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What we can learn from gay people about the drug war

Johann Hari (author of “Chasing the Scream“) has another interesting piece out: Four Reasons Gay People Might Have Better Insight Into Addiction and the Drug War

I have always thought that those of us in the drug policy reform community could learn from the rapid revolution that happened in recent years regarding gay rights — the progress made by gays certainly helped give me more hope that such a revolution in our area was feasible once public opinion reached the right tipping point.

Johann, as a gay man who has studied and written about drug addiction and drug policy has added his perspective to the connections in a way that I think is insightful.

But here’s the weird question. I am gay, and I never thought of it as having any relevance to this subject. But somebody who read the book—somebody I like—said: “Do you think being gay gave you a different insight into this question?” She pointed out that some of the most high-profile people to champion the book—Glenn Greenwald, Elton John, Stephen Fry, Andrew Sullivan—are also gay.

At first I felt a bit indignant. Although the person who said this is definitely not a homophobe, most gay people know what it’s like to sometimes have the uncomfortable feeling of being poked into a pigeon-hole—of being told that the experience you regard as universal should in fact have flashing neon lights and a big sign saying “GAY!” above it.

And yet, when I went away and thought about it, I began to wonder if gay people might have a particular insight onto this question. All of these insights are, of course, accessible to straight people—but I suspect we might have short-cuts to them, for four reasons.

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51 comments to What we can learn from gay people about the drug war

  • Orange Goblin

    Congrats on the UK for voting LEAVE.

    Next vote for the LEAF!

    Reefer-rendum. That is what real democracy smells like.

    Fuck unity… Independence
    and freedom is what counts. Europeon unelected prohibitionist dictators can go fuck themselves!

    #freeamosyee

  • Servetus

    Both gays and drug consumers share a heritage of persecution going back centuries. The Spanish Inquisition executed gays as well as druggies. An inquisitorial legal file dating from the 16th century details the case of four Dominican monks who were burned at the stake for “imposture”, that is, they were caught using and promoting the use of hashish and opium.

    In 1979, Henry Tajfel and John Turner published a paper that exposed an aspect of human group behavior. They called their observations social identity theory. In experiments involving a group of kids, a coin was tossed to divide the kids into two groups, where they became distinguished as the red group and the blue group. Tajfel and Turner observed that each group became suspicious of the other group, even though nothing had transpired between the blues and reds that might raise anyone’s mistrust. An arbitrary grouping was all that was necessary to produce the effect. Since then, every such experiment done with children anywhere in the world has produced the same data. The results point to a biological origin for prejudice and ultimately to that of warring nations. All it takes is one minor, indiscreet act by one member of a group against the other group to solidify suspicions about the first group’s enemy status. Violence can result. Such group conflict is seen emerging in early Christianity. St. Augustine (354 – 430 CE) wrote that during his lifetime he counted 88 different Christian sects, none of whom got along with one another.

    A big problem in the U.S. is that white Christian nationalists don’t believe in biologically driven behavior. Neither do Marxists. Their group beliefs insist on the assumption that the mind is a blank slate, or tabula rasa, infinitely malleable to any political system, or act of despotism, an idea that evolutionary psychologists, linguists, and scientists discarded long ago. Owing to belief in the blank slate, mandatory referrals of drug consumers by courts to drug rehab programs and drug-courts are believed to remedy biological addictions. Gay therapies, now banned in California, are believed to cure homosexuality. Underlying all of these pseudo-therapies is a groupthink suspicion that what is not normal in the group’s black-and-white world view is necessarily evil. Exemplifying this: just before Omar Mateen attacked the Pulse gay bar, he went into a groupthink mode and declared his motive to kill bar patrons to be a support of ISIS.

    The reason gays and marijuana legalists share similar victories in this timeline is that there is a shift toward a scientific understanding of human behavior–away from the old tabula rasa model. Overall the trend is a good one. Conflict due to change can be expected to continue, but will eventually subside thanks not necessarily to groups, but to individuals who use the Internet in a flanking maneuver that’s been successfully critical of groupthink. So far, the Internet revolutionaries haven’t been burned at the stake.

  • SexWithThatcher

    On Monday, Paraguay’s top anti-drug official stepped down, two days after a botched anti-cannabis operation left a three-year-old girl dead at the hands of his troops.

    Paraguay is by far South America’s largest cannabis producer, having surpassed Colombia over the past decade. But in vivid contrast to nearby Uruguay, the traditionally conservative landlocked country continues to pursue a policy of hardline intransigence. Rojas had been a particularly outspoken opponent of Uruguay’s new legalization program.

    But dissent is growing. On Wednesday, members of the opposition Paraguay Pyahurâ Party (PPP) held a protest march in Asunción, the capital, against the “anti-popular and anti-national” drug policies of President Cartes.

    http://tinyurl.com/3yearOldProhibitionVictim

  • I was just looking for this info for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing,
    at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy
    that do not rank this kind of informative
    web sites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

  • CJ

    my dudes, my dudes…. i just wanted to say, I too, have thought about this for years!! Shortly after I first found reform sites online, I started to compare the two and the comparisons are amazing.

