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
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Archives

Authors

The action of inaction

As the inevitability of cannabis legalization continues to grow (which will then allow us to work on the important larger picture of the legalization and regulation of all drugs), we’re, interestingly, hearing fewer concerns about the “uncertainties” that exist.

Remember the arguments? We can’t legalize marijuana because we don’t know what will happen with “x” (addiction, driving impairment, etc., etc.). And yes, they do still pop up, but every day they become less potent.

But those never were valid arguments.

The notion that we shouldn’t make public policy when we don’t “know” the answers to basic questions seems like a good idea, except that in this case we had already made the public policy — criminalization. And we already know that criminalization as a public policy causes a lot of destruction.

Uncertainty is never a sufficient answer for not legalizing. Inaction in this case is promoting the ongoing action of prohibition.

We’re driving down a dangerous road at 100 miles an hour and we’re told we shouldn’t stop because we don’t know what will happen.


On a completely separate topic, I was struck by this headline: Treating Drug Abuse as a Disease, Not a Crime

This seems to me to be a false dichotomy. I want a third choice. After all, there are serious problems with the disease model of addiction.

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

45 comments to The action of inaction

  • Jean Valjean

    Looking at the link to “serious problems” with the disease model there is a chart of dopamine receptors and addiction from “DrugAbuse.gov.”
    The chart compares brain scans for “addicts” of cocaine, meth, alcohol and heroin compared with control scans. There is no scan for cannabis and I’m wondering why? Is it because the cannabis “addict’s” brain looks identical to the control?

  • Servetus

    Ignorance as an excuse for inaction is a theme found everywhere in the conservative literature. Its proponents tend to be ignorant in general. If an answer to a problem presents itself, they’re incapable of recognizing it as an answer. Every potential solution becomes someone else’s unconfirmed opinion.

    The attitude extends to right wing authoritarians who believe that if they don’t know something, then no one can know it, or it’s irrelevant. War criminal Donald Rumsfeld spoke of the phenomenon when he mentioned “unknown knowns”. The unknown-knowns in this case are any facts that counter what the torturer or prohibitionist believes, and which get summarily rejected. Willful ignorance thereby perpetuates itself.

    • Jeff Trigg

      Of course this is also true.

      Ignorance as an excuse for inaction is a theme found everywhere in the PROGRESSIVE literature.

      Progressive leftists were the champions of prohibition in America. Give them enough power and they’d outlaw tobacco and soft drinks tomorrow, over and above their fruitful efforts to tax them out of existence. For the children. Is that so different than doing it because the flying spaghetti monster told them to?

      The attitude extends to LEFT wing authoritarians who believe that if they don’t know something, then no one can know it, or it’s irrelevant.

      Hillary Clinton, her husband, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama, or name any leading war criminal Democrat today that really gives a shit about what we know about prohibition and doesn’t think our opinions are irrelevant.

      This isn’t about left or right. Both the left and right have agreed with each other that prohibition and government control over us is the best policy. They are both wrong. This is about up and down. Government Control versus individual freedom. Today’s Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, right wing wingnuts and left wing nutcases, progressives and Christians are all on the side of Government Control. That is why cannabis was prohibited and hasn’t been re-legalized in the past 30 years.

      Politicians are addicted to power. If they can lose power because of their public position on cannabis, they will slightly change their position in order to retain that power. The people want medical cannabis? Ok, but they can’t grow their own and have to have $250,000 in the bank to even apply for one of the 22 grow licenses in the state. Is that what we are fighting for? Just slightly less government control over cannabis? Because that is what leftist, progressive Democrats are going to be offering for the next 30 years, IF they keep getting enough votes.

      • Servetus

        I don’t think of the Democrats you mentioned as progressives. In many ways they resemble left-of-center Republicans, at minimum status-quo-seekers. Biden is a professional Catholic, similar to Bill Bennett, Bill O’Reilly, William Donohue, and Antonin Scalia. Joe Biden and his ilk have no problems imposing canon laws onto society. These are people who would re-establish the inquisitions if they could.

        I think of progressives as someone like Bernie Sanders, people who want to get things done, and thereby progress socially. There is a spectrum of different political affiliations within each political party. No one is a pure Democrat, Republican, etc. Left wing authoritarians are typified by Russians who long for the good old days of Josef Stalin. Vlad (the impaler) Putin is an authoritarian, but he’s no Stalin.

        The various parties and political affiliations are identified by what policies they formally support, and by who the people are who support the policies. Right-wingism is typified by control freaks. It’s dominated by those with huge fear centers in their brains. Right wingers presume that without strict government control society will become decadent. Social decadence is a big issue for authoritarians, as it was for the Nazis, and you hear social decadence mentioned repeatedly with regard to drug use. Using social decadence as an excuse, Nazis instituted the biggest buzzkill Europe ever witnessed by eliminating all separation of powers and by enforcing Catholic canon moral laws. The Nazis imprisoned and executed drug addicts, gays, intellectuals, people who named their dogs Adolf, and so forth. The Nazis aren’t thought of as being leftists, even though the Bolsheviks, who are considered leftists because of their economic theory, committed many of the same human rights crimes.

