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People who ___ are more likely to ___

It seems that at least once a week, we hear some breathless announcement that X activity has been found to be linked with Y behavior. Correlation seems to be the social science tool du jour, and the media eats it up.

Why? Because we have all sorts of data, and computers that can sort that data into unlimited comparisons, so it’s easy for someone to just start feeding in numbers and seeing what pops out.

The thing about correlation, though, is that by itself it’s meaningless. It’s a possible indication of an area for further study, but without context it’s useless for making policy. And it certainly doesn’t prove causation.

What’s fun and instructive is to explore some of the strange correlations that exist out there.

For example, did you know that people who have to look at the keyboard to type are much more likely to prefer thin crust pizza over deep dish as compared to the rest of the population?

Why? Who knows. You might speculate that Chicago (which tends to prefer deep dish) has better typing classes in the schools than New York (which tends to prefer thin crust) and that difference affected the overall population. But without further study, you really have no knowledge other than a bizarrely interesting statistic. (Disclosure: I’m from Chicago, can type without looking at the keyboard, and prefer deep dish pizza.)

Studies will also show you that people who don’t like camping are linked with a lesser ability to burp at will, as well as the fact that loving non-fiction books is linked to a likelihood of pigging out when you’re upset, and also that people who prefer soft serve ice cream don’t like roller coasters as much as the rest of us. (10 Crazy Correlations Between Unrelated Things – Business Insider)

So remember when you hear that a new study has conclusively shown that A is linked with B, that only means that someone put some numbers in a computer and looked for any kind of variance they could find, and in this case, 12% of people who did A, also did B, commpared to only 7% of the rest of the population doing B. Those numbers tell you absolutely nothing about why anyone did B.

This is a lesson that reporters should take more time to learn themselves and pass on to their readers.

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77 comments to People who ___ are more likely to ___

  • claygooding

    It is a proven fact that smoking marijuana causes your babies to be born naked,wet and hungry,,this must stop!

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Arizona Attorney General Tom “The LAW is the LAW” Horne got busted for hit and run. He got caught because unknown to Mr. Law & Order he was being followed by the FBI as part of an investigation into violations of campaign financing laws.
    It’s Over for Tom Horne

    Why does something like this make me want to cheer and barf simultaneously? It’s not an isolated incident either but happens every time a political hack is caught being an utter hypocrite.

    I wonder, who’s going to take command of Ms. Brewer’s army of flying monkeys?

  • Tony Aroma

    It’s not entirely the media’s fault. The main problem is that both the media and their audience know little to nothing about science. The solution, as is often the case, is education. The better informed people are, the less likely they will be to be taken in by such nonsense.

    • stlgonzo

      It is mostly the media’s fault. They should understand the science or let someone else report on it. That is one major issue leading to mis or under-informed people.

    • Cliff

      The problem with the media began when news became “info-tainment” designed as a psy ops to program the public. I refer to the mainstream, drive by, media as the “blue pill”, which allows one to go back to sleep while the PTB and TBTF banks loot our country and our liberties along with it.

      Taking the “red pill” means going to sites like DWR and others which peel away the veneer of our “fair and just” society and reveals the prison grid which has been constructed to imprison our minds and harden our hearts to the injustices all around us.

  • “Correlation seems to be the social science tool du jour, and the media eats it up.”

    I can think of some “studies” off the top of my head that fit the parameters of this article:

    The Gateway theory
    marijuana causes lower IQ
    marijuana causes schizophrenia
    marijuana causes insanity
    The entire reefer madness “syndrome”

    • Liam

      I’ve read studies on cannabis and driving safety where there is a positive correlation, i.e., fewer accidents [Odds Ratio(OR)< 1.0 for blood THC < 5ng/L(I think)]. One reason given was that those on the plant think they're more impaired than they actually are and become overly cautious.

      The wheels come of the cart, however, when even small amounts of alcohol are consumed as well. Here, alcohol has the opposite effect in that those under its influence think they are less impaired than they actually are and drive accordingly.

    • jojo

      Yep, I get a kick out of marijuana causes some vague “psychosis.” They all have the same stupid conclusion: “mentally ill persons who are heavy users of marijuana experience more bizarre side effects than mentally ill nonusers.” The same conclusion could be drawn when comparing mentally healthy users and nonusers.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        The problem is that they don’t even have correlation with the cannabis causes psychoses hogwash. Rates of insanity have been constant since they started keeping track. There was no increase in that rate during the 1960s and even the Rastafarians have rates of psychoses consistent with those of the general population. The Rastafarian’s should be a pack of gibbering lunatics were the nonsense claims of psychoses caused by cannabis true.