    I gotta tell you guys that there was that documentary film, The House I Live in, which if you have not seen it, you really need to see it. Of drug war documentaries, it is one of the best, though I will say my favourite is the UK The Truth about Heroin documentary which is so freaking awesome and you can see that for free on youtube and if you havent please do its such an important thing to watch..

    but the House I Live In, right, listen at some point early in that documentary they introduce one of the interviewees and its this Abraham Lincoln looking Abraham Lincoln specialist (a historian). Now I love history and you will always find me with a history book under my arm (while the trains of NYC are littered with people reading Game of Thrones books [which I love] eat pray love [which I hate] or whatever trendy thing, I will be reading a doctoral thesis on Japanese history or other rare Japanese history books [Study of the Ouchi family, the works of Elizabeth Berry (Hideyoshi, The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto) etc.] and I was like, yes I love history but what does this guy have to do with the war on drugs?

    Well towards the end this historian said something that at the time chilled me to the bone and has stayed with me forever, and while that documentary is loaded with so much awesome, powerful and impactful stuff, this guys one segment on there was the thing I took away the most.

    He went on to explain how societies basically eliminate people from within their socieites. He gave a countdown of things they do. I cant quote it word for word but he was basically like, 1. they define the group – who they are, what they do. 2. they they identify this group they want to get rid of to the public. 3. they spread lies, propaganda about the group, how evil they are, lies about who they are and what they do and how for the good of the people the group needs to go. and so on and eventually the physical reality is they physically seperat and ostracize said group [think the ghettos of the jews in Nazi Germany or for any Japanese folks or Japanese historians, think the Eta class.] and it culminates with the widespread elimination of these people and to illustrate the point in the film they show a billboard in Florida advertising 500$ cash to be paid to any drug addict pregnant women to get an abortion and to get their tubes tied or eggs donated. SICK.

    But it can easily be compared to the homosexual culture as well. I mean I am now beginning my 30s, I know their are gentlemen and beautiful ladies frequenting this site that are older than I and who have way more powerful memories of the stigmatization of homosexuals, but growing up in the 80s and 90s, it was just on the cusp of the big changes to happen for the homosexual communities.

    In a nutshell it has been an incredible thing for me to see, while growing up and I absolutely believe that drug users and drug reformers NEED to share the approach.

    The thing that has upset me though about it is, where I am, the East Village, there is a big LGBT community, not so much as the West Village, which would be the LGBT capital of Manhattan [whereas, perhaps, Fire Island may be the LGBT capital of lower New York. idk.] and I’ve had this conversation with lots of homosexual men and what has bothered me is that they act with revulsion to what I’m saying. They think that they are superior to drug users in many ways, do not at all have any empathy for the pain of our lives… Look, I know some great homosexual men who have fought hard who are incredible people, and I’ve heard some incredible horror stories and I’ve seen with my own eyes men and women who have been thrown out of their homes or run away, but the fact of the matter is this:

    I’ve spent much of my adult life living on the street. Literally and no exaggeration, as the regulars here know. There are plenty of homosexual people that are homeless but for the most part it was not their homosexuality keeping them on the street, it was their drug use. Their sexuality was NOT the pariah that got their friends and families to turn on them it was their drug use. Sleeping alongside packs of other homeless people throughout the years at night and I can tell you seeing the other groups sleeping I had never once seen a group of homosexuals, homeless, destitute and on the road to death, strictly because they were homosexual. Never. Now of course there were groups of homeless homosexuals that were all homosexual and together as a group but again, their situation was NOT because of their sexual choice but because of their drugs of choice. What I mean is, how can anybody site there and deny the pain and the horrors drug users suffer, we are literally in the modern nazi jew ghettos, which is to say on cardboard, suffering from so many horrible things and horrible possibilities [overdose, rape, prostitution, hunger, starvation, dehydration, countless diseases, countless potential issues, countless ways to DIE] how can anybody deny this? I dont want to hear anything about “oh youre born gay, you dont choose to be gay.” OK but YOU DO CHOOSE to have sex. Though sometimes you may run into someone who is so sexy you may feel as though you are in a transe and need to make love to this person, at the end of the day that is why the term CONSENSUAL SEX exists because, duh, sex is consensual, you are CONSENTING to having sex so you are CHOOSING to have sex. You may be BORN gay but you are CHOOSING to have gay sex or straight sex. I dont want to hear anything about “you druggies choose to get high, I dont choose to be gay.” Well yes, you choose to have gay sex, Im sorry but you do NOT HAVE TO HAVE SEX. If I DONT have to shoot up 3-4 times a day YOU DONT HAVE TO HAVE SEX. Sorry. We’re all making our choices. I refuse to let some asinine organization like 12 Step tell me I am not in control that Im not making choices. Do not let some BS tell you that youre not making choices. I choose the needle, and you choose the needle, well, our respective needles of choice, excuse me, thats a bit graphic… i apologize. im passionate about the subject.

    Seriously now in recent years in NYC, all over the tops of the subways [there are advertisements] at the bus stops all over the burroughs and on the sides of buses everywhere the city has been putting up advertisements with a heavy LGBT orientation. Theres even a campaign going on now for practicing safe homosexual sex, its everywhere. Theres a pink background and an older gentlemen smiling wide and it says something about being strong and its an advertisement for safe sex.

