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Pot science imbalance

Cute cover of Time Magazine with “The Highly Divisive, Curiously Underfunded, Strangely Promising, World of Pot Science” or The Great Pot Experiment by Bruce Barcott and Michael Scherer.

Time Pot Cover

Not a bad article about the politicization of pot science, although to me it suffers from an attempt to provide “balance” in an area that is actually quite unbalanced.

For instance, the subhead of the article:

Legalization keeps rolling ahead. But because of years of government roadblocks on research, we don’t know nearly enough about the dangers of marijuana—or the benefits

Um, no. Yes, there’s still a lot more we can learn, but the idea that we don’t know nearly enough about the dangers of marijuana is just false. If anything, we oddly know too much about the dangers of marijuana, if you include all the untrue “dangers” that are distributed by politics and bad science.

One key point really hit home, focusing on the imbalance of science supported by the U.S.

The federal antipot policies resulted in a strange kind of scientific trade deficit. The U.S. leads the world in studies of marijuana’s harm, but we’re net importers of data dealing with its healing potential.

And that’s exactly because of the politicized nature of our federal “science” in this area, as particularly shown by putting marijuana science in the hands of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), whose clear goals are to prove abuse and advocate against drugs, not to, you know, learn science.

And it’s this agency history and focus that should make the authors of the article much more wary of accepting “scientific” pronouncements from Nora Volkow.

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107 comments to Pot science imbalance

  • DonDig

    .
    Our government has created multi-billion dollar mechanisms (with our tax dollars) for deflecting and burying this science on the whims of a few elected officials, (Nixon and Reagan come to mind, Anslinger wasn’t even elected). Those mechanisms in turn generate multi-billions of dollars they can hide to use as they wish. (even sex parties?) The feds will not re-orient their institutions absent major legislation to do so. That will seem like a revolution to them, and they will likely be maladjusted for some time.

    Some folks think our recent wars were a good idea. In a very real way, the war on drug users is just another one of those that lingers, even though nearly everyone thinks having a war on drug users is not such a great idea anymore.

    Somehow every issue in this country becomes something to wrestle to the ground and kill, strangle in a choke hold or fire missiles at.

    How did we get to thinking that inflicting misery is a good idea? How did we become the punishment society? What about winning friends and being good neighbors, lending a helping hand, live and let live, honesty and all those nice old platitudes?

  • Servetus

    There are technical errors in the TIME piece, due to the fact Mr. Barcott is a journalist rather than a scientist, and is writing on technical subjects. I’ve noted the following:

    Barcott: “Just as poppy-derived morphine mimics endorphins…”

    Error: It doesn’t ‘mimic’. Humans have receptor sites that are specific to morphine, as well as to codeine. Traces of morphine can be found in many plants including lettuce, and hay for cows that ultimately finds its way into human mother’s milk. We also produce trace amounts of morphine in our brains.
    *

    Barcott: “a heroin overdose can be fatal–the drug shuts down the respiratory control center–but a marijuana overdose generally can’t…”

    Error: We’ve discussed this topic on DrugWarrant previously. Acetylizing morphine to produce heroin (diacetylmorphine) enables heroin to get through the blood brain barrier, thus bypassing the respiratory center or medulla oblongata. It travels directly through the blood brain barrier to deliver a quick shot of morphine to the brain. Too much heroin will eventually flood the medulla with morphine, as the excess morphine has nowhere else to go.
    *

    Barcott: “Among those with a family history of mental illness, marijuana can hasten the emergence of schizophrenia.”

    Error: How can anyone know that marijuana hastens the emergence of schizophrenia when no one completely understands the emergence of the disease itself? What scientists do know is that neither monkeys nor apes develop schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is unique to the genetic machinery of humans; it is that which makes us human that gets screwed up to result in schizophrenia. Whether the inevitable schizophrenia symptoms show up this week or next is irrelevant; a schizophrenic is destined to be a schizophrenic because the disease genetic.
    *

    Barcott: “Perhaps some persons can safely use marijuana, but schizophrenics cannot. A test or a clear genetic marker to identify kids who are vulnerable to schizophrenia is likely years away.”

    Error: Barcott is not keeping up with modern medical research. Yes, scientists have been able to detect the potential symptoms of schizophrenia in children. Also, there is no indication that marijuana is harmful to schizophrenics, who may actually be using it to medicate.
    *

    Barcott: “That research suggests that THC may have epigenetic effects, which have been found in other drugs like cocaine and heroin, changing the way genes express themselves in the brains of offspring.”

    Error: Epigenetic effects can be found in the children of people who were extremely stressed in some way. It has odd effects. Women in Holland who experienced starvation at the end of World War II prior to the arrival of liberating allies have a higher percentage of children who go on to become heroin addicts. Jews caught in the Holocaust produce a higher percentage of offspring with psychological and other health problems, traits than can emerge through three succeeding generations. Marijuana, a compound that reduces stress, would seem to be the last thing on earth that should produce epigenetic effects. Barcott’s suspicion that THC has epigenetic effects is purely speculative, but offered anyway.
    *
    Barcott’s errors are symptomatic of another problem that has kept the drug war going: the lack of scientific training in journalists that would allow them to discern and sort out the relevant scientific facts. Science is the most complex topic anyone can address. It doesn’t do anyone but the prohibitionists any good if journalists get the facts wrong, or that they leave out important information.

    • NorCalNative

      Servetus, cannabis is epigenetic because of it’s ability to use the ERK signaling pathway to get inside the nucleus.

      I’m still waking up and the coffee hasn’t hit yet but, I believe the specific gene is Id-1. Sean McAllister in Northern California is working on this as a part of the Sutter health care system.

  • The Meaning Of Healing: Transcending Suffering
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1466870/

    Now if you peruse the concept of healing, it is a subjective experience involving the meaning that an individual ascribes to distressing events and how it affects his or her perception of wholeness as a person.

    Healing may be defined as the personal experience of the transcendence of suffering. It is a subjective reality, meaning that it is determined by the outlook and opinion of the individual who is being “healed”.

    What NIDA defines as abuse could also be defined as the individuals attempt to heal or transcend suffering. According to NIDA, it becomes drug abuse when people use illegal or legal drugs inappropriately.

    This is (according to NIDA) the repeated use of drugs to produce pleasure, alleviate stress, and/or alter or avoid reality.

    Is this not also the goal of all medicine? It also happens to be the goal of all recreational drugs including alcohol.

    NIDA does not seem to concern itself with healing, only controlling the behavior of how an individual seeks to transcend suffering.

    When NIDA starts to have as its goal helping the individual to relieve their suffering, they may actually begin to help someone. Until then they are just an impediment to the individuals quest to relieve his own suffering. NIDA is but a tool for reforming the USA’s behavior to something more acceptable to the ruling class of corporate elites.

    Marijuana is undoubtedly the most non toxic drug on the planet. It will not cause death by overdose. It has been used safely by people for thousands of years as a medicine.

    NIDA and the DEA having control of marijuana’s use and study is no accident. These are the 2 agencies dedicated to stopping marijuana from EVER being used legally for anything.

    These two agencies should not have the authority to grant or deny the permissions for marijuana’s use and study. We have given the fox the keys to the hen house by allowing these 2 agencies to run the show.

    They run a drug war. They don’t care whether you suffer or not. Their purpose and organizational mandate is to stop marijuana, not use it for help. After 80 years of drug war, if these 2 agencies cared about the facts of marijuana’s benefits we would know them by now. We don’t because these same 2 agencies have been used to suppress the knowledge.

    While I like the article, it completely ignores the elephant in the living room.

  • PhDScientist

    For Cancer patients, for kids suffering from Seizures, and for so many others, safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana is a matter of life and death. Its critical that Marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 immediately. Please call the whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President issue and executive order to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1, to protect the health and safety of Americans that need Medical Marijuana. Ask everyone you know to call them too, and to keep calling until the President issues an executive order to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1.

    I’m a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research. The clinical evidence of the value of Marijuana as a life saving medicine is now so strong that the need to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 has become a moral imperative. Google Medical Marijuana testimonials. Google Medical Marijuana Cancer Patient Testimonials.

