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The drug war in popular fictional entertainment

The recent explosion of comic-book-sourced movies and television shows have had the luxury of creating entire classes of bad guys – meta-humans, aliens, super villains, etc., and there’s no need for writers to actually know anything about the science, economics, or sociology behind shark-men or Martians. But for ages, standard action shows have had a limited number of bad-guy options. Sure, you’ve got the specialty shows like SVU (sexual predators), but otherwise it’s bank robbers, terrorists, and… drug dealers.

For decades, drug dealers/cartels have been a go-to stereotype action bad guy for this kind of fiction. It’s a convenient mechanism with ruthless villains versus the good guys in law enforcement.

Of course, when you spend so much time studying drug policy, it’s hard to enjoy the fiction, in part because you can immediately see how ridiculous the plots and characters often are.

This week, I was watching “Scorpion,” a TV show about a dysfunctional group of geniuses who are called upon by the government to use their special skills to solve a problem, or stop a catastrophe. This episode, there was a visiting drug agent from Mexico, and this was the dialogue in the opening scene.

Federal Drug Agent Sanchez of Mexico: Three days ago a rancher found this brick of heroin attached to a drone that malfunctioned and crashed by the Arizona border. Our sources are certain it came from Central America through my country and into yours.
Paige (looking at the label on the heroin): Gold Mule? This is the heroin that’s been in the news?
Sanchez: Extremely pure, very dangerous. Kids are OD’ing on this poison all over the country.
Cabe: It’s potent stuff. Users are willing to pay top dollar for it and dealers are willing to kill for the distribution territory here in the states. It sparked gang wars in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami.
Sanchez: Innocents are getting caught in the cross-fire. (shows picture of a body) A father, walking home from work. An 8-year-old, doing her homework, bullet came in through her bedroom window, three blocks from my home.
Sylvester: (looking at picture) She was doing math!
Walter: I assume you want our help because drones are involved?
Sanchez: Correct. So far, we have been able to confiscate 85% of the shipments coming across the border.. trucks, tunnels, airplanes.
Happy: Are you telling me that all the drugs in the United States only account for 15% of the potential supply?
Sanchez: Imagine if the rest got in via drone!

There’s just so much wrong in that exchange. Both factually (85%???), and because a bunch of geniuses could easily point out how stupid the government’s approach is to problem-solving when it comes to the drug war, and would understand more about supply and demand.

The rest of the plot was pretty pathetic – the cartels sent all their drones across the border at the same place, where the geniuses knew where to be, in packs that could be tracked by radar, and, after a bunch of hair-raising chases and a medical emergency that had nothing to do with the original plot, the good guys won, bad guys were arrested and nobody died. And at the end of the episode…

Sylvester: Given the size of the shipment we stopped, and near future shipments of the same size, taking into account overdose statistics, the gang war over distribution and adjusting for a margin of error, we saved 4,287 lives. Minimum!

Of course, it’s fiction. Nobody’s looking for realism here. But man, it’s hard to keep a straight face when watching this stuff.

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54 comments to The drug war in popular fictional entertainment

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    You’ve given me a flashback to my cocaine smoking days. I was making regular journeys to Miami to re-stock. I got on one particular airplane and to my horror discovered that the people in coach were myself, my half kilo taped to my legs and 106 DEA agents traveling to DC for further training. It reminds me of that flight because those jack boots were telling war stories. One of them said that he was thrilled when he made a bust of $600,000 worth of cocaine because he knew that a not insignificant amount would end up being sold to elementary school children. That flight is not something I ever want to endure again.

    Yeah, get rich by getting Tiny Tim to use his lunch money to buy cocaine.
    —————————–
    Law & Order SVU needs to give the people writing the show a heads up that bootleg meth isn’t very popular on this side of the country.

    SAMHSA says there were 46,565 tweakers in “treatment” in California for 2014. For New York there are 1600.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    So in less than 48 hours Canada had its medicinal cannabis law struck down for reasons beneficial to patients, Australia moved forward with legalizing medicinal cannabis, the Vermont Senate voted to re-legalize cannabis intended for enjoyment, and the architect and head cheerleader of the U.N. plan to make the planet free of (some) drugs by 2008 jumped on the bandwagon.

    The juggernaut continues at full velocity.

  • jean valjean

    The show is clearly aimed at low-information voters, the same audience the drug war has targeted for the last 80 years. Reefer madness anyone?

    • DdC

      All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.

      Just say No

      Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. ~ Benito Mussolini

      700,000 marijuana arrests avg yearly,

      A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
      ~ John F. Kennedy

  • DdC

    Battle Lines in the Drug War
    by William Norman Grigg

    Near the climax of Triangle of Death, a novel written by former federal undercover agent Michael Levine, a confrontation takes place in Argentina between a “deep cover” agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and an officer of the CIA. The DEA agent had penetrated the heart of a globe-spanning narcotics network which was producing an enhanced variety of cocaine known as La Reina Blanca — only to learn that key elements of the drug network were actively cooperating with the CIA.