        The earliest definition of political left and right was based on the structure of the early French parliament. Those who sat in a group on the right side of the chamber facing the podium were monarchists, thereafter the right wing. Those sitting on the left side of the room were leftists, representatives of the French people, freedom seekers, anti-monarchists if you will. These connotations survive within the meaning of political terms ‘left’ and ‘right’.

        • Jeff Trigg

          Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (Lord Acton) As you say, it doesn’t much matter which control freak is in charge and how they label their political beliefs.

          I’ve experienced all kinds of political activists who would call themselves a progressive. Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party, Socialist Equality Party leaders and specific issue protestors I’ve stood next to. The thing I find in common with them is that they want the government to control how society progresses through any means necessary. They do not want society to progress on its own with minimal government interference, they want to force society to progress how they want it to progress at the end of a government gun. Bernie Sanders included.

          Bernie hasn’t talked in depth about his vision for cannabis legalization. Red flag right there. We know how he has treated tobacco and alcohol at the federal level. I doubt he’d have a problem going beyond that with his cannabis policies. Bernie Sanders would probably not have a problem with complete government control of cannabis, either at the state or federal level.

          Bernie Sanders would probably have no problem locking a human being in a cage for growing a plant in their home or backyard, beyond what we will see in Washington state. Government would own the cannabis farms, employ the farm workers, decide what cannabis is grown, run the cannabis retail outlets, set the inflated prices, and spend the proceeds how the government sees fit. No private enterprise, in other words, which Bernie Sanders is against.

          Bernie Sanders put the niche roll your own tobacco industry out of business with his vote to raise the tax from $2 per pound to $26 per pound. He’d do the same thing with cannabis if he had the chance. To keep it out of the hands of children. (And poor people.) Only the rich and privileged would be able to afford cannabis, exactly like he’s trying to do with tobacco. And his votes on craft beer licensing, taxes, regulation, and government set barriers to entry for craft beers are also telling. I doubt Bernie Sanders would mind one bit if there was a government monopoly on cannabis with all those not in compliance locked in cages. Same with Angus King, Ralph Nader, writers with The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive, Harpers, and most self-described progressives wouldn’t mind government control of cannabis to squash any free enterprise system that might progress naturally from society.

          Who put the personal grow prohibition in the Washington referendum along with the state retail monopoly? The Democrats? Nope, it was the self-described progressives.

        • Servetus

          Perhaps it depends on what one progresses toward. The Nazis could be considered progressives in the sense that they wanted to change nearly every aspect of German society, thereby pursuing a kind of progressive destruction of democracy. Neoliberalism is a movement that sounds progressive in the sense that it wants to change the economic status quo to promote free market principles.

          Yet, the anti-prohibition movement is winning the drug war. Part of the winning streak has benefited from the magic word ‘regulation’ being attached to ‘legalization’ to appease the control freaks, and those who lack the word ‘legalization’ in their vocabulary. Also, I think that as the general public becomes increasingly accustomed to marijuana and other drugs regarding their actual effects, drug hysteria in the form of quasi-genocide will decrease in favor of more conventional social controls.

          I didn’t realize Bernie was uncommitted on the drug war. If he’s a smart politician, he won’t go against the tidal wave that’s crushing prohibition. But then smart politicians are such a rarity.

          BTW, historical trivia: Lord Acton made his famous comment about the dangers of power in the context of a discussion of the nefarious activities of the European inquisitions, which drug prohibition most resembles in terms of its legal structure.

        • B. Snow

          First, Let me say (yet again), Fuck Joe Biden:

          Joe Biden is the rat-bastard that first used the term “Drug Czar” and ‘coined’ its use… IIRC/AFAIK it was a combination of mostly Biden & Hatch, and in part Leahy going along w/ & being “Politically Correct” that let Billy (gambling addict extraordinaire) Bennett go on the ‘drug witch-hunt’ after Len Bias died…

          Fortunately – Sen. Leahy seems to have gotten wiser w/ age, And he’s still very willing to follow the tide of political opinion = which is good for us. PLUS, he’s got the Seniority in the Judicial Committee to steer this thing properly… (Also, please take note that Leahy HAS argued a few Prohibidiots into a figurative ‘dunce cap’ publicly – at least one is ‘everywhere’ on youtube)

          If we can convince the ‘small government’ Republicans that spending money on Prohibition is ‘BigGov-Aka-Bad’- Rand Paul helps push that a least to a Federalist position which is totally NOT what it sounds like (aka State by State laws rather than a Single Federal Law as we have now).

