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September 2014
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Open Thread

Yesterday I talked about some pathetic things happening on campuses. Today, I want to talk about some better things.

I am an administrator and teacher at a university, and there was a time when even discussions about drug policy reform were considered risky.

Now, I’m teaching an entrepreneurship class and I have a student who decided to interview a medical marijuana entrepreneur in Illinois. An absolutely wonderful idea – talk about entrepreneurship, and the potential risks and rewards. Cannabis is the newest front in entrepreneurship and a perfect topic for various discussions in college.

Tomorrow, I’m taking part in the university’s Human Library project. This is where people with interesting or different views/knowledge base make themselves available like a book to be “read” through people asking questions and learning more about them. I was approached by university staff to participate specifically because of my work in drug policy and the idea that a “book” about legalization would be a good “book” to “read.”

That’s a good sign.

There is change happening at universities. Like everywhere else, it’s slow, but it’s another place where we’re making progress.

For those who missed it, there was a particularly ugly and fact-free editorial in the Washington Post opposing legalization, using S.A.M. speculation as their “evidence.” The folks on the couch here have been doing a first-rate job in responding. For more, read the comments section of this recent DrugWarRant post.

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13 comments to Open Thread

  • thelbert

    it’s good to hear that things are going your way, Pete. thank you for the couch space.

  • Servetus

    After 8,000 or more years of cannabis use by humans, researchers with the NIDA have just discovered marijuana is a mood enhancer. Wow. The shock to their Puritan ideals must be enormous. Feeling good? Think of the children.

    PISCATAWAY, NJ. – September 15, 2014: Lydia A. Shrier, M.D., M.P.H., of the division of adolescent and young adult medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital…notes that using marijuana as a coping technique for negative affect may make it harder for people to stop using the drug.

    “One of the challenges is that people often may use marijuana to feel better but may feel worse afterward,” she says. “Marijuana use can be associated with anxiety and other negative states. People feel bad, they use, and they might momentarily feel better, but then they feel worse. They don’t necessarily link feeling bad after using with the use itself, so it can become a vicious circle.”[…]

    Yes, feeling good is a vicious circle. But with the NIDA’s help, no one need feel good again. Just check out the NIDA’s new research technique:

    For the study, Shrier and colleagues recruited 40 people, ages 15 to 24, who used marijuana at least twice a week, although their average was 9.7 times per week. They were trained to use a handheld computer that signaled them at a random time within three-hour intervals (four to six times per day) for two weeks. At each signal, participants were asked about their mood, companionship, perceived availability of marijuana, and recent marijuana use. Participants were also asked to report just before and just after any marijuana use. They completed more than 3,600 reports.

    The researchers found that negative affect was significantly increased during the 24 hours before marijuana use compared with other periods. However, positive affect did not vary in the period before marijuana use compared with other times.

    At no time does Dr. Shrier satisfactorily define what “negative affect” is, whether it’s related to the present environment or circumstances, the daily accumulating stress of a workplace, chronic depression and anxiety disorders, or the irritation of being randomly interrupted by the NIDA for a survey response four times a day. Dr. Shrier concludes by assuring us:

    “…it could be beneficial for clinicians and counselors to help their patients identify patterns of negative affect and to implement alternative mood-regulation strategies to replace marijuana use.

    Alternative mood-regulation strategies? Dr. Shrier does not elaborate, but since marijuana is prohibited by the federal government, she feels there must be something wrong with it. As an alternative, maybe Lydia Shrier would recommend a mood synthesizer with wires that interface directly to the brain, a shot of whiskey, or some Big Pharma product like Xanax®. At least those things are legal.

    • Channeling Roger Waters

      .
      .

      …and if I go insane please don’t stick your wires in my brain.

    • curmudgeon

      Negative affect…AKA being straight.

    • darkcycle

      Not sure about these guys, but generally in this sort of study they assess positive and negative affect by the response to a set of questions . It’s undoubtedly a set of prepositive questions with a 1 to 5 rating scale. This sort of thing: “Right now I feel (insert emotional state here).” You are then instructed to rate your agreement with the statement on a scale of 1 to 5. They ask positive as well as negative questions. Yeah, there are some problems with this sort of study.

  • claygooding

    The times are changing because mentioning marijuana can be done in a normal voice anywhere,,without whispering it or using code names,, it seems like a snails pace from the front lines,,,until we look back and see how far we have come.