    “Make La Reina Blanca available in a country and within weeks a significant and predictable portion of the population is turned into murderous, uncontrollable zombies doomed to a slow, expensive death,” the CIA official muses. “You destroy that nation’s economy, its faith in its government. The nation implodes on itself. You win a war and you never fire a shot. Look what heroin and cocaine have already done — La Reina makes those drugs look like powdered sugar.”

    “You’re not telling me anything I don’t know,” the DEA undercover agent angrily responds. “What I don’t understand is how … you, a so-called American, can put that [drug] on our streets.”

    “How can you be so good at what you do and have so little understanding of what really pulls your strings?” the CIA officer wearily responds. “Don’t you realize that there are factions in your government that want this to happen — an emergency situation too hot for a constitutional government to handle.”

    “To what end?” asks the shocked drug agent.

    “A suspension of the Constitution, of course. The legislation is already in place. All perfectly legal. Check it out yourself. It’s called FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency. ‘Turn in your guns … from here on out, we’re watching you, you antigovernment rabble rousers.’

  • Servetus

    Did someone resurrect Dragnet?

    Sgt. Joe Friday: Just the facts, ma’am. We’re looking for reefer, marihuana, mary-jane. It’s being transported by mules from Central America. It looks like this (holding out a baggie containing green leafy material).

    Jane Q. Citizen: (Looking at the label): Acapulco Gold? Extremely pure. Very dangerous. Kids are ODing. I read about it in Reader’s Digest.

    Sgt. Friday: Potent stuff, ma’am. This deadly drug sells for $3000 an ounce on the black market. People smoke it and turn into mass killers.

    Jane Q. Citizen: Thank goodness it’s so expensive, or we’d be up to our necks in dead people.

    Sgt. Friday: Exactly. And just as a safety measure, we’d like to have a look inside your home to make sure none of this evil substance made its way inside.

    Jane Q. Citizen: Well, uh, I don’t know… (Sgt. Friday pushes the woman aside. Three detectives follow him into the woman’s house).

    Detective to Joe Friday: Hey, Joe! Look at this, it’s a dog! (gunshots ring out).

    • Frank W.

      Your Dragnet parody doesn’t include the classic Evil Pot episode where Brenda Scott (a veteran Dragnet Evil Hippie) lets her baby drown in a bathtub and Webb ends the episode by crushing the Evil Pot in his rage-fist.
      And this morning ActionNewsTeam reported that emergency room visits from hallucinating Colorado Drug Tourists are,uh, flooding the emergency room because of Evil Pot!

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        No doubt the ER story being published was just more of the sycophants of prohibition incessant whining because of their utter confusion over losing. But hell’s bells why wouldn’t that rate increase? People not residing in Colorado weren’t allowed to legally purchase cannabis in Colorado until 1/1/2014. Quite frankly I found the 2013 number stunning and think “so what else is news?” about the 2014 number.

        We’re familiar with how easy it is to get DAWN to classify an ER visit as cannabis related. “well doc, it was a beautiful spring day. I was at the park by the lake enjoying the day, sitting under a tree smoking a joint of merrywanna. Suddenly with no warning a violent thunderstorm came out of nowhere! A bolt of lightning hit the tree I was under and knocked a branch off which clobbered me in the head.” Cannabis related ER visit tallied. Brain injury mitigated by the neuro-protective qualities of cannabis.

        There were a couple of things in the article which is common knowledge here but I don’t believe I’ve seen them “mentioned” in a similar piece of hysterical rhetoric regurgitated by the prohibitionists. Added emphasis is mine:

        Emergency Room Visits Double for Marijuana-Using Colorado Visitors

        /snip/
        “At our institution, the rate of ED visits possibly related to cannabis use among out-of-state residents doubled from 85 per 10,000 visits in 2013 to 168 per 10,000 visits in 2014, which was the first year of retail marijuana sales,” wrote Dr. Andrew Monte, an emergency room toxicologist at the University of Colorado Denver in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, along with colleagues.”
        /snip/

        /snip/
        Monte said some of the cases may simply involve people who mention marijuana use to the ER staff when they’re in the hospital for something else. But even accounting for that, rates are up, he said.

        /snip/
        …could include patients with anxiety disorders or schizophrenia, which can be worsened by marijuana use, or people with heart disease who can develop complications with heavy use, Monte said.

        That’s not always dangerous but it could be, he said. “In a young health[y] person with a young healthy heart, absolutely not,” he said.

        /snip/
        The third group are people who smoke or eat a little too much pot and get heavily intoxicated and scared.

        /snip/
        “I took care of a guy just the other night that had come in, was flying out of town, had come in to see friends, decided to drink some liquid just before going to the airport. He started to feel anxious. His heart started to race. So he came into the emergency department. So we made sure he had no heart trouble, checked the blood sugar, gave him a little bit of sedative[, gave him a bill for $500] and then sent him on to the airport.”

        /snip/
        “People should start low and go slow and have a full understanding of what the risks are,” he said. “Nothing is 100 percent safe. You can get intoxicated by water if you drink too much of it.”

        No mention of where he got his total number of tourists to use as the denominator. Colorado tourism went through the roof in 2014.

