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Open Thread

Programming note:

DEBATE ON LEGALIZED MARIJUANA TO BE BROADCAST WEDNESDAY

Judge Jim Gray to Advocate for Legalization Opposite Dr. Kevin Sabet

CO—Former federal prosecutor, judge advocate for the Navy JAG corps and Superior Court Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) is in the Denver area this week meeting with media and civic groups and preparing for a debate this Wednesday on the merits of marijuana legalization, regulation and control. Judge Gray is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials who believe that prohibiting illicit drugs only serves to empower the criminal networks that sell them, wastes law enforcement time and resources, contributes to racial disparities in the justice system, saddles people who would be better served by treatment with criminal records and ultimately is ineffective at reducing use.

“The essential question is, would you rather have government regulators and legitimate business owners deciding how marijuana is grown, what it’s laced with, and who can buy it, or would you rather leave those decisions – and multiple billions of dollars in profits – to drug cartels and juvenile street gangs?”

He will be debating Dr. Kevin Sabet of Project SAM this coming Wednesday at the Colorado School of Mines in an event that will be broadcast live here. (http://www.fee.org/seminars/page/is-legalizing-marijuana-a-responsible-public-policy). Judge Gray will also be available for interviews before and after the debate.

“I look forward to discussing with Dr. Sabet the lesson we all should have learned eighty years ago with the prohibition of alcohol: Prohibiting a substance doesn’t prevent its use; it merely makes that use vastly more dangerous to both users and the communities in which they live.”

WHO: Judge Jim Gray vs. Dr. Kevin Sabet

WHAT: A public debate on marijuana legalization

WHEN: Wednesday, July 16 10:45am MT

WHERE: Colorado School of Mines Student Center, Ballroom B, 1600 Maple Street Golden, CO 80401 or online at http://www.fee.org/seminars/page/is-legalizing-marijuana-a-responsible-public-policy.

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46 comments to Open Thread

  • thelbert

    the question should be: is prohibiting anything as harmless as cannabis good public policy? i blame the insanity on our leaders’ fondness for alcohol.

  • claygooding

    It surprises me that kev-kev agreed to debate the Judge,,I can’t think of any better match up,,his dribble on big marijuana will be shot down from the debate because we already have big marijuana,,the cartels hold the title right now and it is time for us to dominate the world market for awhile.

    • SKOOTERCAT

      Clay, in the beginning, K-K said his first debate was with the judge 18 years ago and “he is as cordial today as then” and in the next line or two called him a liar.

  • Duncan20903

    Here’s another one from the “hey teacher! leave those kids alone!” category:

    Black police leaders: Marijuana laws, policies damage minority communities
    By John Agar
    July 15, 2014

    GRAND RAPIDS, MI – As a police chief, John Dixon III is convinced that marijuana laws are an utter failure.

    Such laws have helped put a disproportionate number of blacks in prison, or left them with criminal records that hurt chances at education, jobs and housing.

    “We, as law-enforcement professionals, we need to really take a look at how we can decriminalize marijuana, especially user amounts. We are locking people up for a dime bag, for a joint. They’re put in the criminal-justice system which pretty much ruins the rest of their lives,” Dixon said Tuesday, July 15.
    /snip/

  • thelbert

    sooner or later the public will notice the lameness of the prohibitch talking points. it may have already happened.

  • allan

    I eagerly await y’alls synopsiseses and comments about this. Can we say slice and dice. I can’t imagine anyone being better prepared than Judge Jim for young master sabet.

    • Windy

      Well, other than ANY member of LEAP.

      • B. Snow

        Judge Jim is actually – very good at this – he’s had a ton of practice in (relatively) recent years!
        (I think – that as a judge who sent people to jail for drugs at one point in the past, he might in fact be a member of LEAP?)
        Either way the fact that he’s been the one whose sent people to jail, and seen them show-up in his court again (and whatnot) gives him a degree of credibility that Kev-Kev simply does not have.

        And he should be able to acknowledge and then squash KevKev’s favorite go-to argument “Big Marijuana”, I’ve heard the Judge talk about the possible problems that might arise from advertising marijuana – and as a judge he can lay-out (to a reasonable extent) what would be necessary to regulate the sale and prevent major large-scale advertising of marijuana.

