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Open Thread

bullet image The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science

Today, members of Congress, scientific experts, medical marijuana patients and others will join a teleconference that will accompany the release of a new report co-published by MAPS and the Drug Policy Alliance called “The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding and Rejecting Science“.

There will be a time when the political landscape has changed sufficiently that the DEA will no longer be able to act without accountability. Is that time now? We’ll see. There are specific concrete recommendations in the report related to taking away powers from the DEA, based on their documented past abuse. And I think more political leaders are straying from the traditional belief that the DEA is some kind of sacred cow.

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43 comments to Open Thread

  • The DEA is a cow with BSE. If bovine spongiform encephalopathy doesn’t correctly describe the current methods of the DEA, I don’t know what does.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Interesting. I’ve been thinking more along the lines of necrotizing staphylococcus but maybe you’re right. Are we sure that it couldn’t be both? I’ve never in my life heard anyone assert that necrotizing staphylococcus and bovine spongiform encephalopathy are mutually exclusive diseases.

  • Servetus

    New research published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 138, 185-192 indicates that authoritarianism is ill advised for parents who want to reduce their adolescent’s drug experimentation or regular use of certain common drugs.

    An international team, led by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA) with headquarters in Mallorca, together with other European and Spanish universities (Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia), has analysed the role that parents play at the time of determining the risk of their children using alcohol, tobacco and cannabis in six European countries: Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

    The objective was to clarify the type of parent-child relationship that best protects children from taking drugs, using two variables: parental control and affection.

    “Our results support the idea that extremes are not effective: neither authoritarianism nor absence of control and affection. A good relationship with children works well. In this respect, it can go hand in hand with direct control (known as ‘authoritative’ or democratic style) or not (style wrongly called ‘indulgent’),” Amador Calafat, main author of the study published in the journal ‘Drug and Alcohol Dependence’, declared to SINC.

    It follows from the European research that authoritarianism would also fail when a paternalistic branch of a government uses authoritarianism as a model for drug enforcement. It wouldn’t surprise very many people if additional research discovered that authoritarianism prompts the kind of rebellion that makes certain drugs and drug-taking behavior a focal point for a bit of youthful rebellion. Given a country such as the United States, which is rife with religious authoritarianism, perhaps anti-authoritarianism would explain why Dutch adolescents are comparatively less likely to consume marijuana despite the herb’s quasi-legal status.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Holy Hung Wei Lo Batman! It’s The Chinese!

      Did you know that in the People’s Republic of China that if someone calls the police snitch line and accuses you of getting high that you’ll get arrested, taken to the police station and forced to hand over a urine sample for testing? It’s no wonder that Shanghai is swimming with drunk drivers (8/25/2009)

      How about the fact that drunken driving can be a death penalty offense? Is their any crime in the PRC criminal code which doesn’t carry the death penalty?
      Drunk driver caused 4-vehicle collision (4/12/2013)

      I very much doubt that Confucius said “You will lose your mind after drunk, it’s dangerous just like this animal.” Even Harry J Anslinger didn’t go that far. But I’ve got to admit once again that the United States of America produces the highest quality hysterical rhetoric and propaganda. Scroll down to watch the video from the Chinese equivalent of the Partnership for a Truth Free America. It’s a truly pathetic piece of propaganda. Don’t they have Taco Bell drive-thru service in China?
      Raising The Awareness Of Drink Driving In China

      I think they need to hire The Professor and The Ankle Biter for long term consultation of how to get their propaganda up to speed. Is their anyway possible to talk them into hiring Stupid Patrick too? Nah forget it, the Chinese just aren’t stupid people.

  • Common Science

    A tip of the toque to MAPS and the DPA for honourably co-assembling the DEA’s deceitful trail of science censorship in such a genteel manner.

  • “The Drug Enforcement Administration was created by President Richard Nixon through an Executive Order in July 1973 in order to establish a single unified command to combat “an all-out global war on the drug menace.”

    President Nixon made the decision to end his Presidency early. He quit, not wanting to be the first American President in history to be impeached and removed from office. Unfortunately Nixon did not take the executive order establishing the DEA with him when he left. All out global war on drugs continues on auto pilot through the DEA.

    We have now had 40 years of global drug war based on bad thinking and a failed presidents whim. We should be smart enough to abolish this Frankenstein monster that has outlived its own creator. We need to abolish the DEA. It has no useful function without a drug war.
    The DEA IS the drug war.

