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The Economist on The Great Experiment

The Economist has always been better than most on drug policy, and this piece – Illegal Drugs: The Great Experiment – is really outstanding.

The Economist has long argued that prohibition is illiberal in principle and harmful in practice, and that the least-bad way of dealing with drugs is to legalise and regulate their production and consumption. But we recognise that it takes a brave politician to face down the moral panic that surrounds the issue. This new thinking, though limited, is therefore welcome. Legalising consumption allows drug use and addiction (by no means the same thing) to be treated as the public-health issues they are. That in turn means applying the principle of harm reduction, for example by providing clean needles to addicts to prevent the spread of HIV.

But decriminalising consumption does nothing to break the grip of gangsters over the drug business. For that to happen, production and distribution also need to be legalised. That is why the experiment under way in the United States is so important. Colorado and Washington now have the chance to create a legal but regulated market in marijuana, similar to those for tobacco or alcohol.

[...]

One immediate consequence is that the United States will be in breach of the UN Convention. Good. It should now join Latin American governments in an effort to reform that outdated document to allow signatories room to experiment. Imposing a failed policy on everybody benefits nobody.

Read the whole thing.

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54 comments to The Economist on The Great Experiment

  • claygooding

    With America’s record on treaties the people at the UN wouldn’t be surprised much,,except the US bought and threatened the STC into existence in the first place.

    And the experiment will fail miserably as long as politicians see castles built in the clouds using marijuana taxes and licensing fees to replace the billions of dollars wasted.

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  • Dante

    Holy Cow, somebody else gets it. Finally.

    Holy Freakin’ Cow.

    Well-liked Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • kaptinemo

      Actually, they knew it all along. It’s taken all this time for the prohib noise machine to die down enough so that the rest of the world could hear the very quiet voice of the little kid saying the The Emperor is not only butt-naked, but covered in running, bulbous, pus-filled sores from the corruption of his supposedly saintly hide.

      And it doesn’t help that the HSBC boys were let off the legal hook by Uncle Sam. That corruption is soooooo blatant now that it goes beyond Hypocrisy Lite to Industrial Strength HAZMAT level.

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      • Dante

        They did know it all along, I agree. But now we have achieved critical mass and the chain reaction of our truth-nuke is unstoppable.

        What is different is that now there are many “respected” and “conservative” and “old school” voices adding to ours in calling for an examination of the drug war. The weight they carry far exceeds ours and it will tip the scales in our favor (I know W.F. Buckley and others were on our side, but we needed much more volume).

        Now, we have the upper hand because public opinion has changed. This is (finally) the moment in history when the pendulum begins to swing the other way, reducing the drug war. Slowly at first, but always in our direction rather than against us. The tide of public opinion, once turned, will wash over the ideologic sand castles that the prohibitionists built out of lies and greed.

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  • Servetus

    I wouldn’t expect The Economist to favor prohibition, or that any other economics publication would do so. Prohibitionism is anti-capitalist. It’s a restraint of trade that favors law enforcement and prison industrialism, and therefore big government, over the economic health of free-market nations.

    Noam Chomsky said he always trusted the information and data published in economic sources, in contrast to the fantasies one might encounter from the MSM, or in the warped, right-wing editorial pages of the WSJ. The reason being that investors and corporations are dealing with real money, and so by necessity they must emphasize and focus on the real world, on real facts and numbers, as opposed to the fantasies of moralists and similar fraudsters.

    The fanciful world inhabited by the kooks and imposters who find a cushy job haven in drug enforcement are probably of relatively little interest to investors. Prohibition investments are limited to a very narrow range of options comprising privatized prisons, drug testing companies, maybe some types of military production, and, naturally, money laundering banks. Illicit drugs have a far greater return on investment than any prohibitionist enterprise could dream of, so drugs win, and prohibition is left sucking the licit economy and tax-base dry.

