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January 2014
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Odds and Ends

bullet image No surprise: Obama Says Exactly Zero Words About Pot, Drug Policy Or Criminal Justice Reform in SOTU


bullet image Drugs vs. the drug war: A response to Michael Gerson. Radley Balko hits it out of the park in this piece that starts out as a response, but ends up being a rather comprehensive set of reasons to oppose the drug war. This is definitely worth sharing with friends.


bullet image Drug War Addict of the Year – a fine honor for Mr. Chabot from Diane Wattles-Goldstein.

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42 comments to Odds and Ends

  • Jean Valjean

    Ah yes, “Dr.” Paul Chabot. Anybody who sets himself up as the paragon of righteous living in the way Pauly does has just got to have a dark side…he’ll be outed eventually.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      What about the children? Is there a 1500 foot Chabot Free buffer zone around our elementary schools?

      OK, that was uncalled for. What’s your point? :}

      What about the farm animals? Do you have any idea of how stressful it is to be a sheep?

  • Randy

    Talk about a beat down. That is one comprehensive take down of Gerson by Mr. Balko. A thing of beauty. I wonder if Gerson will respond.

    Personally, I think exposing and explaining the enormous social costs caused by the enforcement of drug laws is probably the most persuasive argument drug law reformers have. That’s not to say the other arguments aren’t important or persuasive, they are. But pointing out the human costs of a policy that is supposed to prevent harm exposes the contradiction between the intent of the drug laws versus the horrible results we’ve reaped from enforcing these laws.

    The fact that drug warriors continuously avoid acknowledging the human costs of these laws is quite telling. It’s the biggest chink in their armor and they know it.

    • Windy

      Bezos has put WAPO behind a paywall after a certain number of articles have been read for free. Unfortunately, I ahve reached that point. I did, however, get to read that one, it was good, as is the usual case with Mr. Balko. I’ve been reading him since he ran his own blog, used to read him daily, then he went to HuffPo and didn’t write as much but I read every op-ed/article he wrote (except the ones about the Nashville music scene). When he moved to WAPO, I thought I’d get to read him daily, again; and I did, for two weeks, now I can’t until next month and again I will be limited in what I may read. I hate paywalls, I can’t afford to pay a subscription fee to EVERY paper I access for a certain article or information. I do click on their advertising even though I am not interested in the product, just to give the site some income.

  • claygooding

    O/T but not really.

    Everyone is so worried about their privacy because the NSA is listening in on all communications when privacy is the least of the problems with the government listening in.

    What about the economical data gathered by listening in,,if you know Exxon was going to increase profits by 10% would you increase your stock portfolio with Exxon stock?

    Consider all the economical advantage any person with access to those telephone conversations and private intercourse,it would be tremendous,,,no wonder the bankers have access.

    • claygooding

      We know I am not the first person to think of this,,and if I am Heaven help us,,potheads lose IQ,

      Where are the questions and outrage over this?

      Think the potheads can stir some up?

      • claygooding

        All NSA data files would have to be available to everyone to ever level the playing field again,,and it will take decades to do it.

  • allan

    I started listening to O’Choom’s State of the Onion speech… hypocrite! Everything he said, all those nice warm fuzzies fly in the face of the drug war’s truths. needless to say I had to walk away so I didn’t break my TV.

    • claygooding

      I watched two worms screwing on NATGEO and learned something instead

      • Randy

        Clay you pervert! LOL

      • allan

        I cooked dinner, smoked a bowl and when I walked by the TV I made the sound Snoopy hears when Charlie Brown talks. It became far more entertaining SotO. It did prove to me that being a fine orator don’t necessarily mean much these days.

        • Rick Steeb

          I believe that sound is from a trombone with a toilet-plunger [the rubber bowl-shaped unit] as hand-held mute… Nowhere near a annoying as a continuous burst of platitude-vomitus.

      • kaptinemo

        Note to self: do not do hookah hits (good thing it wasn’t a bong!) while reading Clay’s posting. Jeez, man, I almost choked to death! And I’ve got pretty good breath control. That hurt! LOL!

      • Duncan20903

        Is it true that worms go both ways simultaneously? That reminds me of that old Isaac Hayes song which was also covered by Chef on South Park.

