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March 2015
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Friday thread

I’m heading back from New York later today — it’s been a crazy and busy week with a group of college students, doing walking tours and seeing theatre.

I hope to get back to some new posting today or tomorrow. In the meantime, you need a new open thread.

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22 comments to Friday thread

  • Windy

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2015/03/11/do-psychedelics-drive-you-crazy-or-keep-you-sane/
    Do Psychedelics Drive You Crazy Or Keep You Sane?

    Regardless of whether psychedelics have measurable psychological benefits, the fact that people like to use them shows they have value. Granted, these drugs are not for everyone. According to the NSDUH, the number of Americans who have tried marijuana is more than four times the number who have tried LSD. Still, every year more than 1 million Americans use LSD or other psychedelics. Some of them have profound, life-altering experiences. Others just have fun. Criminalizing these people is hard to justify even based on paternalistic principles, especially given the lack of evidence that psychedelics commonly cause serious harm. For antiprohibitionists who are wondering what comes next after marijuana legalization, this class of drugs seems like a good place to start.

  • claygooding

    I want to say that my PTSD didn’t seem as intense after my first experience with shrooms,,I cannot say that they were the only cause for the decrease,,because I don’t know.

    There are so many wrongs in our drug policy it is impossible to tell where to start trying to fix it,,the house of cards they have built it in can’t stand any expansion without the damn thing falling completely down,,,that is why marijuana legalization will be the beginning of the end for a very short war on drugs after they lose their poster child..

  • DonDig

    .
    Looking at these comments, I realize that we all believe this situation will be resolved one of these days. I do too.

    That is amazing in itself, after all this time. Very cool.

    • DdC

      How much longer?

      “soon we will know”

      Marijuana: the law vs. 12 million people
      Life magazine Oct 31, 1969. 25-35

      Should it be legalized?
      “soon we will know”
      Man has used marijuana both socially and medicinally for several thousands of years and yet today there is little scientific knowledge of its dangers or merits. In spite of our lack of knowledge, an estimated 12 million Americans have used the drug in recent years. Now we are in a near crisis caused by ignorance and the blanket of misinformation which governmental agencies have used to cover their ineptitudes.

      Laws do not persuade just because they threaten. — Seneca, A.D. 65

      “The Limits of the Criminal Sanction,”
      by Herbert Packer, 1968

      For over fifty years the United States has been committed to a policy of suppressing the “abuse” of narcotic and other “dangerous” drugs. The primary instrument in carrying out this policy has been the criminal sanction. The results of this reliance on the criminal sanction have included the following:

      (1) Several hundred thousand people, the overwhelming majority of whom have been primarily users rather than traffickers, have been subjected to severe criminal punishment.

      (2) An immensely profitable illegal traffic in narcotic and other forbidden drugs has developed.

      (3) This illegal traffic has contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of organized criminal groups.

      (4) A substantial number of all acquisitive crimes – burglary, robbery, auto theft, other forms of larceny – have been committed by drug users in order to get the wherewithal to pay the artificially high prices charged for drugs on the illegal market.

      (5) Billions of dollars and a significant proportion of total law enforcement resources have been expended in all stages of the criminal process.

      (6) A disturbingly large number of undesirable police practices – unconstitutional searches and seizures, entrapment, electronic surveillance have become habitual because of the great difficulty that attends the detection of narcotics offenses.

      (7) The burden of enforcement has fallen primarily on the urban poor, especially Negroes and Mexican-Americans.

      (8) Research on the causes, effects, and cures of drug use has been stultified. (9) The medical profession has been intimidated into neglecting its accustomed role of relieving this form of human misery.

      (10) A large and well-entrenched enforcement bureaucracy has developed a vested interest in the status quo, and has effectively thwarted all but the most marginal reforms.

      (11) Legislative invocations of the criminal sanction have automatically and unthinkingly been extended from narcotics to marijuana to the flood of new mind-altering drugs that have appeared in recent years, thereby compounding the preexisting problem.

      A clearer case of misapplication of the criminal sanction would be difficult to imagine.

