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Drug Testing Industry’s Contributions to the Drug War

A very good article by Isabel Macdonald in The Nation: The GOP’s Drug-Testing Dragnet.

The article goes into depth how drug testing industry came about in part as a back-door method to go after marijuana users…

But the Reagan administration saw drug tests as essential for cracking down on a population largely outside the reach of law enforcement: people smoking pot in the privacy of their own homes. “Because anyone using drugs stands a very good chance of being discovered, with disqualification from employment as a possible consequence, many will decide that the price of using drugs is just too high,” read a 1989 White House report.

And, once created, the industry developed a life of its own, spending lots of money to buy votes to keep drug testing profits flourishing.

In the meantime, several Republican lawmakers in Congress have pushed hard for the mandatory drug testing of anyone, anywhere, applying for welfare. Leading the charge in the Senate is Orrin Hatch, longtime conservative stalwart from Utah, who received a $8,000 campaign contribution in 2012 from the political action committee of Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), a behemoth in the drug-testing industry and a Hoffmann-La Roche spinoff. Hatch has also received $3,000 from another political action committee to which LabCorp contributes—the American Clinical Laboratory Association PAC—as well as $4,000 in campaign contributions from the PAC of another company with major interests in drug testing, Abbott Laboratories. GOP Congressman Charles Boustany is among those pushing welfare drug testing in the House. In the 2012 campaign cycle, he received $15,000 from Abbott Laboratories’ PAC.

So many war profiteers. One of the big challenges we face in reform is taking on those who profit from the destruction of the drug war.

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65 comments to Drug Testing Industry’s Contributions to the Drug War

  • claygooding

    Once more into the breach boys!!!
    NO INCUMBENTS returning for another term until we get term limits,corporate lobbying limited to party donations and constituent approval at end of service for any pensions or healthcare. Make the legislators work for their constituents.

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  • The industry exists on marijuana detection primarily.

    Good info by Russ Belville

    http://tinyurl.com/czsh9r8
    http://youtu.be/zK3N0_ff0cw

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  • Bruce

    Success Fail Compiliation Grows. Reaching Ridiculous Size at Astonishing Speed. TB and Tobacco Smoke are your Friends, a little fKoff koff, thwicck, ptooooey, along with a Mug of Beer dumped on their Head leaves them swatting themselves as if on Fire, should one ever desire to be left Alone.

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  • Mr Ikasheeni

    Doesn’t read like that party is very much into Rand Paul.

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  • stlgonzo

    OT: Why I’m Teaching My Son To Break the Law

    “Slavery and the Mexican War are, thankfully, dead issues in this country, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of objectionable restrictions and mandates laid upon us by law and the government. Taxes, nanny-state restrictions, business regulations, drug laws … All beg for defiance. The Fugitive Slave Law may no longer command Americans to do evil, but “safety” rules would have physicians and mental health professionals snitch on their patients. And there’s always another military adventure, someplace, on which politicians want to expend other people’s blood and money.”

    http://tinyurl.com/bv8nxgu

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  • ezrydn

    It was smoking cannabis that caused me to realize self-employment. It’s not that hard of a change. Once I started working for ME, there where no more screwed up alcoholic bosses to contend with. I began making more money, for ME. And, no drug tests! So, Ronnie’s claim that I’d fear unemployment sort of became a joke. Thanks, Mr. Prez, for “opening my eyes and mind.” I was self-employed for 10 years before I retired. I swore I’d never face another man with my hand out. Today, I teach my friends how to be self-sufficient. My version of “pay it forward.”

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  • darkcycle

    I retired early, too. I am a little amused as well that Ronnie thought freeing intellegent, highly creative people from the constraints of formal employment would somehow harm them. Perhaps on the short term, but creativity and intelligence quickly show themselves. I’ve come out ahead. I get to stay home with my son(s) (SOON!..#2 coming home very soon! finally!) and run my own business. I’ve even branched out (well, tried to, anyway). And now I get to do it again, thanks to our efforts and I-502.

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    • allan

      I run into a lot of older vets that made it a career and retired. I always say that “yeah, I retired too. After 4 years.” I’ve been semi-self-unemployed since the ’80s. Off and on I’ve worked for others but not until a few years ago did I encounter drug testing. At the time I was working a full time job, 2 part time jobs and spending a lot of time helping LEAP speakers get their LTEs and opeds published. Oh, and all the while raising two kids by myself… hardly unproductive and amotivational. But all undone by those sado-moralists and their urine fetish.