  • Crut

    http://www.brnow.org/Opinions/Guest-Columns/January-2014/Marijuana-s-potency-what-churches-can-do

    A lesson in cherry picking.

    My Comment awaiting moderation (deletion):

    Sir, I respectfully disagree with you. It seems you are cherry picking data to fit your narrative.

    –“Claiming alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana is essentially a distinction without a difference.”

    It’s really interesting that after this statement, you proceed to talk about some of the “long list of physical and psychological problems” of Cannabis without offering the “long list of physical and psychological problems” associated with alcohol. The most obvious physical difference being the effects of overdosing… With weed, I can supposedly lose a coupe of IQ points (that study is not conclusive), but with alcohol, I can lose ALL OF THEM.

    To address your specific point:
    –“marijuana is associated more often with other criminal behavior than any other illicit drug. [snip] 14 percent”

    What is the same association with Alcohol? I noticed you specified “illicit” to clarify your statistic, so I looked up the numbers at the Justice Department on page 8 of http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pji02.pdf and found the Alcohol statistic to be 33%. So what is that association telling us? Because the only thing it tells me is that criminals are twice as likely to abuse alcohol before committing a crime, rather than marijuana. Doesn’t seem to be a distinction that lends to the logic that Cannabis should be a Schedule 1 drug, and Alcohol is free and clear.

    I get it, you don’t like Marijuana any more. That’s fine and dandy. Live your life like you have been doing and just keep avoiding it. Once it becomes legal, you don’t have to go into that new store, or ask the clerk at the gas station for a quarter. It’s called personal responsibility, not government/society responsibility.

    “Marijuana is more powerful”

    Yes, overall it is. And this is one of those pesky “unintended consequences” of Prohibition. Back in the 1920’s during Alcohol Prohibition, the alcohol primarily sold on the black market wasn’t beer, it was whiskey, gin etc. Given a choice in a (LEGAL) market, a user is more likely to choose a LESS debilitating product when there are no legal repercussions. The same will be true, regardless of the substance in question.

    You will notice that I have not engaged in any attack in my rebuttal, and would ask to keep this discussion on civil terms.

  • “Some forms of liberty — say, the freedom to destroy oneself with hard drugs or to exploit other men and women in the sex trade — not only degrade human nature but also damage and undermine families and communities and ultimately deprive the nation of competent, self-governing citizens.”

    This is a load of hooey – let’s not allow the conflation of “destroying oneself with hard drugs” with “the exploitation of other men and women in the sex trade”.

    The two are very separate issues.

    Marijuana should not even be in this conversation. It’s disgusting to me every time I see that dead horse trotted out.

    I’m with Crut – stop pushing off your personal responsibility onto others. It sounds more to me that YOU, Michael Gerson, cannot control yourself, and so, you wish to not have the option available to ANYONE.

    Don’t think for me – you’ll keep coming up short.

  • Servetus

    New research findings published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry show hempseed oil qualifies as an excellent health food additive:

    [The researchers] did a detailed analysis of a portion of hempseed oil. They found it has a variety of interesting substances, such as sterols, aliphatic alcohols and linolenic acids, that research suggests promote good health. For example, it contains α-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that some studies suggest helps prevent coronary heart disease. The findings could have implications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and non-food industries, they state.

  • B. Snow

    I said it before & I’ll say it again,
    The “Absolutely LAST Thing” – we wanted him to do was talk about marijuana in the SOTU Address.

    That would’ve put it on just about any/all of the various news outlets blogs, websites newspapers, etc.

    Some folks hate him so badly that, they’d oppose it simply because he openly supported it they’d take it as a personal affront & challenge.
    Especially with him talking about using Executive Orders to get some things done = if the Congress refuses to “get on-board”… and move with him to act on various legislation.
    Stuff they’ve been politically ‘cock-blocking’ – (sorry but it IS “Congress” right?) = ever since he was sworn-in!
    (It was either the night before, or the night of his inauguration when a bunch of Republicans ‘big-wigs’ were sitting around in a room planning how-to, *ahem* ‘shit-can everything him put his name on…’
    And the bastards didn’t even keep it secret very well, if at all – IDK that they actively tried to keep it super-secret – because they wanted/needed the Tea-baggers to know what they were doing to undermine the “first black president”.

