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March 2018
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Thanks, Illinois Libertarians

Just finished a wonderful speech for the Illinois Libertarian Convention luncheon. Really attentive and engaged audience — particularly the three little children in the front row, who asked all sorts of very good questions (“Why do you need a tank in a small town?” “When the SWAT team comes, do they give you a chance to explain whether you have drugs or not first?” “If marijuana can be used for medical things, why did they say it was so bad?” “Did the police officer who shot that lady go to jail?”) and one of them gave me a drawing he made!

The title of the talk was “The Drug War’s Assault on Liberty.”

And I included a bunch of “Guitherisms,” which seemed to be well received, and lightened things up a bit.

Thanks couch-mates for your suggestions, and welcome any Illinois Libertarians who have arrived here based on my talk. If you have any questions from the talk that you didn’t get to ask, please feel free to ask them in comments.

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26 comments to Thanks, Illinois Libertarians

  • jean valjean

    Pete, in answer to all the kids you mentioned, sometimes you just have to say when something is wrong, as the drug war clearly is. I’m encouraged that this pre-teen generation is getting it and asking such absolutely relevant questions….

  • Richard Bennett

    I was there today at the LP State Convention. Thank you so much for your passion, optimism, and good research!

  • Mike

    Anyone interested in the fact that the NRA is silent

    who will support cannabis users.

    https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/01/15/marijuana-users-gun-ownership/96741/

  • Do you know how much money our national government could save by ending the drug war?

    • primus

      Correction; Do you know how much of OUR money our national government could save… Hope you don’t mind my input.

      • Mouthy

        Let’s see: $1 trillion on just the domestic side of drug enforcement as they say, plus the amount affixed to the 1961 U.N. Singles Laws added to the DEA, Interpol, CIA, and various national governments/law enforcement/military etc to create the results of ‘international drug laws/black market’ which coincides with 9/11 and various terrorist attacks before (WTC, Africa embassy bombings etc) and terrorist attacks after (London, Paris, Spain, Belgium, Barcelona, Turkey, India, Pakistan, China, Australia, U.S. cities etc) added to the War on Terror since nothing less than 50% of insurgent and terrorist funding comes from drugs, though it is probably a bit higher, which means half of Afghanistan and Iraq is due from what drug money can do e.g. war, corruption, destruction, etc.

        Easily $6 trillion as an underestimated fact of wasted spending, with roughly $5 Trillion since Sept, 11 2001. What about the wasted revenue from those locked up, forced fines, denied jobs, and denied dreams/progress/inventions from money and opportunity being wasted and not generated?

        A buddy of mine told me that they are reopening a bunch of bases in Afghanistan that Obama had shut down when it was viewed that Afghanistan was winding down . . . he lives in Afghanistan and works on behalf of the DoD, so by the year 2020 we could see the War on Drugs since Nixon costing in physical cash (ignoring lost taxes and revenue) spent: $8 Trillion (and don’t forget that we’ve got U.S. soldiers deployed to the Philippines, Africa, Somalia, and the Ukraine [fighting drug money so Putin won’t look so contributing–akin to Iran Contra/Afghanistan in the 1980s with the U.S.]) . . . it would be 100% illogical and unfounded to not say that the War on Drugs isn’t at least $8.2 trillion in money spent, but this is an underestimated cost.

  • Hope

    As long as there is Earth, there will be some of those Sessions rolling papers around. Maybe in a museum dedicated to the history of the hate and greed of prohibitionists during this deadly round of substance prohibition.

  • DdC

    Very Odd News

    Trump Megadonor Donates $1 Million to MAPS Research
    http://goodtimes.sc/santa-cruz-news/trump-megadonor-donates-1-million-maps-research/
    Santa Cruz nonprofit pulls in funding from surprising places as MDMA trials move forward

    That’s the short version of what Rebekah Mercer—whose father is of one of President Donald Trump’s lead bankrollers—wrote in a Feb. 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed, titled …

    ‘Forget the media caricature. Here’s what I believe,’ writes Rebekah Mercer https://www.wsj.com/articles/forget-the-media-caricature-heres-what-i-believe-1518652722 via @WSJOpinion

  • WalStMonky

    .
    .

    ‘No such thing as medical marijuana,’ Health Secretary says
    By: Katie Wedell
    Mar 3, 2018

    As Ohio prepares to launch its medical marijuana program by issuing licenses to cultivators, processors and dispensers, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in Kettering today, “There really is no such thing as medical marijuana.”

