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December 2016
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Open Thread

A couple of interesting ones from Tom Angell at Marijuana.com

Congressional Republicans Vow To Block Marijuana Amendments

Don’t count on there being any marijuana votes in the U.S. House next year.

That’s the message that Republican leadership in Congress is sending after blocking a number of cannabis amendments from reaching the House floor earlier this year.

“The chairman has taken a stand against all amendments that are deemed poison pills and that would imperil passage of the final bill,” Caroline Boothe, spokeswoman for House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), told Marijuana.com in an email on Monday.

White House Hints At Possible Marijuana Moves


How Idaho’s Drug Warriors Stole Hope from Epileptic Kids – a good investigative story from Reason’s Eric Bohm about the behind-the-scenes efforts to stop a good bill that would allow CBD to be used for medical purposes, because of the interests of drug warriors.


Obama says marijuana should be treated like ‘cigarettes or alcohol’ Christopher Ingraham did a pretty good job of covering this story, touching on the huge disappointment that we continually have with political leaders deciding to realize the truth about legalization once they’re leaving office.

The only slight quibble I have with Ingraham on this is the amount of “other side” time he gives to SAM, and the idea that they even have a coherent “approach.”


Expect to see more of this kind of thing now…

Return White House Drug Czar to Cabinet by Robert Charles at Townhall

Opiate addiction has skyrocketed, leading to a breathtaking loss of 47,055 lives last year. Deaths by synthetic drugs quintupled in some categories. Marijuana use, the number one basis for drug treatment, has jumped by 27 percent (during Obama’s years). Drugged driving has risen by roughly 20 percent, and 80 percent of men arrested for property and personal crime in major cities test positive for drugs. This is a genuine crisis enveloping the country.

Sigh.

A nicer, somewhat related bit? The latest proclamation of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, 2016. While, in the past, many of these were opportunities to spread misinformation about drugged driving (John Walters, anyone?) this one is actually reasonable.

Recently, the number of traffic crash fatalities caused by impaired driving has unfortunately increased — last year, preventable alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. Consumption of alcohol by drivers, even those who are of legal drinking age, is highly dangerous, and drug use, including prescription drug use, can also harm judgment, perception, and the motor skills used when driving. Distracted driving — including eating, tending to passengers, and using a cell phone — can also be dangerous and is equally preventable. […]

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 2016 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving.

I can go along with that sentiment.

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59 comments to Open Thread

  • Mouth

    If we are afraid of cannabis reform going backwards, then placate the GOPers with emails, reminding them of how expensive our War on Terror is and that we’re doomed without the profits or a tax as high as 65 cents on the dollar–to save our eternal souls from China and debt. Remind them that it’s the Atheists who propose Cannabis remain illegal so they can flout all they want that God is 100% fallible since man has outlawed one of his plants which is less dangerous than driving a car, booze or self-created obesity. That the Godless can claim a right over one of his creations as a way to spread their gibberish ‘Evolution’ theory and not the true Creation espoused in Genesis.

    The Army’s Special Forces become one with the culture before training them. Be one with the GOP for the sake of ending the War on Drugs. Whatever you do, don’t talk about edibles, cannabis strains, cannabis meds, the CBD receptors and cancer when talking about cannabis reform . . . it won’t work here. At least Arkansas and Florida are beacons of hope and they voted Trump.

    Well it’s bulls and blood
    It’s dust and mud
    It’s the roar of a Sunday crowd
    It’s the white in his knuckles
    The gold in the buckle
    He’ll win the next go ’round
    It’s boots and chaps
    It’s cowboy hats
    It’s spurs and latigo
    It’s the ropes and the reins
    And the joy and the pain
    And they call the thing rodeo
    (Garth Brooks)

    Ya’ll Left and North Right Coasters need to visit Branson and learn how you can control this fight. If you ain’t listen to Gospel and Country music as a way to learn the language, you’ve accepted defeat and not the new chance that belongs to us on the couch. We’re fixin to win this war on prohibition, so don’t bake your P-can pies just yet. Ya’ll have come this far to not win.

    • Servetus

      Well, that’s great, Mouth. But how would a Missourian or Texan deal with an SOB like Butch Otter in Idaho?

