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Odds and Ends

bullet image Jacob Sullum nails it once again with Pathetic Pot Prohibitionists

This is what passes for smart commentary among pot prohibitionists. Colorado’s path-breaking legalization of the marijuana business has revealed the intellectual bankruptcy of people who think violence is an appropriate response to consumption of psychoactive substances they do not like.

People like Kevin Sabet, the former Office of National Drug Control Policy official who co-founded Project SAM. Sabet’s main strategy for defending prohibition consists of pairing the word big with the word marijuana, based on the assumption that Americans will flee in terror from the resulting phrase.


bullet image Nancy Grace: Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a ‘horrible idea’

Grace is not a fan of the law, telling Baldwin she thinks that legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a “horrible idea.” Grace said that she wouldn’t want anyone on pot to take care of her kids or drive a cab. She then went for the jugular, claiming that anyone who disagreed with her was “lethargic, sitting on the sofa, eating chips … fat and lazy.”

I’ve done more good for this world during the time I was sitting on the sofa, eating chips, than Nancy Grace has done in her entire career.


bullet image How Colorado disrupted the drug war by David Sirota

I think this is a must-read for strategists in drug policy. You may disagree, but the points make a lot of sense.

We know, for instance, that despite polls showing that Americans appreciated all the legitimate financial, logistical and human rights reasons to oppose the Iraq War, the country kept voting for politicians who supported that war, in part, because the war was sold as a security necessity. Similarly, while polls show Americans are uncomfortable with the National Security Administration’s mass surveillance, they also show that many are willing to tolerate it in the (factually unsubstantiated) belief that they have stopped terrorism.

It’s the same dynamic for drug policy — in Tvert’s words, no matter how compelling the financial, moral and civil rights case is for drug policy reform, in today’s fear-based political environment, “If people think something is going to kill them and their child, regardless of whether it is actually true, they will never support it.”

And that, of course, fits with the prohibitionists approach: fear, fear, fear. They trot out every discredited study to try to show that cannabis is harmful.

The answer in Colorado was to compare it to something people already know well — alcohol. Hence the “Marijuana is Safer” campaign.

“There are still drug policy reform groups who choose to avoid this message,” he says with a sigh, as we discuss MPP’s new plans to mount legalization bids in Alaska, Arizona and Maine. “There are some advocates who think that it will make people think marijuana is bad because alcohol is bad. Some think we shouldn’t be disparaging alcohol. Others are worried about the stories that suggest it may be upsetting the alcohol industry. But here’s the thing that can’t be ignored: this message has been incredibly successful.”

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44 comments to Odds and Ends

  • kaptinemo

    The first link 404’ed, here is one that worked.

  • kaptinemo

    7K+ comments on the Nancy Grace article, and vanishingly few are salutary. Deservedly so.

    The intellectual paucity of the prohibs is becoming ever clearer to those who previously could not have cared. They are doing such a good job in discrediting their own positions, if I didn’t know better I’d say they were reformers playing Devil’s Advocate.

    Keep up the good work, Nancy, Kevvie, and all you other benighted, insufferable, self-appointed morals proctors; you do the heavy lifting and we’ll just have to do a little mopping up…at the ballot box.

    • Crut

      Ugh, I couldn’t even stand to watch the full 5 minutes. Pot/Kettle anyone?

      anyone who disagreed with her was “lethargic, sitting on the sofa, eating chips … fat and lazy.” Says the fat lady.

    • Windy

      Nancy Grace has NO room to talk, she (former prosecutor that she is) declares people guilty of crimes (without benefit of trial and conviction) on her TV show (why hasn’t she been sued into poverty yet?). And as for being “fat and lazy”, did you see her before she went on DWTS? Woman has no room to talk, no room at all, as I said.

  • Howard

    The idea of Nancy Grace is a horrible idea.

  • Chandler Melton

    Pete,

    Where do you stand on the ‘marijuana is safer’ approach? If you were to lead a campaign is that the sort of headline you’d use?

    • Howard

      There’s something very substantive in the video portion of the link you’re referencing — TV DR. Drew mockingly questioning the link between a substance being addictive and the automatic need to prohibit it.