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    • War Vet

      “Some type of Military production” . . . I think what you meant to say was: “All types of military production post 9/11”. Who makes the rules in a world that is Saddam Hussein-less: The traffickers –the ones with the money? Our allies own all the oil to the North in Kurdistan and they love us more than we’ll ever love a favorite pet (unless our pet killed a genocidal dictator just for us). Why is America at war in the Middle East: because drugs are illegal. The War on Drugs has been proven to be the leading cause of airline crashes into large buildings. The New York Times (NY Times Sept 8, 2011) paper reported that 9/11 (which created two wars) cost us $3.3 trillion dollar in just one decade alone . . . this doesn’t even include the cost of local drug enforcement, inmate incarceration, our foreign drug enforcement efforts etc . . . when our Iraqi Conflict was alive and kicking, our government was reporting that we were spending $2 billion a week on the War on Drugs in the Middle East (fighting drug money and being civically hindered by drug money corruption is the same thing as the war on drugs in my book and if it is not, we can then begin to prove that the drug cartels don’t use drug money to finance their violence in Mexico). The Economist would be right in denouncing the War on Drugs because it has cost us well over $3 trillion in one decade alone, while retarding the economically successful ‘Marshall Plan Part 2’ for Iraq and Afghanistan, which leads to constant fighting, which hinders civics, government, security and rebuilding. Why else would you have L3 Communications in Iraq: because going after a wealthy enemy would require such private companies to develop and work in technologies in the first place just to attack/infiltrate said wealthy enemies?

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      • Servetus

        Drugs and international political intrigue have been linked to U.S. military interests since the opium wars. More so when the French government used heroin sales to finance their military costs of colonializing Viet Nam. National security, whatever that term might mean, trumps the prohibition of drugs nearly every time.

        Used as a weapon, a rebellious, domestic population might be targeted for internal disruption, and thereby neutralization, by introducing a specific drug into said population, and making it cheap to buy and even easier to get arrested for.

        If you want to create continuous war in a region, even after you’ve said you’ve left the country, target it for drug interdiction. That way a country gets a foothold on some mineral-rich country like Afghanistan, without officially being on a declared war footing. We’re there to save the world from drugs they will say. So much horseshit I say.

        There’s nothing the bastards won’t do when it comes to manipulating and oppressing populations through the controlled or prohibited allocation of drugs. That’s why drug freedom is the only possible solution when it comes to dealing with these creeps. They’ve made the situation us or them. It’s not our fault.

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        • add this nicely done piece at CounterPunch:

          Drugs, War and Occupation

          -snip-

          The author of Cruel Harvest, Julien Mercille, points out that the United States government meets its own definition of a narco-terrorist organization. This definition provided by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) during testimony before Congress) describes such organizations as those groups which are “complicit in the activities of drug trafficking to further premeditated, politically motivated violence to influence a government or group of people.” If this is narco-terrorism, than not only is the US government involved; it can be reasonably argued that it almost invented the practice. To prove his point, Mercille reviews the complicity of the Central Intelligence Agency and its predecessor the Office of Strategic Services in the drug trade since World War Two. Drawing on the work of Alfred McCoy (The Politics of Heroin) and others, he adds the intrigue in Afghanistan to that history.

          -snip-

          gosh… there are a few banks that would meet that definition…

          Well-liked Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

        • War Vet

          But was the U.S. involvement with drugs and military conquests only during the Opium War and nothing else before WWII when we allowed the Mafia to sell heroin as a method of subduing Reds in post Mussolini Italy etc? The Opium Wars are the only wars I know about involving America until the Cold War. So under that definition you described about Narco-State, would the DEA’s attack of Mumbai, India in 2008 be a part of a Narco-Terror (technically Jihadist) conflict? The DEA knew (premeditated) they were giving their Chicago native of a snitch lots of money to make a drug deal with Pakistan . . . the ex-girlfriends of David warned the DEA and FBI that he was sympathetic to a Jihadist organization whom trafficked in opium and heroin, yet the DEA didn’t care that their man might turn Jihad, which he did . . . not that the DEA’s intent was to do an Islamic Jihad against India (which they did through David and DEA money), but they were willing to take that risk just to nab some smack. Because they were warned, they were not ignorant, thus I call what happened in India as being the intent of the DEA because of the lack of ignorance on their part (since they were warned and look what happened: Jihad in Mumbai), which is why I now label the DEA as a Jihadist organization. In my book the DEA belong to many different terror/gang/criminal organizations because of the effects of their drug prohibition enforcement and their lack of ignorance in regards to ‘blowback’ which happens time and time again because of said cause or enforcement –and allowing something bad to happen when said bad activity has happened many times before, under the same drug enforcement formula is intent i.e. keeping drugs illegal financed the attacks in Beirut in 81’ and the 1993 WTC bombing, which tells me that 9/11 was in their eyes as a foreseen and acceptable consequence or loss in combating drug use . . . Hell, even Hunter S. Thompson in his ‘Generation of Swine’(ask me what page, and I’ll tell you) predicted 9/11 in 1986 when he guessed the year ‘2001 would be the year of the Muslim’ with no more of the ‘American Century’.