        I’ve always thought that was the flimsy-est argument to begin with = and hearing people talk about “drug-pushers” selling weed. I had a friend that always joked about that too – saying, “Oh you need some weed? – hold on a second while I call my ‘pusher’…” – its a ludicrous suggestion really. You’re not going to find people out buying it = because someone was actively trying to sell it to the general public, unsolicited.
        It goes to the old truism, “You don’t have to sell drugs they sell themselves”, Now could advertising influence someone’s choice of which specific type or “brand” they decide on buying? sure…

        But they act like you’re going to have tons of TV ads and whatnot trying to subconsciously urge you into buying some weed ‘outta the blue’… Like you might see in the case of a say = a fast-food commercial – that ends up with you calling in a deliver order for Chinese-food, or a pizza.
        Marijuana just isn’t likely to become an “impulse purchase” – IMHO, not in my lifetime… And, even the possibility of that becoming ‘a thing’, IS -in no way- enough of a concern, to justify the continued prohibition of its sale and use.

        In some cities its possible that you could have it delivered more easily know – as a black-market item, than you might if Kev-kev’s “Big Marijuana” scenario actually somehow came to pass.
        “What about the children?, you tell them the same thing you do about a half-dozen other things, “this is something that’s only for adults – or kids with cancer”, or whatever…
        That wouldn’t change the reality of being a parent that’s (irrationally) afraid of marijuana right now. They’re still going to have to have – a nearly identical – conversation about it with their kids.

        And what we’re talking about here is the chance for parents to address the issue of marijuana use and – (IMO) more importantly, to discuss the use of other drugs with their children truthfully – and free of disingenuous bullshit, and the possible consequences of adults lacking credibility with their kids – when it comes to the issue of truly dangerous drug use.

  • Nunavut Tripper

    Kevin is a smooth talker but I’m betting he’ll stick his foot in his mouth in this debate.

    Should be interesting.

  • Windy

    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/25981713/st-paul-police-shoot-kill-2-family-dogs-in-swat-raid#

    It was 7 a.m. when police executed what is known as a no-knock search warrant. Arman said he and his two children were sleeping on a mattress when armed members of the SWAT team barged through the front door. The next thing he remembers is seeing the family’s long-time dogs stagger and fall.

    The blood of the two pit bulls — named Mello and Laylo — is still staining the carpet, and Arman’s sneakers.

    “One was running for her life, and they murdered her right here,” he said.

    Arman’s girlfriend, Camille Perry, was in the bathroom at the time. She raced to cover the couple’s young children, who she contends were right in the line of fire while sleeping at ground level.

    “The only thing I was thinking was my kids were going to get hit by bullets,” she said.

    A St. Paul police spokesman told Fox 9 News that the dogs charged at officers, and that they feared for their safety. The spokesman also explained that law enforcement has the right to eliminate potential threats with lethal force, and he pointed out that a judge signed off on the search for weapons and drugs and that investigators believed they were entering a dangerous situation. Arman says that couldn’t be further from the case.

    “Yeah, I smoke marijuana,” he said. “I do.”

    Arman admits he is a recreational smoker, but he is not the only one questioning the police tactics on East Maryland Avenue. Neighbors aren’t pleased either.

    “All of a sudden, we see the dogs thrown out like pieces of meat, like they were nothing,” Shawn Miller said. “We teared up because they are like family to us. Those dogs are real good dogs.”

    The only items seized during Wednesday’s raid included clothing, a glass bong and suspected marijuana remnants in a metal grinder.

    Emphasis mine.
    FT comments:

    Nicole Kath wrote:
    JM Griffin-I happen to be an old neighbor of this family and his dog Mello got that name for a reason. He is a super chill dog. Clearly by the other pictures on here. A 2 year old was sitting on his back. I feel so bad for Larry and his family.

  • N.T. Greene

    So, what, this is the drug war version of that Bill Bye vs. Creationism debate?

  • divadab

    WHat a slimey liar this Sabet guy is – he’s just throwing out various half-truths and hoping one will stick.

    My only reservation about Grey is that he is basically still a prohibitionist – he believes cannabis is bad but should be controlled like alcohol. We know it is good, a sacred plant endowed to us by our loving creator.

    Sabet, on the other hand, thinks cannabis use will go up with legalization – he thinks its bad, but I hope he’s right!

    • Windy

      I agree with you, divadab, there are others (LEAP spokespeople for instance) who are NOT basically prohibitionists who could have done it better. But Gray was better than no debate at all.

      • B. Snow

        I think y’all should watch that again, now he said Very Carefully & Purposefully that he wasn’t in favor of ‘this thing called Legalization’ – And, that he WAS instead a supporter of Regulation… (He even briefly said = IIRC, that ‘long-term’ he’s in favor of regulating basically all drugs, because we KNOW Prohibition simply does not work.)
        I’m 99% sure Kev-Kev even started to talk smack back to him about that specific remark, BUT he’d already acknowledged that the status quo is unsustainable – and trying to weave some nuance into the previous section of the debate wouldn’t go over at all.

