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January 2016
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Open Thread

Happy New Year! Just back from a trip visiting relatives over the holidays, and trying to figure out what retirement means in this, my first week of actually dealing with retirement. Thanks for bearing with me in the long holiday pause.

I would say one of the most potentially interesting news items over break was this one about the Surgeon General:

Surgeon General Announces Review of Federal Drug Policies

Areas of focus in the report may include the history of the prevention, treatment and recovery fields; components of the substance use continuum (i.e., prevention, treatment and recovery); epidemiology of substance use, misuse and substance use disorders; etiology of substance misuse and related disorders; neurobiological base of substance misuse and related disorders; risk and protective factors; application of scientific research in the field, including methods, challenges and current and future directions; social, economic and health consequences of substance misuse; co-occurrence of substance use disorders and other diseases and disorders; the state of health care access and coverage as it relates to substance use prevention, treatment and recovery; integration of substance use disorders, mental health and physical health care in clinical settings; national, state and local initiatives to assess and improve the quality of care for substance misuse and related disorders; organization and financing of prevention, treatment and recovery services within the health care system; ethical, legal and policy issues; and potential future directions.

It’s quite easy to find reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic about this news. Certainly, there’s a lot of history in the federal government in claiming to want to find the scientific truth when they really are doing nothing more than distorting it to confirm political preferences. And yet, the surgeon general’s office has historically been less likely to be as politically driven, which could be good.

If we assume that the Surgeon General will actually follow the science and facts wherever they lead, recommendations could still get derailed (witness Joycelyn Elders). But if the administration is trying to pave the way for a real change in federal drug policy before the end of the term, this would be the way to do it — with the weight of the top medical doctor in the country behind the recommendations.

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50 comments to Open Thread

  • QuaxMercy

    “It’s time for us to have a conversation in this country that’s based on facts; a conversation that’s based on medicine and science.” – Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

    I would love to see the Surgeon General usher in a new era of fact-based policy consideration. Kevin, one more attempt to shoehorn your debunked hokum into the discussion means you lose your chair at the table.

    Yet, another bit of news that has trickled out has it that the latest HHS rescheduling review has already forwarded their recommendations to the DEA, who could sit on it for 2,4,9,11,or 22 years. It CANNOT be the case that these two developments are rushing towards a destructive mashup, could it?

  • jean valjean

    Come on Obama, surprise us all….. take the Surgeon General’s report and end prohibition by executive action. This is your last chance to make a difference for all Americans, not least those of color. This could be your Frederick Douglas moment if only you have the balls….

  • Freeman

    A new year, same old Chicken Little routine from the prohibs.

    1st-rate essay? It is to laugh! 1st-rate propaganda, yes. Read Macaulay Caulkins’ essay and watch for the subtle little things like utilization of scare quotes, complete denial of any efficacy of medical marijuana, discounting data that doesn’t support his conclusions (“lethal overdose is almost unknown”) while hyping data that he thinks does, conflating risks of dependence with risks of death (“Those who use marijuana on an ongoing basis face a much higher likelihood of becoming dependent than lifetime smokers do of developing lung cancer.”), ridiculous statistical manipulations (that he alleges supports his claim that marijuana is riskier than alcohol), and plain old baffle ’em with the bullshit lunacy, such as this self-contradictory idiocy:

    “Marijuana is safer than alcohol, but it is also more likely to harm its users.”

    What the fuck does that even supposed to mean?

    I’m about halfway through it, but I’m going to have to wait a while to finish. I just ate lunch and I don’t want to lose it.

    Pete – if you’ve got the time, I’d love to see a post with your thoughts on this essay!

    • Freeman

      OMG! I read the other half, and now my dinner’s in jeopardy.

      (k)Lieman wants to make you pass some sort of test (???) and get a license to buy weed because he hallucinates that it “could be used to enforce limits on amounts purchased per week or per month”. Oh No! I got busted with too much stash and The Man revoked my pot license! Whatever will I do?

      Macaulay is keen on things like “restricting production and distribution to non-profits or for-benefit corporations whose charters mandate that they merely meet existing demand, not pursue unfettered market growth to maximize shareholders’ returns and owners’ wealth. It would also be wise to require these organizations’ boards to be dominated by public-health and child-welfare advocates.” Now there’s a pipe dream! Who was it that said that marijuana’s most profoundly disabling effects fall on those who don’t use it?

      But he really puts on that Home Alone Oh No face as he steps on the rake of reality: “Unfortunately, the prevailing sentiment in the legalization debates couldn’t be further from this cautious stance. The legalization movement has celebrated its victories as though they were triumphs for civil rights.” WHAP! That’s right, and we’re going to keep on celebrating each and every triumph! Lighten up, take a hit, and pass it on!

    • strayan

      It is clear we would all be better off if marijuana did not exist.

      Holy effing moly.

