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November 2013
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Slammed

There was a time when Peter Bensinger could spout his false drug-war propaganda points and the mmedia would print them — particularly in his home state of Illinois. After all, he used to be head of the DEA.

So it’s particularly gratifying to see this fact check takedown by WLS Chicago editor Matt Lo Cascio.

“The citizens of Illinois lost. They’ve compromised their safety and the exposure of kids to marijuana. Eighteen-year-olds can take this without a parent’s permission. And you have to only look at other states to see what’s happened,” Bensinger said in an interview with 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron.

“In Colorado, the grades have gone down in the high schools, the drug violations have gone up and the highway traffic fatalities from people smoking pot and driving have tripled. One person is dying every week because someone is driving a vehicle and has smoked marijuana.”

Numbers from the Colorado State Patrol don’t support Bensinger’s statement. Colorado traffic fatalities have decreased since they enacted medical marijuana laws. In fact, a study done in part by a University of Colorado-Denver economist shows that when states legalize medical marijuana, traffic fatalities decrease by an average of 8 to 11 percent the first year, and that figure rises to 10 to 13 percent by the fourth year. It’s a study that has been cited by many news agencies, including Time, The Denver Post and most recently The Boston Globe.

No more free rides for Bensinger’s lies.

[Thanks, John!]

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28 comments to Slammed

  • Benjamin

    Now the lies still get printed, but with a caveat that they are, in fact, lies. Isn’t “neutral” journalism grand?

  • allan

    Bensinger’s Bologna®… no longer recognized as fit for human consumption.

    thud

    damn, this is almost fun. Were it not that the drug war is an evil and vile thing, it would be hilarious.

    • Nunavut Tripper

      Yes it really has a kind of surreal humor to it especially some of the prohib rants but it’s not funny to many people.
      I’ve been a victim of the WOD myself.

      • allan

        there are many among us here on the couch that have had their necks under the drug war boot. And no, it’s not funny.

        I began this current trek in the late ’90s. The stories of others’ wronged and killed by the WODbeast got me started. And then when the WODbeast fucked up my life then it became personal…

        I need to be in court tomorrow for my friend, Daniel “Danbo” Ernst’ federal trial. A patriot and good family guy going down because he gardens.

        But I’m feeling vindicated, glad to know that we have indeed wounded WODbeast.

        If we keep beating that wall, it will fall… it is falling.

        I look forward to the day when I’m awakened by the crashing of whole damn thing.

        Storm the Bastille indeed!

        • Windy

          Sending my fervent intent that your friend’s trial be nullified by the jury.

        • kaptinemo

          Storm the Bastille, indeed…with fixed bayonets. Chinese-styled ones. After what they’ve put all those peaceful, harmless people through in the name of their Holy Drug War, they don’t deserve any mercy.

        • allan

          oh… Danbo did take a jury trial, is representing himself. My ride to town disappeared so the last I heard was that they had just finished jury selection and were breaking for lunch.

          This shit really needs to stop.

          Was talking to a model during a shoot the other day and as I often am prone to do I turned the conversation to the drug war. And she says, “oh yeah, I used to garden with Tod McCormick.” The one book on my shelves she commented on was my old worn copy of Be Here Now… I love crossing generational bridges.

          Watching this era’s 20 somethings (I have 2 of them) is about the brightest light I see in a really darkening world. Their biases are far, far less cultural and racial than generations past and that may provide them a key to surviving that which is to come.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Man, if I couldn’t make fun of the prohibitches I would have been be contemplating suicide. It’s not like it takes any real talent to make them laughing stock. Maybe after this is all over we can build a prohibitionist cage over at the National Zoo and put Kev-Kev and his pals on display. It would have to be age restricted entry because it would likely give the children night terrors. Perhaps we could call it Rat Park? Nah, there’s no reason to insult the Norwegian-American rat population like that.

        So much for having the carpet pulled out from under them, the prohibitionists are almost certainly moving to a delusional place. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of [expletives deleted].

    • kaptinemo

      And that thud is echoing, still. A pity, though, that not much was said about how much Bensinger was profiting off of the drug testing industry he helped initiate…and how he and his good buddy DuPont rode the coat-tails of the ‘concerned parents’ (translation: control freak) movement to that enormous wealth, and then abandoned the ‘useful idiots’ they proved to be when their utility came to an end.

      Truly, ‘there is no honor among thieves’, for such as they have stolen our freedoms…and it’s only now, decades after the theft, that we’re on the threshold of getting them back.