    • ed

      Hear hear! …and the DEA is a tentacle of the giant parasitic octopus that is trying to eat the world.

      The Drug War tentacle needs to be cut off, but so do a lot of others. Kill the octopus!

    • allan

      aye… the value of staying on target and putting up with the long slog. I’m going to love that day come when everybody else catches up to us information wise.

      A rip o’ this old man’s hat to anyone that has lobbed their own occasional brick… it’s taken all of us. Many of us have passed. Some of us were outright murdered.

      The fight we fight compared to how we are portrayed in the MSM is 180º apart. This IS the good fight. It ceased being about pot (etc) way back.

      I suppose that’s why I don’t have a problem calling for a boycott of a business (I won’t mention any names, they corrected their error) in one of our industries when the employer pulls an O.pen.

      Dudes and dudettes, we have the hammer. The prohibs know it. That drug war wall is eroding fast. I mean look at FL.

      It wasn’t that long ago that good ol’ Jim McDonough was calling for FL to be sprayed with fusarium oxysporum against the cannabis scourge. What a hullabaloo if anyone tried that in 2014!

      Call them what they are, war profiteers. Criminal gubmint bureaucrats with the power of a miltarized police force should be movie fiction, but it’s our reality. And like the ultimate cure for zombies is more pot, our cure for our very real zombies is, well, more potheads.

      They can’t move or speak without getting our attention. We are legion, they are a dwindling few. Our numbers grow and theirs wither.

      As always mates, swing those hammers! (if a prohib gets in the way, oopsie! doo da doo)

    • “Put simply, an enforcement-centric “war on drugs” approach to drug policy is counterproductive, inefficient, and costly.”

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drugpolicyreform

      Did we end the war on drugs or did that end when Gil went south? Sorry for the snark.

      • primus

        The very first line caught in my throat. It references all the costs of drug use, including the criminal justice system. If they are operating from that starting point, there is no point reading further—and that’s the White House website.

      • Crut

        Unfortunately that “Put simply” line is followed by this vomit directly from the mythical third-way warriors:

        At the other extreme, drug legalization also runs counter to a public health and safety approach to drug policy.

        As long as “they” continue to think of legalization as a wild wild west of unregulated and uncontrollable extreme freedom, we still have some ignorance to destroy.

    • claygooding

      The DEa and ONDCP are market control,,they make sure the right banks and right cartels are making the money,,,the ONDCP budget is 1/10th of the illicit drug market,,that is like being in a rock fight with someone that has 400 rocks and you get 40,,figure it out.
      And now we have plans to leave 10,ooo troops in AFG to continue protecting the opium crops,,imagine that.

      • B. Snow

        That sounds not unlike the plot from “2 Guns” – more or less. Denzel Washington & Mark Walhberg among others – not bad, not great. But good, well worth watching (IMO) when it pops up on cable, or however/wherever you get your movies from… Netflix maybe?

  • Crut

    .
    Cop killer was a pothead

    Wow.

    Miller is a classic case of a pothead, possibly with paranoid or psychotic tendencies.

    Huh, and here I thought the classic case of a pothead was “Dude, where’s my car?” Crazy begets crazy… There isn’t a “typical pothead” any more than there ever was.

    Also, an interesting state level case in NC:

    “The Police are supposed to prevent crime … but they’re trying to create it.”

    Milton Morgan case wraps up, jury deliberating

  • Common Science

    Crut pointed out John P. Walter’s latest vitriol on The Hill’s blog http://tinyurl.com/m5623ft concerning Obama’s apparent infliction of harm on drug prevention and treatment programs. I was inspired by the former Drug Czar to put together a newly designed boilerplate:

    The dichotomy that Walters and Murray so enthusiastically espouse here has been determined recently to benefit a burgeoning industry to help extinguish an informed public’s desire to re-legalize marijuana. In their bald rage to ultimately squash the many utilities of the cannabis plant, their article is rife with terminology that is fundamental to the new ‘Third way’ trafficked by the prohibitionist outfit, ‘Smart Approaches to Marihuana’ (SAM).

    The controversial fifth version of the Psychiatry tool DSM, is poised to encourage equally grandiose misdiagnosis of normal human behaviour (as a broad range of pathological disorders) for prescription drug treatment. A direct example: research is being committed to manufacturing a steroid that will manipulate the human brain’s natural cannabinoid receptors (CB1) just to treat marihuana intoxication and abuse. Why would the public want defendants/customers to be chemically treated for enjoying a substance that has a lower danger of dependance, withdrawal and tolerance than caffeine?