      My son (20 in a week) will be moving out (fly little bird! fly away Damitol®!) at the end of summer to go try his hand at life in the big city. Between his solid work ethic, brains and musical talent (and his good Erickson looks;) he’ll do fine and I’ll be cuttting my bills burden waaay down. I’ll also have a freedom of movement that disappeared the day the kids’ mom told me she was pregnant the first time. I just get all jiggy thinkin’ ’bout it (no kids, not my ex).

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      • darkcycle

        Well, I kinda have always done the expected things, but in an order of my own choosing.

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      • claygooding

        My ex left me and took our dog,,I still miss that dog.

        People that never raised kids never get that feeling as your youngest leaves the nest,,it is a mixture joy,fear and worry all mixed together and rotating from one to the other at random intervals. After 18 too 20 years of teaching,learning and searching you are suddenly free and lonely at the same time,,,good luck too your son allen and you too.

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  • Me? In the majority?? WTF???

    .
    .

    OK, I know that it isn’t productive but I sure as heck am enjoying the reactions of the enemies of freedom to the loss of their decades upon decades majority in favor of continuing the idiocy of cannabis prohibition. They really do have me a short hair away from accepting that the concept of being “in denial” is real. If it is real then they’re up to their eyeballs in it.

    I think I’m happier today than I was on 11/7/2012, and that’s pretty darn happy.

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  • kaptinemo

    Some people may wonder why I continually refer to the ‘concerned parents movement’ as control freaks.

    All you need do is read the linked article. The woman’s kids are now in middle age and they are still under Mommie’s thumb. The very last sentence perfectly demonstrates the soul-castrating effect of such ‘concerned parents’. Disgusting. Perfect examples of the banality of evil in operation…

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    • Freeman

      OMG! “Kids” is right — those are not “men”. 50 years old and still completely dependent upon Mommy, down to working for her company and submitting to her in every way. I’d wager both of them has never had another job, never escaped his mother’s apron strings, never experienced the rest of the world out there.

      It doesn’t get much more pitiful than that! But it does serve to illustrate what sort of control freaks are behind these kind of policies, and what we can expect our lives to look like if we blindly submit.

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  • kaptinemo

    And WRT to taking them on, the simplest way is to continue to vote out prohibition, State by State. This will force these rabid control freaks into a direct confrontation with the electorate…which is decidedly pro-reform. The pols will realize early on which side of the bread the butter is on now, and vote accordingly if they want to keep their cushy jobs.

    And then? The next step is in court, to force the recognition that presence of metabolites does not equal impairment. It will be incumbent upon the piss-tasters to prove otherwise…and they know they can’t. The avalanche of reverse lawsuits to regain lost careers and wages from those who’ve been victimized all these years will serve as a deterrent to further invasions of privacy in the name of (self-serving) ‘public safety’.

    (Scotching string of unprintables) Commies in business suits. The Founders would have chased them out with the Royalists…

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  • ezrydn

    Hey, Kaptin,

    Come to MX and see all the 45-50 year olds, STILL living with Mommy. They NEVER leave home, the ones that are here!

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  • Nunavut Tripper

    Howard and Marc Taule should be embarrassed to appear in a stupid article like this.

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  • Servetus

    The DEA is bummed because they can’t intercept Apple iMessages:

    In 2011, Apple® Inc. developed iMessage®, an instant messaging service capable of sending plain text, pictures, movies, locations, and contacts. On February 21, 2013, the DEA San Jose Resident Office (SJRO) learned that text messages sent via iMessages® between Apple products (iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, and iMac:ID) are not captured by pen register, trap and trace devices, or Title III interceptions. iMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider.

    Nothing lasts forever. All Apple needs to do is turn over the encryption keys to the DEA. For now, at least, a bit of freedom from tyranny is breaking through the clouds of drug oppression like a ray of sunlight.

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    • Chris

      Getting everything from iMessage is non-issue if they get ahold of the physical device. The messages are stored in a sqlite database stored on the phone’s filesystem that can be accessed by jailbreaking the phone and copying then copying the file. A better use for knowing this is making a command that displays sms messages on my macbook.

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  • A bit OT.
    The presidents new initiative to study brain science for 100 million dollars will study all the brain diseases that marijuana is reputed to have theraputic value in – like Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and other neurological brain diseases.

    These guys are screening out all use of marijuana. What do you bet that marijuana will be ignored in these new proposed studies?
    http://t.co/BquvzbFvXH

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  • ezrydn

    Sounds like they don’t know how their own brains work and need someone to lay it all out for them. Is this the beginning of the “Pre-Crime” era?

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    • Servetus

      The pre-crime era began with prohibition. Now, ‘arrest THEM before they do anything to US’ is getting a boost. fMRIs are being used to scan dreams.

      The polygraph is history, maybe torture as well, and that would be ironic. Urine tests? Forget it. Tinfoil hats will be useless against the EM data and the supercomputers. If a large and functional quantum computer gets built and used, game over. People’s thoughts will be visible to all observers.

