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Open Thread

I’ve got some things to discuss, but some big deadlines at work are keeping me busy.

Here’s one of the things I wanted to talk about, so why don’t you take a stab at it? Are the economics sound? Are there fallacies here?

Just 20 percent of users consume 80 percent of all the weed in the U.S., Kleiman said. (Forty-six percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S. is part of drinking binges, he added).

“The only way to get a lot of revenue is to sell a lot of marijuana,” he said. “The only way to sell a lot or marijuana is to sell to people who smoke a lot of marijuana. And that’s not a good thing.” Policymakers may not want the state “fostering disease,” he said.

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72 comments to Open Thread

  • claygooding

    I wish someone would force Mark and all prohibs to give proof of their scare tactics,,where is he getting his statistics except out of his ass?

    What fucking diseases?

    Well-liked Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    • strayan

      Here’s your disease burden:

      “the burden of disease is estimated to be almost 40 times greater for tobacco (7.8%) than cannabis (0.2%)” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03915.x/full

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      • If Kleinman had his way he would turn tobacco into a methadone-style maintenance program. Of course this would also dramatically increase the cost of a tobacco habit. Users would now have to pay for a doctor to write scripts, a nursing staff and drug counselors to talk to the poor addicts once a week (a drug confessional to the priests of addictionology), in addition to the costs of the product and taxes. One can also speculate on how efficacious coerced therapy is, given that a therapeutic relationship requires mutual trust and cooperation. This would likely be a windfall for the “treatment” industry. Of course this is a medical program so likely it will be paid for by health insurance, for the poor people this likely means it will be paid for by taxpayers (I’m sure the non-smokers will love the idea of paying for smokers’ drug habits). Also we would have to add police resources to track and punish people diverting smokes to the grey market.

        Such a scheme would probably, though not certainly, lower smoking related morbidity and mortality. What is most troubling to me is this notion that health trumps liberty. It is not the state’s role to tell me what drugs I can and cannot take. At best their responsibility to is disseminate honest information so consumers can make informed decisions.

        By “fostering disease” I’m assuming Kleinman means addiction, as it is hard to say what other diseases could be caused by smoking cannabis. I know some people say marijuana is not addictive. I do not share this view. While it depends on what you mean by “addiction”, it seems to me that if gambling and eating can be potentially addictive, so can marijuana. Addiction is sometimes called slavery; since the addict is (supposedly) a slave to their chemical desires, freedom from addiction is liberation. But what if the individual wants to be addicted? Then we are in the absurd position of using force and coercion to make the addict “more free” than he or she wants to be. It reminds me of the communist countries that appealed to the “higher freedom” of collectivism over individuality.

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    • Freeman

      He has admitted where his “statistics” come from. Don’t you just love the title of his post admitting it?

      Well-liked Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • Is there something wrong with smoking a lot of marijuana?

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  • C.E.

    There are lots of reasons to legalize marijuana, only one of which is potentially to raise tax revenues. But if the state doesn’t want to “foster disease” by collecting taxes from marijuana, then don’t tax it.

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  • allan

    I’m not a big fan of gurus. And Mark has that same swagger… he’s an expert. He’s an academician opposed basically to any intoxication.

    I’m less of a fan of Puritans. And Puritan gurus drive me to extremes! After reading that I must consume… (and the dog just farted, lordy…)(it made the dog move) time to break out the bong. Reading Mark and Kev-kev is a challenge to my personal commitment to non-violence.

    The harms of cannabis – provably the safest intoxicant – cannot compare to the harms of prohibition.

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  • claygooding

    On Saturday, Mar. 30, the bodies of 23-year Army veteran and Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found in their home, the victims of an apparent assassination.

    http://tinyurl.com/bo4lrck

    “”The criminal insurgencies and their gang foot soldiers have exported the type of warfare that brought Mexico to its knees deep into our sovereign territory. They are waging a war: targeting, assassinating, using terror tactics—and our law enforcement is outgunned and overwhelmed.””

    Another reason to end prohibition but will be used instead to fund more drug war.

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  • La mordida es bueno

    .
    .

    Here’s an interesting thing coming out of the Colorado legislature and it’s new DUI-m law. They’ve scrapped the idea of a per se limit and instead use a “permissible inference” level. So if you test out a 6 ng/ml the trier of fact is allowed to presume that you are cannabis addled. So the law will allow an affirmative defense to convince the jury/judge that there was no impairment.
    Marijuana: THC driving bill continues steady march to passage

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  • Distracted74

    I think Kleiman has the evidence on his side when he states that a large share of cannabis (or any intoxicant) is consumed by those who consume the most. That’s hardly rocket science. One guy smoking three joints a day is equal to 21 people smoking one joint per week and equal to 90 people smoking one joint a month.

