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
April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Archives

Authors

Desperately Seeking Calamity

One of the things we knew would be part of the first legalization efforts was that prohibitionists would be poised to pounce on the first idiot to do something stupid in connection with legal marijuana.

And yes, we’ve had our first one: a 19-year-old, after eating a pot cookie, apparently got hostile and jumped off a balcony to his death. (‘Cause you know that’s what always happens when people do pot.)

So this ridiculous article in the Los Angeles Times is no surprise: Student’s death in Colorado raises question on pot and health

Authorities are calling the incident the state’s first marijuana-related death since Colorado legalized sales of recreational marijuana at the beginning of the year to those over 21.

The case has become a grim exhibit in a growing case file as Colorado health officials wonder whether, in the rapid rollout of legalized marijuana, adequate attention was paid to potential health risks of its use, especially in the little-scrutinized area of edible marijuana.

The thing is, when you’re talking about millions of people, shit happens. Sometimes its completely inexplicable. It’s not like we’re thinking “Oh, yeah, forgot about that side effect where people get hostile and leap off a balcony.”

So naturally, you’ve got two things going right now… Prohibitionists getting a little too excited about this death (Prohibitionists Ghoulishly Savor ‘Marijuana Death’ in Denver) and Kevin Sabet calling out legalizers for not discussing it.

Silence among legalizers about CO’s first post-legalization marijuana related death is striking. “Ban banana peels then!” deserves no reply.

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

28 comments to Desperately Seeking Calamity

  • darkcycle

    Tried to leave a comment on that LA times article yesterday, after I had typed my response and pressed “Post”, the comments DISSAPEARED…Anybody else have that happen??

  • darkcycle

    And yes, they are ghoulishly excited over this. But here’s another tidbit (one I tried to leave at the Times):
    When you look at completed suicides and break them out by age and sex you find patterns. Of young adult men who successfully kill themselves, a very significant cohort show no signs of depression, do not reach out for help at all, and choose highly spontaneous (and very lethal) means of offing themselves. It is not at all unusual for college students to suicide by jumping from their own dormitories.
    And I also pointed out that if he had been drinking beer and this same thing had happened, the news wouldn’t have even made it out of State. And that he was underage, and pot was ILLEGAL for him to possess and use, and gee, that didn’t help prevent this either, did it?

  • dancapo

    This actually happens quite a bit around here during spring break. (I live in Florida). I wouldn’t say it was common, but pretty much every year we hear about 1 or 2 at least. (They don’t normally make the national news because people usually survive the fall)

    But I was thinking here. Maybe the real culprit is spring break. I mean, every time the colleges close for a week, someone falls out of a hotel window. That sounds like a link to me.

    Ban Spring Break, it leads to excessive falling out of hotel windows.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Right you are dancapo. I posted a link a few threads back where the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that the annual death toll of college students on spring break is ~1800 (one thousand eight hundred) per year. I’m not 100% certain that I’m reading that as the writer intended. He may well have been saying 1800 per year.

      http://www.drugwarrant.com/2014/04/yes-its-past-time-to-eliminate-the-dea/comment-page-1/#comment-247260

      …and still the members of the Ignorati attempt to belittle anyone who asserts that cannabis is safer than drinking alcohol. Go figure that one out. When you do please come back and ‘splain it to me because it’s totally beyond my ken.

  • claygooding

    The coroner’s and witnesses account do not “measure up”,,we know from experience that nobody has an immediate reaction to eating marijuana edibles,,it takes 40 minutes for the effects to be felt and instead of a “rush” of feelimng it oozes in,,so the girl that took one bite and got sick from the cookie is false and the coroners assumption,based on testimony by the witnesses that the man ate a cookie and then became violent doesn’t quite measure up.

    As I said at another site “the coroner also reported that the victim had consumed donuts earlier that day and law enforcement was being advised to stay away from tall buildings”.

  • Mike Parent

    His father said that the victim was told that any mark under a 95 was unacceptable. Maybe the lad snapped under the pressure.

  • Francis

    “Ban banana peels then!” deserves no reply.

