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Taking marijuana out of the DEA’s authority

Some new bills being introduced in Congress, starting tomorrow. The DEA won’t be happy.

Effort building to change US pot laws

Polis’ measure would regulate marijuana the way the federal government handles alcohol: In states that legalize pot, growers would have to obtain a federal permit. Oversight of marijuana would be removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration and given to the newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms…

Oh, I like that. Don’t see much reason for a federal permit (seems like guidelines for state permits would be sufficient), but I really like getting the DEA out of the business.

Of course, this is still just a bill being proposed by a couple of Representatives and doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing… yet, but knowing that it’s being discussed in Congress? That’s huge.

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71 comments to Taking marijuana out of the DEA’s authority

  • stlgonzo

    How great would it be.

    “Oh, I like that. Don’t see much reason for a federal permit (seems like guidelines for state permits would be sufficient”

    I suspect this is one of the mechanisms for federal graft. Along with a federal tax at some point.

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  • claygooding

    It will be a cold day in hell before I will pay any Federal tax on marijuana after being treated as a second class citizen for 46 years,,fuck em.

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    • Rick Steeb

      I hear you; however, I would be MUCH happier paying a federal tax on newly legalized cannabis than continuing to pay tax money that is being spent on enforcing its prohibition!

      Well-liked Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      • claygooding

        I did not say I wouldn’t vote for it,advocate it or do photo shots with Sabet if it gets it legal,,after all the decades of lies and bullshit they have used I can lie too.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
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          do photo shots with Sabet

          Now that’s commitment. Well presuming that you aren’t standing over his dead carcass in the photograph it is.

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        • darkcycle

          That’s the picture I got, too. Claygooding standing with a big game rifle and a pith helmet, holding a pipe, right foot upon the felled game.

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        • claygooding

          Slingshot,,,give congress another deadly weapon to ban.

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        • kaptinemo

          Something had stuck in the back of my mind for some time, and it only recently jarred loose:

          A few years back there was a BBC series about an American who joined the RAF before the US entered the war, and he had the bad luck to belong to the kind of unit whose Commanding Officer had taught his dog to urinate on enlisted men’s trouser legs.

          That’s Kevin, in a nutshell. No, not the CO; no, Kev’s not him. As much as he pads his resume – speechwriter/mouthpiece does.not.equal ‘drug policy adviser’ – Kev was never command material. Nope, his role was and is much less…dramatic. I’m referring to role of the dog.

          Every time reform is making progress, it seems a dog-whistle is blown somewhere, and there’s ol’ Kev, running out on cue, tongue out and panting, trying to pee on our legs.

          The prohibs really, truly do not understand this medium. They really, truly don’t understand that what they say is mirrored on the ‘Net, and the ‘Net is for-effing-ever.

          The Temperance League was allowed to ignominiously slide into History’s memory hole with little hectoring. Modern-day prohibs, who serve a ‘machine’ whose only ‘productivity’ is measured in negative values monetarily and needlessly ruined lives, deserve no such mercifully dismissive treatment.

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  • Nick

    I know what a tax is.

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  • Nick

    “Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms”

    Should be named in order of danger.

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    • stlgonzo

      Then it should be Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Marijuana.

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      • It better be a tall door they put the lettering on

        Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Fireams and
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        Marijuana

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    • Duncan20903

      .
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      From the “we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto” category:

      The District of Columbia has codified a buffer of 1000 feet for a drugs free zones around schools.

      It’s a 500 feet setback for medicinal cannabis vendors.

      The gun free zone is 300 feet. They do have a lot of guns.

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  • Justin Auldphart

    I think the new agency should be named Drugs, Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco…DAFT for short…

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  • Peter

    cant they just grow up and start using the big peoples name for it: cannabis

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    • primus

      Firearms, Alcohol, Cannabis & Tobacco. FACT. Appropriate, because no matter who is in charge, we are all ‘fact’.

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  • Irie

    Funny you should say that, Peter, but the truth to the matter is, the old people who are still of the refer madness generation, simply don’t it know by Cannabis.
    Funny story, last sunday, was at church, this older couple, in their 70’s, was talking with me telling me why they haven’t been to church for a few weeks, wife was saying since he has had prostate cancer, all the medication has ruined his liver. I was truly sincere when I said I was sorry to hear this, but pharmaceutics are just legal drugs and the doctors are just legal drug pushers. I asked her is she has ever heard of cannabis oil, no she hadn’t, I went on to say it was to bad that we didn’t live in a state where it was legal, and was telling her of some of the facts on how good it was, she stopped me, and asked me what cannabis oil was….I responded, Marijuana. Thats all I had to say, she backed away from me like I was Satan himself, I also laughed out loud. Asked her if she had a computer to go online and see if what I was saying was true, was telling her to go to the Rick Simpson webpage, she simply didn’t care to hear from me anymore after she realized that I was talking of the devil weed. Too bad they had such a closed mind, if I had cancer, and I had to stand on my head in 20 degree weather as it was a known cure for my disease I would have done it, especially if it meant not hurting my insides. Don’t understand people, I even reminded them, yes it is a drug, but what are all those pills her husband is taking ruining his liver? Hmmmmm….stupid is as stupid does…..