        • jojo

          “There was no increase in that rate during the 1960s and even the Rastafarians have rates of psychoses consistent with those of the general population.”

          Can you provide a link showing that about the Rastafarians and general pop.? It makes sense what you’re saying and would be a good starting place for our govt to back up their “reefer madness” study.

        • darkcycle

          Jo-jo, this will get you started, it’s only one review, and they tend to peg the incidence rather low from my experience. But there an abundance of articles on the prevalence of schizophrenia in the population. the average rate since the disorder was clinically defined has remained unchanged at about 1% of G.P. (I’m a psychologist)
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1140960/

      • B. Snow

        Ya think this MIGHT have something to do with who surveys these two things?
        Don’t know who that is = its the U.S. “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration” (SAMHSA) – and they find “links” between such crap – all the damn time!

        I can’t begin to figure out why that might, happen can you??
        What, really, Well that’s great boys & girls, I knew you could…

  • claygooding

    At the least,if people adopt my plan to stop birthing babies,,we can guarantee that our society will become “drug free” eventually,,that is better than any plan the govt has come up with.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Well I guess we could limit human cloning to DNA derived from the Sabet genome but why the heck would you want to do that anyway?

    • Maria

      Sadly, I’m sure that sterilizing drug users and undesirables is the wet dream of a certain type of authoritarian. I mean, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before or even now.

      … Damnit, sorry Clay. I can’t even let a bit of tongue in cheek go by without being a pessimistic stick in the mud. 😛

      • I don’t think an apology needed Maria… one can’t visit women’s history (thinking Mary Daly’s GynEcology here) and not expect y’all to speak up any time an opportunity arises.

        On that subject… way back around 1970 or so on one of our teenaged jaunts to Hollywood, we saw a film playing that we hadn’t heard of and figgered what the heck. The film was a western, with Candice Bergen, Soldier Blue. A lot of the criticism it received was for its level of violence, going beyond even the Sergio Leone spaghetti western blow-em-up flicks that showed explicit violence. And I had no idea what the Sand Creek Massacre was or who Colonel Chivington was when I was 18… I learned soon enough though when I exited the military and went back to college in my mid-20s.

        It was college that opened all those doors… lordy lord. I was so appalled, enraged, disgusted, nauseated at the bloodshed underlying so much of history, that I became a racist. I really hated white people. Especially white men. And I are one…

        While I think a lot of us here may not know specifics of past collective social /civil malfunctions, we get the overall picture pretty well.

        The drug war is as bad as any of past (and concurrent) human atrocities. Body counts may rise and fall from wrong to wrong but the misdeeds continue, unabated. The details too often morbid, abusive and cruel.

        Further down in comments someone remarks about drug users all sharing a propensity for risk taking. I think the same applies to political activism, especially those areas where the greater portion of a society see those protesting as somehow involved in a “bad” movement.

        Linda Taylor’s abuse of civility in a public forum was a 5 star example of how insane the prohibs’ bigotry is. Yet we stood our ground (even taking heat from friends for “wasting our time” with a putz like her) and she now stands with her Modesto YouTube “it’s a scam people!” scream, as an icon (available for all to witness) of… that.

        We who speak out, those of us that continue year after year to labor the same points (the basic foundation of our arguments hasn’t changed but we’ve become masterful at collectively honing our points) would be the same as those who have spoken out in any age, past or future.

        Our society is now big on standing up to bullying, yet fails to acknowledge the big bullish Uncle in our midst. We do.

        And then of course there is this – we have (and “get”) cannabis. They don’t. Advantage us.

  • Tony Aroma

    I don’t recall ever seeing anything about “positive” correlations with mj use. They always do studies that look at “negative” groups, like heroin addicts, and try to find correlations with previous mj use. Obviously such a correlation would be high. But what about “successful” people leading normal, productive lives. It seems obvious to me that a correlation between successful people and previous mj use would also be high. (Not that that means anything.) The media never reports such studies, probably because they are not done. I doubt very much the NIDA would fund such a study. But I think it would make for a nice counterpoint to all these correlational studies the prohibitionists are always quoting.

