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February 2014
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Open Thread

bullet image Decriminalization in DC — decrim vote expected today. $25 fine for marijuana possession.

bullet image Former cop is ‘linchpin’ of campaign to legalize marijuana – nice profile of LEAP’s Neill Franklin

bullet image The dangers of abstinence-based recovery programs – by David Nutt

bullet image Did libertarianism kill Philip Seyour Hoffman? Conservative Ben Shapiro thinks so – Nick Gillespie

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29 comments to Open Thread

  • stlgonzo

    Is Heroin Use ‘Soaring’?

    http://tinyurl.com/mpr9pwx

  • Servetus

    Occasionally one encounters ironic research results. In this case, the first tobacco study casting a net for amotivational syndrome has found it, proving once again that if you seek, you shall find:

    While the results of smoking may be expected to decrease fitness, new research, published in Respirology, has found that smokers are less physically active, lack motivation and are more likely to suffer symptoms of anxiety and depression.

    The research, led by Dr. Karina Furlanetto, from Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil, is the first study to show that smokers are less physically active than non-smokers.

    Don’t expect Sabet/Kennedy/Frum et al. to rally forth and condemn tobacco smoking, however. Their wrath is reserved exclusively for the reefer man.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      What in the world are you talking about Servetus? Demonizing “big tobacco” is a lynch pin of “Stupidpatrick’s Against Merrywanna” charter manifesto.

      • Servetus

        Still, I don’t think SAM and the prohibitionists will mention the tobacco/amotivation research, or form SAT. Unlike marijuana, most people possess accurate tobacco information, and they’ve probably known a well-functioning cigarette chain-smoker personally. Besides, who but some lobotomized prohib is going to believe chain-smokers like J. Robert Oppenheimer or Hannah Arendt lacked motivation?

  • Ben

    DC council killed the strongest provisions of the decrim bill. It remains criminal to smoke in public. NYC still struggling with this, and DC failed to learn their lessons.

    • Paul McClancy

      I think the biggest danger with decrim regimes (besides a relatively intact black market) is political sabotage. If a law passes for decriminalization, the politicians will look at the cattle and say “see, now you don’t have to push for that regulation crap”. This could easily become a political strategy that undermines legalization efforts for years to come.

      • Freeman

        That’s one thing that bothers me about it. Anytime someone proposes decrim to me, I remind them that alcohol Prohibition was what we call decrim — how’d that turn out?

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Of course the problem is the vast number of idiots that think that only very bad people would consider investing in a regulated retail distribution chain. These people believe that the same yo boys would be standing on the same corner in the same “open air” drug “market” except with re-legalization the police couldn’t arrest them.

          Stuff like that is what has me so heavily invested in flip flops and loafers factories. There is just no way that these people have the native intelligence to have mastered the art of tying their shoelaces but they still need footwear. Morons and cretins and boobs, oh my!

  • Howard

    The Ted Cruz video in the Nick Gillespie piece Pete references is also in a Raw Story article;

    “Sen. Ted Cruz: Not enforcing federal marijuana laws in Colorado is ‘dangerous to liberty’”;

    http://tinyurl.com/q9lwq9h

    A segment from the article;

    “Cruz said Obama overstepped his authority by refusing to prosecute marijuana users and sellers in Colorado and Washington state. Only Congress could enact such a policy, he argued.”

    Ted, look, we all know your primary goal in life is bashing the current Bonehead in Chief. While that certainly is a laudable goal, that sport is beginning to resemble throwing rocks at people in wheelchairs. The target is easy to hit but your obsession is becoming pathetic.

    So Ted, if as you say, “Only Congress could enact such a [drug] policy”, why the hell don’t you get to work doing just that? You know the polling on the subject. You know where this is trending. You’re all for “liberty”. You have a Harvard educated brain and a cursory look at marijuana law policy should have you exclaiming, “Ay, carumba!” You could sidestep the feckless head weasel, work with living mothballs Senators Schumer and McCain (based on their recent comments about marijuana) and undo a terrible law that never should have been on the books in the first place. Or are you, as they say in Texas, “All hat and no cattle”?

    Unless, of course, all you’ve really got is a pocket full of rocks just waiting for the next wheelchair to wander past. You liberty lover, you.

    • Atomish

      Hadn’t you heard?

      When “liberty” comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and wearing a Ted Cruz mask!

    • Freeman

      Right ON Howard!!! I wanted to thumb this one up twice! I want a reporter to ask him exactly that on live national TV!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      The thing that really leaves me annoyed is the fact that the only way LE is required to prosecute any flippin’ law in particular would be if LEOs were left twiddling their thumbs and guarding the donut shop. Anything short of that comes under the heading of professional discretion.