      I think that while making a lot of money for a lot of people, the new technology will put citizens’ privacy on the corporate auction block. Handled badly by the government, as it will be, it will lead to revolution. Jefferson was right, revolution is a good thing.

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  • kaptinemo

    The DEA in severe denial over the latest poll results:

    From HuffPo:

    DEA Marijuana Report Details Federal Government’s Opposition

    Like I said in an earlier comment, the old high priests of a declining religion – drug prohibition – just can’t admit that widespread apostasy is occurring.

    Worse for them, the young that they thought to ‘indoctrinate’, knowing full well what was being done to them while helpless in the school system’s rigidly conformist and authoritarian grip, are free of their fetters and have now reached their social and political majority.

    They have become free of the lying prohib pedagogues and their toxic dogmas, and have reflected that freedom in their rejection of that indoctrination. WA and Co were more than enough proof of that. And as time goes on, their ranks will swell, as will be revealed by future polls.

    Without the young to pray in their temples and make offerings (taxpayer support of the DrugWar and DrugWarriors), the DrugWar religion is doomed to irrelevancy. Any wonder why the high (no pun intended) priests are in such vehement denial?

    In the gladiator arena of public opinion, the DrugWar has received an inarguable, unequivocal thumbs-down. It’s time for the coup-de-gras

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    • darkcycle

      Kap’n….the HuffPo has discovered that any story with marijuana and legalization in the headline is a readership goldmine. They’ve been chafing at the bit for some meat from Justice about the State initiatives. In the absence of anything material, they are basically making shit up now. The DEA reprt/position paper they cite is from January of 2011. They’ve been doing this cheap stuff for a while now. It took me in at first, too, ’till I realized I hadn’t heard anything about it here and checked the date.

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      • allan

        re HuffPo… I’d observed the same and often don’t bother going there to read a piece just because it’s another HuffPo piece. It’s like they’ve become a writing farm… and while coverage is great and all, dilution ain’t the solution. Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The feds and anti-drugnuts are reeling. We need sharp, pointed and barbed anti-prohibition messages that expose the fraud and harms, the corruption and lies, the racist drug war origins… this is the time to (metaphorically speaking) beat the crap out of them.

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        • Windy

          I visit Radley Balko’s Agitator (now at HuffPo), every day. Sometimes (since he’s working on getting his book ready for publishing) there is nothing new posted, but he’s been trying to get a “Raid of the Day” post up every day, synopses of wrong door raids and killing raids that are in his book. I’ve noticed that there are more and more comments on these posts every week, some of them get a few hundred, I expect this means he’s reaching more readers each week, building towards a very large readership, I suspect. Which means he is educating more people on some of the LE misconduct and corruption that liberally peppers the drug war, probably contributing to growing awareness of the absolute wrongness of this prohibition.

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        • perffaith

          “We need sharp, pointed and barbed anti-prohibition messages that expose the fraud and harms, the corruption and lies, the racist drug war origins…

          This one’s for you, Allan:

          Prohibition is an absolute wrong; those who support it are absolute wrongdoers—vicious parasites who pray on their own family, friends and neighbors, delivering us all up to be devoured by the most corrupt and venal elements in society. They are waging a predatory war on all we hold dear, bringing corruption and degeneration to our most cherished social structures and institutions.

          During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have been far more wisely spent. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed! Sound familiar?

          Are we (again) going to stand by and allow our wealth, safety and freedom to be sacrificed on the blood-stained ‘alter of prohibition’ by traitorous demagogues who cannot control their own vile and sadistic urges?

          An ever growing majority of us no longer think we should!

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        • War Vet

          The ever growing majority need to see drug prohibition past arrests, botched raids and wasted taxes. Just recently, more attention was paid to some dead MTV freak and not a young American soldier who was stabbed to death in the neck by an Afghan teenager while he was playing with the children. I don’t believe the American people see the words ‘WAR ON DRUGS’ first when reading or seeing or hearing news about the war in Afghanistan –which is sad, which means many if not most Americans don’t know what 9/11 or Iraq or Afghanistan was when they don’t see the above as the ‘War on Drugs’.