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        • Servetus

          Figuring out intent within factions is made complicated by people in those groups who really have no understanding of the consequences of their actions, and who really don’t consider the future as part of the cost of doing business.

          A psychopath will do something stupid knowing it’s going to get them into trouble within the next 24-hours. For them it’s all about the moment, one day at a time. Asked what they’ll be doing in two years, they won’t know. Drug enforcement is an ideal profession for psychopaths. Authoritarians fit in as part of the mix as well. Add two cups of religion, stir in a quart of stupidity, boil it, and you’ve produced a witch’s brew of problems that encompasses many different cultural and military conflicts.

          So did prohibitionists plan to cook up this awful cuisine, or is it just the way things are screwing up? It’s difficult to know. Probably both.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Comment posted at the Economist under the instant article quoted above:

    The problem is that the contention that the U.S. would be in violation of the SCT were the (U.S.) feds to not “over turn” Colorado and Washington State law is hogwash. I’ll give the Economist a break because they’re British so likely don’t fully grasp:

    A) our system of dual sovereignty in the U.S.,

    B) the fact that neither Colorado or Washington are signatories to the SCT nor could they be even if they wanted to suffer that ignominious distinction.

    C) that the U.S. Constitution does not allow the Federal government to force the States into adopting laws in their respective criminal codes,

    D) that the U.S. or any other SCT signatory can abrogate being a signatory power by writing the equivalent of a “Dear John” letter to the U.N. telling them to stuff their treaty. The U.S. can also evict the U.N. if we so choose. I’ll certainly vote in favor.

    …and seem unaware that if the claim that State law can violate the imbecilic atrocity embodied by the SCT is actually true that:

    E) the U.S. has been (not will be) in violation of that treaty for 16 years (California, 1996) at the least and possibly as long as just a short hair under four (4) full decades (Oregon 1973.) No people, cannabis isn’t and hasn’t ever been legal under the criminal code of the State of Alaska. It’s de facto, not de jure legalization there.

    Also forgotten is that the Dutch have been allowing commerce in cannabis for almost 4 decades without even a squeak of disapproval from the U.N. Apparently a Country is in compliance with the SCT if they just pretend that it’s illegal. C’mon, that’s hypocritical and just plain stupid.

    Like the hysterical rhetoric Know Nothing prohibitionists are wont to screech, cannabis is still a federal felony and that leaves the U.S. in compliance with the SCT. Cannabis is illegal on every square foot of the United States except for a few very miniscule exceptions, all in compliance with the SCT.

    But regardless, what the heck is the U.N. going to do about it if we decide to end the stupidity of absolute prohibition in our Country? What happens if we decide to include every drug on the DEA’s naughty lists? Impose economic sanctions? You need us a heckuva lot more than we need you. Send in troops? Oooh, we’re shaking like a leaf. Go ahead, hit us with your best shot. You only get one though so you’d better knock us out of the game on your first try. For crying out loud we’re the fracking United States of America. The U.N. isn’t the boss of us. We are the bully on the planet. When we say “jump” foreign governments know that means to jump as high as they can get. OK, OK, that’s just idle posturing. But the reality is that the worst that the U.N. will do is to send the President and cc Congress a letter telling us that we’ve made them very, very angry and that we better not do it again. If they don’t like it they can pack up their shit and pound sand. Better yet just pound sand and we keep their stuff. We call that civil forfeiture on this side of the pond. What do the British call it?

    From The Constitution of the United States of America, Article I, Section 10:

    No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    Well like it or not I learn something new every day. Doesn’t that article unequivocally forbid a State’s seceding from the Union? There really are days when I regret the scheduling conflict between my high school American History class and nap time. Then again my history teacher was from an America on a planet Earth in an alternate universe so maybe the time was better spent sleeping.

