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August 2014
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Open Thread

bullet image Another good post on the Congressional hearing on pot and driving, this time by Jacob Sullum: Stoned Drivers: The Case Against Panic

Mica, a proud pot prohibitionist who chairs a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, convened the hearing to raise an alarm about the deadly threat that legalization poses to anyone navigating the roads and highways. But by the end of the hearing, anyone who was paying attention recognized that his grim prophecies have little basis in fact.

bullet image Some people just don’t belong in the criminal drug trafficking business. Irish drugs smuggler arrested ‘after throwing 3m worth of cocaine out of hotel window in fit of paranoia’

A receptionist alerted police after discovering the drugs scattered over an internal patio floor.

Officers arrested the 39-year-old with a second suitcase packed with cocaine outside his room after he allegedly went looking for the drugs and then asked for a duplicate key when he found himself locked out.

We’ll all sleep better knowing that a bumbling idiot has been taken off the streets.

bullet image Hooked on Legalization: Marijuana Is Addictive, Whether Legalization Backers Admit It Or Not

This article gets so much wrong — most notably the idea that cannabis causes addiction, and secondarily the notion that the existence of people who are having trouble managing their cannabis use should be an argument against legal regulation.

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54 comments to Open Thread

  • Servetus

    The Charlie Rose interview of New York Times’ Andrew Rosenthal about his NY Times series on legalizing marijuana is now online. Mr. Rosenthal notes he was a college student in Colorado during the 1970s. The interview starts at 29:03.

  • divadab

    Thanks for posting this Chicken Little “SHock! Horror! Addicts!” drivel, Pete. Even in San Francisco there are still people who fall for this prohibitionist propaganda – several couch denizens have already commented and exposed the article’s fraudulent hyperbole, and hopefully more will jump in.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I wish I hadn’t missed this one. There are 6 M.A. meetings every week in San Francisco. Two occur simultaneously so there’s really only 5. One of the first pieces of dogma that the typical 12 step cult members proffer at your first meeting is that you “need” to do a “90 in 90” i.e. a meeting every day for the first 90 days. They’ll get upset if you call it indoctrination. Nope, San Franciscans can’t do that without traveling. Sure Oakland’s right next door. On the other side of the frickin’ bay.

      For crying out loud San Francisco is the mother lovin’ cannabis capital of America. Sheesh!

      Just to further ridicule the existence of M.A. there are just shy of 700 A.A. meeting in San Francisco. You might want to check to make sure that their going to be speaking a language that you understand because there are more than a dozen alternatives to choose from. I’ve been told that the ones in Mandarin are particularly hard to follow if you don’t speak Chinese Now if you suffer the fiction of merrywanna addiction you’d better speak English. Apparently foreign language speakers aren’t interested.

  • Common Science

    Ah yes, Chris Roberts and his referral to the new and improved Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – DSM-5. The version that allows scores of people with normal behaviour to be pathologized and directed to treatment.

    If the ebb and flow of your biorhythm is out of whack and you can’t rely on your own fortitude to sort out your whimpering pathetic life, call your doctor now for access to one of a number of eager treatment program professionals waiting to help you fortify our burgeoning Nanny State. Your participation is sure to deny diagnosis to those that really need help. First come, first serve – Whine now!

    • Common Science

      I didn’t mean to blanket everyone going through the treatment system as having a lack of basic fortitude that we as a species have pushed on to societal greatness. It’s just, who knows how many of those teenagers passing through David Smith’s illustrious clinic were court-ordered and taken advantage of because they conveniently exhibited bouts of anger, reckless and impulsive behaviour, rocky relationships, and/or unstable moods or identity?

  • War Vet

    If pot is so addictive, then why can I quit regularly for 2-3 months at a time as a compromise for my wife (Damn Compromise Acts of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 etc). I miss the pot the same way I miss France, Belgium, Holland, seeing a Matisse, seeing a Chagall, seeing Margaret Atwood up close (oh baby) and Iraqi food. Thank God the wife gives me a few weeks and a month or two off and on. When you go from smoking two ounces a week to smoking an ounce a year, I’m not sure we can prove it’s addictive. Why do we often quit for a few weeks as a way to drop down the tolerance then if it’s so addictive?

    • Tim

      Pot makes you irratable after quitting in the same way that riding the bus after driving a company paid Cadillac all weekend makes you irratable. That’s not anywhere near addiction.