    The “fostering addiction” thing I’m less sure of, but it may be that free competition amongst retailers would do that in practice. To make it simple – imagine that there were two types of consumers. 80% smoke one joint a week (low-consumers), the remaining 20% smoke two joints a day (high-consumers, consuming roughly 80% of the total). Whatever shops happen to stumble upon marketing, or discount structures (loyalty cards, bulk discounts etc) that attracted the high-consumers would get the bulk of the market. The others would have to follow suit (or target specialty niches). One of the things that would attract high-consumers would be discounts that made high levels of consumption cheaper, and anything that made high levels of consumption cheaper relative to low levels of consumption could encourage higher rates of consuption.

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    • kaptinemo

      I would say that the main problem is as it has always been: not the definition of what constitutes ‘high consumption’ but who gets to define it.

      As Kleiman aptly demonstrates, those with a predisposition towards sobriety enforcement according to their own prejudices will always (ostensibly) ‘err on the side of caution’, which is the (supposedly) rational underpinning of prohibition.

      But the reality is that that invariably proves to be a paper-thin rationalization for imposing those (often generational, cultural) prejudices, as delineated by (the late) Professor Whitebread with his Iron Law of Prohibition: A substance prohibition is enacted by an identifiable US to be imposed upon an equally identifiable THEM.

      It is quite easy to identify which group Kleiman is a member of; he makes that abundantly clear with his own comments. To expect that he will not do everything in his power to sabotage the endeavor, given his decades-long opposition to the ideal, is foolish.

      To invite such a person to engineer the framework for a policy in which he has dedicated most of his life to opposing is the equivalent of inviting Dracula to become chief administrator of the blood bank. Not a mentally swift move, by half.

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    • primus

      This brings up an interesting concept: What level of consumption is ‘average’, ‘light’ or ‘heavy’? I posit that average is 1 oz. per month, light is 1/2 oz, heavy is 1 oz. per week. The average toker is using about 1 gm. (a pinner) per day.

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      • claygooding

        now you are scaring me

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        • B. Snow

          Me too, and there’s more than one real problem here.

          You can’t quantify marijuana consumption like that = you’re thinking of measuring the consumption cannabis by a certain quantity.
          Either by weight, or maybe by THC content = which I’d say isn’t an effective measurement – because we fairly recently found & some know that CBD {and maybe other cannabinoids} have been shown to counter or moderate the effects of the THC… For example – level of the paranoia sometimes felt by smokers/consumers.

          And this varies by strain, and arguably even by individual plant – so anyone trying to do this sort of Morality Measurement – judging this based on “how much cannabis they consume/use” – is a Fools Errand. And boy howdy, did they ever find the guy to do it!

          It’s not going to ever be that clear “cut& dried” as it were, (sorry could resist), It’s like some of the folks that say, “Back in the 60’s the ‘Weed’ we had was weak, not like this strong stuff they have today, It’s strong dangerous stuff…”

          I would suggest that this is merely their lack of tolerance… their systems have reverted back to a cannabis-naive state.
          So that when they smoke “modern weed” (and they almost certainly/probably do) – they proceed to get *way higher than they can recall* – they’re supper impressed and you can tell how blazed they got by the look in their eyes when they’re emphasizing the “danger of today’s marijuana”
          (Although, the deny have recently used it of course) which is all kinds of wrong IMHO.
          If you’re gonna make these sort of value judgements – on just how much is too much, OR even how much is “low, average, high” consumption you ought to be a consumer of said plant!

          To do otherwise would be like your ‘Average Joe’ (or lets say, me) = going out to a wine-tasting event and critiquing the wine… then giving out overly harsh or flattering reviews/opinions/judgements of the wines.
          I could probably point out the seriously ‘garbage’ ones – if someone snuck them in as a test – but I really have no business doing even that. Just like someone who last smoked before the turn of the century – or they can count on one hand how many times they smoked since then – they have no business judging how much cannabis is too much cannabis.

          That may not be the best analogy but it’s close enough (for government work = like Mark’s) *{sorry couldn’t resist}* OR for a comment like this.
          Kleiman may indeed think – he’s the Goldilocks of Weed in Washington State but he’s not, He has no Business saying how much is “just right” = for anyone!