    This weekend over 3,000 Americans died, in pain, of Cancer. Every single day, 1,500 Americans die of Cancer after suffering horribly. it. Every single minute another American dies of Cancer. Every American Cancer patient deserves the right to have safe, legal, and economical access to Medical Marijuana. Every single one.

    Americans who need Medical Marijuana shouldn’t be used as “Political Footballs” Please call the Whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President take immediate action to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so American Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it.

    Oncologists have know it for more than a quarter of a Century that Marijuana is a “wonder drug” for helping Cancer patients
    .
    The American Society of Clinical Oncologists wants Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. So does the American Medical Association, the professional society of all Physicians. A strong majority of Americans want Physicians in all 50 states to be able to prescribe Medical Marijuana. So do their Physicians., Cancer patients can’t wait.

    The need to immediately, completely, legalize Marijuana throughout the world is one of the most pressing moral issues of our time, because of its medical benefits and because of the damage prohibition causes to America and to the world.

    Complete legalization is critical — its vital that there aren’t “strings” or “hoops” that Cancer patients and others who need Medical Marijuana are forced to jump through
    .
    “Charlottes web” is NOT the solution. Cancer patients and people who suffer from chronic pain need THC, not just CBD. The “Berkeley study”, where 96% of stage 4 Cancer patients who had a wide variety of Cancers achieved remission, used high dose Medical Marijuana oil, 72% THC, 28% CBD, 1 gram/day (oral) over a 90 day course of treatment. It was a small study, and not placebo controlled, but those kinds of results are clearly remarkable, have been widely reported on in the press, and demand the need for immediate large scale clinical trials.

    More and more present and former members of law enforcement agree about the need to end prohibition, and have formed a rapidly expanding group of current and former undercover cops, FBI, DEA, prosecutors and Judges, from all over the world, called

    LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    because they’ve seen the damage prohibition causes to America and the world.

    See http://www.leap.cc/

    I’m a Scientist. Not a politician, not a cop.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.

    Medical Marijuana helps with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Cancer, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, and has helped many Americans, including many veterans, stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.

    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.

    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.

    Cancer patients are seeing remarkable results using high dose Medical Marijuana oil, in many cases achieving complete remission, even for stage 4 cancers — there are many excellent articles on the web, and videos on youtube with patient’s personal stories about their experiences with it — and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.

    For Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases, of so many kinds, its a medical miracle — and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For Cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.
    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safer alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Between now and the 2016 elections, roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    And Its a horrible way to die.

    • DdC

      Plan A: Lower to Sch#2 = Fat Pharma$ + Keeping Prohibition$

      Oh lay it on us brother pHd. 40 years of pleading with the AMA to help kids with seizures. Just look in a 1952 dictionary. Cancer in the 70’s for Chemo patients while fat pharma diagnosed the doctors. 80’s getting remedies for AIDs fag disease according to Reagan. Before we were in the way of “legalizers”. 90’s was a no brainer if Clinton wasn’t such a Neocon. The breakthrough of the internet gives people a different source than the bias mainstream media’s doctor “excerpts” sell time for. Cops sell time as experts in medicine. While they restrict IQ’s for admittance. Now after 4 decades hurry hurry its for the kids? If it’s ok with Congress naturally. Obama can remove it, but… Plan A.

      I use that line to shame drug worriers because its true. It does reduce seizures and as the governments own banned research states it also reduces brain tumor sizes. 12,000 years of supplementing the endoCannabinoid System that intern balances all bodily systems rejuvenating cells. Same as minerals or Hemp seed nutrition supplementing what food isn’t providing and getting fuel to the immune system to ward off infections, before fat pharma gets a chance to sell anti-biotic treatments. Then cold turkey prohibition abstinence, larger fear centers, more obedient believers addicted to orders over reason.

      The Laws of Physics is the only thing that can determine the fate of Ganja. Now it is controlled by Multinational corporations buying political science legislation, rubber stamping poisons with far more debilitating side effects than Ganja. Shelving cures and preventives while research dollars go to treatments.

      No more compromises. No more incremental retardation. It does not belong as a controlled substance and should be removed in all natural un-patentable forms. If you’re itching to ban something, ban NIDA tax paid gossip keeping the kids from seizure remedies. Not kissing some politician prohibitionist profiteers butt for mercy. You have a pHd in Ganja mon? Didn’t think so Sanjay…

      Tell these courageous thugs, including the latest AG, about the poor kids not getting remedies.

      Policing for Profits Gone Wild

      Or tell Obama to remove it as a controlled substance. So we can do what we are doing, what we have been doing and what we will continue doing, regardless of greedy weasels silly rituals, lies and contempt for the people and patients. Letting them suffer because of a very bad law circumventing Medicine?

      The United States can’t be so fixed on our desire
      to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans . . . .
      Bill Clinton,
      March 1, 1993, Piscataway, N.J.
      Boston Globe, 3/2/93, page 3; and USA Today, 3/11/93

      Professionals, more of a problem, than solution?
      * Only 13% of the medical schools surveyed
      mention the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors.
      * California Cops Are Trained ‘Marijuana Is Not A Medicine’
      * The political repression of the scientific study of cannabis.

      So it seems to me if you really want to know about Ganja, you should ask the true experts. If you want to save the children, stop acting like one.

      WAMM
      The World’s Oldest Medical Cannabis Garden

    • NorCalNative

      “..For cancer patients, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angiogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.”

      PhD, I know you meant to put anti-metastatic as the fourth MAGIC WORD that cannabis uses to fight cancer.

      Anti-prolifertive
      Anti-metastatic
      Anti-angiogenic
      Apoptotic

      The 4-magic words.

      While I’m here let me thank you for your activism. I’ve seen you post on various places on the internet and know that you’re working for patients.

      However, if you read the reply by DdC, folks here mostly don’t get all warm-and-fuzzy over moving cannabis down ONE notch on the 5-point scale of congressional lunacy.

  • thelbert

    isn’t it strange that the gubbermint has no reason to study the dangers of nuclear power or climate change? just drug abuse.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Wow, National Geographic! That sure gave me a flashback. The occasion recalled in that flashback was the first time I heard Jimi Hendrix playing “Purple Haze” on the Muzak at the grocery store. I can’t even begin to verbalize just how disenfranchised and glum that event made me feel. It did amuse me that the program segued into White Christmas by Bing Crosby next. It was that time of year.

      What’s next? AARP discounts at select cannabis vendors nationwide?

  • DownUnder

    “THE Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW has given its approval to the medicinal use of cannabis at the state conference in Tamworth last week.

    In an historic move, delegates voted to pass two motions – the first from Woolomin Branch seeking CWA support for the use of medicinal marijuana, and another from Hermidale Branch seeking support for legislation to grow, manufacture and distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes”

    http://tinyurl.com/nmddu9x

    • kaptinemo

      A more important posting than the surface may intimate:

      “She searched the internet for alternative treatments and research led her to medicinal marijuana.”

      and

      “Mrs McPherson is prepared to use marijuana oil “whether I do so legally or not”.

      Mrs McPherson had a set of chest scans taken in March and will have another set done in September to track growth rates or any changes in her lung tumours.

      She will then start taking the oil and continue with regular scans to monitor any changes.

      My doctor believes the oil can either halt or reduce the size of the tumours in my lung,” she said. – (Emphasis mine – k.)

      The word is out…and, a gauntlet has been thrown down in the face of The State…who can only look like the jackbooted thugs they are if they try to stop her, who, while she lives, can still vote, as do her neighbors.

      Someone told me long ago that “When it gets personal, it gets done.” It’s ‘gotten personal’ for many who once blindly supported cannabis prohibition, but who now face personal extinction aided and abetted by that prohibition. And that’s partly why cannabis prohibition’s end will soon be ‘done’.

    • strayan

      In other home-town news, we’re now fining people for being in possession of scissors they once used to mull up:

      A 52-YEAR-OLD woman has been fined $450 in Maryborough Magistrates Court for possessing a pair of scissors. http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/drug-scissors-missed-date-cost-woman-450-fine/2628104/

      • jean valjean

        Stone- paper- scissors! The lunatics took over the asylum long ago.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        That one is from Australia. That’s a country where the police can pull people over on a whim and subject them to testing for drugs including drinking alcohol. They use an oral swab for testing the driver for cannabis. It sure looks like she wasn’t fined simply because she had a pair of scissors but rather for possession of paraphernalia. From your linked article:

        /snip/
        While she accepted the police version of events, it was stressed that it had been five months since the scissors had been used for an offense.