      I hope diehard prohibitionists see this video. They are going to wet themselves. Aside from their moral bullshit, one of the main pillars of the prohibitionist stance is that the possibility of a substance being addictive is THE reason for it to be prohibited (what do you say, ‘Dr.’ Kevin Sabet?).

      We’re in hard hat territory now. Please watch out for that giant pillar as it teeters and falls to the ground. And clap loudly.

      • Freeman

        Yep, exactly. Or if not prohibit it, then addiction “concerns” are used to justify high taxes to keep the prices up, ala “Dr” Kleiman.

        Funny how everyone knows caffeine is addictive, most will admit their own addiction to it, and NOBODY will entertain the idea that high taxes or prohibition should be equally warranted for that drug. The people making the rules ALWAYS carve out exceptions for themselves.

      • B. Snow

        Wow…

        Looks like ‘Dr. Drew’ has had to face ACTUAL “Facts”, – Who woulda-thunk-it?

        Seriously though I was watching that when it aired and his most revealing statement – Is about how he prefers it be illegal because then he has “a ‘Sword of Damocles’ to bring down on them…”
        ‘Them’, being the “Addict” in question… For whom someone is paying him to screw-over with ye-olde-sword and what he may have to soon fully admit are grossly inflated “addiction statistics” – he’s just about done so already in that segment.

        And, Yah just gotta love Dr.Hart!
        I really wanna meet this guy some day at a “Remember back when Weed was still Illegal” Convention…
        (The implied joke there will of course be – whether or not, or just how well can you/do you actually remember ‘those days’…)
        Followed by the obligatory – “Well, If you can remember you weren’t really smoking enough, were you?”

  • darkcycle

    Oh dear….Sweden’s Justice minister falls for the “Daily Currant” satire. She shared it on social media, along with a diatribe about her zero tolerance policies. Heh, heh. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/swedish-minister-spreads-satire-marijuana-article/2014/01/07/1229b372-77b5-11e3-a647-a19deaf575b3_story.html
    Prohibitionists..These people are laughing stocks now.

    • tensity1

      Oh, but she’s “clarifying” now, saying that her previous comments were outrage directed at the satire of the serious subject of addiction, not that she believed people actually OD’d on Satan’s Snuff. Riiiiiight . . .

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      We owe a debt of gratitude to the prohibitionists we may never be able to repay properly. We could never have come this far this quickly without all of their help, and even after all that they’ve done they’re still hard at work helping us dismantle prohibition.

      I take back everything I’ve ever said in an attempt to belittle them. It doesn’t even hold a candle to just how stupid they make themselves look! Some day I’ll finally learn to defer to the experts.

      (oh oh DC, now you’re on the Laughing Stock Anti-defamation League’s shitlist.

  • NorCalNative

    Can’t you just smell the democracy between each of Nancy’s MOUTH FARTS?

    She claims to have read EVERY SHRED OF EVIDENCE!!!

    She’s delusional.

  • allan

    guess who’s coming to dinner?

    Well, not dinner actually. Kev-kev Sabet will be in OR in a cuppla weeks on Jan 17 to talk to our state’s legislators in the House Interim Judiciary Committee. We might not make him so welcome. Details are few so far on why he’s coming and who invited him.

    • allan

      anyone wanna help me with a piece on Sabet? Looking for his most outrageous and stupid quotes. Looking for rocks – big or little, boulders or pebbles. Post ’em here in a reply or email me (allan_e[at]efn.org). Thanks mates!

      • QuaxMercy

        Allan-
        Back in Dec., Kevin was quoted in an article on the Weed Blog, saying the Colorado experiment was going to show America, & the World how “more Marijuana is never good for any community.” Three absolutes – guaranteed fail!

      • primus

        I think that his biggest strength is also his biggest weakness. He has cred because of his having Ph.D. after his name. His degree is in Social Policy, which is the art of lying to the public. He is a professional, paid, educated liar. Everything he says is tainted by that fact, once it is known by the listener. Point it out again and again. Make everyone aware and he will lose all cred. His lies will be exposed because people will look and listen with more skepticism. Once they see his lies, their minds will change. Quickly. His biggest lie is fear fear fear fear. Oh, and did I mention fear? As Mason Tvert says, once people no longer fear the substance, legalization is easy and natural.

