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February 2013
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Signs of change

bullet image Kentucky and industrial hemp. Here’s a video of a hour-long discussion on TV about industrial hemp in Kentucky, including the agriculture commissioner and police commissioner.

And there is significant political support. Mitch McConnell Joins Rand Paul In Supporting Industrial Hemp In Kentucky

“I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy,” McConnell said in a statement. “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times that sounds like a good thing to me.”

McConnell joins fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), half of the state’s six-member congressional delegation and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in supporting the push.

Of course, there’s the usual push-back from law enforcement leadership who seem convinced that their officers are just too stupid to be trained to tell the difference between 10 acres of hemp and a marijuana grow-op.

Kentucky is going to be a battle to watch.


bullet image Call them the Pot People

Over in Washington, even local newscasters are coming to grips with the notion that marijuana can be a normal business concern complete with lobbyists, just like everything else.

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15 comments to Signs of change

  • Duncan20903

    I feel like I’ve somehow stumbled into an alternate reality.

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  • claygooding

    This is good because it gives agriculture agencies in other countries a nudge towards legalizing hemp production.
    World prohibition of marijuana will end when enough countries legalize hemp and avoid the turmoil of trying to keep marijuana illegal while the population spends more for the banned substance than the funding spent to stop it.

    Damn,this treadmill is hard to stop. And that train headed towards the wall is Silver Streaking.

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  • kaptinemo

    ‘Normalization’…the prohibs worst nightmare realized.

    I recall reading back in the late 1980’s a tract put out by one of the control-freak ‘concerned parents movement’ organizations (that wound up getting shafted by DuPont while he laughed all the way to the bank, walking on their backs) in which the writer was so (gasp!) scandalized at the (apocryphal) story of a young man who thought nothing of passing a joint to a friend on a bus.

    The writer made it plain how absolutely horrified she was, that such a thing would ever be considered…normal

    Why, this was during BROAD DAYLIGHT and in the middle of the work week!. It was before 5PM, you know, the legitimate Happy Hour! Oh, the horrors! The horrors!

    No, I am not engaging in hyperbole. Yes, the writer did seem to be suffering from near-fatal hyperventilation. Because it was one thing above all that struck me, and that was the writer’s Babbitry. It’s the same Babbitry that I get wind of whenever I read or hear of some prohib mouthing off about ‘productivity’ suffering upon cannabis re-legalization.

    This kind of mindset exploits any already internal work ethic and results in the reduction of human beings into mere extensions of the machines they operate. A a rights-destroying system (which drug testing tacitly supports) that cows workers who seek redress for increasingly unfair conditions brought about by the decreasing sense of responsibility an employer may feel, insulated by that system in which there is little or no impetus for change, accruing all the advantages for the Investor Class.

    I said this before in another comment that cannabis law reform is actually peaceful, revolutionary social change via the ballot box. The effect that this ‘normalization’ will have on Labor/Capital relations in the long run is uncertain, but what is certain is that once a State is legal, again, that Capital will find that it will no longer be able to use drug testing as a weapon to suppress Labor, and that this will have a profound social effect upon every other aspect of our lives.

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    • Peter

      Thanks for reminding me about babbitry….i haven’t thought about sinclair lewis for ages… babbitry exactly sums up the small minded business class of most american small cities …to be found in abundance in BNI groups, chambers of commerce etc, all worried about protecting their vested interests by any means possible…a perfect example is Gov Chickenlooper, the small time brewer who tried so hard to derail legalization in Colorado… of course, his motives would have had nothing to do with keeping the dollars rolling in at his beer-outlets.

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  • Nick

    While I’m very happy that a discussion of industriel hemp is happening, I’m more than a little upset at the lack of basic knowledge about hemp and marijuana expressed by all members of discussion in the video. It was a true study in the ignorance of all involved.
    I could list the discrepancies, but the resulting list would be longer than the video itself.

