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Debate

For your enjoyment…

@ISSUE: Should we make marijuana legal?

The arguments for and against legalization are debated… by advocate Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and by opponent Kevin A. Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

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10 comments to Debate

  • Servetus

    We believe that science and evidence — not public opinion or ideology — should drive public health and policy in America. — Kevin Sabet

    Believe? Sabet betrays his ignorance of science. It’s not about belief. Scientists don’t necessarily want to believe science, especially when it comes to quantum physics—rather they have no choice. Theory, observations, and experiment lead to reproducible results, as well as predictions about the unknown that may then become known. Method is the vanguard of science, not belief. Despite a deference to the positive results science brings, Sabet rarely treads upon the hot coals of scientific inquiry and epistemology in his daily routine. An informed opinion on drugs cannot be had by abstaining from drug consumption as Kevin does. An historical parallel exists:

    The inquisitors at Logrono in northern Spain were kept busy during the summer of 1613. They had no time to spare for bull-fights or picnics, and hardly a moment to sample the fine local Rioja wines: they were up to their eyes in work from dawn to dusk, and allowed themselves no respite even on Sundays and holidays. They were engaged in the greatest witch-trial in history, both quantitatively – it comprised almost 7,000 cases – and qualitatively, for, as one of the inquisitors smugly claimed: ‘This subject has never been investigated and explored so thoroughly before.’ Nor was it ever to be so treated again.—Gustav Henningsen, The Salazar Documents: Inquisitor Alonso de Salazar Frias and Others on the Basque Witch Persecution

    http://www.historytoday.com/gustav-henningsen/greatest-witch-trial-all

    Also see: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1042142.The_Witches_Advocate

    A junior inquisitor at Logrono, Alonso de Salazar Frias, filed a minority report on the charges of witchcraft after he was confronted by hysterical Navarre villagers, people made to fear witches by the inquisitorial investigation that had nailed notices and descriptions of witches and news of the pending investigation on church doors. Some villagers presented Alonso Salazar with substances they believed were witches’ potions. Salazar had two choices. He could believe what he was told about the substances, thereby initiating a massive campaign of witch trials and executions in the Basque region of Spain, or he could approach the problem scientifically by sampling the offered potions himself to determine if they really worked as advertised. Alonso Salazar chose to be scientific. The alleged witch potions he tried did nothing. No highs and many other dead ends in the investigation led him to write that there were neither witches nor bewitched until they were written and talked about. With much thanks to Salazar the 1613 investigation in the Pyrenees Mountains ended interest in the pursuit of the witch problem by both the Spanish Inquisition and the Catholic Church. In Protestant countries that included the American colonies, witch hunts and executions lasted until the early 1690s.

    Little chance Sabet would sample the purported evil substances in Salazar’s time and place, as Sabet is a believer, not a scientist. Cowardly Kevin doesn’t do drugs. By refusing to experiment on himself, Sabet would have extended the witch hunts another 80 years or more for the Catholic Church, just as he’s promised to extend his anti-marijuana campaign for another 80 years. Which is why when compared to Alonso Salazar, Kevin Sabet and his organization SAM outrank the Spanish Inquisition on a scale of historic evil.

    • jean valjean

      Sabet may or may not be a “believer,” but I get the feeling his main motive for supporting continued criminalization is financial. He’s carved himself out a career as the “quarter-back for prohibition” and envisages another 30 years of grants from people like the Semblers. I also don’t buy the argument Kevin makes that he’s never tried alcohol or other drugs….one only has to look at that debauched, indulgent face to have doubts on that score. Kevin has enjoyed an expense-account life style paid for by Big Pharma, the treatment industry and alcohol manufacturers for far too long and it shows. Hubris is round the corner for this oily toad.

  • DdC

    Feds Admit Marijuana May Treat Opiate Crisis
    For now, the United States is still (mostly) a free country, and people are (within limits) allowed to speak their minds.