  • Human-Sized Rat Cages Target Teen Marijuana Use
    http://tinyurl.com/mvsz5u4

    You can read my answer there to this atrocious attempt at scaring the bejesus out of more kids. Lying and fear mongering is all that prohibs do. Its a disgusting waste of human intelligence and hard earned taxpayer money.

    • kaptinemo

      The Denver Post article can be found here…and contains even more BS.

      Remember when at DEAWatch they called us ‘wacky legalizers’? Well, as predicted here, it is the prohibs who are getting even wackier as they lose, with stunts like this. To paraphrase a famous line from a childhood literary favorite of mine, “Crazier and crazier,” said Alice.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Don’t these idiot prohibitionists know just how laughably absurd they’re making themselves appear to be? Is it possible that it may be reasonable to presume that they’re utterly clueless?

    I’ve noticed that prohibitionists and addictionologists appear to believe that insistence is evidence. It’s why they never lose an argument, at least it appears that way to them.

    Is there anyone here that could use a good laugh at the expense of a sycophant of prohibition? This one is from the “did I wake up this morning in a parallel universe or what?” category:

    THC Levels in Marijuana Must be Cut to Prevent Brain Damage
    Paula Marie Navarra Aug 10, 2014

    I didn’t quote any text because while reading the dogma of the deranged prohibitionism has not yet been proven to lead to brain death, why take a chance?

    The really weird part was where the writer sure sounded like she was getting ready to support repeal. But then her logic went on the fritz. Again,

    • NorCalNative

      Duncan, I’m going to go-out-on-a-limb here and risk sounding stupid, again. I’m pretty sure based on this post you’re NOT actually Robin Williams.

      Please God, I really need to be right about something today. I’m high for the first time in a long time using my new Pax vaporizer and some girl scout cookies please let me down EASY if I’m wrong about this.

      • Windy

        It would be a genuine miracle for Robin Williams to be posting here, since he (tragically) committed suicide Sunday night.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I presume that you heard the very sad news about Mr. Williams passing away from major depression yesterday.

        I’m very much alive. I’ve been MIA because my laptop caught a rather nasty piece of malware that opened a popup offering free prizes for taking a survey every 3rd link I’d click. I found it wholly unbelievable that Pete would be party to such an obnoxious little turd of an advertisement and the first time it opened “congratulations drugwarrant.com visitor…” It was just using the name of whichever website link I clicked on. By happenstance the first time was my clicking on DWR. It didn’t fool me for a second but it sure did annoy me for hours on end until I was able to silence the little worm. Are there really people who would buy anything from such an obnoxious advertising ploy?

        • Nunavut Tripper

          ” Are there really people who would buy anything from such an obnoxious advertising ploy?”

          I often wonder that myself.

        • Windy

          I think I have that same worm in my computer, I don’t know how it caught that damn thing, but it’s been driving me crazy for the last few days. I thought I had found the program and uninstalled it, but the pop-ups didn’t stop. So how did you get rid of it? I’m thinking I may need to take my box into the shop and have a professional get rid of it for me.

        • darkcycle

          Windy, you can use “system restore” to take your computer back to a configuration from before you got infected, if you know when it occurred. You will lose anything you’ve done since then, though…

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          DC I had to roll back mine to the last week of July. I didn’t lose bookmarks or documents or any browser history. Perhaps that feature has been improved since you last used it?

          But yeah Windy, I used system restore. Control Panel>>Recovery>>Follow instructions. I do think that the worm was lodged in my computer weeks ago because it hadn’t started popping up popups for even a full hour before I was running system restore. I had to go back 6 full restoration points before it finally quit annoying me. It was in all 3 browsers too, at one point I uninstalled Firefox but it did it in Chrome and IE too.

          Having the thing lay dormant for a couple of weeks sure sounds like a good way to keep people from figuring out the source. Funny thing was I had a “critical” update from Microsoft on Aug 1 and it was the restore point immediately before that event that finally worked.

        • Windy

          I downloaded and used Malwarebytes, a free program (that also has a premium edition for subscription — 1 year, 3 computers for $24.95). I used the free edition and it seems to have done the trick. A fb friend recommended it, she’d used it and found it efficient and helpful. It can apparently even get the malware programs which prevent you from installing most anti-malware programs (or uninstalling the malware itself). Malwarebytes installed with no problems in just a couple minutes. Windows Defender’s anti-malware program did not stop that malware from installing itself on my computer and did not rid me of it even after I sent it on scan. I cannot recommend this program more highly.

  • claygooding

    If you want to keep people off your wifi name it FBI Surveillance Van 7.