        /snip/
        Leanne Maree Webber appeared in court and pleaded guilty to charges of possessing anything used in the commission of a crime and contravening a direction or requirement of police.

  • Francis

    But because of years of government roadblocks on research, we don’t know nearly enough about the dangers of marijuana—or the benefits

    That’s not really even a complete thought. Obviously, we’ll never know everything about cannabis’ effects (or any other subject), so the question of whether or not we know “enough” only makes sense in the context of some particular purpose. I don’t know nearly enough about movies to be a successful film director. I know more than enough to confidently predict that “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” will not win Best Picture. (Stupid Academy politics.) Of course, where we usually hear the “we-don’t-know-enough-about-marijuana” claim is in the context of the drug warriors attempting to use it as an argument against legalization. But that argument is asinine. If I can quote myself (and I can):

    Oh, “we don’t know enough” about cannabis? Then why the hell are we arresting people for possessing it? The assertion that we somehow know comparatively little about cannabis — despite the fact that it’s one of the most-studied plants in history — is obviously absurd. But even if it weren’t, if anything, it would be an argument against criminalization. As I’ve said before, the burden of proof should always be on those who would use coercive force to restrict others’ freedom. Or maybe the next time a biologist announces he’s discovered a new plant species and comes back from the field with a specimen, we should have him immediately arrested? After all, if it’s truly a new species, we don’t know anything about it.

    Another problem with the “we-don’t-know-enough” argument is that it misses the point by focusing on the drug rather than our failed drug policies. Let’s just pretend for a moment that we didn’t know much about the effects of cannabis — that we didn’t know, for example, that it’s incapable of causing a fatal overdose, that we didn’t know of its extremely low potential for addiction, that we didn’t know that its use fails to produce the kind of violent, antisocial behavior we so often associate with alcohol intoxication, that we didn’t know of its many medical benefits — we’d still know more than enough about cannabis prohibition to recognize that policy as an unmitigated disaster.

    Finally, it seems to me that the article’s claim that we don’t know nearly enough about cannabis’ dangers is belied by the article’s actual content. Look at the second quote that Pete included:

    The U.S. leads the world in studies of marijuana’s harm, but we’re net importers of data dealing with its healing potential.

    Well, why does the U.S. lead the world in studies of marijuana’s harm? Because the drug war machine has spent God knows how many billions of dollars over the course of half a century in a desperate but failed attempt to justify its own existence. If we still don’t know “nearly enough” about cannabis’ supposed dangers, then we never will.

    • claygooding

      I have never gotten an answer from the GAO on total funds spent on harm research of marijuana,,they just send you NIDA’s latest budget pdf.

      Been asking 2>3 times per year now for 6 years.

  • Servetus

    A new marijuana pain study confirms what might be obvious were it not for government propaganda, or researchers hoping for a useful result for propaganda purposes, that people who medicate using marijuana are not likely to become gung-ho druggies:

    May 18, 2015 — PISCATAWAY, NJ — Among people who use medical cannabis for chronic pain, those who also take prescription pain medications are not at increased risk for serious alcohol and other drug involvement, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

    Although medical cannabis is being used increasingly often as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain, in many patients it is being used in conjunction with opioids. This use has raised concerns that the combination could increase the risk of patients using substances such as alcohol and other drugs as well.

    Marijuana gateway nonsense comes in many forms, requiring many different nails for its coffin.

  • generaljamashitta

    “The Free Democratic Party (German: Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP) is a liberal and classical liberal political party in Germany. The FDP is led by Christian Lindner and, until the 2013 federal election, served as the junior coalition partner to the Union (Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union) in the German federal government.”

    -wikipedia

    “The FDP wants to prove that Germans have courage,” party leader Lindner announces changes and accuses the grand coalition of political stalemate. At the conclusion of their congress, the Liberals cause an upset.” [cannabis legalization]

    This has already generated a thousand news articles since yesterday:

    http://tinyurl.com/pr7bfg9

  • Will

    OT: Sadly, this comes as no surprise. As we discuss the numerous rationales behind ending the drug war and how the American public has long been ready to see it die an overdo death, there’s this;

    Princeton University study: Public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. law.

    Here’s a brief synopsis with imbedded video;

    https://represent.us/action/theproblem-4/

    If you do a search by entering the above text in bold, you’ll be taken to various sites with pdf files containing the entire study (very long). Here’s a very brief section I pulled from the study;

    ————————

    What do our findings say about democracy in
    America? They certainly constitute troubling news for
    advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want govern-
    ments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy
    preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our
    findings indicate, the majority does not rule
    —at
    least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.

    When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites
    or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover,
    because of the strong status quo bias built into the
    U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of
    Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.
    [emphasis added]

    ————————-

    Again, no surprise here. Still, sheesh.

  • Freeman

    Speaking of imbalanced pot science, Harrumphreys seems to have assumed those responsibilities over at the Self-Serving Propaganda Based Community while Marky-Mark has apparently taken leave of the Flunky Bunch for the last few weeks.

    Of all the years of all the fallacies surrounding the medicinal properties of cannabis (schedule 1 anyone?), of course Harrumphreys just wants to talk about how it’s an unscientific “ecological fallacy” to speculate (even when presented as such — “Although they acknowledged that mechanisms underlying these relationships are speculative…” — which is more than I can say for him*) that a scientifically sound finding that “states with legalized medical marijuana and those that had longer periods of legalized medical marijuana had lower adjusted opioid analgesic mortality rates than those that did not” could possibly suggest “that medical marijuana may reduce patients’ reliance on opioid pain medications, thereby reducing their mortality risk”. Because counterintuition.

    And he’s got a fancy chart of totally “imagine”-ary (though, no doubt, not at all speculative) data to prove how it’s hypothetically (and hyperbolically too, of couse) possible that mmj users could be more at risk if it turned out that they actually OD on opioids and die as a group at a higher rate than their non-mmj using opioid-fiend counterparts, which the study he critiques did not differentiate between.

    His hypothetical suggests the possibility of some other confounding factor or factors with greater influence over the opioid overdose mortality rate in mmj vs. non-mmj states than, you know, mmj. I suppose anything is possible. Of course, being the serious scientist that he is, we shouldn’t expect him to offer speculation as to what that might plausibly be.

    * I don’t always publish speculation, but when I do, I present it as fact.
    — Dumpty Harrumphreys, the Least Interesting Man in the World.

  • Here we go.

    Hillary Clinton Campaign Begins Drafting Policy Solutions To Heroin Epidemic
    http://t.co/LMSsku1Pgh

    I hope her policy solutions are way better than Bill’s were.

    Scary.

    It would be nice to hear about new policy thinking on how to end prohibition and the drug war.

    • Instead I keep worrying about the thousands of new ASAM desks with Kevins picture on the newly painted walls that I see in my mind when Hilary talks.

    • DdC

      Drafting Policy Solutions To Heroin Epidemic…

      Discovery opens door for homemade morphine, painkillers

      Society needs to “think this through now before it becomes a reality,”

      Making homemade heroin is now as simple as brewing beer

      “We’re certainly not aiming for the illicit drugs market, that’s for sure,”

      Home-brew’ morphine from brewer’s yeast now possible: study

      The process described in Nature Chemical Biology is inefficient, requiring 300 liters of genetically engineered yeast to produce a single 30 milligram dose of morphine.

      But with improvements that are well within reach, that dose could be obtained from “a glass of yeast culture grown with sugar on a windowsill”

      “I should mention that DMT is an endogenous neurotransmitter. Yes, DMT, the most powerful of the hallucinogens occurs in the human brain as a normal part of metabolism. It also is a Schedule I drug, so you’re all holding and this might be the basis for some kind of case. To just show what absolute poppycock all this nonsense is: People Have Been Made Illegal!”
      ~ Terence McKenna

    • jean valjean

      Here’s hoping that she is challenged repeatedly throughout the campaign over her plans for the millions of non-problematic cannabis consumers. Bernie Sanders has got to be a better bet for reform of the drug laws…..