    Ive been looking at these advertisements now for years in wonder. I remember being a young kid and how taboo the idea and term of “gay” was and now I see how very public and very accepted it is and it is truly incredible and awesome and the LGBT movement deserves all their success and should be commended but Id be lying if I didnt say that when I saw all these ads I thought to a time when people would open their minds, cast aside all the lies, the propaganda, the hatred, the lack of compassion and understanding etc. and I would see advertisements about safe injecting, safe smoking, safe snorting… how drug users ARE NOT pariahs and how doing drugs are NOT bad NOR a moral failing but a CHOICE and SAFER than alcohol which is totally legal and totally public. I could even see my own face on one of these advertisements… And I see the other people on the trains and buses and bus stops and etc. and I see them looking at these ads and I think to myself, its so crazy, all the assumptions people make and biases people have and the sad fact is that so many people just take what they’re told and buy it and never find out a thing for themselves… and I think, if the people I sit next to on the train only knew what I really was, what I really do, and how they’d probably run away in terror if they knew they were sitting next to an everyday multi time a day IV drug user. Yet I’ve grown to see a time where transgender folks get on trains and sit down next to folks and nobody bats an eye and its all accepted or at least its respected because folks sit next to them and all is well in the world.

    Well, we’ll have our day, one day, my friends. We will, just gotta keep fighting.

    • NorCalNative

      CJ, I came across something that may be of interest. While studying terpenes in cannabis, I discovered that some nurses are taught to use the essential oil of pepper as a way of allowing them to more easily visualize and palpate veins for IV injections.

      The study can be found at PubMed.gov.

      * Black Pepper Essential Oil to enhance intravenous catheter insertion in patients with poor vein visibility: A controlled study. * (Kristniak S, et al 2012)

      It’s only an abstract. Here is the study’s CONCLUSION:

      Topical application of black pepper is a viable and effective way to enhance vein visibility and palpability prior to intravenous insertion in patients with limited vein accessibility; it also improves ease of IVC insertion.

      Have you ever heard of this? Let me know what you know or think about this if you read this comment. Take care.

    • tensity1

      The scholar you mention is Richard L Miller, and the ideas are from his book:

      https://www.amazon.com/Drug-Warriors-Their-Prey-Police/dp/0275950425

    • loopyVanTutti

      It will pas but with naught such jolly
      So hops that boiled frog
      Ample time to cheer
      But come and gone like custard in the wind

      —Bert Emdash

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Well we haven’t had the pleasure of playing dueling headlines for some time. Let’s see if you can spot which media outlet has a foaming at the mouth prohibitionists for a headline writer:

    Colorado Teens’ Marijuana Use Has Dipped Since Legalization …
    Patch.com-Jun 22, 2016
    ————————
    Colorado’s good news on teen pot use
    The Denver Post-Jun 22, 2016
    ————————
    Teens in Colorado using less weed since legalization
    Fusion-Jun 22, 2016
    ————————
    More teens foolishly believe smoking weed isn’t harmful
    LifeZette-Jun 22, 2016
    ————————

    • jean valjean

      links?

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        The links are fluid. Please disregard if you think that I’m petty enough to create fictional headlines. Actually, please disregard anything I ever have posted or ever will post if that’s what you think.

        Toodles!

  • Blessings From On High!

    The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason will hold its inaugural service today at 13:00 – 15:00 hours.

    Address: 918 Southland Ave, Lansing, MI.

    Your attendance will be much appreciated.

    • DdC

      A non-denominational church in Lansing, Michigan will be holding their first weed service — followed by a potluck — on Sunday as part of an outreach program designed to destigmatize marijuana usage and combine it with spirituality.

      First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason Invites You to Get Woke

      Cannabis Church to hold first service, combats marijuana stigma
      http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2016/06/deadly-cheerleading#comment-360771

      Michigan’s First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason to hold first weed service and potluck

      They should have a long moment of silence for Michiganders Tom and Rollie. Then a thanks to another Michigonian from the gitgo, John Sinclair…

      Tribute to Rainbow Farm Campground

      Rainbow Farm Massacre

      MARIJUANA REVOLUTION by John Sinclair
      This essay was first published in pamphlet form in 1971 by the Rainbow People’s Party of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
      So one of the major functions of the state in a capitalist industrial system is to keep the people firmly in line, and capitalist culture reinforces the power of the state to the extent that it instills in the citizens the values and tenets of the ownership class and gives the people the illusion that they have an effective stake in the survival of that system. Without this feeling of meaningful participation in the system, the people who live under that system would have little interest in seeing the capitalist system perpetuate itself. But with such a feeling the people will make concessions and sacrifices and go along with whatever’s offered them simply because they are given to feel that there are no alternatives, no possibilities for life outside such a system.