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  • crut

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/global-support-grows-for-legalizing-drugs-a-884750.html

    Awesome perspective piece from the German newspaper Der Spiegle.

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  • darkcycle

    Unbelieveable. N.C. rejects MMJ bill because it is too popular (no, really). Raising tone deafness to a fine art: http://gawker.com/5986181/nc-house-committee-votes-to-reject-medical-marijuana-bill-because-too-many-constituents-wanted-it-to-pass

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    • Bruce

      That’s my Dislike, Darky. A good thing. Kinda like Hating the Inability to Relax. How Sad to witness such a needless Societal Meltdown. My Vimy Veteran Grampa Detested Gov’t. Now I fully understand Why.

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      • darkcycle

        Gotcha, Bruce. I feel you. Rabbits with pocket watches. the Mad Hatter’s Assembly, that. Now I’m going to go visit my little caterpillar friend. Didja know, he traded up? He replaced his Hookah with a Volcano.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          The prohibitionists are approaching a state of utter panic concurrent with severe cognitive dissonance as they see their precious prohibition slipping from their grip as if it were sand. I expect the incidence of political conniption fits to rise exponentially in the next couple of years. If it’s possible to die or suffer catastrophic brain failure from an overdose of cognitive dissonance we should see a few cases in the same time frame. Though I’m not sure if there is actually a reliable protocol to determine if a prohibitionist has suffered catastrophic brain failure. How could they tell one flatline from the other?

          So far the best Internet alias that I’ve seen was from a fellow who called himself Cognitive Dissident. He does sit on our side of the table on this issue.

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    • gosh… not much to say about that is there? Thanks for posting that one dc… not only is the emperor not wearing any clothes but he’s flakin’ looney!

      If I slap my palm to my forehead one more time today…

      “Stupid Prohib Tricks” is definitely a category that’s developing a growing profile. This fits.

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  • And of course there are those who brush with the list but don’t quite make it (but we suspect, given time…) like Jackson County (OR) sheriff Mike Winters… he’s one of those sheriffs that said he will refuse to obey unconstitutional legislation and/or executive orders that violate the Second Amendment right to arm bears.

    He’s also the sheriff that in 2008 denied Gold Hill resident Cynthia Willis her concealed firearm permit because she is a registered w/ OMMP patient. He fought it up to the OR state supremes (and tried to get the SCrOTUS to bite) claiming U.S. federal law trumps Oregon state law.

    A rather quirky lot at times… but keep playing Mike, we’re certain there’s plenty of material ahead for you.

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    • Duncan20903

      The Commonwealth of Virginia? WTF?? The Feds need to quit the bullshit while they still have jobs. (archived news from April 2012)

      New Law: Virginia will not cooperate with NDAA detention

      /snip/
      RICHMOND, Va. – On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

      HB1160 “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

      The legislature previously passed HB1160 and forwarded it to Gov. Bob McDonnell for his signature. Last week, the governor agreed to sign the bill with a minor amendment. On Wednesday, the House of Delegates passed the amended version of the legislation 89-7. Just hours later, the Senate concurred by a 36-1 vote.
      /snip/

      /snip/
      Several states recently passed resolutions condemning NDAA indefinite detention, but Virginia becomes the first state to pass a law refusing compliance with sections 1021 and 1022.

      “In the 1850s, northern states felt that habeas corpus was so important that they passed laws rejecting the federal fugitive slave act. The bill passed in Massachusetts was so effective, not one single runaway slave was returned south from that state. Today, Virginia joins in this great American tradition,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “When the federal government passes unconstitutional so-called laws so destructive to liberty – it’s the people and the states that will stand up and say, [just say] ‘NO!’”
      /snip/

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  • Duncan20903

    .
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    Another reason why we can’t re-legalize cannabis is because neither Emily Post nor Miss Manners have established protocols for polite pot parties. Marijuana Etiquette: Sending Out Smoke Signals

    It’s an entertaining piece of fluff in the NY Times by a Vanity Fair writer and author of ““Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners.”” He certainly picks some elite cannabis law reform advocates to quote. He also performed a mother lovin’ miracle. He made me laugh with a couple of never before seen stupid pothead jokes.

    Hey, would stupid jokes about potheads be the better choice of words. It sounds like I’m calling potheads stupid in the former?