  • thelbert

    if you have ever wondered if weed affects men and women differently: http://tinyurl.com/n6f8nrk

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Can someone please ‘splain to me the definition of the word “crackdown” in the prohibitionist dialect of gibberish? I’m trying to understand what the hell these people are talking about:

    Marijuana caregivers face Colorado crackdown
    September 16, 2014

    DENVER (AP) – Marijuana caregivers who grow pot on behalf of medical patients are under the microscope on Colorado – again.

    The state Board of Health is due to vote Tuesday on a new rule limiting those marijuana caregivers to 10 patients. Currently caregivers can have up to five patients, but they can get waivers to serve many more. The rule change would eliminate waivers.
    /snip/

  • DdC

    The researchers found that negative affect was significantly increased during the 24 hours before marijuana use compared with other periods.

    The users found that negative affect was significantly missing during the 24 hours before, during and after marijuana use. Compared with other periods when not using and accidentally reading some slime balls cockamamie fabrication to justify more grant money to spread more gossip. I know it may sound odd to drug worriers. But if it caused such negative affects we the using public probably wouldn’t use it, D’oh! We rarely do things we don’t enjoy either, unless by force. For some strange reason completely over obedient prohibitionists tiny brain heads.

    Psychedelic Patch: Psilocybin Helps Smokers Quit
    http://www.hightimes.com/read/psychedelic-patch-psilocybin-helps-smokers-quit

    36 Famous and Funny Quotes About Drugs
    http://www.hightimes.com/read/36-famous-and-funny-quotes-about-drugs

    Oregon DA Likes FBI Arrest Stats, Unless They Support Marijuana
    http://www.hightimes.com/read/oregon-da-likes-fbi-arrest-stats-unless-they-support-marijuana

    Ottawa Father Denied Say In Son’s Cancer Treatment After Fighting Chemo
    http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2014/09/15/Ottawa-Father-Denied-Say-Sons-Cancer-Treatment-After-Fighting-Chemo

    Status Update
    By Steve Kubby
    SAN DIEGO DA REIGN OF TERROR ENDING
    https://www.facebook.com/steve.kubby.3/posts/10152699333596955
    The Court of Appeal 4th District, Division 3 found the defendant entitled to a defense under the MMP and determined the error in precluding the defense to be prejudicial. This holding will likely signal an end to the District Attorney’s policy of attempting to preclude patients from asserting their affirmative defense in medical cases. This case follows in the lineage of Colvin and Jackson.

  • Looks like this “crackdown” will enforce the “10 patient” rule with few to no exceptions going forward. As things stand now, every waiver they permit means fewer MJ tax dollars in the till.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Never borrow sorrow from tomorrow, that’s my motto. Believe it or not the good guys won this round:
      Marijuana Caregivers Escape Colorado Crackdown

      There’s something to be said for having a large cohort of almost certainly dying children who need a non-psychoactive exo-cannabinoid medicine to bring home the fact that medicinal cannabis isn’t just an excuse to get high. Of course it also brings up the classic age old question in the applied science of philosophical arcana, “who the heck needs an excuse to get high?”
      ——————————
      Here’s the next item on the cognitive dissonance circuit: Tommy Chong making his debut appearance on “Dancing With The Stars” Cheech Marin was there but didn’t dance. What’s next, soap operas?

      Now who in the world would have been able to predict that for crying out loud? The man is 76 years old! Has he lost his mother lovin’ mind? But I’ve got to say that he sure looks healthy. Whether or not he’s actually got any dancing talent is beyond my ken.

      • Windy

        I think Tommy did very well in his first dance, considering his age and so MUCH better than that Lolo chick who was stiff as a board and had a nasty attitude and even nastier look on her face almost every time the camera showed her when she was not dancing. I was sorry to see her pro get tossed off with her, but that is how it goes on that show.

  • Servetus

    Addiction center treatment credentialing has come under bombardment for being out of touch with reality.

    Laid out by the page numbers in the official $149 training manual, it’s clear the industry is no longer getting a free ride, despite the attempts of Sabet and DuPont to save their respective cash cows by promoting the illegality of marijuana. The article by Kenneth Anderson, originally published at substance.com, outlines the useless stereotypes and assumptions about drug treatment plaguing the industry.