    So many people said when asked – “Do you think it’s time we had a Black President?” And the hill-billies from the SE (formerly confederate) States – replied with a couple versions of: “No, I don’t think we’re ready yet” – Translation: “No dammit, we still hate darkies – how/when did you forget that buster?”

    It’s way better if we let him sign Executive Orders, and then let Sen. Patrick Leahy (Who is now the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee).

    He’s old but from Vermont & he knows public opinion (and he seems to vote based on public opinion – I’ve been following him/this for a while now.
    We just need to get Chuck Grassley outta there ASAP, He’s gotta die before too long right? He can barely converse as it is (And – seems to have a really big ‘chip on his shoulder’, maybe do to horrible puns & jokes directed at his last name? Every time the subject comes up…
    We’ve also got Jared Polis & Steve Cohen on the house side, plus plenty more = once they see how much $$ the other states are getting & using.

    Money they aren’t getting from “Earmarks” anymore, which was another thing ‘unofficially enacted’ manner to ensure NOTHING gets done with a Black President in the White House, ask Mitch McConnell…

    Oh, wait – he wants Hemp for his states smaller farmers that haven’t been able to sell tobacco for a profit in years. That’s what will get Mitch (begrudgingly) ‘won over’ on the subject… And, Rand Paul – and I fully believe there are enough others – who’s opinion can be swayed by Public Opinion -and- large checks for infrastructure and stuff.

    They haven’t been getting their Ribbon Cutting “Fix” for quite some-time now

    • Matthew Meyer

      Good point. Given the way Obama is hated by the neocons and teapartiers who fancy themselves conservative in pockets of California like Shasta County, where I live, the more he supports pot the more it will harden their resolve to continue treating it as a desideratum of the culture war.

  • Nunavut Tripper

    That SNL Amy Poehler parody of Nancy Grace we were laughing at a couple weeks ago is not available on U Tube or the SNL website anymore.

    Wonder why it was pulled ….could it be Nancy ?
    There’s tons of other footage making fun of her.

  • Holder Says Legal Marijuana Won’t Make Kids Toke Up
    http://tinyurl.com/m4wbklu

    Now he’s talkin!

    http://youtu.be/xhgE5bfcFTU

  • allan

    hey folks, check it out, Little Miss Appleseed thinks highly *giggle* of you all!

    https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyAppleseed#

    • claygooding

      She is a sweetie,,I could give up my Viagra addiction I think.

      • allan

        down boy, down, she has that effect… breathe… she’s a couchmate now… which isn’t to say that she’s not a beauty of course, ’cause that she be. She’s a sweet kid too and this artist’s perfect muse.

      • allan

        and living here, she knows about pot heads and Bics… that’s why I buy the 5 packs!

        • primus

          Save money and your lungs. Buy a Volcano and bake.

        • claygooding

          I do vaporize when I am not using my hookah or my one-hitter or my bong or my pipe or smoking a joint or eating a cookie,,it is one o my favorites when I am down to grief,,,vaporizers don’t care how little THC is on your leaf the stuff we are looking for is all it will vaporize and if trim leaf is all you have it tastes better than smoking it,,yup you can even chop up your smaller stems and melt the thc off of them,,a vaporizer is not only the healthier choice it is the most efficient at removing THC off what is usually thrown away.

        • allan

          thanks primus, I know… but such tangibles are waaay down my list right now. Ya know that old cartoon bit about the moths flying out of the open wallet? The moths in mine got so hungry they ate the wallet…

          Besides, I’ve been smokin’ doobs and pipes so long I’m quite comfy with it. And I swear one of the finest taste combos ever was a pipe hit of this year’s Baby (blackberry) Kush and a slug of my coffee brew. Too much hobbit in me I suspect. And these days I’m a light weight toker so consumption is low.

        • claygooding

          PS: The stems work in an E-Z Vape,,don’t even know the process loading of or “bowl” size of a Volcano.

    • kaptinemo

      is hopelessly old-fashioned.