          If we can get them to ignore the ‘Single Convention Treaty of 1961’ and get rid of Fed.Regs, States will likely changes their laws voluntarily, IF the SCOTUS doesn’t declare Prohibition unconstitutional first = in response to that case in California…

          Biden could be redeemable IF, He takes the “I helped start this mess -and it failed miserably- SO, I should help end it” – position and argues it vehemently.

          But, I doubt he will at this point & UNLESS he were to publicly make this a HUGE part of a campaign – of equal (or greater) political importance than he has done with “Marriage Equality” – then I’ll do everything I can to oppose him, and Hillary too for that matter… (And, IMHO – anyone that feels similarly should go out of their way to let them both know about it… = Irrespective of who you actually plan, or decide to vote for!)

          We need to make Ending Marijuana Prohibition a “political litmus test” for 2016, Tying it to support for Marriage Equality, AND – Ending NSA Spying on U.S. Citizens.
          These should be (and AFAIK – largely are) suitable to the 50-ish+% of Independents/Centrists, and -just as importantly- the Demographic Generation Shift that currently supports all three = on the grounds of “Civil Liberty”… which is a valid/’sound’ argument for the lot of them.

          But, I’d vote for Gary Johnson/Jim Gray again – unless someone else proves to be a better option…

        • B. Snow

          Oops, I forgot to address Bernie Sanders:

          I’m fairly sure he’s on “Our Side” of this matter – would he let it be taxed to help support, ‘lets say’ = the Postal Service?
          Yep, Probably so… I could live with that, and I don’t think he would let it get to be too terribly excessive, Because he surely knows full well – that’s when a black market most likely steps into things.

          I was a ticked about the ‘loose tobacco tax increase’ as well at first but I realized – that it mostly just made it equally expensive as rolled tobacco… Which I despise as a matter of principle.
          But, I can understand Bernie Sanders in supporting it “where & when” he did it – the Vermont “Public” was probably supportive of that tax measure, if he thought/believed they weren’t = I doubt he would have supported it.
          Also = I don’t know of anyone currently willing to (and able of) growing their own tobacco… If I do then they’re hiding it well enough, and Nobody is seriously out there looking for them unless/until they mistake it for weed.

          I could be wrong – and you’re largely correct about (some) “Progressives” – the first ones came to power back in the 20′-30’s and were (to my knowledge) mostly Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt.
          And while, YES – they did believe in the most dastardly of “protectionism” politics of protecting people from themselves – I know that to some degree everyone is this way.
          You can go way back on the whole (Liberty vs. Freedom vs. Safety vs. ‘Etc.’) debates and most people seem to “Evolve” over time. They see the federalism “laboratories of democracy” and adjust as the “test results” come back in – somewhat begrudgingly at times but most will succumb to rational debate & reasonably positions = sooner or later… Sometimes its “Later” -esp. when there are ‘Vested Interests’ involved, that’s just life.

          I very much believe Bernie Sanders can be persuaded to support this issue, He knows were the public butters his bread. So to speak – and I hear him talk quite often = he seems very reasonable, and IIRC he’s ‘sympathetic to the cause’ in this case at least = probably in stark contrast to his stance on tobacco.

  • Howard

    “Remember the arguments? We can’t legalize marijuana because we don’t know what will happen with “x” (addiction, driving impairment, etc., etc.).” (Pete)

    I think the inference behind “we don’t know what will happen” is that, according to prohibitionists, if something does happen it will only be bad and lead to a “crisis”. According to them, it’s best, then, to leave the scary unknown alone and “manage” prohibition as best we can. Their biggest fear by far is that things will actually improve once prohibition is in the rear view mirror (which is exactly what’s going to happen). The unknown will be known and the hoped for (on their part) crisis will never materialize. The increasing prevalence of their nervous tics was recently exemplified in Michele Leonhart’s suggestion that we need to think of pets when mulling legalizing cannabis. Soon it will be, “but what about the unprotected protozoa”. But by then certain heavy duty pharmaceuticals will have been been prescribed. And nursing home attendants will be wiping drool from many prohib faces (relatively young faces at that).

    • Tony Aroma

      I think someone needs to petition the DEA to list chocolate and grapes as Schedule 1 controlled substances based on their toxicity to dogs. If we don’t outlaw such dangerous substances, what kind of message would we be sending to our pets?

  • tensity1

    For a second there, Pete, I thought you were just making some kind of funny that referenced SAM, not realizing April Fool’s was a few days ago, but I get ya now (you were making a funny and a serious point).

    I was at first thinking, “but I thought we want to treat addiction as a health issue,” and then I realized that hasn’t changed. I see that you have objections to addiction being seen primarily through the lens of DISEASE instead of as a health issue specifically affecting an individual. An important distinction, I think. Is all addiction necessarily bad? and even if it is in a specific case, does treating it as some brain malfunction out of the patient’s control the best way of helping the patient? Rat Park anyone? I’m all for trying to understand the mechanisms of addiction in neuroscientific terms, but it can’t be the end-all of addiction research and drug policy.