      • Mouth

        Troubleshoot his ass. If he’s in the way, then some mayors and other locals might not, but still have influence. Don’t he want a wall–good, remind his folk that Mexicans come to America for three things: to sell drugs; to escape the drug war; and for work. Hemp/Cannabis would be a great way for Mexico to reduce it’s Green Horde traveling north, the violence and create jobs. He’s a Catholic–sounds like he’s an Atheist, or at least a Muslim Extremist. His God created the plant, which has ‘mercy’ like qualities and cannabis supports radical Islam as long as there is a black market . . . America holds the 1961 U.N. Singles in her hands and on her back. If anything: hemp, which is one step closer to our goals. Accuse him of sending jobs to China every time an American cannot grow hemp. Accuse him of collaborating with oil rich Wahhabis if ‘oil’ remains the only fuel on the planet. Actions always speak louder than words and he’s a coward for doing the ARNG thing in the late 60’s-early 70’s, so he’s no vet. And he’s a divorce . . . and the Bible says you are still legally married with the person you first had sex with (the two will become one flesh). Was his wife beating him and Jesus said, ‘Forgive the adulterer, not stone them.’ Christians don’t divorce: they forgive, unless their life, or child are in danger by their spouse. And he uses chewin tobacco? As long as we don’t look like Cheech and Chong, they won’t be afraid of the info. Legalize weed to pay for the war and to protect social security or we can find alternatives that would require much higher taxes. Corruption is rampant under drug money–this sounds to me like he wants bribed loopholes for terrorists and gangs to slither into the U.S. with.

        Let’s use their laws and rhetoric to win our war. And yes, this will be hard, but not impossible. Butch Skunk’s or Otter’s wiki page is filled with ‘pro-cannabis reform’. He’s just an off colored block in the not yet complete Rubik Cube. We’ll keep twisting it until all the colors match up.

        Why does he protect Jihad funding? Bush: ‘you are either with us or against us’. Illicit Drugs remove legs and arms while out in a humvee or patrol. Drug money funds the real ‘Axis of Terror’. Who do you hate more: the guy who killed your wife, or the guy who gave the loaded gun to the man who killed your wife, knowing all too well what would happen? That’s why logic indicates Police Officers are by far more guilty than Osama Bin Laden for 9/11 . . . they handed him the gun. Oil and Drugs solidifies their funding and hemp/cannabis legalization will reduce what they can do with their money. Make America Great Again . . . if that doesn’t say ‘Cannabis Reform’, then what does?

        • Servetus

          Terrorist sympathizer? I like it. Idahoans and the rest of the world need to know and recognize the real Butch Otter.

  • Will

    From the Reason article about Idaho’s governor vetoing CBD oil legislation;

    Hanian, Otter’s spokesman, says they [lobbyists] played no part in the decision-making process. “The governor met with a wide cross section of individuals on both sides of this issue, including many of the individual families dealing with this disease,” he wrote in an email. “Lobbyists did not factor into this decision.”

    ————–

    I’d wager it’s quite likely the “individual families dealing with this disease [epilepsy]” did not make meaningful contributions to Butch Otter’s campaign coffers. Of course, we know the pharmaceutical lobbyists did. But don’t even think that that could, in any way, sway the governor’s decision. No way.

    We’ve heard it time and time again, referring to defense contractors, pharmaceutical companies, and every other special interest in between. Here’s the plug-and-play generic version;

    “Yes, I’ve received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from ‘X’ industry lobbyists over the years. And yes, I’ve voted 100% of the time in their favor regarding legislation that might effect them, even if it is to the detriment to my constituents. But, no, their substantial financial contributions to my campaign fund have never played a role in my decision-making”.

    Sure.

    • Servetus

      Butch Otter supported Donald for der führer, which means Governor Otter could be expected to become more sadistic, or mass-killer-like, were he to attain a more prominent political position. Fortunately, Butcher boy is reported to be vacating his governor’s post in 2018.

      Whoever replaces Clement Leroy Otter (because all bigtime criminals have three names) will be chosen by GOPers who tend to vote their religion instead of picking a candidate who will resolve critical issues like climate change, or drug enforcement. Ridding the US of Roe v. Wade is the ultimate range of their moral vision. A reported 83% of evangelicals voted for Trump, along with 53% of Catholic women.

      A book by Arlie Russell Hochchild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (2016), describes the plight of residents of Louisiana whose immediate environment, themselves included, have all been poisoned by chemical contamination from local chemical plants. Cancer is prominent in the community. The only solution to remediating the environmental disaster is to vote the local Republicans out of office, as it’s the Republicans who support the corporate toxic-polluters. But the residents won’t vote Democrat or something else, not even to save their own lives, nor the lives of their loved ones, because during elections their religious sentiments involving Roe v. Wade, or LGBTQ, or drugs, or the support given to organized religions by the GOP, outweigh all else.

      For right wing Roman Catholics such as Governor Otter, the religious stigma associated with the sin of marijuana consumption, in any form or chemical combination, trumps reason and logic. Right wing Mormons are another group who fall into this political trap. People who refuse to add reason and logic to their morality are considered immoral by those who do, causing religious and political conflict.

      • Mouth

        I normally write an email to them supporting/praising their anti-cannabis movement/laws based on grounds that are counter to their belief in other fields and views i.e. pretending to be an atheist and complaining that cannabis is making people think God created it for them since the leaves have either 7 or 3 points representing the trinity and completion number or that people believe cannabis is versatile: medicine, food, concrete, fuel etc–making cannabis/God believers quote scripture about God supplying all their needs and that ‘not even the birds worry . . . are you not more important than the birds’ Bible verse in Matthew 6:25-34 etc. Their staff will read it and that is who you target: the cogs of the machine. The same thing for their local papers–letters to the editor . . . the workers there will read it and begin to think/question.