    It deserves no reply? Or perhaps you don’t have one. Why don’t you tell that to the parents* of young Walter Smith? From a source no less reputable than The New York Times, July 2, 1920 edition:

    BANANA PEEL CAUSES DEATH
    Truck Kills Boy Who Slipped at Newark’s Busiest Corner

    Hundreds of men and women homeward bound saw Walter Smith, 17 years old, of 77 Orange Avenue, Newark, crushed to death at Newark’s busiest corner last night.

    Smith, returning from work at the Federal Shipbuilding Company plant at Kearney, N.J., slipped on a banana peel at Broad and Market Streets, and fell in front of an automobile truck, the wheels of which ran over his head.

    It seems to me the score is at best tied 1-1, no?

    Of course, if I know Kevin as well as I think I do, he’d probably point out that cannabis was still legal in New York state in 1920. He’d probably also note that the article doesn’t mention if a toxicology report was ever conducted on either Walter Smith or the truck driver who ran him over. So technically we can’t know if either of them had recently used legal cannabis or if it was a contributing factor in the accident. Fair enough, Kev. Fair enough.

    *Yeah, I guess they’d be about 130 at this point, so that might not be possible.

    • Jean Valjean

      Exactly, he doesn’t have a reply. See the link to Kevin’s twitter feed (above)….most respondents raise valid arguments against his position yet he doesn’t respond. Wonder why.

      • Francis

        Yep, the “ban banana peels”-type comments are obviously silly, but the point they’re making is a very serious one that absolutely deserves a reply. And it’s pretty obvious why Kevin is not eager to provide it. If you’re gonna try to use a single death where cannabis use (and illegal use at that) was allegedly a contributing factor to support prohibition and all the violence, destruction, and yes, sometimes even death, that go along with it (click the “Drug War Victims” link on the sidebar for some examples), then there are about a billion other things you should probably want to ban first. If the “banana peels” example is too silly for you, Kevin, how about peanuts? After all, as one of the replies to your tweet notes, allergic reactions to peanuts are responsible for between 50-100 deaths in the U.S. every year.

  • Randy

    Using the rationale of drug prohibitionists, we should ban backyard swimming pools in order to prevent accidental drowning deaths. Children and adolescents comprise the majority of accidental drowning deaths annually. It shouldn’t matter that the vast majority of pool owners never have a drowning death in their pools. It shouldn’t matter that swimming is both fun and good exercise. Pool owners should comply with the pool ban without hesitation. After all, if it will save one life…it’s worth it.

    Do prohibitionists ever actually crunch the numbers comparing usage to bad outcomes? Millions of Americans use cannabis hundreds of times on an annual basis, with only a handful of bad outcomes. There are likely a billion or more individual instances of drug usage across the country every year, yet only a few hundred to a few thousand actually result in something bad happening to the consumer. While I understand that a bad outcome can happen to anyone, it is clearly true that bad outcomes are the exception and not the rule. The intellectual dishonesty of the prohibitionists knows no bounds.

  • Servetus

    Kevin Sabet is a hopeless tool of his Iranian religion, Baha’i. Baha’i is very clear on the subject of drugs, for example, “Alcohol is forbidden and cannot be used in cooking.”

    Kevin Sabet’s chief guru or prophet, the founder of Kevin’s Baha’i faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written:

    Regarding hashish you have pointed out that some Persians have become habituated to its use. Gracious God! This is the worst of all intoxicants, and its prohibition is explicitly revealed. Its use causeth the disintegration of thought and the complete torpor of the soul. How could anyone seek the fruit of the infernal tree, and by partaking of it, be led to exemplify the qualities of a monster? How could one use this forbidden drug,and thus deprive himself of the blessings of the All-Merciful?

    Alcohol consumeth the mind and causeth man to commit
    acts of absurdity, but this opium, this foul fruit of the infernal tree, and this wicked hashish extinguish the mind, freeze the spirit, petrify the soul, waste the body and leave man frustrated and lost.

    All of Sabet’s prohibition activities point to those of a quack cult member seeking to impose Baha’i canon law onto unwilling American citizens who have legitimate objections to adopting primitive superstitions and absurd ethics concerning drug consumption. For that, Kevin and Bahá’u’lláh can go fuck themselves.

  • allan

    But what about the children?