      For first time,
      the Senate will consider legalizing medical marijuana

      Senate Proposal Would Legalize Medical Marijuana

      “This bill that we are introducing seeks to right decades worth of wrong and end unnecessary marijuana laws.” – Senator Cory Booker

      ☛ End the federal prohibition of medical marijuana
      ? Reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II
      ? Allow states to import CBD
      ☛ Allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana dispensaries
      ☛ Eliminate the Public Health Service Review obstacle for marijuana research
      ☛ End the NIDA monopoly on marijuana research
      ☛ Allow VA physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients

      This bill that we are introducing seeks to right decades worth of wrong

      “Seeks to right” by leaving it a scheduled substance? A less than reality, good for some if Fat Pharma doles it out. Sched2 requires a triplicate order between physician and pharmacy.

      and end unnecessary marijuana laws.

      But continue to persecute citizens with “necessary” laws? Synergy obtained by whole plant high cbd extractions could be grown anywhere. Again maintaining control with Fat Pharma. The remaining items are all good “Band Aids” that would not be necessary if Science dictated policy and removed cannabis in all natural forms as a controlled substance. Un-Illegalize it!

  • Frank W.

    It’s not even legal yet and the fussbudgets are planning new ways to fine and jail:
    http://www.ktvl.com/shared/news/top-stories/stories/ktvl_strong-marijuana-odor-ban-medford-15563.shtml

    Actionewsteam is really trolling hardcore to work up a resistance army. July seems a long long way from here.

  • Servetus

    Arizona’s best laid plans to kick thousands of people off welfare for illicit drug consumption, supposedly saving Arizona millions of dollars that might otherwise go to all those impoverished people the GOPers hate so much, has saved the state a whopping $4000: “…26 people have lost their benefits, 23 for not taking the test and three for failing it.”

    Other GOP strongholds, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, have all encountered similar drug testing failures.

    Arizona’s government at least makes its priorities clear. The state acted in a capacity other than that of ensuring the health of welfare recipients against the alleged ravages of drug use by offering them drug treatment. Rather, it made its drug testing a money issue, as well as a conveniently hidden race issue.

    There appears to be no limit to the different ways governments will use the drug laws to abuse their most defenseless citizens. In most cases, the motivation is mere political gain. However, no politician is showing appreciable political gains by testing welfare recipients. The programs haven’t succeeded. And it’s also a situation where neither the ends nor the means are justifiable. The only winners appear to be the drug testing industry.

    • DdC

      The Neoconstitution according to the Neocongress

      Lindsey Graham: As president I would deploy the military against Congress

      Texas Representative Proposes Bill to Make Filming the Police Illegal for Everyone But MSM

      “Prison Profiteers w/ Henry Rollins” featured in this article about the real reason behind mass incarceration.

      Not like abusing the separation of powers is something new…

      Clinton Asks Supreme Court To Overturn MMJ Ruling – 07/30/00

      So we save money taking food from the poor to give it to the already over bloated Military Industrial Complex. Keeping the poor, poor only eventually serves the Prison Industrial Complex. Of the complex, by the complex and for the complex. The Untied State of Anemica!

      • Windy

        http://goo.gl/x8vYYh
        # 7 didn’t work the way they expected, so now religion is used for divisiveness.
        Shannon Elkins Kohler wrote:

        Gee, seems like the dems and reps have done an equally fine job with this. I love how they both do it….vilify each other for doing the exact same things….pit Americans against each other through the vilification….and are getting exactly what they both want.

    • kaptinemo

      Social Darwinism isn’t dead. It’s alive and well and residing at the DrugWar’s address…but under an assumed name: ‘Compassionate Conservatism’.

      The results of which bear an increasingly disturbing resemblance to the conditions Dickens write about in his times. And for the same reasons.

      Google the terms ‘Powell Memo’, ‘drug laws’, ‘eugenics’, and ‘Social Darwinism’, just for starters. And while you’re at it, look up Plutonomy

      Crack was no accident. I knew that the moment I heard about it. I know some organic chemistry, having learned how to make things go “BOOM” when I worked for Uncle. Somebody engineered that

      And what about the surprisingly frequent ‘heroin epidemics’ we have, usually also occurring during times of economic disruption and social ferment, with a concomitant rise in political consciousness, one that might result in challenges to prevailing orthodoxies and social orders?

