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October 2012
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Bad article round-up

Some of the worst from around the world this week…

Can you identify the fallacies, assumptions, omissions (and outright lies) that make these pieces possible?

bullet image (Boston) Police warn of dire consequences if medical marijuana legalized – Say referendum could bring more crime and addiction.


bullet image Regional governments must stay the course on drug war by Jose Cardenas


bullet image Legalizing recreational pot — a bad idea for Colorado, Oregon and Washington by James Lambert, a real estate loan sales agent


bullet image Don’t go soft on drug abuse as doctors call for trial of safe injecting rooms Herald Editorial (Australia)


bullet image Letter: Pot not harmless by Eric Voth.

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36 comments to Bad article round-up

  • Cold Blooded

    How do opponents of medical marijuana differentiate it from every other drug you can get in a pharmacy with a prescription?

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  • I thought the Empire recalled Darth Voth? (if you read his piece and hear it being spoken by Darth Vader, it’s sooo much better)

    As to Mr Lambert… whoa, dude:

    James Lambert: Former 17 year marijuana addict urges Colorado, Wash. & Oregon voters to say No to recreational pot

    that damn debil weed! 17 years? Addicted to pot? Must’ve been hell. I mean it takes the will power of an amoeba to stop smoking ganja. Mr Lambert obviously has other issues (and notice the lack of ability to reply at that site).

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    • Servetus

      One of the stock characters in American public life is the political/religious convert who becomes the expert on the evil he once was. Pick your era or locality of evil, and you’ll find `em. And while there are certainly authentic converts from totalist or criminal societies who have truths to tell, for others it becomes a confidence game of ever newly found or escalating evil.” – Frederick Clarkson, Talk2Action.org

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  • Justin Auldphart

    I live in Maine and so get Boston media…and the statements made by the cops and DAs are the same that they made when decrim was on the ballot last year or whenever it was..the sky will fall!! In fact, the cops were saying the same thing when they lost the monopoly on traffic control at construction sites…my bet is that, were one tiny bit of the gloom and doom be true, the stories would be plastered all over the place and, from Maine, I see none..

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    One of the most sad and pathetic realizations that I’ve come to in my time of being a cannabis law reform advocate is that authorities will actually use bald faced lies to promote their political agendas. But even more pathetic is how easy it is for them to do so because people grant them a level of respectability simply because they hold a position of authority.

    One of my rules for posting factual evidence WRT this particular issue is to not bother posting links to the websites of organized cannabis law reform advocacy groups like NORML or MPP. They’re great resources for locating evidence to present but there is a significant cohort of people who wouldn’t believe that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west if NORML made that claim and linked to the supporting evidence. These same people grant credibility to lying assholes like Mr. Sabet even though they are proven to be bald faced liars.

    It’s only a matter of time.

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  • Duncan20903

    Et tu Maia?

    Help! How do I stop smoking pot?
    Turns out the answer is complicated. An expert explains

    By Maia Szalavitz, The Fix

    Welcome to my first “Ask Maia” column, in which I shall attempt to answer your questions and other matters drug related. I especially hope to answer personal questions about specific addictions—so bring on your problems.
    /snip/

    Interesting factoid from the article:

    Only 18% of all treatment admissions in 2010 involved marijuana as the primary drug, according to the government’s Treatment Episode Data Set.

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  • claygooding

    “”Only 18% of all treatment admissions in 2010 involved marijuana as the primary drug, according to the government’s Treatment Episode Data Set.”"

    If 70% of that 18% treated are by coercion from judicial or employment then it would mean a lot lower percentage if they didn’t have numbers added through prohibition.

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  • Peter

    According to James Lambert, our self-described marijuana addict, it’s “Funny, but even the Office of Drug Control Policy (sic) informs us that there are over 1.23 million people who are currently in some sort of marijuana addiction counseling…”

    and we know they have no reason to lie, don’t we?

    I notice that Lambert’s web page selling his (self-published?) book 16 Amazing Stories of Divine Intervention includes the fact that he has appeared on the 700 Show with Pat Robertson. I’d love to know if they discussed legalization.
    Pete, it’s actually hard to tell where Lambert is NOT lying.