      • DdC

        Pancho’s wives Maria or Juana or Hearst derogatory slur on them, marihuana. Doesn’t exist in reality outside of the box the gossip queens hide in. Cannabis has no doubt been here a lot longer than 21st century witch hunters. No doubt will be here after the idiots blow themselves up shooting missiles at the sky before it falls down upon their pointed little heads.

        On 29 May 1911,
        Villa married María Luz Corral.
        ….In 1913 he wed Juana Torres

  • DdC

    Happy New Yarn…

    Jocelyn Elders, USA Surgeon General:
    “Marijuana is beneficial to many patients”

    Professor Olaf Drummer,
    a forensic scientist the Royal College of Surgeons
    in Melbourne in 1996
    “:Compared to alcohol, which makers people take more risks on the road, marijuana made drivers slow down and drive more carefully…. Cannabis is good for driving skills, as people tend to overcompensate for a perceived impairment.”:

    Dr. Anthony Henman:
    “One of the best effects Marijuana can have in any terminal illness is to produce a degree of euphoria which boosts morale in a depressing situation”

    Dr. James Malone-Lee,
    consultant St. Pancras Hospital, London:
    “I’m quite impressed by what’s happened to (MS) patients who have used it”.

    Judge James Pickles, UK:
    “Cannabis never killed anybody and it’s use is widespread. You can”t stop it. The law defeats itself because all the efforts to stop drugs coming in only drives up the prices and then gangsters move in to push the drugs. If they legalised there wouldn’t be gangsters and huge profits…The police are gradually decriminalising the possession of cannabis because they realise there’s not much point prosecuting”

    Detective Chief Inspector Ron Clarke,
    former member of Greater Manchester Police Drugs Squad:
    “I got tired of seeing otherwise innocent young kids from all walks of life getting criminal records for, in effect, doing nothing more than millions of other people in society were doing with alcohol”

    Judge Harlan F. Stone,
    Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1941-1946:
    “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided”

    The Economist March 28th 1992:
    “Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political”

    Totalitarianism is when people believe they can punish their way to perfection.
    — House Speaker Newt Gingrich,
    at a President’s Day Republican fundraiser, May 1998

    • Windy

      Didn’t the newt go on (later) to say users should face the death penalty? or something like that.

      • DdC

        Newt Gingrich’s PRO-medical marijuana
        letter to the editor, 1982

        Not only does the report outline evidence of marijuana’s potential harms, but it distinguishes this concern from the legitimate issue of marijuana’s important medical benefits. All too often the hysteria that attends public debate over marijuana’s social abuse compromises a clear appreciation for this critical distinction.

        Since 1978, 32 states have abandoned the federal prohibition to recognize legislatively marijuana’s important medical properties. Federal law, however, continues to define marijuana as a drug “with no accepted medical use,” and federal agencies continue to prohibit physician-patient access to marijuana. This outdated federal prohibition is corrupting the intent of the state laws and depriving thousands of glaucoma and cancer patients of the medical care promised them by their state legislatures.

        A History of Medical Marijuana
        In 1999, Tennessee marijuana policy made national headlines when former Vice President Al Gore told reporters that his sister was supplied medical marijuana through a state program while she was undergoing chemotherapy in 1984. “It came in a prescription container with a label on it,” he told reporters in 1999. “She was treated at Vanderbilt Hospital, and it’s my understanding it has not been unknown for some patients undergoing chemotherapy to be prescribed, in the past, marijuana as a means of dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy.” Gore pointed out that his sister’s physician was the former head of the American Lung Association. “Her doctor was one of the very best in the entire world, and his view of the prevailing science then was that it might be efficacious.”

  • darkcycle

    Really, really hard not to be cynical about this. Ever since the LaGuardia commission, this has been repeted over, and over, and over. And the results have been the same. They already KNOW the truth. It has been repetedly tossed into the trash can. They don’t need to do this, unless it is a distraction destined for the same recptacle. They already found the answers. And they pretend they still need to study it. Nothing about this gives me any confidence.

  • DdC

    Caution globeandmail gossip ahead, proceed with caution…

    Legalizing pot in Canada will run afoul of global treaties, Trudeau warned

    The Liberal government will have to do substantial work on the international stage before it can follow through on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize marijuana, new documents suggest.

    That work will have to include figuring out how Canada would comply with three international treaties to which the country is a party, all of which criminalize the possession and production of marijuana.

    Cold feet? Try socks stupid, not threats…

    Canada’s Supremes Cower Under DEAth Threats – 12/24/03

    • Mouth

      DdC: I’ve been trying to work with a certain catch so we could all have additional fuel for our fire. The ‘official’ reports of the government in regards to 9/11, war and terrorism, which of course is the ‘official’ story that sent us to ‘war’–according to what they told me: The Government and many other sources tell us that drug money played a role in 9/11 along with the funding of the terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq (a.k.a. Iraqi freedom fighters, fighting an occupying American Force or as America calls the Iraqis: Terrorist, considering Iraq had no Army after we took her out, thus meaning the official title of the insurgents were terrorists, who also sold some or a lot of drugs for funding).