        • claygooding

          I have always wanted someone to ask Kev who funds SAM,,since his claims of “big marijuana” are used to scare America perhaps his source of funding would comfort them.

      • Crut

        Gotta put those “right people” in jail!

        there is a place for enforcement too. Targeted enforcement increases the price of drugs (and people adjust their drug use based on price) and puts the right people in jail for the public good. Link

        and ref: the fear of “Big Marijuana”

        People’s image of marijuana legalization, however, is not consistent with this new corporate reality. Folks are still stuck in the 1970s — they think of peace loving, drum playing, harmless pot smokers who just want to light up without the hassle of the law. Link

        Wait, who’s stuck in the 1970’s? Most of today’s parents weren’t even BORN yet in the 70’s… Some politicians haven’t made it past the 1870’s…

  • Windy

    Proposed changes to WA State’s medical marijuana law:
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2149.pdf
    If you live in WA contact your State legislators with any concerns about these proposed changes. (I’m wondering why the word “cannabis” is struck out and “marijuana” replaces it, among other concerns.)

    • darkcycle

      They like things nice and tidy for the regulators and enforcers. “marijuana” is the term used by I-502. While the word “cannabis” was used in the medical laws, because of 502, the term marijuana must now be adopted by regulators as well, and they just aren’t competent to use a thesaurus.

  • Jean Valjean

    I wonder how much Nancy Grace drinks? Think of her drunk in charge of the “gas that they have in the houses…”
    Also, this item from her wiki just about sums up her legal precision when it comes to drug cases:
    The Supreme Court of Georgia has twice commented on Grace’s conduct as a prosecutor. First, in a 1994 heroin-trafficking case, Bell v. State, the Court declared a mistrial, saying that Grace had “exceeded the wide latitude of closing argument” by drawing comparisons to unrelated murder and rape cases…”

    any smear will do when it comes those fat lazy drug people…this is actually a hate crime.

    • Tim

      She’s on TV, of course that means she sucks as a lawyer.

      It’s like Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den… real VCs don’t go on TV.

  • claygooding

    As cannabis is widely legalised, China cashes in on an unprecedented boom

    http://tinyurl.com/qczw7z3

    “CTM [Chinese traditional medicine] is poised to take advantage of a growing trend. The writing is on the wall: Westernised Chinese traditional medicine is coming to a dispensary near you.”

    As Garyn Angel says, in China, they don’t call it herbal medicine or alternative medicine. They call it medicine.””

    This should really give Kev a heart attack,,,even China,where they execute drug traffickers like clock work is fixing to become a world medical marijuana source,,,imagine that,,since the Chinese have the honor of having the oldest mention of use as a medicine I wonder if the UN will tell them it isn’t medicine?.

  • DdC

    “Not only are we here to protect the public from vicious criminals in the street but also to protect the public from harmful ideas.”
    — Robert Ingersoll, then Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, in a column by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post, June 24, 1972, p. 31 (Ingersoll became the first director of the DEA in 1974)

    “Ideas are more powerful than guns.
    We would not let our enemies have guns,
    why should we let them have ideas.”
    ~ Joseph Stalin

    5 Biggest Lies from Anti-Pot Propagandist Kevin Sabet
    August 8, 2013 | By Sunil Kumar Aggarwal

    But the fools are still at it. It would seem once someone is caught lying tthat would prevent them from contributing to policy. No matter what science comes out or rather is re-discovered. The drug worriers always have some idiotic demonizing to add, and never seem to get questioned until Brooks and Marcus pushed it over the edge. Now it has almost brought back real journalism. D.E.A.th mongers are selling a product with the drug worriers advertizing it. At least the playing field is starting to level somewhat. The latest old and new liars are getting called on their sputum’s.

    How is Nancy Disgrace still on the air let alone advising about pot? Liars shouldn’t get a free pass just because they’re ugly. Her method is to remove the judge and jury and just hang those she deems guilty before the trial starts.

    The Quiet Giant:
    Israel’s Discreet and Successful Medicinal Cannabis Program

    “The benefit of a program like Israel’s is that the government takes a role in ensuring quality and safety of the product, and supports research to further the understanding of the plant’s medical benefits, said Amanda Reiman, PhD, California policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (email, December 1, 2012). “In the US, the government has actively prevented research from taking place, and has threatened municipalities that attempt to regulate the quality and safety of the product with criminal prosecution.”