    Mainstream Republicans like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—the latter of whom is the president’s point man on solving the county’s opiate crisis—are “free” to say, publicly, that marijuana won’t do anything to help stop the flood of overdoses, a line also uttered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in February.

    But there’s a major difference.

    People are dying, and will continue to die, because Kasich, Christie, Sessions and anyone else with a similar “opinion” appear to be wrong.

    No less an authority than the federal government says so.

    ☛ NEW: Federal drug agency just updated its website
    to acknowledge that marijuana can reduce opioid issues.

    This in itself is not new—not to science, and not to NIDA.

    Almost a year prior, the health agency had published, on its own website, the clear results from one of the studies. As analysts with the RAND Corporation found, states with legal marijuana dispensaries “had lower opioid-overdose mortality rates and fewer admissions to treatment for opioid addiction than they would have had without the dispensaries.”

    In any event, “the federal government knows that the easier it is for people to access legal marijuana, the less likely they will rely on potentially deadly opiate-based drugs,” Angell reported.

    It should be noted that Ohio has one of the nation’s highest overdose rates and does not yet have legal marijuana dispensaries, though the state has legalized medical marijuana and is slowly but surely moving toward a legal cannabis marketplace.

    Kasich’s people should hope—and pray, if they want to reach Pence—that their governor does not follow the example set by Christie. continued

    Ignorant Jeff. Miner’s Lullaby Drug Overdoses & MMJ
    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/1161

    Radical Rant:
    Meet Trump’s ‘Marijuana-Is-A-Gateway-Drug-To’ Opiates Commission

    Ignorant Jeff
    Excluding the National Commission on Forensic Science

    http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/1163

    Trump Opiod Idiots.jpg
    http://oi65.tinypic.com/fnbcdx.jpg

  • jean valjean

    John Pilger dishes the dirt on the illegal actions of the governments of the U.S., Britain and Sweden in the ongoing persecution of Julian Assange. The truth finally emerges about those “rape” cases along with Australia’s supine obedience to it’s U.S. master. And, Trump wasn’t even involved.
    ‘Few serious observers doubt that should the U.S. get its hands on Assange, a similar fate awaits him. According to documents released by Edward Snowden, he is on a “Manhunt target list.” Threats of his kidnapping and assassination became almost political and media currency in the U.S. following then Vice-President Joe Biden’s preposterous claim that the WikiLeaks founder was a “cyber-terrorist.” Hillary Clinton proposed her own expedient solution: “Can’t we just drone this guy.”’
    …..'”Since then, Assange has been confined to a small room without sunlight. He has been ill from time to time and refused safe passage to the diagnostic facilities of hospital. Yet his resilience and dark humor remain quite remarkable under the circumstances. When asked how he put up with the confinement, he replied, “Sure beats a supermax.”’

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/now-full-story-persecution-julian-assange-can-be-told

  • Head on a Stick

    Gov. Phil Scott has just announced he’s vetoed the bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana in Vermont.

    http://www.mynbc5.com/article/vermont-governor-vetoes-marijuana-legislation/9923350

  • DdC

    Magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug, study says
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/7b7dd1b7-94e5-3015-8a29-c11059c2a27c/ss_magic-mushrooms-are-the.html
    Are magic mushrooms safe? A new survey found that when it comes to recreational drug use, magic mushrooms appear to be the safest drug. Only .2% of almost 10,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016 reported that they needed emergency medical treatment, according to the annual Global Drug Survey. The survey, of more than 120,000 participants in 50 countries, found that the rates of emergency medical treatment for MDMA, LSD, alcohol and cocaine were almost five times higher. Magic mushrooms can be risky and cause panic attacks or confusion, Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist and founder of the Global Drug Survey told the Guardian. “Combined

    • primus

      How does that compare to cannabis?