        The article linked above is evidence supporting the fact that we’ve made a difference. I really don’t care that it will be forgotten by the citizenry in short order because those facts are now part of the discussion. It means that we’re being heard.

      • Servetus

        Dragnet‘s “Blue Boy” Episode. Clocking in at number 85 in TV Guide‘s 1997 list of the best TV episodes ever, this segment told just the facts about LSD-and a face-painting hippie called Blue Boy, who overdosed on the stuff after being arrested by Sgt. Joe Friday, played by three-pack-a-day smoker Jack Webb, who died in real life of a heart attack at age 62. Honorable mention: the “Big High” episode, in which two cannabis-craving parents get stoned and let their child drown in a bathtub. “After 25 years on the job, it’s finally happened,” groans Friday’s partner, Bill Gannon. “I’m going to be sick.

        https://kennyssideshow.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/high-comedies-great-moments-in-the-drug-war-kulturkampf/

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Now how the heck could people not realize that it was doll, not a baby? Its as plain as the nose on your face!

          The story you are about to watch is true. The facts were embellished to make it interesting. The names were changed to avoid getting sued into bankruptcy.

      • yeah… and the majority of those also had used alkiehaul.

      • B. Snow

        They ran a number-free “news-bite” on that on DFW’s CBS station last night (or the night before?) IIRC, they said a new report in Colorado shows “there were double the amount (They may have said *double the number* – Except I saw no actual numbers??) of marijuana related hospital visits by tourists due to edibles & extracts as there were in the previous year – which was (some amount?) higher than the previous year

        The bit that I read and or heard on this widely touted story (which reeks with smell of Prohib-Idiot musk = figuratively of course), that stood out the most was a line that described these people as violently ill…

        Then some crap about ‘these dangerous side effects’ may require more regulations to help ensure that these tourists were directed to be careful with edibles (& whatever) to avoid ruining a vacation to Colorado…
        *Danger-Will-Robinson-Danger* = Be Afraid General Populace Very Afraid!

        Somebody is actually getting scared they’re going to be outta work, Soon.

        I’m glad you mentioned/covered this week’s Scorpion Episode – I like the show -And I didn’t have it in me to share that in anyway close to what it deserved. BUT you did Thanks Pete!

        You really hit the nail on the head though , The worst bit was Sylvester’s *outta-the-ass stats and math* = (which I’m normally able to suspend disbelief for) To wrap-up the show & tell the GENIUS KID Ralphie why/how they didn’t *fail* = “They Saved 4,287 Lives, Minimum.”

        The kid Ralph is easily smart enough to call bullshit on all that bogus math/propaganda. I’d have to say the bigger lie was indeed the Total Lie of “We catch 85% of the shipments sent across the border…” “You mean all the bad stuff heroin does comes from just 15% of the actual supply?? – Well, Golly Geez – this is a really important mission then Huh?…”

        They wish they could get that much, in reality its probably much closer to the inverse 15% seized and 85% that gets through…

        Seems to me like someone got a pile of non-profit charity/noble-cause CA$H to pay for Propaganda-Filled TV Scripts = like the did in the 90’s?

        I mean, We Know the networks hate paying writers for scripted tv shows.

        (Except police procedural crime shows – they must’ve been getting a deal on those somehow?) Which arenmost of the Dramas on TV anymore.
        = Hence all the Reality TV, Dating-Hookups with manufactered drama from manipulative APs, Talent (Star/Idol Searches, glorified stupid-human tricks on an island or in a locked compund.

        Other competition-shows = like fancy Scavenger Hunts, or the classic “Are you smarter than a doorknob?” style game shows…

        Last week on CBS’s “Mom” they had a heroin OD-death to spice up the AA meeting 12 step-centric comedy – and they milked the dead character’s death for more sad *Feels* this week = While they smuggled “Pure Uncut Maple Syrup” across the Canadian Border.

        They got thru because they started crying about the dead woman & a border guard saw them crying (they said they went on vacation to forget about the dead friend – but it didn’t work), He felt bad for them & let’em across without searching the back of the truck for the giant oil-drum of *Pure Maple Syrup* – which his partner had suggested opening up the back to search, but he said, No they’re good… or whatever.

        I’ll bet someone is paying for anti-drug propaganda in our TV shows again, Maybe with *private* SAM, or deperate Rehab’er money?

    • DdC

      Civilized ‏@Civilized_Life
      The strangest anti-marijuana ads ever, featuring #TheHoff and Knight Rider.
      http://rbl.ms/1QkXzj6
      Mr. T Threatens To Beat Up Kids (And 5 Other Bizarre Drug PSAs)

      Drug Worrier Propagandists and Casual Use in Multimedia
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/1068

  • jean valjean

    Hypocrites corner:
    Just saw Obama being interviewed by Ellen Degeneris and smugly taking credit for progress on gay equality. I seem to recall him needing to be dragged kicking and screaming to gay marriage reform by Joe Biden of all people. When Biden is more liberal that you are, you really have a problem. Then I see our grinning, self-satisfied president has just signed this into law:
    ‘The “prohibition on the importation of goods made with convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor” was embedded into a broader trade enforcement bill that Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) presented last year.’
    The US has no need to import goods made with convict labor when it has 2.5 million convict laborers toiling away within its own borders.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/you-wont-be-able-to-get-these-slave-made-items-in-the-us-anymore_us_56cef7dee4b03260bf7591b2

    • B. Snow

      Biden kinda got an assist from Education Secretary Arne Duncan – and it softened the President’s reluctant exceptance of marriage equality, it gave him an extra week or so to make a public speech on it.

