One parent commented on our news item Monday morning that he or she has organized more than 24 other parents from neighboring Cherry Creek Schools to spy on the city’s new recreational pot shops — to see if they recognize anyone, to take photos to share with one another, to “publicly shame those who think pot is cool,” according to the comment from user the3Ds, who apparently works at Denver International Airport, lives in Tallyn’s Reach and volunteers at her daughter’s school library.
According to the reader’s comment, their group will “document every person who walks into that shop. We will also make an effort to take a photo and send it around to each other to see if it’s a parent at one of our kid’s schools. We have also promised to tell everyone we know that the parent is a pot-head and make sure to notify the Principals that we don’t want that parent chaperoning our children’s field trips, driving carpool to school events or hosting our kids at their house for slumber parties and playdates.”
Hmmm… this seems like a good opportunity for a counter spying operation. Take pictures of those taking pictures and shame the shamers. I can imagine flyers with the picture of one of them taking a picture from their car, with the caption: “Have you seen this person lurking in your neighborhood?”
I’ve been a little out of touch this past week, as I’ve been dealing with a large kidney stone, which was finally removed by laser last night. I really don’t recommend having a kidney stone.
I got a little lesson about the problems of over-regulating drugs this week. One of the common pain meds prescribed by doctors is Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen 5/325. Now, realize that this is already set up to prevent abuse of Hydrocodone — because the Acetaminophen will kill you if you take enough to abuse the Hydrocodone. But on October 6, Hydrocodone combinations were moved by the DEA from Schedule III to Schedule II, over the objections of much of the medical community. What this means is that doctors can no longer phone a prescription to your pharmacy — you have to take a physical signed piece of paper — and there can be no refills.
As several doctors told me this week, this concerns them because patients have to come in more often, and may be stuck without pain medication when they need it. They also indicated that the practical result is that they’ll end up prescribing larger amounts, just to be sure, resulting in lots more leftover drugs.
Recreational marijuana sellers are reaching out to novice cannabis users with a raft of edible products that impart a milder buzz and make it easy for inexperienced customers to find a dose they won’t regret taking.
In many ways, the marketing shift is the pot-industry equivalent of selling beer and wine alongside higher-alcohol options such as whiskey and vodka.
“No one buys a handle of Jim Beam and thinks they should drink all of that in one sitting,” said Tim Cullen, owner of two Denver-area marijuana dispensaries. “But people do want to eat an entire cookie, an entire piece of chocolate. So these products allow you to do that and not have a miserable experience.”
I’m also loving the fact that we’re seeing use of the term “overdowd” (named after Maureen Dowd) as a way of referring to the panicky paranoid reaction by newbies who don’t understand edibles and consume too much at once.
Consider what the federal government is arguing here. It’s arguing that if you’re arrested for a drug crime, including a crime unserious enough to merit a sentence of probation, the government retains the power to (a) steal your identity, (b) use that identity for drug policing, thus making your name and face known to potentially dangerous criminals, (c) interact with those criminals while posing as you, which could subject you to reprisals from those criminals, (d) expose photos of your family, including children, to those criminals, and (e) do all of this without your consent, and with no regard for your safety or public reputation.
The mindset that would allow government officials to not only engage in this sort of behavior, but to then fight in court to preserve their power to continue it is the same mindset that, for example, allows drug cops to compel juveniles and young women to become drug informants, with little regard for their safety — and to then make no apologies when those informants are murdered.
The list of atrocities and indignities routinely conducted in the name of the drug war is extraordinarily long.
This has all the classic features. With just a modicum of investigation, police could have learned that Hooks “was a successful businessman who ran a construction company that, among other things, did work on US military bases. Hooks had passed background checks and had a security clearance.”
Instead, the took the word of a burglar.
And, if the police had possessed an ounce of intelligence, they would have considered that someone who just had their place burglarized would not be thinking “police” when…
His wife, Teresa, was upstairs in her craft room when she heard a car drive fast up the driveway, and she looked out the window.
“She saw several men all in black and camo with hoods on,” Shook said. “She ran downstairs, woke David and said, ‘The burglars are back.’ ”
Hooks retrieved a gun and headed out of the bedroom as the officers broke down the back door.
And now he’s dead.
Police apparently searched for 44 hours and failed to find any drugs.
I can just imagine the conversations that were going on by police radio… “But Chief, there’s nothing here.”…”Keep searching until you find something.”
Again, this case (while we admittedly don’t know everything yet) appears to show so many problems with the system — problems in the law, in policy, in decision-making, in judicial oversight, and in training.
I’m back from the north woods and thrilled to have reliable wifi again. It’ll take me a while to catch up with the news. Thanks to everyone for your good wishes and concern for my family with my brother-in-law’s death. My sister is doing well, and we’re trying to get her out from under. If anyone is interested in a 4,100 square foot beautiful log house on 10-40 acres of land in gorgeous country away from civilization, we’ve got a great deal for you. She can’t stay there, so the price has been dropped to rock bottom.
“I think it’s certainly a question that we need to ask ourselves — whether or not marijuana is as serious a drug as is heroin,” Holder said. “[T]he question of whether or not they should be in the same category is something that I think we need to ask ourselves, and use science as the basis for making that determination.”
In reality, the question of whether the available science is consistent with cannabis’ schedule I status has been posed repeatedly over the past four decades. And the answer, to virtually everyone but the US federal government, is now all but self-evident.
I suspect that they’re both right, depending on where you place the comparative benchmarks.
The War on Drugs and The War on Terror.
Many times over the years we’ve talked here about the parallels between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, and the misguided public policy principles (as well as outright self-interest) that align with both.
Paul Kendrick at TPM Cafe has an interesting piece comparing the storyline of the fictional drug policy TV series “The Wire” with our misguided history in Iraq.
The allegory reaches its peak when one dealer and enforcer says to his boss Avon, doubting the wisdom of continuing to battle their rivals: “It don’t matter who did what to whom. Fact is, we went to war and now there ain’t no going back … If it’s a lie, then we fight on the lie. But we gotta fight.”
By the end of the season, Avon is headed to prison and Stringer is gone forever. Though it is not shown to the viewer, the final episode of the season was entitled, “Mission Accomplished.” The demand for drugs is unchanged, and the police inadvertently created a power vacuum. That status will not stand, and, shades of ISIS stepping into the turmoil of a new Iraq, that vacuum will soon be filled by someone far worse than the police ever dreamed of: Marlo.
Kendrick concludes with a seemingly obligatory applauding of President Obama’s approach which, in my opinion, is unwarranted given Obama’s overall record in the wars. Otherwise, I think it’s a good, solid analogy that works in describing why both “war” policies are doomed to failure.