    • claygooding

      Tony,the administrator of NIDA has already stated that all they do is “harm” studies on schedule 1 drugs,,so you are correct that they would not fund any study they thought would show positive evidence,,the only reason we have Tashkin’s lung function study is because NIDA thought proving marijuana was causing cancer would be a no-brainer,,but oops,,it blew up n their face and the failure to bring out the evidence that marijuana possibly blocked cancer or prevented it lost them Tashkin,,a 20 year researcher for NIDA,IIRC.

      • claygooding

        PS:there are several statistical studies done in other countries showing marijuana users are less likely to contract cancers,,one from Spain reported that marijuana users were 60% less likely to contract head and neck cancers,,,but it didn’t make a bump in mainstream media.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      The only true correlation that matters is that we’re all risk takers. Quite a number of different stripes of risk takers but every single one of us qualify in the general category.

      It’s positively moronic to believe that a person who would never take the risk of giving getting high a try would end up addicted to hard drugs. If you’re not a risk taker you’re not going to take any risks. Duh.

  • Servetus

    CBSNews just added a new one. They’re correlating overweight kids with marijuana use, presumably because marijuana produces munchies, or something.

    This could be the next traffic stop profile for teen drivers with a weight problem; (i.e.) Cop: “Pull over, fatso! You look like a pot smoker to me….”

    • Windy

      Actually their report said those kids who tend to binge eat are more likely to try drugs, so they are blaming drug use on binge eating, not blaming binge eating on drug use.

    • Liam

      I think the study you are referring to found overweight teens slightly more likely to try cannabis than non-overweight individuals.

      An earlier study found that, on average, chronic cannabis use reduced the individual’s BMI.

    • Freeman

      So junk food is a gateway drug!

    • Maria

      Funny… Most of the pot smokers I know are health conscious outdoorsy types with a penchant for doing irrational things like running marathons and engaging in rock climbing. Nutters. 😉

  • claygooding

    I am sitting here watching MSNBC for the first time in a few years and they are explaining the “new” marijuana laws in CO and the lack of help from the feds on implementation of legalization and the CSA.

    They just said that the AG can direct the DEA to remove marijuana from schedule 1 without congressional approval and avoid a costly conflict.

    • kaptinemo

      IMNHO, the Administration got caught with their pants down, big time. Their plans to have Sativex and its clones be the only legally available cannabis product in the US got a major setback with WA and CO getting the drop on them.

      Prohibition must be maintained for all raw cannabis if their little scheme was to work. Now it can’t. Not when Joe Blo can diddy-bop to the local outlet and get his meds for a few bucks a pack. The phone lines between the White House and Mr. Zero’s big bankster buddies must be incandecent by now. That drug laundering money won’t be going into their coffers with as much abundance as it was before, and they’re more than a bit concerned.

      In an aside, I said before that if a State passes a re-legalization law, no matter how controversial, the Feds would hit the brakes on the anti-cannabis Juggernaut aimed at it, and steer it to crush States without initiatives. And look what’s happening. Raids are still going on…in NON-initiative States. The hint can’t be any louder or clearer.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I’d really like to know why Sativex hasn’t been approved if the conspiracy theory espoused above were true. Over 25 Countries have approved it but it languishes in Phase III trials in the United States. It may be over 30 Countries by now as it’s been a while since I looked at the count. Don’t you think that a conspiracy theory should be abandoned when it becomes obvious that steps required for implementation aren’t being taken by the alleged conspirators? The stock market sure thinks so.
        GW Pharmaceuticals stock 2 year price (in the toilet) chart

        Oh well, it serves me right for believing in conspiracy theories in the first place.

        • I know the feeling. I give little time to concern of conspiracy theories.

          Conspiracies on the other hand… are all too real.

        • darkcycle

          They were (are) working out details. Their patent application AFAIK is still not approved. It may in fact be that the CSA will need tweaking to allow that whole cannabis derivative to be legal. They were trying to work the details out on their little scam. They were trying to figure out a way to keep whole plant cannabis schedule one. And prevent anybody else from being able to extract tinctures. Have a look at the patent…it includes processes used by both of us, and by others for at least 150 years.
          Here’s GW Pharma’s patent app.:
          http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7344736.html

        • Just because a conspiracy theory has been thwarted does not mean there wasn’t one. GW Pharmaceuticals is continuing to research drugs made from cannabis, and is now onto one for epilepsy made from pot.