        • Servetus

          The clergy definitely needs to be confronted on the drug policies they support. The average church goer may not want to discuss drugs because drugs simply don’t enter into their lives. We’re talking about rural areas in many cases, while a dense urban environment is different.

          For the last 200-years or more of US history, politicians have played fast and loose with the differences in rural and urban lifestyles to gain political advantages over their respective opponents in elections.

          Gun ownership is a favorite political football. In the densely populated urban environment I live in, I can’t fire a gun in self-defense minus the possibility of a stray bullet entering a neighbor’s window and ploughing into some priceless artwork. Deserts, ranches, farms, are different. Wilderness areas sometimes require a gun to scare grizzlies. In a city, there is safety in numbers. A person who isn’t five-minutes away from police intervention, as I am, needs a gun. I have shorter-ranging alternatives for defense. Urban and rural differences like these get deliberately confused and exaggerated for political advantage. Included are geographical differences in drug consumption, alcohol vs. marijuana vs. meth vs. opioids, and so forth.

          It’s the same with the clergy and drug enforcement claiming they can save souls, or lives, the stated purpose of the inquisitions in Europe and the Americas. Too many religious leaders believe drug enforcement is a way to stem competition. Drugs alleviate depression and psychosis, enhance sensual or spiritual experiences, counter diseases or symptoms of diseases, eliminate unwanted births, and so forth, thus competing with what religion historically claims to achieve, but doesn’t. Scientology, for instance, with its anti-depressant ideology, which claims that no such thing as a brain chemical imbalance exists, has never done anything beneficial for those suffering major depression or bipolar disorder.

          The early Catholic Church believed a drug shouldn’t be able to affect the soul, as the soul is not a material substance, and must therefore be immune. They believed the only way the soul can be affected by a material substance is if some devil was involved. This was the lame excuse used by the Church to prohibit peyote consumption in 17th century Central America.

          A drug is not a religion. It is a chemical, or combination of chemicals. The clergy needs to surrender scientific territory to scientists.

        • primus

          The clergy has outlived any usefulness they may have had at some time in the dim distant past. They should step aside and let the adults take over.

  • claygooding

    Once more into the breach boys.

    They leave us little hope of change unless juries stop feeding the machine.

    Ny person serving jury duty has the right to refuse to convict and if possible convince other jurors to do the same,,if they can convince the rest of the jurors to nullify the charges(sweet) but if not a mistrial is better than caving into the political toy of the government’s bought political stance..

  • Analyze This

    MANILA, Philippines – Philippine police murdered a town mayor while he was helpless in a jail cell, justice department investigators said Tuesday, contradicting claims by the accused and President Rodrigo Duterte that he was killed in a gunbattle.

    The accusations by the National Bureau of Investigation deepened concerns that police were carrying out summary executions as part of Duterte’s controversial war on crime, which has claimed more than 5,100 lives in just over five months.

    http://tinyurl.com/ItsKillingItsOwn

  • strayan

    Consumers continue to be blamed for the predictable consequences of prohibition:

    The immense demand for methamphetamine (ice), ecstasy and new psychoactive substances among the wealthy urban residents of East Asia and beyond has revitalised organised crime in the region.

    https://theconversation.com/asia-is-in-the-grip-of-a-transnational-crime-crisis-but-governments-look-away-69780

    Comments open.

    • Mouth

      I didn’t buy any illegal drugs in 2012 and look what happened as a direct result: several dozen American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan and hundreds wounded. I’m not sure we can blame consumers for buying illegal black market drugs. And if America is holding the reigns of the 1961 U.N. Single Laws, it’s obvious American cops don’t know how to do their job at stopping drug uses/dealing/growing/manufacturing in places like Indonesia, Pakistan, Holland etc. This is why we have physical evidence pointing out that Law Enforcement is a way too easy job with way too high pay and benefits . . . just look at all the drug use in Russia and Great Britain–you’d think American cops would do their job policing those nations. Actions speak louder than words. What the hell are cops in America doing if they are not doing their jobs in Germany or Kenya? Yet American troops kicked ass in Europe and Asia during WWII for less than 5 years and American cops have not made a dent in Spanish or Filipino drug use for these past 55 years. As long as America champions global drug prohibition then American cops will be the culprit for any and all terrorism and crime committed by dope money funded criminals/wars.

      OT: my car has absolutely no gasoline in the tank, can someone please tell me why it won’t start or what I need to do . . . this is obviously troubling me. I haven’t filled her up in over a year and she still won’t start. I’m fucking furious and don’t understand what the problems is.

      • WalStMonky

        .
        .

