Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
DrugWarRant
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
facebooktwitterrss
November 2013
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Archives

Authors

The ultimate guide to Cannabis regulation options

Back when think-tanks in the U.S. were claiming that it wasn’t even worth talking about drug legalization because it wasn’t likely to happen, Transform in the UK was hard at work putting out the extraordinary After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation and actually laying out plausible options.

Now that legalization of cannabis is not only a possibility, but a certainty, Transform has come through again, providing a guide to countries, states, and policy-makers on options for regulating the production and distribution of cannabis within a legal market: How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide, released today (27 November in the UK).

How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical GuideNow, I’d be fine with immediate and absolute legalization of cannabis, with the only regulation related to contaminents (restrictions on mold, pesticides), and additives (product labeling) in commercially-sold cannabis.

But I realize full well that the political reality is that cannabis has been illegal for so long, and the propaganda machine has been working against it for so long, that strong regulatory plans are necessary, and it’s important to provide comprehensive, well-thought-out options for policy-makers.

And Transform does that extremely well (so often I find myself wishing we had a similar group of academics in the U.S. preparing useful policy guidance instead of dithering around about “uncertainties,” and wringing their hands at imagined futures).

This guide therefore begins with the premise that not only has prohibition failed, but that this is rapidly becoming the consensus view. As a result, the debate has moved beyond whether prohibition is a good idea, or that it can be tweaked and modified to work. […]

To some,the legal regulation of cannabis may appear radical. But the legal and historical evidence demonstrates that, in fact, it is prohibition that is the radical policy. The legal regulation of drug production, supply and use is far more in line with currently accepted ways of managing health and social risks in almost all other spheres of life. So, far from being radical, this guide simply proposes that we extend established principles of risk management to an area where they have rarely been applied.

I found this part to be particularly astute:

[The] ‘gentler prohibition’ approach is most prominent in recent rhetoric from the US Government, which claims it represents a ‘middle way’ between the ‘extremes’ of ‘legalisation’ and a ‘war on drugs’. While this line of argument relies on misrepresenting the reform position with numerous straw man arguments, the fact there is even rhetorical movement towards the centre can be seen as positive change, perhaps of a prohibitionist regime on the defensive, or of one preparing for the inevitable concession to regulatory logic at some point soon.

This tussle over who occupies the pragmatic middle ground between advocates of ‘gentler prohibition’ and advocates of pragmatic regulation is likely to be a defining feature of the debate in the coming years.

One of the really smart approaches taken in this regulatory guide is instead of just saying “make sure you restrict this…,” the document gives positive suggestions of options that require less regulation yet still provide positive outcomes. Such as:

Home growing for personal use is difficult to regulate and police, but experience suggests it is unlikely to pose significant challenges. The majority of users will prefer the convenience of availability via legal retail outlets

Regulation of home growing should aim to prevent unlicensed for-profit sales, and prevent underage access to the crop

Cannabis social clubs represent a small-scale, de facto legal model of production and supply that has been proven to operate non-problematically

Cannabis social clubs provide lessons that can inform the development of future regulatory models and, given that they do not breach UN treaty commitments, may be a useful transitional model that policy makers can implement before more formal legal production systems are put in place. However, such clubs could equally operate alongside more formal production systems post-legalisation

And the guide goes on to describe options for regulation of these at great length.

I was curious to see what the guide said about cannabis and driving, since that’s something we’ve discussed here at length, and I’ve expressed serious concerns about the use of per se laws for cannabis and driving. While I didn’t agree with the entire section, I felt this portion was a much smarter approach than what we see being pushed here:

Given the lack of scientific consensus regarding a blood THC concentration that correlates with an unacceptable level of impairment, per se limits that automatically trigger a legal sanction when exceeded are inadvisable.

Due to the distinctive way in which cannabis is processed by the body, the use of per se laws is likely to lead to prosecutions of drivers with residual levels of THC in their blood but who are nonetheless safe to drive

Blood testing should only be carried out following a driving infraction or once evidence of impairment has been derived from a standardised field sobriety test that has been validated for cannabis-induced behaviour.

Blood tests should be employed simply to confirm that a driver has recently used cannabis (and that cannabis use is therefore the likely cause of the failure of a field sobriety test). The results of a blood (or any other body fluid) test should not, on their own, trigger a legal sanction

This guide also contains an extraordinary section (starting on page 201) regarding reforming the international conventions, complete with detailed historical and political analysis and guides to the options available, including multi-lateral options like modification or amendment, and unilateral options such as denunciation followed by re-accession with reservation, denunciation/withdrawal, breaching the treaties, and “soft defections.”

The appendices include a useful chart detailing cannabis regulation in various parts of the world.

I’m still absorbing this remarkable document. Again, it’s important to mention that some of the regulations given as options within this guide are ones that I’d find to be ridiculously onerous (and unnecessary), but they are options. And this guide needs to provide the means to walk back from some truly horrendous prohibition models that exist around the world.