  • DdC

    Occupied America
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1960
    Princeton Study: U.S. No Longer An Actual Democracy
    Apparently, in America, in 2014, police can manhandle you, take you into custody, put you in cell & then open the door like it didn’t happen.

    “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
    ~ Frank Zappa

    Why do we never get an answer, when we’re knocking at the door? With a thousand million questions, about hate and death and war. ‘Cause when we stop and look around us, there is nothing that we need. In a world of persecution, that is burning in its greed.
    The Moody Blues

  • My post was automatically added as a link within the comments here, but for your convenience and logically needed emphasis, I paste some of it here (from my Respect Cannabis campaign introduction, if you’re interested in reading more)…

    Upon scrutiny of aforementioned prohibitionist claims against cannabis use (including following their citations to the actually-non-supportive and supposed science behind their tough-talking affirmations), I can safely state the fact that no experimental science proves any harm from moderate cannabis use. Moderate in this case means any use without objectively proven harm – as opposed to the suggestively possible harm from what appears to be science, but demonstrably fails to meet all of the key factors obviously required by the scientific method – intake method differential, precise intake amount, and strain differential.

    A dramatically wide variety of different cannabis strains (i.e. different perception-altering effects) are available by professional cannabis growers, so choosing a strain (or combination – i.e. “salad” – of them for more texture and depth) is basically on par with choosing music from the enormous ocean of musical possibilities.

    To briefly return to the aforementioned scientific failing (actually a serious scientific challenge to be fair), given the possibly enormous psychological impact of cannabis intake, failing to scientifically differentiate between that enormous array of strains is scientifically reckless (intentionally or not) when psychological factors matter.

    To sufficiently understand the current supposedly scientific environment surrounding cannabis’ psychological impact, feel free to imagine a study suggesting that music may be harmful (or beneficial, if you prefer).

    Emphasis on the words “suggesting” and “may” (not to mention “can”) reflect that cannabis-use science only achieves that weak degree of reporting (often, if not always, including disclaimers stating that more research is needed). Not to belabor the point, but contrast those weak conclusions against the tough-talking affirmations deceptively (including journalistically) broadcasted for generations at the expense of non-violent cannabis users and their loved ones – merely for the serious financial benefit of those sanctioned thugs selfishly deceptively expressing those affirmations.

    Metaphorical study participants listened to whatever music they wanted (or had access to), so the effects of classical and death metal are equal (for prime example) in accordance with research logistics. Obviously the psychological impact from classical through death metal is different, at least according to common sense, so condemning that research as junk science is already fitting. However, also fitting is considering the remaining scientific factors in our music study metaphor, so you can truly understand how seriously distant current cannabis research involving psychological impact remains from worthy scientific credibility for proper public utility (especially with logically mandatory respect for the healthy societal flexibility that only comes from optimal liberty by law).

    In our music study metaphor, that psychological impact not only depends upon sonic variations, but also listener uniqueness. Also note that one person’s harmony is another person’s dissonance (e.g. classical music is not always more pleasing). Moreover, volume differences matter, as does differences between not only speaker systems, but also between listening environments. As cannabis intake amounts are never precisely measured, but instead too-often measured in “joints” (or such), which is highly inaccurate (e.g. joint size is not always precisely measured, and consistency applied to the contents of those joints is not always applied), even the amount of music listening is equally inaccurately assessed.

    Our music study metaphor is terribly accurate when compared to the state of cannabis research pertaining to psychological impact these days, and now you understand (repeating for emphasis) that the scientific community has yet to achieve scientific results (towards the psychological impact of cannabis use) worthy of public consideration (nonetheless the application of liberty-infringing law). In other words, cannabis science (like brain science in general) is within its very early stages, so empirical data in the form of millions (if not billions) of people using cannabis for thousands of years overwhelmingly (if not completely) without that use causing (not just questionably associated with) direct rights infringement – i.e. objectively proven harm – should justly prevail to sanely prevent cannabis illegality (and the demonstrated mass harm from the aforementioned law madness).

    Fittingly echoing an earlier point for similar emphasis, though prohibition has demonstrated no conclusively proven decline (even slightly) of cannabis use/abuse over the past several decades of enforcement, prohibition grossly hinders scientific pursuit to better understand this complex plant for better societal health. Wonderful people involved in actual science, but not junk science inevitably skewed by abusing grant money or such to serve a selfish agenda, are not to blame for the aforementioned serious lacking of key scientific factors involving cannabis’ psychological impact. For actual public safety, prohibition must immediately end at least for this scientific reason alone.

  • jean valjean

    Iran ramps up the drug war by doubling the number of executions for drug convictions….Yuri Fedotov looks on with approval….

    “In February, Yury Fedotov, executive director of UNODC, championed what he described as the anti-drug efforts Iran has made over the decades. He added that UNODC and Iran were partnering in the fight against drugs in the region.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/18/iran-drug-executions_n_7269908.html

    • kaptinemo

      Fedotov was a Communist. And the Communists in Russia have the blood of tens of millions of their own people on their hands…not to mention the blood of those citizens in the Captive Nations they controlled at the time.

      Fedotov was a member of the Communist Party. The same CP that presided over the deaths of those millions. By quota, no less. So far as I know, he never repudiated – or left – it, for those scores of millions it murdered.

      For the UN to choose Fedotov was a message for illicit drug consumers. A very clear one. And with generational support for re-legalization clearly on the rise in both Developed and Developing nations, it is a message the UN is already wishing it had not sent.

      • jean valjean

        Part of Fedotov’s job description is “protecting youth from drug addiction.”
        His strategy for achieving this is to hand over the distribution of illegal drugs to criminal organizations. That represents “protection” in Yuri’s scheme. Of course, what he primarily wants to protect is his own job security, and everything that goes with it like chaffeur-driven limos, diplomatic immunity and luxury housing in Vienna.

    • cy klebs

      They must of paid a mint to rent a berth on that train, and we all pay the salary of those gutless wonders. Allow me please to second the the desire to abolish that DEA agency.

  • Servetus

    Jeremy Daw has an article at AlterNet (May 16, 2015) entitled “The Catholic Church’s Surprisingly Central Role in the Idiotic Idea of Drug Prohibition ” in which he asks “What does St. Teresa de Avila have to do with the origins of drug prohibition?” And he answers “More than you might imagine.”

    I’m forced to take the side of St. Teresa on this one. Ms. Teresa could talk herself into a natural high, which Mr. Daw sees as typifying the Catholic religion’s approach to conscious mysticism, in that it defends its own autonomic high against that more easily achieved using drugs such as marijuana, peyote and ayahuasca. It’s not St. Teresa’s fault, necessarily. She was just following the existing protocol. The Vatican itself, not its flying nuns, deserves blame for the current drug war because it never fully abolished its inquisitorial agenda. Catholic Canon Law # 1369 remains in effect:

    A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.

    Drug enforcement is supposed to be a health issue, but Canon Law # 1369 ignores health completely, focusing instead on punishment for perceived sins. The Vatican sees illicit drug consumption as harming “public morals”, not just its own morals. It can thereby justify calling for the persecution of non-Catholics who defy the Vatican’s morals, a direct violation of separation of church and state. It gets worse. The following is from Part Five of the Directives, “Issues in care for the seriously ill and dying”:

    61…Since a person has a right to prepare for his or her death while fully conscious, he or she should not be deprived of consciousness without a compelling reason. Medicines capable of alleviating or suppressing pain and suffering may be given to a dying person, even if the therapy may indirectly shorten a person’s life so long as the intent is not to hasten death. Patients experiencing suffering that cannot be alleviated should be helped to appreciate the Christian understanding of redemptive suffering.

    Redemptive suffering, yeah, right. Anytime the clergy can’t figure out how to relieve human misery, the suffering becomes redemptive. Ultimately, women are denied abortions that could save their life. People deprived of sinful marijuana as a cancer treatment get to feel redeemed as they puke their guts out. Hooray!

    The religious beliefs behind the world’s drug madness are vital to the argument when extreme Catholics such as former drug czars Bill Bennett and John Walters are directing the ONDCP, or when Bill O’Reilly and other strong Catholic talking heads at Fox News address drug topics and the drug war. Jeb Bush, a declared hardcore converted Catholic, is expected to run for president in 2016. The same problem likely emerges for Mormons and members of Baha’i like Kevin Sabet, as well. In all cases their first priority concerns archaic morals, not health, so they feel justified, redeemed even, for rejecting marijuana for medical use.

