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September 2014
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Open Thread

I’m playing the piano this week for a production of Noël Coward’s high-farce-comedy-of-manners Hay Fever at Illinois State University, and having a delightful time. Pre-show, intermission, and a few things directly involved in the show, playing music from the 1910’s and 1920’s. Kept me a bit busy.

I did get a chance to see a little bit of the new show “Gotham,” and was struck by a quote in it. Mob boss Carmine Falcone is explaining to young detective Jim Gordon why he “supports” the work of the police.

“You can’t have organized crime without law and order.”

I found that telling, and it connects in so many ways to this terrible drug war, where we’ve often seen either an intentional or unintentional symbiotic relationship between the black market and law enforcement.

That doesn’t mean that law and order is bad, but that, usually through bad policy or laws, it can be co-opted to help criminal enterprise (often without its own officers realizing their role).

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53 comments to Open Thread

  • Randy

    The Baptist and the Bootlegger both benefited in their own ways from alcohol prohibition. I’d imagine that most of the couch potatoes here are well aware of that situation and its relevancy to drug prohibition.

    Good laws help stabilize the society, bad laws create disorder. Drug prohibition laws are bad laws and create disorder.

  • Frank W.

    Plenty of period “viper” and “reefer” songs you can slip into the repertoire.

  • Howard

    Seems as though the president of Mexico likes that combo of organized crime and law and order just fine;

    “In an interview with Bloomberg News, President Enrique Pena Nieto said he opposes legalizing marijuana because that would be “opening the door to a large intrusion of drugs that is very damaging to the population.” But he added that he was open to discussion on the issue.”

    Of course, the protracted drug war has not been “very damaging to the population”. No, not one bit…

  • allan

    oh… my aching back! Man, that harvesting is hard work. It is of course a quite rewarding exercise. My longest crown colas are 10″ – 12″ and so darn pretty. My fingers got all sticky and gooey and I had a couple of pure resin hits just from the gooey goodness on my fingertips.

    And I delivered my first cannabis photographic art print yesterday, framed and matted, the customer loves it! I loved it too, made me jealous when I picked it up at the frame shop – I want one!

    And my new ‘puter arrives next week! Yay! I get to finally enter the 21st century.

    • darkcycle

      No outdoor for me this year. It would’ve been a great year in retrospect, though. Just too much going on and the fact that my neighbor’s propriety is the only safe-ish place to cultivate and he is now cancer free and no longer maintaining his recommendation. Indoor always works better for me anyway. Basements and garages have always been my forte.

      • darkcycle

        This tablet has the most aggressive auto correct I have ever dealt with. Of course I meant “property” . His propriety has never been in question.

      • claygooding

        I tried to grow outdoors for years and lost every crop just about the time they barely started flowering,,thieves or LE,,,will never know.
        I want one of those in-ground greenhouses where the roof is the only thing above ground level,,,then I want to build a hydro unit in it,,since I am only concerned with my own needs it won’t take much more that 150 sq ft,,or appx 12′ X 12′.

      • allan

        it was a great year for outdoor growing, hottest summer on record here in Eugene. My first tastes (dogs knocked and broke a lower branch) tell me this will be one hit (for me) herb.

        And I have my seeds for next year. Not to mention the buds to get me thru to next year. I prolly have a QP of sweet leaf, a couple of ozies of trim and I’m guessing at a lb of bud.

        As another couch mate pointed out to me, as Ed says, cannabis isn’t addicting but cultivating it sure is!

        The only real “pest” I noticed (besides prohibition II) were the leafhoppers. They di’n’t eat much!

        • darkcycle

          I do stupid stuff. I know to check the ladies each morning, but I get lazy. I know to shake off the heavy dew and rain, but I get lazy. I know foliage feed every 14 days with neem and compost tea on alternating schedules, but….
          All I need is to see sunshine, and all I can think about is friends and what a great day it is to ride/drive/play with the boys/ or otherwise fart arouNd.

        • claygooding

          don’t forget to chop your stalks up and boil them in butter and water,,some of my cleanest cannabutter comes from a stalk boil.
          I fill a 2 quart slow cooker full of stems and add 2 sticks of butter and water then boil on simmer for 12 hrs,,makes excellent brownies.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    From the “good riddance to bad rubbish” category, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out Mr. Holder.

    I do hope I haven’t mis-categorized. This could belong in the “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” category but only time will tell.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Why in the world would I believe that? He’s been AG for more than 5 years, and that means he has had the power to do exactly that under the Federal Controlled Substances Act for more than 5 years. The power to do exactly that by simple fiat for crying out loud. Unless he actually signs the order to do that before they confirm his replacement it’s just more meaningless hot air from a political stooge.