This is the gold standard and should be a must-have for policy-makers everywhere.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

36 comments to The ultimate guide to Cannabis regulation options

  • Thanks for the kind words Pete! And all the brilliant work you do.

  • A Critic

    “As discussed, the most obvious risk is that of over-commercialisation and the undermining of public health goals by profit-motivated commercial activity. This observation has informed much of our thinking in this guide and we make no apology for the interests of private profit not featuring highly on our list of priorities.

    ….

    But­if­there­is­ one message policy makers should take from this guide, it is to ensure the core regulatory decision-making power stays with the public health authorities, not business people or those who represent them.”

    Ah, yes, because obviously the public health authorities have a freaking clue about what is rational, practical, wise, moral, legal, and good.

    “There­should­be­adequate­institutional­capacity­to­ensure­compliance­ with regulatory frameworks, once they are established. This will require trained and experienced staff, management and oversight, and sufficient budgets for regulatory agencies. ”

    More statism.

    “Where­it­is­politically­and­legally­feasible,­a­ban­on­all­cannabis­ marketing, advertising, branding and sponsorship should be the default starting point of any regulatory regime, and should be complemented by prevention and education measures aimed at curbing potential increases in use. Where a comprehensive ban is not viable, restrictions on such activities should be as stringent as possible”

    More statism.

    The difference between prohibition and Transform? Prohibition is a farce, this will make “controlled drugs” actually controlled. THIS IS A HUGE POWER GRAB BY THE STATE.

    “More­intensive­government­control­ ̨­or­even­direct­government­ control­or­ownership,­where­feasible­ ̨­may­be­required­at­retail­level,­ to eliminate or restrict commercial incentives to increase or initiate cannabis­use.­Limiting­the­scale­of­individual­businesses­may­help­ prevent the emergence of overly powerful commercial interests with the capacity to distort policy priorities”

    Yet not a single iota of concern about overly powerful government interests with the capacity to distort policy priorities. No mention of police or politicians.

    The problem (the state) is not the solution.

    “This tussle over who occupies the pragmatic middle ground between advocates of ‘gentler prohibition’ and advocates of pragmatic regulation is likely to be a defining feature of the debate in the coming years.”

    In reality “legalization” or “regulation” as advocated by Transform and other statists is just another form of “gentler prohibition” as liberty is still being prohibited, and so long as that happens, the public health is gravely endangered.

    • crut

      A provocative critique to be sure, welcome to the couch. I appreciate the civil discourse, but I am not of the same mind as you. I’m not sure what happened with your comment, but a lot of your sentences were missing the space [ ] between words?

      True justice and fair laws will eventually win out, however, likely not in our lifetimes. This is the beginning, not the end.

      Ah, yes, because obviously the public health authorities have a freaking clue about what is rational, practical, wise, moral, legal, and good.

      Who would you suggest then? And whose morals? I don’t believe that an entity exists on our planet that can rationally, practically, or wisely handle the law-making/breaking power our society has bestowed on our current governments and cartels (same thing?) without becoming equally corrupt. As for moral, legal and good, well, aren’t those really questions for the individual? Should there be a law on cynicism?

      In reality “legalization” or “regulation” as advocated by Transform and other statists is just another form of “gentler prohibition” as liberty is still being prohibited, and so long as that happens, the public health is gravely endangered.

      Think of me what you will, I laughed. What is this utopian public health reality that you speak of? And your straw-man “liberty is still being prohibited”? Yes, that is not accurate. Liberty is too broad of a category to be subjected to a binary conclusion.

      Prohibitions can be liberated, but Liberty CANNOT be prohibited.

      • claygooding

        “”Prohibitions can be liberated, but Liberty CANNOT be prohibited.””

        Prohibitches can be ignored and prohibition can be liberated but Liberty CANNOT be prohibited.

        No prohibition in history has been successful,not even the first one,,mankind will always eat the apple.

      • A Critic

        “Who would you suggest then? And whose morals?”

        When it comes to drug use the individual is the appropriate moral authority to determine their own drug use.

        “Think of me what you will, I laughed. What is this utopian public health reality that you speak of? And your straw-man “liberty is still being prohibited”? Yes, that is not accurate. Liberty is too broad of a category to be subjected to a binary conclusion.”

        The state poisons the health of everyone, prohibition being one flavor of poison.

        When people go to prison for having an extra plant or an extra square footage of plant space – that’s liberty being prohibited. People aren’t free under such regulations.

        “Prohibitions can be liberated, but Liberty CANNOT be prohibited.”

        The world shows otherwise.

    • Paul McClancy

      I largely agree with your critique, however, I feel it’s a matter of logistics that leads me to play devil’s advocate. We have to make NASTY compromises because the average joe has been indoctrinated for nearly a century of prohibitionist propaganda. Little by little we will stop the cruel state’s stranglehold over the regulatory frameworks, but until then we have to be the negotiators.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      So Mr. Critic, how many more decades of the stupidity of the a would you have our society suffer before you become willing to accept that your plan is just plain fantasy land idealism? How many more millions of people need to be arrested while we hold out for your unachievable perfection? I tell you what I think that you should do. Go sit on the other side of the table with the fans of stupidity posing as public policy, because that’s where you belong. Sitting right beside Kev-Kev and his brain dead pal Patrick. With friends like you we really don’t have any need for enemies.