    • kaptinemo

      St. Teresa may have experienced a kundalini awakening…and that would certainly explain why the modern Church is so down on anything consciousness-expanding.

      Why bother with ritual and dogma, trying in vain to have a cheap, plastic approximation of a mystical experience, when you can have the real deal?

    • jean valjean

      Christopher Hitchens, before he had his own right-wing conversion, wrote an excellent book on another Teresa (the appropriately named “Mother”), called The Missionary Position in which he describes her obsessive and sadistic interest in “redemptive suffering.” He also reveals her cosying up to dictators like the Duvalliers and her willingness to solicit donations from anyone, regardless of how the money was obtained. This from Wiki:

      ‘”She was also criticised for her view on suffering. She felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus. At a press conference during her October 1981 visit to Washington D.C, Mother Teresa stated, “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”‘
      No doubt America’s 1 % loved her for that.

  • kaptinemo

    OT: Came across a new book with an interesting title: The Secrets of Medicinal Marijuana: A Guide for Patients and Those Who Care For Them

    The author’s bio. And it looks like she’s already been published before.

    Another example of the Boomers coming out of the cannabis closet now that the nest is empty. More impetus for reform. More political leverage. More activism.

    And, just as many of us have said all along, cannabis has a historically-verifiable spiritual aspect often glossed over in favor of its more easily proven tangible benefits. But, I contend, the spiritual viewpoint is no less valid, if only from the argument of religious freedom.

    Her voice is joining a chorus rising in volume, arguing from a spiritual position. (This guy is Chris Bennett who really knows his stuff, and is probably one of the premier cannabis historians on the planet, it’s worth a few minutes of your time.) It just gets better and better…

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    The prohibitionist “research” “scientists” have been disappointed for decades that no one was worried about getting man teats. Well now they’ve upped the ante. The latest “research” suggests that cannabis use during puberty may result in a case of teeny weenie peenie, perhaps as much as 4 inches! Wow! I didn’t know before now that they actually do “research” studies in Pakistan. This one goes into the “Itsy bitsy short and creamy” category:

    Marijuana use linked to earlier puberty, stunted growth in boys

    /snip/
    Dr. Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi of the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan, says their study is the first to analyze the effects of marijuana use among pubescent boys.

    Wow, the last time that anyone made fun of my naughty parts was either in 8th or 9th grade. Hey, I was a late bloomer!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Rats, I should know better than shape my opinion based on a headline. My bad. But I do wonder, how the heck does Dr. Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi explain Kareem Abdul Jabbar? Would he have been 7’7″ if he hadn’t been a friend of 420?

    • Boys who smoke cannabis ‘are four inches shorter’ http://tinyurl.com/kaqwsdd

      Sticking up for you Duncan, they didn’t say where they were shorter.

      They still sentence drug offenders to death in Pakistan, they just haven’t been following through with it very often
      http://tinyurl.com/me3u68r (see page 32).

      My guess is if they have these kinds of penalties, studying marijuana for its benefits is probably not popular there either.

      Pakistani reefer madness is my best guess.

      • DdC

        Four inches shorter?

        The NBA doesn’t test for marijuana in the offseason for a good reason: approximately 90% of the NBA’s players smoke cannabis on a regular basis.

        If they tested for pot, there would be no league.

      • kaptinemo

        Isn’t it interesting the prohibs always seem to focus on sex?

        “Weed makes men grow boobs!” (Nope)

        “Weed makes men impotent!” (Nuh-uh)

        “Weed shrinks up men’s willies!” (Oh, puh-lease)

        And, of course, they want to hire people to watch kids pee in bottles.

        Sick, sick people…

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I’ve got to admit that after reading “their study is the first to analyze…pubescent boys” it made me wonder if NAMBLA sponsored the research.

          I’m kind of shocked that nobody thought that perhaps this was just the Pakistanis kissing the asses of America to mitigate the damage done to the relationship between the two countries by Pakistan’s (unofficial) support of the Taliban.

          Regardless, this “scientific” “study” belongs in the “fiction posing as fact” category.

  • cy klebs

    I hope its just my imagination but is Hillary Clinton inclined to nominate Kevin Sabet or someone like him, to the supreme court?

    • jean valjean

      Perish the thought. Sabet’s young enough to be imposing his will on the country for the next half-century.

    • kaptinemo

      Google the following:

      June 6 2008 Chantilly Virginia

      and understand the meeting was about insuring that those banksters they met with, the ones that trashed the world economy, would not be punished.

      Recall what Hillary said about ‘there being too much money in it’ (prohibition) to re-legalize. A Freudian slip if ever there was one. She was channeling Her (Bankster) Master’s voice.

      A large part of the operations of the banksters is drug money laundering. The lion’s share from that is cannabis. Hillary is as beholden to the banksters as is Obama, as was Junior, as was Billy Boy, as was…you get the hint.

      The massive numbers of the electorate who want cannabis legal again…arrayed against the special interests that don’t. Special interests who know they are on the knife’s-edge if the facts about their complicity become comon knowledge.

      Special interests that know they are responsible for mass deaths around the world (recall what happened in the Middle East and the ‘Arab Spring”; people have died in ‘economic upsets’ in places where there are no ‘economic safety nets’ just as they have died from prohib bullets). And that there a quite a few who know the truth about their perfidy.

      Do they really want to have the mask protecting them ripped away? Do they really want to face what happens after that? Trying to stop cannabis law reform will expose them. It will remove that mask and show the corruption that mask had covered…and identify its wearer as an Enemy of Humanity.

      Any wonder why President Wilson’s Money Power are getting desperate, and hedging their bets? Any wonder why Hillary is being so coy? They are trying to figure out how they can avoid that possibility of discovery and still maintain the status quo.

      Who will win? My Money’s on The People. There’s vastly more of us than there are banksters.

  • DdC

    Help Save WAMM!
    http://norml.org/news/2015/05/20/help-save-wamm

    WAMM: The World’s Oldest Medical Cannabis Garden
    http://hightimes.com/view/wamm-worlds-oldest-medical-cannabis-garden

    TESTIMONIAL FROM DR. LESTER GRINSPOON,
    PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
    AND AUTHOR OF MARIJUANA: THE FORBIDDEN MEDICINE

    “For more than two decades, WAMM has provided the world’s best working model of a truly compassionate medical cannabis collective. WAMM has also brought healing, relief and integrative care to thousands of chronically and terminally ill members—many who otherwise could not afford this medicine—while helping pass America’s first statewide medical marijuana law. They’ve even survived a DEA raid, and successfully sued the federal government in response. Please join me in supporting WAMM and Valerie Corral, so this world-class, truly grassroots organization can continue their invaluable work.”

    WAMM
    http://www.wamm.org/

    Inside the Remote Farm That Supplies WAMM – 04/17/00
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/611

    #SaveWAMM campaign has sprouted up to raise funds and help secure the future of an organization that represents the true compassionate roots of the medical marijuana movement.

    Since 1993, the WAMM medical marijuana garden in Santa Cruz, California has been growing free outdoor organic cannabis for chronically and terminally ill patients who could not otherwise afford medicine.

    But now, after more than 20 years of service to the community, WAMM is facing the loss of the land where their garden grows and, with it, the end of a collective that hundreds of people depend on to help them survive and heal—including those suffering from cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, HIV/AIDS, pediatric epilepsy and many other serious conditions.

    • kaptinemo

      Sent them some moolah. And to think that ‘Justice’ Scalia branded them as some kind of hippie commune in Raich.

      That’s the kind of malevolent, prideful, sneering ignorance we face…and are defeating.

      But we must not stop, there. The attitude that was allowed to be inculcated into law enforcement (and politics!) that anything went, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, so long as it was to ‘save the kiddies’ must also be defeated. For it’s the same attitude that condones corruption as well as police brutality.

      That attitude catered to a generation who resented being forced having to put away their prejudices, and used the DrugWar as an extension of ‘Jim Crow’ laws. But, like they, themselves, the DrugWar’s days are numbered.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        On the other hand, in his dissent to the decision in Raich, Justice Clarence Thomas said:

        Justice Thomas also wrote a separate dissent, stating in part:

        Respondent’s local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not “Commerce … among the several States.”

        Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that “commerce” included the mere possession of a good or some personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana.

        and

        If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers – as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause – have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to “appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce.”

        and further:

        If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.”

    • NorCalNative

      Thanks for the heads up DdC, I did what I could.

  • DownUnder

    “This is a win for our company, for the Norfolk Island community and further creates a new Australian export industry with substantial growth potential,” Darby said.

    “We can feasibly expect this will become a multimillion dollar export industry by 2016.”

    Norfolk Island’s health minister, Robin Adams, said it was a valuable economic opportunity for the territory.

    “We are working with AusCann to ensure strict growing and security requirements are in place,” the minister said.

    http://tinyurl.com/mew527s

    • claygooding

      It makes one wonder if the citizens around the world will allow governments and corporations to keep this plant prohibited while they make money from it,,it is what WA and now OR are working towards and this can be stopped by simply demanding the right too grow our own.

      The long expensive path is the one TX is headed down,,the legislature admitted marijuana was medicine by passing a worthless CBD bill that is going to bite them in their ass in the courts,,,jurors know marijuana is medicine now and getting a conviction for anyone using it as medicine just got a hell of a lot tougher.

      Without the right for every human being to produce natures bounty by our own hands it is still prohibition.

      • kaptinemo

        Indeed, and I personally do not support any legislation that does not allow for home-growing.

        This is what comes of allowing public employees, almost always prohibs, to declare themselves ‘stakeholders’ as if they were legislators, themselves, with a role to play in crafting said legislation. They don’t want home-grow as that deteriorates their (perceived) level of control that much more…and it puts more power back in the hands of the people.

        Such no-home-grow clauses are usually the work of such uppity employees, invariably professional prohibs, who are engaging in the equivalent of maiming a baby in the crib so it can never walk right.

        As reform advances, a very public showdown will eventually have to take place in which the public servants who would be masters will be publicly reminded of their true status. And it will happen fairly soon.

  • darkcycle

    PhD Scientist is getting his wish….I am officially predicting re-scheduling will occur Before or as Obama leaves office. How do I know this?
    A little birdie tweeted it in my ear: https://twitter.com/CLEARUK/status/600627916607721472/photo/1
    Peter Reynolds is my little birdie.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I’ll be shocked if anything other than CBD (Epidiolex(r)) gets FDA approval and re-scheduled to lower than schedule III. But so far everything redarding Epidiolex(r) is consistent with my pet theory that the Feds are highly motivated to preventing children with extreme cases of epilepsy from becoming poster children for medical marijuana.

      Did I mention that GW trademarked Epidiolex in July of 2013 and that to the best of my knowledge wasn’t ever mentioned by the company before then? Well I hadn’t heard any rumblings about moving the executive offices to the US before today. To me the big question is “are they going to move the grow to the U.S.?”

      From the company press release:

      GW Appoints Senior Industry Executive to President, North America and Relocates CEO to the U.S.
      U.S. Operations to be Located in Southern California
      May 19, 2015

      /snip/
      Dr. Geoffrey Guy, GW’s Chairman stated, “As Epidiolex(R) nears its final stages of clinical development and as GW prepares for future U.S. launch, the time is right to start building our in-house U.S. commercial infrastructure. Julian’s deep experience at building and running a major U.S. pharmaceutical business built on specialty products will be complemented by the relocation of Justin to the U.S. with his intimate knowledge of GW, its products and pipeline. Together, they will spearhead GW’s growth in the U.S. and help to bring much needed new treatments to patients.”

      “I am very excited about building a meaningful commercial presence in the U.S. for GW. As exemplified by Epidiolex, a potentially important new treatment in the field of pediatric epilepsy, GW’s products, if approved, offer the prospect of making a meaningful difference to patients’ lives,” said [Senior Industry Executive Julian] Gangolli.

  • Servetus

    Colombia’s president recently banned the use of glyphosphate and other cancer-causing herbicides from being used to eradicate coca. In its place, he’s considering employing biological warfare by using Tussock Moth caterpillars that like to munch on coca leaves, while presumably leaving other plants alone.

    Ecological studies are being conducted to determine if the bug might pose an adverse impact on Colombia’s environment. In the meantime, coca growers will have an opportunity to find a suitable insecticide, or another insect that likes to eat Tussock Moth caterpillars, or they will breed a new type of coca plant that is naturally resistant to the caterpillar. The prohibs will never learn they can’t win.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Well I knew this day would come. Quite frankly I’m impressed with how long it took.

    4 pot stores sold marijuana to underage buyers in state sting

    /snip/
    “We recognize this is a new industry. Any news of this will spike compliance — that’s how compliance checks work,” Smith said.

    Smith recommended stores double-check IDs.

    “People do make mistakes … they don’t do the math correctly,” Smith said.

    When the LCB does checks for alcohol, Smith said, between 85 and 92 percent of sellers are in compliance.
    /snip/

    4/22=18.182% I wonder, how many drinking alcohol vendors do they target in compliance checks? Some how I think its a heckuva lot larger number of those vendors. It matters because had the number caught been 3 it would have been 13.636% That’s a 4.546% swing just changing one yes to no. Not that it matters to the sycophants of prohibition.

    This news guarantees that the constant whining, wailing, and gnashing of teeth is going to be significantly more high pitched than normal. I think we’ll be begging for fingernails on a blackboard before the weekend. Smart people should make use of some kind of prophylaxis to prevent inner ear injury. I highly recommend the silicon earplugs which are frequently sold to swimmers who are prone to swimmer’s ear. They’re inexpensive and re-usable.

    Does anyone know how many cannabis vendors were caught selling cannabis to the under aged when the market was using the prohibitionist preferred black market distribution chain? Wasn’t that number zero?

    Does everyone remember that there are exactly 4 States and 1 Federal District which have codified cannabis for enjoyment an age restricted product? All right, who here needs all 3 guesses to verbalize those 5 names?

    • Matthew Meyer

      I used to think legalization would mean the collapse of the political / social / moral will to fight cannabis.

      Now I wonder if Roe v Wade isn’t a more apt way to think of the situation: more than 40 years later, it’s still a battle in the trenches to restrict access by any means necessary.

      • kaptinemo

        But the facade necessary to camouflage the real justification for prohibition is being cut down by the Grim Reaper. As the facade falls away, the self-serving prohibs are exposed for what they are.

        And as we can see, the prohibs are getting more and more desperate. They’ve realized that they failed to indoctrinate the next generation of taxpayers, who want cannabis legal again, signaling the end of prohibition, and have tried a ‘Hail Mary’ ploy (the OK/NE lawsuit) to keep the gravy train going.

        Far too many of those who swore an oath to the public have violated that oath, repeatedly. Indeed, they have killed innocents in their mad pursuit of a chimera, a ‘drug free’ Utopia. And now they seek to strip ALL of us of our rights to vote for what we will.

        In my lexicon, treason seems to fit this situation very aptly.

        Lincoln was right:

        ” At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

        At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide. (Emphasis mine – k.)

        Drug prohibition is creating that very danger Lincoln warned us of. We see it all about us, in events like OWS, Ferguson and Baltimore, etc. Let us heed his warning, and be the author of prohibition’s destruction, instead of it being the author of ours.

        • Windy

          And Lincoln was the first to start that danger to “spring up amongst us” with his complete rejection of the Constitution to start his war, the most illegal and bloodiest war in the history of these uSofA.

  • Bloodbath

    “I can foresee big problems ahead if they implement such laws.”

    –Loh Taun

    http://tinyurl.com/onq4t3y

    • kaptinemo

      The intelligent warn against repeating the tragedies of History…while the stupid are busily making them. Human nature, I suppose…

  • Servetus

    Two DEA agents have been busted for failing under oath to inform the federal government that they owned and incompetently ran the sleaziest strip club in New Jersey:

    May 21, 2015 — South Hackensack, New Jersey — Once Drug Enforcement Agency employees Glen Glover and David Polos appeared before a judge, the damning charges against them were spelled out: how they both allegedly failed to mention under oath to the federal government that they had any part as owners and managers of this seedy jiggle joint; how they employed women who were not legally permitted to work in the United States; how these women performed sex acts in exchange for money at the club[…]

    “Most of the dancers were undocumented immigrants from either Brazil or Russia,” the complaint states. This was a well-known secret[…]

    One dancer from Brazil was apparently given a chance to work double shifts “in order to pay back the smugglers who arranged for her unlawful entry into the United States,” according to the complaint.

