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March 2019
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Infographics and scams

I get inundated by emails from people wanting to write an article for my site (with just a couple of text links to their company), or offering “wonderful” infographics for me to share with you, which are also linked to a particular website.

These are just blatant attempts to use the good google ranking of Drug WarRant to push up their ranking so they can scam more families of drug addicts to use their referral service, or whatever.

I ignore most of them.

However, this latest was from Grace at “Teens4Safety.”

Hi Pete,

I wanted to see if you’re interested in sharing this resource on the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana: [infographic link at an auto insurance broker site]

Driving with marijuana in your system increases the likelihood of crashing by 300%. Please help us make the road a little safer for everyone.

Thank you!
Grace

Teens4Safety

OK, clearly this was an attempt to get me to link to the auto insurance broker, and I should have ignored it, but the 300% figure got me, and I had to look at the infographic to see what their “science” was.

Here’s the entire paragraph where they mention the 300%:

Naturally, because of the impact of marijuana on the brain, driving functions are also inhibited by marijuana usage. Although studies into this are relatively limited, particularly when it comes to longitudinal studies, legislation has been based on the following assumptions, which are extrapolated from studies into the general usage of THC as well as expanding existing legislation pertaining to the use of alcohol when driving. For example, driving under the influence of cannabis increases the likelihood of crashing by 300%.

Wow. I’m speechless.

I gave Grace an “F” and sent back her paper to be re-written.

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13 comments to Infographics and scams

  • Servetus

    As things change, one consequence will be infographics and scams.

    It’s roughly the equivalent of Antonio Gramsci warning us, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

    We have a wide range of morbid symptoms and monsters to choose from when it comes to something as categorically evil as the drug war.

    • kaptinemo

      Just as Max Planck observed long ago: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

      This is why I am always harping on about demographics; the underlying rationale (the emotional and political as well as the faux medical ones) for cannabis prohibition is dying because those who continue to promote it are, too.

      Cannabis prohibition had as much to do with generational prejudices due to authoritarian mindsets as it did with economic warfare. Those who harbored those prejudices and those mindsets are ‘…shuffling off the mortal coil’ by the thousands every day, and they are being replaced by those who don’t harbor – or tolerate – those prejudices and the mindset accompanying them, largely because they’ve been victimized by them.

      I just wish the Grim Reaper might up his caffeine intake a bit more and swing his scythe among the prohibs with a little more alacrity; there’s not that many left, but they are still a shrill and tiresome lot and I’m sick of them taking up our oxygen. As I said 10 years ago, the tipping point had been reached, and it’s our time now.

      • NorCalNative

        I used to have that quote in Poster form over my desk until I replaced it with a photo of one of Alan’s nude models.

        • NorCalNative

          “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

          Max Planck

          Yes, No, and Maybe.

          For example, there is a short video at Project CBD by a retired judge given a 20-month death sentence by his pulmonologist for COPD. The judge, who has put folks in jail for weed possession, and was no fan of pot, is CURED by taking cannabis oil.

          When he gets a clean bill of health after insisting his doc redo all the previous test and diagnostics, the doctor follows what Max said and is unwilling to allow his patient’s self-cure to interfere with his career and career interests.

          However, in the same room where the doc follows the Rule-of-Max, the patient/judge who has been saved by a new scientific truth DOES see the light, and a previous opponent didn’t have to DIE and wait for a new generation’s familiiarty.

          The point here, is that pretty much like always, CANNABIS proves the exception to rules and rulers. Demographics and the long-wait for change can actually be nudged along with weed, especially whole-plant extracts.

          An interesting aspect of the judge’s video is when he describes how his wife secretly traveling to Colorado to get cannabis oil almost broke up their marriage. He finally relented and he cured his ass. He’s on TEAM WEED now bitches.

  • “Michigan shouldn’t set a driving limit for marijuana, commission says” https://tinyurl.com/y5hy5vd9

    “After spending nearly two years looking into how marijuana affects drivers, the Impaired Driving Safety Commission recommended the state set no limit for the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, in someone’s blood.”

    “Instead, the committee recommended continuing to use roadside sobriety tests to determine whether a driver is impaired.”

    “The only reasonable way to do this right now is to demonstrate that people are impaired,” Norbert Kaminski, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, said.