      Marijuana makes people aware of alternatives to the machine life of American industrialism — it demonstrates in a very specific term that there are other and more exciting possibilities for life in this day and age than whiskey and football games and ulcers and a lifetime on the assembly line or in the office, and it makes people wonder why this old-time shit is still going on. Instead of deadening people’s consciousness, marijuana brings people back to life and expands their awareness of the world and their own possibilities for life in that world, and it leads them to questions that otherwise wouldn’t have been asked: why are we at war in Indochina? Why is racism so rampant in every area of American life? Why can’t people love each other? Why are our politicians and businessmen and generals such liars and hypocrites? Why is everything so fucked up?

    • jean valjean

      Go Lansing!

  • DdC

    “We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research to be done on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty. And we recognize our current marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact, with arrest rates for marijuana possession among African-Americans far outstripping arrest rates among whites despite similar usage rates.”
    Democrats Approve Marijuana Platform Plank

    Betraying Progressives, DNC Platform Backs Fracking, TPP, and Israel Occupation
    Members of the Democratic party Platform Committee, including (from left to right) American Federation of State, County, and Muncipal Employees executive assistant to the president, Paul Booth, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), former White House Energy and Climate Change Policy director Carol Browner, and Palestinian rights academic James Zogby. (Photo: DNCC)

    The ACLU provides a welcome reality check regarding the Democratic Party’s latest endorsement of George Bush’s Police State:

    Why do Republicans hate Hillary Clinton?
    Even more than her husband or President Obama—indeed, more than any politician within anyone’s memory—Clinton evokes a seething, blind hatred from those on the opposite side of the aisle.

    In easing chronic pain, marijuana may be a better choice

  • Servetus

    Researchers at The University of New Mexico say the federal government continues to make it extremely difficult to conduct any meaningful research on the risks and benefits of medicinal use of cannabis:

    24-JUN-2016 — The use of medical marijuana for millions of patients … can benefit patients suffering from a wide range of conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder.[…]

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) controls the supply of Cannabis sativa to researchers … potency levels in the products that NIDA supplies … fall far below those of medical Cannabis sativa regularly sold and used in the U.S., significantly limiting the external validity of most clinical research designed to study the effects … on health, both positive and negative.[…]

    … the scientist must also register the study and receive approval from the DEA, an organization tasked with the conflicting interest of “enforcing controlled substances laws and regulations,” which currently prohibit possession or distribution … all Cannabis sativa used for research purposes must be purchased through NIDA.[…]

    …what little research the U.S. government has approved is the limited potency of the Cannabis sativa products available through the University of Mississippi.[…]

    “Clearly, results from studies using Cannabis sativa obtained from the University of Mississippi offer little to no insight into the effects actually experienced by medical marijuana patients[…]

    …the New England Journal of Medicine showed the vast majority of physicians in the U.S. believe that medical Cannabis is a safe and effective pharmacological agent for certain mental and physical health conditions (Adler & Colbert, 2013) … “With increasing morbidity rates associated with prescribed narcotic abuse (particularly among non-Hispanic Whites) there is a legitimate place for Cannabis sativa as an alternative and perhaps primary therapeutic option … The substitutability of Cannabis sativa for alcohol might also reduce the exorbitant number of deaths and costs associated with alcohol abuse and drunk driving … “Unfortunately, both the costs and benefits of medicinal use of Cannabis sativa remain essentially unknown, and because the federal government effectively bans clinical research on Cannabis sativa, citizens, including many severely ill individuals, may suffer and die unnecessarily.[…]

    AAAS Public Release: How the federal government limits valid scientific research on Cannabis sativa

    • DdC

      Ghee, I like that kind of talk.
      ~ Einstein Parker, McHale’s Navy

    • DdC

      “The Catch 22 for cannabis is that, in effect, the government states, “There are no studies that prove cannabis safety, therefore, it should remain in a class of dangerous drugs that are prohibited from scientific study.” Because cannabis has not been studied, it is a Schedule I drug. Because it is a Schedule I drug, it cannot be studied.”
      ~ David B. Allen M.D. 18 Jul, 2014″ Safe Access (ASA)

      Cannabis Yields and Dosage
      This 6-inch diameter canister held 254.89 grams of federal medical marijuana for an IND patient, a typical monthly supply mailed from the federal cannabis research garden in Mississippi.

      U.S.Fort Schwag Mississippi
      Here, in what could be called the Fort Knox of dope, Mahmoud ElSohly waits patiently as an assistant unlocks the stainless steel door to a climate-controlled vault.

      Feds Need One Million Joints June 24, 2000
      The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has awarded the $4.2 million, five-year contract to the University of Mississipi School of Pharmacy, which has been growing the federally-used marijuana under previous contracts.

      Who’s Really Fighting Legal Weed

      Only 13% of the medical schools surveyed mention the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors.

      “The results of the study are predictable, so no one should be surprised! Not one of the medical schools surveyed had a department of endocannabinoid science or an ECS director. None of them taught the endocannabinoid science as an organized course. Only 21 of the 157 schools surveyed had the ECS mentioned in any course. 21/157 = 13.3% In the United States of America, only 13% of the medical schools surveyed teach the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors.”

  • DdC

    Roundup: Supreme court rules on debt collection, medical marijuana, and more

    Medical marijuana

    The court won’t hear an appeal challenging a Montana law that limits medical marijuana providers to selling the drug to a maximum of three patients each.