    Well, since the chief cause of death of kids in the US ages 1 – 14 is accidental injury… someone needs to demand mandatory head gear, shoulder pads and an antenna with a red flag on all children in that age group venturing outside.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      My wife and I belong to an indoor pool and go to enjoy the amenities 3-4 times per week. That place loves to put up signs. Their most recent sign informed us that the most frequent cause of death for children between ages 1 and 4 is accidental drowning. It’s got me worried because the pool is in the jurisdiction of the LEA that shot Mayor Calvo’s dogs a few years back. Despite regular attendance of more than a decade I’ve never seen a single dog in the pool, or even the locker room. Doesn’t that mean that if the SWAT team decides that they need to save all those poor children from drowning that they might shoot me since there aren’t any dogs to draw their fire?

  • N.T. Greene

    If I take too much NyQuil and start hallucinating, does that mean it’s time to ban NyQuil too?

    I mean, that’s why they put guaifenesin in the stuff now. So before you trip you just vomit.

    Safety! I mean, really, isn’t there a Bill Hicks bit to this effect? Oh, there is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX1CvW38cHA

    Stupid people doing stupid things under the influence? Sort of proves that you need more -education- than anything else. My knowledge of trips suggests that knowing what you’re doing beforehand is pretty important — and if you’re journeying into the unknown, don’t go alone. Go, preferably, with someone sober.

    • claygooding

      Experienced will do NT,,,no friend lets a friend shroom or peyote alone.

    • Paul McClancy

      I always find it disturbing when a prohib seeks to poison an herb or the sake of deterrence. I kid you not, one guy proposed putting harmful pesticides in morning glory seeds just so kids wouldn’t start tripping. I mean, is there something so wrong with altering consciousness that it needs to be violently “discouraged” (I use that word lightly)?

  • Nick

    Stupid people die all the time. I’d rather see a few people eliminate themselves through poor decisions than see thousands of young men hauled off to prison each year. Psychopaths like Sabet love their drug related deaths so they can keep getting paid to spread lies and misinformation.

    • claygooding

      Nick,,they are trying to eliminate natural selection,,by keeping stupid kids alive they are allowing them to grow up and breed more stupid people,,nature has the answers but man feels he must change it.

      As we build in more protections for stupid people we lower the intelligence level for humanity.

  • Paul McClancy

    Funny tweet response from Kev-Kev’s prohib pal Scott M. Gagnon:

    ” I can understand they want to avoid the obvious failure of regulation here but reducing it to slapstick is cold and unneccesary.”

    Slapstick is cold and unnecessary? It’s all your side has besides skewed data and moot points!

  • kaptinemo

    As usual, the prohibs are engaging in psychological projection.

    They attribute negative qualities to others they are afraid will be seen in themselves…with good reason. Because they do exist, as is exemplified by the prohib’s own actions.

    Issue police and First Responders with naloxone? The prohib gasps in horror. We can’t do that!, they say. When asked why, they offer that to do so is to remove any deterrence against drug use in the first place.

    Always, the unspoken appendix to this statement is “If a few druggies die, the rest might be dissuaded from using.” (Evil grin , rubbing hands together in money-grubber fashion and chortling are optional)

    Recall that this was the exact same ‘reasoning’ behind the deliberate poisoning of Mex weed with paraquat in the 1970’s, and the poisoning of alcohol in the Prohibition 1 era, not to mention the introduction of acetaminophen to codeine in hydrocodone to severely poison the would be opiate thrill seeker.

    They spray hundreds of millions of gallons of RoundUp on campesinos in the Amazon, sickening entire villages near unto death, and essentially condemning them to starvation should they survive the spraying thanks to the chemical’s intended purpose being fulfilled and the land rendered infertile.

    This, then, is what Kevin & Company favors. He and they cannot deny it. They are willing to (no diffusion of responsibility here; accessories all) actively murder people through deliberate introductions of known poisons to illicit drugs as well as ethyl alcohol and pharmaceuticals, as well as endanger the physical health and bare-subsistence livelihoods of indigenous peoples.

    I said it before, in 2012. They really do want people they don’t like to die, and will passive/aggressively do what they have to in order to accomplish that goal.