    • B. Snow

      I’m gonna call BS on his premise based on this sample of his ‘core-argument’ = (or what seems to be his argument):

      “But experiences much worse than Dowd’s are increasingly common—Colorado hospitals are treating more overdoses from edibles. It’s a problem.”

      This is where I have to say – Uhm, NO = it’s not “A Problem”… Unless -maybe- you ‘prime’ the public’s subconscious with flammable *panic-inspiring* suggestions/threats.

      Saying, “You mean -you ‘took some marijuana’? – “OMG, It’s Sooo-Dangerous, you might feel ‘WEIRD’ = kinda like, You’re gonna die!” (/sarcasm)
      “So, we should probably lock you up for using it! You know, just to be on the safe side & protect you from yourself…”

      The power of suggestion is nothing to be trifled with – you could even say it’s more dangerous than “Marihuana”… Hell, I don’t know if that’s actually 100% ‘entirely true’ or not?
      But, you could say it is – with no real ‘concrete’ proof whatsoever!

      There are a bunch of people who’ve been well-paid to do just that = for 40+ years. It’s been a growth industry for decades, why stop now?
      Willfully miss-informing the public about this subject has been totally approved of by the ‘Powers That Be’ – practically “forever”…
      So ‘you too’ can indeed “have-a-go” at it… There’s almost 0% chance the LEOs are gonna try to stop you from doing just that = Even if it could be considered reckless endangerment…

      THE PROBLEM = is that (due to people like M. Dowd & this guy), A significant portion of the General Public thinks/believes that going to the Hospital is somehow an even remotely appropriate response to this situation.
      And that any such marijuana-induced ‘panic attack’ = aka “A Marijuana O.D.” – is actually dangerous!
      I suppose that maybe for lets say ‘senior citizens’ with heart problems, said panic could raise Blood Pressure or Heart Rate to the point of possible danger…

      But those would be the sorta folks that are in poor enough health that they’re supposed to avoid Sex – due to the excitement. I doubt those two demographics are going to overlap in a Venn Diagram very often.

      A really large dose of THC can also cause a drop in blood pressure – which could make some people prone to fainting. AGAIN, I think anyone in that sorta health = would already know about the possible danger of fainting & to avoid standing up quickly & whatnot = that might actually trigger a brief faint.

      Real, ‘plausible-but-very-rare’ danger -VS- ‘scary-sounding’ danger spread by fear-mongers = take your pick!

  • Boycott The Sands Casino in Las Vegas.

    Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino empire cut a $2.5 million check to bankroll anti-marijuana efforts. The newly-formed group backed by Adelson, the Drug Free Florida Committee, was started by long-time GOP fundraiser Mel Sembler and his wife Betty. It has raised $2.7 million so far and its top donors have been primarily Republicans.

    http://tinyurl.com/nkqnwqs

  • Jean Valjean

    How the federal government bribes local police to pursue the drug war:

    “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the more low-level drug arrests cops make, the more assured their federal funds will be, and the more stable the salaries of officers will remain.”
    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/how-government-bribes-police-arrest-people-smoking-pot

  • War Vet

    The DEA denying a U.S. Patent because marijuana is simultaneously medicine and not . . . what kind of Joseph Heller–Catch 22 world do we live in.

  • allan

    Say goodbye to one Repub that voted NO on de-funding the DEA’s mmj raids, Eric Cantor. B’bye Eric. Toodles. Ta ta. Don’t call us, we won’t call you.

    I so hope the Repub party devours itself… ’cause then we get to monkeywrench the Dem party. Well, y’all will, you youngers.

    I’ve got a lot of fishin’ to catch up on. And fishing is a lot like picking strawberries, it goes great w/ ganja. 🙂 Actually I’m trying (not very hard mind you) to find an activity I don’t enjoy with ganja. I mean anything with food, forget it, pot wins. It’s a dilemma I tell you what.

    • Jean Valjean

      I think we’re seeing a backlash from both the right and the left against prominent incumbents. People are finally wising up to corrupt and useless politicians and are voting them out. (Whether the replacements will be any better remains to be seen, however). I am waiting for more high profile pols to follow Cantor out the door in the 2014 and 2016 elections and would love to see Debbie Wasserman-Shultz go next.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I’d bet dollars to dirt that dating Calvina Fay wouldn’t be compatible with enjoying cannabis. Well, unless you’re a masochist. I hear that she’s pretty handy with a riding crop. Just ask Kev-Kev if you don’t believe me.