          There is no doubt that they would have benefited greatly from continued prohibition of marijuana, and still would. They would be foolish to support the legalization of marijuana under their circumstances.

          Just good business.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          GW Pharma owns dozens of US Patents and a boatload in other Countries.

          Aren’t you aware that a patent is basically just an official time stamp, and doesn’t in any way mean that the patented device works as claimed or has any commercial value? People try to make a big deal over 6630507 when it’s pretty easy to see that patent is going to expire worthless. For sale cheap! Sweetheart terms!! Pay us out of your profits!!! But no buyers are interested. The Feds get to patent stuff for free and don’t have to pay patent maintenance fees.

          The only invention that requires validation as actually being a working device before receiving a patent is a perpetual motion device. That’s only because somebody at the USPTO was embarrassed over having issued so many patents for a device that just can’t possibly work. I could take a dump and patent the turds if I’m willing to pay the fees. It doesn’t mean I’ll be able to sell them.

          Searching the USPTO database a moment ago for the keyword “cannabinoid” returns 6,966 items. The first time I did that search was in December 2010 and then there were 4,917 items returned. It isn’t for lack of enthusiasm by the pharmaceutical companies that cannabinoid medicine is taking so long to come to market.

          Just because something makes no sense doesn’t mean that the people promoting the senseless policy are involved in a conspiracy. There are plenty of stupid people in the world promoting stupidity for no reason other than that they’re stupid people. It does appear that they’re attracted to involvement in the government too. I don’t pretend to be able to explain that part, it is what it is.

          Well believe whatever fantasies you like. My 20,000 shares of GWP.L would really enjoy the price increase so I sure hope you’re right. But I’ll settle for the increased value from just the mundane profits generated by a business selling a valuable product.

        • darkcycle

          More than a time stamp, Duncan, it makes a process or a device proprietary to the patent holder. Not so much a problem if what you are patenting is truly novel. But quite problematic if you are granting proprietary rights to a process already in common use.
          Duncan, they are trying to patent temperatures and times for decarboxylation. And the use of sub-critical CO2 extraction as a technique. If that patent is approved, that green stuff in the unmarked bottle in our refrigerators is a punishable infringement on G.W.’s patent.

        • kaptinemo

          From a while back…but no less germane: Corporate Cannabis

          From the article:

          “The Vancouver Island Compassion Society also produces a cannabis spray, albeit a much simpler version. Unlike Sativex, which is a patented medicine, the Society’s spray is a tincture of cannabis administered via a vapourizer called Cannamist. Last May (2004), Lucas received a foretaste of possible legal battles to come with GW, Bayer AG, and its subsidiary Bayer Canada, when he described Cannamist at a medical marijuana conference held by a group called Patients Out of Time, at the University of Virginia. Geoffrey Guy happened to be in the audience, and afterward approached Lucas and asked him if he’d had a chance to look at the any of the many patent applications GW has for Sativex. “He said it with a twinkle in his eye,” recalls Lucas, “but with firmness in his voice.”

          There is no question that GW plans to enforce its patents on Sativex, which is a precisely dosed medicine. Warns Guy: “To protect our extensive investment, we have sought to identify and patent certain inventions throughout the growing, extraction and manufacturing process. My comments to Mr. Lucas were made as a friendly and, hopefully, helpful gesture as I did not wish him to invest a great amount of effort into obtaining approval for a product as a prescription medicine only to find that he did not have the freedom to operate in the first place.”

          Guy’s warning was reiterated shortly after I arrived in England to interview him, when Mark Rogerson, GW’s grey-templed, elegantly dressed, public-relations man, met me at the Oxford train station. “Once it’s approved and Sativex becomes a medicine under the law, there needs to be a minor change in legislation so it can be prescribed,” he said, as he steered his Hyundai ( his Audi was in the shop ) into near-gridlock. “The Home Office has already said they will do that, and then patients will be taking a legal medicine. But if you are an MS sufferer, it would still be illegal for you to grow cannabis at the bottom of the garden to treat your symptoms. Our medicine will be legal, but anything else will not be.” (Emphasis mine – k.)

          Straight from the horse’s mouth. No non-BigPharma cannabis to be allowed. That’s the plan, in both the UK and the US, and has been all along. Nothing ‘theoretical’ about it. THEY F*ing ADMIT IT!