    On a side note, I dislike Sabet and Co. even more now for their stupid SAM acronym–anytime I used to hear the name Sam, usually a vision of Samwise Gamgee popped into my head, blubbering to Frodo about whatnot. Now I just think of Sabet and Kennedy, and even worse, it’s sometimes Sabet’s face with curly hobbit hair blubbering on about the evils of Old Toby. Will gouging out the looking-balls in me head help?

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Law enforcement is running amuck. This one is from the “never get into a limbo dancing contest with a prohibitionist” category:

    SC woman gets 20 years in breast feeding overdose

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A judge sentenced a South Carolina woman to 20 years in prison Friday for killing her 6-week-old daughter with what prosecutors say was an overdose of morphine delivered through her breast milk.

    Stephanie Greene, 39, said nothing as the minimum sentence was handed down. A jury found the former nurse guilty of homicide by child abuse the day before and she could have faced up to life behind bars.

    Her lawyer said she will appeal and it’s likely the case will be tied up for years to come. Both the prosecutor and Greene’s lawyer agree no mother has ever been prosecuted in the United States for killing her child through a substance transmitted in breast milk.
    /snip/

  • Jean Valjean

    OT
    TV chef Nigella Lawson has been refused entry to the US due to her admission that she had taken cocaine a few time 15 years ago. An immigration lawyer explains how this works:

    “… the problem comes when one also has to answer a question as to whether you are a drug abuser or addict. The question of who is a drug user is a difficult one and is supposed to be directed by regulations set out by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

    “Typically, any person who has used drugs within the last year can be considered a drug abuser or addict. It could be because she is unlucky enough to be famous and her admission of drug use made the newspapers. It could be that someone said ‘Hey, if she has used illegal drugs in the past year she could be classed as a drug abuser…

    “There were a series of steps which must be taken before Ms Lawson would be allowed back into the US. She would first be advised to visit a doctor who holds a contract with the US embassy in London who would carry out an assessment to see whether or not she could be classed under these terms.”
    If this is what Michele Leonhart means by “fighting even harder” she is making federal drug laws look even more ridiculous.

      • Jean Valjean

        If we have to have persecution (and it seems we do) I’m all in favor of equal opportunity bullying…As a rule the super rich and well connected like Nigella (ex husband worth $100 million, personal fortune of $15 million, and a father who was chancellor of the exchequor, the second most senior politician under Margaret Thatcher) rarely fall foul of the US drug war. The Mick Jaggers and Paul Mccartneys have learnt to arrive in a private jet (has anyone arriving in a private jet ever been refused entry?) and have lawyers on permanent retainers to ensure they do not face what happened to Nigella.
        Meanwhile, the real drug war victims who are not wealthy face having their families torn apart by government over some incredibly minor drug record from the distant past.

  • Crut

    .
    .
    More inaction from AG Holder:
    Eric Holder Would Be ‘Glad To Work With Congress’ To Reschedule Marijuana

    Just more political posturing BS. Get on the train before it runs you over.

    • Howard

      From the article you linked;

      “We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress,” Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing.

      ———————–

      Is Holder working on a comedy routine?

      • N.T. Greene

        Lots of lawyers in Congress. Law knowledge is tantamount to scientific knowledge.

        …wait

        I never get tired of the ‘…wait’ bit. It seems like those who get the irony of all this junk appreciate it.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Here’s a golden oldie. It’s been in the trunk pretty much since the focus switched from medicinal cannabis patient protection to re-legalizing cannabis for enjoyment:

        My wife woke up ill this morning. At first I was suspicious that she was just malingering, but during her interrogation she convinced me that she’s really very ill by exhibiting actual symptoms of being ill. I said that I was really worried, and asked her if she wanted me to call a politician in for a medical consultation. But she’s still not sold on the assertion that politicians are better qualified to practice medicine and insisted on seeing an M.D. Women!

        Now I’m going to have to lobby her to at least get a second opinion from a politician. Even if they can’t cure her, they can at least pass a law which would do so. I may have to put my foot down and insist. After all, it’s for her own good.

        But seriously, what about the children? What kind of message does it send the children if she lallygags and acts like a layabout all day without consulting a politician? Doesn’t anyone care about the children?

      • Windy

        There is already the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (H.R. 499) which would direct the Attorney General to issue a final order that removes marijuana in any form from all schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act”. So what is with the “if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled” comment by Holder? Has he not been informed of this bill in the House? Or is he pretending it does not exist? Either way, urge your member of the House to sponsor this bill and vote “Yea” on it when it comes to the floor for a vote.

    • claygooding

      It is the Democrat’s posturing to get as far away from supporting marijuana prohbition as they can get,,,the Dems can read the writing on the wall,,they have until the voting booths open and the nation sees first hand what ignoring voters wishes cost.

    • N.T. Greene

      He’s having a hard time getting on the train because everyone -above- him is hard set against doing so.