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  • CJ

    HEY HEY HEY you know, just wanna pause for a second and be like, well, those of you whove been with us in this terrible struggle for so long, if you remember running around on the internet like myself, looking for news, looking for ways to make a difference (stopping short of, say, writing the DEA a hand written letter saying “i am an amateur researcher and in my works ive found there was something about a tax act regarding the sale of drugs when this whole prohibition deal began. now im no lawyer but i think this whole drug war thing is silly, you just need a certificate or permit, right? well whats all the commotion about? hey can you guys send me a permit to sell heroin? ive included a 5 dollar registered money order in this letter to cover any administration fees. thanks guys keep up the great work! love ya! xoxox – CJ [stands for Cooooool Junkieeee! but not as cool as you, michele leonhart! PS listen i really love ecstacy too, especially with pretty girls and alot of my friends enjoy marijuana so, if you think we can work out a group rate, please return the money order to me and give me a figure for how much a bundle of 3 permits would be, that’d be diacetylmorphine, MDMA and mary jane. thanks guys. your the best)” and anyway i remember myself every day reloading the CATO site for something new.. ANYTHING… hell, if someone was running for office in….sri lanka and had a hint of drug liberalization agenda i was on that like donkey kong on bananas. i remember with great frustration going to the Opiate Alliance website and looking every single day for something new and watch them only update like, 3 x a year.

    IT HAS BEEN A HELL OF A RIDE, you know.. its amazing really cmon lets stop for a second now, 2 years ago… i would have to say 2 years ago any 1 of the recent posts on Pete’s blog would have been story of the year for reform. NOBODY TALKED ABOUT IT. nobody but us, i mean. And ethan nadelmann, fringe celebrties maybe, etc.

    Like, remember the movie Traffic with Michael Douglas? that was awesome… for like.. 4 years and its like, damn this is so obvious! but nothing happens at all… but now, well let me just say i’d be even more excited if i was a marijuana lover but still i mean i would be lying if i said that no part of me takes great pleasure in seeing this happen. I do have my fears, as you know, i mean, Ethan Nadelmann for example, head of the DPA, has not said or done anything to allay my worries.. i dont appreciate his impassioned pleas for marijuana common sense and then in the next sentence growing grim and essentially inferring that me and people like me need to go to treatment, no if and’s or buts about it… it makes me worry man… i mean, i know ive upset some people sometimes, but i never engage in arguments… the truth is, like so many of you, i love getting high, oh i love it so much, i love getting high and as a result i love to take the high road. matter of fact, anytime i commute, even from bedroom to bathroom i will always look for the high road. always. i know some of you feel the same. But i say that because like this video is saying about marijuana exploding right, basically what im trying to say is how far this all has come i mean seriously i dont think anybody inspired to get into drug reform in the past few months maybe cause of the Colorado/WA stuff it’s like, if youre not old enough or if youre a young woman or man and have not been into this reform for long enough, jeez, its scary, youd take for granted all of this man, we were grasping at pea’s really i mean particularly for meth heads rollers trippers bangers sniffers etc. i think my whole point is this is… incredible momentum actually. ive never seen it this way for us, the drug reformists..

    well that just made me think of something too, id like to appeal to some of the older, wiser folks out there, they would know far better than I about this (oh i wish i was around for these days im about to mention, id have loved to have been in San Fransisco when the wave hit its crest… as Hunter S once wrote) but my question to the older wiser gentlemen and gentlewomen would be… well, i mean i cant say reform as a whole is at this point yet but i think that, if we were on the shore of the beach with binoculars you could see in the not that far but not that close distance the same sort of wave Hunter S wrote about in Fear and Loathing. What he was talking about was the student revolution of the 60s. What im talking about is drug reform.

    Maybe you disagree with Mr. Thompson, whom essentially, in my understanding says that more or less all that momentum went for nothing in the end, basically, on the cusp of great change or something to that effect and at the critical moment something went wrong. oh, i applaud all of you who were there and lived it..wish i could have been… but maybe you disagree with him, i dont know… i mean, im 27 so… since i didnt experience it itd be wrong to act like i did however i will say that from what ive seen of the massive gatherings, the culture etc. i have to think that if whatever that all was, did end up succeeding… if it would have…i cant imagine that things would be the way they are today… but again i dont really know, wasnt there. id like to know more though from people who were there or lived through it (my parents dont seem to like to talk about it.) but that would be a different topic. The reason i bring it up is because of this: I think we’re on the cusp of that kind of thing, very soon. Now listen, success/defeat whatever happened at the end of the cultural revolution, i can say this to you and assure you i believe it 110% with my heart and soul not just as a subjective person in this whole thing but even in the shoes of a outsider, analyzing this objectively and that is that without a doubt prohibition will end. No prohibition has ever worked in the history of man. Ever. Every form of prohibition has come to an end eventually (i always like to remind people that drug prohibition is a relatively modern institution, as is police) i mean, i have a message to any drug warrior, any Sabeet minded person, evil drug treatment people etc. and thats this: this war on drugs? lol. you can’t win. matter of fact, you already lost.