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    • Francis

      “self-published?”

      It would appear so. But can 2 out of 3 Amazon reviewers be wrong? Oh sure, I suppose a cynic could point out that the two 5-star reviewers in question have each reviewed exactly one book (Mr. Lambert’s), but that doesn’t prove anything. I’m sure it’s a riveting and inspirational read.

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  • claygooding

    Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Reviewing Scientific Evidence Reaches Federal Court for First Time in Nearly 20 Years

    http://tinyurl.com/8dhzkav

    Washington, D.C. — For the first time in nearly 20 years, a United States Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medicinal value: Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. This historic case will force a federal court to finally review the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana.

    During a press briefing Thursday, plaintiffs in the case, along with leading medical researchers and clinicians, spoke about the necessity of the federal government recognizing current scientific data supporting marijuana rescheduling. Marijuana is currently classified in the same category as heroin despite calls from scientists, medical professionals, and policy makers to reschedule marijuana for medical use. “snipped”

    Good audio of briefing at ASA site.

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    • claygooding

      I have had hell trying to explain that the DEA cannot ignore a ruling by this court as they did Judge Young’s ruling in 1988,,cause Young was an administrative judge at an appeal at the DEA,,not in a courtroom as this one is.

      Although Judge Young’s ruling was not binding it can be used as evidence of the DEA’s arbitrary scheduling of marijuana and knowledge of it’s benign nature and harm to our bodies,,IMO.

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  • Bill Moyers used the words “drug war” tonite, interviewing 2 journalists from UniVision. For Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, the drug war is real and hits right at home. They want answers and the drug war is one of their big questions.

    what I found most striking was his final, short piece about the late SSgt Matt Sitton (RIP). I’m not gonna hyperlink but I will offer the short transcript:

    BILL MOYERS: Matt Sitton knew the war in Afghanistan was going badly. He knew because he was fighting it. 26 years old, with a wife and child back home, Staff Sergeant Sitton was on his third combat tour there. His third.

    Time and again, he and his men were sent through what he called “A minefield on a daily basis.” His comrades were being blown apart. At least one amputee a day, he said, “Because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives.”

    Morale was low. The men struggled to remain alert. Sitton said he asked his officers to give them a break but was told to stop complaining. “I am all for getting on the ground and fighting for my country when there is a desired end state and we have clear guidance of what needs to be done,” he wrote. “but when we are told basically to just walk around for a certain amount of time…not sitting well with me.”

    At home in Florida, Matt Sitton had attended a Christian school run by the Baptist church attended by Congressman Bill Young. He wrote Congressman Young and told him what was happening. “I’m concerned about the well-being of my soldiers,” he said. “… I just want to return my guys home to their families healthy.” He ended, “If anything, please pray for us over here. God bless.”

    On the 2nd of August, while on patrol, Matt Sitton and a buddy were killed. Blown apart by an IED–a hidden bomb. They flew his body home and held his funeral at that same Baptist church. For a long time before Matt Sitton died, Congressman Young called for sticking it out in Afghanistan. The powerful chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, a Republican, helped continue the war by voting against a House amendment requiring the President to set a timetable for withdrawal.

    He’s changed his mind. Touched by what Matt Sitton wrote him, he asked that the letter be read into the Congressional Record, and has been talking to other veterans, hearing from them what “A real mess” the war is. Now he tells “The Tampa Bay Times,” “I think we should remove ourselves from Afghanistan as quickly as we can. I just think we’re killing kids that don’t need to die.”

    Killing the kids that don’t need to die. Let those words sink in. And this, too: Congressman Young says many of his colleagues in Congress feel the same way he does, but “They tend not to want to go public.” There are two more presidential debates. They will be yet another hoax unless someone puts the question to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, “Why are we killing kids that don’t need to die?” And then ask it over and again until they have no choice but to go public.

    I should have an oped in tomorrow’s local paper on Oregon’s M80… and I mention it because I had a friend read it, not attached to drug policy at all, and her response was basically, “c’mon dude, yeah it’s good but you need to step on some toes. Why play so nice?”