          According to The New York Times and Brown University, the cost of the War on Drugs in Iraq, Afghanistan and 9/11 (and now Africa) will cost America over $3trillion (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/08/us/sept-11-reckoning/cost-graphic.html?_r=0). Too many Americans are under the impression that the War on Drugs has cost America one to two trillion dollars, which is false, greatly false, sadistically false. Such low estimates often get ignored because, “What is one trillion out of many trillions out of our debt?”. If we accurately placed price tags on ‘fighting Narco-Terror in the Middle East’, ‘drug offender incarceration,’, ‘War on Drugs 9/11’, ‘anti-drug advertising’, ‘loss of jobs and benefits from a drug arrest or failed urine test’, ‘millions of jobs being illegal in the food, clothing, fuel, plastics, home construction etc industries because of no American hemp’, we’ll see the price tag for the war on drugs to cost between $6-8 trillion dollars (Benghazi, pollution, increased oil drilling [because of no hemp fuels], Tanzania/Kenya U.S. embassy bombings, Beirut barracks bombing, missed out opportunities in science because of no medical pot or hemp innovations, forcing Americans to buy gasoline and not fuel for their vehicles made out of hemp, U.S.S. Cole, U.S. security on 2008 Olympics after the bombing, post 9/11 TSA guidelines etc). How much is our National Debt again?

          We should demonize anyone who wants drugs to not be legal. When someone says ‘no’ to drug legalization, they are screaming yes to drug money financed terrorism and we can accurately state for the record that all prohibs loved 9/11 the way Oklahoma boys love winning a football game. If they didn’t love 9/11, they would have legalized all the illegal drugs so drug traffickers would no longer finance their cells, militaries, organizations and agendas with drug money. American drug prohibition influences global drug prohibition and global drug prohibition finances wars and terrorism which influences industrialized nations like France, America, Canada etc to go over to the Middle East because the people demand it out of fear, safety and revenge for all the attacks on Europe, Russia, India, China, the Philippines, and the U.S. We’re spending more money fighting drug money than we are on drug enforcement . . . if your platoon in Iraq or Afghanistan is going up against insurgents financed from European Coke deals or local hash and poppies, how is that not the essence of the War on Drugs?

          The American people need to see the war in Afghanistan for what it really is: A consequence to drug prohibition, just like 9/11 was. I think this is how we can get our local politicians, judges and cops on our side: What small town Indiana cop wants to be blamed for conducting 9/11? What Dallas judge wants to be found guilty for killing U.S. troops in Iraq? What Portland District Attorney wants to be guilty of raping young Afghan girls simply because drug prohibition creates the kind of drug money that makes rape more rampant and more probable? Those who support drug prohibition need to be viewed as more villainous than Osama Bin Laden . . . I mean, who gave Osama all his money? Not his parents. The American drug warriors gave Osama and the Taliban all their money . . . even the CIA and DEA will admit that on their research sites.

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        • Duncan20903

          A $trillion here, a $trillion there…

          How in the heck can anyone minimize a $trillion? Anyone that thinks it isn’t a significant sum of money just because our government has borrowed and squandered that sum 15 (16? 17?) times should be summarily dismissed as a blithering idiot. The government is never going to quit doing that as long as we allow such idiots to act as if the squandering of public resources is trivial because it’s only a percentage of the money squandered. It’s utter stupidity and I’m not even talking about money that had to be borrowed to be squandered. I wonder where our country would be if we had instead thrown a couple of $trillion at the space program.

          You know, the single most significant achievement of the administration of Mr. Bush the lesser was in his substantial shrinking of the percentage of the national debt attributable to the idiocy of the war on (some) drugs. No, not by squandering less on that, but by squandering more on other stuff.

          As long as we let the idiots act as if borrowing to squander even a single dollar is OK because it’s such a “small” percentage of the budget, we’re never going to make any progress toward financial responsibility.

          It’s just plain wrong to squander public resources.

          /rant

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  • O/T
    PAUL: Minimizing authority of judges by Sen. Rand Paul

    I, like anyone else, whether a member of Congress or a parent, am concerned with the well-being of our children. We all want to keep our families and our communities safe. We want to see violent predators and criminals put behind bars and punished for the harm they do to others and to society.
    Judges will tell you that current federal sentencing laws — known as mandatory minimums — don’t actually do anything to keep us safer. In fact, judges will tell you that mandatory minimums do much harm to taxpayers and to individuals, who may have their lives ruined for a simple mistake or minor lapse of judgment.
    Mandatory minimums reflect two of the biggest problems in Washington: The first problem is the idea that there should be a Washington-knows-best, one-size-fits-all approach to all problems, be they social, educational or criminal. This approach leads to our second problem: Washington’s habit of undermining the system our Founding Fathers created. Their system left as much power as possible in the hands of local and state officials, and sought to treat people as individuals, not as groups or classes of people.
    Last year in my community, a family lost one of their sons to an overdose. They almost lost their other son to a mandatory minimum sentencing. Federal law requires a mandatory 20-year sentence if a death occurs, even an accidental one. If prosecutors had charged the surviving brother in federal court, he would have received a mandatory 20-year sentence.
    [snipped remainder]

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  • Power brokers in Washington

    us and them

    the final solution.