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  • [...] The Economist on The Great ExperimentDrug WarRant… in the Middle East (fighting drug money and being civically hindered by drug money corruption is the same thing as the war on drugs in my book and if it is not, we can then begin to prove that the drug cartels don't use drug money to finance their … [...]

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  • for those in and near Columbus, Ohigho…

    Medical marijuana’s “#1 enemy” coming to Ohio next week

    any fans of kev-kev’s in the area?

    Opponents of legalized medical marijuana, including the man Rolling Stone magazine labeled the “#1 enemy of marijuana legalization,” will gather at the Statehouse next week.

    Kevin Sabet, a former official with the Office of National Drug Policy for the Obama administration, will discuss the medical marijuana issue Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Statehouse Ladies Gallery. He will be joined by Sue Thau of the Community Anti Drug Coalitions of America and Marcie Seidel of the Drug Free Action Alliance in Columbus.

    The trio will discuss the implications of marijuauna legalization and potential Ohio statewide ballot issues seeking approval of medical marijuana for qualfied users.

    Supporters have been circulating two different petitions to put the issue on the statewide ballot, but there is no indication at this point that will happen this year

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  • darkcycle

    “..so took the seeds from Colombia and mexico…and I planted up a holler down on Copperhead Road…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvaEJzoaYZk

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  • Servetus

    Timbuktu al-Qaeda has 22 tips for avoiding a drone attack. If Paul Chabot, the founder of Coalition for a Drug Free California (lol) gets his way, you may need to know them.

    Here’s Chabot’s byline at his little coalition:

    Dr. Paul Chabot, [drumroll please] is a combat veteran from Iraq where he served as an intelligence officer with special operations forces. Having fought to defend America’s values and principles, he returned home to find California falling further down a slippery slope of drug legalization, addiction, crime and violence…

    Slippery slope? Is he talking mudslides? Or Tahoe ski resorts?

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I’ll take stupidity for $1000 Alex. “Oh ho ho you’ve found the Daily Double Jeopardy answer!!!” That answer is:

      A) drug legalization
      B) addiction
      C) crime
      D) violence

      Oh well shit Alex, I’m not sure but I’ll take a wild guess and go with “Isn’t that answer a question from an IQ test?”

      [ding ding ding ding] Right you are, we have a wiener!!! Johnny, what fabulous prize does Mr. 20903 win?” “Well Alex, our genius of the day wins 100 copies of Willie Nelson’s new book titled “There’s More Than One Way To Skin a Prohibitionist!” It’s the true story of a popular singer who led a Batman style double life, assuming a secret identity and ridding the world of the scourge of prohibitionism one prohibitionist at a time before the tragedy of arthritis forced him to retire. Soon to be a major minor motion picture!!!

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Has there been any speculation that the Maine Legislature might sponsor a re-legalization referendum to be decided on Election Day 2014? What are the odds that it will be sponsored by a pair of legislators from opposite sides of the aisle? How about the two legislators actually sharing same family name?

    Maine ‘High’ on Recreational Marijuana Use
    Maine has moved a step closer to legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

    A bill — co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Aaron Russell and Democratic Rep. Diane Russell — was introduced Thursday to put the issue before voters, The Bangor Daily News reports.

    If passed, a statewide referendum would decide on a law that would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and levy a tax of $50 per ounce.

    But under the law, it would still be illegal to smoke marijuana in public.
    /snip/

    If you read the article don’t get too excited about the overwhelming support for re-legalization in the poll. We have to remember that a significant percentage of prohibitionists are illiterates.

    PS In reality the Republican is Rep. Aaron Libby, R-Waterboro

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    • claygooding

      What we are seeing with all these states legislatures putting bills in are the “control” freaks that can read the writing on the wall,,if they don’t put a bill through before 2016 and maybe 2014 then where applicable a ballot initiative may pass with regulations and controls written by citizens rather than legislators.

      The problem is that the bought legislators are still voting against it to insure they stay on the lobby money payroll.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        We’re talking about Maine clay. You know Maine, that’s the State with a misdemeanor for less than 99 plants for personal use. This proposal allows legislators to avoid putting their name on a vote in favor of re-legalization. Their perception goes from “voting yes means people will think I’m ‘soft on drugs’” to “I don’t condone re-legalization but I follow the will of the people. I have every confidence in the wisdom of Maine’s voters to make the right decision.” After the voters just say yes he can say, “well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. But I don’t blame the voters, I blame George Soros and the moneyed lobbyists from D.C.”