    According to Special Agents Glover and Polos, drugs are bad, but human trafficking is okay, despite the following condemnation of human trafficking from the UNODC, which has assumed a purview over the crime:

    Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol).

    • B. Snow

      Thanks for covering this one, I watched a segment about this on “The Last Word /w Lawrence O’Donnell” – (a last night = a few hrs ago)…

      And, I had to come check & see if anyone caught the news story = But, I had to catch up on my reading (a few posts/threads worth) So, it took some time… I’d decided a to take a break from ‘the net’ for awhile.

      TBH, I’m not sure how “back” I am really just yet = but if the Prohib-Idiots heads start *exploding* like I’m thinking they will (TX passed a pseudo-mmj bill FFS!)

      Stuff is about to get “cray-cray” around here, possibly *just “cray”* (OT: sorry ‘The Nightly Show’ is rubbing off & melting into our collective lexicon and I’m digging nearly all of if so far! Related OT: here’s to hoping that James Corden keeps improving & that Stephen Colbert rocks it right outta the gate in Sept. = being a night owl, the late/over-night programming on TV is entering a new era, And its been effecting me more than I thought it would.)

      These are some “Interesting Times” my friends, on many levels & to a greater extent than I’ve ever conciously/knowingly lived thru = These are *interesting times* indeed.

      Don’t forget your towel folks, this could be one helluva trip. So, everybody buckle-in, hold on, and don’t panic, Because – I’m pretty damn sure that was the Improbablity Drive that just kicked in!

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I doubt the loyal opposition will ever approach the level of hysterical stupidity of the enemies of freedom peculiar to the issue of elective abortions. That debate has been going on for at least 3000 years. I know that because it was mentioned in the Hippocratic Oath…the one actually written by Hippocrates. Just FYI he was against.

    But to a lesser degree there’s no doubt in my mind that the cannabis law debate will continue for decades upon decades into the future. There’s no reason to believe that the prohibs are going to stray far from their strategy of by hook or by crook using every trick in the book. But we’ve got the advantage of truth and we’re blessed because the prohibitionists are brain dead idiots. (No offense to brain dead idiots in general is intended by that assertion.) But IMO the issue is the same for both controversies. It’s all about self ownership. I am not the property of the United States of America.

    People really like to put words in Thomas Jefferson’s mouth, now don’t they? Well here’s one from some old white dude who wasn’t Thomas Jefferson:

    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either form human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.”

    ~~ American Abolitionist and liberal activist Wendell Phillips speaking to members of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on January 28, 1852.

    While it appears that Mr. Phillips probably wasn’t the first to use the “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” phrase I’m pretty sure that the rest of it was his.

    But speaking of hooks, crooks and the tricks in the book:

    22 Pharmacists, Doctors Arrested in DEA’s Drug Abuse Crackdown

    Those people are starting to really scare me. It’s sure starting to look like the DEA is completely out of control. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • thelbert

      finally, the dea puts some teeth in the Hippocratic oath.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Ha! Now that’s just plain funny!

        Of course that poor man is confusing the Hippocratic Oath with the Hypocritic Oath. But doesn’t everybody know that prohibitionist “thinking” is suspect at best when a word they use has more than 3 syllables? Didn’t you know that it’s much, much harder to make a multisyllabic word mean what you prefer it to mean?
        ——————————-
        Here’s one from the “I hope I die before I get old” category:
        Roger Daltrey Suffers Vocal Issues Due To Marijuana Smoke

        No need to hope Roger baby, there’s always suicide. Couldn’t he get one of those bubble boy pods so he doesn’t have to inhale all that nasty merrywanna smoke? I mean, cannabis smoked at a rock’n’roll concert…who’da thunk it possible?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      ^^^^My post directly above was supposed to be a response to Matthew Meyer’s post above that.

  • generaljamashitta

    “The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans’ access to medical marijuana.

    The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients.”

    http://tinyurl.com/k47mamp

    • claygooding

      “”The 18-12 vote represents “the first time we’ve ever won a vote on a positive marijuana reform measure in the Senate,” quoth Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell.
      Most amazing of all, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voted for the measure.””

      Jaw on the floor is an understatement,,we have been calling for CA voters to get off their asses and remove the wicked witch of the west for nearly 2 decades because of her support for anything drug war and fighting every marijuana reform bill she had any input on.

      Bitch still needs to go.

      • Windy

        Here’s the votes:
        ROLL CALL VOTE

        Republicans
        Cochran, Thad (MS) – NO
        McConnell, Mitch (KY) – NO, by proxy
        Shelby, Richard C. (AL) – NO, by proxy
        Alexander, Lamar (TN) – YES, by proxy
        Collins, Susan M. (ME) – NO
        Murkowski, Lisa (AK) – YES
        Graham, Lindsey (SC) – NO
        Kirk, Mark (IL) – NO
        Blunt, Roy (MO) – NO, by proxy
        Moran, Jerry (KS) – NO
        Hoeven, John (ND) – NO, by proxy
        Boozman, John (AR) – NO, by proxy
        Capito, Shelley Moore (WV) – NO
        Cassidy, Bill (LA) – YES, by proxy
        Lankford, James (OK) – NO
        Daines, Steve (MT) – YES

        Democrats
        Mikulski, Barbara A. (MD) – YES
        Leahy, Patrick J. (VT) – YES, by proxy
        Murray, Patty (WA) – YES, by proxy
        Feinstein, Dianne (CA) – YES
        Durbin, Richard J. (IL) – YES
        Reed, Jack (RI) – YES, by proxy
        Tester, Jon (MT) – YES
        Udall, Tom (NM) – YES
        Shaheen, Jeanne (NH) – YES, by proxy
        Merkley, Jeff (OR) – YES
        Coons, Christopher A. (DE) – YES, by proxy
        Schatz, Brian (HI) – YES
        Baldwin, Tammy (WI) – YES
        Murphy, Christopher (CT) – YES

        Final result
        18 YES – 12 NO

        • thelbert

          i think dianne is follwng the herd in this instance. i’m guessing she’s a confirmed alky, like nixon. seems the democrats are loving the veterans more, though.

      • DdC

        Last Term For Dianne Feinstein? 11.22.13

        Retiring In ’18? The 81-year-old Feinstein, (D-CA), who is currently the oldest member of the Senate, (June 22, 1933) hinted on Thursday (11.21.13) that her current term may be her last on Capitol Hill.

        Diane Feinstein – the best argument for term limits
        http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/373

  • The Ballad of Lucky the Mouse

    Fellow taters, the white lab mouse heading the cover of the TIME issue is the off-spring of a famous lab critter.

    LUCKY THE LAB MOUSE

    You get seniority
    if death you can’t avoid
    the lab was up to me
    I chose cannabinoids
    heard it’s a fun house
    where a little lab mouse
    can par-tay

    Pass that new compound
    over to me, doc
    Then I’ll run around
    you can punch the clock
    I ain’t cynical
    life’s a clinical trial
    for mouse or man

    I’ll do anything
    science might require
    balance on a ring
    or swing on a wire
    and it gives me pleasure
    to let you measure me
    après le work-out

    Or I can play control
    knock down placebo
    respond to heat or cold
    As if I didn’t know
    just to confuse ’em
    and amuse ol’ Lucky
    c’est moi

    Mazes don’t faze me
    unless I’m depressed
    Or is it just ennui?
    for that you never test
    Real or synthetic
    speed or anesthetic
    try me on your

    calming CBDs
    aromatic terpenes
    Blue designer jeans
    White THCV
    any delivery
    system suits me
    je suis Lucky

    But one thing I don’t want
    Cause man I live to eat
    No Rimonabant*
    Don’t touch my appetite
    just let me nibble your
    cannabigiberol

    Just let me nibble, nibble, nibble
    your cannabigiberol.

    Song by Fred Gardner, contributor to O’Shaugnessy’s, The Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice.