    Like those who complain about a dust speck being in their neighbor’s eye while ignoring the 2×4 sticking out of their own, the prohibs are forever projecting their own neuroses on those innocent of them. We take no pleasure in tragic death…while they seemingly, quietly do; why else all the support for adulterating medicines with poisons?

    Given all the fervor they demonstrate for their cause, it’s been posited that Prohibitionism is actually a religious faith. It’s certainly been intertwined with religion often enough, and not just Christianity. So…if prohibition were a religion, then its acolytes could be said to engage in human sacrifice by proxy, their victim’s futures and lives sacrificed, all quite legally, even to murder, on the altar of their false god Sobriety, through the vehicle of the laws they favor and the often-lethal means used in prosecuting those laws.

    Murderous monks in modern three-piece-suits, willing to kill you to ‘save’ you. Singing paeans to an age (drug free society) that has never existed, and willing to destroy the planet’s ecology to achieve their (dystopian) utopia. Crazies like that have brought down other civilizations; pray we don’t wind up the same way.

    • Windy

      I liked this comment so much I linked it on FB with an excerpt (hope you don’t mind).

      • kaptinemo

        I don’t mind, Windy.

        The truth be known, I don’t write what I do so much for our side as I do for theirs. I know for a fact they read here. And I know for a fact they do not like what they read at all. “Gores their ox” to see their life’s-work refuted so eloquently as it so regularly is here. Gives the lie to the inarticulate stoner, incapable of only interjections (“Dude!”) between mouthfuls of ‘cheesie-poofs’.

        As the old INXS song went, “…words are weapons, sharper than knives.” The Couch proves this, every day, and the eyes of the prohibs bleed crimson tears because of what they read here.

        • Windy

          I agree and that is why I often link or quote comments made here all of my FB friends are anti-wod but most of them will repost (share) on their pages, and sooner or later thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) will see it.

    • B. Snow

      “not to mention the introduction of acetaminophen to codeine in hydrocodone to severely poison the would be opiate thrill seeker.”

      That’s almost EXACTLY the same argument against allowing “Non-tamper-resistant” Zohydro (“If a few druggies die, the rest might be dissuaded from using.“)

      Judge questions Mass ban of painkiller Zohydro – U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel said Tuesday that Gov. Deval Patrick’s ban of the drug Zohydro may have been “out of line.

      If it’s a “tamper-resistant” = it’ll be ‘formulary’- meaning they charge obscene amounts for it because it’s difficult to produce. But they haven’t created the “tamper-resistant” formula yet.
      Last time Purdue tried to do this with Oxycontin it was problematic (it turned into a blob of jelly-like “goo”…) which some folks had trouble digesting & IIRC people could defeat the “tamper protection” with alcohol.

      Seeing that some people won’t ever be deterred by any “tamper-resistant” nonsense)… Some Dr’s, Patients, etc = Pointed this out & asked for the an inexpensive “generic” formula (similar to the original) to be allowed to be produced by other Pharma companies, so they could afford to take it for chronic pain – (without needing to sell part of the prescription to pay for it) = but nope, “They’ll be none of that allowed ’round here now!”

      So… They’ll eventually may come up with a way to keep a few people from “abusing it” (the so-called ‘junkies’ will get around it or just go with much simpler Heroin… amirite or amirite CJ?) And the company that makes it = they’ll get to sell it AND they’ll get to charge more for it!
      BUT, until then they have to satisfy the scolds/worry-warts like Gov. Deval (who all insist that they must put acetaminophen in it so people risk liver damage or outright failure and Pulmonary talcosis …*sigh*
      If people die of liver failure or fuck-up their lungs, hearts/veins via granulomatosis or whatever = AT LEAST they’re not getting high & getting away with it “scot-free” – we simply couldn’t let that stand!

      Ain’t Life Wonderful That Way! (Ya know, w/ them “looking out for” ALL OF US = whether we like it or not?) They’re a sick bunch of ‘haters’, just some outright spiteful mutha-duckers out there if ya ask me!
      (And somehow they don’t seem to see it? Or they don’t want to see it, or they actually Do = And, they are in fact the ‘sick fucks’ mentioned above.)

      And – now we’re in the middle of a (so-called) “Heroin Crisis” – due to people that can’t get their prescription pain meds – Whether they were abusing them or just using them as directed = Ya do know people actually were doing that right??