        [sigh] I used to think that if legislators would write these laws that the prohibitionists would quit denigrating them as “vague” “confusing” “a mess” etc. What the heck was I thinking? This one’s from the “Jane, you ignorant slut” category:

        Federal prosecutor says state law a factor in Colorado marijuana case

        /snip/
        Menendez, too, criticized Colorado’s medical-marijuana business laws as a “mess” and said allowing people to ignore federal law in the name of following state law would be ruinous.

        “We cannot have flagrant disregard of federal law and still come out with a society we want to live in,” she said.
        /snip/

        I can’t believe that most people want to live in a society where people fall into line and start goose stepping and sieg heiling when their masters snap their fingers. On the plus side is the fact that John Ingold from the Denver Post(!) put the word mess in quotes.

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        • claygooding

          OK..Maine excepted,,that leaves Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont that my statement covers,plus any state legislatures that have bills filed before this session ends,,,sorry I didn’t list all the states with bills pending.

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      • primus

        Agreed. What they have failed to consider is what happens after relegalisation. When that happens, the drug war gravy train will end for those bought pols, and the ones who have backed relegalisation will have lots of work lobbying on behalf of the industry. The anti-drug industry won’t have the money to pay the current crop of liars any more.

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    • Justin Auldphart

      The headline writer in that Maine story should be dragged though the streets and scourged …

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  • Duncan20903

    Completely confused Monroe County authorities apply to suckle from the Federal government teat:

    No. 1 Illegal Drug In County Is Marijuana, Panel Says

    Marijuana is the No. 1 misused and illegal drug in Monroe County with prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco close behind, says the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition.
    /snip/

    I thought that prohibition made people choose to not enjoy cannabis? Why is it still #1 ahead of limited legally available substances on some peoples’ naughty lists?

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  • http://tinyurl.com/a77a27g

    Dope Tests in Ice Fishing? No, Beer Doesn’t Count

    The ice fishermen spent a week on the frozen lake, and on the last day, after emptying perch and bluegill from their buckets and scrubbing bait from their hands, several winners of the World Ice Fishing Championship were ushered into their rooms in the Plaza Hotel.

    There, an official from the United States Anti-Doping Agency ordered them to provide urine samples for a surprise test to detect steroids and growth hormones — drugs not normally associated with the quiet solitude of ice fishing.

    “We do not test for beer, because then everybody would fail,” said Joel McDearmon, chairman of the United States Freshwater Fishing Federation.

    What sense is there in testing fishermen? Something is fishy.

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  • darkcycle

    Here’s a cartoon from Dr. Guess. A lovely fable: “The Haag”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Rm6K3UTraA8

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Shouldn’t that be Dr. Geuss? or maybe Dr. Goose?

      Be who you are and say what you feel
      because those who mind don’t matter
      and those who matter don’t mind
      ~~ Dr. Seuss
      linky

      **************************************************

      I actually learned something from a Know Nothing prohibitionist yesterday. No I did not drop any acid tonight nor am I joking. Neither was what I learned that which he wanted to teach me but that’s neither here nor there.

      He suggested that I look up “pluralistic ignorance vs science.” After I got over the belly laugh and painful muscle spasms resulting from laughing so hard after Google returned —> No results found for “pluralistic ignorance vs science”— I went ahead and looked up just plain pluralistic ignorance. While almost as funny as the former example, it very well may explain the stunning 8% (give or take a margin of error) jump in support for re-legalization subsequent to Election Day 2012 to me. Well, I had actually speculated that the ideas below were in play but now that speculation has some real basis. But gee whiz Wally, talk about a psychiatric dictionary picture worthy example of transference:

      “Pluralistic ignorance refers to the divergence between the prevalence of actual beliefs in a society and what people in that society think others are believing. For example, in 1976, more than 75% of white Americans actually thought that a mother should allow her daughter to play with an African-American child at home; but only 33% believed that that was the majority opinion—the remaining 67% thought that it was only a minority of people who would endorse cross-racial friendships. In other words, the vast actual majority of people felt that they were in the minority, whereas the bigoted minority felt that they were dominant in society.”