    Medical Cannabis Prescribed In Israeli Nursing Home youtube

    Dr Sanjay Gupta’s CNN Special “WEED” youtube
    “I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance [a category of dangerous drugs] because of sound scientific proof.” “They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true,”

    Old Tokes Home
    Al Madrigal investigates medical marijuana’s effects on America’s most vulnerable, Jazzy-riding citizens. (05:26)

    “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

  • Nancy Grace is trying to ride some coat tails (marijuana legalization) for a ratings lift. Its the only way she gets anyone to watch her lunatic rants.

  • War Vet

    If we don’t end the war on drugs then our children will be forced to watch large buildings fall to the ground and endure a recession. Fact: 9/11 and its drug money funding occurred over a decade ago. Fact: 9/11 created the War on Terror. Fact: U.S. forces were and still are overwhelmed by the sheer financial stability of terrorists groups which make much if not most of their money selling drugs. Fact: America underwent a recession largely in part by the war and its multi-trillion dollar cost. Fact: The War in Iraq would have never happened if it wasn’t for 9/11 and the War in Iraq would not have been so long, costly and lost had it not been for drug money (one tends to learn a thing or two about the inmates, one has in one’s CIA/DoD/Iraqi prison one works in . . . who said I’m still not legally obliged to uphold my oath as a defender. So many of you never got the opportunity to go to the Middle East for our grand ol’ War, so I must obey all Federal and State laws by telling the public what happened on my side of the globe those few years back). When America backs off, then many nations will back off on the War on Drugs . . . just see how America’s Drug War is hurting the set up for the Winter Olympics in Russia.

    There is nothing immoral about using scare tactics when one tells the truth about the dangers. It’s only immoral when we use scare tactics for lies.

  • Firefighter Frank

    Nancy Grace has children? Someone actually hit that?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      We live in the age of invention Frank. There are alternative methods available, especially for someone who makes $3 million per year. Well $3 million presuming the first figure I saw on the Google search return page is correct.

  • Freeman

    Hey Pete, I just saw your exchange with Harrumphreys about minimum alcohol pricing. Did that fool even read your points before pretending to answer them?

    1. evidence trumps opinion (on this site anyway). Oh really? Then he should explain why he’s still clinging to this thoroughly debunked prediction, insisting that a single third-party hearsay anecdote is “evidence” verifying it’s accuracy, despite being presented with copious evidence to the contrary (which, of course, he promptly deleted, intellectual coward that he is). The ONLY thing that trumps opinion at the Redaction Based Community is having admin rights so that they can conveniently delete comments linking to evidence contrary to their assertions. That aside, I wonder which of his many links he supposes “demonstrates the opposite of what you assert”? I couldn’t find it.

    2. Personal experience is not a sound basis to set national policy. Yeah, right. Cherry-picking “studies” and calling that “science-based” is. Totally non-responsive and completely misses your point about pubs being more about social activity than price point.

    3. WTF??? You equate being poor with being a heavy drinker. And then he heroically slays the strawman. I mean seriously, and I repeat, WTF??? There’s just no rational, good-faith basis that gets one from what you wrote to what he says it means.

    • Freeman

      Harrumphreys’ response #3 is exactly what they accused Strayan of when they banned him:

      It’s clear that Strayan Harrumphreys has no taste for civil discourse and no scruples about misrepresentation.

      J. Edgar Kneel‘s comment applies most appropriately to Harruphreys here, but I’ll bet it would disappear fast if someone were to direct it at Keith:

      You are a lying fool who either has no problem misrepresenting what other people say or is so blinded by self-righteousness that you can’t comprehend it. Either way, you demonstrate on a regular basis that no one should take you seriously.

      Now who here expects Kleiman to drop his notorious tribal partisanship and apply some even-handedness to his blog for a change?

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Oh come on, how much evidence do we need to prove that “Prof” Kleiman is a professional confidence artist and that his blog is a platform for scamming the gullible? While I can’t say precisely how much but it was a done deal by 2011 at the latest.