    The statement came during a press conference on opioids at an inpatient facility that treats newborns suffering from prenatal drug exposure.
    /snip/

    Well he is an expert!

    Effective January 1, 2012, Azar became President of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest division of Eli Lilly and Company, and was responsible for the company’s entire operations in the United States. Prices for drugs rose substantially under Azar’s leadership. In connection with the position, Azar served on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.

    In January 2017, Azar resigned from Eli Lilly. He also resigned from the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
    /snip/
    linky

  • Yeah But

    They want to reinvent the wheel and sell it back at 1000% mark up.

  • Servetus

    University of Cambridge Sainsbury Laboratory scientists have discovered that a very rare mineral called vaterite exists as a white protective crust on the leaves of certain alpine plants, in particular Saxafraga Sempervivum. Vaterite is a unique crystalline form of calcium carbonate. It has the potential to be used to deliver THC and other anti-cancer drugs directly to cancer cells to initiate cell apoptosis:

    5-MAR-2018 — The laboratory’s Microscopy Core Facility Manager, Dr Raymond Wightman, said vaterite was of interest to the pharmaceutical industry: “Biochemists are working to synthetically manufacture vaterite as it has potential for use in drug delivery, but it is not easy to make. Vaterite has special properties that make it a potentially superior carrier for medications due to its high loading capacity, high uptake by cells and its solubility properties that enable it to deliver a sustained and targeted release of therapeutic medicines to patients. For instance, vaterite nanoparticles loaded with anti-cancer drugs appear to offload the drug slowly only at sites of cancers and therefore limit the negative side-effects of the drug.” [Emphasis Added …]

    Dr Wightman said vaterite was often associated with outer space and had been detected in planetary objects in the Solar System and meteorites: “Vaterite is not very stable in the Earth’s humid atmosphere as it often reverts to more common forms of calcium carbonate, such as calcite. This makes it even more remarkable that we have found vaterite in such large quantities on the surface of plant leaves.” […]

    The microscopy research has also turned up some novel cell structures. Mr Aston added: “As well as producing vaterite, Saxifraga scardica has a special tissue surrounding the leaf edge that appears to deflect light from the edge into the leaf. The cells appear to be producing novel cell wall structures to achieve this deflection. This may be to help the plant to collect more light, particularly if it is growing in partly shaded environments.”

    The team believes the novel cell wall structures of Saxifrages could one day help inform the manufacture of new bio-inspired optical devices and photonic structures for industry such as communication cables and fibre optics. […]

    There is a risk that some of these tiny but amazing alpine plants could potentially disappear due to climate change, damage from alpine recreation sports and over-collecting. There is still much to learn about these plants, but the collaborative work of the Sainsbury Laboratory and Cambridge University Botanic Garden team is revealing fascinating insights into leaf anatomy and biochemistry….

    AAAS Public Release: Rare mineral discovered in plants for first time

  • Servetus

    In previous postings it’s been noted that THC in marijuana counters brain aging in laboratory mice specifically bred to age quickly. Now scientists at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge and Sapienza University, Rome, published online today (5th March) in Aging Cell that they have pinpointed 250 genes linked to the aging processes of the brain. The new information should speed up research on how THC interacts with the genes to reduce brain aging as well as diseases associated with brain cell aging:

    …genes, called Dbx2, could prematurely age brain stem cells, causing them to grow more slowly. The study was led jointly by Giuseppe Lupo and Emanuele Cacci in Italy and Peter Rugg-Gunn in the UK.

    Cells in the brain are constantly dying and being replaced with new ones produced by brain stem cells. As we age, it becomes harder for these stem cells to produce new brain cells and so the brain slowly deteriorates. By comparing the genetic activity in brain cells from old and young mice, the scientists identified over 250 genes that changed their level of activity with age. Older cells turn some genes, including Dbx2, on and they turn other genes off.

    By increasing the activity of Dbx2 in young brain stem cells, the team were able to make them behave more like older cells. Changes to the activity of this one gene slowed the growth of brain stem cells. These prematurely aged stem cells are not the same as old stem cells but have many key similarities. This means that many of the genes identified in this study are likely to have important roles in brain ageing.