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        • Windy

          B. Snow, I agree with most of your post, however, as someone who’s been smoking weed since 1970, I’ve never seen any indication of a tolerance building in any smoker. Today’s weed, for the most part, is higher quality, but now it only takes me a tiny (1-2 hit) bong load to achieve the same level of high I used to get from sharing an entire joint with a couple of others (where I would get about 5-7 hits). I do not believe people build a tolerance to weed the way they do to some (most?) other drugs.

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      • John

        Your pinners weigh one gram? I’d like to see what your fatties weigh!

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  • primus

    Oh, I don’t know about that: If your intent is to subvert the will of the voters, then hiring Kleiman or an equivalent is very smart.

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    • claygooding

      My thought exactly,,if you could dig deep enough you could find the politicians and ONDCP knee deep in making certain that WA and CO fail at tax revenue or reducing black market cash flow,,,something that cannot be stopped as long as there are states and countries where it is still illegal.
      I think Kleiman is drawing a check from the feds,,how would we find out?

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      • kaptinemo

        FOIA demands for the emails and phone logs of the involved public officials is a good start, I’d say.

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  • New York: Judge Rules Careful Driving Is Not A Crime

    New York county judge rules driving with two hands on the wheel does not create a suspicion of criminal activity.

    Driving with hands on the wheel, arms extended, without passing other vehicles is not a crime in New York, a county judge ruled last week. St. Lawrence County Surrogate’s Court Judge Kathleen Martin Rogers found the US Border Patrol had been wrong to stop Corene M. Deer and Rachel C. Morgan, who were driving carefully at around 8pm on January 18, 2012 in the town of Gouverneur.
    [snip]
    Both Morgan and Deer are US citizens, and they stated they were headed to Buffalo. Agent Carrier became suspicious and about an hour into the stop a drug dog was called to the scene, and a tire filled with marijuana was found in the trunk. This evidence, however, was thrown out because the traffic stop itself was deemed invalid and the Border Patrol had no business stopping them.

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    • B. Snow

      Woah, woah, woah… (while I appreciate the irony of the article’s headline – you snipped out some of the best parts of it.)

      “Agent Carrier became suspicious and about an hour into the stop a drug dog was called to the scene,…”

      Am I the only one who sees a problem with this, surely they don’t routinely conduct hour+ long stops?
      Oh right (my bad) – they routinely tear apart cars on the side of a road – ‘on a hunch’ OR ‘on a tip’, OR when a drug dog pauses to scratching its ass during ‘an initial search’.

      I found other comments of the judge – in that linked story to be encouraging:

      “A vehicle stop must be valid at its inception: it cannot be bootstrapped into reasonable suspicion by mounting concerns over diverging explanations from the vehicle occupants as to their intended destination,” Judge Rogers ruled.

      This bit alone -if widely enforced by similarly minded judges- would put and end to = ‘God only knows’ how many traffic stops turned into arrests, via the common “Divide & Conquer” tactics used by cops.

      Just one more example of why you should never volunteer info to cops, particularly when they try this B.S. tactic/move of theirs – that of separating people and then quizzing people about what they are/were doing -(looking for conflicting stories/info from the separated persons). Or, as the judge called it, “diverging explanations” – be it in a car, a home, or anywhere.

      Now, If -lets say – they were cops legitimately investigating a murder… Fine -go ahead- divide & conquer. If they were officially out doing serious detective work to start with = okay, I fine with that.

      But, when it’s obvious to anyone (with a brain) involved (like this judge) that they’re just looking for any excuse to hunt for drugs. And – (justifying their continued employment by) ‘playing the odds’ – that they’ll find SOMETHING – even if it’s just a dime-bag in a pocket or whatever.

      And to make it worse (read the story) even the judge said it seemed that they were engaged in racial profiling:

      “His candid testimony that the occupants looked like Mohawks and that one had what Carrier believed is a Mohawk name, and that the car was listed for an address near the Mohawk Indian reservation bordered on improper racial profiling.”

      I’m thinking – maybe these agents – should be part of the federal employees furloughed via the ‘sequester’ cuts?

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  • Rookie

    I have had the opinion since it was published Kleinman was the choice for the position, that he is a tool of the Federal Government, Placed there to make sure this program fails. Many disagree with me and I have had my opinion deleted from many sites, However I am entitled to an opinion and i think it is correct..