      We usually associate terrorism with crime/a criminal act, while we associate the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor with war. I think we call terrorists criminals as to not legitimize them, while we called the Japanese Army, the Japanese Army, because they belonged to the Japanese Military. We also associate drug dealing with crime and drug money as a byproduct of crime, which makes the drug money illegal as well. Let’s say that in Mississippi you decided to smoke a joint in front of a cop and then let’s say you decided to smoke a joint outside your store in front of a National Guardsman (State) or a Reservist (Federal) who works with you at your store (or even if an active duty soldier saw you) who do you expect to arrest you right on the spot: the cop or the soldier not currently on orders? My answer to that one is the cop. I think the soldier would say: ‘Goddamn piss test means I cannot partake.’

      Legal Precedents: the DEA are considered LE and not military, while the Marines or Navy etc are considered military and not LE, yet Law Enforcement officers are known to travel around the world doing their jobs in drug interdiction/arrests in the form of the DEA (Ignore for now the ‘limited’ use of military for drug interdiction for a second). One stat I read claimed cops get paid $50grand and higher a year while soldiers only get paid $38-40 grand, regardless if they are having more bullets and bombs coming their way than the police and regardless if more soldiers die than cops per year. Is it considered criminal if a criminal (terrorists) sells drugs and uses his drug money to buy guns and bombs, while using the money to hire/fund his henchmen? So, why didn’t the U.S. soldier get paid ‘cop’ pay for doing a job that resembles what a police officer does: going after violent criminals who also make money on the black market? Not that I expect to get any back pay, but I’d like the question to circulate and raise questions themselves: If illegal drugs and crime are a cop problem/job, while war is a soldier’s job/problem, then why did America not utilize the precedents set forth by globetrotting cops called DEA to send forth the Florida Highway Patrol or Orange County Sheriffs, the Texas Rangers, U.S. Marshals, the DOC (as prison/jail guards) or Boston police officers etc to dismantle organized crime and drug rings in places like Iraq or Afghanistan? We sent the Florida National Guard to Iraq/Afghanistan to go up against drug cartels and the drug cartels hired henchmen. And our Airborne Rangers, National Guard, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Marine Reserves, Air Nat Guard and Reserves did the same job: go up against drug cartels who call themselves Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

      I feel that what I did in Iraq or what my friends did in Afghanistan to be more in line with what cops are supposed to do since drug money plays a big tune and the government claims that drugs are illegal and so is profiting off them. As a way to get the American people to look at the War on Drugs differently should we not ask the question: why cannot the American Soldier receive back pay, pensions and benefits for doing the job of cops? Where were the cops while American soldiers were gallivanting around going after drugs and people who sold drugs and people who used drug money to buy weapons (plus other organized crime aspects like illegal gun dealing, stolen cars, prostitution, human trafficking, illegal downloads, illegal oil etc—which all pays for terrorism)?

      I don’t care about receiving the money (I’ll buy you a pound if I do), I just want different questions about the drug war asked. I think more questions get more eyes wide open. Now we have hypocrisy of laws/injustice—racism, the wasteful spending, enabling criminals to profit, reduction in rights, no hemp for global/economic improvements, human rights violations, medical marijuana etc in our pipe so those son of a bitches can smoke on it.

      “Organized Crime is why you are all in Iraq,” is what a Muslim American Army Major told me when we were briefed for our prison mission and we were told that we also housed members from the Mafia, the Asian Triad and Latin American Smugglers in Iraq due to a market increase in the Black Market once Saddam was out (Americans are considered soft on crime, unlike death/life sentences for many offenses under Saddam). My Cell-Block housed the Wahhabi from Arabia (like 200). Far too few cops die in the War on Drugs, while the Government claims that terrorists were involved in 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq, killing all sorts of people from what organized crime can fund. If drugs are so important to be kept illegal, you’d think that any self respecting officer of the law wouldn’t mind getting his legs blown off for his country, but they are cowards. Think of the Muslim Children DdC: Where were the American cops to serve and protect them from illegal money and all the brutal power, henchman and weapons it can buy?

      • DdC

        It’s a multi veiled theater Mouth. It’s not just the man behind the curtain. It’s the man behind him and the one behind him. 911 was a tool. Or rather the coincidental results leading to many trillions of tax dollars ending up in someone’s bank accounts. The Ganjawar or Opium wars are tools. Racism, demonizing stoners or gays and women and peaceful Caucasian gun owners. Minimum wages and outsourcing. Prohibition or Banks laundering Cartels only existing due to prohibition. Catch 22’s, diversions, and for profit news with no actual victims used in the making of this production. By the time it even reaches the media there is nothing about the disease with all eyes and ears on the symptoms. Or the theories of potential future symptoms.