    The research also identified changes in several epigenetic marks – a type of genetic switch – in the older stem cells that might contribute to their deterioration with age. Epigenetic marks are chemical tags attached to the genome that affect the activity of certain genes. The placement of these marks in the genome change as we age and this alters how the cells behave. The researchers think that some of these changes that happen in the brain may alter causing brain stem cells to grow more slowly. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Genes for age-linked brain deterioration identified: The team identified over 250 genes involved in brain ageing including Dbx2 which can prematurely age stem cells

  • DdC

    “Marijuana is one of the least toxic substances
    in the whole pharmacopoeia”
    ~ Professor Lester Grinspoon,
    Harvard Medical School, USA

    Nixon arbitrarily classified Cannabis without Science, fact or concerns for Americans. That is the only logical starting point to ending the drug war. Especially the Ganjawar. On paper Cannabis in all forms. Including CBD and Hemp. Are schedule#1 “narcotics” under the Controlled Substance Act. It doesn’t matter how many people find medicinal relief or how durable my blue jeans are. Not enough to sway GOPers to give American farmers a non psychoactive cash crop considering they have passed Vets in suicides. 47 years of this lunacy and all of the state incrementalized bullshit means nothing on paper. It is a decent band aid in civilized areas. Making big bucks for a portion and big cage time for another. There is no state protection since Raich v Gonzales.

    Once-Secret Nixon Tapes Show Why the U.S. Outlawed Pot

    While the country is in the mood for legalizing, they know it will pass. Even if all 50 states pass laws on paper it will still be a factual statement to claim it has no medicinal value as long as the FDA has final say. That’s if and or when they receive orders to conduct tests from the HHS. That’s Azar. The established scam is eEnough to justify the fear mongers and mandatory minimum sentencing to assure profits for private prisons. Prohibition a multi $Trillion enterprise they have no reason to end anymore than curing cancer’s $300 Billion in profits treating it.

    40 Years of Drug War Failure Represented in a Single Chart

    America is really too stupid for Ganja. Too cowardly to even utilize the Constitution and too hate filled to their own citizens to unify against foreign invasions. The Ganjawar has persecuted stoners since 1937 while the middle class stood by and even joined in the chorus of Just Say Naysayers. There are many groups oppressed and segregated from equality in various aspects.

    Eli Lilly & Co. said in response to a shareholder resolution on marijuana that “descheduling of cannabis is not one of our core priorities.”

    Alex Azar has vested ignorance.
    not as if it matters.

    I can’t think of any that ban Pell Grants for skin color or even kicking down doors and confiscating houses for being Gay. Patients aren’t refused organ transplants for their gender alone. Even the NRA supports banning guns for stoners while advocating for the mentally ill’s 2nd commandment rights. The religionists concerned over family value$ cheer when babies are taken from their mothers for advocating against prohibition or from mandatory inaccurate forced urine tests bypassing the 5th Amendment. Anal probes and prison rapes while Pence shuts down clinics and pushes conversion coersion subsidies.

    Opinion: themotleyfool
    Rescheduling Marijuana Would Make Things Even Worse Than They Are Now

    Segregation still exists for many under the table, with property management and private neighborhoods. Evicting stoners from their homes or work place is common place and without much advocasy against it. Veterans are jailed for growing Cannabis while Big Pharma reaps $Billions killing Americans with Opiods. It’s the Airplane movie and the prohibitionists are DEAthly afraid Ganja is what we have said it is. So in some warped money worshiping mindset. Freeing the weed is the logical remedy that we the people are expecting from a sane government to implement. Proving there is no sanity in the Ganjawar since it continues to exist and even be promoted.

    Is The DEA Legalizing THC?

    So as NIDA has never produced a causal connection, they do create headlines that are clearly bias and fact free. The DEA is paid to lie to us and Pete Sessions types. The internet has informed millions who continue to not hear anything on cable propaganda channels. Trump is draining the swamp of bureaucrats and filling them with Wall St cronies cutting out the middleman they had to buy for legislation. Profits over people is obvious when the people are associated with Ganja. Something so clear should not be so confusing unless that is the agenda. Meaning pure Fascism corporatizing profits on prohibition and eliminating corporate competition over the welfare of the American citizens. Nothing new

    Federal judge acknowledges plaintiffs’ claim that “medical marijuana has, quite literally, saved their lives,” but dismisses rescheduling lawsuit anyway.