    The justices let stand a Montana Supreme Court ruling that upheld key provisions of a state law that rolled back much of the 2004 voter-approved initiative legalizing medicinal marijuana.

    The Montana Cannabis Industry Association said the rollbacks would force the closure of dispensaries and leave patients without a legal way to obtain the drug.

    Congress mellows on pot crackdowns

    More Free Pot!

    GW Pharma marijuana drug trial confirms seizure benefit

    A drug derived from marijuana is working for people with a rare form of epilepsy — and the company’s stock is taking off

    Marijuana-Based Drug Helps Kids With Rare Forms Of Epilepsy In Studies

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    OK, here’s a black swan event that should leave you fish mouthing:

    3 dead, 1 injured in shooting at Marion County berry and marijuana farm

    /snip/
    Officials don’t think the shootings were related to the marijuana grow, which was legal.
    /snip/

    Now who the heck could have predicted that might happen?

  • DdC

    Most heroin addicts, I told him, say that cigarettes are tougher to quit than heroin – yet roughly half of all people who were addicted to cigarettes no longer smoke. That monumental success, I pointed out, had been accomplished entirely through public education, higher taxation and effective regulation — without a single cigarette consumer being given a criminal record or sent to a “tobacco court.” The look in the eyes of Senator Carper and his colleagues suggested they had never before considered that point, or its implications.
    Telling U.S. Senators What They Need To Hear About Ending The Drug War

  • Servetus

    Bill Clinton’s Plan Colombia has left the country in tatters, killing tens of thousands, displacing more people than the current Syrian conflict. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is patting itself on the back for making “progress” in its devastating Cold War intervention in Colombia implemented under the guise of a drug war:

    JUNE 28, 2016 — The Colombian government, with left-wing insurgent group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), announced a bilateral cease-fire on Wednesday in an effort to end a more than half-century civil war that’s claimed over 220,000 lives.

    President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, in a press release, said the ceasefire “represents important progress.”[…]

    DeRaymond, who for a time lived in Colombia, noted that, “Every day, 20 are killed for political reasons” and that a “weekly map of the war” published in the newspaper included “symbols showing the assassinations and massacres of the week, much like the weather maps in our daily papers.”

    School of the Americas graduates have time and again been implicated in extrajudicial killings carried out by paramilitary groups in Colombia.[…]

    “Colombian military units committed even more extrajudicial killings during and after the highest levels of U.S. assistance to those units,” the report states. “For the 16 largest increases of aid from one year to the next to army units operating in a specific jurisdiction, the number of reported executions in the jurisdiction increased an average of 56% from the two-year period prior to the increase to the two-year period during and after the increased assistance.”

    In Colombia’s case … the United States has effectively bankrolled a humanitarian crisis under the guise of a supremely ineffectual war on drugs.

    Source: http://www.salon.com/2016/06/28/americas_colombia_problem_widespread_ignorance_of_the_mess_the_u_s_has_made_in_south_america/

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    So does this mean that Martha Stewart is a fan of cannabis? Who the heck else would use “the country code for the Czech Republic” as a hint? Also a couple of years back she had Snoop on her TV show and he taught her how to make better brownies.

    Snoop Dogg And Martha Stewart Ace The $100,000 Pyramid’s Marijuana Round

    They do make a lovely couple.

  • If drug prohibition works, why is ‘the heroin threat’ worse than ever? http://tinyurl.com/z7lb74f

  • jean valjean

    More nonsense from David Brookes. “Reality based” by ass, more like seeing the world from Philip Green’s new yacht. Nice work if you can get it.

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/five-awful-ideas-poor-people-addiction-david-brooks-latest-column

  • Servetus

    Strong evidence from new research that cannabinoids are a game changer in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease:

    28-JUN-2016 — LA JOLLA — Salk Institute scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    While these exploratory studies were conducted in neurons grown in the laboratory, they may offer insight into the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease and could provide clues to developing novel therapeutics for the disorder.

    “Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper.[…]

    Schubert emphasized that his team’s findings were conducted in exploratory laboratory models, and that the use of THC-like compounds as a therapy would need to be tested in clinical trials.

    In separate but related research, his lab found an Alzheimer’s drug candidate called J147 that also removes amyloid beta from nerve cells and reduces the inflammatory response in both nerve cells and the brain. It was the study of J147 that led the scientists to discover that endocannabinoids are involved in the removal of amyloid beta and the reduction of inflammation.

    AAAS Public Release: Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells

    Who’s sorry now, Ronald Reagan? Too bad Nancy won’t be around to watch California’s voters just say Yes! in November.

    • NCN

      I expect we’ll see a division of the baby boomers into dementia candidates and not dementia candidates based on their cannabis consumption histories.

      Not only are we gonna win this thing, we’re also going to get the last laugh.

      • NCN

        Here’s some local examples of dementia patients in a care home setting using cannabis.

        Histories provided by Jeffrey Hergenrather, M.D., of Sebastopol, CA. The care home is Primrose and is in Santa Rosa, CA.

        * Patient has exhausted regular medications, now using cannabis and has stopped her loud crying.