      If he’d known that so much of the black community would “Evolve” their views right along with him = With two additional *Assists* by Rev. William Barber & then NAACP leader Ben Jealous…

      There was something like an extra 25-30% shift in African-Americans support for Marriage Equality. Which IMO might not have happened without those men = actually *Leading America* from the front – Or at least riding the crest of the wave/shift in public opinion…

      People use skiing as a metaphor/reference, I think it’s legitimate to use a surfing metaphor.

      The public has all but accepted that Black Lives Matter groups & Criminal Justice Reformers will not let go of the calls for Federal marijuana legalization or specifically de-scheduling.

      Because, Any move to a lower class would just be slow walking it, ignoring the existing science, AND minorities & the poor would still be getting screwed while Prohib-Idiots wait for “proof” that it’s safe

      And meanwhile they would be shoveling cash on bonfires as fast as they were capable = in order to help look for and *lock in* any sort of pharmaceutical version – and trying to get rid of the pleasant buzz.

      As if that manner of “Pursuing Happiness” is a sinful/hedonism – as if its some kind of cheating = not a legitimate way to achieve a grester degree (or measure) of Happiness?!

      We can point to Genesis 1:29-1:31 but that just offends to many *snooty peoples* delicate sensibilities… Like Jesus would frown on a Cannabis = (The Pope maybe? I mean he was a bouncer at a a Buenos Aires nightclub = in his 20’s I’m guessing… I know he talks a lot of smack about crack SWIDT? And other drugs that he’s reportedly seen people struggle with,.I gotta wonder what his interaction with cannabis was or if it was stoners he had issues with? He tought literature & psychology for a bit as well.)

      Anywho, when it comes to Jesus I can’t believe that he didn’t *puff-puff-give* back then (or whatever the rules were back then) just like (I believe) he would Today.

      Bong Hits With Jesus, IS indeed on my personal “Post-Bucket List” = Sorry to ramble on this much I’ve haven’t slept yet. I have a couple health issues cannabis could help with (probably?) But, they make doctors drug test patients & I can’t risk trying to get by with cannabis alone, or finding another doctor.

      Not like they’ve made it near impossible to do that already (at least where I live) Oh wait, they did and now they want to make it worse… Not 100% sure how that’s possible but I may find out?

      • jean valjean

        “….. Prohib-Idiots wait for “proof” that it’s safe”
        See Allen’s comment below about a 2700 year old shaman dug up with the tools of his trade, a bag of cannabis.

      • Windy

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnnunakiHistory/permalink/958147917601644/
        Bianca Leonhard wrote:

        This Assyrian clay tablet (now located in the British Museum of London) may well be the earliest written prescription for Medical Marihuana still known to be in existence. It is dated at around 650 BC. –
        Quunabu The Tree of Life
        Without Question the ancient Assyrians (today central Iraq) made use of Medical Cannabis and it is specifically mentioned on clay tablets found at the library of Assurbanipal, an Assyrian ruler, who lived around 650 BC. It along with another 400 other drugs comprised the whole of the Assyrian pharmacopoeia of its day.
        It should be noted that Assubanipal’s medical library (maybe the world’s first such library) consisted of tablets that went back as far as 2000 BC.
        About the word:
        From the Hebrew word Q’aneh-Bosm also translated Kaneh-Bosm
        Just like in the English Language where we have many words like Hemp, Cannabis, Marihuana etc., to describe one plant, so to did the ancient Assyrians. R. Campbell Thompson in his 1936 “A Dictionary of Assyrian Chemistry and Geology,” gives the two following Assyrian words:
        AZALLUU (A-ZAL-LU-U)
        Related word A-Xal-Lu-u – meaning (the plant used in spinning) and is very close to the Sumerian or Babylonian word – A-ZAL-LA
        GURGURRU (GUR-GUR-RU)
        Related word Gur-Gur-Rum – meaning (a ship’s cable or rope of hemp)
        But by far, the word, or sound pattern, that causes the most controversy as well as the most interest is: “Quunabu.”
        “Quunabu – such was the Assyrian name for Indian hemp. This is basically the same word as it was later known by cannabis (Cannabis India), and hemp is cognate with it. . . . it was often employed in Mesopotamia to relieve the pain of bronchitis, bladder trouble, rheumatism, and as a remedy for insomnia.”
        And here it should be pointed out that we obtain the word Cannabis from the Romans who obtained it from the Greek word Kannabis, who in turn could have, and probably did, obtained it from the Assyrians. This would (if correct) make it one of the oldest words known to men.
        However, it should be pointed out that the sound pattern, “Quunabu” is just one interpretation of the cuneiform symbols. For example, these same cuneiform symbols can also be interpreted as sounding more like “Qunapu” than “Quunabu” (or for that matter a whole host of other but similar sounds patterns) and for all we know, any one of them could be the correct pronunciation.
        But in any case few if any Mesopotamian scholars dispute the fact that Medical Cannabis WAS in use by the time of the Assyrian Empire. The only dispute is in reference to exactly when this medicine first come into use. Most (but not all) however, attribute it to before 3,000 BC when the cuneiform form (of wedge shaped writing) was first developed.
        NOTE
        “The drug that takes away the pain, but also robs the user of his soil”
        However, this (only one of many) interpretation fails to take into account the fact that around 50% of all Sumerian medial texts consisted of magical spells, or incantations, to drive away the evil demons that were thought to be the cause of illness.
        A belief that held up well past biblical times;
        (Jesus himself was said to have cured the ill, by casting out demons)
        Thus a more accurate interpretation should be:
        “Medical Cannabis – The drug that takes away the pain, as well as the evil spirit afflicting the victim”
        or if one prefers:
        “Medical Cannabis – The medicine that takes away the pain as well as drives away the evil demons”
        Because no one today can really speak ancient Sumerian (everyone, including the experts are just taking guesses), one can accept any of the above interpretations (which obviously depend on ones political viewpoint) as being the correct interpretation