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    • claygooding

      One of the problems is that the doctors are not familiar with the “Rick Simpson cure” or any of the other ailments that cannabis can help,,PLEASE,,go to your towns doctors office and drop off a printed copy of “Granny’s list” link and any medical links that will familiarize the physicians or at least alert them to the alternatives.
      There is a doctor’s site where they can talk to experienced cannabis recommending physicians but can’t recall the link.

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    • Servetus

      I’ve heard similar stories. One involved a guy who was retiring and wanted to start partying again with marijuana like the good old days of his youth. His wife objected, telling her husband she was afraid of what St. Peter might think once they reached the pearly gates.

      What can you say to a person like that? Maybe make some pot jokes about St. Peter? A Muslim, a rabbi, and St. Peter walk into a medical marijuana dispensary ….

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      • claygooding

        Genesis 1 verse 29,,it is not some vague anecdotal quote from the bible that could be applied to multiple subjects but a decree from God,,how can anyone that claims to believe in God think he made a mistake and would have to explain how He forgot to mention hemp is exempted from that decree.
        ( I chased a Baptist Sunday school teacher off trying to get him to explain how hemp wasn’t included in the verse,,he said he would have to check and would get back to me,,,2 1/2 years ago.

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        • War Vet

          pot prohibition is the belief that God is a fool and man needs to correct him. To be a Christian and not to believe in the goodness of hemp or pot is to say God is not perfect. It’s seeds contain anti-oxidants . . . we are taught anti-oxidants are good for reducing free radicals in our body that can cause cancer and pot has been show to reduce tumors etc . . . more than a coincidence. With all the information we have the freedom to access, sometimes people who don’t utilize the plant for treatment (and maybe even in prevention) are to blame if they get cancer or cannot rid it (depending on the cancer that is). Just like modern day American Vets with the same info access as we have are to blame if they get fits of PTSD coming on, especially since Israel claims cannabis can prevent (or was it cut in half?) PTSD if consumed within 24hrs after combat . . . the longer they wait to treat their PTSD with cannabis, the more they are to blame for it occurring off and on and creating life like nightmares during sleep.

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        • claygooding

          I always thought us potheads were protecting ourselves while prohibitionist and drug warriors were not,,but in the real world prohibs and drug warriors smoke the best they can steal and deal.

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      • Duncan20903

        Oh come on, that joke is so old… Doesn’t anyone ever write any new stupid pothead jokes? ;)

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  • Dante

    Why stop at the DEA?

    Seriously, why can’t we take almost EVERYTHING away from our Federal Government?

    It’s not like they are serving the public, or defending liberty, or anything like that. No, it has become obvious that our noble public servants are primarily engaged in serving themselves. I recently saw an article which described our government as a “threat” to us.

    So let’s just take it all away – the budgets, cars, planes, perks, health care, retirement, authority, immunity, etc. It is time for We The People to finally come together and support a program which will defeat the greatest threat to our way of life, and our children’s, and our grandchildren’s.

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    • stlgonzo

      Dante,
      You gotta start somewhere.

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      • could start here w/ Bernie Sanders’ (independent VT Sen):

        A Petition to Support the Saving American Democracy Amendment

        Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC.

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        • Duncan20903

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          Well that proposed Amendment would kill NORML, MPP, very possibly LEAP. New Approach Washington and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol would have been hamstrung if not emasculated by that proposed Amendment. Could they have even paid contractors to collect the required signature to get those initiatives on the ballot. I’ll bet we’d have to wait more than a decade before the SCOTUS tells us the answer to that question.

          There isn’t anyone but me here that understands that the people on our side of the table uses corporations for our benefit? I listed 5 of them above by name.