        When last I checked a few months back I learned that the DEA kept a physical presence in 80 foreign countries.

        Didn’t you tell me just last week that you drive an EV? Those things don’t use gasoline you know. You plug them in so go look at the undercarriage and find the extension cord. Hope this helps!

        • Mouth

          The DEA really needs to quit recruiting special ed students. I heard they use Row boats with only one oar when chasing after speed boats, large cargo ships and cocaine subs and they use hang-gliders to chase the smugglers’ airplanes.

          Oil and CNG land places restrictions on EV cars–like the extension cord cannot exceed two inches in length and cord must contain only one K shaped prong.

  • Mouth

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/weed-wont-help-sleep_us_5845a32de4b055b31398675f

    This is true. I knew a guy who smoked a gram of good weed, after shooting some strong Mexican dope into his arm and he stayed up all weekend. And when you are stoned and on nature walks, I find sleeping while walking very difficult. And after smoking a fat gram of Blue Dream, I couldn’t sleep because my wife kept shaking me for 8hrs–while playing Justin Beever songs out loud.

  • WalStMonky

    California’s Next Attorney General Issues Warning to Donald Trump

    Just hours after Gov. Jerry Brown nominated Xavier Becerra to be California’s next attorney general, the longtime U.S. lawmaker warned the Trump administration to expect a fight if newly emboldened Republicans challenge the Golden State’s liberal laws and policies. “If you want to take on a forward-leaning state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, come at us,” Becerra, a 12-term Democratic congressman from Los Angeles, told reporters.
    /snip/

    53 U.S. Representatives = 12.184% of the 435 sitting Members. It’s clobberin’ time.

  • Servetus

    Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), an addiction teaching hospital, wants us all to know that our electronic devices are problematic, and thus addictive if we like them too much:

    Dec. 7, 2016 – As many as 19 per cent of Ontario adults aged 18 to 29 experience moderate to severe problematic use of electronic devices, which includes smartphones and tablets as well as computers and video game consoles, according to the latest CAMH Monitor survey. It’s the first time the ongoing survey has measured the impact of our increasing reliance on electronic devices.[…]

    […]the 2015 CAMH Monitor are based on responses from 3,007 adults aged 18 and older across the province. The survey asked about personal device use, other than for work or school. Questions about problematic use asked whether individuals or their family members believed they had a problem, if they tried to cut back on their use, if they experienced anxiety that could only be relieved by using electronic devices, or if they missed school, work or important social activities because of device use, for example.

    “Research has shown that high use of electronic devices, as well as social media, are linked to problems with mental health, including increased psychological distress and poorer self-rated mental health,” says Dr. Hamilton. “Our new findings underscore the need for each of us to define healthy limits, and to monitor our use of electronic devices before it becomes a problem.”

    AAAS Public Release: Nearly one in five young Ontario adults shows problematic use of electronic devices: CAMH Monitor survey also shows many Ontario adults report texting and driving, and increasing mental distress days

    The press release continues by making known CAMH’s intentions to rescue citizens of the world from all the heretics who blog, text while driving, and use e-cigarettes that allegedly drive tobacco or marijuana addictions; this while somehow stemming the increasing numbers of cannabis consumers over the age of 50 and halting the general trend toward more mental illness over the last decade.

    First they came for our roach clips and pipes. Then the electronics police came for our vapes, smartphones, and tablets….

  • Mr_Alex

    To all Drugwarrant readers, please warn your family or friends who intend to visit New Zealand, if they intend to bring in Cannabis from the US states that have allowed medical use, they may not be able to bring it in to New Zealand anymore as the loophole that has allowed Cannabis products from the US has been closed after the New Zealand Government approached the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the New Zealand Government has changed the criteria to any Cannabis product from the US coming into New Zealand from the US must be Food and Drug Association approved:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1612/S00038/updated-information-on-cannabis-based-products.htm

  • Will

    .
    .
    Orrick, Representing Marijuana Advocate, Challenges DEA Statements About Pot

    http://tinyurl.com/zajdfxs

    Americans for Safe Access, represented pro bono by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, cites 25 alleged violations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of the Information Quality Act. The law, also known as the Data Quality Act, requires federal agencies to draft guidelines that ensure the “quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information” that they distribute and to provide a mechanism to correct any misinformation.

  • CJ

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2016/12/drug-policy-alliance-releases-public-health-and-safety-plan-address-problematic-opioid-

    Hello friends. Since this is an open thread I thought I’d post this. I will say that there has to be some irony in the fact that I’m doing this as I stand on a street in brooklyn somewhere between graham ave and past montrose on the L line. No need to be specific. Waiting for my man as ol lou reed would say. To cop a bundle. Happy holidays

  • Servetus

    Ayahuasca research, in a statement by Stevens Rehen, a researcher from IDOR and ICB-UFRJ in Brazil, has uncovered new and potentially useful medical information involving the plant’s derived compounds:

    7-DEC-2016 — Ayahuasca is a beverage that has been used for centuries by Native South-Americans. Studies suggest that it exhibits anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in humans. One of the main substances present in the beverage is harmine, a beta-carboline which potential therapeutic effects for depression has been recently described in mice.