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    • allan

      I’ve previously wagered that when Holder travelled to WA to visit w/ Gov Inslee, Kleiman was part of the deal. They will still be followig the NIDA protocol – find only the harms. And for that, Kleiman is the perfect tool.

      But what the ganja haters can’t grasp, is that cannabis will win. Thoughtful and careful consideration focused into deliberate action should not be mistaken for amotivation. But they have, do and probably will continue to make that mistake.

      I think one of the best examples of our efforts compared to theirs is found at MAP. MAP’s DrugNews Archive is now at almost 250,000 articles. Back somewhere in the ’90s (IIRC, was reported by Stephen Young in the DrugSense Weekly) the ONDCP tried to duplicate MAP’s efforts w/ their own DrugNews library. Of course they listed only articles favoring the prohibition stance, whereas the goal at MAP was to show both sides and to have our activists writing LTEs rebutting the once-upon-a-time previously unchallenged propaganda and media bias. MAP’s volunteers on average archive 15,000 articles, letters and opinion pieces a year. The well paid professional prohibition machine desk-lackeys managed to archive about 800 – total. Their program didn’t even last 2 years. MAP is around 2 decades old now.

      The whole drug policy situation is starting to become a public ass-kicking that’s highly embarrassing. They’re now the freaks, a cult of insufferable stupidity. Jack Cole was sharing some communications w/ Brazil LEAP’s Judge Maria Lucia Karam in which she states that their membership is over 80% active duty LE.

      The work ahead is still a monumental task, yet the balance has shifted. As our base grows theirs shrinks. And as any pyramid builder will tell you, a broad base is essential.

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      • allan

        that didn’t come out quite right, let me untwist this a bit…

        The whole drug policy situation is starting to become a public ass-kicking that’s highly embarrassing to the Prohibs. They’re now the freaks, a cult of insufferable stupidity. Again to make a comparison, Jack Cole was sharing some news communications w/ Brazil LEAP’s Judge Maria Lucia Karam in which she states that their membership is over 80% active duty LE.

        Statistics watchers I’m sure have complete volumes of text explaining trends. Well, our trends are showing steady climbs while theirs are flatlining if not on a precipitous descent.

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      • kaptinemo

        If you think of drug prohibition as a religion, then one can make certain analogies.

        You have to wonder what it must have felt like for the practitioners of a religion in decline when a new one came along, one which gained ever increasing numbers of adherents.

        The old fetishes, the old dogmas, the old means of social control slip away…as the clergy of the old faith watch with ever greater anger and resentment at the dwindling number of offerings being made by an equally dwindling congregation…most of whom are older to begin with. The young, taking to the new faith, are vanishing from the ranks of the ‘flock’ (always remember that sheep serve largely two purposes: shearing and mutton) and thus spell the doom of the old faith.

        The new faith in this case is freedom. Freedom from the authoritarian orthodoxy of the stultifying Church of The Cognitive Fetters. Whose symbol is the chain-link. The kind the ‘faithful’ have been told to wear around their heads (like an old, old Radio Free Europe commercial that had a kid with a chain-and-padlock wrapped around his noggin) as a ‘protection’ against thinking for themselves, and whose canto is “Just say No!!!”

        The old priests of prohibition just will not admit their day is done…while the flow of History surrounds them, passes them by, and renders them irrelevant. Rail all they want, Hemingway’s famous ‘bell’ is tolling for them.

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  • Servetus

    Although he’s Jewish, Prof. Kleiman’s mind operates like the Catholic bishop who believes his parishioners are having way too much sex. Any sex is too much by the bishop’s alleged standards. Binge sex is seen as an addiction. Safe sex with condoms or artificial birth control is a sin. There’s just no way of getting around the recreational sex taboo.

    We don’t know yet if Mark Kleiman is a drug virgin. If so, he speaks as an authority on drugs while possessing no primary source of information on his topic. It would mean that all he knows about drugs comes from secondary sources: rumor, anecdotal hysteria, misinterpreted science, corporations, government propaganda, Hollywood, and so forth. He’s obviously never questioned his first premise: that recreational drugs are all harmful.

    Also, Dr. Kleiman makes false equivocations between alcohol binges and marijuana binges. A serious alcohol binge can kill, whereas a pot binge leads to a bit of restful sleep, if anything.