      I hope you don’t mind if we don’t feel any need to let perfection be the enemy of progress.

      Toodles!

  • Its a power grab by the state from criminal the entrepreneurs who currently control the market – correct. the benefits of that should be obvious. Drugs are not conventional consumer products like groceries – they are associated with a level of intrinsic risk that justifies a different level of state intervention. That said its made clear that the more cautious regulatory approach is a starting point and less interventionist models can evolve in time once the absolute ban on legal markets is broken. The regulation debate is about where the prohibition line is drawn – most would agree that a prohibition on sales to minors was justified for example.

    We have attempted to lay out a series of options and regulatory tools, and suggest which we think are likely to most effectively deliver on the aims we have also set out. there are no perfect solutions and compromises always have to be made between conflicting priorities and interests.

    • claygooding

      I like my plan better on taking marijuana away from the criminals,,Allow personal grows and one ounce sales between individuals,,one ounce limit in public,,more than an ounce and you are a dealer,,more than an ounce in your car and you are a transporter.
      We the people can remove 60% of the cartels cash flow and we don’t need funding,guns or SWAT teams to do it,,we can do it with a watercan and a hoe.

  • Thanks for the comment A Critic,

    Transform is an unashamedly statist organisation, and has an unashamedly statist policy prescription for drug control. We well understand that there are non-statist positions held by many in the reform movement, especially in the US.

    However, it is ludicrous to suggest that state regulation is in any way synonymous with prohibition. Having a forcible internal examination via your rectum is markedly different from showing ID in a pharmacy. Widespread supply side violence is absent in the state regulated drug markets. People of colour are not violently discriminated against in the legal state drug sector. The list is endless.

    We are pragmatists who can demonstrate that public health can be significantly improved by a shift from statist prohibition to statist legal regulation. For good and ill the state will be with us for longer than will prohibition, and as a result, Transform will continue to seek state regulation and control as the best system available for promoting public health and safety and upholding some basic freedoms.

  • Freeman

    Looks like the Washington State Liquor Control Board could have saved themselves a cool $800k+ if this guide had been available a year ago, and would have gotten superior advice as well (I’m assuming there’s nothing in there about stepping up law enforcement efforts under a legalized scheme in order to keep prices high — even raise them ever higher, to establish and protect licit market share and state tax revenues, trying to simultaneously curb heavy use with high prices and undermine the black market with brute force, which have never worked well enough to justify the enormous social costs).

    Poor BOTEC. First the public displays of barely-concealed mutual disappointment between them and their high-profile client, and now another organization comes along and offers (what at first glance appears to be) far more comprehensive and superior advice FOR FREE, just in time to help guide all the other states (and countries) jumping on the bandwagon! What’s a poor downtrodden professor to do — go back to teaching?

    I’m going to predict that our hero from BOTEC will claim originality for the ideas he likes (“I’ve been saying that for years”) and ignore the ones he doesn’t. One thing’s for sure — Kevin Sebat isn’t going to like this at all!

    Kudos and many thanks to the Transform group for keeping it sensible, accepting realities, avoiding moralizing, and making the results of much hard work freely available to all. Excellent job!

  • DdC

    Ganja Policy: Nixon Lied. Remove it as a controlled substance. You want policy, make some for wingnut cops…

    ot: WTF’s Up with New Mexico?
    Have they been annexed by Texas?
    ecp

    Cops Spray Woman’s Vagina With Mace
    To “Punish” Her After Drug Arrest

    Ben Swann Truth In Media November 25, 2013

    “At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse the most expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of recreation a person could have.”
    – Donnie Marshall,
    Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

    Kinky Kop Kult probing our nations youth.
    For bad driving?
    DdC

    Is that a new form of recreation for the cops? A list is emerging, nationwide. Kinky Kop Kult probing our nations youth. For bad driving? New deterrent to stop texting behind the wheel. First they came for the pedophile priests… Where is the oversite, the checks and balances? Have they not got the memo, humans can not be trusted with power. They have to be reigned in or they get all stupid drunk with it. They’re human. Ask any animal. Whats up with these two leggeds and they all say they’re $*@+’d up. Dangle a demon or hobgoblin in front of them, and they freak themselves out like a football pep rally. Burn the witches, lynch em, off with their heads! Like Arlo and the Psychiatrist jumping up and down Waa wanna KILL KILL KILL!!! Drugs bad, except those deadliest TV advertised every 20 minutes and on every street corner in any city flashing drugs drugs drugs signs. Tax savings eliminating the trial, straight to punishment.