    And I havta ask myself, why do we play so nice? People are dying and the leaders of this movement are still polite.

    Why indeed, are we “killing the kids that don’t need to die” when to end it only takes admittance of truth? Prohibition, “a drug free world”… these chimeric fantasies of moralist prigs are now even disavowed by the likes of Pat Robertson and the Mennonite Journal…

    A month lads and lasses, children of all ages! a month to empty your quivers into Wod (the evil drug war dragon) and swing your hammers against that wall…

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  • oh… and Allen St Pierre is apparently gone from norml, so the hempvine says.

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    • darkcycle

      http://tinyurl.com/8r8kfsb
      Shakeup follows Norml conference. From celebstoner.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      No way! Allan’s DNA is permanently fused to the NORML office. I’ll never forget the day I first met him back in 1990 or ’91. NORML HQ was still on R Street for crying out loud. I’d made the decision that I was going to volunteer and showed up unannounced at the office. There wasn’t anyone in the reception area but I heard some people talking in a back office so I just walked right in. There’s Allan and another guy all smiles and looking at a fat bag of buds. Well needless to say they blushed with embarrassment and hilarity ensued. Christ, I can’t believe that happened over 2 decades ago. Time just keeps on slipping into the future.

      Does anyone think that Gary Johnson is in the running to replace him? Now that’s some wishful thinking.

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      • darkcycle

        Yeah, that’s what I said, but I had heard some rumblings my ownself, so I had to go look. They canceled Russ B.’s NORML show earlier this year, and that was kinda a shocker, too.

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        • darkcycle

          Now Paul Armentano is saying it’s NOT true…Via Cris Goldstein on FB:
          Chris Goldstein important FYI “This report is not true. Allen St. Pierre remains NORML’s Executive Director.

          There have been no changes made regarding the NORML leadership. Only a vote by the Board could institute such changes and no such vote has taken place.

          It is unfortunate that Steve’s speculation causing major confusion among those who follow this issue and NORML.

          Paul Armentano
          NORML Deputy Director”

          So, who knows????

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        • darkcycle

          NORML can be such a fucking soap opera.

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  • mr Ikesheeny

    I remember that reading here how cannaboids inhibit tumor growth.

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  • here’s my oped in today’s Register-Guard:

    Vote to end insanity of marijuana prohibition

    my favorite line:

    “There is little difference between a government that seizes our pot and a government that seizes our guns.”

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  • TieHash

    Ugh…I guess I am still in awe of how the concept that the use of one drug is tolerated (alcohol…can cause brain damage, liver damage, addiction, and death), but use another drug (for instance the dread heroin, which can cause addiction and death) and be subject to prison.
    Hopefully the light is at the end of the tunnel in this country, although where I live in Texas it is further away than the more advanced parts of the country.

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    • Opiophiliac

      Actually heroin is far less toxic than alcohol. Aside from its addictive potential heroin is a rather benign drug. If we were a nation of heroin users and alcohol was prohibited we would save billions in healthcare alone.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
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      I must say I’m shocked. Up until the time those guys figured it out a cannabinoid was a compound found exclusively in the cannabis plant.

      Does this mean there might be plants that aren’t cannabis that do produce THC? Maybe oranges?

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      • banana peels…

        … or maybe it’s David Peel I’m thinking of

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        • Duncan20903

          I’m pretty darn sure that it was oranges.

          Meet Hugo Nanofsky, biochemist, Florida State University tenured professor, and the parental authority who posted bail for Irwin Nanofsky the night of July 8, 1984. The elder Nanofsky wasn’t pleased that his son had been arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and he became livid when Tallahassee police informed him that the Aerostar minivan would be permanently remanded to police custody.

          Over the course of the next three weeks, Nanofsky penned dozens of irate letters to the local police chief, the Tallahassee City Council, the State District Attorney and, finally, even to area newspapers. But it was all to no avail.
          /snip/

          Nanofsky knew he would never get his family’s car back, but he had plans to make sure that no one else would be pulled through the gears of what he considers a Kafka-esque drug enforcement bureaucracy.