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    • darkcycle

      “Although he’s Jewish, Prof. Kleiman’s mind operates like the Catholic bishop” Servetus…I was raised Jewish by my Parents and Cathilic by my maternal Grandparents. (Stayed with the Grands about 50% of the time ’till 15, then lived with them ’till the Army) Having literally been in rooms filled with Franciscan Monks and Rabbi’s. I can tell you authoritatively there is precious little difference between the two.

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      • Servetus

        So it’s a clerical affliction. Prof. Kleiman is an ascetic. Tough luck. That’s a hard one to get rid of, unless the hapless victim passes it down to their kids.

        No wonder Dr. Kleiman makes hedonists’ neck-hair stand up.

        If we hiss and growl, maybe he’ll go away.

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  • The/More/Stuff/Changes

    Kindly google “Kleiman is a prohibitionist” and you’ll see articles going back decades.

    “Third, even on those rare occasions where Kleiman does not endorse prohibitionist policy, his analysis is infused with a prohibitionist morality. In his often superb chapter on marijuana, his evidence forces him to consider alternatives. Yet he is reluctant at every turn. He brings himself to admit that the costs of the current prohibition (e.g. each year 350 000 arrests and up to 10 billion dollars in enforcement costs and lost revenue) are probably too great for the ‘benefits’ received. But he still conceives of the alleged deterrent value of prohibition as a benefit, and again implies that he believes marijuana use is in itself somehow ‘bad’.”

    —Prohibitionism in Drug Policy Discourse by Craig Reinarman, University of California, Santa Cruz,
    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DRUG POLICY, 1994. VOL 5 NO 2.

    “He also bases his support for prohibition on the fact that the criminal justice system does not do a good enough job of preventing drug-related crime. Most informed observers, however, trace many of the problems in our criminal justice system to the burden and corruption placed on it by narcotics prohibition. Finally, I would note that even Mr. Kleiman realizes that only a small percentage of the population develops abuse problems with any specific drug and that we do not know what makes a given person have an abuse problem with a given drug. Why then does he recommend a nationwide policy that is oppressive, impersonal, and ineffective?

    —Mark Thornton, Auburn University.
    A Review of Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results, 1992.

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  • Servetus

    Prohibition’s inevitable corruption has spread to Argentina, a country now making every effort to imitate Mexico’s blood-soaked drug war:

    Police collusion –

    Long a transit point for drugs travelling to Europe, the local phenomenon in Rosario is new – a mixture of growing demand and what many denounce as institutional corruption.

    Gomez, Mono’s mother, struggles to get her words out, wiping away tears. “We began to discover that drug dealers and the police are one and the same,” she explains. “Instead of protecting the people, they were protecting the ‘narcos.'”

    Prohibition is a major U.S. export. Soon to follow will be equipment sales by American companies to Argentinians for surveillance and drug interdiction, maybe some military advisors to produce a new generation of the ‘disappeared’. The unofficial prohibitionist motto: we deliver tyranny to your door – day or night.

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  • “Fostering disease”. “Smoking a lot of marijuana is not a good thing”.

    It is obvious we have a drug czar who believes that he is in charge of distribution and taxation of a substance that he and policy makers consider a disease.

    Do they consider this same idea when they are setting up distribution of alcohol? If not, Kleiman has no business worrying about this in setting up marijuana distribution.

    Question: How Many People Drink Alcohol in the U.S.?
    Answer: More than half of all Americans aged 12 or older report that they are current drinkers. In the latest national survey, 51.9% of those surveyed said they were current drinkers, or an estimate 130.6 million people

    41 percent of the U.S. population has used marijuana during their lifetime.

    Past Month Illicit Drug Use among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2010

    marijuana= 17.4 million

    5.0 million people using marijuana on a daily basis.

    The alcohol crowd outnumbers the marijuana crowd IF these statistics are correct by about 113 million users.

    The disease potential of alcohol is not considered in the distribution scheme for alcohol anymore than to ensure minors cannot obtain it legally.

    Why should marijuana be considered any different? The harm and disease potential is higher with alcohol than marijuana. What is the problem?

    The fallacy is Kleiman worrying about disease at all. Its not his job.

    Is the purpose of a tax to stop use? To discourage use? No. In fact a good case can be made that taxes ensure the continued use of a substance by ensuring the revenue stream does not stop.

    The only revenue Kleiman should be worried about is having enough revenue coming in to cover the costs of running the distribution schemes and programs by the state.

    If the state is not worried about the disease potential of it’s current system of distributing alcohol, why should Kleiman bring it into the picture for the distribution of marijuana?