        AND that Kev desperately wanted to stick with his attempt to hammer home his NEW, ‘end all be all – of policy positions’ – his BS notion that – “Big Marijuana = SCARY…”
        So, to all of you out there – well, at least the ‘Good Parents’, you better remember to remain *Very Afraid* of Marijuana = Just like our Dark Lord Anslinger’ originally intended!
        Note: “Originally” in this case was actually a few moments after it first dawned on Harry – that he and all his friends/employees were about to become largely unnecessary & most would become unemployed. The rest would be sent out into the middle of nowhere to try & find hillbillies making moonshine, in stills.

        Unless he could come up with a new thing to prohibit, the one thing He’d previously refused to even try prohibiting = because it was growing damn near everywhere! Then he slowly realized that meant he & his government ‘busy-body’ buddies would have at least a decade or two of job security & he pulled so much ‘magical propaganda’ that directly appealed to the lowest natures & vile qualities among men = racism, bigotry, and xenophobia…

  • Servetus

    Sabet assumes that all products require a strong sales force behind them to create sales. That’s true only if the product doesn’t sell itself. Ice cream sells itself. If there weren’t a huge marketing force behind ice cream, people would make homemade ice cream because they would still want it. They might sell their extra homemade ice cream to others, despite the fact ice cream can lead to obesity and tooth decay for those who consume too much.

    Marijuana falls into the same marketing category as ice cream. The market for marijuana has remained impervious to everything the government has thrown at it. Whether it’s Big Marijuana selling the product, or a lot of mom-and-pop pot shops, marijuana will be sold and consumed. The issue becomes how to sell marijuana while doing the least amount of harm to the public and to the consumers. Legalization accomplishes that goal far better than creating temptations and opportunities for criminal entrepreneurs.

    Sabet’s propagandizing is targeted toward a public that in the last decade has become extremely wary of big business. Big banks and financial institutions deemed “too big to fail”, and Big Communications companies that irritate many consumers with bad service, have driven consumers mad with rage. Sabet is trying to channel that same rage toward the marijuana industry. But since marijuana sells itself, Kevin Sabet will fail to stop legalization and regulation, in whatever form it evolves into. He can’t win.

    • B. Snow

      So very true Servetus,

      Marijuana doesn’t need “advertising” to sell – and he notion that “everyone who supports legalizing it” – is “all about the money” – that’s plainly false.
      As is his B.S. assertion about a new “Big Marijuana” industry – wanting “Get young people addicted to it – because that’s the only way you sell anything…”
      I’m not sure that’s a ‘word for word’ quote but it’s close, and he’s desperately clinging to the this scarey story about how “Big Marijuana (equals) Big Tobacco”.

      Trying to say that only kids like flavored-stuff just like the FDA did with cigarettes, and are now desperately trying to do with E-cigs. Suggesting that – (1.) Adults don’t like “Flavored” products – and that (2.) “Colorful” packaging is meant to attract solely children alone = I’m absolutely certain that’s a total farce – there are plenty of expensive candies & chocolates that are somewhat ‘niche markets’ but they’re largely marketed toward adults = for who “gourmet chocolates” are a favorite.
      Most kids will eat just about anything “chocolate” – and to them – chocolate is chocolate, is chocolate…
      I also think we could find some people in Marketing to prove that adults are drawn to colorful “attractive packaging” – at least enough to discount this B.S. as “aimed at children = trying to get them addicted young…”

      • Windy

        Yes, I’m 70 and I really miss the real clove flavored cigarettes, I used to buy a pack now and then. Didn’t smoke them regularly, just on occasion. I have an e-cig (trying to make hubby happy and get away from the “real thing”) and my favorite flavor from the company that makes this e-cig is the Vanilla, their clove flavor doesn’t taste like clove cigarettes to me, their tobacco flavor does taste like a real cig but I should have bought the lower nicotine level, it tastes too strong. I ordered the strength closest to the real cigs I smoke, I ordered the Vanilla in the next lower strength.

  • DdC

    Marijuana Farmers Market Ordered to Shut Down http://cannabisnews.com/news/28/thread28178.shtml

    Narcan Helps Paramedics To Save Lives http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v14/n590/a02.html

    First Amendment attorney takes over Cannabis University suit against Broncos, Pat Bowlen http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2014/07/first_amendment_attorney_takes_over_cannabis_unive.php via @tokeofthetown

    Harm reduction works
    https://scontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t1.0-9/10464344_10152332638404965_5710721919527490128_n.png

    Good News: Jury Nullification is Interfering With Marijuana Convictions | The Daily Sheeple
    http://www.thedailysheeple.com/good-news-jury-nullification-is-interfering-with-marijuana-convictions_072014

  • allan

    breaking: US House of Reps votes approve cannabis banking

  • ezrydn

    Just watched the debate. Judge Jim was on top of his mark. Kev-Kev came out stumbling and, from what I heard, wasn’t quite on-topic. But, that’s his nature. He sure got defensive when SAM’s funding came up.