    It is pitiful watching poor people like Linda Taylor,,the eyes are starting to bulge and the spittle is collecting in the side of her mouth,,,now she wants to start a class action suit against anyone that smokes weed because they are violating her constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness,,a marijuana free world I suppose.
    I wish we had thought of that every day for the last 46
    years,,but alas the pursuit of happiness is not in the constitution but it is an the Declaration of Independence,,which gives no rights,,only declares them to be true.
    When I told her the pursuit of happiness isn’t in the constitution she quit posting,,as usual she is probably searching for a new tactic.

    • allan

      she’s been spewing that prattle since the get-go. I think it’s one of the good Dr. *coughbullshitcough* Chabot platforms. I wonder how his book sales went?

      Have I told you all lately how much I appreciate you and all the rocks you fling and the hammer blows you swing? No? Ok, good.

      heh…

      • NorCalNative

        Allan, speaking of sales, I want to purchase one of your 2014 calendar photos. The 8 x 12 framed picture I like of (July? where the purple plant had this large yellow fan leaf in contrast) is my favorite.

        I’d be happy to go through your internet setup to purchase it if that’s a better fit for you.

        However I’d love a “signed” copy and would be willing to go $200 plus shipping costs if that’d work. I’ll send a check if I have a place to send it to. If that’s not convenient or you’d rather not could you refresh my memory on who does your internet sales?

        You showed me a great kindness the other day and I’d like to return the favor. Plus, I’m viewing this as an investment. You have the eye of an artist and my wall NEEDS that photo.

        • allan

          awesome… 🙂 I know exactly which image, email me at allan_e[at]efn.org and we’ll set it up. I’m honored. Oh… and I’ve been pufing on a nug of GS cookie dough all day. Wow, that’s about as flavorful as it gets. Smoked it in dab form the night before last night… wow (I’m not stoned occifer, I’m so high I could hunt ducks with a rake). Like smoking Thai out of a bong.

    • Windy

      clay, the Constitution does not give any rights, either. The Founders recognized that rights are inherent, we are born with them and they cannot be taken, they cannot be given by any government, nor can they be given, voted or legislated away. That is not to say that governments cannot make it difficult, dangerous, or even deadly to exercise those rights, just that everyone has them at birth and keeps them until death (and maybe beyond).

      The Constitution was intended to keep government small enough that it could not interfere in the daily lives of the people and clearly listed (enumerated) the acts and actions the government was specifically granted the power to do and take; and first ten amendments to the Constitution, what is called the Bill of Rights, were intended to protect the individual’s rights by specifically telling the government what it was NOT allowed to do. When the Framers felt the list was growing too long they, inserted the 9th Amendment which was intended to cover and protect ALL the rights not listed in the first 8; and the 10th, which was intended to keep the States from becoming subservient to the fed gov.

      Obviously, the document did not do what was intended, because the people neglected to enforce it upon their elected officials. And it is the nature of government to gather ever more power to itself, at the expense of the liberties of the people.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Does she have a fund to help pay legal fees? I’d like to give her $4.20 to help pursue that idea. Watching Linda Taylor make a buffoon of herself is one of my most favorite forms of entertainment. I just can’t express in words how much I’ve missed her during the last several months while she was AFK. All I can say is she’d better call Saul. (Better Call Saul Intro:linky)

      I don’t think she has the capability of hurting us because she’s so clueless. Hey, do you think we can fix her up with Stupidpatrick? I’ll bet she’d like dating an honest to gosh Kennedy that isn’t dead.

    • kaptinemo

      Nothing we hadn’t already figured out…the hypocrisy is just getting more blatant.

      Just look at them; the Grim Reaper is hunting every one of these self-appointed morals proctors…whose own morals are anything but pure as the driven snow, as the Semblers demonstrate. In any civilized country they’d be behind bars for what they’ve done.

      Lee Fang is on a roll. He’s exposing these finger-wagging-while-wallet-stuffing, holier-than-thou frauds left, right and center. I eagerly look forward to his next expose. Investigating reporting is not dead, and Mr. Fang proves it.

      • Jean Valjean

        And once the grim reaper has done his job there’s always that special ring in hell where they keep those pineapples on a stick, the one designed for Hitler, Mel and Shel.