      I mean, in the short-to-mid term, he’s potentially out of a job one way or the other… but what we’re seeing is a pretty classic example of wanting your name on something without having to do the political heavy lifting. It is pretty well known that a few good men could write a short letter and have this done overnight — but none of them want to deal with the potential fallout.

      In the very least, they want to wait until after the midterm elections roll by. Hell, they want to wait until 2016 or farther. The irony of our political system is that those with progressive ideas hesitate to implement them due to intra-party or intra-office pressures.

      • claygooding

        Intra-office has a lot to do with it,,how many federal employees will be shuffled and how many will be unemployed if the DEA loses 1/2 their budget and when the congress tastes that blood what happens the next year when they still can’t keep drugs out of America,,,if nothing else the marijuana issue has pointed out how ineffective prohibition and it’s enforcers really are.
        When the DEA loses marijuana the rest of the war on drugs will be following,,without their poster child,,Johnny Pothead,,the DEA will fade into a bad memory.

  • Common Science

    Since Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational cannabis use, there is a term that I have completely turned my back on since its implementation in drug reform jargon in 1969. It was best put to use in the Shafer Report’s ‘National Commision on Drug Abuse and Marihuana’. It is proliferating like never before, in articles and comment sections from mostly well-meaning, but milquetoast fence-sitters who seemingly don’t want to appear recalcitrant to status quo authority. Eg: the commentator at the tail end of the ‘Yes, it’s past time to eliminate the DEA’ column.

    A majority of Americans favour LEGALIZING marijuana. Is it rude to point out the error of the Merriam Webster’s definition of DECRIMINALIZATION as a topical hiccup of its contemporary meaning? (Remember, I’m pre-pre Steven Harper Canadian) How about:

    Decriminalization:

    : a halfway measure to arbitrarily reducing criminal classification or status of; but especially: keeping regulation solely under abstract symbiotic control involving law enforcement agencies and their projected counterpart; criminal empires.

  • kaptinemo

    It really irks me when I hear that ‘we don’t know’ crap.

    ‘We don’t know’? Bullock scheisse

    We know exactly what a legal market looked like. All we have to do is examine the historical evidence contained in pre-prohibition media of the day.

    Cannabis was largely sold in extract form in apothecaries (soon to be known as ‘drug stores’ because of coca-laden sodas being available) that prior to 1914 did not require a prescription, you just went in, told the pharmacist what you wanted, and he sold it to you. Period.

    But for those who were ‘hip’, various other equally legal sources could be found, and none posed a public health or safety threat. That didn’t happen until after prohibition…as those who opposed it in 1914, in 1919, and again in 1937 warned it would, to no avail. Such are only listened to after Hell has been unleashed. As reformers are being listened to now.

    So, this ‘we don’t know’ manure is more deliberate obfuscation meant to cloud an issue that a few minutes googling will render crystal clear. Because to admit the past is to admit the entire effort was doomed to failure, as in their researches they confront the shades of reformers past, like Rufus King and Dr. Woodward, whose ghostly voices, I have no doubt, will be thundering in righteous wrath as they point a rage-shaking finger at today’s prohibs and say “We warned you, you idiots! We (unprintable) warned you!”

    For the prohibidiot, ignorance of past failures is truly bliss. But they live in a bubble relentlessly being squeezed by reality, and it’s getting pretty hard to pretend they’re not being crushed, anymore.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Say kaptin, recently I’ve heard a few arguments that the United States has seen a significant increase in the amount of lead in the air starting in the late 19th Century. The theory being that everyone older than ages 25-30 are suffering from a very mild case of lead poisoning. Not enough to make people get sick and/or die but enough to make them mad as hatters. Almost exclusively caused by industrialization, and then expanding geometrically with the increase of motor vehicles powered by lead based fuels. There was also lead base paint. I’m very skeptical that paint would transfer lead into the air except perhaps when being applied or being scraped off. BWTFDIK?

      Of course the whole notion could be a laughable absurdity. Lead particles floating around in the air? Isn’t lead very heavy?

      • Servetus

        Check out the story of tetraethyl lead (the ‘Ethyl’ in gasoline):

        By 1986, Ethyl and its ilk were virtually eliminated in the United States, and Americans’ blood-borne lead levels have since dropped by 78%. Lead’s effects, however, may linger much longer. An estimated seven million tons of the stuff were burned through gasoline in Ethyl’s sixty-three years of use; and since lead does not decay, every particle that traversed a tailpipe still lingers in the air today, aside from some that settled onto the ground and into the sea.

  • My theory is that inaction is created by fear. Fear freezes people. When did marijuana become dangerous? If people did not fear marijuana they would have no interest in banning it.

    The sheer number of articles in newspapers that have helped to disseminate true facts and actual studies, and all the activities that make being on Pete’s couch fun have helped to add truth that replaces the fear in the public’s eyes.