    • War Vet

      Now if we can work on all of OK’s Congressmen . . . they are all pro-drug war anti-medical and reliant on oil and thus will fight hemp.

  • primus

    Jingle, to the melody of the coke commercials; Life goes Better With Pot.

  • allan

    Speaking of Jingles (I loved that guy)(and that’s an old folk reference), here’s a tune that’s music to my ears:

    Lawmakers slam DEA for targeting Mass. doctors

    The US Drug Enforcement Administration’s push to get Massachusetts doctors out of the medical marijuana business drew the ire of members of Congress Wednesday, with one California lawmaker accusing the agency of creating an “atmosphere of fear” among physicians.

    US Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, was commenting on the agency’s ultimatum to Massachusetts physicians to sever all ties to marijuana companies or relinquish their federal licenses to prescribe certain medications. He called the action short-sighted during a conference call with national news organizations.

    -snip-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHr4ubuD64 change the words around (“keep that train a rollin…'”)

  • claygooding

    Senate Does Not Include House’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Prohibition

    http://tinyurl.com/ogh67vd

    NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The Senate Appropriations Committee passed an appropriations bill that did not include the prohibition against marijuana enforcement that the House appropriations bill did. Legalization opponents were elated but advocates are working to include this provision when the bill goes to a full Senate vote. ‘snip’

    More dog and pony show,,this time the Republican controlled House passed the amendment and the Democratic controlled Senate left it out,,democracy inaction.

    I think it is time to quit sending seated politicians emails and calling them,,the silence would be deafening.

    Anyone want to start a pool on the success of getting a full Senate vote?

    • allan

      I smell a Feinstein…

      • B. Snow

        For the love of the FSM why won’t that old California wind-bag freakin DIE already?!
        Got her fingers in every damn government pie there is, and gets pissy as Hell when she’s left out on anything… “wasn’t informed” of the Bowe Bergdahl trade a month ahead of time, oh noes… Well, I guess we gotta send him back, – oh wait WTH am I thinking, screw that bitch!

  • thelbert

    WARNING,totally OT: if you have grease under your fingernails, you may want to give this advertizing masterpiece a glance: http://tinyurl.com/k8r8vwk

  • Don’t know anything about the site; I like this:

    Ground Hog Day in the Drug War
    http://tinyurl.com/nfm9nd9

    “…What have all those drug busts accomplished? What have all those investigations by diligent DEA agents accomplished? What have all those drug prosecutions by angry federal prosecutors accomplished? What have all those long jail sentences meted out by indignant federal judges accomplished?

    Nothing. They have accomplished nothing. …”

  • Windy

    Ground Hog Day in the Drug War
    http://tinyurl.com/ojwgafu

    What matters here is that the federal government has intentionally created and maintained in existence a program that federal officials know tempts young people, especially poor ones, into trying to make a big score, after which federal officials do their best to destroy these young people for succumbing to the temptation that federal officials have placed before them.

    What about the federal judges and federal prosecutors who were enforcing the drug war back in the 60s and 70s? They’re long retired on their fat federal pensions or now deceased. Their lives — or at least the drug-war portion of their lives — were a total waste. They accomplished nothing positive and instead ruined the lives of many good people.

    Today the pattern repeats itself. Different federal judges, different prosecutors, and different DEA agents. But the drug-war bromides remain the same. So do the busts, prosecutions, and sentences, as well as the newspapers articles that ballyhoo all this destructive drug-war nonsense. And, of course, the massive ruination of lives goes on.

  • DdC

    Resigning House Leader Cantor Reflects On All The Accomplishments He Thwarted http://onion.com/1pOQZpV

    First Europe, then the Americas, now Africa. Kofi Annan’s drug commission, w/ Olusegun Obasango, endorses decrim http://shar.es/PxN2C

    Jamaica Will Decriminalize Marijuana Possession http://bitly.com/1pPdbjr

    FROM WEB: Island Conundrum: Medical Marijuana Legal, Transporting is Not http://bit.ly/1oVfIJw

    Marijuana news: Hershey sues pot-infused candy maker over packaging http://s.oregonlive.com/0QXp2mm via @oregonian