    The drug testing industry that is being foisted into place is the noose tightening around the necks of anyone who dares to question the powers of authority. Ushering into position an industry whose sole purpose is the distinguishing of the “them” by the “US”. It puts the brand of legitimacy on the drug testers – by ensuring their position of being favored by the “US”.

    All that is left in this ultimate solution to the drug problem is the complete ostracising of this culture as a “them”.

    Is it any wonder that the final solution of the jews was bequeathed to the German mental health industry?

    Test em all is DuPonts battle cry. Homeland security and camps replete with ammunition are available in centralized locations across the USA. Too much dejavu for me.

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  • Pete, 2 of my posts disappeared, so I don’t know if I am being too radical here or if I am being intercepted someplace. Just let me know if you think I am out of line.

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    • It certainly wasn’t anything you said from my perspective. It was all fine. Spam filter just got carried away. Sometimes that happens, and I don’t necessarily know why. Could be that there’s some random spam message that’s gone out and it happened to have the exact same phrase as your post somewhere in it and the system latches on to that.

      Thanks for letting me know. I found them there and fished them out, and put the first one back up.

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  • Drew

    Here’s another example. An astroturf organization calling itself Drug Free Homes and pretending to be average people is really just a front for a drug testing outfit “ConfirmBioSciences.” Here is their “blog” http://www.drugfreehomes.org/team

    Now, just run that picture of the woman through Google’s image finder and ta da you can see it’s just a stock shot purchased online: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-5704328/stock-photo-girl-stares-into-camera

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    • Nunavut Tripper

      Good one Drew.

      I really liked the article entitled

      “Middle School Students Who Date Are at Higher Risk to Use Drugs and Dropout of School”

      As I didn’t have enough things to worry about now if I continue dating I run the risk of being a druggie loser.
      Damn !!!

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      • Duncan20903

        So it appears that masturbation gets the prohibitionist seal of approval!

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    • From that website’s article:
      Deaths Due to Drug Overdose Continue to Increase in the United States

      CDC researchers found prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, as top drivers for the increasing drug deaths. The numbers were a disappointment for public health officials, who had expressed hope that educational and enforcement programs would stem the rise in fatal overdoses, the Los Angeles Time reports.

      “While most things are getting better in the health world, this isn’t,” CDC director Tom Frieden said in an interview. “It’s a big problem, and it’s getting worse. The data supporting long-term use of opiates for pain, other than cancer pain, is scant to nonexistent. These are dangerous drugs. They’re not proven to have long-term benefit for non-cancer pain, and they’re being used to the detriment to hundreds of thousands of people in this country.”

      Frieden added there are some promising tools which can help combat the problem. One of them is the use of computerized drug monitoring programs by health care professionals.

      I left this comment but I doubt it will be published:

      Opiates are not dangerous drugs when used correctly as part of a pain management regime. If you were in chronic pain you would thank God everyday for the existence of these medicines. That comment by CDC director Tom Frieden is incredibly irresponsible. There is a ton of data that supports the use of opiates for chronic pain. Cannabis is also useful for some types of pain, and given that it’s among the therapeutically safest drugs known to medicine, it is unconscionable that it is prohibited for even medical use.

      Prescription monitoring programs will do no good. People doctor shop because physicians will not adequately treat their pain. The drug “abusers” will only switch to heroin while the chronic pain patients are left to suffer. (God help the patient who is accused of being an addict. Addicts are largely ineligible for pain relief,apparently it is better for an addict to be in pain that to risk them getting high.) Anyone who wants innocent people to suffer while pushing drug “abusers” from pills to the more dangerous heroin is an idiot. Not only that but a coward of the highest order and a sorry excuse for a medical practitioner.

      If you really cared about drug overdoses you would want to end the war on drugs and make opiates as safe as possible so people can get high without dying. But I am sure you are against this as this “blog” is really just a front for some drug war profiteers.

      Damn you all to hell.

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  • Nunavut Tripper

    Another good one by a law firm called
    “The Valkovich Law Firm, PLLC”

    “Protecting Your Beneficiaries from Themselves: Drug Testing Provisions in Trusts”

    Describes how you can harass your weed loving heirs with random drug tests even after you’re dead.

    http://valkovichlaw.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/protecting-your-beneficiaries-from-themselves-drug-testing-provisions-in-trusts/

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  • claygooding

    Another point of contention is the number of key personnel from the ONDCP and DEA that were in power when drug screening laws and regulations were put in place that are still connected with the urine analysis industry and making mega bucks from their efforts of persecuting more marijuana users,,which is about all the drug tests actually work on.