        • B. Snow

          There is a little problem for the Prohib-Idiots – particular the Republicans that have been using holder as their “Next closest thing to the President” – ‘punching bag’… Who might REALLY want to block this for no other reason than, “Because, Obama”.

          He’s gong to be staying until they approve the President’s choice to replace him!
          *Think – Mr.Rogers Impression* “Boys & Girls, Can you say Leverage? Great, I knew you could…”
          And in his “resignation in the near future maybe speech” – He said he “wasn’t going to leave the work.”

          I think he wants to make sure he sets his changes in stone as much as possible – and maybe even to advise the next AG that’s less of a Frustration that the President is Black, semi-Liberal and the AG is black Too!
          [/sarcasm] “Oh noes, Betty Sue what are we gonna have to do to take our country back – *whipser* from these darkies?” [/end sarcasm]

          Seriously, I’m about as whitebread as it gets and these prejudiced & sometimes flat-out racist bastards embarrass me every time they claim to “Represent Texas”, or “Social Conservatism”, or “Christians”…

          Among a seemingly endless number of similar statements & actions that just scream = “No, we’re not biased/racist/uber-partisan haters, we just play them on Capitol Hill – on CSPAN…”

          “Well, okay we hate him – but it’s not because of ‘his ethnicity’ or ‘his culture’, well -okay- maybe that’s part of it…” “But, that’s not the real problem – *Because, Welfare State* -see- That’s the real problem right there!
          “Oh wait, that doesn’t sound any better – Huh?”
          *And Scene*

          I’ll just say the last 7 or so years = Have left me deeply ashamed of (and disturbed by) a large portion of demographic data/stats/etc. Which, I happen to share with some of those miserable bastards.

          Fortunately – I’m young enough (or something) to know that’s an awful way to view people and treat people – simply because – they’re different than me, or foreign to me… I lucked out.

    • darkcycle

      They’re just replacing an old tool with a new one. Holder’s conduct has left him so sullied, that he is now having difficulty getting things done even in his own party. He’s accumulated a lot of baggage since he got there.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Hmmm, did I forget to mention the “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” category?

        • darkcycle

          It’ll be deja-vu all over again. I think that can be taken to the bank. Speaking of banks, see my post below.

    • claygooding

      You have to wonder if they are posturing for the “Ferguson” report,,,,he may not want to “spin” that one for them.

      • Windy

        His resignation likely has to do with the (just before that resignation was announced) court ruling that requires him and the whole DOJ to cooperate with the House investigation of Fast and Furious, which they have been obstructing since the investigation began.

  • Jean Valjean

    A strong indictment of Big Pharma and their crimes. It’s a long article, but I scanned it for mention of marijuana or cannabis as an alternative. Didn’t find one.
    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/meet-doctor-big-pharma-cant-shut?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    • Jean Valjean

      A black man reaching into a car? He could only being going for his gun, right?
      The whole set up these days seems to be about protecting the officer from any and all harms. Corgi bite? Could be rabid. Better not take a chance…

      • B. Snow

        Oh, we’re gonna see that little clip for years!
        That joke on an excuse for a LEO was fired, arrested & charged with a veritable phone-book of phuck-up = He’s gonna be in jail for a long, LONG time…

        To a euphemism from ‘Training Day’ = He’s gonna be “getting his sh*t pushed in”… for like 20 years (The Max is 30). Plus, this is SO gonna ‘seal the deal’ on mandatory body-cameras for ALL Cops on duty.

        And this pigs bullsh*t, excuse caught on cam = “I was pulling you over for a seat-belt violation”. Sadly, that might’ve been taken seriously ‘on his word versus the guy trying to stop at the gas station.
        IF the pussy trooper hadn’t captured it on his own dash-cam…
        How bad a shot can you be and still qualify for that job?

        He shot the guy in the hip – and not only did he keep shooting he missed with (I believe) the 2nd & 3rd shots = that dude was lucky the jackass cop *probably* scared himself so bad with the first shot that he couldn’t hold the gun well enough to hit him with the following shots.

        Police Shooting Over Seatbelt Violation Leads to S.C. State Trooper Being Fired, Arrested, Charged With Aggravated Assault and Battery

        Talk about Barney Fief/”Shakiest Gun I The West South Carolina (fortunately without secret hollywood backup) – Too bad we can get simultaneous reaction vids from every Cop in the country.
        If people still cared about Guinness Records (and this wasn’t so horrible) – It could set a record for the most LEO Facepalms recorded at once, or in a single day.