    As to Nora, once President Obama’s project on the brain meets Nora Volkow I see bad things brewing. Most people that have problems with drugs and alcohol statistically have worked their problems out by the time they have reached thirty with or without help. Lets envision that we succeed in mapping ever neural pathway and every brain interaction there is and how it works. This information may be a boon for doctors fighting diseases. It would also be a boon for a government to have the knowledge of how to control human behavior chemically and electronically. Might be some military interest there, don’t ya think? Be good information to have come voting time too. Lots of uses I could dream up. I can’t envision where that kind of information would lead in the hands of Doctor Volkow. Makes me shiver. We could have a cure for every brain problem. Who determines that? DSM?

    I think I choose the Bill of Rights over any of this.

    Marijuana needs to be legalized and taken out of the Federal government’s lexicon of problems that require a Federal solution.

  • N.T. Greene

    OT: NY state wants to prohibit the sale of e-cigarette fluids:http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S6939-2013

    • I don’t understand what the compelling government interest is here. These things have not been proven to be inherently dangerous to anyone and misuse and abuse and negligence should not be a compelling reason. Its hogwash. More prohibition nonsense.

    • strayan

      Why would you ban a safer product?

      It’d be like banning new cars designed with extra safety features (like seat-belts) because the existing ones don’t have any… or banning low emissions vehicles because the older ones emit more deadly emissions.

      Madness.

      • N.T. Greene

        More “think of the children” hogwash than you can shake a stick at.

        Turns out the only death they could dredge up related to the product was from someone injecting the stuff. I’m all for safety labels and production standards (which does not imply that most companies do not have good laboratory upkeep), and I can even understand wanting to extract some revenue from the industry… but the idea of outright banning it sounds like something Big Tobacco would be pushing.

        After all, they couldn’t have a safer and less expensive alternative on the market, now could they?

        Of course, I’m typing this while vaping from a fine e-cig. The amount I’ve saved from not buying cigarettes has more than paid for the initial investment in a vape. A few times over in a few months time, in fact. No wonder someone wants it banned. They couldn’t possibly let a Normal Joe transition away from harmful cigarettes!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Last week’s SNL had Mr. Obama “vaping on an e-cig” for a picture to put up on his Facebook page to promote healthcare.gov and the ACA. They also had him swapping spit with Justin Bieber.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SluBPO4SCBw

      Why in the world would anyone try to make sense out of the collective actions of nitwits who think that e-cigs are just another way to smoke?

      Here’s an example of the brain dead “reasoning” of a sycophant of prohibition:

      Obama allows e-cigs to pollute the air at White House dinner
      02-12-2014

      Joanna Coles, editor of Cosmopolitan, sent a Tweet showing e-cigarette use at a White House state dinner yesterday.

      At a time that kid use of these products is exploding, President Obama should not be promoting nicotine addiction. He should follow the cities and states that are including e-cigs in their clean indoor air policies.

      By allowing this he is setting a terrible example for parents and their kids.

      • strayan

        Good lord that quote is nonsense. Here is my reply:

        The assumption that electronic cigarettes are as addictive as cigarettes or have the same effect on the brain as cigarettes because cigarettes also contain nicotine is scientific nonsense.

        There are hundreds of chemicals in tobacco smoke and it is known that chemicals such as carbon monoxide are pharmcologically active. For example:

        “CO exerts pharmacological effects, which may modulate craving processes associated with cigarette withdrawal, and exploration for the role of CO and other cigarette smoke constituents is warranted.” http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/apl/gart/2012/00000020/00000002/art00008?crawler=true

        There is no CO in vapor. Therefore nicotine consumed using an electronic cigarette is unlikely to have the same effect on the brain as nicotine from a cigarette. CO, however, is not the only chemical in tobacco smoke which modulates craving, absorption and the rewarding effects of nicotine in the brain. Given your academic qualifications you should know all this and should cease making misleading comments like:

        “E-cigarettes deliver the addictive drug nicotine, which has the same effects on the brain whether it is from a cigarette or e-cigarette.”

        There is simply no evidence that people form addictive involvements with electronic cigarettes. They may form a physical dependence on nicotine but that is not the same thing as addiction. Physical dependence, according to the head of NIDA, is entirely normal and the neuroadaptions that occur are an example of the brain working exactly as it should:

        “research has shown that when opiates are administered to a naive animal, adaptation begins to occur after the first dose so that the second dose has a discernibly decreased effect from the first. After several days of taking the medication, abrupt cessation produces a withdrawal syndrome varying with the duration of treatment and the dose level. This is an expected pharmacological response, and although it may occur among addicts, it is quite distinct from compulsive drug-seeking behavior. This has resulted in confusion among clinicians regarding the difference between “dependence” in a DSM sense, which is really “addiction,” and “dependence” as a normal physiological adaptation to repeated dosing of a medication. The result is that clinicians who see evidence of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms assume that this means addiction” http://journals.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=96549

        Addiction entails compulsive engagement in a behaviour despite adverse consequences. Where are all the documented adverse consequences of e-cigarette use?