        Monsanto poisons cotton crops in the bible belt while the residents protest hemp with Calvina claiming it is an insult to the men who died fighting King George against oppression. I think she meant the revolution, not stoners. Aborting the unborn they terrorize pregnant women so hard to prevent. Shooting doctors in church in the name of geeeezus saveding the prekids. Meanwhile another diversion bill to perpetuate the terrorism while Grassley still sits upon his slitted sheets.

        Howard Hughes made out with Vietnam and Halliburton with Iraq. Soldiers are not to blame for following orders in my opinion. The DEA knowingly terrorize citizens and can stop doing it tomorrow if they choose. It’s a matter of a paycheck. Soldiers sign a contract and can be held criminally if they just quit. Even shot for desertion. Soldiers have no say in the policy or in the engagements they seek out or are met with. There are propagandist in the Military Industrial Complex enticing young kids and making promises. The draft was seen as an equal opportunity employer but many politicians got easy deferments. I only considered 3 options. College or Canada that I still had lingering thoughts from my upbringing to be dodging. Or waiting for the bingo machine to spit out my number in the lottery. That I won, making the decision for me. So I don’t play the lottery.

        It was returning Vets who influenced my decision not to join. It was returning Vets, friends older brothers who became bikers is where I got my first pot. I’ve continued to give Vets information about PTSD since coming online or to the local Vets Hall members. Homeless Vets are an insult to any American. I just told someone about jerking those red white and blue pieces of plastic at the out of work kids signing up for a thrill ride and bennies promised by the Recruiting Officer. Plastic made in Chinese sweatshops taking an American’s job. By kids sewing the plastic 12-16 hours, made with Iraqi and Iranian Crude. Sold at MalWart’s where we pay for their workers healthcare and food stamps to supplement their looww low everyday wages. You might say buying Sadamn’s bullets to shoot at those out of work kids signing up.

        That’s not patriotism anymore than what the Military and standing Army is meant for. Or the inbedwith Mainline Media as objective as Sabeteur SAM. Police Actions since Korea are obviously reverse engineering scams. To maximize profit meddling in others civil wars. Selling guns for tax dollars is the same as workers dollars. Terrorist and cartels get stolen guns. Since Junior the lines are screwy. t.m.k. the Military couldn’t do police work and visa versa. Then Police Actions after WW2 made for profit contracts and special rules of engagement. As political as the drug war. Insanity compromised is still insanity.

        Or job security treating for profit over prevention or cures. Treating misery even if they have to create it. Monsanto feeding Searle Pharmaceuticals. There is enough room for GW and Private Dispensaries but that is not good enough it seems. Fat Pharma and Naughty Nora want a monopoly and all or pieces of prohibition for ever and ever amen. For profits. Bennies like forfeitures and confiscations. Grants for mo research just in case the future hobgoblin turns out to be something.

        I am still a proud Antiwar Veteran and I still object to using Americans for cannon fodder to pad someones portfolio. The very same reason I object to using Americans to profit on their persecution. Or ignorant graduates of medical schools not knowing the ECS or ECB’s and how deficiency is another tool. The lack of ethics and integrity on the part of the ONDCP and subsidiaries NIDA and DEA demand we dissolve their existence for the safety and security of all Americans. No one likes a Jagoff.

        I’ll have more time to go over it later Mouth. In general to my knowledge…

        There are articles stating the duties of the Military, National Guard and LEO. Then there are titles depending on the type of conflict. The other are covert ops like Iran Contra or the damage from over 200 DEA offices infesting countries to join in on the plague of deception. War, sanctioned and paid by Congress and Police Actions, for profit. Now SWAT and Bearcats in every copshop. NG sent overseas while Forest Rangers and DEA raid improper grow ops. The CIA was foreign and FBI was domestic not Homeyland and the Patriot Ax making it hard to keep up with how much of the Constitution isn’t burning.

        the ongoing saga.

        • Mouth

          You’re a good man DdC. One day the truthers will have plaques made of them. I just wonder if the lil ones will realize you’re not really a green alien holding a peace sign if society makes it out of your profile picture.

    • Mouth

      P.S. DdC: I’m asking you because I’m one of your followers on the couch and on your site.

      I’m pretty sure civilians see things differently than I see them. Most 30 or 40 or 50yr olds were never 18yr old boys/girls on 9/11 who were taught that Japan invaded America, just like the Criminals did on 9/11 (official report of course). We were brainwashed to believe in Pearl Harbor being an attack requiring American’s to serve, which meant 9/11 was the same thing for us at that time.

      Who said that Drug Prohibition couldn’t also look like Bush’s rhetoric: ‘Axis of Evil’.

      Like our beloved Pete, your research is like magic, so I trust you when handing off the football to you.

      Does the Drug War have to look like it does to everyone else? Or can it go so deep that new questions should be asked to help dismantle the multi-headed hydra. I’m wish I could have taken you to my Iraqi CIA/DOD prison with me so you could breath in a new stench emanating from the drug war. You’re computer would be on fire from typing one billion miles per hour had you seen and heard what I heard and what I was told, added to the research one does when back at the home front to dig deeper/verify the Iraq data.