    If Kleiman is trying to ensure that the various industrial/government complexes are supported by the taxes then we have a big problem.

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  • Daniel Williams

    In the CNN story I read about Kleinman’s consultancy to Washington’s Liquor Control Board, the part I liked the best was where Beau Kilmer, one of the RAND researchers, expressed his belief (fear) that commercial production would likely try to target young people. What fucking planet does this guy live on?!

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  • allan

    Peter Wehner in the WaPo:

    GOP should stand firm against drug legalization

    Barf bags may be required

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    • claygooding

      “”This is the perfect time for Republicans to offer counterarguments grounded in medical science, common sense and human experience.””

      I roflmao at that one,,,from the mouth of a former ONDCP “Special Assistant Admin” no less,,,

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    • kaptinemo

      Wehner is receiving a royal @$$-whupping in the comment section…as well he should. If he doesn’t get a call from Rep Party HQ soon to rap his pinkies for this pseudo-intellectual drivel (a Rep quoting proto-communist, society-as-ant-farm Plato of all people!), he just might; he’s doing more damage to the Rep brand than any Dem ever could.

      Rave on, Wehner, rave on. You make a drug law reformer’s work so much easier. The audience you think you’re reaching grew up having Republican-sired (it started with Ronnie Raygun’s tenure, remember) prohibitionist blather splashed in their eyes and dinned in their ears 24/7 as kids, and now that they’re older, they’ve had e-effing-nuff!

      The grown-up ‘DARE Generation’ are the ones that pulled the levers and pushed the buttons in WA and CO voting booths for ending prohibition in those States, and more will follow. Take your Borg-speak and blare it elsewhere…

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    • Daniel Williams

      Should the Republican Party decide to get back to their small-government, personal-responsibilty roots and embrace ending the federal progibition against cannabis, will we embrace them in a similar fashion as we embrace LEAP?

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      • Windy

        That’s not a likely scenario, Daniel, the GOPers of today only give lip service to those principles, once in office they always vote on the side of BIGGER government and taking away the right of the individual to self-ownership, self-determination, and personal responsibility. If you truly want to support small-government and personal responsibility values (in addition to the non-aggression principle) then support the libertarian candidates and the LP party in your State with donations and votes, cuz neither the GOPers nor the Dems will, ever promote those in reality.

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    • allan

      The Peter Wehner fan club pipes up with this, Drug reform but not legalization? at the WaPo. Interesting that we’ve gone from a 300 mph freight train to “throwing the floodgates open for legalized pot use.”

      Floodgates? Really? Them gates been open for decades Ms Rubin. Pot is everywhere. It seems she’s a fan of the-all-users-are-addicts-and-need-rehab school of thought.

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      • kaptinemo

        Having some fun over there today.

        The quality of the trolls, however, is especially disappointing. I mean, this is the WaPo, fershitsake. You’d think there were some first-class, USDA Grade A trolls, there.

        But no. The trolls are just not fresh, with a zippy zing to them, but taste barely flavored. Anemic. Not enough meat on the bone, either, to justify the effort. More like eating cheese-puffs. Once crunch, and that’s it. Might as well swallow air; you get the same result. (Burrrrrp, covering mouth) Oh, excuse me.

        (Picking teeth, muttering ruminantively) Leaves you with an unsatisfied feeling; I’m still hungry.

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  • muggles

    Change is happening, it used to be one foot forward and two back, but that has reversed…thanks for the reminder of MAPS and their reference library Allan, and also thanks for the mention of Colorado’s driving law having defense built into it La mordida…this has been a good thread.

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  • Jeff Trigg

    Medical cannabis in Illinois is non-existent but has potential to pass. Democrats have had complete control since January 2003 when Rod Blagojevich took the Governor’s office with Democrat majorities in Michael Madigan’s House and Emil Jones Jr.’s (now John Cullerton’s) Senate. Ten years later the Democrats, who now have veto proof majorities in the GA, MAY pass this paranoid, over-regulated, piece of shit temporary pilot program medical “marijuana” bill and want us to keep voting for them?

    http://capitolfax.com/2013/04/02/lang-defends-his-bill/#comments

    We should call it cannabis. Marijuana is a racist, yellow journalism term created by Hearst to protect his forestry profits while painting a link between cannabis and those dirty non-Europeans.

    This proposal is wrong on so many levels it is hard to care whether or not it passes. If they are going to be this controlling and strict, they may as well just do exactly what the feds are doing with federal pilot program that has been sending patients 300 joints a month since 1978.