  • Uncle Albert's Nephew

    My own personal “favorite” comes about 8 minutes into an action movie called “The Wild Geese” from the 1970s. Rodger Moore holds 2 evil dope dealers at gunpoint and throws an ounce of heroin in front of them and orders each of them to eat half. When the older one lunges for something Rodger Moore shoots him dead and says “I hope you’re hungry sonny boy now it’s all yours”. After the now terrified guy eats it and ODs Moore walks out through a party full of evil pot smoking hippies.

    I think Hawaii 5-0 used a similar plot device except the evil pusher was an obvious clone of Timothy Leary and an outraged dad (Karl Malden?) forced him to eat like 100 doses of LSD. I can’t find that episode online though.

    • Frank W.

      I remember that 5-0. Brenda Scott in a bikini and taking speed that made her see colored lights!

      • Uncle Albert's Nephew

        There’s a whole subtopic there. Cheesy special effects that were supposed to look like the effects of drugs, especially LSD. I’ve never had a visual from a stimulant colored or otherwise BTW. Glad you remembered the episode though. For a while I thought I might have misremembered it.

  • Servetus

    A prime time episode from 1982 called “Bitter Pill” involving drug-enforcement-induced follies featured actor Jack Klugman as Quincy M.E. taking on caffeine pill merchants. Quincy walks into a legal caffeine pill store and goes all Carrie Nation, smashing the place to pieces. Yet, the overbearing, crazed Quincy doesn’t get arrested and sent to jail, nor sued. How does that happen? Surely the people who market No-Doz would have complained to the producers?

    Episode Info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0681759/

    There are others:

    I’m So Excited by Caffeine Pills! In a 1990 episode of the crypto-kiddie-porn high school sitcom Saved by the Bell, Jessie (played by Elizabeth Berkeley, later to triumph as a bare-it-all-to-get-ahead dancer in Showgirls) gets hooked on caffeine pills while studying for a big math test and rehearsing for a singing audition. Her friends’ intervention comes soon enough to save Jessie from the ultimate coffee high but not before the audience hears her espresso-distorted version of the Pointer Sisters’ anthem of chemically free over-exuberance, “I’m So Excited!”

    Source: https://kennyssideshow.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/high-comedies-great-moments-in-the-drug-war-kulturkampf/

  • From LEAP:

    Catch our fearless leader, retired Maj. Neill Franklin on Fox Business Network’s John Stossel show tomorrow, Friday 2/26 @8pm ET!

  • Myanmar

    ANGON: An anti-drug vigilante group in northern Myanmar said at least 20 of its members were wounded in gunfire and explosions Thursday as they pressed ahead with a controversial mission to destroy opium poppy crops.

    The violence comes a day after police allowed hundreds of members of Pat Jasan, a hardline Christian group known for flogging drug users, to advance towards poppy fields against the wishes of local opium farmers.

    Tan Goon, head of Pat Jasan for the Kachin capital Myitkyina, said its members who had set off towards fields in the Waingmaw area on Thursday were ambushed by unknown attackers.

    “Some were shot, some were wounded in mine and bomb blasts, some were beaten and hit with stones,” he told AFP, without giving details of the type of bombs used.

    Pat Jasan members are still thought to be in the area and the situation remains tense as the group, which is backed by the powerful Kachin Baptist Church, has vowed to continue its mission.

    http://tinyurl.com/myanmarmayhem

  • Mouth

    Roseanne: the couple along with aunt Jackie find their old bag of grass, which after 20 years was still good and they smoke it. The three adults wind up sitting in the bathtub and Rosanne forgets where her youngest son has gone off too and starts calling herself a lousy mother and has Dan dump the rest in a toilet. Can weed stay good for that long?