      So when I call American Cops, “Muslim Terrorists”, I’m not being literal, just pissed that drugs are illegal and can purchase weapons with its money. It looks differently from a Middle East vantage point.

      And best wishes and health for all on the Couch too.

  • muggles

    Good to have you back…perhaps Obama wants to end on a positive note…

  • Frank W.

    The Warriors can count on MSM to help propagate potential money- making prohibitions. From Yahoo:

    People are flocking to Florida bars for a legal but dangerous drug (headline)

    A drug called kratom is being sold legally in bars in Florida and other states, where some…(teaser bait)

    Kratom is already freshly banned in Illinois. Wonder who “spoke” to legisators?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/kratom.pdf

      /snip/
      In 1943, the Thai government passed the Kratom Act 2486 that made planting of the tree illegal. In 1979, the Thai government enacted the Narcotics Act B.E. 2522, placing kratom along with marijuana in Category V of a five category classification of narcotics. Kratom remains a popular drug in Thailand. It has been reported that young Thai militants drink a “4×100” kratom formula to make them “more bold and fear less and easy to control.” The two “4×100” kratom formulas are described as a mixture of a boiled kratom leaves and mosquito coils and cola or a mixture of boiled cough syrup, kratom leaves and cola served with ice. In this report it was also mentioned use of that the “4×100” formula was gaining popularity among Muslim youngsters in several districts of Yala (Southern Thailand) and was available in local coffee and tea shops.

      Kratom is promoted as a legal psychoactive product on numerous websites in the U.S. On those websites, topics range from vendors listings, preparation of tea and recommended doses, to alleged medicinal uses, and user reports of drug experiences.

      Licit Uses:
      There is no legitimate medical use for kratom in the U.S.
      /snip/

      How the heck can they know about “legitimate” medicinal use if it gets banned two seconds after they become aware of its existence? Why aren’t prohibitionist brains on schedule I? They have no legitimate medical use either! No legitimate use of any kind which you can possibly imagine!

  • Servetus

    Actually, it’s ‘Joycelyn’ Elders (I’m always been tempted by the same spelling error), and Dr. Elders’ hardcore science education includes a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in biochem, among other educational achievements, such an M.D. Impressive. If only Dr. Elders could replace Nora Valkow at NIDA, we might have more intelligent drug policies in this country. And adolescents wouldn’t need to feel guilty about masturbating.

    • Thanks, Servetus. Corrected now. And yes, I would sure prefer someone like her in place of Nora.

    • DdC

      ditto Servetus.
      Joycelyn spooked the Liberals and got fired.
      BJ’s were DC PC over MB and Pot.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Haven’t you seen the most recent research about the danger of abusing your own naughty parts? The studies have proved that it makes people go blind! I’ve known lots of blind people and every one of them abused their own naughty parts before they went blind! No exceptions! If we legalize that then we would have to let people marry their hands for crying out loud! Ooooh, I’m so excited! I asked for my hand in marriage today and it said yes! Where the heck does someone get a wedding dress for their hand?

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Sheesh, of course the sycophants of prohibition are going to blame this on cannabis:

    North Korea claims it detonated a hydrogen bomb

    Well you don’t see this happening in countries where pot isn’t legal, now do you? OK, you go ahead and be skeptical but you’ll be singing a different song when Uruguay vaporizes South America!

    • Servetus

      H-bombs. The news media’s latest scare tactic. Any high school physics student can tell you that all one needs to do to produce a hydrogen bomb is to wrap a thin lithium metal shell around a conventional nuclear fission device. There’s nothing new about this, and any government capable of building a fission device can build a fusion device. So North Korea’s latest nuclear sabre rattling is just more of the same paranoid B.S. fed to Americans by the MSM in a political election year.

      In response to North Korea’s latest provocation, tomorrow, at high noon, I intend to light a doobie and use it to set off a firecracker on my patio. Not only that, I’m sitting right on top of an earthquake fault. Take that North Korea.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        I know all about nuclear warheads. Back in the day when we were working on the rock’n’roll band we had a really decent album about 75% completed called “Gone Fission” so we had to study the subject thoroughly because we were well known for striving to achieve objective realism in our fantasies. As a matter of fact the picture attached to the story was going to be the album cover but with some verbal and image embellishment of course. Then the rat bastard commies went out of business. Naturally people quit worrying about the end of the world and our moral authority was marginalized into irrelevance. Who’s going to ponder the philosophical nuance of whether or not you’re better off dead than mutated in a nuclear holocaust if there aren’t any bogey men ready to vaporize the planet? Of course it’s easy to see in hindsight that our mistake was allowing reality to dictate our fantasies in the first place, but who’da thunk they were actually going to tear down the wall? Other than Roger Waters of course.

  • Catch Me If I Fall/NCN

    I have a poly-substance abuse history that dates back into the late 60’s. For the most part it was purely intellectual interest and recreation, until it wasn’t.