    “Kaminski, who was one of the six members on the commission, said he was happy that Gov. Rick Snyder created the commission to “make logical and rational decisions based on the state of the science.”

    There’s a “very poor correlation” between blood THC levels and whether someone is impaired, Kaminski said.

    “After exposure to cannabis, blood levels spike to high, Kaminski said. But once it’s in the blood stream, it quickly drops. Within six to 10 minutes, the THC level falls to half of what it was.”

    “In addition, because everyone’s body metabolizes marijuana differently, a fixed limit wouldn’t provide an accurate picture of impairment, according to the commission’s report.”

  • Servetus

    Chuck Norris is taking time off from fighting commies so he can scam Americans about the dangers of marijuana.

    Norris begins by making a subtly racist attack against Whoopi Goldberg and her vape pen, which she’s named “Sippy”, and goes on to cite flaky research studies and other propaganda spewed by the usual cast of prohibitionist cranks. His quotes and references include Keith Humphreys and Alex Berenson.

    Norris has either been kicked in the head too many times, or he’s just dumber than dirt. If it’s the former, he should consider cannabinoids as a potential therapy for brain trauma as NFL and hockey players do.

    https://www.wnd.com/2019/03/marijuanas-pandoras-box-in-the-u-s/

  • Servetus

    Cocaine trafficking in South America has become more efficient and resilient due primarily to international drug interdiction efforts, according to a new computer study dubbed NarcoLogic:

    2-Apr-2019–Efforts to curtail the flow of cocaine into the United States from South America have made drug trafficking operations more widespread and harder to eradicate, according to new research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The National Science Foundation supported the study, which included an Oregon State University geographer and was led by Nicholas Magliocca from University of Alabama. […]

    “It really is surprising how the model matches our observations,” said David Wrathall of OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “Our team consists of researchers who worked in different parts of Central America during the 2000s and witnessed a massive surge of drugs into the region that coincided with a reinvigoration of the war on drugs. We asked ourselves: did drug interdiction push drug traffickers into these places?” […]

    The scientists developed a computer model named NarcoLogic that shows how drug traffickers respond to interdiction strategies and tactics. It differs from previous approaches because it models local- and network-level trafficking dynamics at the same time.

    Interdiction efforts are linked to the spread and fragmentation of trafficking routes — a phenomenon known as the “balloon and cockroach effect.” When interdiction efforts are focused in one location, drug traffickers simply relocate.

    “Between 1996 and 2017, the Western Hemisphere transit zone grew from 2 million to 7 million square miles, making it more difficult and costly for law enforcement to track and disrupt trafficking networks,” Wrathall said. “But as trafficking spread, it triggered a host of smuggling-related collateral damages: violence, corruption, proliferation of weapons, and extensive and rapid environmental destruction, which has been the focus of my work.”

    Since the Nixon Administration launched the war on drugs in 1971 and declared drug abuse to be “public enemy No. 1,” the United States has spent an estimated $1 trillion on drug prevention and enforcement efforts.

    That includes roughly $5 billion annually on cocaine interdiction, without having much effect on the drug’s supply or its price, the researchers say.

    “Wholesale cocaine prices in the United States have actually dropped significantly since 1980, deaths from cocaine overdose are rising, and counterdrug forces intercept cocaine shipments at a low rate. More cocaine entered the United States in 2015 than in any other year,” Wrathall said.

    The researchers’ main hypothesis, borne out by comparing NarcoLogic’s predictions of where, when and how cocaine shipments were trafficked from 2000-14 against the actual patterns recorded in interdiction databases, was that trafficking operations didn’t become more widespread and resilient because of ineffective interdiction — but did so simply as a result of interdiction. […]

    AAAS Public Release: ‘NarcoLogic’ computer model shows unintended consequences of cocaine interdiction

  • Servetus

    MDMA is being fast-tracked by the US FDA as an antidote for PTSD:

    4-Apr-2019 — Johns Hopkins neuroscientists have found that the psychedelic drug MDMA reopens a kind of window, called a “critical period,” when the brain is sensitive to learning the reward value of social behaviors. The findings, reported April 3 in Nature, may explain why MDMA may be helpful in treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Critical periods were first described in the 1930s in snow geese. About 24 hours after a gosling hatches, if mother goose is nowhere to be found, the hatchling will bond with an object, including non-living ones. Yet, if mother goose disappears 48 hours after her gosling hatches, the critical period is over, and the hatchling won’t bond to an object.

