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Odds and Ends

bullet image Big Government-Supported Study Finds No Evidence That Medical Marijuana Laws Encourage Teenagers to Smoke Pot

A study reported [earlier this week] in The Lancet Psychiatry, based on 24 years of survey responses from more than 1 million students, finds no evidence that allowing medical use of marijuana boosts cannabis consumption among teenagers. Columbia epidemiologist Deborah Hasin and her co-authors analyzed data from the government-sponsored Monitoring the Future Study, which asks middle and high school students about their drug use, from 1991 to 2014. They found that the percentage of students reporting marijuana use in the previous month was higher in the 21 states that legalized marijuana for medical purposes during that period but did not rise after those laws were enacted.

“The risk of marijuana use in states before passing medical marijuana laws did not differ significantly from the risk after medical marijuana laws were passed,” Hasin et al. report. “Our findings, consistent with previous evidence, suggest that passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana.” […]

“The new analysis is the most comprehensive effort to date,” The New York Times notes.


bullet image U.S. Deports Tens Of Thousands Each Year For Minor Drug Crimes, Human Rights Watch Says

Tens of thousands of people are deported each year for minor drug offenses, even if they served their time long ago, because of draconian U.S. drug laws, according to a report released Tuesday by the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch’s 93-page report, “A Price Too High: U.S. Families Torn Apart by Deportations for Drug Offenses,” details struggles of immigrants and families involved in more than 71 cases in which non-citizens had been arrested or convicted of drug offenses, and then were placed into deportation proceedings.


bullet image The Disposable Life of a 20-Year-Old Confidential Informant

On June 27, 2014, the body of 20-year-old Andrew Sadek, a promising electrical student at the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton, North Dakota, was pulled from the Red River bordering North Dakota and Minnesota.

Missing for two months, the young man was found shot in the head, wearing a backpack filled with rocks.

The grisly death of a college student in one of the safest towns in the state, where violent crime is extremely rare, did not lead to a sweeping investigation. In fact, police immediately said they did not suspect foul play.

Such a supposition strains credulity as it is, but what would be slowly revealed over the following months is that Andrew had been working as a confidential informant for the police, and that his school knew that authorities were busting its students and using them as bait to catch drug dealers.

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31 comments to Odds and Ends

  • DdC

    This Weekend Is the 2015 HIGH TIMES NorCal Medical Cannabis Cup
    HIGH TIMES returns to the Bay Area THIS WEEKEND for the 2015 HIGH TIMES NorCal Medical Cannabis Cup—and this time, we’re sparking up at the legendary Cow Palace! Tickets are still available, but prices will go up at the door, so make sure to get yours today. continued

  • Duncan20903

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    I can’t stop chuckling about Maryland’s first State authorized production facility for medicinal cannabis in Easton Maryland. Let me tell you a couple of things about Easton. Easton is a rather small travelers’ trap roughly halfway between Ocean City Maryland an the DC Metro area. Lots of fast food joints, gas stations, maybe even some factory outlet stores.

    The point is that a not insignificant percentage of the City’s budget comes from the people going or coming back from Ocean City. The City of Easton is also very prolific in writing up traffic offenses and issuing fines to those same travelers.

    Another one of their various talents is finding cannabis in those travelers possession and arresting them. They might even steal< use civil forfeiture lawsuits against their victims' motor vehicle.

    But my most favorite part of the story is [drum roll] the fact that it's smack dab in the middle of Rep. Andy Harris Congressional District. Ain't karma a bitch?

    Use hyperemesis prevention protocols if you choose to visit:
    <a href="http://www.stardem.com/opinion/columns/article_d0d72dff-d0c2-5314-a5b9-4f27d513f595.html"Does Easton really need a medical marijuana facility?"

    • Windy

      This was my comment there (and I could not see ANY other comments at all on it):

      “Dr. Nelson: There is no proven evidence that use of marijuana causes people to try harder drugs.
      Fact: ‘Among both men and women, prior marijuana use was 2.5 times more likely than no prior marijuana to be associated with subsequent abuse of prescription opioids.'( Fiellin et al., 2013, Prior use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana and subsequent abuse of prescription opioids in young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health 52(2), p. 158-163).”
      False, every person who has become addicted to opioids has drunk water, eaten food, and probably has had alcohol and/or tobacco before ever trying anything else including cannabis (marijuana). If cannabis were a gateway drug then most of the people who use it would now be doing opioids or some other addictive drug, and yet there are millions of cannabis users who use nothing but cannabis, where are all these opioid/cocaine addicts who started with cannabis? Same question with schizophrenia, were are the millions of schizophrenics? And did you know that schizophrenia is being linked more with having a cat during childhood than with cannabis use, the more likely connection is schizophrenics are self medicating because cannabis helps them with the symptoms of the disease.
      Only one study was done which said cannabis use by youths results in IQ point loss and that study did not take into account any other factor, like poverty, abuse at home, etc.
      No person has ever died strictly from cannabis ingestion, if you look more carefully into those claims you will find other drugs were also used, most frequently alcohol.
      This entire article is filled with misinformation and lies, please do your own research and you will find none of those scary “facts” are, in fact, factual.