    The “wasn’t” was when I discovered crack cocaine. My use coincided with the loss of my wife, daughter, dog and place of residence. I was one of these guys who thought putting their penis into OPP made sense.

    Anyhoo, despite the fact I was a GIANT cheating asshole (great lesson to learn if it sticks!) I found the drug experience too compelling to ignore. It became my main focus. I was thinking about IT the moment I woke up.

    Len Bias was the name sticking in my head because I was expecting a small 4-figure settlement from a work injury. I knew that in my out-of-balance state I’d likely blow all the money. It wasn’t so much the money I was concerned about, it was the fact cocaine is a “more” drug. I figured there was a good chance I might not live when I got that money.

    So, I marched down to my local drug clinic and said I needed help. Twenty-six dollars later (the cost of their intake interview) and two, count-em two N.A. meetings and I’ve never looked back. Twenty-five years later I’d probably piss on a pile of cocaine before I’d use it.

    I use this personal story to illustrate two major things about addiction.

    There’s no way in hell I would have quit until I was ready to do so on my own. My “self-admission” made a world of difference in the outcome. If I had been forced into treatment or jailed it wouldn’t have been helpful to me. Self-admission matters. The other thing is the cost. A three-hour interview and two meetings is all it took for me to turn the corner. Cheap to me and cheap to society, no industrial money-making schemes required.

    Perhaps one of the resident mental pros on this site will suggest otherwise, but I’m saying the “drug treatment” plan of our new national doc is just another part of the “Opium Wars.”

    It’s the gift that keeps on giving juice to predatory business people. Addicts are the “other.” America is about fear-of-the-other it’s a great business model for assholes who want to eat your kids for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    But hey, I’m just a drug-using cynic WTF do I know?

    • darkcycle

      No argument from this mental health pro. Just read some of Stanton Peele’s work. You will find your observations are well backed by solid statistics.
      Most addicts quit on their own. Heroin treatment corporate style is an abject failure, by any measurement. Yet most addicts eventually kick. On their own. When they are ready, and not a minute before.

    • DdC

      I have a poly-substance abuse history that dates back into the late 60’s.

      Same as I point out to the cops and prohibbies. How can anyone say its drug abuse, when it has always happened during prohibition? The causal connection to the abuse.

      If there is a need for blame, shame, punishment or restitution.
      The Guilt rest solely on the shoulders of the Prohibitionists.

    • claygooding

      The only drug I haven’t been able to walk away from is tobacco,,but never done enough opiates to say if I could walk away from it.
      Did get well into cocaine before crack known as freebase,,had to move away from anyone that I knew for a bit but I walked away from it,,,when I decided I had enough of being broke one minute and sorta rich the next but running for your life the next.

      It is too bad you couldn’t have played some country music backwards,,you may have gotten your house,car,wife,kids and dog back.

      • Zach

        Clay do you at least make your own cigarettes? It has saved me a fortune buying pipe tobacco, tubes, and a little metal machine. It is aproximately $1.00 per pack now.

      • Windy

        I dropped cocaine as a pleasurable drug, when we began freebasing, made my body SO uncomfortable, I wanted to crawl OUT of it, haven’t had and haven’t missed that drug since then.

        Like you the only one I cannot walk away from (on my own) is the cigarette. I am not addicted to the nicotine, can go for at least 9 days without a cig without missing it (as long as I am busy) or feeling even any minor ill effects or changes in attitude. So my addiction is to the process of smoking a cigarette (I also like the taste, that is why I began smoking at the age of 15, I liked the taste of my boyfriend’s mouth when I kissed him after he smoked).

        Hubby has been on me to quit for a few years now, so I’ve decided I need to visit a hypnotherapist to help me WANT to quit, because I have NEVER wanted to quit, and still don’t, but I DO want my hubby to be happy. Darkcycle, do you have any nearby recommendations?

  • Mr_Alex

    I just want to let everyone know that the New Zealand Government’s Anti Obesity Campaign is a SEVERE FAILURE, the message of ‘eat less’ does not help nor does it help who eat for stress. The New Zealand Government finally agreed to see if Cannabis could curb the obesity crisis in New Zealand with Maori and Pacific Island people topping the charts in New Zealand for the Obesity epidemic, it makes NO SENSE not to try Cannabis as a means to curb the Obesity crisis in New Zealand, in the inquiry the New Zealand Government just rediculed at the people who advocated Cannabis for the treatment of obesity

  • DdC

    Quick, someone call the Pope, they may need bail money.

    California Nuns Seek Protection for Their Cannabis Business

    The real ‘gateway drug’ is 100% legal
    To the extent that there is a gateway drug, then, it’s alcohol. But the notion of a “gateway” is less important, in this study, than the question of when kids take that first step on the path of substance use.