    Even though their defeat is inevitable, i think the question is when. or atleast that is partially the question and the relevance to me is that, I would like to be alive and able to partake when it ends, when it’s over. I think that, if we fail to take advantage of the momentum, of this building tsunami, it doesnt mean anything in the great grand scheme of things. If we mess this up somehow, its not gonna change the outcome at all but it may change when the outcome happens. Like, there’s nothing Pat Kennedy, Kevin Sabeet, all the other morons who need their karma broken, there is really nothing they can say or do, no amount of money they can spend, nothing can be done to change the inevitable fate of global drug prohibition. I feel really sorry for William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and even before them, the people who had to suffer at it’s inception, the war on drugs was over the second it began, they never stood a chance. To be blunt, friends, we kicked their ass before the ink was dry. That isn’t really a question. But I do think we are capable of messing this up for ourselves. I dont know how to take advantage of this, but I would think that, as the momentum builds more and more people will come to our banner… I think the final blow is a mix of public outcry BUT also is going to happen in a court room… and i think, the scary thing for me is, when that day comes, if we don’t effectively deliver the words necessary to kill this beast once and for all then no matter how much outcry there is they will throw the book at us, add new layers of BS to sustain this sinking ship and make the inevitable end of it a little more complex for our grand kids to shut down. Yeah if we blow our moment people will be upset but i dont think most Americans have the guts to rebel against anything anymore. Founded by rebels dwelled upon now by the cowardly and complacent. Hey, id be more than happy to go to arms and launch a hybrid of the 3rd Opium War/2nd American Civil war but im probably in the minority. I think it’s critical some of the older, wiser folks who know a thing or two about revolution because they did it already once, i think their guidance in this matter is critical. that’s all i got to say about that.

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  • Crut

    OT: Ugh, another controversial study from New Zealand? Cue the blazing headlines!

    Marijuana Use Doubles Risk of Stroke

    “total of 150 ischemic stroke and 10 TIA patients aged 18-55. Close to 16 percent of the participants in the study had positive drug screens – most of whom also smoked cigarettes. 8.1 percent of those who came up positive in the urine samples smoked cannabis.”

    Ok! Let’s do some math! 16% of 160 = 25.6 They said almost 16%, which must mean that 25 people tested positive for a “drug screen”. 8.1% of 25 = 2

    The ENTIRE basis of this conclusion is from 2 people? WTF.

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    • Matthew Meyer

      I’m not sure if your interpretation is correct, but I did note this caveat from the study’s lead author in one of the longer articles about the topic:

      “…[T]he association [of pot smoking and stroke] is confounded because all but one of the stroke patients who were cannabis users also used tobacco regularly.”

      Nevertheless, the guy says he’s pretty sure the pot is to blame.

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    • Matthew Meyer

      The same article also says “Barber and colleagues found that 16% of stroke patients were positive for cannabis compared with 8% of controls.”

      That’s the basis for the “twice as likely” claim. It also makes me think the article you cited was misleading about what the 16% and 8% refer to.

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    • Stroke Risk Caused By Tobacco Not Cannabis

      Tuesday, 5 February 2013, 2:03 pm
      Press Release: NORML

      http://tinyurl.com/aajozag

      Which story did the newspapers decide to run with?

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      • darkcycle

        I’m growing weary of the “studies” coming from the Aussies and Kiwis. Reefer madness is still fully institutionalized down there. The contrived nature of their findings and their questionable methods is making them a laughing stock among everyone (except the masters they serve and the sensationalist media).

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  • Tony Aroma

    I’d bet even a blind 5-year-old child could be taught to tell the difference between a field of hemp and a field of marijuana. It’s unfortunate that our law enforcement officers are not up to the task.

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    • kaptinemo

      As someone once told me, “Look up; it’s hemp. Look down; it’s pot.” Meaning that most cannabis plants grown for psychoactives are generally shorter than industrial hemp.

      If the police can’t tell the difference after three-quarters of a century, then how many wrong-house drug-raids have they engaged in on the basis of their easily-cured ignorance?

      Of, course, that presupposes a desire to cure that ignorance…a desire that’s evidently not evident.

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      • as mind-boggling as the thought is, we know there are many cops in many locales that can’t tell a tomato plant, horsemint or daisies from da real ganja, and dat be a strange t’ing, mon.

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