        • primus

          Now that the video is viral, the bosses had no option but to fire and charge this incompetent boob. Even so, the bosses should be subject to a whole bunch of whoop-ass because THEY hired the boob, THEY trained the boob, THEY retained the boob, and THEY set the policies in place under which the boob operated. THEY must shoulder at least part of the heat, because THEY messed up, BIG TIME.

        • darkcycle

          Okay….what are you seeing….? I linked to 4a story on a Denver Federal court denying bankruptcy protection to a legal, State licenced cannabusiness. No Corgies involved whatsoever. I still get the proper website to come up when I key it. What gives?

      • darkcycle

        Seriously, I just fired up the big, ‘puter. Still, I get the bankruptcy link to work…..is anybody seeing that story?

        • allan

          linked in BSnow’s reply above: Police Shooting Over Seatbelt Violation Leads to S.C. State Trooper Being Fired, Arrested, Charged With Aggravated Assault and Battery

        • Jean Valjean

          Sorry for the non-sequiter DC. I thought I was replying to a different post.

  • Poca

    I have a comment relating to the paraphernalia post couple days ago, but putting it here as this is most current.

    I only have kif, all out of bud. Before I got my dabbing rig I used to put my kif between parchment paper and press it into has with a mason jar filled w/ very hot water. Then I’d put a volcano screen inside a hooka bowl so that I could drop the nerds through the three big holes in the bowl and get caught by the screen inside the big hollow bowl (bigger more hollow than ur typical hookah bowl) essentially keeping the heat source away from the hash so that I could vaporize the hash mostly though convection with my big ass hookah. The hooka also has a chamber under the ash plate for ice too cool the smoke before it gets the the glass water chamber.

    Now the point that relates to the paraphernalia. Now I dab my kif with a spoon. I had been using the bamboo spoon that came with my pinnacle pro vaporizer (which broke and planet vape are being dicks about the warranty, only had it 4 months), but now the bamboo spoon broke so I had to find something to dab my kif… Luckily I found the perfect spoon in a nail clipping kit laying around in a drawer. Where there is a will there is a way!

    • Poca

      I just wanted to update here since I had kinda trash talked planetvape… They were actually really cool and fixed their process for handling claims right away as a result of my difficult experience. PlanetVape didnt even charge me for the return shipping – especially after the manufacturer dragged it out further in fulfilling the claim!

      When I finally got my replacement for the busted pinnacle pro, it had a package of lays potato chips (even had the french Canadian packaging). I thought, “how genius!” – it served to reduce movement in the package, and as a way to tell how roughly the package was handled…and best of all, MUNCHIES!
      Im just waiting on my gal to put my lil one to rest before we start taking hoots!

  • I’m hoping that Holder will sign an order at least rescheduling MJ as his parting gift.

    Regarding law and order, I think there’s a case to be made that, historically, pro-social aggression (crusades, inquisitions, ethnic cleansing, and wars on (name your demon)) has caused far more suffering than its counterpart.

  • Nick

    Got to keep that money coming in chasing after mystical dragons and imaginary enemies.

    • B. Snow

      I’ve told you to leave ‘Puff’ alone – Wait, How can you even see him?
      He worked for Disney dammit – isn’t that enough for any dragon to put up with? Being animated for an entire movie!

      He didn’t hurt you – Now, you just leave him be…

  • claygooding

    O/T,,if there is such a thing on this couch:

    Ruger© is going to produce a new pistol and name it the “”Congressman””,,because it doesn’t work and you can’t fire it.

  • DdC

    Margaret Mead: Human Nature and the Power of Culture
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/mead/oneworld-comment.html

    I have received many communications and questions about the portion of my testimony October 27th devoted to marijuana. In the light of these discussions which show that some Americans regard making something legal as a positive sanction for its use, I would now suggest that it would fit better the present mood of the country to substitute for the term legalizing marihuana, the phrase repealing all laws making the use, possession, or sale of marijuana illegal. Appropriate age limits could be established as they are for other activities such as driving a car, drinking beer or purchasing cigarettes; and regulations assuring quality standards could be introduced, and cautions could be required in advertising on such questions as excess use.
    Dr. Margaret Mead ecp

    COMPETITIVE PROBLEMS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY
    http://www.veryimportantpotheads.com/site/meadtestimony.htm

    HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON MONOPOLY
    OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS
    UNITED STATES SENATE
    NINETY-FIRST CONGRESS
    FIRST SESSION ON PRESENT STATUS OF COMPETITION IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
    MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1969
    UNITED STATES SENATE
    Washington, D.C.