          But, fortunately, we aren’t the UK, and the citizens got the jump on the little cabal of bureaucrats and industrialists seeking to close off MMJ access – save through their legal, government-sanctioned monopolized portals. The citizens of WA and CO have thrown some mighty big shoes in this self-admitted conspiracy’s machinery. And the fact that the Feds have been very, very quiet of late gives you an idea of just how seriously that machinery is risking grinding itself to pieces.

        • darkcycle

          Duncan, I believe that “patent” to be a serious problem. Those same, basic procedures have been used to make tinctures for well over a century, at least.

        • divadab

          Patents are frequently issued for processes or devices for which there is “prior art” (which means the patent is for something not new, that existed prior). My understanding of the process is that if the patent holder tries to enforce the patent, they will fail in court if someone can demonstrate that “prior art” exists.

          In the case of cannabis extracts, the prior art goes back thousands of years. WHat GW Pharma is trying to do is to patent an extraction and purification process for cannabis, rather than the products themselves. We shall see if they succeed.

        • Windy

          dc, what if your “little unmarked bottle” in the fridge is extracted via another method, butane or acetone or something else? Would that also be an infringement?

      • claygooding

        Of course you all realize that G&W is a subsidiary of Bayer,,,if not a subsidiary in partnership with.

  • Francis

    OT: Holder Says Administration Will Announce Marijuana Policy Soon

    “There is a tension between federal law and these state laws,” Holder said in response to questions after a speech at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. “I would expect the policy pronouncement that we’re going to make will be done relatively soon.”

    • claygooding

      It depends on Holder’s idea of soon,,,look how long it took to get him to respond to F&F before congress,,yesterday would have been soon enough for me.
      When MSNBC reported Holder could end the controversy people heard it,,we have said it for a couple of years now and nobody listened,,lets see how that flies.

    • interesting that he used “pronouncement.” Not “announcement,” not “statement”… pronouncement carries the added intimation of authoritarian. More along the lines of “we’re going to tell you what the policy is” than “we give up.”

      Of course I don’t think it matters. The herd has turned, the flock has bolted… anything short of a somber and grim faced, reluctant acceptance (“we will see how this plays out in WA and CO”) will stir the antpile on which this administration finds itself standing smack in the middle of.

      • claygooding

        They put themselves there,,it isn’t like they haven’t had a chance to save all these tax dollars and time. But tax dollars mean nothing to bureaucrats unless someone besides them is getting any,,nor time,,money is all they understand

  • Deep Dish

    “and prefer deep dish pizza.” That’s great!

  • CJ

    YES!!!
    this is f’n awesome!

    i wonder if theres anything to this mathematical computerized equation!!!

    prohibition > = conservatism
    conservatism > = republicanism
    republicanism = fear, insecurity
    fear, insecurity = republicanism
    republicanism < = homophobia
    homophobia < = latent homosexuality
    latent homosexuality = psychotic killing (see: all anti-gay materials in film etc. i.e buffalo bill, i.e the dog man in Stephen King's the Shinning etc. etc.)
    psychotic killing < = prohibition
    prohibition = conservatism

    I see A TREND, FRIENDS!
    THE COMPUTER HAS SPOKEN!

    • Duncan20903

      It’s amazing how both sides of the table who have so many that think that bullcrap is valid.
      ———-
      Stephen King is an acknowledged fan of cannabis.

      • stlgonzo

        I have seen the
        Democrats=socialism
        Socialism= Communism
        Communism= mass mureders
        democrats=mass murders

        Both sides of that coin suck.

  • ezrydn

    OT – Ravi Shankar passed away this morning in San Diego, CA. He was 92. He had a heart valve replacement last Thursday. Ravi played Monterrey, Woodstock and toured with the Beatles.

  • N.T. Greene

    This is, quite simply, a logical fallacy.

    To use the words of another, a good mantra to repeat is “correlation does not imply causation”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

    • N.T. Greene

      This is not to say that the media really cares that much about being logically sound — after all, I am willing to wager that many people in the media, and even in power, have never cracked a book about logic or logical fallacies.

      Hence this stuff flies so well. If you follow the link, the “General Pattern” section is worth browsing. It makes the whole issue of drug use and abuse look rather interesting — if only people considered alternative explanations.

      You can get, just using the examples:
      (This is an oversimplification meant to ILLUSTRATE rather than argue anything.)

      A: drug use
      B: crime

      drug use causes crime.
      crime causes drug use.
      crime and drug use have a common cause, but do not cause each other.
      the two are unconnected.