    Cartoons, and B Actors reading scripts. Just nothing natural. Or non-psychoactive if it looks sorta similar like any bush and telephone pole. Or would take shelf space from fossil fools, cattle, dairy, trees, cotton, big pharma, big ag, the prison and military industrial complex, Walmartians and fish. They kiss rattlesnakes to prove Jesus loves them. Maybe when the majority of a place are insane, these probings become normal. Living in the Airplane movie. Over zealous over paid drug worriers SWAT DARE indoctrination. Pisstastes as normal as after dinner mints. Can’t tell if you’re inebriated unless they steal your bodily fluids. Oh ya busted. Didn’t do anything, but that’s beside the point. You want my piss show me the warrant and then open your mouth.

  • Howard

    “Regulation of home growing should aim to prevent unlicensed for-profit sales, and prevent underage access to the crop.”

    What regimen would be employed to “prevent underage access to the crop.”? Does the ‘state’ monitor what happens to alcohol, cigarettes and/or prescription drugs once they enter the home? No, we rely on those who purchase those items to use them responsibly and keep them from ‘the children’.

    Why the incessant distinction of ‘regulation and control’ between legal drugs and about-to-be-legal cannabis? Is this yet another attempt to mollify those on the losing end, the prohibitionists? Do we really need to provide them with a soft landing as their draconian measures whither away? Should we really let them continue to meddle and dictate the terms of their surrender as if the drug law reform movement collectively suffers from the Stockholm Syndrome?

    I say, “Nope”.

  • claygooding

    I am sure dark has printed and mailed them a copy by now but Trnsforms,IMO ideals fall to closely with the federal governments present approach,,keeping drama and over regulation as a means to continue the black market,,every regulation,every dollar of tax that increases production costs give illegal producers and sellers their profit margin because they won’t be spending the dollars meeting regulations or paying taxes.
    I agree that regulations such as age limits and security of personal grows that limit access from young people are necessary evils but beyond that all I agree with is quality controls as are found with any other food source.
    Marijuana for consumption doesn’t need thc level controls because it is the diversity of the buzzes produced that makes marijuana the amazing plant it is.
    Turn it loose..follow the original suggestions from the 70’s by the Shafer committee and let marijuana seek it’s own market llevel without influence by people wanting to corner the market.

  • BossIlluminati

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    seems like just yesterday my norcal senior classes were pushing prop 215 in our first vot ever, 1996, almost 20 years now….this country is almost 2 decades behind cali, sad and scary…long live my cali families

    AMERICA’S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33

  • Tony Aroma

    Now, I’d be fine with immediate and absolute legalization of cannabis, with the only regulation related to contaminents (restrictions on mold, pesticides), and additives (product labeling) in commercially-sold cannabis.

    I agree, there should, at the very least, be quality and safety controls/regulations just like for any other product meant for human consumption (even tobacco doesn’t have those requirements). I would however add one more necessary regulation: No sales to children (pick an age). Beyond that, I can’t think of any additional regulations being really necessary.

  • darkcycle

    Perhaps I missed something. I, for the life of me DO NOT understand why in order to legalize cannabis, we must PRETEND it is more dangerous than the science objectively tell us it is. I get that people have been propagandized for a century. But that is precisely why we are where we are, that propaganda is being roundly rejected by the population at large. What exactly do we accomplish by perpetuating NEW myths about cannabis?
    For example, the restrictions recommended on home growing are reasonable ONLY if you PRETEND that cannabis is more dangerous than growing tomatoes. In fact, if you have children around, Tomatoes are orders of magnitude MORE dangerous than cannabis. Tomato leaves and greens are, after all TOXIC, whereas Cannabis is not. I admire Transform’s blueprint, but this is in my book a big “Fail”. Where is there any benefit in replacing the old “Reefer Madness” with a new overly restrictive system based on new myths? We do not NEED a new fiction around cannabis. We need to treat it as it actually is, or we are no more credible than the Prohibs.

    • The main reason for restrictions on home growing is to prevent unregulated commercial sales. Restricting access to children is an important part of retail sales and it makes sense that that logic is carried through to some extent to any home growing provisions – but the book is clear that this is a fairly marginal issue. It isnt something we’ve put a great emphasis on – rather something we’ve flagged up as a possible issue to consider.

      The political issue re child protection is also something to be aware of – we’ve advocated a more cautious approach for political and practical reasons but have suggested that systems can be relaxed once the change is achieved, new social norms are established and core elements of the approach are shown to be effective.

      • darkcycle

        If cannabis is in fact legalized, without punitive taxes, that will be no more of a concern than people selling homegrown tomatoes. Seriously! Anybody can grow tomatoes. They are expensive (comparatively), yet there is no market in unregulated tomatoes that I am aware of.
        Why? It is simply more convenient to BUY them. If in fact by growing unregulated tomatoes you were likely to get rich off of untaxed income, what you’re saying might be true. But….because tomatoes are readily available, and there is no significant income to be generated, most people DON’T. And those that do, grow for their own needs, and maybe to share a few with the neighbors. Legalization SHOULD remove the premium attached to cannabis by virtue of it’s illegal nature, the rest will follow.
        And don’t get me started. When I go and buy a gallon of Scotch and find it sealed with a child protective cap, then maybe you’ll get some agreement out of me. But tobacco and alcohol, two of the more dangerous and addictive drugs in our culture are not treated that way. Why would I agree to special treatment for cannabis? Again….there is NO benefit that I can see in adopting the myths of prohibition as part of a legalization scheme.
        Please don’t get me wrong. I believe in locking my medicine cabinet, and keeping alcoholic products away from children. I do believe that impairment while driving should be treated harshly, regardless of the substance in question. I do believe in restrictions and taxes, but as long as they’re within reason, those “problems” should never arise.
        The problem arises in that once these regulations have been adopted, it becomes far more difficult to undo them. I would like to see reason applied to cannabis, not regulations for the sake of regulating. In most cases where regulations are adopted, it is in response to an objective need. Not in anticipation of a problem that may or may not arise, or even be likely.
        What is the point, other than to make a few nervous nellies feel a little better?