  • Will

    .
    .
    “…epidemiology of substance use, misuse and substance use disorders…”
    “…etiology of substance misuse and related disorders…”
    “…neurobiological base of substance misuse and related disorders…”
    “…social, economic and health consequences of substance misuse…”
    “…co-occurrence of substance use disorders and other diseases and disorders…”
    “…national, state and local initiatives to assess and improve the quality of care for substance misuse and related disorders…”

    Oh wait;

    “…and potential future directions…”

    ———————————–

    Gawd forbid within the halls of government we have open and honest discussions about the positive attributes of ingesting certain substances. Some of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had were after ingesting psylocibin mushrooms. The only negative experiences I ever had were after ingesting too much — which was my own stupid fault. Now, if I’d been caught emerging from a cow pasture with a bag of freshly picked mushrooms that would have been negative in more ways that one (a friend of mine and I once ran helter skelter from a hovering police helicopter, which was wild and somewhat negative). My experiences with cannabis have been overwhelmingly positive. Again, though, the only negative — or disorder — would have been if I’d been apprehended by the authorities with a pocket full of the Devil’s hemp syringes. So under “potential future directions” I’d like to suggest a change…oh, what the hell am I saying, might as well go pound sand. Besides, it would be more than disconcerting to see grown adults react to the mere suggestion of the positives of “substance” use. You know, when every person in the room simultaneously mimics a Golden Retriever puppy — head cocked to the side, ears slightly raised and an expression that only says “Wha?”.

  • kaptinemo

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is in hot water with the Democratic Party rank-and-file.

    You might recall the current head of the Democratic National Committee’s less-than-intelligent regurgitation of cannabis prohibition talking points regarding MMJ in 2014 and her opposition to an MMJ bill, and thereby pissed off major Dem moneyman – and the same bill’s sponsor – John Morgan. A major stink ensued.

    It seems that the campaign to remove her has gone viral, with news outlets like AlterNet joining the fight.

    They are not mentioning the MMJ bill, but you can bet others will.

    • DdC

      Lil Debbie Wasserface. No Ganja for sick people, too many are dying from legal drugs? Say Wha. Heroin is everywhere.
      Talkin’ Lil Debbie Paranoid Blues

      DNC Head Debbie Wasserman Schultz Said Some Stupid Stuff About Drugs
      By Jack Moore

      Debbie Wasserman Schultz Thinks Young Women Are Complacent
      by ANA MARIE COX

      Well, she was feelin’ sad and kind of blue
      Didn’t know what she was gonna do
      The Legalizers were comin’ around
      They was in the air, they were on the ground
      They were all over

      So she ran down most hurriedly
      And joined the Sabeteur SAM gossip queens
      She got her a secret membership card
      Went back to her backyard
      And started looking on the sidewalk
      ‘Neath the rose bush

      Well, she was lookin’ everywhere for them gold darned Heads
      Got up in the mornin’ and looked under her bed
      Looked behind the kitchen, behind the door
      Even tore loose the kitchen floor, couldn’t find any

      Looked beneath the sofa, beneath the chair
      Looking for them stoners everywhere
      She looked way up her chimney hole
      Even looked deep inside her toilet bowl
      They got away

      She heard some footsteps by the front porch door
      So she grabbed her shotgun from the floor
      She snuck around the house with a huff and hiss and
      “Hands up, you Cannabist” it was a mail man
      He punched her out

      Well, she quit her job so she could work alone
      Got a magnifying glass like Sherlock Holmes
      Followed some clues from her detective bag
      And discovered they was Hemp in the American flag
      Did you know about Betsy Ross

      Well, she was sittin’ home alone and she started to sweat
      Figured they was in her television set
      She peeked behind the picture frame
      And got a shock from her feet that hit her brain
      Them Heads did it, no one’s on the hootin’ nanny

      Well, she finally started thinkin’ straight
      When she run outta things to investigate
      Couldn’t imagine doin’ anything else
      So now she’s at home investigatin’ herself
      Hope, she don’t find out too much, good God

    • Will

      Debbie’s hot tub is getting hotter;

      DNC CHAIR, FUELED BY BOOZE PACS, BLASTS LEGAL POT

      http://tinyurl.com/jf84v9f

      ‘…”Wasserman Schultz said that she was “bothered by the drug culture that surrounded my childhood — not mine personally. I grew up in suburbia.”’

      That’s right Debbie, suburbia has always been drug free, especially your own private suburbia. Please go on;

      “[Anna Marie] Cox pointed out that despite the dramatic problem with opiate abuse, the state has not made opiates illegal. Wasserman Schultz responded by saying that there “is a difference between opiates and marijuana.”

      ——————————-

      I’ll just leave that right there.

      • jean valjean

        Debbie does cancel out one racial stereotype…..the smart Jewish girl:
        “I grew up in suburbia,” indeed.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Sheesh, even more brain dead than Stupidpatrick…who’da thunk it possible?
    Oklahoma attorney general asking U.S. Supreme Court to crackdown on Colorado

    Oklahoma and Nebraska have regurgitated their response to the Federal government’s response to the SCOTUS in response to their request for the Federal government’s opinion in response to Colorado’s response to the pleadings that started this nonsense in the first place. Gosh I love those guys. They’re either as dumb as a bag of rocks or they’re hippies in disguise. Either way if they were here at this moment I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from giving them a big wet slurpy of a kiss. I must send them a Christmas card at the end of the year. Seriously, these pleadings have got to be the most comprehensive piece of court room stupidity since Chris Darden got O.J. acquitted when he insisted that Mr. Simpson try on those gloves.