  • kaptinemo

    I think you meant this: Does Easton really need a medical marijuana facility?

    And, lookie-lookie: the first commenters are prohib parasites. No big surprises, there. One of them is one of Kevin’s Kids, a.k.a. a SAMer.

    Like I keep saying, the only voices now speaking in favor of prohibition are those those being favored by it. As in “Whose bread I eat, his song I sing”, etc. You can hear the sour, off-key notes of the prohibs a mile away. It makes it real easy to pick them out. They’re going to have to try to avoid mentioning the names of their groups, while we mention ours proudly.

    And the worst part about it? That it is almost certainly our tax revenue ‘bread’ (as in ’70’s slang for money) they’re eating.

    I say these astroturf SAM clones popping up like poisonous toadstools nationwide and in Canada (The ‘C’ in SAMC might as well mean Clone instead of Canada) are getting US government funding, and being run from ONDCP. Expose that in Congress, and watch those groups shrivel up and blow away.

    (BTW, Canadians, do you recall the time your legislators in Parliament went crawling to Warshington to beg the ONDCP to use its influence in Congress to sway the State Dept to put pressure on Ottawa? I do. Looks like SAMC is more American Trojan Horse meddling in Canuck affairs, eh?)

  • Will

    And what is Kevin Sabet’s response to the study that — inconveniently for him — does not link medical cannabis laws to increased teenage use?;

    “Medical marijuana laws vary drastically across the U.S. and often take years to be implemented, so what we need to see is the longer-term effects of these laws and the accompanying commercialization efforts, which this study does not do,” said Kevin Sabet…[emphasis added -wb]

    In other words, we need more time to study the affects of these laws before drawing any conclusions.

    The study covers a 24 year period, Kevin! That’s not enough time?!

    Sorry Kevin, but you pointed your flawed moral compass at the wrong cause. But you’re a young man, there’s still time for you to do something worthwhile with your life. Surely you don’t want to end up like Japanese holdout Hiroo Onoda.

    • Duncan20903

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      They’re forcing us to paint them into a corner. It’s always different this time.

      Will, Hiroo may have been a complete lunatic but he was still a man of honor. Kev-Kev just doesn’t have the strength of character or the survival skills required to survive for almost 30 years like that. I doubt that Kev-Kev would last for a full 30 days much less 30 years. Maybe not last for 30 minutes.

      I can’t decide if it’s more likely that he would starve to death or accidentally shoot himself in the foot and die of an infection. But we’re not going to solve that mystery today.

      Jocularity aside I’m really enjoying watching them try to bargain their way out of the collapse of their precious prohibition. You do realize that despite the fact that it’s a stalling tactic just the fact that he’s proffered that piece of lame-itude means that he’s concerned for the future of his meal ticket.

      • kaptinemo

        It’s when Nutty Nora started to make noises like she had just discovered, a la Madame Curie the concept of ‘harm reduction’, that I knew that they knew the jig was up.

        Reality of the inevitability of reform legislation, promoted by the very generation they meant to be anti-drug robots, eventually destroying prohibition, is finally beginning to penetrate that ivory-tower, high altitude, low-oxy, angel-scheisse sniffing bureaucratic thinking.

        Now they want to spray paint their logo on our reform bandwagon and then claim ’eminent domain’ or some such sophistry as rights to ownership of ‘harm reduction’, like they were reformers all along.

        They fool only those who deserve to be. Just as leopards don’t change spots, prohibs don’t abandon their most precious manias. Witness ONDCP’s continued illegal efforts to propagandize the public through cut-outs like SAM and it’s equally illegitimate offspring. Who I still maintain, are on ‘welfare’, as they are dependent upon Gub’mint handouts for their survival.

        Truly, when it comes to the DrugWar bureaucracy and attendant parasitical industries, Uncle is the biggest ‘welfare queen’ in the country.

        • DdC

          Can’t have igNORAnce with out her.

        • Duncan20903

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          It wasn’t that long ago that I read that the “welfare queen” was nothing but a work of fiction.