        • claygooding

          I see that the LCB in WA state has recvd applications for enough growers to plant 8 million acres of legal marijuana when they have a limit of a little over two million acres,,this means a lot of possibly experienced growers are not going to get a license,,I see no problems coming from that.

  • DdC

    No offense Steve,

    Ultimate? lol Strange word to use for retaining shackles. Hey we can be house slaves, no more hot field work and beatings and none of the worries those free men have to endure. Everything in a polciy so we can all live happily ever after. Pitiful state of American greed.

    It is clear policy makers would rather have a bad law pass than a good law fail because they believe the people can’t handle the truth. As long as they get credit for passing laws, they have no concern over the actual outcome of the policy. Never more true than Ganja “policy”. They forget conveniently or don’t mention the simple fact that reefer madness and then Nixon rejecting his own commission’s report that Ganja is safe to use. The underground has provided quality pot for 40 years and nothing has happened until policy makers and governments decided to crack down. When we were getting AIDs patients their cannabis oh how they cheered. Then policy makers found us stoners to be a liability. Instead of dealing with reality they all seem comfortable living in some far distant future where they have predicted outcomes to justify stigmatizing regular users. The sell out of incrementalism.

    Placing more burdens and jail time in the name of legalizing it for some. For some odd reason these legalizers think state prison is better than feds. More constitutional and just a better deal by appeasing the prison industry and passing bad policy over losing to truth and reality. I stand with the underground. State laws outside of CA are traps for impossible ways to legally use Ganja. Limits preventing growing your own while feds bust all sales as commerce if you try to buy what is impossible to grow. The truth is still kept hidden behind the wall of lies Nixon told to fast track the controlled substance act behind the headlines of Watergate to this day. Still an arbitrary and capricious law defined again and again as a bogus law to rid corporations of unwanted competition. Big Pharma or Big Ag. So this weak appeasement to beg the authorities who have lied to keep the laws on the books. Is Un-American as the Ganjawar itself.

    The underground has provided Ganja to the public at a price reflective of risk solely caused by the government/prohibition and money interest pulling their strings. That is the policy. Not until after we got sick people their bud meds did laws start creeping in. To make those who gladly put us in prison for growing it recreationally, able to get it from drug stores now that they have discovered its worth as a medicine. Yuppies now wanting it but not without thousands of tweaks to assure the future is safe for kidlets when that is impossible. Stupid people doing stupid things can not be legislated from stupidity. You can’t legislate morality except by becoming immoral.

    So NO more state bartering for even more arrests and profitable cages. Remove it as a schedule#1 narcotic, especially Hemp and let it be. Let the farmers and the entrepreneurs create the infrastructure as they are doing without government interference and fascist incremental retardation. Until the CSA is removed as the diabolical evil it is. I stand with the underground growers and distribution. In CA prop 215 without limits and conditions is as close to having it removed federally, as it gets. A few hotspots of fascism remain. I still go to the growers instead of dispensaries. Although i think they are fine for those without connections or some holiday pot not locally available. I think deliveries are as normal as delivering pizza. This doesn’t come from policy, it comes from preventing too many geeks from having a say in what is clearly over their heads and plainly none of their business. Fuck policy. I support the Home Grown Ganja market and the Free Mexican Air force. There is no need of violence to grow pot, only stupid government agents cause violence and cause retaliation totally unnecessary except for the policies and policy makers of fascism.

    We doneed no stinkin bodges!

    10-Cannabis-Studies-Government-Wished-Funded
    DAREyl SWAT Gates, LAPDog Perversions.
    American High Society
    The Racist Ganjawar
    Nixon’s Drug War
    Re-Inventing Jim Crow, Targeting The Counter Culture

    • thelbert

      i like your attitude, DdC. there is no benefit to appeasement. if the prohibitches don’t like relegalization, so what? they have to realize we don’t have to ask for equal rights. we are taking our liberties without anyone’s permission. it’s the only language the ptb understand.

      • DdC

        That’s it exactly thelbert. The people are too stupid to understand they were lied too? The politicians are too stupid to change the laws and potentially piss off their masters on Wall St. Too afraid of what it might look like. Sounds like Australia is even more paranoid. I thought they were macho crocodile Dundee’s, but then look at Texas. All hat no cowboy. Ridiculous how people can choose to live their lives under the thumb of liars, scoundrels in it for profits over people and cowards afraid of their own shadows. Worse, afraid of their own hobgoblins and what people might think.