    A severely poor patient is not allowed to grow their own? Come on, have a heart, some of these people will be too sick to hold down a regular job and will be poor. Let them grow a couple dozen plants.

    Background checks? Why? A ban on ex-felons? Why? Do we do that for Vicodin or valium or any other more dangerous opiates? That just isn’t necessary.

    22 cultivation centers. And none of them will be politically connected or “mobbed up”? Let the patients grow their own and provide for other patients so they reap the “profits” from a medical cannabis program, instead of creating a monopoly where only up to 22 corporations will receive the cash. Looks like a greedy power grab waiting to happen, at the expense of the sick and diseased.

    Medical histories collected by the state to issue state ID cards? Again, do we do this with the pain killers and muscle relaxants and steroids and opiates that are prescribed everywhere, every day right now?

    This whole thing is overkill and too much of a compromise to those folks that still believe cannabis is any worse than alcohol. Too bad we don’t have initiative and referendum powers for our citizens cause I’d love to see a statewide vote on better program than this.

    Kentucky looks like they may beat us to the industrial hemp market. Paper, car door panels, oil, feed, textiles, etc. We import hemp from Canada right now. We need those jobs and that income here.

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    • Duncan20903

      Is requiring surrender of the patient’s driver’s license still in the Illinois bill?

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      • Jeff Trigg

        Luckily, no, not at this time. Amendments can still be added, so I hope that one will not be added again.

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  • Mr Ikasheeni

    Peter Wehner or Peter Bensinger?

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  • Duncan20903

    Heavy Marijuana Smokers Show Subtle Metabolic Changes
    by Fran Lowry
    Apr 01, 2013

    Chronic cannabis smoking induces subtle metabolic changes that include increased visceral adiposity and adipose tissue insulin resistance, according to a new study published online March 25 in Diabetes Care.

    There was no evidence, however, of an association between chronic cannabis smoking and more severe metabolic impairment: no hepatic steatosis, insulin insensitivity, impaired pancreatic ß-cell function, or glucose intolerance was seen among the cannabis users, report Ranganath Muniyappa, MD, PhD, from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD), Bethesda, MD, and colleagues.

    The findings were somewhat surprising, senior author Monica C. Skarulis, MD, from the NIDDKD, told Medscape Medical News.

    “We hypothesized that chronic cannabis smoking would result in hepatic-fat accumulation, leading to insulin resistance or evidence of a prediabetic state,” Dr. Skarulis said. “Nevertheless, the take-home message from our findings is that mild metabolic derangement occurs in young people who smoke a lot of cannabis. They had a tendency to have proportionally more intra-abdominal fat than subcutaneous fat.”
    /snip/

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  • jean valjean

    ot
    dr francis collins of national institute of health tells us how fortunate we are to have a president who is “exited by science” on npr this am. unless of course the science in question produces evidence his corporate bosses dont like.

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    • Jean Valjean

      just to add to obama nominee collins’ credibility as a scientist:
      “Collins also wrote the New York Times bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, which discusses Collins’ conversion from atheism to Christianity, evaluates the evidence for Christianity, and argues for theistic evolution.[2] In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.[3] [wiki]
      need I say any more?
      Steven Pinker declared that Collins is “an advocate of profoundly anti-scientific beliefs.” Other leading scientists said far worse.

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  • claygooding

    Dear Algebra,
    Please quit asking us to find your “X”.

    She has divided your possessions and run off with another factor,even though he is a fraction of your sum and don’t bother asking us “Y”.

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  • Irie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znpt_Umixcs

    “Lets end the war on drugs,
    its time to pull the plug,
    these special interest groups are nothing more than corporate thugs.
    Lets end the war on weed,
    the people have agreed,
    these special interest groups have kept these laws with bribery.”

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  • kaptinemo

    Since this is an open thread…

    Behold the new ‘Bankers Booster’? Meet the ‘New Cocaine’?

    The Real Limitless Drug Isn’t Just for Lifehackers Anymore

    From the article;

    “Modafinil, which is marketed as Provigil in the United States, was first approved by the FDA in 1998 for the treatment of narcolepsy, but since then it’s become better known as a nootropic, a “smart drug,” especially among entrepreneurs. More recently, it has attracted traders like Borden who don’t just need a pick-me-up to get through a deadline; they need to be on, without a break, for months, even years at a time.”

    Now, since this seems to be a drug that ups productivity, what odds do you want to name that this drug will NOT be banned by the hand-wringing, oh-so-concerned chemical prohibitionists?

