll want to unload your ammo on:
    Admiral Farragut
    He loves to quote NIDA.
    My comments: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Azheera?action=comments
    I didn’t realize I’d made so many on this one article (you have to scroll down a few comments to get to the comments on this article)

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  • claygooding

    I have owned an E-Z Vape for three years now and until recently only used it on good stuff which made it into an expensive paper weight most of the time.

    I now realize it is one of the most economical smoking devices I have ever owned because it doesn’t care what part of the marijuana plant,except the roots,you put in it,,it vaporizes all the thc and delivers it to the user,,meaning you can actually put stems in it and it will remove the thc from the outer skin and deliver it to you,,,,

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    • Nunavut Tripper

      I’ve never thought about vaping stems . You managed to extract a few cannabinoids from them ? Cool
      I’m an exclusive vaper for over ten years now and own several models of vapourizers..I seem to attract them somehow.LOL
      For me combusting herb is an archaic method of delivery and most of my friends and family have given it up in favour of hot air extraction.
      A much cleaner,clearer high also.

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    • darkcycle

      Love my Volcano. I don’t use it as much as I should, but it’s the bomb for just about anything. I like it best with hash and hash oils though.

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      • Nunavut Tripper

        Some folks criticize Volcanoes as overpriced and old fashioned because it’s a strictly a bagger but I’ve had mine for ten years and it was well used and abused when I got it.
        I’ve never had a problem with it. It’s like a reliable old pickup truck..just keeps on going.

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        • darkcycle

          Nothing, but nothing meters the high temperature air better. The quality of your vapor is dependent on the right volume and flow of hi-temp air.

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        • Rick Steeb

          The Volcano isn’t /strictly/ a bagger– I added a pair of spring-clips to secure the chamber onto the base, then put a 3 foot length of silicone tubing where the “Brat Schlauch” [oven bag] is normally tied off; now it’s a hookah-style vaporizer, and you can hit it as soon as the setpoint temperature is reached and air pump is started, rather than having to wait for a full bag & detach.

          I used it exclusively for a year, then largely went back to joints and glass pipes after the Tashkin report came out… :P

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  • claygooding

    Swiss Move to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

    “”The upper and lower chambers of the Swiss parliament have agreed on a marijuana decriminalization bill. Now it awaits a final vote next week””

    British Columbia Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative Approved

    “”Dana Larsen has a plan to decriminalize marijuana possession in British Columbia. It will take up to two years.””

    Colombia Okays Prescriptions for Addicts in Bogota

    “”Colombia’s capital may be about to open drug consumption rooms for addicts, who will get their drugs by prescription. Colombian President Santos gave the go-ahead to Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro Friday””

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy

    Every one of these wooden spikes costs the ONDCP more funds,trying to buy support for prohibition is getting expensive.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Juror says religion not a factor in nullification decision
    September 22. 2012
    By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM
    New Hampshire Sunday News

    It wasn’t Douglas Darrell’s Rastafarian religion that persuaded a Belknap County Superior Court jury to acquit him of growing marijuana recently, according to a woman who served on that jury.

    “It was the fact that the system was coming down on a peaceful man, and it wasn’t right,” said Cathleen Converse, a 57-year-old retired accountant and grandmother who moved to New Hampshire with her husband in 2004 in the first wave of the Free State Project.
    /snip/

    She said nullification “was in everyone’s mind from the beginning.”

    For those unfamiliar with the Free State Project, it’s an attempt by Libertarians to get significant political influence in a State by having enough party members move there. 5% of the population distributed in all 50 States will never see the Libertarians win an election of consequence but if 20% of those Libertarians (i.e. 1% of the nation’s citizens) moved to almost any State would give the party a mortal lock on that State’s elections. New Hampshire was chosen as the target State because the current residents are by and large sympathetic to the Libertarian mission and has a total population of 1,318,194. Don’t get your hopes up because the Free State project has been around for at least a decade.
    http://freestateproject.org/

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  • Servetus

    Beware Hudspeth County, Texas. Fiona Apple has been added to the list of celebrities that include Snoop Dog, Willie Nelson, and hacker George Hotz, all of whom traveled through the county on their way from California to Texas and were busted.

    Ms. Apple’s problem is she was caught with hash, and not just weed, “a third-degree felony … punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or no less than two, along with a fine of up to $10,000.”

    What we have in Hudspeth County, then, besides a failure to communicate, is a drug trap. Operating in much the same way as municipal speed traps (which have supposedly been outlawed), drug traps operate to rob and deprive people of their money and liberty over nothing. Plus the yokels have the temerity to pull their scheme on celebrities for big bucks, which is certain to bring big spotlights, such as weblogs.

    Time has come to just say no to Hudspeth County. Chances are many people in Hudspeth County would like to do just that. It can be done, and it can be fun. There are effective ways of crushing Hudspeth County on the legal battlefield.

    For instance, it’s fairly well established that the majority of small town governments are corrupt (Middletown studies), as are their respective courts. Ferreting out the corruption, and suing a municipality under these circumstances, usually requires a federal court, plus a good legal team to play good cop, bad cop. A local lawyer is usually the good cop, and the bad lawyer is from out of state, someplace scary like San Francisco or Las Vegas. This strategy has had much success, and eliminates small-town fiduciary problems that would otherwise prejudice the case.

    The good ol’ boys in Hudspeth think they’re invulnerable. Show them they are wrong, and the Fiefdom of Hudspeth will fade away like a bad bit of acne.

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    • Windy

      Were I a celebrity who goes on tour on a regular basis I would be notifying all the rest of the singers/bands/comedians/etc. who tour to avoid ALL of Texas like the plague (and Oklahoma, too), and to inform the gov and the tourism bureaus in those States that the reason for it is their outdated and outrageous drug laws and penalties. That kind of action would certainly cause some fast changes in the laws, doncha think?

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