    “It has been shown in rodents that antidepressant medication acts by inducing neurogenesis. So we decided to test if harmine, an alkaloid with the highest concentration in the psychotropic plant decoction ayahuasca, would trigger neurogenesis in human neural cells”, said Vanja Dakic, PhD student and one of the authors in the study.[…]

    …(ICB-UFRJ) exposed human neural progenitors to this beta-carboline. After four days, harmine led to a 70% increase in proliferation of human neural progenitor cells.

    Researchers were also able to identify how the human neural cells respond to harmine. The described effect involves the inhibition of DYRK1A, which is located on chromosome 21 and is over activated in patients with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease.

    “Our results demonstrate that harmine is able to generate new human neural cells, similarly to the effects of classical antidepressant drugs, which frequently are followed by diverse side effects. Moreover, the observation that harmine inhibits DYRK1A in neural cells allows us to speculate about future studies to test its potential therapeutic role over cognitive deficits observed in Down syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases”[…]

    AAAS Public Release: Substance present in ayahuasca brew stimulates generation of human neural cells: A Brazilian study suggests that harmine increases the number of neural progenitors, cells that give rise to neurons

    Ayahuasca was first prohibited by Iberian colonialists in 16th century South America. The invaders called themselves Christians, since Spain didn’t exist as a country until 1871. The Iberians used the enforcement arm of the Spanish Inquisition to persecute native drug consumers as part of a standard process that ended with enslaved indigenous natives. The process worked because the Inquisition attacked the local ethnobotany, thus robbing native victims of their personal and social identities, identities heavily influenced by ancient medicines derived from regional plants.

    • Matthew Meyer

      Good research find.

      W R T the history, ayahuasca has been a primary tool of local resistance to colonial domination among both Indians and mestizo Amazonians.

      The primary historical encounter of the west with ayahuasca began later than you suggest, though, with the rubber boom in the Upper Amazon, beginning around 1870.

      Anthropologist Peter Gow has a very provocative article examining these questions, and suggesting that ayahuasca shamanism today is itself a product of the colonial encounter with the advancing rubber economy: http://resourcelists.st-andrews.ac.uk/items/E293DB4A-B671-2B83-6481-4786CC507A78.html

  • Stuart

    You guys are real quick to point the finger at Repbublicans/conservatives/right-wingers for marijuana prohibition. I would agree with you, but prohibitches (I mean this in the most politically incorrect way possible) from the left can pose a greater threat, because well meaning leftards may take the “health concerns” or Kevin Sabet-esque “Big Pot concerns” seriously. Many of you seem to forget that many on the left are genuinely pro-nanny state. Not the live and and let live hippies of old, they follow a vegan diet and preach against teh drugs.

    I read a story in the “Gruaniad” about pot and this comment had a surprising number of upvotes:

    “The social damage of improving access to a greater range of psychoactive drugs would be catastrophic.
    Liberalism of drugs would be as damaging to the masses and as monetarily advantageous to the few as liberalisation of finance has been.
    No wonder this report is by the Adam Smith Institute.”

    Oh dear…

    • Atrocity

      The so-called right may be getting the majority of the criticism here at the moment but there’s a pretty simple headline-based explanation for that if you think about it. That doesn’t mean that anyone here is in a hurry to defend Dianne Fuckstick or Billy KKKlint00n.

      As for Kevin Sabet, I’ve been thinking about this a lot (probably too much) lately: He’s in the forced rehab industry. That sucks in a lot of minors and (correct me if I’m wrong) seems to vacuum up more males than females. It also relies on drug testing, which in a lot of cases involves “monitored” sample collection. So we need to spread the word far and wide: KEVIN SABET LIKES TO WATCH LITTLE BOYS GO TO THE BATHROOM.

      I modestly propose that this be parenthetically mentioned every time his name comes up in any context whatsoever: “Kevin Sabet (who likes to watch little boys go to the bathroom)”. It could make a very entertaining Google bomb.

    • Will

      .
      .
      I guess you haven’t been paying attention Stuart. If you’ve spent any time reading Pete’s posts, and comments about those posts, you would have noticed plenty of criticism directed at “leftards” (as you call them) and the nanny state. From Barack Obama to Diane Feinstein to Patrick Kennedy to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — and all other so-called Democrats/Liberals in between, criticism has rained down on anyone of that ilk that supports the drug war and all the ancillary freedom restrictions that go along with it.