      • DdC

        Shrooms are Safer in Florida than Cannabis.
        http://science.howstuffworks.com/magic-mushroom5.htm
        Usually busts related to magic mushrooms occur under state law (unless they’re in extremely large amounts) and most states ban possession of them. As of February 2009, Florida is the sole exception when it comes to fresh wild mushrooms — essentially, the law reasons that since mushrooms grow wild, it’s possible for people to pick magic ones accidentally and be in possession of small amounts of without prosecution

        Cannabis doesn’t make reindeer fly.
        http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1073
        The Sami people used to feed brightly colored red and white “fly-argic” mushrooms to their reindeer and then, drink the animal’s urine in order to get a more safe and processed form of the drug into their own systems. The effect of the “fly-argic” mushrooms would have been similar to taking LSD.

        All of this behavior is described in a museum in Lapland and may date back to pre-Christian times, he said-although he did allow that the practice had diminished in recent years.

        Can’t bath in Shrooms
        http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/1995/07/15/986
        The Scythians have taken some seed of this hemp, they creep under the cloths and put the seeds on the red hot stones; but this being put on smokes, and produces such a steam, that no Grecian vapour-bath would surpass it. The Scythians, transported by the vapour, shout aloud.

        Chart

        20 Drugs Ranked by Overall Harm along 16 Criteria
        Source: David Nutt, Leslie King, Lawrence Phillips,
        “Drug Harms in the UK: A Multicriteria Decision Analysis,”
        The Lancet, Nov. 1, 2010

        Evolution
        Anthropological research has suggested that humans”may have evolved to counter-exploit plant neurotoxins”. The ability to use botanical chemicals to serve the function of endogenous neurotransmitters may have improved survival rates, conferring an evolutionary advantage. A typically restrictive prehistoric diet may have emphasised the apparent benefit of consuming psychoactive drugs, which had themselves evolved to imitate neurotransmitters. Chemical–ecological adaptations, and the genetics of hepatic enzymes, particularly cytochrome P450, have led researchers to propose that “humans have shared a co-evolutionary relationship with psychotropic plant substances that is millions of years old.”

  • Servetus

    The latest issue of Epilepsy & Behavior is devoted exclusively to the topic of marijuana treatment for epilepsy:

    24-MAY-2017 — Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, Head of the School of Pharmacy and Director of the Institute for Drug Research at Hebrew University, provides an insightful historical perspective. He notes that non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) is officially approved for the treatment of intractable pediatric epilepsy in Israel, but it took over 35 years to conduct the studies and obtain the results. “I expect that over the next decade we shall see major advances both in the medical-scientific and the treatment aspects of epilepsy with the help of CBD and related cannabinoids,” explains Dr. Mechoulam.

    AAAS Public Release: Noted experts critically evaluate benefits of medical marijuana for treatment of epilepsy

  • kaptinemo

    Sabet:Special interest groups promoting drug legalization (not just of marijuana, but also of cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin) have spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past several decades. The primary organizations involved — the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project — continue to receive millions of dollars in support from two billionaires: George Soros and Peter Lewis.

    The man simply cannot keep his lies straight.

    First off, as usual, Sabet is engaging in what psychiatrists call ‘projection’; the only groups receiving ‘hundreds of millions’ (indeed, a Trillion) in funding has been those government ‘anti-drug’ agencies and their ‘concerned parents’ astroturf groups like SAM.

    In the past, when such as Sabet poor-mouthed themselves, despite their taxpayer-provided largesse, I likened it to a 400 pound man with lobes of fat hanging from every appendage bobbling as he is animatedly gesticulating at the comparatively anorexic-looking reform groups and accusingly stating the walking skeletons require a diet.

    What the named orgs have received in the way of patronage from the two billionaires is paltry in contrast with Uncle Sam’s humongous wallet, but look at what it has accomplished despite all those Gub’mint greenbacks thrown up as roadblocks to stop it. Oh, and Kevvie evidently has forgotten that Peter Lewis died in 2013.

    They just can’t seem to get their shite together. Their BS is so old, dry and stale, it doesn’t even stink, anymore.