      I can only hope that I live long enough to see them finally brought to justice for the damage they caused to this nation. The kind of justice that involves words like ‘head’ and ‘pike’ in a single sentence…

  • Servetus

    Peter Bensinger is 77. By refusing to smoke pot, he’s failed to benefit from marijuana’s anti-dementia effects. In his mind, he still lives in an era of vacuum tubes and Leave it to Beaver. Nothing in his entire prohibitching life (thanks, thelbert) prepared him for the day the reality based community would have access to the Internet to instantly call his bluff. Times have changed.

  • thelbert

    uruguay has sure left beaver behind:http://tinyurl.com/jwqbne7

  • Tipping Point: Almost Every State Addressing Medical Marijuana
    http://tinyurl.com/k9z5ltu

    Get with it, Mr. Bensinger.

    Peter Bensinger is out of touch. This does not entitle him to manufacture his own information and statistics and try to pawn them off as truth.

  • I linked yesterday about the “international scientific conference on cannabis and health” in Stockholm. A quick look at a more detailed programme will convince you that this is more an anti-scientific conference on why cannabis is bad for health and how to best punish people for using it.

    It’s mostly presentations regarding interventions, treatment of dysfunctional users, consequences of long-term heavy use (“such as reduced function of the attentional/executive system, decreased mental flexibility, increased perseveration, and reduced learning…”), cost-effectiveness of cannabis prevention, cannabis use disorders and most common co-morbid conditions, something called “family therapy for adolescent substance abuse” (NIDA-funded), possibility of battling the horrors of cannabis addiction with an unnamed “endogenous hormone produced in the brain in response to very high doses of cannabis that blocks cannabis effects” (has anyone here heard about something like that?), etc.

    I especially like the name of the presentation “Quit the Shit”; I wonder how a similarly worded anti-cannabis campaign would fare in the States. (QtS is “a 50-days intervention program for young adults who want to reduce or cease using cannabis”, developed by the German Federal Centre for Health Education.)

    Doped driving also gets its spot. (“Residual blood THC concentrations found in chronic daily cannabis smokers was accompanied by psychomotor impairment for at least 21 days of sustained cannabis abstinence. /—/ Chronic stimulation of the [endocannabinoid] system leads to a reversible neuroadaptation of cortical brain regions with downregulation of CB1-cannabinoid receptors. This neuroadaptation was accompanied by impairment of psychomotor function suggesting a mechanism for the increases in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities documented following driving under the influence of cannabis.”; although, admittedly “there is a great challenge of measurability and accuracy of interpretation because the association between levels of THC and crash risk is not fully understood.”)

    Also, challenges in measuring cannabis exposure will be discussed. A representative of Sweden’s Ministry of Justice will explain why zero-tolerance policy is the way to go.

    I must admit I’m mortified. Estonia’s delegate, a Ministry of Social Affairs official, will probably return chock-full of “good” ideas.

    The programme is here: http://kunskaptillpraktik.skl.se/MediaBinaryLoader.axd?MediaArchive_FileID=d66dda07-b1f6-4ff4-995e-a9d839307ecf&FileName=Preliminary+Programme_Cannabis.pdf

    • kaptinemo

      The question to be asked is if the citizens of the countries the participants are drawn from will recognize the wolf in the sheep’s clothing for what it is.

      But like I said in the previous comment, what we are seeing here appears to be a distillation of manias. For you’d have to be insane to think the DrugWar is a success that needs defending.

      Just the previous proposition gives the lie to their efforts, for that is just what they are doing: claiming their ‘success’ needs to be defended. If it were a success, it would be evident to all and require no defense. That it is not, however, is becoming painfully obvious to just about everyone but them.

      Mind you, I am speaking only of the Hofferian hard-core True Believers. The more cynical, realistic and opportunistic of the DrugWarriors, those who are in it for the paycheck, they know the jig is up. Being nothing more than mercenaries, they’ll exit the field as soon as it becomes more profitable for them to. It’s the crazies I am referring to.

      As they continue to lose ground, we can expect their manias to erupt even more publicly…and perhaps in such a way as to cause their intended audience to realize they are dealing with the kind of people whose mindsets gifted the world with Fascism, Nazism, Communism, etc. Petty tyrants seeking to become bigger ones…and they don’t care how many they have to crush under their boots to achieve their version of Utopia.

      • That’s inspirational and all, but I’ll probably have to find out what research their claims are based on and how to counter or dismiss them, etc. Considering Estonia’s official stance, there’s no doubt all of this will be touted to the government as well as the electorate as desirable and relevant. Which will need to be fought on a public level, supported by better research.