      But whatever point you’re trying to make is half baked unless you also mention the so-called Republicans/Conservatives love of the police state. I’ve never heard so many politicians on that side of the fence mention “the need to crack down” when it comes to the war on some drugs, then out of the other side of their mouths hypocritically pontificate blandly and robotically about “liberty and freedom”.

      So, now that the “leftards” are getting booted form the White House (and we can finally call it truly white again /snark), please enlighten us as to how you see Donald Trump — and his merry band of “liberty and freedom” lovers such as Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Gen. John Kelly, Tom Price (drug warriors all by the way) — rescuing us from the police state they seem so fond of?

  • jean valjean

    Stuart, here’s the link to that article:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/21/uk-should-legalise-cannabis-adam-smith-institute-report

    And here’s the headline:
    “Legalisation of cannabis ‘only solution to crime and addiction problems'”

    Doesn’t really make your case that the “left (as represented by the Guardian) poses a greater threat” to drug reform. You are always going to get contradictory opinions in the comments thread for any article. This is hardly evidence that the “leftist Guardian” is a prohibitionist publication. Suggest you use the Daily Mail as a comparison to see what a true prohib rag is like.
    Both you and the commentator might also want to do some research into the Adam Smith Institute, one of the leading capitalist think tanks and hardly a paragon of leftist thinking.
    “Oh dear” indeed.

  • There is hope despite these rotten appointments of rabid prohibitionists.

    “What we do know, from a policy perspective, is that Mr. Trump is on the record saying marijuana policy is something best left to the states, a position consistent with Republican Party’s core doctrines.”

    “U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a long-time supporter of marijuana policy reform in Capitol Hill, told reporters recently that he trusts that Mr. Trump’s hands-off approach is likely to prevail.”

    “Powerful Veterans Group Pushes Trump On Marijuana Rescheduling”
    By Tom Angell https://t.co/8LUrOOj7hC

    Op-Ed: “Even Jeff Sessions can’t stop the marijuana train”
    by Adam Bierman at CNBC https://t.co/aAZm5pW8S2

    Lets hold this president to his word.

    • jean valjean

      “Lets hold this president to his word.”
      Good luck with that one. You’re dealing with a pathological liar after all.

  • Holy Smokes!

    Activists Roll Joint, Offer Free Pot at Jeff Sessions Office as Threats Swirl to Legalization Framework http://tinyurl.com/jxlyjoj

  • Got to put this in:

    “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S.”
    https://t.co/I8BvuKgMdo

    • Servetus

      It could have been worse. At least the Russians didn’t appear to mess with the states’ pro-marijuana voting.

      • jean valjean

        Which just goes to show that Bernie Sanders for president would have been a more attractive choice for the large pro-cannabis voter-turnout than Hillary Clinton.

    • DdC

      Russia helps Trump win.
      Turtle covers it up.
      Mrs Turtle gets Secretary of Transportation with Trump.
      FBI releases insignificant emails,
      Turtle doesn’t cover it up.
      How speeeecial.

      Mitch McConnell wanted Republicans to get the White House back so badly that he sold out his own country to get it.

      Treasonous Mitch McConnell Refused To Oppose Russia Election Meddling For Trump
      Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was informed about Russia interfering in the election to help Trump before election day, but he refused to stand with President Obama and condemn the actions of Putin’s government.

      Trump picks Elaine Chao for transportation secretary
      Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, the former labor secretary and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to be his choice for transportation secretary,

      Comey notified Congress of email probe despite DOJ concerns
      Instead, he made an independent decision to go against longstanding Justice Department and FBI practice to not comment publicly about politically sensitive investigations within 60 days of an election, the official said. Comey said he was not sure how long the additional review would take and said the FBI “cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.

      Obama orders review of Russian election hacking

      How Mitch McConnell became very rich

      • DdC

        For the message it sends the kids…

        How Mitch McConnell became very rich?</b/

        90 Pounds Of Cocaine Found On Cargo Ship
        Owned By Anti-Drug Senator’s Family

        A cargo ship connected to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was recently stopped and searched before departing from Colombia. During the search, Colombian Coast Guard agents seized roughly 90 pounds of cocaine.

        What makes this case even more interesting is that McConnell is well known as a staunch prohibitionist. In 1996, McConnell sponsored “The Enhanced Marijuana Penalties Act”, a bill designed to increase the mandatory minimum sentencing for people caught with marijuana.

        The Chao family has been funding McConnell since the late 1980s. Years later, in 1993, McConnell married Elaine Chao and secured the Chao family as one of his primary sources for investments.

      • Mike

        Interesting show on cyber warfare on Dir TV
        Tonight at 7pm to 8pm.Ch 271

  • DdC

    Phil Jackson and Steve Kerr note the destructive nature of opioid pills which are handed out like candy, and how cannabis is a viable alternative.

    Greatest NBA Coach of All Time
    Admits to Using Cannabis,
    Says Players Should be Free to Choose

    “When asked if Kerr thought professional sports leagues should explore loosening their stance on medical marijuana, the coach answered emphatically.