      Now, obviously you have to tease the matter out a bit further, as none of the above statements are absolutely true — although the third in particular offers a particularly harrowing insight if one is willing to pursue the matter. However, we see in our culture a tending towards the first example.

    • N.T. Greene

      Though the real nightmare for drug policy reform is the Nirvana fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_fallacy

      Sorry, you can’t completely eradicate drugs or those that produce them — you can only apply strategies to reduce harm as much as possible and regulate the market so that things remain peaceful and, again, can be made safer.

      And the favorite of Gil and his troop of merry drug warriors is the false dichotomy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

      Of course, they would post the prohibition they cherish so much on one end, and claim that legalization represents the chaotic opposite. While you could say that there is some manipulation of meaning going on here in terms of word choice, let’s forgive that to examine the action a bit further. Basically, the problem is that they are playing this as though there are only -two- possible options to follow, and since theirs is currently in play they see no need to really examine things further. The play against “legalization” is rife with logical fallacies — since I believe that, on some level, these people actually believe they are in the right and simply do not know the depth of their errors in judgment. Anyways, there is a whole spectrum of models being ignored in this discussion, and there is little talk of efficacy coming from them. This is why, way back when, I suggested a change of vocabulary for the community. Instead of legalization, use “regulation”. Seems like a minor semantic shift, but it has the potential for tremendous power if just because it has not been used enough until this point. Also, it is difficult to set up a “prohibition v. regulation” environment, as they contain similar elements but different approaches — and that is just in meaning alone, nevermind the usage of the word in government. This would also help to dispel the false dichotomy — it is, even if it is what we meant all along, going to be seen as a “third choice”. This is why all that talk of regulation from Central America caused such a hubbub.

      But I’m ranting on about stuff I only kind of understand here. Please, someone take this from me.

      • Liam

        Though slightly OT, Graham Lawton’s, The Intoxication Instinct, is a well written paper that may be known to many here. The main point is that intoxication, rather than being deviant behavior, ranks with thirst, hunger and sex as a motivating force.

        http://quihn.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=204%3Athe-intoxication-instinct&catid=99%3Atracks-issue-5&Itemid=119&showall=1

      • Byddaf yn egluro:

        I agree! Avoiding the use of “War on Drugs” and “Legalization” wherever/whenever possible, appears to be quite efficacious. Our two most formidable weapons may be just these two simple words: “Prohibition” and “Regulation”.

      • primus

        There are at least four distinct approaches which could be part of the discussion; Prohibition, legalization without controls and decriminalization are all at one end of the scale, and at the other end is legalization with regulation. The first three are the ones being discussed, and all three have the weakness of not dismantling the criminal enterprises which supply drugs. The only one which might work well enough to be acceptable to the majority of people is the alcohol model for some drugs and the prescription model for some others, and they are trying hard to ignore both approaches. They do us all a disservice by trying to lump all approaches other than raw prohibition as ‘giving in’ or somehow admitting defeat when it is actually a search for a better solution for all.

        • N.T. Greene

          Hence the false dilemma fallacy is their favorite little tool, coupled with nirvana fallacies. The polarization of US politics outside of drug laws makes this idea no real surprise — in a land where everything is red or blue, is it really a surprise that so many resist the idea of a solution that isn’t clearly black or white?

          It pours into a vast range of social issues, and the broad stratagem is as such: We can either do what we are doing right now, which “we” consider to be “order”. Doing anything else is perceived as “chaos”. To put it simply, the big social problem is resistance to change. Even if the change could potentially reap great benefits, preserving the current “order” is more important than exploring a relative unknown. I reiterate: this is a broad social problem that pervades throughout US culture and politics. This resistance is reinforced by draconian laws not based in relation to current social climates, as well as international treaties. The original aim of works like the CSA and the UN conventions was to issue a final verdict against drugs — the problem being that these things were, in and of themselves, vast social experiments. Ones that had previously failed, no less. The hope was to rid the world of an apparent evil; the scope of the evils they would create was not anticipated and is now discounted in the quest to preserve the laws as is.

          We’re left with what was sold as the conditions for a utopian result without the utopia.

          I wish I had formal studies in logic so I didn’t ramble on about this stuff.

  • Jimmy Carter: Marijuana Legalization Is Smart, Imprisonment For Possession Is Out Of Control

    http://t.co/wLfni81x

    I see a correlation to marijuana and legalization.