        * Horrible hallucinations, delusions, and aggression…using cannabis only and stopped using Haldol.

        * Alpha male with aggression and agitation got off a drug cocktail with multiple black box drugs…refused all other medicines except cannabis chocolates.

        * A very petite woman receiving full care had exhausted her behavior medications, now she’s thriving on cannabis, it spiked her appetite and there’s a smile on her face.

        * A fully immobile agitated woman on antipsychotics to the point of over-sedation now on cannabis and is quiet and contented. The antipsychotics have been discontinued.

        * A patient with severe aggression and agitation had a big problem with constantly picking at the skin and bleeding. Under the influence of cannabis the skin-picking and aggression have ended.

        * Alpha female kicked out of another facility because of pushing and kicking other residents, on cannabis has calmed down and has pleasant affect.

        * A hardworking gentleman with insomnia, agitation, and aggression, constantly restless. Cannabis has allowed him to slow down, stop his movement, and sleep.

        * A patient who had been taken away from the facility with a 5150 hold for being dangerous to himself and others has now returned. On cannabis his hallucinations and rages have subsided. He’s now transitioning off of his other medications to cannabis only.

        * A patient with advanced Parkinson’s disease and aggression. His family made cookies and brought them in. This has dramatically lowered his aggression and improved his sleep.

        Some of the doctor’s notes (these are from 2015/2016 Winter edition of O’Shaughnessy’s).

        “Two residents that are Kaiser patients in this facility have been refused cannabis therapy by their admitting Kaiser physicians, despite requests from families and staff. There are influential Kaiser physicians who do not recognize cannabis as medicine; they stay with addictive and dangerous conventional medications that we are taught to use in medical school and residency programs.”

        “A few Kaiser oncologists have accepted cannabis as an adjunct to chemotherapy, but in general Kaiser treats cannabis as a drug of abuse without real value.”

        “We’ve made a little breakthrough at Primrose: the primary doctor from Kaiser is going to come for a site visit to get a better feeling for how cannabis is working for the other patients.”

    • DdC

      Strong evidence? Maybe in 2000.
      Old evidence now.
      Just new to the lame and lost in TVland.
      But, its always nice when Science catches up…

      I wonder if there will be a class action lawsuit over Rayguns lies? Using bogus Science from the “Monkey Tests” to keep Americans suffering needlessly. How many have suffered and died from brain tumors since the DEA shut down research and Ford banned funding. To think these murderers are still getting government grants is appalling.

      Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74

      “One marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage
      to being on Bikini Is. during an H-bomb blast.” Just Say NO!

      Ron & Nanny Rayguns

      Not only ALZ, but the NFL is moving slightly forward with brain damage issues and Cannabis. All contact sports could protect the players better with Ganja. Trauma victims in ER’s. I always carry a joint when I have to take a patient to the Hospital since i heard several teens die each week from Asthma that a joint can reverse. Just in case. I haven’t figured out how to get the ER to go along with it. Maybe a dying kid would be sufficienct enough to break a smoking ban rule. Haven’t actually been there when it has happened. I feel the same way about learning CPR and hope I never have to use it either.

      Using Pot To Save Brains!
      ☛Marijuana Protects Your Brain
      ☛Cannabis Prevents Brain Damage
      ☛Brain Responds To Pain With MJ – Like Substance
      ☛Cannabis May Offer Protection Against Tumors
      ☛Cannabis Blocks Irreversible Brain Damage
      ☛High Times for Alzheimers
      ☛Pot Joins The Fight Against Alzheimer’s, Memory Loss
      ☛MARIJUANA SLOWS ALZHEIMER’S DECLINE
      ☛Marijuana may block Alzheimer’s
      ☛Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology by Cannabinoids
      ☛Marijuana’s Active Ingredient Shown to Inhibit Primary Marker of Alzheimer’s Disease
      ☛Ganja May Live Up To Be The Elixir of Life

      It seems pretty logical and clear to me that Prohibition has caused fear centers of the brain to grow over the generations since the early 1900’s. Especially when they removed it from the Pharmacopeia. Each generation of abstinence brings us more closed minded obedient followers. Profit over people with less compassion and more violence. Afraid to think for themselves. Finding small comfort in being told what to do and when to do it. While those speaking out against authoritah, toke.

      Conservatives Have Larger ‘Fear Centers’ in Their Brains

      After 12,000 years of use and then cold turkey abstinence due to profits keeping competition off of the free trade market. Thats not opinion. Just the facts left at the end of the day. What is prohibited is more expensive than what is legal. So consumers have been sld a pig in a poke, a cat in the bag. Told fossil fools and fat pharma are the only way to treat illness while preventing preventions and shelving cures. Now the sheep have a chance to wake up, will they have the guts to do so?

      Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency

      Wouldn’t it be down right far out if Obama actually reads some of these articles and does the right thing and removes Cannabis as a Controlled Substance? No need of Incremental State restrictions. Persecutors should be prosicuted, not appeased to be included in making policy. Prohibitionists have caused irrefutable suffering, trauma and death of countless millions of Americans. There is no sense in letting them have a pass on good intentions. That got old in the 70s. They knew what they were doing and they knew the devastation it caused. No Excuses, Hang the Bastards!