    “I would hope so, and I’m not a pot person. It doesn’t agree with me. I tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin,” Kerr, 51, said.

    The pharmaceutical industry, knowing full well the destructiveness of their most profitable drugs, are surely doing all they can to keep the NBA from loosening its prohibition. Big Pharms has a tight grip on the NFL, too, as superstar Jim McMahon described in July 2016.

    Not to be outdone by Kerr, Jackson swiftly came back and admitted that he too recently used cannabis.

    “I had back surgery, and the year I was off, I was smoking marijuana during that period of time,” Jackson explained. “I think it was a distraction for me as much as a pain reliever. But I’ve never thought of it as ultimately a pain medication for that type of situation. I know ocular things, stomach, digestive issues and other things, I think it is regarded quite highly.

    Players: Kerr’s marijuana admission could spark dialogue

    Legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson – owner of 11 championship rings and regarded by multiple standards as the greatest NBA Coach of all time – knows a thing or two about the benefits of cannabis. He wrote about it in a 1970s book, saying cannabis, along with LSD, helped open his mind.

    Unofficial Self-Appointed Cannabist for the SF Giants.

    NFL’s Buzzkill
    The Hypocrisy of the NFL

  • Mexico Is Legalizing Medical Marijuana Next Week http://tinyurl.com/j375qnk

  • Servetus

    Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, called for a re-evaluation of the drug war during his 2016 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:

    10 Dec 2016 — Mr Santos said it was “time to change our strategy” on drugs, and that Colombia had “paid the highest cost in deaths and sacrifices” in the so-called war on drugs.

    The term, coined by US President Richard Nixon more than four decades ago, refers to US-led efforts to stop drug production at its source. In Latin America this has included on-the-ground policing, and fumigation of coca fields from the air.

    “We have moral authority to state that, after decades of fighting against drug trafficking, the world has still been unable to control this scourge that fuels violence and corruption throughout our global community,” he said.

    “It makes no sense to imprison a peasant who grows marijuana, when nowadays, for example, its cultivation and use are legal in eight states of the United States.

    “The manner in which this war against drugs is being waged is equally or perhaps even more harmful than all the wars the world is fighting today, combined.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38275292

  • Mouth

    cannabis linked to Alzheimer’s: Medical News Today.com

    1000 current and former users brains were compared to 100 non users brains, clearly linking brain damage to cannabis.

    Where did they go wrong: 100 vs 1000. Did they live in cities, near mines, large farms with pesticides etc and what was their drinking water like? How close did they live near oil fields? What were their diets?

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314407.php

    • Servetus

      A quick search of the scientific literature shows no links or correlations between brain blood flow and Alzheimer’s disease:

      https://srch.eurekalert.org/e3/query.html?col=ev3new&col=ev3oneyr&col=ev3rel&qt=alzheimers+brain+blood+flow&charset=iso-8859-1&pw=100.101%25

      • Servetus

        Except as an aftermath or symptom of the disease already in place:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21098977

        Alzheimer’s disease results in reduced brain blood flow. Reduced brain blood flow, from marijuana or anything else, doesn’t result in Alzheimer’s.

        • Cannabinoids remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells
          Salk Institute – http://tinyurl.com/z8kq8ym

          … “The researchers found that high levels of amyloid beta were associated with cellular inflammation and higher rates of neuron death. They demonstrated that exposing the cells to THC reduced amyloid beta protein levels and eliminated the inflammatory response from the nerve cells caused by the protein, thereby allowing the nerve cells to survive.”

          “Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert’s laboratory and first author of the paper. “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.” …

    • DdC

      Yawn…

      Alzheimer: Resveratrol v Cannabis
      ~ 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

      Drug Worriers preferred methods of treatment…

      ~ Some people have reported joint pain and tendinitis with resveratrol use. Commonly affecting the Achilles tendon, resveratrol has also caused joint pain in other areas, sometimes accompanied by tingling and/or numbness in arms, legs, hands and feet. Resveratrol may interact with several medications Resveratrol has shown both estrogen agonist and estrogen antagonist effects in cell culture studies. Although rare, anecdotal gastrointestinal side effects have been reported by resveratrol users. Stomach upset and cramping, diarrhea, and/or decreased appetite may occur, Some people have reported joint pain and tendinitis with resveratrol use. Commonly affecting the Achilles tendon, resveratrol has also caused joint pain in other areas,

      Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74
      The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia. The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research. In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies

      List of people with brain tumors Wikipedia
      For primary brain cancer, the National Cancer Institute estimates 22,070 new cases and 12,920 deaths in the US for 2009. 42 years x 12,920 = 542,640

      Reagan’s Hype: Brain Damage in Dead Monkeys
      n 1974, California Governor Ronald Reagan was asked about decriminalizing marijuana. After producing the Heath/Tulane University study, the so-called “Great Communicator” told the national press, “The most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana.” (L.A. Times.) In 1980, Playboy and NORML finally received for the first time after six years of requests and suing the government an accurate accounting of the research procedures used in the famous report: The facts: Suffocation of Research Animals. They discovered, almost immediately, that Heath had completely (intentionally? incompetently?) omited, among other things, the carbon monoxide the monkeys inhaled during these intervals of 63 joints in five minutes…

      Once-Secret Nixon Tapes Show Why US Outlawed Pot
      – John Ehrlichman,
      White House counsel to President Nixon
      on the rationale of the War on Drugs.
      Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.”