      Repeat Dr. Seuss quote from above.

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  • primus

    When confronted by such a minor official acting totally inappropriately, a harsh trouncing of all officials concerned should be the outcome. I know if some pipsqueak demanded a urine sample from me in such a situation, he would receive it–following a couple upside the head, as he lay on the floor bleeding, I would pour forth the urine he demanded–on his head–from the source. Asshat.

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  • positive headline over at StoptheDrugWar:

    North Dakota Welfare Drug Testing Bill Defeated

    The North Dakota bill, House Bill 1385, originally would have required all welfare applicants to undergo mandatory, suspicionless drug testing at their own expense as part of the application process. Those who failed the drug test would have lost benefits for one year, or six months if they completed drug treatment and passed a drug test.

    -snip-

    The state only has 1,800 participants in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, and 45% of those are children.

    Heck, the folks in ol’ Kentuck’ get it:

    Bluegrass Poll – Kentucky supports hemp, medical marijuana; 40% want to legalize recreational use

    Nearly two-thirds of Kentuckians — 65 percent — favor legalizing industrial hemp, compared to 22 percent opposed and 13 percent unsure.

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  • Ed

    It certainly sounds like critical mass is being reached, but:

    How much lobbying power does the prison industry hold over the politicians?

    What will happen to all those drug law enforcement jobs?

    Would there be a prisoner amnesty for all those whose only offence has been the possession of a personal amount?

    How will the big economies of US/Europe/UK prevent large scale capital flight to producer countries?

    Will drug users have to claim ill-health to be able to consume their drug of choice, or will it be put on a level with alcohol?

    How can they tax a plant that anyone can grow anywhere?

    How will the CIA make money and fuck us all up if coke is legalised?

    What will happen to the ‘too-big-to-fails’ when their access to all that illegal cash disappears?

    The current ‘Babylon shitstem’ needs both the War on Drugs and the War on Terror to sustain itself – these, along with the dollar/oil monopoly, are the wholly corrupt foundations on which our economies are based.

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    • claygooding

      I wouldn’t worry about the federal employees,,bottom dwelling professional government teat suckers will just shift to another letter gang of professional govt teat suckers.

      Fuck the CIA and the banks,,they deserve whatever occurs,,I hope some of the big boys go belly up.

      Flight to producing countries? Marijuana can be produced anywhere with water and sunshine,,,we have mountains with enough elevation to produce poppies and mushrooms grow everywhere,,when they quit putting anti-fungi in the cattle feed they will be everywhere. I am not that informed about cocaine,,we have the elevation but I am not sure if the temperatures are correct for growing the trees.

      Taxing a plant that grows anywhere is easy,,sell it cheaply enough to discourage homegrown,,you can brew your own beer cheaper than you can buy it but people don’t have the time and determination to do it,,they go buy a 6-pack at the store,,instant gratification and ease of access is the key.

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      • Windy

        Actually, claygooding, I think coca is more of a shrub than a tree. I’m not certain about that but I think I recall seeing a program on TV where growers were rushing to harvest (night, perhaps full moon) and the plants seemed to be no more than knee high. And I think they also grow in the temperate zones, so it should grow rather easily in many locations in NA.

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        • Windy

          In trying to edit the above post all I got was the blue circle of death, so . . .
          I have grown opium poppies here in the PNW with success, tho I never harvested any opium from them (too scared of someone noticing), I grew them because I liked the pretty flowers. I saved the seeds but forgot where I stored them, found them again a few years later but those old seeds didn’t germinate. I like poppies, I also grow the Shirley poppies (love them), Icelandic poppies and Oriental poppies, and for a time I had a blue poppy (perennial) but its needs are different and it didn’t survive the second winter.

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        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Coca is a bush. My understanding is that it requires an elevation of at least 1500 feet and a minimum of 4 years before the leaves are viable for chewing. If you must, that’s also how long you have to wait to get out the kerosene and other really nasty chemicals require to extract the “active ingredient” to make that nasty white powder.

          I can’t imagine that it takes very much if anything to grow papaver somniferum AKA opium poppies. For crying out loud they can grow it very successfully in Afghanistan. Have you ever seen that place on TV? It appears to me that their largest legal export must be rocks. That country is barren.