        To the best of my knowledge the only reason that I’m “banned” from the site is because I self segregated. If I’m actually banned it’s like how an ankle biting lap dog will viciously chase an intruder out when he’s on his way. The regulars here know that I have no problem engaging idiots like “Prof” Kleiman and Mr. Humphries. But that’s on forums which aren’t self congratulatory circle jerks of the prohibitionist parasites.

        If you go walking around in a pig pen you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself covered with pig shit afterward. (My apologies to actual pigs everywhere but you guys do enjoy wallowing in your own waste. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se.)

        • Freeman

          I try to be as polite as I can over there when I tell them how full of crap they obviously are. I play by their rules on their turf, but I don’t hesitate to call them on their bs. As a result, my critiques often disappear without mention while my non-critical comments stay up. I keep a copy of everything I post there, and I’m looking at about a dozen deleted comments over the last couple of months. That doesn’t bother me one bit — it simply proves to me that they’ve read the comment, which is all I care about. If one stays up I think to myself “awww, he didn’t read it!”.

          I don’t know why, but I find the sheer intellectual cowardice shown by these pathetic little men in the act of quietly removing dissenting comments 1984-style as if they had never existed quite amusing. In my mind I’m seeing Winston Smith diligently working at the Ministry of Truth to get the party’s message out and suppress facts contrary to their message, and I’m reminded of how utterly dismal his life was depicted. Is it wrong that I smile at the thought?

  • Servetus

    Nancy Grace is a lynch mob queen. Most countries in Europe would stop her from airing her hateful routine. Unfortunately, in the U.S., and under our Constitution, she’s the troll we must refrain from lynching in the interests of protecting free speech.

    BTW, she attracts the same audience that once achieved their jollies watching the executions of witches and heretics in the auto-de-fe (lately spelled auto-da-fé).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      We take the bad with the good Servetus. How far along do you think we’d be without the 1st Amendment? I mentioned above how much help we’ve gotten from the prohibitionists. While that’s very true they do need to be stimulated with words before they’ll volunteer to put their collective foot in their collective mouth. I must confess that I take a lot of pleasure when a sycophant of prohibition thinks that people who say things they don’t like can be shut up with the law, and then get introduced to the concept of 1st Amendment protection of freedom of speech. It’s a very confusing, disturbing event for a prohibitionist and often leaves me ROFLMAO at them.

  • B. Snow

    Here’s the Couch Ad = in David Sirota’s next article after “How Colorado disrupted the drug war”, well its from Jan 9th (‘about 6 hrs ago’) = as I type this.

    “White House Drug Czar’s Office: Marijuana is the “safest thing in the world”

    • Nice to see the Couch Ad resurface. So proud to have the couch here at my place.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I’ve invited the prohibitionists to join us on the couch so that we can have a good laugh at their expense. I doubt that they’ll take me up on the offer but didn’t want people trying to figure out why they showed up if they do. It’s very difficult to predict the actions of the clinically brain dead.

  • “Grace said that she wouldn’t want anyone on pot to take care of her kids or drive a cab.”

    Apparently, that’s all we’re bloody good for – to either be babysitters for her progeny or to ferry her ass around. There’s no way that anyone but Nancy and her ilk could possibly be productive members of society.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I never understand why the sycophants appear to believe that rather than being privileged, we’re being deprived of something because they don’t want us around? Does Ms. Grace really think anyone that’s been enjoying cannabis would want to deal with her or her kids? But that’s one of the better unintended consequences of being out of the closet. Assholes promptly self identify and you don’t have to waste your time vetting them.
      ————————————————–

      You don’t need to have a CDL to drive a cab but you do if your cargo is required by law to display a “wide load” sign on public highways. Why do you think that we never get to see Ms. Grace from behind on the TV? I mean, talk about mud flaps!

      I do think Soundgarden’s cover was much, much better than the original from the Spinal Tap Black Album (née “Smell The Glove”). Even considering there was only 1 bass player in their arrangement.

      /snip/
      I saw her on monday, twas my lucky bun day
      You know what I mean.
      I love her each weekday, each velvety cheekday
      You know what I mean.
      My love gun’s loaded and she’s in my sights
      Big game’s waiting there inside her tights
      Big bottom
      Big bottom
      Talk about mud flaps
      My gal’s got ’em.
      Big bottom
      Drive me out of my mind.
      How can I leave this behind?