      Admissions on Nixon’s ‘Treason’

      n late October 1968, Beverly Deepe, a 33-year-old Saigon correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, came upon a story that could have changed history. A six-year veteran covering the Vietnam War, she learned from South Vietnamese sources that Richard Nixon’s campaign was collaborating behind the scenes with the Saigon government to derail President Lyndon Johnson’s peace talks.

      “If the people knew what we had done,
      they would chase us down the street and lynch us.”

      ~ George H.W. Bush to journalist Sarah McClendon

  • Servetus

    Germany is moving toward de facto legalization of marijuana starting in Düsseldorf:

    8 December 2016 — On Wednesday Düsseldorf took its first concrete steps towards making an application to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for a license to sell cannabis legally to adults, with lawmakers meeting experts to discuss the proposal, the Rheinische Post (RP) reports.

    The city hopes to apply for a license in the summer of 2017, allowing it to start a pilot project. But its chances of success remain uncertain after the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg failed last year to convince BfArM to give it a license.

    The medical institute said that the Berlin district had not sufficiently proved that people would not become addicted to the drug during the pilot project.[…]

    …others at the meeting argued that legalization was a better way of controlling the quality of the drug which users would consume.
    Irene Mihalic, a former police officer and now a member of the Green party, said that legalization could save the justice system millions of euros a year.

    A key part of Düsseldorf’s strategy to convince the BfArM is a plan to initiate a million-euro study into the addictiveness of the drug, involving 1,000 participants.

    http://www.thelocal.de/20161208/dsseldorf-seeks-to-be-first-german-town-to-legalize-weed

    The program has its usual detractors, the chicken-little types whose careers depend upon the unknown or the alleged unknown.

    Settling certain questions about marijuana’s addictiveness would be useful. I suspect German efficiency will untangle this example of drug enforcement’s Gordian Knot, and then we can all move on.

  • Servetus

    Anticipating the oncoming holiday season, I hoped to be spared this task, but in a previous posting I warned if Trump wins the election, his narcissism will play out like that of the Nazis. Trump’s picture (or logo) will show up on Christmas tree ornaments.

    Neither separation of church and state, nor separation of state and industry, exist under fascism. Political symbols on Christmas tree ornaments are a warning, like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Whatever happened to that bird? Was it the nitrous oxides pollution? To bring balance to the Christmas tree ornament gap, there exist counter-symbols to fascism, like these.

  • DdC

    Today, Obama is credited for not interfering with the states where voters chose to break with the Richard Nixon-era federal policy that outlaws cannabis in all its forms. He did not do anything to subvert Colorado or Washington state’s first-in-the-nation legalization votes, and he did not do anything after to prevent the creation of a regulated-and-taxed recreational marijuana marketplace.
    Barack Obama’s Marijuana Legacy: Thanks for Nothing

    These are victories that would have thrilled most activists if you told them what the next eight years had in store for their pet issue. But what did Obama have to do with all of this, and what can the marijuana movement thank him for? In a word: Nothing. The best Obama did for weed was stand aside and do nothing—because when the federal government did choose to get involved, it wasn’t good.

    In short, he did nothing—and cannabis was very glad.

    But before that, he did do something—and it wasn’t good.

    In 2010, federal agents seized a record number of marijuana plants in California, which was at that time the unquestioned national leader in all things weed. That same year, with the first legalization measure with a legitimate shot at passing featured on California’s ballot, federal prosecutors informed cities and counties preparing to make money off of weed that they could face prison time.

    The legal leg the cannabis industry stands on is a literal piece of paper, a memo from a Justice Department official that suggests state-legal cannabis isn’t something that federal law enforcement should spend too much time on. That isn’t much. And on the other federal issues where the marijuana industry needs help—the ability to have a bank account; the privilege of claiming business expenses on federal taxes; the chance at interstate commerce—the federal government, under Barack Obama, has not moved an inch.

    “Barry” Obama spent hanging with the Choom Gang back on Oahu

    Is The DEA Legalizing THC?
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1680

    The Pot Train Could Still Go Off The Tracks, And Here’s How
    The Controlled Substances Act bans pot even for medical purposes. A closer look at some of the government’s options for enforcing it:

    The DEA scheduling system has no scientific basis at all
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/2063