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  • allan

    wanna get your shorts in a bunch real quick? If you’re a vet, you may already know some or most of this. Either way…

    from the NYT:

    Wars on Drugs

    LAST year, more active-duty soldiers committed suicide than died in battle.

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  • Jean Valjean

    The Guardian has an article re Prof. David Nutt’s research into shrooms and depression, which has been “bedevilled by primitive old-fashioned attitudes…”

    “…a bid by British scientists to carry out trials of psilocybin on patients in order to assess its full medical potential has been blocked by red tape relating to Britain’s strict drugs laws. Professor David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, will tell a conference today that because magic mushrooms are rated as a class-A drug, their active chemical ingredient cannot be manufactured unless a special licence is granted.

    “We haven’t started the study because finding companies that could manufacture the drug and who are prepared to go through the regulatory hoops to get the licence is proving very difficult,” said Nutt. “The whole field is so bedevilled by primitive old-fashioned attitudes. Even if you have a good idea, you may never get it into the clinic, it seems.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/apr/07/magic-mushrooms-treat-depression

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  • pfroehlich2004

    Not directly on topic, but of interest to most couch denizens I’m sure. Hopefully, we’ll see this coming to every police department in the country.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/business/wearable-video-cameras-for-police-officers.html?hp

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  • Chris

    I had a great time at hash bash yesterday! Keith Stroup, Dan Skye (of my home town) and that guy from Safer were there as speakers. Even DJ Short specifically called out my favorite local cannabis collective as being the best in the state and a model for Michigan! Good times. I saw a few people encounter police, two guys had pelican cases full of bongs and jars of weed. They took the jars and gave back the bongs but the two guys were so shook up by the encounter that they dropped the bong on the spot before putting it in the case.

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  • CJ

    you know, i was reading opiophiliac’s post and, in a somewhat related somewhat unrelated it way it got me to thinking about something.

    So, I realized a while ago there are no unique idea’s but then I realized that nobody I’d ever seen, really, even William burrough’s included – aside from his fictional role in drugstore cowboy – nobody would come out and admit and positively reinforce opiate use. Even Burroughs in his non-fictional life was a reluctant user. So I thought it would be best to not just “come out of the closet” but rip the proverbial closet door off.

    There’s all this talk, for example, I saw a John Stossel piece where Paul Chabot (sp?) went off on him and said some stuff about people “shooting up” in public etc. Talking about how wrong that is and everything else.

    you know, I think that the treatment business and the authorities here in the States subscribe to a “make them suffer to fix them” theory. They truly believe the more they force harm upon us, the more we’d like to be clean for some reason. I have to say though, I’ve never, ever, felt starvation, the bitter bite of cold and withdrawal and said “man, this is so crappy, i cant wait to get clean.” it’s usually been, “oh my god everything is so messed up i cant wait to get high to feel even just briefly better about all this.”

    you know, its been astonishing for me in my personal life, generally, people that have no involvement with drugs at all have been, pretty much neutral about everything. That could be good for someones personal life. They tend to have a “as long as your nice to me, ill be nice to you” attitude.

    But always and forever do sober people feel this desire and compulsion to tell me what to do. I have never in my life once seen someone take a loaded rig and verbally go off on some sober person, demanding they shut the hell up, recognize their sober life sucks, and by God inject themselves for the sake of bettering their life. Now surely if that sober person approached and was interested then an arrangement can be made no doubt but why do they feel this need to demand their lifestyle on others? Why the hell do they think they’re so great, they’re so much better than everybody else, like all of a sudden everybody needs to be just like them? They make these demands, they feel so morally righteous to come out and demand things of you. Yet, I can speak from my experience that, after a nice injection, I and my friends have never flocked together like vultures, looking for some poor sober fool to descend upon and berate.

    And something too it’s like in these treatment circles, AA/NA etc. they talk about how there’s no successful users. What the hell? Obviously if you’re in AA/NA you blew it man. You did something or were doing things that eventually lead you to feel this compulsion to get clean. At what point were you ever in any position to associate with someone who in fact was successfully using? Like, I bet most successful users are completely oblivious to the bitching and moaning of those who’ve failed. I have no doubt in my mind there are many people going about their daily lives who use every day and it has no effect on anything in their life, probably most around them aren’t even aware of it. Infact I did read a forum once where there was someone soliciting this kind of information and people were responding. They explained the simplicity of their long time daily use and the utter LACK of disruption it had and was causing.