        More predictions that are written in solid kryptonite so you know they must know something. These Reagan Psychic soothsayers know the future and how people will act. So why waste time with reality. Incremental Retardation strikes 1 in 3.5 Americans. The inherent fear of reality or what others may or may not think, can not be remedied with a pill. Electro shock only makes it worse. Paranoia is a common side effect, leading to mass incarcerations. While this may make the koch’s even richer. It is necessary to saved the kidlets. Much better they snort bath salts or huff gasoline than smoke a benign plant.

        Why ‘party pills’ are legal in New Zealand
        ▬ Our new law forces drug producers into the light of day and makes them responsible for safety.
        ▬ Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in New Zealand. In the population of more than 4-million, 13.4% of those between the ages of 16–64 use cannabis.
        ▬ Drugs already deemed illegal, such as marijuana and cocaine, would remain so.

        Policy makers would be unemployed without this mass hysteria. Corporations would have competition and how can you blackmail workers if outsourcing became a non issue due to massive employment making Hemp and Ganja products. Oh please policy gods come down from on high and saved us from ourselves. I can’t be trusted, I must be supervised. Take my car keys. I must go buy a security system, car alarm and a box of heavy duty leather condoms. Over turning the lies could irk the blue haired elvis groupies, racist klan, gun nut militias and geeky prohabitchonist profiteer cons.

        Please no more threats of Constitutional rights and and and oh god a declaration of independence? Are they nuts, you know how King George gets when the peons get uppity. How much do they expect us to stand for? We need to be told damn it! Please Mr Grand Poobah in charge of such things. Make this freedom itch stop. Put back the restraints and regulate us back into the reefer madness days. When we knew how to properly get fucked up on booze. When cigarettes were the only smoke kids had to endure at the breakfast table. Back to ankle length dresses to keep the man’s natural uncontrollable urges quelled.

        Then regulate the rain and snow and that lightening gots to go. Thunders too loud, might scare the kidlets, what would the message be? Ban all cars and bicycles are a hazard. Reading ruins your eyes and music deafens people so they can’t hear the naked emperor’s orders. Take the vote away since no one thinks for themselves, what is the point? Cradle to Grave, no decisions to make. Just have the gods write a policy on how to live without pissing off the prohibition gods. Incremental Retardation coming to a state near you. How else can prohabitches have their cake and eat it too?

        OMG! A fake Janus Joplin at the Macy’s Parade? Someone call Kevina! This could lead to getting high and tye dyes and rock and roll, shooting pool and skate boarding! But then What was the Law during the 526 day interim? After Leary over turned the MTA and before Nixon finished the grand scam of the CSA. There were no policies or laws. Did the country fall into a deep sleep? Did Russia nuke us? Did we have massive death and destruction and high cholesterol numbers? The heart break of psoriasis? I can see how that might have ended life as we know it. Without banning medicinal research who knows what they might cure. Can’t sell pharmaceuticals to healthy people. Many things fascists know that is beyond our pea-brains to comprehend. Cannabis policy isn’t just a garble of useless words on paper. Its probably on the internet too!

        Today K-Pig plays Arlo’s Alice’s Restaurant… Here is the schedule. 9am/Noon/6pm/10pm it is streamed online somehow, just finished the Free Mexican Air Force. http://www.kpig.com/

        • Windy

          Hey, I’m a white haired “elvis groupie”, and gun nut, DdC, but I’m also 100% pro-choice in EVERYTHING! I’m NOT the only one, there are many more of us than you might realize. And the fastest growing group of cannabis users are the elderly, so perhaps you should leave out those two groups in your future rants?

        • DdC

          Windy, Elfis was a Nark for Nixon and his blue haired groupies are Calvina and the southern beehives. Totally against pot since Elfis blamed the Beatles for his own lack of talent. They were smashing Beatle records after John mentioned they were as popular as Jesus. Elfis never wrote a song, mostly faked the guitar and couldn’t act. Half assed Vegas Lounge Act, suffered from obesity and popped pills like the loser he was. Maybe better B actor than Reagan or Arno, thats it. Another right wing plastic hero. You don’t sound much like a groupie or a hound dog.

          Elfis and Tricky Dickjpg

          Elfis the Nark.jpg

          Prohibition Has Failed
          Then, late in 1970, he received a surprise call from the King. Not a phone call. Elvis Presley turned up, uninvited, at the White House asking to see the president.

          “And I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good . . . the drug culture, the hippie elements, Black Panthers, etc, do not consider me as their enemy, or as they call it The Establishment. I call it America and I love it, sir.”

          He asked to be made a Federal Agent at Large. Nixon presented him with the badge. Elvis presented Nixon with a World War II-era Colt 45, the pair nicely ticking off America’s twin evils.