          When I was working for NORML in 1991 and 1992 we often worked hand in hand with Queer Nation. At that time AIDS was a gay disease and a death sentence. But it was very easy for people dying of AIDS to get SSI. Of course almost all of the people living with AIDS were using cannabis as medicine. So there was a brief period of time when I knew of a number of “potheads” who were on “welfare”. Most, if not all of them were dead by 1993. SSI was $700 per month in the DC area. I only knew one fellow well enough to understand the basics of his finances. Let’s start with his apartment in one of the least desirable parts of Arlington County Virginia. His rent was $650 per month. He had the most spectacularly colorful bathtub I had or ever have seen to date because he sold tie dye t-shirts at Grateful Dead concerts to supplement his income. With only $12.50 per week for food, clothing and incidentals he didn’t have much choice. Move to a lower priced community? He actually would have been worse off because that SSI payment was tied to his locality. Even if he would have been better off financially it would have been an extreme hardship because he was dying. He died in November of 1992. I only learned about his passing because not being able to get him on the phone for a couple of days I dropped by his place. I found the apartment complex manager and 3 workers all wearing surgical gloves and masks kicking his property to the curb. When the apartment manager saw me he literally started screeching (screeching!) about “faggot potheads on welfare with no respect for other people’s property”, his ire specifically directed at the very colorful bathtub and generally against gay men then ordering me to leave the property. Gosh, it wasn’t like he was demonstrating much respect for the dead guy’s stuff. He was blatantly breaking the law himself. But there wasn’t anyone with standing to file a complaint so he had license to be an utter asshole. Not only that, it wasn’t even his goddamn bathtub. Every time I hear some other asshole talking about “potheads on welfare” I suffer the memory of that afternoon again. I must say that really, really sucks.

  • divadab

    Ya North Dakota – they’ve been invaded by oilfield workers and associated camp followers due to the Bakken fracking boom. The locals have seen an increase in crime, in weird and “worthless” people hanging around in their towns, bad behavior from crews of men who came for work and left their women at home – and they are complaining to the police.

    SO what do the police do? What they know – pick on potheads and burnish their arrest and conviction stats without actually, you know, DOING anything about the actual crime problems.

    Cannabis prohibition makes the police into useless parasites instead of peace officers. They keep making pot arrests because it’s so easy – going after actual armed criminals is dangerous and hard – don;t forget these are unionized government bureaucrats who follow the path of least resistance. WHy take risks when potheads are so risk-free?

  • Nick Danger has left the building, comedy flags flying at half mast… 🙁

    for those unfamiliar with the Firesign Theater (incredulous as I am that such could exist in this sofic culture):

    RIP Phil Austin – Nick Danger – Third Eye

  • Mr_Alex

    Has anyone heard the latest excuse from the Prohibitionists, they are using Bad Parenting as a excuse to justify the War on Drugs and Prohibition

    • Servetus

      Prohibitionists never blame themselves for the adverse effects of drug enforcement. This week it’s bad parenting, next week it’s the evil influences of higher education, or TV programs that mirror reality and not fantasy. They’re very predictable that way.

      • DdC

        Yes, they are, and have been very predictable. That’s why there is no fence to sit on. Those who believe it’s not their problem or blindly follow authority. Are as guilty of the atrocities caused by prohibition and it’s mongers. The proclaimed professionals sitting by quietly while politicians and police dictate medicine. The cops paid to be neutral and not assume the roll of judge or jury. Not only take sides with prohibition, but use tax dollars to block legislation. Red Flags like maximum capacity profit prisons or mandatory minimum sentencing giving the DA far too much power for anything but an ends justifying means crusade. The focus from saving people from harm due to certain drugs has perverted into certain drugs due harm, while the “people” become irrelevant. The DEA and zealots strive to stop certain drugs at all cost in spite of the harm caused to people in the process. Advocating the disgusting anti-American forfeiture laws and court gag orders pushing more to rehabilitation profits with plea bargains avoiding mandatory minimum sentencing. Obvious to anyone even a bit curious. So those paid to uphold the Constitution clearly have sold out and those cowardly silent will have to live with their part in it. They are not fit to represent citizens interest. Now is the time to stop hiding these harmful acts behind the kids safety. We know who instigates the violence and wrecked families. We know who gives them our airwaves to broadcast their filthy gossip. Time to man up and stop these traitors and the costly drug war they wage.

    • DdC

      Latest excuse? It’s been a tool of the tyrants for a while.

      Shona Banda
      Child Protection Racketeers

  • ‘The Cartel’ author Don Winslow says America is addicted to the drug war
    http://tinyurl.com/nzfdfdt

    “Q: Who is the cartel?

    A: I think we are all the cartel. I think our criminal-justice system is the cartel. Our banking system is the cartel. The way we treat people that they therefore need to get high, that’s the cartel. That machine grinding on and on and on to produce money and power. And it is violent in so many ways. And I think every time we buy, especially recreational drugs, we become part of the cartel. We are the partners. Every time we build a wall on the border, we’re part of the cartel. We become partners, symbiotic partners in a relationship.”

    Q: Is there a solution?

    A: I believe all drugs should be legal and no one should do them. That would be my ideal world.”