    Another thing that gets me is you can always walk into a “meeting” and find these two types: person #1 will say “oh man i lost it all. i sold my car, i sold my TV, i lost my job, my life savings is gone, etc. It’s because of this that I am here today.” And person number 2 will say, “well, you see, I had a prescription so, I never had that problem. I’m here because i know what i was doing was wrong.” OK so number 2 fell for the morality argument but was living a life successfully using because the prohibition cost element was removed. In other words, if person number 1 was in the same predictament as person number 2 then perhaps he would not have sacrificed all those belongings. It shows me a transparency in this prohibition that kind of exposes it for what it truly is.

    I believe this will change and this is all gonna end but i will admit I am pretty frustrated. I think that the online forums build momentum, it makes the vital information available for neutral persons to read and thus get involved in reform but I really think the number of gatherings and get togethers need to rise and dramatically. I was thinking for example about Occupy Wallstreet… what if that Occupy Wallstreet group wasn’t a disorganized disenfranchised bunch but a drug reform group. I know here in NY Bloomberg had said it was frustrating that there was no central leadership to talk to and negotiate with. If the only item on the list was drug reform though maybe something incredible could have happened… What that could be I don’t know but I think at some point things need to materialize in a very physical way.

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    • jean valjean

      cj didnt you tell us a few weeks ago about the serious health issues you have as a result of iv drug use? doesnt sound like successful drug use to me. i think you also predicted an early death

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      • Jean Valjean

        PS CJ, i don’t doubt for a moment that much of the health issues caused by intravenous drug use are a direct result of prohibition (lack of safe injecting facilities, excessive price manipulation [i.v. uses less], unregulated black market etc. But lets compare an opiate consumer with a safe and affordable supply of smoke-able or oral opiates with a cannabis consumer. Both will probably get on just fine for as long as the supply lasts, but what happens when there is an inevitable disruption like a hurricane say, or even an extended hiking trip or travel abroad? The cannabis consumer will just get on with life without any apparent problem but the opiate user will be on ice and incapacitated for at least 5 days, and probably longer. Having been in both situations, I know which one I would prefer, and which one I would avoid like the plague. Ultimately of course, I will defend your right to consume anything you like…

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        • Duncan20903

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          It’s my impression that given the choice most opioid users will reject IV use. If you look at today’s available non-pharmaceutical opioids compared to that of the days of the “French Connection” we’re seeing significantly more pure product, and the result is not more overdosing, but rather the choice to use smoking as a delivery method. It’s practically impossible to overdose when chasing the dragon, even if that’s the intention.

          Please remember I might know just enough about the subject to be dangerous. I’ve always preferred speed when we’re talking about the hardcore stuff so if I’m out to lunch I’ll gladly cede to those with better first hand info. Heck, that’s just about anyone with any first hand info, I have no taste for opioids/opiates or anything in that direction.

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        • allan

          when in Thailand I smoked heroin for a while. The advatage to it was that if you packed the end of a cig, you could smoke in public and no one knew as any odor was too subtle to be noticeable. Very pure grade was all there was and it was cheap. I knew a few of us GIs and some local Thais that smoked it, never met anyone there that injected. Only one of my GI friends had any issues quitting, we all dropped it at about the same time.

          Not an intellectually stimulating high like pot and entheogens can be but it had a couple of advantageous physiological effects… good sleep and sex. The best heroin high was the first, after that… kinda boring.

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        • Duncan20903

          There’s a reason why there’s different flavored ice creams. As long as I get the one I want they’re all groovy.

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        • allan

          mmmmm… ice cream…

          Waaay back I worked for a few months managing an ice cream shop. Worst job I ever had (I loved the ice cream). Every day I was serving ice cream to all these people that shouldn’t be eating it. I felt like I was Doctor Death, w/ sprinkles…

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        • claygooding

          allan,,while in Nam I ran into opium dipped marijuana,,they put a hand full of marijuana in a large tea strainer and dipped it in a pot full of bluish gray looking liquid,shook it off,dumped it in a bag and told me too dry it three days in the sun,,,after drying a group of us climbed a 30 ft guard tower and tried it,,,,couldn’t get down,,cajoled a couple of guys walking by to bring us sodas,,,then they couldn’t climb down either,,that was the end of that experiment.

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      • I don’t think CJ is holding himself up as the paragon of responsible drug use. He has been remarkably candid about some of the problems that befall opiate consumers during this age of global persecution of the poppy (and the devoted flock who worship at the true church of opium).

        Seriously though, no one is denying that there can be some very serious health consequences of chronic opiate use, only most of those consequences are due to prohibition. As CJ noted, more than anything else, it is the high cost that causes so much dysfunction in the lives of opiate consumers. Before prohibition, most opiate users were integrated into their communities. Now only those who are independently wealthy or have a fat script from a doctor get that luxury. The criminal, deviant addict is an artifact of our drug laws.