  • loopyVanTutti

    During a recent conference on addiction held in Tehran, Saeed Sefatian, a prominent Iranian official and head of the working group on drug demand reduction in the Council for the Discernment of the Expediency of the State (also known as the Expediency Council), illustrated what could become a potential alternative to Iran’s current drug policy – including a move which that could include measures towards legalisation of cannabis and opium.

    If successful, Iran could become a model for other countries, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, which given the current levels of trauma and distress, are having or will probably witness increasing levels of drug use.

    https://theconversation.com/could-iran-be-the-next-country-to-legalise-cannabis-and-opium-49183

  • Servetus

    A ceasefire deal implemented between the Colombian government and FARC rebels on June 22, 2016, does not guarantee that Colombia’s national park system will recover readily from the ecosystem damage created by the U.S. inspired drug war. Nor does a settlement in the conflict appear to be the end of coca growing in Colombia:

    JUNE 29, 2016 — Eight percent of the coca grown in Colombia has been planted on 5,457 hectares of land in 16 national parks, according to the most recent coca survey by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The amount of parks land used for coca leapt 45 percent in 2014 and has increased 70 percent since 2011, according to the UNODC.

    The crops leave behind a hugely damaging ecological footprint.

    “On one hand there is the cutting down of natural forests and on the other impoverishment of soil and contamination from the chemicals they apply,” de Alcalá says. “Each time [they plant] they are changing the conformation of the soil in a way that is very difficult to recover from.”

    However, tough challenges lie ahead. The logistical task of implementing the program is daunting, and the Colombian state’s track record with coca substitution programs is poor. And while much of the FARC may be willing to abandon their criminal interests in National Parks, such vacuums tend to be quickly filled by other armed actors when high profits are at stake.

    With the future of Colombia’s natural resources, not to mention its natural wonders at stake, much could hinge on the peace deal. If the government fails to capitalize on the opportunity, the impact could extend beyond the country’s borders, de Alcalá says.

    “The national parks are the natural riches, the patrimony of the country,” she says. “But they are also part of an international system of protected areas that need to be conserved to protect the global ecosystem, Colombia is a part of this worldwide balance.”[Emphasis added]

    Source: http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/illegal_mining_logging_and_coca_ravaging_colombia_national_parks/

    The U.S. tactic of declaring victory and leaving won’t help Colombia’s ecosystem. For that to happen, drug war reparations will need to be paid to Colombia and other Central and South American countries for the damage created by the ineffective prohibition policies of European and North American governments.

  • Freeman

    California’s AUMA has our old friend Marky-Mark frantically chewing CUD to warn us about the “horrible, awful, very bad, no-good drug policy” that he’s certain will cause the sky to fall:

    That comes to about 15 cents per stoned hour, making cannabis far more cost-effective than even very cheap beer on a per-hour basis.

    And the problem is… what exactly?

    Under the proposed law, expect to see California weed even cheaper than that within three years.

    I repeat: And the problem is… what exactly?

    At current national average pricing – about three times the “Budget Bud” level – the rate of cannabis use disorder has already soared. In 1992, about 10% of people who reported using cannabis the past month reported having used it on 26 or more days that month. That number is up to 40% [*]. Of those daily/near-daily users, about half – by their own self-report – meet diagnostic criteria for cannabis use disorder:

    Oh yeah, the dreaded “Cannabis Use Disorder”. Right. Use it almost once a day and you’ve exposed yourself to a guaranteed 50% probability that you’ll become an empty, mindless spectre, losing all semblance of agency and self-control to the irresistible siren song of the evil drug. Haven’t we seen this movie before, and haven’t we mocked it enough by now? So what’s the risk, are we all going to turn into bats and fly around the room?

    they’re using more frequently and in greater quantity than they intend to, they’ve tried and failed to cut back, and they find that cannabis use is interfering with other things they care about and causing conflict with significant others in their lives.

    O… K… Yeah, sounds like about half — by their own self-report — of the people I know who consume coffee daily. How about we try artificial price supports on everything that has this effect on people to this degree. I’m sure the public would be satisfied with Mark’s insistence that ridiculously high prices automatically and always result in a net reduction of harm, free from any ill effects of the inevitable explosion in black markets and overzealous law enforcement actions that result.

    That leaves the voters with a choice between the existing unworkable quasi-legalization in the form of a corrupt “medical marijuana” system and a formal legalization designed to make the drug problem worse.

    D’oh! Marky-Mark forgot his own favorite axiom: “Compared to what?”. From a harm-reduction standpoint, this represents an enormous improvement over the existing unworkable policy of prohibition, either way.

    I’m glad I left.

    But you stopped short at the Atlantic. Please keep going.
    .

    * This comparison of numbers is highly suspect. I smell a cherry-picker.

    • Servetus

      Kleiman lived in Smogville, and he’s scared witless of cannabis smoke(rs)?

      “I’m glad I left” – If legalizing a weed can get Mark to flee to the right coast, maybe legalizing shrooms will get him to buy a one-way ticket to Mars.