    Smart.

  • darkcycle

    Cato weighs in on the Supremacy Cause and State marijuana laws:
    http://tinyurl.com/b3wfsu6
    The short of it is, the Feds are screwed.

    • N.T. Greene

      I love being right, sometimes. There really is nothing like it. There is a reason they’re still sitting on their hands, and it really is as simple as they have checkmate staring them in the face.

      • claygooding

        You know the Sativex people aren’t the only people on their ass,,,damn,if only we could tap phones like they can.

      • primus

        I would love nothing better than to think you are right. Unfortunately, bitter experience has taught me that the longer they are quiet, the worse it will be when it comes. I have no illusion that the war is won, this is a mere skirmish, and while we might see it as a mortal wound they view it as a minor irritation. The war is not yet won. Don’t let your guard down for an instant.

        • N.T. Greene

          It is not about letting your guard down, no, but we certainly know what kind of tactics they are likely to employ.

    • darkcycle

      This is pretty much where the analysis paper by the “Pete’s Couch Intellectual Trust Think Tank and Tortilla Chip Society” had put the situation. The P.C.I.T.T.A.T.C.S, is a well respected public policy analysis group. Their scholarly white papers are always smudged with potato chip grease.

  • darkcycle

    The dog shooters were just down at the other end of my block. Looking for a guy who hasn’t lived there in three years, apparently. But I saw them, MP5’s Flack Jackets with big DEA letters and all. Problem is, they not only know he doesn’t live there, it’s the second time in that period they’ve raided the house. They’ve already “wrong house raided” that address once.
    These guys are so stupid they shouldn’t be allowed to work a deep fryer at Wendy’s. OMFG.

    • claygooding

      Watch it dark,,do you own any dogs,,I guess not if you have squirrel problems,,see if you can get them to shoot the squirrels,,prolly not as much fun as shooting a Yorkie but better than shooting each other,for them anyway.

      • darkcycle

        Duncan’s the fellow waging “The War on Squirrels”. I do own a dog. A male Chow-chow named Songtzen Gampo. Official Best Dog in the World. There is no need to ask: “Whooosagooodboy?” That question has been definitively answered.

  • Servetus

    (OT) The ICC (International Criminal Court) has published its findings on the drug war in Colombia, based on an investigation that began in 2004.

    From the evidence obtained, it would appear the U.S. sanctioned Plan Colombia is at its core part of a front to eliminate indigenous populations of people in order to gain free access to oil, gold, minerals and palm oil (claimed to be a substitute crop for coca), on behalf of international corporations. Native Colombians are being murdered by government forces, often under the pretense of pursuing drug smugglers and FARC:

    The killings – which the ICC characterized as both “murder” and “forced disappearances” — were not random, but rather, as the ICC concluded, were directed at “particular categories of civilians,” including “marginalized” individuals from remote areas, such as unemployed persons, indigents and drug addicts; political, social and community activists; indigenous persons, minors, peasants and persons with disabilities.

    And,

    “ …there are links between the military and drug traffickers and other organized criminal groups. Local military units do not want to engage in combat with the illegal groups [with whom] they are cooperating, so killing civilians falsely alleged to be part of these groups make military units appear to be taking action.”

    Drug enforcement has multiple facets and means of expression, but ultimately prohibition reduces at all levels to a criminal means by which governments and corporatists subjugate and exploit people. What’s been going in Colombia in the name of the drug war is a reflection of that fact.

    • kaptinemo

      “From the evidence obtained, it would appear the U.S. sanctioned Plan Colombia is at its core part of a front to eliminate indigenous populations of people in order to gain free access to oil, gold, minerals and palm oil (claimed to be a substitute crop for coca), on behalf of international corporations.”

      (Vindication) I have been saying that since 1998. Ever since ‘Plan Colombia’ had been proposed.

      (Sigh) Of course, because a (assuming this country’s a priori stereotype of a brain dead) ‘stoner’ was able to see it a decade and a half ago, while all those high-paid pundits either couldn’t see it – or wouldn’t see it – is irrelevant…

  • claygooding

    Selling cartels guns,,laundering drug money and now funding genocide for profit,,we couldn’t make that shit up and one day being an ex-DEA will be a secretive group running for their lives.

  • speaking of cartels and guns… howz ‘bou cartels and cannons? heh…

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/12/12/massive-drug-war-fail-no-4123-smugglers