  • DdC

    Thank You Mr. Williams http://wp.me/p4NUsp-2l

    The White House ‏@WhiteHouse
    He made us laugh. He made us cry. He ended up touching every element of the human spirit. #RIPRobinWilliams

    In Robin Williams’ last tweet he wished his daughter, Zelda Rae, a happy 25th birthday: http://usat.ly/1oENFyT

    WATCH: #RobinWilliams made #Broncos history as first male cheerleader:
    http://dpo.st/1sS7AdG

    @WStickell #RIPRobinWilliams

    Roseanne Barr ‏@therealroseanne
    Robin cld ‘go’ there-dark as deep goes.
    May his soul be bound in the bundle of life

    Robin Williams: Fears of a Clown. On the eve of ‘Awakenings,’ the actor reflected on his darkest days on our cover: http://rol.st/1rk2Rzy

  • thelbert

    The Drug Enforcement Administration paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 over nearly 20 years to obtain confidential information about train passengers, which the DEA could have lawfully obtained for free through a law enforcement network, The Associated Press has learned.http://tinyurl.com/ncu2vbt

    • allan

      disappointed when they removed the smoking car… they had the world’s best exhaust fan, great place to poke smot.

  • Looks like the beginning of the end.

    A personal anecdote: seeing my nephew in law at the family reunion in a Club 420 t-shirt. Nobody reacted-I think I was the only commentator-and I said I would join him when retired.

    Indeed, I fully expect that in five years there will be a rush from the newly retired to the pot shops in Colorado.
    I will watch as the Kevin Sabets, Semblers, et al flail about in sheer failure. It’s like hitting air. The young don’t pay attention to those anti-drug ads because of the internet. The old have lived past the point of caring,-and in retirement-what consequences are really meaningful anyway?. Amotivational? How much motivation does a 66 year old need anyway? Driving? Taking the short bus or pretty much slacked off that anyway? Career-self motivated, part-time or whatever-doesn’t matter when Grandma takes a puff.

    • claygooding

      Carol,,when people realize they can grow sleeping pills,anti nausea,arthritis,anti-nausea,muscles cramping,cancer preventing,Alzheimer and dementia prevention in their backyards the true face of prohibition and the lengths their own government has gone to keep it from the people will change a lot more than just marijuana prohibition,,it could even wake every American up that when you vote shit into office you get shit out.

  • “the existence of people who are having trouble managing their cannabis use should be an argument against legal regulation.”

    It’s obvious on its face that those who cannot control themselves should not have any say whatsoever for those who can.

  • Servetus

    Hemp to the rescue. Hemp tops graphene as an electrode material for supercapacitors, a technology that could surpass battery technology due to its faster recharge rate of seconds versus hours.

    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 12, 2014 — As hemp makes a comeback in the U.S. after a decades-long ban on its cultivation, scientists are reporting that fibers from the plant can pack as much energy and power as graphene, long-touted as the model material for supercapacitors. They’re presenting their research, which a Canadian start-up company is working on scaling up, at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. […]

    “Our device’s electrochemical performance is on par with or better than graphene-based devices,” Mitlin says. “The key advantage is that our electrodes are made from biowaste using a simple process, and therefore, are much cheaper than graphene.”

    • allan

      gosh, imagine that. How many years, how many possibilities has Prohibition wasted?

      FTWO(s)D

    • kaptinemo

      Holy crap! We’re on to something BIG here.

      If it can store electrical energy, then it can also be made to conduct it, with vastly more efficiency than any current technology.

      Given this news, that hemp fibers can be made extremely energy-dense, at a wide range of temperatures, then that means that we could actually be moving in the direction of fully functional, room-temperature superconductors, only a few years off! The potential applications are staggering!

      I’ve said for years that cannabis is a scientist’s and engineer’s dream, like the mythical alkehest of yore, the substance from which all other things can be made. It is a botanical Swiss Army Knife, endlessly useful…and it’s a true crime against Humanity that its abundant gifts have been withheld for so long.

      • thelbert

        right you are, Kaptinemo. market forces could bring the drug war to an end very quickly. global warming is a factor in our favor, as is simple morality and efficient government. rational people would never have instituted prohibition, let alone persist in it for a hundred years. let us heal the insanity with hemp, and wake up with smiles.

      • Jean Valjean

        Banning a “botanical Swiss Army Knife.”
        Prohibition really is the new ludite-ism.

      • And it’s a renewable substance as well. And biodegradable.
        The cost could be so low that everyone can get connected and wired-no more smoky furnaces and fires with their environmental and health risks. Electricity could basically replace just about anything gas does for lighting, cooking, heating even in the poorest slum.