      The resistance to a new idea increases by the square of its importance. – Bertrand Russell

  • “Canada just took a ‘crucial step’ toward legalizing recreational marijuana” http://tinyurl.com/jj4fxk6

    “Legalizing recreational marijuana was a main part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign platform, and his government has repeatedly signaled that it would be making a move toward legalization IN THE COMING YEARS (my caps).”

    … “The move is expected to cause a reaction in northern U.S. states, since most major Canadian cities are within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Others have suggested that the move could directly impact U.S. drug policy.”

    Why years? No one has ever died of an overdose from cannabis. The only deaths are at the hands of enforcement officials with or without swat raids, and unfortunate snitches getting killed accidentally in the line of forced duty.

    Legalizing marijuana can be done immediately without waiting years. Its the prohibitionists that are riding in the car with their foot on the brakes. That’s contrary to majority public opinion, and they need to go if that opinion doesn’t matter to them. We need to at least make them get their damn foot off of the brakes.

    “Democratic senator caught on video with $70,000 in drug money” https://t.co/EQsEosnOrf

    Maybe its the money.

  • Eat Shit Cockbreath

    Mystery CO cannabis strain makes you crave the cock:

    http://abcnews.com.co/marijuana-in-colorado-turning-users-gay/

    • DdC

      “This new gay marijuana that I am referring to, AKA ‘Homo Kush 69’, well frankly, it scares us. There are good, clean-living, straight kids out there that because of just one snort of this evil drug are suddenly transformed into gay, perverted, masturbating space demons

      details of his horrifying experience while loaded on the drug.

      Right after I injected the pot I knew something was terribly wrong,” Horner said. “My friend Dave, who I don’t even really like, well, we were so high from this stuff, we started making out and giving each other HJ’s

      Florida anti-pot leader says weed makes you gay, leads to AIDS (seriously)

      Drug Free Florida is an anti-marijuana group whose sole purpose is to oppose, and eventually defeat, the amendment scheduled for a vote this November to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

      Sheldon Addlebrain Funds Carlton Turner, Mel Sembler and Will Support Donald Trump

      Funded by a 6-digit donation from Mel Sembler (a local land developer, former U.S. Ambassador to Italy and Australia, and long-time money bundler for the Republican Party), the group’s ties to the GOP do not end there.

      The vast majority of prohibitionists
      profit on the drug war,..
      … and that is their only motive.

      * Prohibition Inc.
      Kids Helping Kids began as Straight-Midwest and over time was incorporated into Pathway Family Center (owns/owned 4 known programs). Pathway Family Center was founded by Terri Nissley, a “satisfied” Straight, Inc. cult parent who wants to continue in the torturing and brainwashing kids for profit industry. Kids Helping Kids (a Pathway Family Center program) has closed or is closing according to recent reports. Closing after years of protesting against fraud, abuse, and torture at the Milford, OH location.

      Project SCAM Sabet
      Forcing Pot Smokers Into “Prehab”

      ☛ “The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.

      Chronic Marijuana Use Not Bad for Your Health

      Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others.”
      ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
      Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

      Ted Cruz: “I Will Endorse Donald Trump For President If He Makes Masturbation Illegal”

    • jean valjean

      ABC News or The Onion? You decide. This has to be a spoof… apart from the nonsense about injecting, snorting and death, they’ve brought Michele Leonhart back as “Denver DEA chief.” If it doesn’t turn you gay it will no doubt make white women seek sex with black men and jazz musicians…. time for some new propaganda folks.
      Here’s the link from the “ABC” article to Leonhart….spoof for sure:
      http://superofficialnews.com/dea-chief-dodges-more-questions-at-fridays-mental-health-hearing/

    • Freeman

      That’s a pretty funny link. ABC News must not have noticed it yet. I wonder how long it will stay up.

    • Wahooo

      Notice the address is .co at the end, it is not ABC News. All the articles on it are satire/fiction. I think this is really crossing the line from satire to a hoax website used to trick people. There are a lot of these types of site proliferating, and their articles are often spread on Facebook. Homo Kush 69 is funny though =)

  • Servetus

    Moral progress has consisted, in the main, of protest against cruel customs, and of attempts to enlarge human sympathy. – Bertrand Russell

  • DdC

    Case Study: Gayness vs. Highness,
    Debunking the Hypocrisy of Complaints

    CANNABIS CULTURE – A comparison of the complaints against gay versus high protesters exposes gaping oversights in the logic of euphoriaphobes. Sparking complaints In the May 14th, 2016 edition of the Vancouver Sun, a freedom of information act request regarding the number and nature of complaints to the city regarding the 4/20 Farmer’s Market at Sunset.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    The poor people in Seattle, Portland OR, and Denver are learning the cost of their States enacting regulated re-legalization of cannabis. Home prices in those cities are through the roof! Read ’em and weep Mr. Prohibitionist.

    It must be frustrating and tedious to be a sycophant of prohibition. Not just above average increases in home prices, not just scattered in the top 10 but the goddammed numbers 1, 2, and 3 markets nationwide. Mind boggling.

    • darkcycle

      Damn, that is telling. Wonder why those places are suddenly so POPULAR… Nice catch, Duncan!