      Recall the scene in the grand old movie, The Godfather, where the Family bosses got together and worked out the distribution of the heroin trade?

      What Mario Puzo ‘hinted’ at (if you understand ‘deep politics’ you realize the books and movies are allegories of what actually happened at those times from the viewpoints of hidden players) Professor Alfred J. McCoy proved Only the Families were not alone in this endeavor.

      And one need only read the writings of one of the early progenitors of drug prohibition, Richard P. Hobson, to know that racist pseudoscience, not fact, was drug prohibition’s prime motivation…with eugenics being added to ‘justify’ the means needed to maintain racial ‘hygiene’ against ‘degeneracy’…and ‘degenerates’, nearly all of whom were non-Whites.

      The Lost History of the racist and prejudiced origins of drug prohibition is a sordid, slimy one, and there were good people even then, back in 1914, who were vilified (as we were until recently) for daring to point out the injustice would further aggravate the racial situation in this country – and also endanger the rights of those who thought it a weapon to use against The Other but like any two-edged sword, can slash its wielder, for as they predicted, the drug laws have savaged the liberties of all citizens, not just the ‘bad’ ones it was meant to.

      But the intent of the laws, as Professor Whitebread made clear, was not to ameliorate, but to control the ‘barbarians within the gates’.

      As always, that still, quiet but clear voice of reason was drowned out with an often unintelligible scream of fear and hate-filled rage. The laws were passed, the deeds were done…and all of our freedoms went under the gun. We’re all being slashed with that sword that was only meant for ‘the bad people’ du jour.

      And the prohibs called us crazy for wanting to end the DrugWar. Knowing the (odious!) Lost History, knowing how much of current events (need I say Ferguson?) is governed by it, you’d have to be crazy not to want to. Crazy…or greedy. Or bigoted. I invite the readership to decide which among them is worse.

      • kaptinemo

        More about how eugenics shaped national policies, not just drugs, can be found here: Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era by Thomas C. Leonard

        Read it, just read it. It’s an eye-opener. I didn’t know a lot of this stuff, and I pride myself on my Historical knowledge. It answers a lot of questions. For example, the rationales given for the minimum wage back then had nothing to do with helping ‘the poor’; anything but.

        Read it, and realize: the same mindset that encompassed so much fear and hatred and distilled that into legislation – that has crippled our national psyche for a century – is still in operation. One look at DEAWatch and you see that very clearly. Ferguson is the logical terminus of this insanity of allowing ancient fears and hatreds codified into unjust laws govern our lives.

        And, as ML King said so eloquently from his Birmingham jail cell, there is no moral justification for following an immoral law. The drug laws, with their racist origins, with all the damage they have done to society, are about as immoral as they come.

        • Servetus

          Thanks for the interesting piece by T. C. Leonard, kaptin’. The amount of effort that went into the eugenics movement is amazing considering it can so easily be discredited. All one has to do is look at the biographies of highly accomplished people throughout history. Many if not most of them had parents who might otherwise have been selected-out or perhaps even eliminated by eugenicists.

          It works the other way as well. Highly accomplished, wealthy people don’t necessarily produce highly accomplished children who grow up to be great men and women. Possibly no better example exists of that trend than Patrick Kennedy, advisor to SAM.

  • Servetus

    Pi day (3.1415) is an appropriate time to put an end to some long-running drug war propaganda. Today, on this special occasion, I want to continue the literary battle against the word cartel, particularly with regard to its use to describe the Mexican drug war.