        The reason why so many places don’t have electricity is because the costs of wiring are usually prohibitive. And copper wiring is scarce and expensive-too expensive for some places that don’t have any. Aluminum is not all that safe. Hemp superconductors and associated materials would be safe, cheap and easy to install.

        This technology wedded to solar panels and wind turbines means that instead of spending millions and billions of hours and money to connect to a central power plant, even the humblest abode could be wired very cheaply.

      • claygooding

        “” It is a botanical Swiss Army Knife”

        It is a botanical Swiss Army Knife with a built-in medicine cabinet.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I go swimming regularly. I carry my swim stuff in a hemp backpack. The other day I was sitting out front waiting for my wife and I realized that the darn thing is 22 years old. No holes, no sign of wear and tear, I’m sure that the colors must have faded but I’m taking that on faith. I sure can’t tell from looking at it.

          Whatever happened with the hemp fiberglass car body from some company in Canada?

  • Jean Valjean

    Good article in the Nation about the Michael Brown shooting, but fails to mention the effect the Drug War has on the way we are all policed now, most especially young black men. Is the “Unnamed Police Officer” (UPO), who seems to have had a road rage attack, set to become a new unknown killer like BTK ?

    • War Vet

      What about Cleveland, Ohio and Wal-Mart? It appears a black man is a greater threat with a BB Gun he’s about to purchase than a few whites walking around Target with AR-15s they already own and which are already loaded.

      • War Vet

        My bad, not Cleveland, but near Dayton.

        If Brown’s murderer isn’t executed, we’ll only see riots get a little bit bigger the next time something like this happens . . . the riots of the 60’s tell us that. Blind rage will make victims out of the innocent for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time or for not having the same skin color as those who have been victimized and thus enraged by decades of injustice. World History tells me that the St. Louis Cardinal Stadium or any major city stadium (in cities where blacks are targeted more so than those of my skin color) could be burned to the ground. I’m sorry cops, but my right to drink a beer and finally see my first pro-baseball game in St. Louis is far more important than that police officer’s life. For the sake of this nation not to divide further, many police officers, prosecutors and judges should have the opportunity–a chance of a lifetime–to know what fine quality American hemp rope feels like around their neck. Sometimes, blood cleans up the stains of hypocrisy and can be a highly effective immunization against a worse disease. The execution of a few can pave the way for ultimate forgiveness for the masses responsible for these injustices.

  • War Vet

    How many of us will promise to shut up about legalization if all the drug warriors will voluntarily commit suicide, just to show solidarity to all the innocent non-drug users/dealers/growers killed by drug prohibition’s drug money and botched drug raids on the wrong people? I won’t, but I think it would show that they sincerely believe in what they are saying and doing and I’ll donate 1/3 of all my income to supporting their loved ones left here. Now you cannot beat that now can you Kevin? It’s a little different when it’s your own life on the line now isn’t it drug warriors? We’re not asking for your money, or your children and possessions or your home, or even your freedom (no jail time), but merely your lives . . . your right to breath isn’t that big of a deal drug warriors. Cowboy Up SAM, Cowboy Up.

  • Tim

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you… and then you win. –Gandhi

    This is from the SITTING GOVERNMENT of Canada…

    https://twitter.com/CPC_HQ/status/499297973785067520

    Sounds like they hired Kevin.

    • Nunavut Tripper

      The Canadian Federal election is fall 2015 so this next year will be very interesting.
      Harper is an elected dictator and a very serious threat to Canadian freedom so the Emery’s and the rest of us have just enough time to do some real damage to the CPC.

  • Well, the drug war strikes again. While they are at it trying to save the children from the horrors of marijuana, the government doesn’t want the elderly to feel left out:

    Medical Cannabis Gets 87-Year-Old Woman Kicked out of Housing
    http://tinyurl.com/mp8jmvb

    “Our social safety net is failing, and the government is trying to ensure that it specifically fails those who choose to use cannabis instead of addictive prescription pills”

  • DdC

    Compounds Can Kill Some #Cancer Cells:

    Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74
    The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research… In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research…

    List of brain tumor patients

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    12 Notes and references

    A lot in sports… hummm…

    The NFL Should Combat Concussions with Cannabis

    Cannabist for the SF Giants

    Brandon Belt out as concussion symptoms return
    Updated Friday, August 8, 2014

    Brandon Belt is making progress from his concussion,
    but Hector Sanchez needs more time.

    Belt suffered his concussion after he was hit in the face by a thrown ball during batting practice.

    Sanchez landed on the 7-day concussion disabled list after he was hit in the mask by a foul tip.