    Now the Frasier episode where their father eats the brownies–that’s a classic.

    • Frank W.

      I believe that show was when Very Special Episodes were REQUIRED to have an anti-drug moral, kind of like the old Hayes Code (didn’t notice that change until “That 70s Show”). Credit the bag for naming her TV child after JG.

    • http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/15/4171.full

      The Yanghai Tombs near Turpan, Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region, China have recently been excavated to reveal the 2700-year-old grave of a Caucasoid shaman whose accoutrements included a large cache of cannabis, superbly preserved by climatic and burial conditions. A multidisciplinary international team demonstrated through botanical examination, phytochemical investigation, and genetic deoxyribonucleic acid analysis by polymerase chain reaction that this material contained tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis, its oxidative degradation product, cannabinol, other metabolites, and its synthetic enzyme, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase, as well as a novel genetic variant with two single nucleotide polymorphisms.

  • CJ

    Yes this is something that has bothered me so much for so long. Its so true and I hate it so much.

  • Will

    OT: Speaking of “popular fictional entertainment”.

    From the attorney general of Nebraska no less;

    Colorado’s Marijuana Regime Is an Affront to Federalism and the Rule of Law

    http://tinyurl.com/hwbgcaj

    Nice of the National Review to publish this balanced viewpoint. Balanced if you have a stick up your ass…

    • Frank W.

      To their “credit”, The National Review has parroted Buckley’s decriminalization stance. On occasion, when the Masters Koch decreed it to be politically useful.

  • darkcycle

    Stanton Peele has a response to the Frontline episode: “Chasing Heroin”.
    It’s worth a read.
    http://theinfluence.org/six-dangerous-falsehoods-peddled-by-the-frontline-heroin-special/

    • B. Snow

      I too saw the Morning Joe coverage/promotion of the “FRONTLINE” special which should be sub-headed:
      ‘Heroin is here to take your kids and grandparents away from you via overdose – So, Be Afraid… Very Afraid*

      Stanton Peele couldn’t be more right on this one, I was particularly disturbed by Mika Brzezinski’s recounting of her college age (? or high school she has two, its just a bad either way)

      …And, her coming home from having wisdom teeth removed “with a big bottle of pills and I (she) described snatching-up the bottle from her daughter – and making a show (literally) of “Telling her, she can come and ask me for one when she’s really in pain…”

      Oh the Anger flowed thru me like the darkside for a couple secs there…

      Because I similarly had (4) wisdom teeth removed via oral surgeon thankfully 20-ish years ago…

      It matters because the Lortab they prescribed for me simply didn’t cut it – and I was beside myself in pain after the meds from the surgery fully wore-off, they were able to call my doctor or the ER or something (I honestly don’t recall precisely how?)

      But, they talked to someone who presumably verified or *OMG, Took their word for it!* = When they explained the situation & that I had taken the meds, waited, taken another pill waited, and was still in a world of pain… And in small town, Eastern New Mexico – managed to get someone to prescribe me some Demerol = which worked quite well – and I took it as needed…

      And, *All By Myself* managed when to take it, if I could go out and drive about 20 mins to the next town to the local gaming store, and I didn’t “run out & need more refills = it may have had 1 refill IDK? = Probably because it honestly wasn’t a big deal once I wasn’t in excruciating pain anymore.

      And I didn’t getting strung-out on heroin or somehow manage to overdose, it wasn’t a problem.

      Now, I will say I may have had a tolerance for pain meds due to many, ear infections from nasty seasonal allergies (Once a season, about 3 out of every 4 seasons), I think they prescribed me tylenol with codeine…

      I asked my parents at some point & they didn’t think had been prescribed any or much tylenol with codeine or “tylenol 3”, (I think they might not have realized it = They were all worried about not giving me/kids Aspirin back then and Reye’s Syndrome was a major wotty then, and a bit less so nowdays.)

      The last pain med I had prior to the wisdom teeth removal was about two years beforehand, and that was just a small bit of codeine for an minor-ish ingrown toenail surgery = which really did hurt enough to warrant the tylenol 3 (IMO).

      I don’t see how some people can seriously tell other people how much pain the other person is “legitimately” in… Or decide out-of-hand just what conditions or whatever are appropriate for certain pain meds?
      I get guidelines, but this whole err in the side of letting people suffer = Because some fraction of other people may not be able to control their intake of opiates, Just -pisses me = All-The-Way-Off!

      There’s people blaming doctors, society/culture for overtreating pain with opiates, there was a noted epidemic of undertreated pain prior to the popularity of Oxycontin, and I read a very similar one – last week or so – and I wonder if anyone will care this time?

      We have overly concerned “once burnt” Nannies Staters telling doctors, patients, (adults & children alike), “You all can’t have this opiate pain med” = Because, *their* kid/spouse/parent/etc *might* misuse or “abuse” the same medicine in a similar situation?

      WTF? How do I get brought/sucked into their fucking problem(s)?