    When we had a free press?

    “Margaret Mead’s for Legal Pot,”
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/mead/images/mm0306bs.jpg
    Newspaper clipping with handwritten comments.
    United Press International.
    Washington, D.C., October 27, 1969.
    Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (306b)

    Where do calvina and serbets get such queer notions?
    L’il Abner. daryl gates inspiration for DARE?

    And now that the lady Anthropologist has
    explained how harmless heroin is for children…

    Al Capp. L’il Abner comic strip,
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/mead/images/mm0319bs.jpg
    World News Syndicate, March 5, 1970.
    Newspaper clipping. © Capp Enterprises, Inc.
    Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (319b)

  • DdC

    A Chronology of Terence McKenna-Related Books, Ideas, People, and Other Things at vice.com

    Why These 5 Books Are Censored from Your History Class
    http://youtu.be/U0czUr2imGY via @YouTube
    1. DuPont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain by Gerard Colby
    2. The Hidden History of the Korean War by I.F. Stone
    3. Assassination on Embassy Row by Saul Landau and John Dinges
    4. The Assassination of New York by Robert Fitch
    5. The Polk Conspiracy by Kati Marton

    Access the full series at the Forbidden Bookshelf
    http://www.forbiddenbookshelf.com

    The Field: narconews
    Hollywood’s Gary Webb Movie and the Message that Big Media Couldn’t Kill

    cannabisculture
    Isreali Defense Force Reserve Soldiers Can Now Use Medical Marijuana

  • NYCMike

    Checked in again on this site after a long time away. Still one guy stating his (ever unchanging) views and the usual commenters chiming in to agree with him.

    I have said it before and I will say it again: This boring site needs to stop being scared of diversity of opinion. One guy banging away on the same points forever is just said. Grow up everyone and start dealing with dissent.

    Mike

    p.s. Feel free to delete this, if anythign other than automatic agreement makes your fragile tummies upset.

    • allan

      and what of substance do you add, pray tell? ^ that? ^ pffft… there’s been more eloquent farts laid here than that.

      You really should stop peeing in front of open windows… it’s embarrassing for everybody. ‘specially for you, tiny.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Well bless your little heart for your constructive criticism and putting the effort in to change our lives for the better. But we’re not all a bunch of people who walk in lockstep and speak with one voice. Take me for example: I’ve heard that there are people who abuse their own naughty parts! What kind of society would we have if that were legal?!? There would be people doing that when they’re driving! Their cars would be bouncing up and down like those hydraulic hot rods that are driven by our Country’s unregistered guests! I don’t want to see people playing with their privates in public places either!

      You wouldn’t have a problem with a surgeon doing that while he’s committing surgery? What about airplane pilots? Would you want your airplane pilot abusing his own naughty parts when he’s supposed to be flying the plane?!? What would you think if you went to a political rally and found out that the politician’s hand you shook was abusing his own naughty parts 5 minutes before that?!?

      Haven’t you seen the most recent research about the danger of abusing your own naughty parts? The studies have proved that it makes people go blind! I’ve known lots of blind people and every one of them abused their own naughty parts before they went blind! If we legalize that then we would have to let people marry their hands for crying out loud! Ooooh, I’m so excited! I asked for my hand in marriage today and it said yes! Where the heck does someone get a wedding dress for their hand? ’nuff said!

    • Is that your dissent?
      It’s quite boring and lacking substance.
      Anyone is free to say anything here, and they often do. It’s just that most people would be embarrassed to post such a mindless immature post as you did.
      Delete the post? You should be so lucky!
      They don’t get deleted unless they are offensive. Yours was just stupid and embarrassingly ignorant.
      Cheers, brother.

    • darkcycle

      Coffee spit. Please, we’re all ears. Speak right up.
      Look,if you have any intention of doing more than a drive by trolling, your opinion will be welcomed. I won’t say it won’t be ridiculed and laughed at, but we will welcome it.
      This crowd is anything but lockstep. Actually I worry if this couch were any more real, there would be more than just hurtsies of the feelings. On more than one occasion, fisticuffs and broke furniture would be the order of the day. If you really want a divergence of..er…opinion, go on up those stairs and spend a few hours with Wiggles, Mike.
      I’m all ears. Speak, Fish.