    • kaptinemo

      “He sure got defensive when SAM’s funding came up.”

      LOL! (Slapping knee) I haven’t seen the debate, but I figured he would. He has to be getting Gub’mint funding as well as alms from the Booze and Prison industries. Given how so many Americans are turning away from the DrugWar, it stands to reason that damn few personal contributors are throwing coins his way.

      It’s the old ‘foundation’ game. An industry creates a foundation that is staffed with industry wonks to propagandize in favor of the industry. Old as dirt.

      The various industries that would lose a major part of their funding are bankrolling SAM. And ONDCP is (illegally, but that never stopped them) acting as a clearing house and nerve center.

      The rot runs deep, and you’ll need more than baby shampoo to clean it out. More like hydrofluoric acid.

    • allan

      oh, sounds like Judge Gray read Lee Fang’s Nation article! Heh… nice to hear Kev-kev was uncomfortable. That just make me want to light one up!

      fffffffffffffffft! ‘ere… somebody take this.

    • B. Snow

      Yessiree, That was the part when Kev-Kev’s face turned (almost) the color of his freaking tie!
      And, Flustered is an understatement – you can tell he’s concerned that someday soon he’s going to be stuck in congress and/or court defending the source of his funding = you can hear the change in his tone & semantics… listen carefully and watch the evil-eye glare he shots at Judge Jim, almost as if he’d been accused of a crime or something(?)

      That’s when he went from saying, “We” as if speaking for all he Prohib-Idiots in general. And he went into a defensive mode making sure to distinguish that the “We” he was talking about – from that point on – as being exclusively “SAM”…
      (It Was Priceless!)

  • primus

    I missed most of the debate. Will it be on YouTube or some other accessible venue?

  • strayan

    The problem I have with these debates is that the resolution is always backwards. The resolution shouldn’t be ’Legalizing marijuana saves money and lives’ it should be ‘Prohibiting marijuana saves money and lives’. It shouldn’t be ‘Drugs should be legal’ it should be ‘Drugs should be illegal’. Those in favour of the status quo (prohibition) should have to provide a justification for their position FIRST.

    • allan

      yep, that’s why I sit on Pete’s couch… people making sense outta bullshit. Great point Strayan, I like it!

  • mike

    Good for the Colorado School of Mines.

    Interesting address Golden CO.

    Wonder what else resides in Golden CO.

    N.R.E.L. and they say they can demonstrate

    the technical advances needed to produce celluosic

    ethanol at $2.15 a gallon.

    Gee wonder what the yeild of cellulose per arcre of Hemp

    is. Switchgrass has been used but it takes years for the

    roots to take hold.

    Hope some day we will be saying good going

    Colorado School of Cannabis.

    http://www.nrel.gov/innovation/bioenergy.html

  • DdC

    Debunking Kevin Sabet’s Anti-Marijuana Arguments http://www.theweedblog.com/debunking-kevin-sabets-anti-marijuana-arguments/ via @theweedblog

  • B.S. Hayter

    If you. . .

    1 — Support Marijuana Prohibition.

    2 — Support the (highly racist) implementation of current marijuana laws.

    3 — Think people should be arrested, thrown in jail, and have their lives ruined because they’ve been found in possession of marijuana.

    Then you are a fascist, a hateful person (and most likely a racist, too). The moral high ground is no longer yours. Please evolve or go the way of the dinosaur. Your continued support of the status-quo is killing people.

  • thelbert

    off topic: the only time i ever submitted any of my precious bodily fluids to get a job was in 1990 so i could install rubber bumpers on a brand new tug boat. i’m glad i did it, if only to witness the launching of the tug. well, that company will be sold to the highest bidder tomorrow. http://tinyurl.com/lz3e7pz

  • DdC

    How Black Pepper relieves Cannabis Anxiety
    http://cannabisdigest.ca/black-pepper-relieves-cannabis-anxiety/
    Traditional responses to cannabis induced anxiety include pinene-rich black pepper, limonene-rich citrus, and calamus root high in myrcene. Myrcene is also found in hops (Humulus), the only other member of the Cannabaceae plant family.

    Biologist Explains How THC Kills Cancer Cells
    http://www.hightimes.com/read/biologist-explains-how-thc-kills-cancer-cells