    *Rimonabant was used as a diet aid in Europe before the suicide numbers got too high and it was pulled off the market. It worked by blocking the endocannabinoid system.

    • additional

      “Shortly after market introduction, press reports and independent studies suggested that side effects occurred more intensely and more commonly than had been found by the manufacturer in their clinical studies. Reports of severe depression and suicidal thoughts were frequent. As the drug’s target CB1 receptors are fairly ubiquitous throughout the central nervous system, it is not currently understood where the inverse agonist is acting to cause these side-effects.”

      –Wikipedia

      • kaptinemo

        Recall how some nut-case prohibs wanted to make an ‘anti-drug’ vaccine for kids?

        The only way it could possibly work is to interfere with the endorphin centers in the brain. (Which, BTW, are tied to learning.)

        Since the endocannabinoid system appears tied to the endorphins, if such a vaccine were actually used, the victim would probably be facing the same conditions as those Rimonabant casualties. Or worse, they might become vicious murderers, intent on vengeance against all society for having been made unable to feel any pleasure…thanks to some prohib’s twisted Neo-Puritanical wet-dream, and abdication of parental responsibilities.

        And I wouldn’t blame them one bit.

        And the prohibs cheerily politicked for it. Like I said above, these people are sick.

        • B. Snow

          I’ve read about the want for this sort of “anti-buzz vaccine” pitched as an addiction cure generally for alcoholics and/or the -anything they can get their hands on- “addict”…

          This sounds like the diet drug they tried to make based on (more or less) the opposite of Anandamide, maybe a receptor agonist or something like that.

          Its very complex & seems extremely dangerous = That they would even think about creating a (potential) monster like this is disturbing & scary. But it appears that there are people working on a number of potential “anti-drug vaccines” as we speak… WTF is wrong with these authoritarian control-freaks?

          [OT: I was going to question your concept of a “Neo-Puritanical wet-dream”, then I realized, Nevermind – that makes total sense..]

          As for anti-drug vaccines it appears that there are plenty of sane people arguing against the concept of such things, And crazy moralistic wackos = Comparing an anti-cocaine vaccine to a Hepatitis B vaccine…

          Apparently believing that they and their families aren’t going to be at risk of contracting HepB & therefore wouldn’t need the vaccine = Because they’re not IV drug users & would never have premarital or unsafe sex of any sort, EVER!

          Yeah, go ahead and see how that works out – your college kid may *get their bell rung* and catch a wicked buzz, But that isn’t permanent – Hepatitis is an entirely different animal, there’s no ‘rehab’ to send them off to for that –

          Some folks will never learn, or only learn shit the hard way… *sigh*

  • kaptinemo

    “Most amazing of all, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voted for the measure.””

    DiFi is a career pol. She wouldn’t side with us when we needed her, but now, with the political wind shifting, soon you’ll hear all about how she was always in favor of MMJ.

    See what happens when we become the majority? As was predicted here long ago, the opportunistic pols who once sneered at us now will want to sound like reformers, and ride the bandwagon.

    Fine. She can sit in the back of the bus. But these dweebs always try to reach for the steering wheel, and act as if they were the font of wisdom and we should let them drive.

    Not this time. Not this time. After all these long hard decades, we have arrived, with little help (and tremendous resistance) from the established Parties. It was after 2012 the career pols began to take us seriously. And now, reading the political writing on the wall, saying that the electorate wants cannabis legal again, they want to be ‘buddies’? After supporting policies that led to the necessity for the Drug War Victims memorial page?

    Time to examine your local pol’s voting records for the past 5 years regarding this issue, and see if you want them for company.

    • claygooding

      Leaving a prohibitch in office is leaving a time bomb in the bottom of the barrel as can easily be seen where politicians take over a voter initiative and those still in office take every opportunity to mangle any reform,,medical or recreational.

      Prohibition will take decades too end beyond any government reforming of marijuana laws because of any that stay in power.

      If your legislators,,state and federal,,have supported the war on drugs and they went to college then there is a 70% chance they have used marijuana and knew they were supporting a lie the entire time,,,fuck them,,epiphany not allowed.

  • Irie

    Well…..they threw Illionisions a bone……its better, but they still aren’t there yet…..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/21/illinois-marijuana-decriminalization_n_7401336.html

  • claygooding

    Feds Plan To Ban Biker Gangs From Wearing Logos

    http://tinyurl.com/kqb4kq3

    Federal law enforcement plans to fight back against biker gangs by banning them from wearing group logo patches on their jackets. Claiming that “the logo itself furthers a criminal enterprise,” prosecutors say that groups like the Mongols Nation should have the rights to their group’s logo seized by the federal government.’snip’

    The replacements for marijuana criminals is in the works,,w/o “patches” gangs become harder to monitor and every biker on the road can be treated as an outlaw biker,,but then law enforcement wouldn’t do that would they?

    • primus

      This has no chance of passing, and if it does, the courts will immediately overturn it because it is an infringement on free speech. As to how the power of the bikers will be reduced by taking away their colors, as the police are quoted saying, I call BS.

      • darkcycle

        They might have something. Those symbols are already protectd by trademark. Hells Angels is like Disney when it comes to sueing to protect the death’s head.
        If they are able to pull those trademarks and re-file them, they can the arrest any bikers wearing them. They will do it in ones and twos and it will all be over. They then take the patches as evidence, whether they charge the biker with trade mark infringement or not.
        Remember you can write “Coca Cola” all day long, just don’t use their script or a red background with a white stripe.
        And as a biker and a club member, if they take the patch, they take the power.
        The patch serves more purposes than just identification. It serves the same purpose as a unifom and insignia does in the Military. It lets the other club members know just exactly how much to trust another member. It is a recruiting tool. It is a warning “Don’t mess with me” to other clubs and independant bikers. Take it, and the guy wearing it is just another fat guy with a beard.

        • A new twist on asset forfeiture. Volokh Conspiracy doesn’t think the government can succeed in their attempts.

        • darkcycle

          Yep, it’s a longshot, but they are proceding differntly this time with a RICO charge. The use on goods being sold portion is the tricky part, for sure. But the patch is integral to the club. Taking it would be a horrific blow. That is my point. And as far as forfeiture, the patch doesnt need to be forfeited, they only has to be taken as evidence. If the bikers cannot wear the patch for fear of being stopped, it makes it very hard, the clubs rely on the patch for so many reasons.
          I have many associates and friends who are Banditos, and this prospect has them worried.

        • Servetus

          By law the government cannot own a copyright. That means the government cannot seize what it cannot own. It would be like trying to seize a handful of rainwater, or air. It also means the government cannot seize a work of literature from its author, thereby blocking acts of government censorship and intellectual persecution. Since trademarks operate under the intellectual property laws, it’s possible the same situation exists for club logos. If not, the bikers can always switch to new logos faster than the government can seize them.

  • Kofi Annan calls on the World Health Assembly to legally regulate drugs

    “We need to regulate drugs because they are risky. Drugs are infinitely more dangerous when produced and sold by criminals who do not worry about any safety measures. Legal regulation protects health. Consumers need to be aware of what they are taking and have clear information on health risks and how to minimize them.”

    • Matt

      I fear hell will freeze over before the truth is told about drug laws by anyone in a position of power or a person with apparent credibility due to having held a position of power. We do not need to regulate “drugs” because they are “risky”. We need to put an end to the human rights abuse under which users of drugs far less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco are oppressed. Kofi Annan knows what is going on yet is still unable to be upfront about it. The conventions are INTENDED to create black markets and corruption. This is what “prohibition” is about. The point of my comment is that even high profile people who ostensibly support reform of drug laws largely won’t, under any circumstances, tell the truth.

    • generaljamashitta

      The Swiss have answered the call:

      “The illegality of cannabis use ensures that criminal gangs make enormous profits. This should should soon be ending in a few major Swiss cities: Geneva, Bern, Zurich and Basel are working on a concept for the introduction of so-called cannabis clubs in which club members can legally smoke pot.”

      http://tinyurl.com/SwissCannabisClubs

  • generaljamashitta

    “The long effort to free Jeff Mizanskey has paid off.”

    http://tinyurl.com/NixonCommutesLifeSentence

  • thelbert

    i think that mouse looks cute with a joint in his mouth. if he used a vaporizer he would be cuter and healthier.