  • Servetus

    The demand for human subjugation is an absolute among some elements. Few things meet that demand better than persecuting those who use marijuana and its derivatives, even in medical applications. Here’s the latest example emanating from America’s Congressional House of Usher:

    A bill barring marijuana dispensaries from accepting electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards from public assistance recipients passed the House of Representatives on an unrecorded voice vote late Tuesday night.

    The Preserving Welfare for Needs Not Weed Act, sponsored by Rep. David Reichert (R-WA), is a response to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado. Congress has long since banned recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly known as welfare) from using their cards at the register or at ATMs in casinos, liquor stores, and strip clubs, and Reichert wanted to fold marijuana stores into that class of forbidden transactions. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) plans to introduce accompanying legislation in the Senate.

    Nothing in the bill prevents a beneficiary from withdrawing EBT funds at another ATM and using the cash at any of the establishments Reichert and his supports find morally dubious, according to Mashable.

    Congressman Reichert is one of many soldiers in the war on the poor (AKA drug war). Hopefully Washington state residents will remember what Reichert did the next time he comes up for re-election.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Servetus, that’s just a dictionary picture worthy example of political grandstanding. The law won’t prevent the economically disadvantaged from using the ATM at the bank next door or at the supermarket. I’m not even sure that it can prevent use at the in dispensary lobby ATM if the machine is owned by an unrelated third party.

      • darkcycle

        It turns out those machines are coded with location data. They know exactly where they all are. But the ubiquity of ATMS makes that entire exercise moot. It’s Riechert. Grandstanding.
        On an aside, on my wife and my anniversary two years ago, we ate at the the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut drive. Very expensive joint. Drove there in the Jaguar, had drinks and a very nice dinner. Except for Congressman Riechert. He lives up here, not in his district (surprise, surprise). He was sitting right across from me, no way we could avoid looking at each other, and he glared at me the entire meal. It was early and the place was empty, but that’s how they sat us. Very creepy. You could see the authoritarian rigidity coming out his eyeballs. I just smiled back. He glared steadily. When we came out and got in the car, there was a Sheriff’s deputy in the parking area who followed us all the way to the casino when we left. I’m certain Riechert was the genesis of that. Again….creepy bastard.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I hadn’t thought of it but it makes perfect sense that those things would have GPS tracking. Unless I’m misinformed if you don’t have a key, codes or whatever it is that’s needed for authorized people to open the suckers up it’s an ordeal to break in. If a thief can’t break in and just take the cash it wouldn’t be all that shocking to hear that somebody stole the whole darn machine to take somewhere to liberate the money at their leisure. Heck, if they have the know how to hack the system I’d bet the machines themselves might fetch a pretty penny in the stolen goods market. Maybe even a shiny dime.

          I would agree the point is moot but I was thinking that it wasn’t likely that the machine would be owned by an unrelated 3rd party for the same reasons that the vendors have trouble finding banking or armored car service…it would qualify as money laundering to the Feds.

          (Servetus, apologies but I have been suffering a bit of intellectual sloth lately. I need to kick myself or something and start reading the entire article/post/whatever before I comment. I must say that I’d really like to know how I can read 420 articles in a row, accurately predict what it’s going to say, but then decide that I don’t need to read number 421 in whole before commenting and end up with my foot in my mouth. Pfui, no it doesn’t taste good.)

        • Servetus

          Duncan, as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland said, “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”.

          I feel privileged that I can spend most of my day reading books and blogs. Delving into history is helpful. I do that to stay a few steps ahead of whatever financial or social disasters have been concocted or re-enacted by politicians like David Reichert. Even with that, I’m not always successful. There is always too much too read, and a lot of times the world is too crazy to predict.

        • allan

          a lot of times the world is too crazy to predict

          Understatement of the Week Award! Delivered perfectly…

    • primus

      It’s really a sad commentary on these ‘lawmakers’ who are unable to see the end game, just interested in making lots of rules. No concept of how it might play out, no thought of how it will be enforced, no thought of unforeseen outcomes. Just rule making for rules’ sake.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Paying some people to dig a hole in the ground and then paying different people to follow the diggers around to refill those holes seems to me a very accurate metaphor to describe our bureaucracy. Hey wait a second, is it still a metaphor if they’ve actually done that?

    • Windy

      I don’t know if any of you are aware of this, but Reichart used to be the Sheriff of King County, during the Green River slayings and investigation. How that applies to his attitude about cannabis, well I’m not sure if it does (other than he likely still thinks like a cop), just a sidebar comment.