      • curmudgeon

        Too bad the prohibitches version of Utopia is sane peoples’ hell.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          If it were to come to pass that I for some unknown reason, I’d have to be a Satanist. There’s got to be something wrong with heaven because any place that’s as desirable as Heaven is advertised just wouldn’t need the constant promotion to get people to want to go there. The only time I see Hell mentioned in promotional advertising is when the religionists denigrate it in their promotions of their preferred destination. It appears that prohibitionists overwhelmingly prefer Heaven as their destination. Why in the world would I want to go to a place that’s lousy with prohibitches? Why in the world would anyone want to dance on the head of a pin?

          Satan didn’t fall, he jumped.

  • claygooding

    Because Bensinger and the DEA have been so successful at stopping kids from getting pot we shouldn’t try to remove the market from the streets.
    Still waiting for the ONDCP budget request.

  • divadab

    How did it happen in America that we are ruled by people who lie as a matter of habit? Bensinger is a long-time federal employee – whose solid gold pension and retirement health plans are paid for by US. We get to pay this moral degenerate and enable him to profit from oppression. I mean, for his sake I hope there is a hell, because scum like Bensinger have figured out how to profit from a corrupt dominionist system with impunity.

  • Howard

    Here’s a video from earlier this year. Bensinger stars in this video but he references Andrea Barthwell and Robert DuPont who are in the audience and obviously spoke earlier. I was going to point out a few of the more bizarre claims Bensinger makes but there were too many. It was not the best use of my time but I watched the whole thing anyway. By the way, in typical cowardly prohibitionist fashion, comments were closed for this video (typical).

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

  • sudon't

    “So will heroin. So will other drugs.”

    Benzinger has a point, there. There needs to be an end to drug prohibition for most drugs (antibiotics should be tightly regulated). Comparing pot to heroin is not as far out as Mr. Lo Cascio thinks. Although it’s impossible to overdose on pot, heroin and other opiates, when taken correctly, are just as safe and cause much less impairment than pot does. This attitude that addiction is per se “bad” must be questioned. Isn’t it is only within the context of prohibition that addiction becomes misery?
    Kudos to Mr. Lo Cascio. Fact-based journalism is a rare commodity in mainstream news outlets.

  • War Vet

    I feel so bad for it (Mr. Bensinger). It’s life was such a waste and a bad use of molecules, space, food, time, energy and oxygen. It wasted its entire purpose of living (since a life dedicated to wickedness and perversion cannot be called a life). Shame on it for wasting its own life in such horrible pursuit without learning anything . . . shame on it for never growing emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. It never matured and never was able to possess love nor give love. It will never be remembered and if it is ever remembered, it will be with the same kind of emotion one feels when remembering psychopaths and sociopaths. At least Scrooge found humanity . . . for its sake, I hope it gets haunted by 3 spirits . . . for his chains in the after life of Hell will be carrying all the weight of the War on Drugs and its torrent of destruction.

  • DdC

    Anatomy 101:
    Peter’s a dick, Bensinger’s an asshole.

    In the Real World…

    World’s first hemp car is creating some buzz!

  • allan

    from my you-have-to-love-an-optimist file…

    Got a call from my fried Jim Greig the other day asking if I was up for speaking at next year’s GMM. I said of course… and then he says, “I think we need to call the 2014 GMM the last global march for legalization.

    And ya know… I think he’s on to something.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    One of my most very favorite parts of the ongoing process is watching the prohibitionists marginalized to irrelevance. I must say that I think that it’s remarkable that they still haven’t noticed what is going on. I really thought that they’d have figured it out by now. Apparently they’re even more brain dead than I thought and that is remarkable.

  • Matt Lo Cascio

    First, thank you for linking to my story on Peter Bensinger’s comments. Thank you also for the kudos and kind words. You really have no idea how much they made my day.

    Although I was aware of Mr. Bensinger’s company and their services, I thought it best to simply address his statements and rebut them with facts. I thought if I brought Dupont into the conversation it could steer people away from what I hoped to get at in the piece — that his views are outdated, nonfactual and even prejudicial.

    The comment from sudon’t on heroin was interesting, and I will definitely look into that.

    Thanks again for reading and linking!
    Matt Lo Cascio

  • allan

    thanks for the Bensinger-slap-upside-the-head Matt (and the visit). Beating bullies at their own game is popular sport here on the couch.