    There is evidence for critical periods that smooth the way for development of language, touch and vision.

    For the current study, neuroscientist Gül Dölen says, “We wanted to know if there was a critical period for learning social reward behaviors, and if so could we reopen it using MDMA, since this drug is well-known to have prosocial effects.” […]

    In their experiments, Dölen and her colleagues found that the critical period for social reward learning in mice is around puberty and wanes once they become mature adults. To determine if they could reopen the critical period, the scientists gave MDMA to mature mice, waited 48 hours for the drug to be washed out of their system, and observed how the mice explored their enclosure and behaved with other mice in the enclosure. Following the treatment with MDMA, most of the animals responded to social interactions the same way as juveniles, by forming a positive association between social interactions and the bedding. This effect lasted for at least two weeks after the MDMA treatment, and it was not observed in mice given saline injections.

    “This suggests that we’ve reopened a critical period in mice, giving them the ability to learn social reward behaviors at a time when they are less inclined to engage in these behaviors,” says Dölen.

    The mice maintained their ability to learn the rewards of social behavior for up to two weeks from the time they were given MDMA. During this time, Dölen and her colleagues also found that the brains of the mice had corresponding responses to oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” which is made in the hypothalamus and acts in the brain as a signal between neurons that encode information about social rewards. They found these responses by looking more closely at synapses, the spaces between brain cells called neurons. Their experiments showed that, in mature mice given MDMA, oxytocin triggers signaling in the synapses that encodes learning and memory, which does not typically happen in mature mice. […]

    MDMA has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a “breakthrough therapy” for PTSD, meaning that the agency will fast-track the development and review of clinical trials to test it. However, the researchers caution that MDMA may not work for every psychiatric condition linked to social behaviors.

    “As we develop new therapies or determine when to give these therapies, it’s critical to know the biological mechanism on which they act,” says Dölen.

    AAAS Public Release: Psychedelic drug MDMA may reawaken ‘critical period’ in brain to help treat PTSD

    • Anonymous

      I’d be interested to see the results of any trial of MDMA therapy with Cluster B personality disorders. How would a dose of oxytocin affect the empathy deprived?

    • DdC

      We have our own studies in Santa Cruz. They just sent me a list of jobs they’re hiring for.

      MAPS

      We’re Hiring!

      APS and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) are currently hiring! MAPS is hiring a Chief Operations Office (COO) and Full-Charge Bookkeeper. MAPS PBC is hiring a Drug Development Assistant, Quality Intern (QI), Training Coordinator, and Adherence Rater. You can support MAPS by referring qualified applicants to our open positions. Application instructions vary by position, so please read carefully!

      Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

      MAPS News https://maps.org/
      Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

      PRESS RELEASE:
      Participant Screening Begins in Phase 3 Clinical Trials of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD

      How MDMA Is Being Used to Treat PTSD

      Newsweek:
      Small Study Shows More Promise for MDMA Therapy in Treatment of Chronic PTSD

      Associated Press News:
      Psychedelic Advocate Nears Goal of Legal Ecstasy

  • Servetus

    The UK moved cannabis from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. Less restricted marijuana research opportunities for British scientists will place UK pharmacology far ahead of the US in cannabinoid research, in part resulting in new patents and entrepreneurial startups for the UK and not the US:

    06 April 2019 — Research on cannabis was previously restricted because it was listed in Schedule 1, implying that it had no medical value. Cannabis was recently moved to Schedule 2 in the UK.

    A clinical review, published today (Saturday 6 April 2019) for the BMJ, provides new interim advice for doctors and clinicians in prescribing cannabis-based products and cannabinoids to treat certain conditions.

    Since a policy change in November 2018, specialist doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), have been permitted to prescribe new medicines which derive from cannabis. Yet, research into these products has, to date, been limited creating an ‘information vacuum’ about these medicines, their benefits or harms.

    A new review authored by leading scientists and clinicians from the University of Bath and University College London (UCL) points to the array of different cannabis-based products and cannabinoids available, and a clear need to educate both patients and clinicians into what these different products do and how they might help.

    University of Bath UK Press Release: Fresh guidance to fill ‘information vacuum’ on new cannabis products for medicinal use: A BMJ clinical review, published Saturday 6 April in advance of expected NICE guidelines, offers new advice to help patients and doctors.

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