    What in the heck were these guys thinking when they filed without the benefit of even 1 flippin’ years worth of statistics? With youth use statistics which say that both States had statistically significant reductions in youth use of cannabis between 2009 and 2013 when Colorado started to authorize medicinal cannabis vendors?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Get this: In the last week Nebraska has seized at least 203 lbs of pot on I-80 in 2 separate instances. No mention of Colorado.
      On 12/30/2015 91 lbs being driven by a guy from Alaska. Perhaps Nebraska will add Alaska to the lawsuit.


      On 1/3/2016 102 lbs
      headed for Minnesota: “[Sharla] Martin was arrested and charged with possession with the Intent to deliver marijuana and failure to affix a tax stamp, both felonies.” I hope that they don’t forget to add Nevada and Minnesota. And what about cartel brickweed? Shouldn’t they also sue Mexico?

      The thing that leaves me flabbergasted is how the heck do they prove it came from Colorado? Testimony from the accused culprit(s)? Packages with store logos? By now there have probably been several hundred thousands with such markings. Anybody could have gotten that packaging and stashed the cannabis in those bags. I’ve got a friend who has a fetish for using standard issue Walmart bags. It doesn’t mean that he acquired his product from Walmart.

      Pruitt says the Colorado oversees, protects and profits from a $100 million-per-month marijuana regulatory scheme that exported at least two tons of marijuana to 36 states in 2014.

      Is everyone getting my points?

      1) To get to two tons he had to include almost 3/4 of the United States. 34 of those States are flippin’ irrelevant to these pleadings.

      2) He argues that Colorado is profiting because of the State’s excise and sales taxes on cannabis. That argument was made only a few short days after Sharla Martin was arrested for felony evasion of Nebraska’s tax on cannabis. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  • Mr_Alex

    This is what the New Zealand Media had the guts to write about a New Zealand Farmer who immigrated to Colorado:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/75612766/biggest-cannabis-dealer-in-colorado-from-the-waikato

    There are rumors in NZ that the New Zealand Government has banned him from re-entering NZ

  • Servetus

    Maine’s governor has flipped out, and once again, it’s because of drug hysteria. According to Governor Paul LePage, a Roman Catholic, outside, agitating drug dealers impregnate “young white” girls:

    PORTLAND, Maine — Blunt-spoken Republican Gov. Paul LePage said out-of-state drug dealers are impregnating “young white” girls, and his remarks were quickly denounced by critics on Thursday as racial fear-mongering.

    LePage, talking about Maine’s heroin epidemic, described out-of-state drug dealers as “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” and said “half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”

    Even the conservatives are unhappy with the hapless governor:

    “This is one of the most blatantly racist statements he’s ever made,” said Dutson, a former CEO of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center who helped create the GOP group Get Right Maine to combat extremism. “One of the things that’s offensive about it is that it’s reminiscent of this fear-mongering in American history that people would like to think is long gone.”

    Which raises a question: has Governor LePage conducted genetic tests to confirm the racial identities of those he claims to be his own children?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/maine-governor-drug-dealers-impregnate-young-white-girls/

  • Servetus

    Growers advisory: Avoid renting out your marijuana grow-op location to a family on an Airbnb holiday, especially when you’re just about to be raided by the police.

    BBC is calling it a ‘drug lab’ because they can’t make a distinction between a grow-op and a synthetic chemical or pharmaceutical process.

    “Drug lab raid ruins Australian family’s Airbnb holiday”

  • Windy

    Just had to tell you all, I went to a rec store today and purchased a gram of Tommy Chong’s “Sun Grown Banana Kush” Indica ($12) just because, hey, Tommy Chong; and it had just come in today for the first time. Got home, loaded the bong with a small hit, not a lot of flavor, but a decent high that lasted a few hours. WA growers do it better, sorry Tommy.

    Next famous grower’s weed I intend to try is Steve Kubby’s, coming out soon, I hear (he’s my FB friend), and hopefully to a store near me.

    • DdC

      Tommy Chong ‏@tommychong
      My strains are currently available in 23 dispensaries in the LEGAL state of Washington. What a time to be alive man!!

      Tommy Chong @tommychong
      I have a new line of cannabis products coming in February that I’ll be announcing further details about soon. Stay posted for #ChongsChoice

      Tommy Chong ‏@tommychong
      Chong’s Choice will be available in California first. Starting February.

      Chong’s Choice
      – Lab tested, high potency flower
      – Marijuana Infused breath strips
      – Packaged pre-rolls
      – Vape cartridges
      – As well as a full line of CBD products.