          At least Mr. Sanders is proposing what needs to be done to actually make it happen within the authority of the U.S. Constitution. I really think people need to think this one through because we’d be limiting the protections of the 1st Amendment and the ramifications will be significantly deeper than Election Day every other year. When I was with DC Metro NORML we filed 5 1st Amendment based demands. Putting advertisements on
          Metrobus and Metrorail vehicles, 3 times to get ignorant local government stooges to give us permits for rallies, and once with the Fairfax County police because they raided the home of the chapter’s Secretary and seized our files. I see Mr. Sanders’ proposed Amendment significantly monkey wrenching all but the last. But the last example was a black swan event anyway. All the matters were quickly remedied with a note to the respective authorities on our attorney’s letterhead reminding them of our corporation’s 1st Amendment rights. Just make sure that you actually know what you’re giving up before you support voting away part of your liberty. Freedom is a two way street.

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        • you are actually the only I’ve seen here in support of CU.

          If all the orgs you listed existed before the SC CU ruling how would undoing it kill them?

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        • Jamie Raskin (professor of constitutional law at American University Washington College) had a well done piece in the Nation last Oct:

          ‘Citizens United’ and the Corporate Court

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        • War Vet

          My area doesn’t allow independent candidates to speak on a debate with others . . . not even at a college.

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        • stlgonzo

          I agree with Duncan. Not trying to get into a big debate. But when government can control when and who spends money on an election we are all in more trouble then we are now.

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        • darkcycle

          Well. I would be just fine with corporate campaign contributions if they were subject to the very same limitations we are as “persons”….But they’re not. A corporation doesn’t pause to eat, it doesn’t sleep, it can turn the efforts of hundreds of people loose on a problem and all of a sudden every clock hour they spend on that is worth hundreds of hours of my time…I can’t compete with a Corporation or a Superpac. All of us combined, with all of our income and assets can’t compete either. So our ability to become a corporation in the abstract still does nothing to level the playing field. Citizen’s United was an awful decision, but I am not sure there’s a constitutional remedy.

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        • stlgonzo

          I feel ya DC. I now that small business get together and for trade association for this very reason of lobbying. (i.e. AISC)

          My preferred solution would be to restrict the congress to what they are constitutionally mandated to do and nothing more. The less power government has the less important it is to lobby them.

          Might be a pipe dream, and I am not an anarchist.

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        • Not an anarchist? Why not? What do you consider anarchy?

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        • stlgonzo

          I don’t believe in a stateless society or non-hierarchical organizations, and I don’t think the state to be immoral simply by existing. I guess anarchy really has several definition, but those are what I associate it with.

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      • Dante

        I agree 100%.

        First we identify our targets based upon the greatest threat.

        Done. It’s the U.S. Federal Government.

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    • TINMA

      At some point , our government will be so overbearing that the people will have had enough. We are getting there, but not yet. When the people can no longer live comfortable and feed them selves, then maybe. It will have to be bad though.

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      • Windy

        At some point? I think we are already there:

        “It’s 12:30 p.m. Being generous, government offices in Washington D.C. have been open 4.5 hours. In that time 99 new regulations have been posted on regulations.gov, including changes to the flood hazard determination of Maricopa County Arizona.

        “Over the last 90 days 5,646 new regulations have been posted. Please regulators, just take a few days off.”

        The above quote is from The Advocates for Self Government (a great org, I highly recommend checking out their website).

        My comment: This number of new regulations is absolutely ridiculous. Every minute of each working day our lives are being restricted more and more and our rights are being violated by all this regulation. Dante is correct, the fed gov is the greatest threat to the liberty, property and lives of ALL Americans.

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  • divadab

    The tobacco model works very well for Indian hemp flower medicine – not so well for industrial hemp. Tobacco is a regulated agricultural product that requires federal licensing at each step of the production process. Except: anyone can grow up to five lbs. of tobacco per year for personal use without buying a tobacco excise tax stamp. This model works well for hemp flower medicine.

    However, it’s onerous for industrial hemp, which should be regulated by the USDA like any other oilseed crop like flax, which hemp resembles but is better for oilseed and fiber production with higher yields and lower cost inputs.

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  • darkcycle

    Jus sayin’, but ATF is no better than DEA. In fact, they’re the same type of “worse thing you could possibly do”. I think the faster and the furious-er we can get the Feds out and the States in, the better….

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    • claygooding

      The entire letter gangs need to be overhauled after the reports of “parties” and vacations being enjoyed on their budget monies,,there should be enough of a shake up to get the guy in the drivers license office to act like he wants to help you instead of doing you a favor just to talk at you.

      Well-liked Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      • Dante

        I’ve been going to the DMV since the 70’s.

        If they were ever to be nice to me, I would pass out from shock.

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      • Windy

        Not just “overhauled” clay, abolished! Each and every one of those agencies is clearly unconstitutional.