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Well it wouldn’t have made any sense for me to point to a post that made sense since the whole point was to present an example of nonsense. Now does it make sense to you strayan? 🙂

          Jeff, doesn’t it make sense that the most extreme nonsense verbalized by lunatics with no sense would be on a website that promotes nonsense and no sense?

      • Jeff Trigg

        Duncan, good example from the Center for Tobacco Control at the University of California, San Francisco. Progressives and leftists who love government control over human beings doing things they don’t like.

  • DdC

    California considering DUI for trace amounts of THC again
    @tokeofthetown

    Marijuana Legalization Could Bring Unexpected Benefits in Traffic Safety
    @cannabisculture

    More Pot, Safer Roads: Marijuana Legalization Could Bring Unexpected Benefits
    @forbes

    Many tests for pot impairment, but no certainty how much is too much
    @theindychannel

    Drug mishandling may have tainted 40,000 cases

    California once again considering DUI for trace amounts of THC. The latest by Ass.man Jim Frazier, rewritten from failed Ass Correa and Ass.Woman Torre’ before that. It is apparent this “consideration” for safe roads is nothing more than revenge on the stoners. A demonization of a group of Americans they deem unworthy of rights or privileges. Multiple attempts to waste tax dollars on personal grievances, against state law siding with compassion. Unscientific Per Se DUI testing does not provide safer roads or work places. Relying on urine testing will not provide safer roads or work places. Time to sue these UnAmerican activists circumventing the spirit of the law for petty gossip and unreal hobgoblins. Enough of these fascist wannabes. I hear-by charge all drug worriers with Domestic Terrorism.

    Vengeance
    Infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person.

    Vendetta
    A very long and violent fight between two families or groups. : a series of acts done by someone over a long period of time to cause harm to a disliked person.

    Definitions of domestic terrorism
    According to a memo produced by the FBI’s Terrorist Research and Analytical Center in 1994, domestic terrorism was defined as “the unlawful use of force or violence, committed by a group(s) of two or more individuals, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

    Under current United States law, set forth in the USA PATRIOT Act, acts of domestic terrorism are those which: ”
    (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
    (B) appear to be intended—
    (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
    (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

  • claygooding

    On the brink: Big moments in General Assembly for marijuana, minimum wage Saturday

    http://tinyurl.com/leqef6s

    Earlier this week, the Judiciary Committee downgraded Senate Bill 364 from a bill to decriminalize pot to a bill that would authorize a study of decriminalizing the drug.

    But Friday, before the bill was scheduled for a final vote on the House floor, Mitchell proposed an amendment to strip the committee’s changes and restore the bill to its old form. Debate and a vote on Mitchell’s amendment was immediately postponed to Saturday. “snip”

    I have checked the website and no update on hearing today,,expect it won’t start until at least 9AM EDT so it may show up,,,hope,,,hope,,,hope.

    Do you reckon a legislator pulled every study Congress has asked for and ignored as an example of how effective a study is?

    http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/

    • claygooding

      oops,,got excited,,it is the MD legislature doing the above hearing this AM,,no webcasts posted,

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Well the House voted in favor, but not in favor of the bill sent over from the Senate which they changed. So now it has to go back to the Senate for a vote. The Legislative session expires at 11:59 PM on Monday so I don’t think that there’s time for the Senate to amend and send it back to the House. Regardless, I’m not very optimistic since the vote in the House wasn’t veto proof and our beloved Governor has said that he’s going to put the kibosh on it anyway.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          How the heck could you have missed the part where the idiot Legislature isn’t decriminalizing paraphernalia until now? So what, do we get to pay a fine and go to jail too? For crying out loud I expect you to do better than that in the future.

  • CJ

    i was reading the comments here and I was just wanting to say a few things (maybe just a couple.) But basically someone said how NY is looking to ban the sale of E-Cigs? It’s interesting. As many of you know I am an often homeless junkie. I’ve commented before about my love of tobacco and my observation of other folks like myself who are also massive tobacco smokers. If I may digress towards that point for a second. Basically anybody in NY or whose visited NY may know about Manhattan and really all of NYC’s outrageous cigarette prices. Right? Well if you’re unawares, it is truly outrageous, often being homeless and thus dependent on crime and panhandling and general scheming for money, even people with proper jobs have to find the prices outrageous. Needless to say it’s a truly unaffordable hobby for people like me. I mean, I think alot of folks like myself would agree that it’s already very frustrating when you’re panhandling and you’re a male without a female or canine companion (females and or canines = MONEY when you panhandle.) But as a sole male, it can take a VERY VERY VERY long time to make even a small amount of money. Ofcourse folks get lucky. you know, im sure ive gone on about the money thing before so i wont take it any further, lets just say as far as cigarettes go, it’s absurdly expensive in Manhattan especially and in NYC in general and indeed you ought to find a connection who can acquire them at an Indian Reservation or find a trustworthy online source or make a special day to travel to another state.