      Taking them as directed = at a steady consistent dose for a few years – until everyone panicked about it – And it became the NEW “Devil”, See how great their efforts to stop all that have worked out!

    • allan

      Kap, I spent almost an hour friday talking on the phone with the woman that wrote OR’s naloxone protocols. At least here in OR she claims emergency responders don’t carry naloxone and don’t want to (confirmed by my conversation the same day with Eugene’s EMS director).

      She is the ONLY trainer in the state at the moment. She is currently writing the protocols for the trainer training. Currently she is training Portland addicts and supplying them with the kits. We (Harmony Events Medicine, the group whose services prompted LindaT to say, that should be illegal) are wanting to begin carrying the kits.

      • B. Snow

        I THINK – I can see the possible logic in that – the EMS people & hospital staff here in TX are (or previously have been) way too happy to jump at the opportunity to use Narcan rather indiscriminately…

        AKA, anytime they see someone come-in they think is an addict, or may have a vaguely/plausibly opiate-related issue or ailment – they did that to an old room-mate of mine, and these nurses were judgmental bitches (standing & chatting about it in the hall afterward – all smiles), They we’re damn near giddy that they’d just sent this person into freakin withdrawal.

        Now, This person had been to the ER a couple times w/ legit complaints of migraines & severe/chronic pain (related to a crushed & ‘rebuilt’ ankle and ‘possible head trauma’ – after being the passenger in a nasty car wreck.) They obviously didn’t believe my roommate & never even asked me about it. I couldn’t have stopped them from doing it because we weren’t related, they could/(should) have asked me first though = just in case.

        I remember CJ talking about informing/threatening people w/ death if they used Naloxone on him – And, knowing how it can workout = basically constant withdrawal until the Naloxone wears off, before they can even try to get rid of the dope-sickness, I understand the argument. Some EMS-types seems all too eager to turn an OD into an involuntary intervention.

        So, I can definitely see giving it to the matriarchal or patriarchal types of people in a ‘community of junkies’, or maybe a local priest, or something – IDK?

        Anyhow, I can see why some people might not want every EMS to have the stuff – and maybe giving to people who run the needle exchanges or whatever y’all have up there (people who run safe injection sites? Or, that sorta thing) – does that make sense?

        The argument being – that junkie next to the person is probably a bit more likely to know if the person next to them (literally or ‘so to speak’) just did a bunch of dope = Rather than a first responder called by an anonymous worrier that stumbles across someone nodding-out (who’s most likely – only in danger of falling asleep & missing their buzz. And not so-much in danger of OD = having their CNS shutdown their lungs and dying — sorry if that sounds ‘cavalier’ but I’m lets call it ‘very sympathetic’ to the issue.

        TBH, that’s not my backyard = so I have no clue what Harmony Events Medicine is… But, I can totally see at least some EMS units/folks not wanting to carry Naloxone for the sake of liability. As in = NOT wanting to be the ones responsible for making the decision of whether to use it and/or deciding not to use it.

        Either decision could possibly be a serious legal burden – if they don’t have it to start w/ they can (personally) avoid that ‘issue’, If for some reason or belief they decide they really DO want to carry it (Lets call it “personally”) they can say “someone” one of the aforementioned ‘addicts’ – handed it to them. And if the person really was OD’ing – Presumably – whoever called the EMS – isn’t gonna question them at that point.

        Or am I missing something? Are they not going to allow *Y’all* =’Harmony Events Medicine’ to carry it?
        I can envision them thinking that it sounds a bit like ‘Woodstock EMS’ – and maybe they don’t want to ‘send the message’ that anyone could ever (possibly) “be safe doing heroin” ANYWHERE – especially at an {allegedly} ‘Hippie-fied’ “Event”. Maybe they just don’t want to pay for it & the training?
        OR – (My guess is) – they don’t want to give y’all any sort of certification that says you’re “Certified” or “trained to administer” it!

        Cause see, That might acknowledge (aka ‘send a message’) that people could ‘do heroin’ with a degree of safety and they are really counting on people being afraid of dying if/when they try it. Perhaps that’s the real issue for those folks?

  • STV

    Rapid rollout? Seriously? It took over a year!