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    • John

      I agree darkcycle. I don’t want ATF jackboots standing on my head anymore than I want DEA jackboots standing on my head. If they take marijuana away from the DEA and give it to ATF, the DEA would have to downsize; the ATF would probably just hire all the displaced DEA agents. I don’t see any improvement here.

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    • Windy

      dc and anyone else who feels this way, should donate to the Tenth Amendment Foundation, which is working to bring about that restoration of the fed gov being subservient to the sovereign States and the people (as was intended when the fed gov was created).

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  • I have spoken with the leaders of the three reform organizations that get the most ink (DPA, NORML, MPP), and each believes the entirety of drug prohibition must be repealed, not just that against cannabis. But let’s assume legal cannabis becomes law of the land. So I will ask those of you sitting here on Pete’s couch the same question I’ve asked them: What drug will you champion next? And I hope I get more than the blank stares I got from them, suggesting they’ve not thought through the issue.

    That is the problem with the incremental approach to drug policy reform. My fear is that, as we move on to the next drug, we will be told “We gave you marijuana, so sit down and shut the fuck up.” And when cannabis legalization does not make an appreciable dent in drug violence, and a good argument can be made that it won’t, the prohibitionists will say “See, we told you so!” and double-down their efforts to re-criminalize cannabis.

    Be careful what we wish for…

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    • That’s easy. Look at where the most problems are from prohibition and act from there. Meth labs are a huge problem, so we go after legalizing clean pharmaceutical amphetamines. Also, death from heroin overdose/impurity/poisoning is a real problem, so we start agitating for injecting rooms and Swiss-style heroin dispensaries. We build on the efforts in Bolivia and get coca legalized in its leaf/tea form there and here, and start importing products that allow people to enjoy coca in its less-powerful form and get familiar with it in much the same way they have familiarized themselves with marijuana.

      It’s a challenging process to build not only public awareness but also a kind of familiarity with the drugs, so that the drugs can’t be as easily demonize — but that’s critical to turning around the current public opinion.

      Of course, NORML and MPP will give you blank stares. Their entire mission is cannabis, as it should be. DPA should be aware of the larger issue, but I don’t care if they are or not. Someone will be, and those of us on the couch will work with them.

      There won’t be as big a base of support for reform after marijuana is fully legalized, but neither will there be as large a base of opposition.

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      • claygooding

        I agree Pete because of the damage meth is doing,,sad that it is directly caused by prohibition,,so spending more dollars trying to fix a problem the law exacerbated is an exercise in stupidity.
        And taking control of the drug market is the only way to remove criminal control of production and distribution,,regardless of what drug you want as “next”!

        1.Meth

        2.Nature’s drugs in their natural organic forms.

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        • stlgonzo

          I agree with you Clay ,and Pete also, when it comes to harm-reduction meth should be next. I think the incremental approach might be most successful if the next step is MDMA, psilocybin, LSD and the likes.

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        • War Vet

          Toads even, just to protect the little things from bad owners. Every illicit drug from A-Z even STP and MPA if necessary to reduce crime from drug money. Fake weed as well since that stuff will be huge when fully outlawed and when no Cherokee is allowed to sell it anymore.

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        • claygooding

          War Vet,,did you ever smoke a toad?

          For inquisitive minds,,find a sure enuff toad with the raised warts on their backs,,gently squeeze the warts and soak up the fluid with a rolling paper,avoiding the glue,,after coating paper allow to dry and roll a joint,,direct from the space cadets handbook.

          It makes you walk around with one eye closed.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
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          Someday will someone explain to me why meth is so popular on the west coast but on the east coast the only people who are fans of meth are in the gay men’s community. I can tell you where to go to find a yo boy selling heroin or crack but wouldn’t have a clue tell you where to find the black market meth vendors on this side of the country.

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      • Pete~

        I disagree that meth labs are a huge problem, though legalizing amphetamines makes sense. Shooting galleries and dispenseries, based on whatever model, do nothing about the illegal heroin trade – perhaps the most violent part of the cartel game. Having coca-based drink products is fine too, but does nothing about the cocaine business – which will not go away. And to suggest the opposition to such ideas won’t be as significant as it is today with cannabis is, with due respect, delusional.

        Easy? Maybe easier said than done…

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        • stlgonzo

          I don’t think anyone thinks the opposition wont be fierce.

          I think that we will attitudes about prohibition change and things are legalized and the dire projection of the prohibitionists don’t come true.

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        • claygooding

          I keep hoping some senator or rep figures out that the government is spending appx 1/3 what the American public is paying the cartels.
          And the banks are handling both sides money..

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        • claygooding

          The meth labs are the problem,,because of their manufacturing techniques and contamination of the product with what ever cutting agent is handy.