      How do they get to insert themselves into my life and create a serious fucking problem for ME – in the here and now…

      Because of something that isn’t certain – Nor their business?? (Even if it’s become their “CONCERN”…)

      Where were they when the ‘Partnership Commercials’ came on – Saying, “Hey kids, DON’T sneak into your parents/families’ medicine cabinets, there’s illicit fun to be had in there! Don’t snag them & have ‘pill parties’ with your friends… M’kay..”

      Oh yeah, right… I forgot = those were their commercials.

  • Servetus

    It’s contagious. Drug absurdity, that is. A natural byproduct of hysteria, absurdity permeates all aspects of the drug spectrum, from bad TV to judicial corruption. Antonin (Nino) Scalia (mortem obire) was a hardline foe of the drug consumer, even though he himself drank moderately, and was an inveterate tobacco smoker. It’s probably why he ruled so favorably for tobacco companies.

    Many of Scalia’s objections can be found in a distinct anti-secularism common to prohibitionists—a hatred of science, and presumably scientists. Here, one of his former law clerks, Bruce Hay, speaks ill of the recently departed:

    Antonin Scalia generally detested science. It threatened everything he believed in. He refused to join a recent Supreme Court opinion about DNA testing because it presented the details of textbook molecular biology as fact. He could not join because he did not know such things to be true, he said. (On the other hand, he knew all about the eighteenth century. History books were trustworthy; science books were not.) Scientists should be listened to only if they supported conservative causes, for example dubious studies purporting to demonstrate that same-sex parenting is harmful to children. Scientists were also good if they helped create technologies he liked, such as oil drills and deadly weapons.

    With Nino Scalia gone, drug law reformers have secured a temporary victory. A Scalia litmus test is necessary if we’re to screen future SCOTUS prospects for signs of Ninoism. No one like Scalia must cast their dark shadows and dead constitutions within the halls of justice again.

    Killer Article by Bruce Hay:
    http://www.salon.com/2016/02/27/i_thought_i_could_reason_with_antonin_scalia_a_more_naive_young_fool_never_drew_breath/

  • claygooding

    I see the IRS has stepped up the war on legal pot,,wants legal marijuana businesses to pay 70% taxes.

    Keeping the black market going is so easy for the government.

    • hope

      Predatoty taxation!

    • DdC

      Meet the Marijuana Industry’s Secret Weapon
      According to AngelList, a website that allows people to land jobs at start-ups, invest in start-ups, or raise money for their start-up business, marijuana is a hot investment. As of Feb. 21, 2016, its website listed 449 companies, 1,625 investors, and nearly 5,800 followers interested in various marijuana start-up businesses. Of those companies listed, each had an average valuation of $3.5 million.

      • claygooding

        That 70% income tax will end that,,can’t no business start up paying the state 15% or more and the feds 70%,,,time to start checking for new stealth technology.

        The war on pot is going to kick into high gear or blow a head gasket when the legal growers and sellers start quitting with no new applicants.

        It creates the situation Holder wanted to avoid,,legal marijuana with no legal outlet,,they want to make CO fail with legal outlets and they know DC will fail because they are where every state is headed,,,green market.

        Local growers keeping their profits here,buying goods and services from the local businesses stimulating our economy instead of another country’s economy.

        • DdC

          DC One Year Anniversary With Legalized Marijuana

          The District’s marijuana reforms have already saved thousands of people from facing the same obstacles, as marijuana arrests have plummeted since the implementation of D.C.’s 2014 marijuana decriminalization law, and the further-reaching ballot initiative later that year. From 2010 to 2015 marijuana arrests have dropped over 92 percent – arrests for possession fell by 99.2 percent, arrests for possession with intent to distribute were down 85.5 percent and distribution arrests decreased by 71.8 percent. This reflects the local police department’s response to the desire of District residents to focus limited law enforcement resources elsewhere.
          http://cannabisnews.com/news/28/thread28788.shtml

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          They’re talking about section 280(E) in your Federal income tax library of regulations and laws. It’s been around since 1982 so it’s nothing new. I think it’s a good rule of thumb and try to keep in mind that anything that a prohibitionist parasite or sycophant thinks is new is probably only new to them. I recall when they discovered synthetic merrywanna circa 2010. “Oh my have you seen the brand new drug of addiction? We must make it illegal without even a first thought!” It wasn’t a placebo after all.

          One of the most boneheaded mistakes of fact I’ve ever made regarding the general subject of cannabis for enjoyment was that synthetic merrywanna was basically a placebo making it a ripoff. Since I’m a letter write I wrote a nastygram about placebo weed and the lack of ethics in advertising it for sale and sent it to High Times…in either March or April of 2004.

          It’s really a dictionary picture worthy example of the depths of prohibitionist stupidity. The very first thing they did was to put the “active ingredients” in schedule I. Did they even bother to wonder if JWH-018 or HU-210 (-211?) might have medicinal value with further research? So now we may never know. Even more stupid of them was the fact that putting it in schedule II would have accomplished their lame objective but left those substances available for general research.