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    • kaptinemo

      And it reminded me of something: recall the old movie, Outland, where the company in charge of the mining station was bringing in a drug that made the workers productive as Hell for 10 months, and then conveniently caused them to go (often violently) psychotic after 11, leading to death, negating the necessity for paying them off?

      Sometimes, it’s Life that imitates Art…

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  • divadab

    Let me stand up on my soapbox once again – I’ve said it before, and the appointment of Mark Kleiman is more evidence that I was right – the regulatory regime of I-502 will not happen.

    These guys are going through the motions but the first threat from the feds that State LCB employees will be arrested and/or State assets will be seized for selling the dreaded marijuana and the whole enterprise will shut down.

    One step forward, however – retail quantities of weed are legal in WA. This is a big step. That alcohol interests are now in charge of implementing the rest of I-502 has put the kaibosh to legal retail sales. However, the medicinal market continues to boom. Fuck Kleiman. He’s a gravy-trainer, makes his money leaching off the government purse. DO you really expect him to do something useful? That would end his gravy train job.

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    • claygooding

      Damn,,all those crops in the ground already and no state run retail system to distribute the crop,,,myomyomyomy,,,what ever will those poor growers do??????

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    • darkcycle

      I’m becoming particularly worried that Kleiman has another agenda….chipping away at the current patient protections. He’s spending all his time running to any media slut who’ll listen and telling them that the State’s legal scheme and the current medical system (cooperative gardens and dispensaries) cannot survive side by side. He’s really after the medical cannabis industry.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I’m willing to take the other side of that bet divadab. Specifically that the Feds will ever file a suit against the State of Washington challenging I-502 or parts thereof and/or threaten to arrest State employees for any violation of the CSA or make any attempt to seize any State property or monies using civil forfeiture.

      While you’re thinking about how much money you want to lose on this bet, here’s the text of California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act (AKA SB-420) which will have been in force for a full decade on the last day of this year: It’s the LAW! Gosh, doesn’t that law look a lot like I-502? I know that those laws look all but identical to the Feds.

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      • divadab

        Duncan – so you are betting that the feds will not interfere in WA with the implementation of I-502? Like they have interfered continually in CA with medicinal dispensaries? SB-420 may be the law in the State of CA but the DEA has interfered (in an unconstitutional manner, IMHO) heavily for years. Just ask the dispensary landlords who were sent letters warning that their property would be confiscated, or the owners of Harborside in Oakland how much they’ve had to spend on attorneys fees to stay open in the face of federal persecution.

        I’ll take that bet – you’re on. I think they will. (I think they already have, behind the scenes). Ten bucks! Your offer seems a bit narrow to me, since the feds have not actually challenged SB420, just threatened and intimidated with threats of civil forfeiture people who were operating completely in accord with STate law. So if they do this in WA, I would win the bet.

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  • darkcycle

    Pot dealers in Seattle’s U-District (my old home) given admonishments rather than handcuffs.
    http://www.king5.com/news/marijuana/Seattle-police-only-give-warnings-for-pot-sales-201156631.html#.UVxjWWDk6gY.facebook

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  • jean valjean

    the guardian today has a review of a new book by the blogger of blog del narco about mexicos drug war. comments seem to be dominated by know nothing prohibs. needs some input from the couch.( sorry no link from my iphone)

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    You might want to be sitting down for this one. I sure never thought we’d see something like this coming out of the State of Florida:

    Robert Jordan, Husband Of Florida Medical Marijuana Activist, Won’t Face Charges For Pot Plants
    By Radley Balko
    04/03/2013

    Robert Jordan, the husband of Florida medical marijuana activist Cathy Jordan, will not face criminal charges for a February raid on the couple’s home that turned up 23 pot plants. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the prosecutor’s office “announced that it believed Jordan could successfully mount a medical necessity defense in court.”

    Did the State of Florida implement a medicinal cannabis patient protection law when I wasn’t looking?

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    • Duncan20903

      So I’ve just learned that the controlling legal authority is from Jenks v State of Florida, 582 So.2d 676 (1991)

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      • darkcycle

        Yup, they have an affirmative defense, it just NEVER works is all.

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        • claygooding

          They could read the writing on the wall and polly never had such a clear cut verification that marijuana was saving the woman’s life..living 20 years with a disease that kills 90% within 5 years would be considered a miracle,,if marijuana hadn’t been the healer.

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