          “It’s quite simple, really,” Nanofsky explains, “I wanted to combine Citrus sinesis with Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.” In layman’s terms, the respected college professor proposed to grow oranges that would contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Fourteen years later, that project is complete, and Nanofsky has succeeded where his letter writing campaign of yore failed: he has the undivided attention of the nation’s top drug enforcement agencies, political figures, and media outlets.
          /snip/

          Yes, yes everyone decided that Prof Nanosky’s invention was a hoax. But that was before we figured out that cannabinoids aren’t exclusive to the cannabis plant and I think that changes everything. C’mon do you really think that the US Government wouldn’t pull out all the stops in order to suppress the knowledge that anandamide oranges are real? Every trick in the book baby, you’d better believe it.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Biochem 101: How to design a Cannabis-equivalent citrus plant

          Step One:
          Biochemically isolate all the required enzymes for the production of THC.

          Step Two:
          Perform N-terminal sequencing on isolated enzymes, design degenerate PCR (polymerase chain reaction) primers and amplify the genes.

          Step Three:
          Clone genes into an agrobacterial vector by introducing the desired piece of DNA into a plasmid containing a transfer or T-DNA. The mixture is transformed into Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a gram negative bacterium.

          Step Four:
          Use the Agrobacterium tumefaciens to infect citrus plants after wounding. The transfer DNA will proceed to host cells by a mechanism similar to conjugation. The DNA is randomly integrated into the host genome and will be inherited.

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        • and I used to joke that NorCal hippies had grafted pot to redwoods and that we’d have 250′ tall buds, 50 feet in diameter! the down side was that we’d have to wait 500 years to harvest…

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    • darkcycle

      So far as I know, no one has been able to find THC in another plant species. If they had, my garden would be overflowing with them!

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  • kaptinemo

    ‘The Old Order passeth, and giveth place unto the new’…and, sadly, as usual, they don’t have the good sense to realize when they’re on the way out.

    Like a worn-out comedy schtick, cannabis prohibition only wears on the patience of the audience; it’s not humorous to those who’ve been the intended targets of its’ sick ‘humor’…and now they can vote.

    So, out come all the doddering dinosaurs, propped up by younger sycophants, to bellow decades-old tripe once more, seemingly blissfully unaware of the fact that the people they want to listen to them…won’t.

    They. Just. Won’t.

    An entire generation has had a belly-full of the prohib’s ham-handed attempts at social engineering them, and they barfed it up. A fact that will be proved come election day in those States with cannabis referenda.

    There comes a time when you have to take the car keys away from Grandpa. Drug policy-wise, generation-wise, that’s what’s happening…and if the dangerous, delusional, aggressive old fool won’t let go, then he deserves the drubbing he’s going to get.

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  • Current scientific findings prove what previous research studies have always said; cannabis provides unique medical benefits while showing an absence of ill effects to the user…or the wider culture.

    So if this statement can be proved true, why is the status of cannabis unchanged? Why no public debate at the federal level? Since when do facts no longer matter?

    I will put forward this prohibition issue is not about pot per se, but the perceptions of freedom as defined by our authorities.

    The DEA is protecting those entrenched prejudices that are held against the social element who would use pot. That segment of society who would value liberty of self above the authority of Federals for a desired order.

    The purpose of state is to impose order. It matters not that pot is safe….it matters a lot that the status quo of the present ruling authority persists, and the benefits for political interests remain.

    Now is not the time to allow the public to think a Republic serves it’s people. The Republic serves those that have the means to control it.

    Besides, sometimes hippies make themselves so annoying. If I have to suffer my labors its because I love believing in America, thus, I am justified to enjoy seeing the sacrifices (prison sentences) that those who would question my government must endure.

    Beliefs are harder to remove than constitutional amendments are to repeal.

    Its not about logic, its about identity.

    Namaste (swami just saying….not believing)

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  • free radical

    4 out of 5 of these opinion pieces allow no comments. Why should anyone give credence to someone who doesn’t seek an open discussion?

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