          The cherry on top is that their actions encouraged the wholesale vendors to change to different synthetic cannabinoids and that’s when people started going to the hospital for real, not imaginary medical conditions and physical injuries. Every time the fall all over themselves rushing to put different synthetic cannabinoids into schedule I those things get worse, and worse, and worse, even expanding to include death for the people they want to claim were “saved” from the horrors of synthetic merrywanna addiction. But on the plus side we did learn that smoking a PEZ dispenser can kill a person on the first try. Not a quick or pain free death either.

          Oh well, I’d like to make a long story short but it’s too late for that.

  • MyanmarUpdate

    MYITKYINA, Myanmar: Christian anti-drug vigilantes in Myanmar said Saturday they had halted a mission to raze poppy fields while at least 30 of their members were recovering from injuries sustained during violent clashes with unknown attackers this week.
    Pat Jasan, a hardline Christian group known for flogging drug users, said it was assailed by a mob wielding explosives and stones Thursday after it set out to destroy poppy plants against the wishes of local farmers in the hilly and far-flung Kachin state.

    The injured activists, seen by an Agence France-Presse photographer laying side-by-side and hooked up to IVs in Myitkyina’s bare-bones hospital, are all in a stable condition, according to the group’s spokesman.

    “And we arranged a safe place for the rest of the members who were attacked,” he added.
    Determined to root out a scourge of heroin addictions that have eviscerated local communities, Pat Jasan formed its loose network two years ago with the backing of the powerful Kachin Baptist Church.

    Its members, who don camouflage vests and combat helmets on their missions, have used forceful methods, including beating drug users, in their efforts to break addictions.

    http://tinyurl.com/Runrabbitscatter

  • skootercat

    Last week, MSNBC had some great clips of candidate Christie talking about Trump and in one of those clips, standing behind Christie, is Howard Wooldridge in his ten gallon hat and T-shirt “Cops Say Legalize Pot, Ask Me How.” Priceless media. Thank you Howard.

  • Crazy Headbanger

    Grind metal “druggie” band Brujeria has a touching tribute to Pablo Escobar called El Patrón on the epic Raza Odiada album from 1995.
    It is right up there with Napalm Death and Terrorizer for greatest grind albums ever recorded and members of those bands are in Brujeria.
    I’m still laughing over new jack weekend warrior poseurs going out to Colorado and eating too much of the edibles.
    If the wrong person gets elected could it be the end of the legal green rush in certain enlightened western states even with Christie out of the running?

    • DdC

      If the wrong person gets elected could it be the end of the legal green rush in certain enlightened western states even with Christie out of the running?

      Is The DEA Legalizing THC?
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1680
      So, in other words, if a pharmaceutical product contains THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would be a legal commodity. But if you or I possessed THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would remain an illegal commodity.

      Wait, it gets even more absurd.

      Since the cannabis plant itself will remain illegal under federal law, then from whom precisely could Big Pharma legally obtain their soon-to-be legal THC extracts? There’s only one answer: The federal government’s lone legally licensed marijuana cultivator, The University of Mississippi at Oxford, which already has the licensing agreements with the pharmaceutical industry in hand.

  • Chris

    So sorry you made the mistake of watching that show. I read the title and knew straight away it was going to be inaccurate at least with regards to tech – they messed up a self-closing html tag. Reading imdb confirmed that this is some weapons-grade stupid writing. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while now – what are lazy writers going to do when drug dealers are no longer available as black-and-white plot devices? So much fiction assumes that this will continue for decades into the future (or further), as if the illegality of drugs is as certain as the rising sun.

  • Servetus

    A pack of lies and veiled deceptions concerning marijuana is being offered by the totally clueless Peter Gates, a “senior research officer…at the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales Australia”.

    Gates writes in a February 28 issue of Newsweek entitled “Does Marijuana Cause Mental Illness: The Facts”:

    In contrast, the relationship between cannabis use and risk of developing symptoms of psychosis has been well established in many different review articles.

    This research has found that early and frequent cannabis use is a component cause of psychosis, which interacts with other risk factors such as family history of psychosis, history of childhood abuse and expression of the COMT and AKT1 genes. These interactions make it difficult to determine the exact role of cannabis use in causing psychosis that may not have otherwise occurred.

    Regardless, the connection between cannabis use and psychosis is not surprising. There is a strong resemblance between the acute and transient effects of cannabis use and symptoms of psychosis, including impaired memory, cognition and processing of external stimuli. This combines to make it hard for a person to learn and remember new things but can also extend to the experience of deluded thinking and hallucinations.

    Gates also tries to make a tenuous connection between marijuana consumption and depression. He totally ignores the research done in the 19th century that demonstrated cannabis had therapeutic anti-depressant properties. He ignores the thousands who use cannabinoids today medicinally to treat depression, either alone or as an adjunct to other drug therapies using SSRIs. What’s worse, the idiots at Newsweek published his dribble, and of course allowed no comments.

    It’s clear that once the evil of recreational drugs such as marijuana is finally debunked, institutions such as the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales Australia may very well cease to exist, along with Gate’s job as a corrupt propagandist and shill for the rehab industry.

  • It’s disgusting! Freedom revolution now!
    robertsrevolution.net