          The US has every climate that is known to exist, from the sterile winter wastelands of northern Alaska to the tropical beauty of Hawaii and every other darn climate in between. We’ve got places below sea level to approaching the sky in the Rocky Mountains. Aside from that we’ve produced a generation of growers who have perfected growing cannabis in flower pots under their beds and in personal computer towers. The lettuce you buy in the grocery store is probably grown in a greenhouse using hydroponics. I read of one industrial producer of greenhouse grown hydroponic lettuce that expected to spend in excess of $1 million a month (12 of them in a year) for natural gas to produce CO2 to enhance the crop. Part of finding the location for their farm was taking bids from natural gas utility companies to find the one that would sell them the cheapest gas. CO2? Hydroponics? Where do you think they got those ideas?

          Anyone that thinks we have to farm out the production of anything that we want to grow to foreign countries for any reason other than costs is batshit clueless. Coca appears to be a challenge but the only reasons we don’t see any homegrown cocaine is because of the length of time to viability and the fact that the fans of cocaine are too busy chasing their next hit to figure it out. The latter being the same reason there’s no such thing as the Cocaine Policy Project under whatever name. Oh, the fact that it’s so illegal too doesn’t encourage those that are producing domestic coca to make their activity public. It’s not like you can’t order coca plants over the Internet.
          http://www.cocagrowers.org/

          Tempted myself but I’m certain it’s not a good idea for me to go down that road as I’m sure it’s a dead end to me. I like having a full tank of gas in my vehicle.

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  • Peter

    OT
    Remember that crazy DEA hack who suggested that “reparations” should be paid to drug warriors like himself for “damage” to their careers (and no doubt hurt feelings)when cannabis is re-legalized? It was 2-3 months ago and at first reading some of us thought he meant reparations to those whose lives had been damaged or destroyed by the drug war… needless to say he was thinking of his own interests…
    well the Independent has a report on the massive reparations paid to former slave owners by the British government following emancipation in the 1830s, to cover the financial losses of forfeiting their slaves. Needless to say not a penny was paid to any of the slaves while some of Britain’s richest families, including that of prime minister David Cameron, received the equivalent of many millions of pounds.
    I suspect history will repeat itself as usual. I wonder how much Barbara and the rest of the Bush family will be due for when their Geo Corp investments are hit by re-legalization.

    http://tinyurl.com/avqro23

    if you have a problem with the pay wall, the story is available for free on Iphone

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Well no one can argue with the assertion that the United States produces the most sophisticated hysterical rhetoric of any country on our planet. Look at the utterly inept hogwash they’re producing in India:

    Marijuana addicts [sic] get hooked young
    Feb 24, 2013

    An MBA student from a wealthy family here drew a lot of attention at a nightclub due to his antics. Minutes later, his unruly conduct led to a brawl and a visit to a police station.

    The youngster even beat up a policeman. That night, his parents came to know that their son was smoking marijuana or ganja, a psychotic drug which can prove lethal.

    Deaddiction experts and psychiatrists say an increasing number of youngsters, including women, are getting hooked to marijuana in their early college days. The parents remain in the dark.
    /snip/

    I think I’m going to barf. Can someone make me a glass of bhang for the nausea?

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    • Peter

      bizarre. cannabis has been safely used in india for millenia. how long are indians going to suffer this kind of western drug war imperialism?

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  • Duncan20903

    The Michigan authorities truly are nucking futz:

    Judge: Case against homeowners charged with pumping ‘intense’ medical marijuana odor can go forward

    /snip/
    The township says Engle is in violation of its noxious fumes ordinance because of the “intense” odor that has disrupted neighbors’ lives. Township officials have stressed that the issue doesn’t have to do with medical marijuana laws but zoning ordinances regulating what kind of odors can be omitted in the township.

    Officials allege Klochubar and Engle are processing medical marijuana in some way that produces fumes that are pumped out of their basement window through an exhaust system and towards a neighbors’ home.
    /snip/

    Michael Engle of Ypsilanti Township might be wise to move since they printed his address in the paper. Home invasion sucks whether perpetrated by jack booted or garden variety thugs. Mike should buy a carbon scrubber on the way to his new home.

    What the heck kind of a name is Ypsilanti? It appears to me that they need to buy a vowel or sell a couple of consonants.

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