    • Servetus

      G.W.F. Hegel said that the monumental events in world history occur twice. Karl Marx later commented that Hegel forgot to add that the first time they occur as tragedy, the second time as farce. Reagan’s drug war was an overwhelming tragedy; Calderon’s is a farce. The tragedy of mass incarceration, community degradation, and decades of brutality and murder at the hands of U.S.-supported counter-insurgencies and military dictatorships throughout the hemisphere is now being repeated as the farce of senseless murder, a so-called “narco-insurgency” south of the border. Techniques and expertise acquired from decades of U.S. military training and assistance, meant to aid Latin American armies and death squads in their elimination of leftists and anyone labeled communist, have been diverted and perverted to serve the illegal drug industry: ritual beheadings; massacres of children, families, bystanders, and migrants; the brutal use of torture. Slavoj Zizek, in his book “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce”, reminds us that Herbert Marcuse “added yet another turn of the screw” to Hegel’s comment, “Sometimes, the repetition in the guise of a farce can be more terrifying than the original tragedy.” — John Gibler, To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War, (San Francisco, City Lights Books, 2011), pp. 197-8.

  • […] Odds and Ends A study reported [earlier this week] in The Lancet Psychiatry, based on 24 years of survey responses from more than 1 million students, finds no evidence that allowing medical use of marijuana boosts cannabis consumption among teenagers. Columbia … Read more on Drug WarRant […]

  • jean valjean

    Re the drug war and immigration, here’s a comment from Officer Brett Downey:
    “Oh, boo freaking who, these people broke one law by being here illegally and then they break another law by possessing or using or selling an illegal substance according to federal law, and they complain that they are getting deported? Really? Does no one see the irony with that?”

    Here’s Downey’s Facebook page wearing his uniform and looking like a movie Nazi (scroll down a bit):
    https://www.facebook.com/brett.downey.142

    These on- or off-duty cops always seem to comment-swarm on any articles involving the drug war or immigration, but both together is a sure-fire red flag for them. Also, Downey seems to be challenged when it comes to the use of the word “irony”. Guess they taught the Alanis Morrisette interpretation of irony when he was in the football program at UCLA. For me he epitomizes the ugly face of American prejudice and self-righteousness.

  • Duncan20903

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    The Ohio vote on Election Day 2015 may yet prove the most interesting on this particular issue. I’m not sure that very many people have noticed but it does appear that we’ve finally found some common ground with the prohibitionist parasites — they appear to be as much against the “monopoly” clause as those on our side of the table.

    Not that anyone would, but some people may have noticed my absence in discussions of the 2015 Ohio referendum. I just can’t bring myself to actively support the referendum because of wholesale oligarchy that it creates. Neither can I lobby for its defeat because a legally established oligarchy would still be better than the de facto oligarchy created by prohibition.

    But in a most amusing turn of events the prohibitards just couldn’t leave well enough alone. The Ohio Legislature has seen fit to place a referendum on the ballot that is going to make the vote about the proposed oligarchy instead of being about regulated re-legalization.
    ‘Anti-monopoly’ measure would void marijuana vote

    Before this announcement I was expecting that Ohio’s referendum would be defeated by a very close vote, primarily because of the wholesale oligarchy created. That combined with an election not only not Presidential but not even mid term I figured maybe 100,000 against to 99,994 in favor, and I do mean 199,994 total votes cast. Seriously, who the heck knew that there were elections in 2015?

    Well now the election is no longer about the will of the voters, it’s about a prohibitionist Legislature trying to manipulate an election by playing calendar games. Now before you go asking me why I don’t think that it’s just about the proposed oligarchy, make sure that you know that the proposed cannabis law reform referendum was modeled after the referendum that allows casino gambling in Ohio. IIRC there were 10 casinos allowed and that the owners were established and protected by the referendum created Constitutional Amendment. If I’m not recalling correctly it’s the number of casinos. Perhaps the casino oligarchy was 8 or 12 instead of 10 but the rest is accurate. The point is that the Ohio Legislature didn’t have any problem with the creation of that oligarchy. They’re just using it as an excuse to circumvent the voters in this controversy.

    I wonder, has Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted accounted for the severability clause in the Amendment proposed by Responsible Ohio? Responsible Ohio did include a severability clause in their proposed Amendment, didn’t they? If they didn’t include that then they get an automatic nomination for the stupid of the year award.

    So the Ohio Legislature may just make this an interesting election, and manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Let the games begin!

  • Duncan20903

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    Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for POTUS in 2016. Why does he think himself qualified? Because he’s worth $9 billion. I wonder if he knows that he can’t just fire Members of Congress who he dislikes?

    With Election Day 2016 being more than a year in the future it’s certainly shaping up to be the most interesting Presidential campaign I’ve ever had the opportunity to observe.

  • Duncan20903

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    The weather tonight is just perfect for nekkid dancing and howling at the moon! A happy mid-summer’s eve to all…

    Burn baby burn!