      (Tips hat to the lady) A genuine pleasure to meet you. You’ll find that we may growl sometimes, but we only put the bite on prohibs.

      • You guys (and grrrls!) are great. Reading this and listening to the old guy that lives here shows me how much there is to drug policy. I watched the Peter Christ TV interview w/ my boyfriend today (Allan’s suggestion). Wow.

        I do know Allan and I do our best work after we smoke. I love it and use it as medicine for my scoliosis, cramps, etc.

        I will continue to follow your discussions (and Allan’s bad jokes – and Duncan’s good ones!), watching quietly and learning.

        I’m working on going to go to Denver for 4/20!

        And claygooding, I love you too. =] If people didn’t enjoy my work I’d be sad. And unsuccessful.

    • Freeman

      She’s even more beautiful that I imagined. I’d join facebook just to friend her, but my wife would kill me!

    • darkcycle

      Well, that’s a fine tribute, but it doesn’t look at all like the Couch. Where are the stale Cheetos and the empty pizza boxes? Thank you for the thoughts, Miss Appleseed.

  • Freeman

    Three cheers for Balko!

    Mork no-Kleuman recently posted this about Balko:

    Note to Radley Balko: Congratulations on your new gig at the Washington Post. Your criticisms of police excess – often spot-on – would have more cred if, just once, you celebrated police success, or noticed that liberty can be threatened by crime as well as by official misconduct.

    The article was about a David Kennedy post, but nearly the entire comment section was devoted to correcting no-Kleuman about Balko’s work (including some excellent commentary by our gracious host, Pete), which Mork obviously hasn’t read enough of to be familiar enough with to offer reasoned critique. Not that unfamiliarity with that which he criticizes has ever stopped him.

    • Freeman

      Aw, edit timer ran out in the middle of adding this:

      If you follow my link above, you might note that the RBC site has become exceedingly fugly. Commenters asked for better features (which DWR has had all along) like comment preview and editing, and instead they get an even uglier site prone to displaying programming error messages instead of the site (which I’ve encountered several times), a proliferation of closed comment sections (there’s a backlash among readers on this point, who have declared that they are boycotting all articles that don’t allow comments), and an acceleration of the practice of suppressing dissent by removing critical comments (and in one case I just noticed, all of them) on the posts that allow commentary, and then crying “troll” after they have removed all evidence of whatever they’ve declared as “trolling”. And they’re worried about Balko’s “cred”? They should worry about their own instead.

      I think Pete’s practice of leaving objectionable comments up is far superior — that way we can always embarrass commenters later with their own words.

      • darkcycle

        Indeed, Freeman. No fraudster likes to be exposed.
        I stopped dropping commentary there a long time ago.

        • Freeman

          Quite right, DC. Unfortunately (for me AND RBC), I suffer from Someone is WRONG on the internet syndrome, and at times I can’t seem to help myself.

          No-Kleuman recently commented something along the lines of “influential people read this site, and don’t want to wade through the cruft of abusive comments”. Yeah, Mork, we know Sebat gets a lot of his ideas from you. And it’s pretty damn rare that I’ve seen someone drop a comment over there as intentionally abusive to the blogger as the two of his I linked to above.

  • B. Snow

    ‘Ermahgerd, Ermahgerd, Ermahgerd…’

    Pot Prohibitionists Can’t Handle the Truth

    Dueling Pot Billboards at the Stoner Bowl: Marijuana Is Safer vs. Marijuana Will Ruin Your Life

    New York’s New Mayor Drops Appeal of Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

    (oops one more) ‘Ermahgerd…’
    DOJ Promises More Commutations but Despite 9,000 Petitions Needs Help Finding People to Free

    It looks like Jacob Sullum is on fire today!
    or rather ‘tonight’, recently, or ?(IKD)
    Whatever he’s writing like he ‘has a fire under his butt’ = so to speak.
    He deserves a serious spotlight for all this great work – reporting/writing, maybe aggregating?

    And maybe we can get him a clean spot on on the couch, can we flip that cushion there? No, Okay.

    Well, be sure to save him some Cheetos & Dr.Pepper just in case he actually drops by… (And of course, these articles/blog posts(?) of his are well-worth reading too!) Especially – the first one and the third one.