          What a dream ticket: Presley, the biggest rock star of all time, would be dead in just over six years, having consumed 19,000 doses of sedatives, stimulants and narcotics in his last 30 months; the gin-soaked Nixon, sometimes too drunk to take calls from other world leaders, liked to pop a mood-altering prescription drug called Dilantin, illegally supplied to him in 1000-capsule bottles.

          The US war on drugs is estimated to have cost more than $1 trillion – — more than enough money to put Osama bin Laden on the moon. It puts a million Americans in jail each year.

          The Murky World Of Informants

        • DdC

          PS Windy. I’m also in the fastest growing group and yes I realize it, I’m the one who posted it. Over 43 years of daily toking. As for leaving out anything I consider pertinent, don’t hold your breath. Politically Correct and me don’t get along. I also believe tact is nice, but never precise. Sometimes it has to be spelled out.

          Growth in cannabis consumption has shifted use to older, not younger, tokers.
          @RadicalRuss

          Older Americans Overwhelmingly Support Legalizing Medical Pot

        • Windy

          I’ve got you beat at 52 years since my first toke and, yes, except for when there wasn’t any available, I’ve been a daily toker, too.

          I disagree with your assessment of Elvis’ talent, his voice was his greatest talent. He was also a good actor, it shone in three of his movies — King Creole, Flaming Star and Wild in the Country. Those other 30 movies he made were pretty much crap, just used as a showcase for his singing, and to make a profit off us teen girls who flocked to see them in droves (because he was “so rare”), but as a teen I loved those movies, too. The song Black Velvet by Alannah Myles perfectly captures the way we girls of that era felt about him.

          I knew about his meeting with Nixon and his request, it tarnished his knight in shining armor image for me, but it didn’t change my mind about his voice or his acting talent (since I’d seen those 3 excellent movies).

          By the way, have you heard his daughter, Lisa’s, voice? Yeah, she can sing I have two of her songs on my playlist and may add more.

  • claygooding

    Congress has ignored every study they have authorized on marijuana,,all,,and now I refuse to pay them sin taxes for their ignorance.

  • I’d like to point out that this is a guide to regulating cannabis, not a guide to legalizing cannabis.

    I, for example, would be happy to have marijuana simply legalized, like tomatoes. Well, you don’t need a guide for that — you just do it. If that happens somewhere, then they can throw this guide away.

    But the plain truth of the matter is that, for the near future, when legalization is discussed, politically the players are going to be looking toward some kind of heavy-handed regulation of the industry in order to silence opposition and get legalization passed. Or, we can just sit on our asses and wait for the rest of the world to wise up. I don’t have that long.

    When Washington and Colorado legalized, I had my phone with me all the time, and you know what? They never called me. Did they call any of you? Because if they had called me, I would have been happy to give them advice.

    No, they called Mark Kleiman. Next time, they’ll probably call Kevin. They’re not going to call us, because it doesn’t help them politically to do so. This Transform document, on the other hand, has every tough option in the book (not that you have to use them — it’s a guide, not a manual), yet it does so along with being smart and pointing out at every step of the way that if you go too far, there are consequences. It never attempts to moralize like Kleiman.

    Also, keep in mind that this is an international document — it’s less tailored to U.S. laws regarding free speech, for example, but some of the speech options would probably be attractive to other countries considering alternatives to prohibition. You’re not going to convince Thailand to legalize by suggesting the tomato model.

    Finally, all initial regulations are going to be too strict. The same was true with alcohol re-legalization (dry counties, state liquor stores, etc.). But we can whittle away at them, as long as we have legalization to begin with.

    • darkcycle

      Washington called Kleiman (much to my dismay), Colorado did not. Washington has disallowed homegrowing, Colorado HAS NOT. So, I don’t think you’re going to have to wait all that long for people to “wise up”. They should have the information they need shortly, at least as far as homegrowing goes.
      And while I used tomatoes as a contrast, I do not believe that cannabis can or should be treated identically.
      And you’re right, Pete. I’m not making the policy. Nobody is going to call me (Nor do I want them to). I raise my concerns strictly as an advocate, not a policy maker. And since I’m not designing the policy, I have no reason to worry about whether I will gain or lose political currency by emphasizing the truth. So that’s what I intend to do.
      Kevin Sabet will not be called to make regulations. He only acknowledges two extremes. He’s never even ventured into the policies of regulation. The worst, I believe, has already befallen us in the guise of Kleiman, et. al. I could be wrong on that last….there may well BE worse than Kleiman…but I’m just not worried that Sabet will get any input.

  • DEA Proposes A New Drug Code For Marijuana Extracts
    http://tinyurl.com/l395mpv

    Steve, much credit to you for your efforts.

    The DEA is not waiting for the end of the discussion, apparently.

  • strayan

    I’m with Steve & Danny on this guys.

    The anti cannabis machine is just too incredibly strong places like Australia for the tomato model to be considered seriously.

    To give you an example, our most heavily decorated and respected drug researcher (Wayne Hall) is a member of the INCB and has argued that alcohol prohibition was actually a success: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20331549/

    We can’t even get medicinal cannabis legalised for people terminal cancer or AIDS because, I shit you not: “it is important the Government does not undermine other initiatives being undertaken to reduce the incidence of tobacco smoking.” Seriously, that was the argument they made.