      I wonder if Senator Cruz has the same opinion about Michigan law enforcement. Are they mindlessly required to enforce Michigan’s felony prohibition of adultery?

      Should the traffic cop give ticket to people that are exceeding the speed limit by 2 MPH? Would it matter if they’re too busy writing chicken shit tickets that the guy doing 92 MPH doesn’t get a ticket? There’s plenty of criminals out there to keep LE busy as beavers with bees in their bonnets.

      One other point: I don’t recall hearing the Obama administration announce that they weren’t going to arrest people for growing or selling. The only thing that I recall was the Obama administration putting out a self serving piece of political spin that said that they weren’t going to sue the States’ employees or agents. It’s spin because if they had tried to sue it would have been laughed out of every appeals Courts all the way to the SCOTUS. Now it’s very arguable that the Supreme Court Justices could use a good belly laugh, but that’s a different discussion.

  • Howard

    The worms are squirming!

    Michele Leonhart’s panties will now be permanently knotted!

    Seriously, how many politicians are talking (and asking questions) like this at all?

    http://tinyurl.com/l3479o8

    • Freeman

      Connolly really had to squeeze that admission out of Botticelli, didn’t he? Like squeezing blood from a stone.

      They oughta sic Connolly on Christie — he’d have him copping to Bridgegate in record time!

    • primus

      Connolly is good, however he let Botticelli get away with a couple of lies. Did you notice Botticelli almost said “third way” but cut himself off and chose an alternate term, but he was quoting from the SAM playbook. We really need to coach Connolly and others on where the bodies are. Then when someone like Botticelli tries it again they will be shot down. In flames. Connolly likes whack-a-mole. Botticelli doesn’t.

  • Randy

    From the Franklin piece –

    Wicomico County Sheriff Michael Lewis, a former state trooper who worked with Franklin, said although Franklin is widely respected and ran drug task forces, he was primarily in management and hasn’t had the frontline experience to declare the war on drugs a failure.

    “It’s a slap in the face to the men and women in law enforcement who have been killed on the streets waging this war on drugs,” said Lewis, who plans to testify in Annapolis against the marijuana proposals. He said marijuana detection helps police find caches of narcotics, and legalizing it would undercut efforts to stem the flow of other illegal drugs.

    “Debates are really healthy, but when it comes to this, legalizing marijuana is not the answer,” Lewis said.

    First off Sheriff Lewis, I’ve never been a police officer and I think the WOD is a failure. The fact that you have been willing to brutalize people for their involvement in drugs hardly makes you an expert in morality or drug policy.

    And because some LEO’s have died in the past while fighting in the WOD, we can’t end the war? Remember, it wasn’t the drugs who declared war in the first place. And by the way, Sheriff Lewis, if you end the WOD, you might save some LEO’s lives as there wouldn’t be a WOD to enforce. Funny thing about war, no fighting means no casualties.

    And your argument for keeping the status quo is that it makes your job easier to nab folks for other drugs. Have you ever stopped to consider that reforming the drug laws are about bringing peace to our communities and not about your scalp count?

    Yes, debates are healthy, but I bet if you had your druthers, you’d rather not be having this debate at all.

    Moral authoritarians are all alike in that you can’t see the immorality your laws heap on us all.

    • strayan

      I imagine it’s going to be tough for the families, friends and colleagues of officers who died during the drug war to come to terms with the fact that their deaths were totally avoidable and pointless.

      Their lives were sacrificed for nothing.

  • DdC

    3,000 Kids: Inside One of the Nation’s Most Shocking Juvenile Justice Scandals
    @democracynow@kidsforcash #kidsforcash #teenagers

    “I wanted to see him come out of there in shackles,” says a mother of the judge convicted in the #kidsforcash scandal

    Judges Caging Kids for Cash Feb 17 09
    NDP calling for youth centre investigation

    Ganjawar and Child Protection Racketeering

    Think of the message being sent to the kids? 21 March 2005
    How many more kids must we sacrifice before DEAth lies stop?

    • Crut

      From the first article, this is the now-convicted Judge:

      MARK CIAVARELLA: I wanted them to be scared out of their minds. I don’t understand how that was a bad thing.

      Wow.

  • DdC

    Proverbs 19:5
    A lying witness will not go unpunished.
    One who tells lies will not escape.