    Throughout the 1980s and until the mid-1990s, the dominant media and government narratives held that Colombian drug cartels, the top-down organizations with high-level government connections and high-profile leaders like Pablo Escobar, were responsible for much of the drug running. But even then, for those involved in the trade, it was apparent that the boogeyman figure of the cartel was being exaggerated for public consumption. Gustavo Salazar, who worked as an attorney to Medellin drug runners in Colombia, told journalist loan Grillo, “Cartels don’t exist. What you have is a collection of drug traffickers. Sometimes, they work together, and sometimes they don’t. American prosecutors just call them cartels to make it easier to make their cases. It is all part of the game.”* Following the murder of Escobar in the mid-’90s, the organizations once portrayed as cartels were presented as having splintered into smaller groups that kept the cocaine flowing to the United States. — Dawn Paley, Drug War Capitalism, p. 28.

    *Ioan Grillo: El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, (New York, Bloomsbury, 2011), p. 61.

    Writer Robert Joe Stout is another author challenging the cartel concept. In his book Hidden Dangers: Mexico on the Brink of Disaster, he prefers to use the term “drug corporation”. “Drug co-op” might also describe the situation.

    The problem with the word cartel is that it hides one more reality of the drug war, framing it instead as simply a good guy—bad guy drama happening south of the border, from which only the DEA can save us.

    The truth is that the U.S. led drug war has turned Mexico into a nation within a nation, a narco-state economically dependent upon the drug appetite of North Americans. The money from drugs smuggling supports most of Mexico’s economy, with its oil and minerals production coming in at second or third place. More than 70-percent of Mexico’s legally circulating cash continues to originate from drug business on the border.

    Ending the so-called drug war will require an international effort to help Mexico transform and legitimize its drug co-op economy into a legitimate economy aligned with the economies of other countries.

    It will also demand criticism of any politician or prohibitionist who uses the c-word to describe the current phase of the Mexican-American drug war.

    • Matt

      Yes, that’s right. And it goes further. The “drug war” is largely just enormous corporate and middle class welfare. Twenty five billion dollars worth. The “war” is just a contrived falsehood to provide a justification for welfare in a country (the US) that is staunchly against welfare. But it’s not of course, it is all for welfare, it’s just choosy who it goes to. The conservative governments, voted in by conservative people make a point of restricting welfare to people who need it because of hardship, but enthusiastically hand it out to the military, drug and prison industrial complexes etc. And it all comes down in my opinion to capitalism. Capitalism only works for capitalists and those fortunate to have a job. Automation and mechanisation dictate that need for labour is aggressively reduced. There is never going to be anywhere near full employment again and anyway, full employment is a nightmare for a capitalist, as the cost of labour increases. So yes the economomy of Mexico will need assistance, but the problem is universal. The economy of the US and the entire world is the obvious problem here. It is fundamentally in crisis. So much employment and profits dependent on doing bad things to people such as arms manufacture and the oppression of people that happen to use a drug other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. The only way in my opinion that the “drug war” is going to end is if society becomes accepting of far greater levels of welfare, because the jobs just arent there.

  • jean valjean

    Servetus
    marijuana= cannabis
    cartels = criminal gangs who traffic illegal drugs, and whose business model depends on continued prohibition
    skunk = strains of high THC cannabis

    what other terms are in use by prohibitionists to scare the rubes?

    Now that “schizophrenia” has been proven statistically not to be caused by cannabis, probibs have substituted the more nebulous “psychosis.”

  • N.T. Greene

    “There are hidden contradictions within the minds of people who “love nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.” The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature”–but beavers and their damns are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beaver’s purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purpose of men) the “Naturist” reveals his hatred for his own race–i.e., his own self-hatred. In the case of “Naturists” such self—hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate. As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. Sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women– it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly “natural.” Believe it or not, there were “Naturists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnatural” and a “despoiling of nature.””

    –Notebooks of Lazarus Long (from Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love)

    Something to think about.

  • DdC

    OK I don’t know nor do I really want to know, all I know is my GW stock made me over a thousand bucks in the last two days… Had some choice sour diesel and GS cookies delivered to celebrate. This article explains it for the geeks. I don’t care. After sitting on it a year its finally done something. Little shy on the dispensary penny stocks although Steve Kubby keeps saying they also are providing dividends. So I’m making money off of my mortal enemy Fat Pharma. I guess that’s better than getting shot.

    Why Marijuana Stock GW Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: GWPH) Is Flying High