  • DdC

    “I want a Goddamn strong statement on marijuana, I mean one that just tears the ass out of them. You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish.”
    – Richard M. Nixon

    For years we had read the Shaffer Commissions report, then the missing tapes concluded the same results. Now I have to ask when will NORML, MPP, Ethan and the other “reformers” going to start using this evidence against this silly policy of restrictions for the good of the brain dead believing reefer madness is gospel? Enough already.

    These are a few excerpts that clearly show the sabetage prohibitionist fascists liars what they are. How can this all just be swept under the rug? Just forget about it and go with the gossip? One, just one explanation? Why is this being excluded in the debates and discussions? How can anyone with a straight face tell me cannabis is dangerous after reading the Shaffer Commission and seeing Nixon’s rebuke of it? It’s not hearsay or legalizers trickery. It is as real as the medicinal value or the tensile strength of hemp. Yet we don’t want to upset the drug czar and his dung worriers?

    There is no Justice or will there be Peace if this lie is neglected and policy is left to punish over whispers in the dark. A cowardly act of avoidance while 20 million Americans became criminals with records. While one trillion tax dollars has been spent covering up Nixon’s maniacal murders. Nothing less since the truth was known and all of the people killed in the name of these lies. Were sanctioned killings by the state with each policy maker and drug worrier as accomplices. Live with it!

    “Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
    I’m the only person standing between Richard Nixon
    and the White House.” ~ John F. Kennedy

    Once-Secret “Nixon Tapes” Show Why the U.S. Outlawed Pot

    This newly revealed information comes from declassified tapes of Oval Office conversations from 1971 and 1972, which show Nixon’s aggressive anti-drug stance putting him directly at odds against many of his close advisors. Transcripts of the tape, and a report based on them, are available at http://www.csdp.org/

    Congress, when it passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, temporarily labeled marijuana a “Schedule I substance” — a flatly illegal drug with no approved medical purposes. But Congress acknowledged that it did not know enough about marijuana to permanently relegate it to Schedule I, and so they created a presidential commission to review the research and recommend a long-term strategy. President Nixon got to appoint the bulk of the commissioners. Not surprisingly, he loaded it with drug warriors. Nixon appointed Raymond Shafer, former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania, as Chairman. As a former prosecutor, Shafer had a “law and order,” drug warrior reputation. Nixon also appointed nine Commissioners, including the dean of a law school, the head of a mental health hospital, and a retired Chicago police captain. Along with the Nixon appointees, two senators and two congressmen from each party served on the Commission.

    The Shafer Commission — officially known as the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse — took its job seriously. They launched fifty research projects, polled the public and members of the criminal justice community, and took thousands of pages of testimony. Their work is still the most comprehensive review of marijuana ever conducted by the federal government.

    After reviewing all the evidence, these drug warriors were forced to come to a different conclusion than they had at first expected. Rather than harshly condemning marijuana, they started talking about legalization. When Nixon heard such talk, he quickly denounced the Commission — months before it issued its report.

    As a result of Nixon’s public rebuke, Shafer met with the President. The Commission was upset, and the purpose of the meeting was to reassure them. But Nixon didn’t budge. Instead, he warned Shafer to get control of his commission and avoid looking like a “bunch of do-gooders” who are “soft on marijuana.” He warned Shafer that the Commission would “look bad as hell” if it came out with recommendations different from the direction of Congress and the President.

    But in the end, the Shafer Commission issued a report that tried to correct the “extensive degree of misinformation,” to “demythologize” and “desymbolize” marijuana. They reported finding that marijuana did not cause crime or aggression, lead to harder drug use or create significant biochemical, mental or physical abnormalities. They concluded: “Marihuana’s relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.”

    Nixon’s 40 Year War On Drugs… Drugs Won!
    Op-Ed Columnist June 13, 2009

    “We’ve spent a trillion dollars prosecuting the war on drugs,” Norm Stamper, a former police chief of Seattle, told me. “What do we have to show for it? Drugs are more readily available, at lower prices and higher levels of potency. It’s a dismal failure.”

    Nixon lied to schedule Ganja #1

    “The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents. Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others.”
    ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

    Cannabis News
    ☛Richard Nixon’s Vengeful War on Marijuana
    ☛While Nixon Campaigned, FBI Watched John Lennon
    ☛From Nixon to Now
    ☛Outside View: Nixon Tapes Pot Shocker
    ☛Once-Secret Nixon Tapes Show Why US Outlawed Pot
    ☛Nixon Launched The 30 Years’ War as Election Issue
    ☛Book Says Nixon Took Mood-Altering Drug
    ☛Fixin’ Under Nixon Part Two!
    ☛Fixin’ Under Nixon!

  • DdC

    TransformDrugPolicy ‏@TransformDrugs
    Video: Kevin Sabet, at the Cannabis & Health Symposium in NZ, endorses our Blueprint for Regulation (@ 2:20) http://bit.ly/18lpSIL