    Nixon lied to schedule Ganja #1

    Proverbs 29:12
    If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

    Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie

    Cage the Hypocrites and Liars!

    Pro Life? Not even anti abortionists…
    Hemp vs Cotton & Monsanto Poisons

    Congress debates Obama’s “schizophrenic” marijuana policies
    Thinking Clearly ‏@ThinkingKlearly

    Drugwar Lies Linked to Schizophrenia

  • DdC

    Hypocrisy & Double Standards

    ☛Ashcroft Nephew Got Probation After Major Pot Bust
    ☛Limbaugh Won’t Be Prosecuted
    ☛Fair Deal for Noelle Bush
    ☛The Devil Inside Jenna and George
    ☛Cunningham’s Vote to Support the Death Penalty for Drugs Cunningham son held on marijuana charge (thread)
    ☛CLAUDE SHELBY, Son of US Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
    ☛DARLENE WATTS – Sister of US Rep. J.C.Watts (R-OK)
    ☛CINDY McCAIN – Wife of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
    ☛DAN BURTON II – Son of U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)
    ☛Richard Riley Jr.son of Education Sec Richard Riley
    ☛Gayle Rosten, daughter of Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL)
    ☛John Murtha, son of U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
    ☛Susan Gallo, daughter of U.S. Rep. Dean Gallo (R-NJ
    ☛Warren Bachus, son of U.S. Rep Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
    ☛Josef Hinchey, son of Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
    ☛John C.Baker,son Secretary of State James Baker III
    ☛Bill Bendit’s Virtues
    ☛Pot Grower, 75, Given Year in Jail
    ☛US Prosecutes Cancer Patient Over Marijuana
    ☛Al Gore’s Son Arrested for Pot Possession
    ☛Tommy Chong Gets Nine Months
    ☛Rainbow Farm Massacre
    ☛The Murder of Peter McWilliams

    ………………../´¯/)
    ………………./….//
    ………………/…../
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯
    ……..(‘(…´(..´……,~/’…’)
    ……………………../…./
    ……….”…………. _.·´
    ……………………..(
    ………………………
    Liberty or D.E.A.th

  • “Did libertarianism kill Philip Seyour Hoffman?”

    I prefer to refer to that phenomenon as bullying.

    Think of all the dancing around the subject PSH had to do as he maintained a cover of a non-user.

    It’s the exact opposite of the “Arthur syndrome”, where drunken excesses are not only tolerated, but acted as a form of entertainment for the observers.

  • Help me out here…I was speaking to a colleague who informed me that he was against legalization – his reasoning was that he personally witnessed two of his former classmates suffer negative consequences from partaking in Marijuana. He specifically mentioned the effects on the hippocampus – from http://science.howstuffworks.com/marijuana3.htm

    Foreign chemicals, like THC, can mimic or block actions of neurotransmitters and interfere with normal functions.

    In your brain, there are groups of cannabinoid receptors concentrated in several different places. These cannabinoid receptors have an effect on several mental and physical activities, including:

    Short-term memory
    Coordination
    Learning
    Problem solving

    Cannabinoid receptors are activated by a neurotransmitter called anandamide. Anandamide belongs to a group of chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is also a cannabinoid chemical. THC mimics the actions of anandamide, meaning that THC binds with cannabinoid receptors and activates neurons, which causes adverse effects on the mind and body.

    After you inhale marijuana smoke, its chemicals are distributed throughout the body.

    High concentrations of cannabinoid receptors exist in the hippocampus, cerebellum and basal ganglia. The hippocampus is located within the temporal lobe and is important for short-term memory. When the THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors inside the hippocampus, it interferes with the recollection of recent events. THC also affects coordination, which is controlled by the cerebellum. The basal ganglia controls unconscious muscle movements, which is another reason why motor coordination is impaired when under the influence of marijuana.

    He stated that he visited a lab and witnessed THC destroying said brain cells.

    I’d like to know if anyone can confirm or deny this on a purely scientific basis.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      No, I can’t say whether or not any of that stuff is valid.

      Let’s just suppose it’s right for the sake of argument. Can your friend the genius ‘splain why the legal status of the chemical would stop all those negative effects from happening? From my ignorant understanding of chemistry the chemicals don’t know if they’re legal or not.

      While I don’t claim to be an expert in chemistry I do claim my birthright of freedom that’s supposed to belong to all Americans. While I may be stupid, that doesn’t give some egghead up in his ivory tower participating in a self congratulatory Kleiman circle jerk the right to decide how I live my life.

      My position is that his claims are irrelevant bullshit.

  • An excellent and astute response.