          When meth tabs were legal nobody looked like death warmed over from using them,,because they were manufactured under regulations and quality controls.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
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          Meth labs in the U.S.A. today consist of a 2 liter soda pop bottle and use the Nazi (or shake & bake) method.

          Speaking of the danger of meth labs as anyone else noticed that there’s a wave of people blowing up buildings while making BHO? I really wish people would stop doing that.

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    • Matthew Meyer

      DMT, psilocybin, LSD, and their chemical relatives in Schedule I.

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      • John

        These, and other entheogens, will benefit humanity tremendously. There would be much to gain by pushing for their legalization quickly after cannabis. I think all raw unprocessed plants (Mimosa, mushrooms, cactus, Salvia, Coca, poppies, etc.) should be freely available to all.

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        • DonDig

          When you get right down to it, what benefit is it at ANY level to say that something with extremely low toxicity should be banned and not studied? We’re not supposed to want to learn more? Especially when some of the early results are so interesting? Yikes!!
          (Not to mention flat out beneficial!!)

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    • primus

      Two vectors suggest themselves;

      1. a differentiation between how we treat herbal substances such as cannabis, coca leaf etc. which should by default be freely available unless some extremely bad outcome is provable, outcome at least as bad as alcohol or tobacco, VS. man-made drugs which by default should be prohibited unless they have gone through the new drug protocols, and then, unless they cause major harms, should be freely available. To take a different approach is incompatible with a free society. Insofar as we do not currently take this default to freedom approach, our society is less free.

      2. All the drugs are different in their effects, addictive qualities etc. therefore all drugs must be dealt with individually. To take a blanket approach toward all drugs, to try to use the same screwdriver no matter what kind of screw, is to take the wrong approach at least part of the time. The next discussion must deal effectively with this topic.

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    • darkcycle

      I believe in a two pronged approach. Rather than any specific drug, the entire edifice needs to be dismantled. First and foremost in my book is harm reduction for all drugs of addiction. The second half dovetails nicely with this, since none of us believes in arresting users. That’s to attack the basis for criminalizing what should be public health policy. Dr.’s should be free to write prescriptions for opiates and stimulants, and these people need to have medical monitoring, as well as treatment and substitution therapies on demand.
      I think it’s a mistake to think in terms of the next particular drug. I also think you are mistaken if you believe the folks on the couch were championing one drug over another. When I got re-involved in the legalization movement in about 2006, we already had established organizations dedicated to marijuana. It also seemed “do-able” if we could wedge ourselves into the conversation. Marijuana as a drug has been viewed separately from the other drugs of abuse by society for forty years, right or wrong. That’s where things sat when I sat down here on Pete’s comfy couch. Rather than redesign the entire effort from scratch, I figgured work with what ya got. We got here, now we can address the real questions.

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  • The DEA should be disbanded and all their pensions frozen. Ramping up the drug war in Central America in the face of a sequester demonstrates how malicious and irresponsible this group of corrupt maggots is.

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    • War Vet

      And look at how they got a bunch of soldiers killed in Afghanistan . . . men who have more of a reason to do what they do than the DEA, since every man and child has the right to live in world without blown off body parts. Drug prohibition justifies U.S. military action in the Middle East since no one wants to be sodomized or blown up by what drug money can finance. The DEA are slugs and we are the salt. A drug prohibiton free America keeps the military a bit more War Free -thus keeping us from turing a nation like Iraq into a scapegoat because drug money knows how to fly planes in NYC.

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    • War Vet

      I say charge the DEA for pushing the World Trade Center buildings down -which they did.

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  • NYT: Effective Addiction Treatment

    A groundbreaking report published last year by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University concluded that “the vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.” The report added, “Only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works.”

    The Columbia report found that most addiction treatment providers are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials needed to provide the full range of evidence-based services, including medication and psychosocial therapy. The authors suggested that such insufficient care could be considered “a form of medical malpractice.”

    -snip-

    “There are exceptions, but of the many thousands of treatment programs out there, most use exactly the same kind of treatment you would have received in 1950, not modern scientific approaches,” A. Thomas McLellan, co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, told Ms. Fletcher.

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  • TINMA

    No agency that gets its job security from drugs ahould have any say in its legality.

    Goodby DEA, goodby private prison lobbies …ect ect.

    No this probably doesnt have a snowballs chance in hell, but we gotta keep pushing.

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  • Duncan20903

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    I see that a Know Nothing prohibitionist managed to get inside last night and started rooting around in the cushions. Did somebody call the exterminator? I hope that you didn’t call Gribble’s this time. That guy is just too paranoid.

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