    The plaintiffs, including an Iraq War veteran, a child with a seizure disorder and an ex-NFL player, claimed that the CSA’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance is so “irrational” that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

    Nixon arbitrarily classified Cannabis without Science or Facts

    If the FDA is the only entity authorized to claim what is medicine. After the HHS instructs them to test a “drug”. It’s only a matter of never instructing them. As they did with the 1999 IOM Report. Nixon rejected his own Commission’s report and corruption has ruled ever since. Until the FDA approves Ganja it doesn’t have medicinal value, on paper. On purpose.

  • Servetus

    In its opposition to communism, Vatican supported fascists and spies used money from drug trafficking to help Nazi war criminals escape justice at Nuremberg, in what was called ‘Operation Amadeus’.

    Activities were carried out by members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), a “military arm of the Vatican … regarded as separate state with full powers of statehood, including issuing its own diplomatic passports” and by members of Opus Dei, and Mafia affiliates. These organizations have historically exerted a powerful influence on the CIA. Members of SMOM and Opus Dei included Bill Casey. Former Drug Czars Bill Bennett, John Walters and Gen. Barry McCaffrey are likely members as well.

    Author David Guyatt provides us with a few of the highlights:

    Carone was a detective in the New York Police Department, but this didn’t stop him from becoming a “made” man in the Genovese crime family.[…] One of Carone’s principal functions in the NYPD was to act as the “bagman” in protecting shipments of CIA drugs to the various Mafia families.[…]

    In more recent decades SMOM has acted as a funding conduit, a black market gold channel and money laundry for the CIA, amongst others, and is known to act as the Vatican’s intelligence arm. It was alleged to be involved in, for example, the disappearance of Russia’s gold reserves – over 2,000 metric tonnes – which vanished during 1991, around the time that Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev was ousted from office.[…]

    Operation Amadeus was exclusively concerned with the flight of SS and Nazi war criminals to the South American continent and their later ferocious covert actions against the indigenous populations justified under the banner of “anti-communism”. One individual engaged in Amadeus activities was former Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie, known to the world as “the Butcher of Lyon”. […]

    The principal means of funding Operation Amadeus activities was the hugely profitable narcotics business. Large stocks of SS morphia had been smuggled out of Europe and into “Catholic” South America at the end of the War in accordance with the Sunrise agreement. The morphia was accompanied by looted SS gold and large quantities of counterfeit British banknotes, forged in concentration camps by captive but skilled counterfeiters as part of an SS scheme known as Operation Bernhardt.

    The escape “lines” used to move wanted men around South America, away from the prying eyes of Israeli agents, also proved ideal as smuggling routes for drugs. Decades later, the stocks of heroin smuggled into the United States for distribution by the CIA-protected Mafia would be complemented with locally grown cocaine. One of the figures to emerge into the spotlight during the 1980s who was deeply involved in this narcotics traffic was Colonel Oliver North, who authorized the exchange of guns for drugs to finance Contra operations. Oliver North was known to Al Carone under his “work” name, “John Caffrey”. This was the time when Carone was engaged in CIA-controlled cocaine transactions with Joe “Pickles” Percilia, a member of the Colombo crime family. […]

    And while large numbers of former Nazis were fleeing south to fight the communist menace in Latin America – and, more importantly, to profit personally from their involvement in the lucrative drug and gun business – in Europe, the spadework was being laid to overthrow or thwart democratically elected governments via a network of fascist-manned “Stay Behind units”, organized under the aegis of Operation Gladio. Not surprisingly, this would also lead to certain involved figures making personal fortunes out of other people’s misery – a circumstance that is so commonplace it is barely worth mentioning. […]

    Another important link between the Vatican and SS escape routes was Friedrich Schwendt, who was also the man in charge of laundering forged SS banknotes. Before WWII, Schwendt was an international arms dealer who shipped weapons to China and Russia. He was also the investment manager of the family fortune of his first wife’s aunt, Baroness Gemmingen-Guttenberg, of the vastly wealthy Argentina-based Bunge family, of the massive transnational firm Bunge Corporation that is also known as “the Octopus”.