    It is especially relevant to all of us here though one aspect of this which is that in NYC there has become a black market proving that prohibition never works but it’s interesting too is that the black market hasn’t only sprung up out of opportunism from a financial gain standpoint but even from consumers because people searching for cheap cigarettes have pushed this black market into circulation and now, especially in Manhattan, the phenomina of “lucy” has been going on for awhile. “Lucy” is code word for loose cigarette and it goes usually for 50 cents and many bodegas sell them from a secret opened pack but only to people they think they can trust. In addition it is also true that junkies and others will go about the streets announcing how they have a pack of cigarettes for sale at 5$ each. The whole “Lucy” thing is ironic too because when I first heard the term, people on the streets saying stuff like “you got Lucy?” and stuff like that, I’d thought Lucy had become the new trendy word for some drug or another, lol. It was funny when I’d realized it was for CIGARETTES of all things!!

    So yes then of course the E-Cigs. Well I have to tell you it’s really interesting because I know alot of them are re-usable and lo and behold for some reason you can find them all over the place on the floor. See the insane price of cigarettes and the general desire to save money, coupled with the whole nihilistic attitude of a destitute homeless junkie in the modern prohibition era, it is, as I’ve said before, pretty much standard procedure to “snipe” as it’s called, cigarette butts and discarded cigarettes on the floor. It is indeed standard procedure and how alot of us get our nicotine fix ALTHOUGH it is also popular to buy bags of tobacco that come with rolling papers for just 2.50-3.50. Ive never been good at rolling though so I just go for the butts not to mention something to me just isn’t the same about rolled cigarettes. They hardly last and dont satisfy the same, that’s just me. Maybe it’s tobacco quality, i don’t really know.

    Anyway I do find it weird how there’s so many discarded E-Cigarettes on the ground. I mean, I wish there were a way to turn them into money somehow, selling the electronic parts but unless someone here can tell me a secret, they seem to me to be otherwise useless.

    Guys theres two big things I want to say now. First of all, since my Birthday which was recently (March 24) I have been trying so hard to follow one of the most important cases to me personally. It had been decided in Vancouver some time ago that the 5 patients who were granted heroin maintenance that were blocked by that piece of crap health minister Rina Ambrose well they were given their day in court to attempt to get their heroin maintenance and indeed the future of heroin maintenance in Canada may also be on the line and I have been quite interested and nervous about it but alas there is very little news online that I can find and nothing passed March 24-25 which is when the court stuff began. Does anybody have any updates???

    And lastly, to me it cannot be understated in this post up by Pete, the whole thing about the DISEASE model which is terrorism in motion. That article that is linked to, that woman is a piece of garbage, one of the worst people in the world. A cunning liar whose speeches I have seen and she is so full of it and goes on and on and on and on about nothing and is a threat to our freedoms and liberties and is an agent of that DISEASE model and its bed partner AA/NA/the 12 step philosophy which is BARBARIC and DANGEROUS and DEADLY and destroys lives and families in it’s misguided cultist religious B.S. The secondary but ultimately more evil opponents in my opinion, beyond the police but the misguided and deceptive and full of it drug counselors and drug counseling industry with their coercive bull and their high nosed nonsense. The article Pete links to here talking about her and disease theory is indeed a must read and one of the most important things I’ve read in awhile. I wish I could give the writer of it an award and encourage him to continue to try and expose her and her disease model genocide.

  • War Vet

    I don’t think they can prove they have a control group when it comes to the brain scan. Lifting weights makes one stronger and forces the body to bulk up and even become more sexually attractive. So, what about the brains of humans who have experienced trauma like war or rape etc or the brains of those who have read all sorts of poetry and philosophy–book worm types . . . or a cross between trauma victims who are book worms? Would a cocaine user or even a coke addict’s brain look the same if they were a Military Veteran with a Ph.D. in Philosophy? And it is said that cannabis heals the brain, so a heavy marijuana user who also uses meth, what would their brain scan look like? Surely I get a strong chemical-dopamine etc change in my brain when I read Herman Hesse or Saul Bellow and view Matisse or Judy Chicago paintings . . . surely my brain is forever changed by reading ‘The Gay Science’ or ‘The Fall’ . . . I’m sure my brain produces different chemicals upon listening to music after the war as opposed to the chemicals produced in response to music I enjoyed before the war–likewise literature, art and drugs as well before and after the War.

  • thelbert

    here is something the prohibitches would ban if they knew about it. asmr. there is no way to test for it. it’s a free high that every stoner can relate to. http://tinyurl.com/c97uvea here’s the wikipedia article:http://tinyurl.com/cofsdx7

  • Paul McClancy

    I’ve always found it amusing how some prohibs outright deny addiction is a verifiable phenomena like Peter Hitchens while others claim it is so real and therefore prohibition (Volkow). I guess their covering their bases by attacking all angles. Yes, we need a new addiction model, a true third way, unlike Kev-Kev and friends vision.