        When you are dependent on a drug, of course supply is a concern. To be drug dependent means one literally depends on a drug to function, it makes no distinction between psychological(“addiction”) or physiological reasons. If you depend on insulin or heart medication a supply interruption may have serious health consequences.

        Obviously the abstinence syndrome (withdrawal) from opiates is far more severe than cannabis. No one is arguing that. However I do take issue with your assertion that the cannabis consumer will go “on with life without any apparent problem”. What if you are using cannabis as self-medication for pain, seizure disorder or mental illness (anxiety, depression, PTSD, ect)? Some cannabis users can walk away with no problems, others do experience discomfort. One account from a woman I read compared quitting smoking weed to 2 weeks of PMS. Different neuro-physiology, different experiences.

        Ultimately though focusing on the pharmacology misses the larger picture. Alcohol also has a pretty severe abstinence syndrome, and on almost any other measure is more toxic than opiates (aside from the risk of an acute overodose, opiates like cannabis are remarkably non-toxic even when consumed for long periods of time). In any case opiates are not the same as alcohol which is very different than cannabis. For someone suffering from an endorphin deficiency, cannabis or alcohol are likely to be inferior options. In cases where opiate users find cannabis to be an acceptable alternative, it should be encouraged. But we should not expect every opiate consumer to give up opiates for cannabis, for some only opiates will meet their needs.

        Most so-called experts in drug treatment deride this as the “marijuana maintenance program”. Such people are “still in active addiction” and not really “clean”. Some methadone programs will deny take-home doses for having THC positive urine screens. I say anything that reduces harm and allows people to live somewhat normals lives is progress and should not be discouraged. The goal of treatment should be to improve quality of life and not impose some ideal of abstinence on people who are likely to reject it (ie harm reduction).

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    • claygooding

      One thing you touched on is what difference does it make if a person is addicted to any substance as long as they are able to support their habit and still contributing too society and not relying on it?

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  • Jean Valjean

    Michael Tarm of Associated Press has a historically illiterate article today in my local paper. Cartel boss El Chapo Guzman has been declared “public enemy number 1″ in Chicago by DEA flacks. No mention of how they undercut the last Chicago public enemy number 1, Al Capone, when they eventually came to their senses and abandoned alcohol prohibition.

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    • Jean Valjean

      In among all the scare stuff Tarm includes this brief counter position: “Others are skeptical about claims cartels are expanding their presence, saying law-enforcement agencies are prone to exaggerating threats to justify bigger budgets.” DUH!
      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-impact-cartels-dispatch-agents-deep-inside-us

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      • claygooding

        Chapo is probably pushing at being one of the richest dudes in the world by now,,cartels are players in the money markets and are probably branching into legal businesses all over the world.
        They will become the Kennedy’s of tomorrow.

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  • Duncan20903

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    I must say I’m shocked that the synthetic cannabis brouhaha is, well, um I’m shocked that it qualifies as a brouhaha. I wonder if these clowns ever stop to think how much they’re promoting the product by trying to make it go away. Every time that I read that people are still buying it it makes me think…hmmm, maybe I should… Were I a younger version of myself I’m sure I would have. But I’m also sure I’m finished with “experimenting” or whatever the more accurate word would be.

    http://cjonline.com/news/business/2013-04-07/lawrence-herbal-shop-tangled-synthetic-marijuana-sting
    Gosh it’s special to read “law enforcement” decry people trying to comply with the law. Yeah, why can’t the rat bastards just have the decency to break the law? Sometimes I worry that my head is going to explode from thinking about how those people “think.”

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    • War Vet

      That fake stuff is our generation’s version of acid, except I think one must first try acid and shrooms before they try the fake stuff. A few hits from ‘brand A’ may be like a good weed high, while a few hits from ‘brand A’ out of a different bag might be like mushrooms and ‘brand B’ might be like Oxys meet acid. For a weed supplement, it really sucks, but used as a hallucinogen, it’s most awesome. But with all the chemical change ups to stay legit, it’s gotten stronger, weaker, longer lasting and shorter lasting. I wouldn’t even touch the stuff if one of my coworkers didn’t always have a bat loaded and thus handed to me before I can even say yes or no. I’m afraid this fake stuff might cause my right testical to discover that it’s a huge ‘West Side Story’ fan and thus run off to New York to audition for the part of Maria . . . only time will tell how it affects the body and DNA. If there are any negative effects, hopefully my CBD intake found in these ‘Girl Scout Cookies’ or ‘Blue Headband’ will negate any harms . . . I am a true believe that Cannabis is a cure all (or mostly).

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  • How Big Pharma Lobbyists Are Bringing Mandated Drug Tests To A State Near You
    http://tinyurl.com/d26raxt

    Think Hoffman-La Roche.

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