    This title is interesting, for it may connect to the so-called “Octopus” that ties in to murdered freelance journalist Danny Casolaro, who at the time of his death in 1991 was investigating a number of high-level illegalities including the theft by the Department of Justice of a “tracking” computer program known as “PROMIS”. Casolaro was writing a book about what he had discovered. He originally titled it “Behold, A Pale Horse”, but later modified it to “The Octopus”. In a draft page of the book, he described this group as an:

    “international cabal whose freelance services covered parochial political intrigue, espionage, sophisticated weapon technologies that included biotoxins, drug trafficking, money laundering and murder-for-hire.” […]

    In facilitating and aligning itself with many of the foregoing activities, the Vatican aimed to help eradicate a communist ideology that despised Christianity. Opus Dei and a host of other Catholic-cum-fascist secret groups engaged in a litany of murder, money laundering, drug peddling, arms trafficking, concealment of WWII loot, embezzlement, manipulation of financial markets and many other consummate illegalities. The purpose of all these activities was, arguably, to allow the Vatican to remain the spiritual bulwark of the Christian West. […]

    Casolaro further stated that this cabal was “spawned thirty years ago in the shadow of the Cold War”. After Casolaro’s death, journalist Carol Marshall (a pen name) followed up his investigation and wrote an (as yet) unpublished manuscript, titled “The Last Circle”.[…]

    http://churchandstate.org.uk/2017/03/holy-smoke-and-mirrors-the-vatican-conspiracy/

    Since Francis became pope, the Vatican Bank has eliminated banking services for the Mafia and for drug cartels in Central and South America. Operation Amadeus and similar intrigues explains the Roman Catholic Church’s fanatical obsession with prohibiting illicit drug use and punishing sinners accordingly. The Church’s use of money from illicit drug sales to defend its operatives and fight communism would not have been available were it not for prohibition. The Vatican set the standard for the CIA.

  • kaptinemo

    More about the waning of drug testing in the workplace, due to demographics: Companies Eliminating Drug Tests Amid Job Shortages, Pot Legalization https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-05/companies-eliminating-drug-tests-amid-job-shortages-pot-legalization

    A word of warning: this is one very strange site. Some of the comments make me believe that some of those making them hail from one of those sci-fi alternate universes where the Nazis won WW2…or think they should have.

  • Servetus

    Idaho legislators killed a bill that would have allowed Idahoans of all types to benefit from taking CBD oil if needed or desired:

    http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Senate-panel-kills-bill-allowing-use-of-marijuana-derivative-476005973.html

    Meanwhile, the Idaho legislators declared pornography to be “a public health risk”:

    http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Idaho-lawmakers-declare-pornography-a-public-health-risk-475676203.html

  • Mike

    all candidates running for office in Texas should be asked

    if they support this Judges ruling.

    https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/03/06/judge-texas-father-autistic-daughter-marijuana/100583/

  • DdC

    Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates are arguing over who supports cannabis legalization the most, demonstrating that a New Politics of Marijuana have emerged. And a new poll released this week shows why.
    https://marijuanamoment.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2b103be7b5d7ad4abd40bfebc&id=942b0b5b0b&e=8bff18e77b

    A poll found that Illinois voters support legalizing marijuana, 66%-32%.
    https://marijuanamoment.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2b103be7b5d7ad4abd40bfebc&id=5d088a9798&e=8bff18e77b

  • Servetus

    Some fascist Calaveras County Supervisors in California signaled their overt piggishness by approving marijuana grow operations in the county, collecting “millions in fees and taxes” while granting “licenses to more than 300 qualified and vetted growers”, and then changed their minds in a 3-2 decision to ban all cannabis grow operations.

    The ban includes all those heavily invested in startup costs after being given an initial green light to proceed. Growers have responded by distributing a recall petition against the Supervisors:

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/02/25/green-rush-goes-bust-in-calaveras-county/

    Calaveras is an inland California county famous for Mark Twain’s depiction of their annual frog jumping contest. Many of the old towns in the county were part of the original California gold rush and today benefit from tourism. A lot of bikers reside in the county and have an economic foothold there, something that should help the petition drive.

  • Servetus

    A publication today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Erin E. Krebs, MD; Amy Gravely; Sean Nugent; et al, has concluded that opioid based compounds are no better at relieving chronic pain than over-the-counter (OTC) pain remedies. The effective OTC remedies mentioned included acetaminophens, etc., but not cannabis, a pain reliever that can be more effective than many OTCs for certain types of pain.

    The research paper is titled: “Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain”.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2673971?redirect=true

    JAMA. 2018;319(9):872-882. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0899

  • Mike

    it would be a interesting debate question to ask if

    you support legal cannabis do you also support the right

    of that person to own a gun.

    https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/03/07/beto-orourke-texas-ted-cruz-marijuana-advocate/100697/

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