Apparently, once legalization happens, everyone’s going to quit their jobs and just say “Dude” a lot.
After legalization, he said, “if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”
- Pot’s not new (though Brown should know that).
- Even though there’s a slim chance in hell of it happening even with legalization, I’ve got to say that I’d feel a whole lot safer if I knew our Secretary of State was sharing a bowl right now.
- There’s something really offensive about this kind of statement inferring that citizens are merely slaves or tools of the state and their sole purpose is to provide a certain level of productivity.
Yakima City Council supports seeking pot tax revenue
At the heart of the debate was whether it would be hypocritical for the council, which banned the growing, processing and sale of marijuana within city limits, to seek tax revenue raised by businesses in cities that do allow them. But the five council members in attendance agreed with staff that easier access statewide could have a local impact on law enforcement.
“I’m prepared to defend cries of hypocrisy from now until whenever,” Councilman Dave Ettl said.
Alison Holcomb, criminal justice director for the ACLU of Washington and author of the initiative, said the law was written to dedicate funds to statewide public health and safety efforts, but she worries local governments are trying to skim some of that to boost their general funds.
She said it is hypocritical for cities that banned pot businesses to seek funds generated from those businesses. Holcomb said the Yakima City Council only contributed to the problems law enforcement may face when it voted in January to ban pot businesses.
“They’re continuing to contribute to the problems of illegal sales and illegal activity, and they should not benefit from continuing to contribute to this problem,” Holcomb said in a telephone interview from Seattle.
Jacob Sullum notes the absurdity: U.S. General Complains That Marijuana Legalization Makes Latin American Officials Less Eager To Join The War On Drugs
General John F. Kelly:
We’ve been encouraging these countries to be in the drug fight for 25 years. The levels of violence that our drug problem has caused in many of these countries is just astronomical. And so when we talk about decriminalizing, the example I would give you is the two states that voted to decriminalize marijuana, or legalize marijuana. Most of the…countries I deal with were in utter disbelief that we would, in their opinion, be going in that direction, particularly after 25 years of encouraging them to fight our drug problem in their countries and, you know, in their littorals. So that’s kind of where they are on it. They’re very polite to me, but every now and again when they’re not so polite, the term hypocrite gets into the discussion. But frankly, the crime rate is so high in many of these countries and the fact that they see us turning away from the drug fight…They’re starting to chatter a lot about, “Well, why don’t we just step back and let it flow?”
The general’s statement is its own parody, and hardly requires much debunking (although Sullum does that as well).
Dan Freed: Drug Cartels Take Colorado? Drug Enforcer Backtracks
NEW YORK (TheStreet) –Has Colorado’s reckless decriminalization of marijuana opened the floodgates to all kinds of chaos and iniquity?
You might be forgiven for thinking that, if you read this widely-syndicated Gannett story entitled “Feds worry that drug cartels are moving into Colo.”
But the story offers no evidence of a link. Quoted in the story is Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which, the story tells us, is connected to the White House National Office of Drug Control Policy.
“Our intelligence tells us, and all indications are (drug cartels) are going to move in if they haven’t already,” Gorman says.
In a subsequent radio interview Gorman continues to engage in scare tactics, saying Colorado marijuana retailers could easily end up being victims of extortion.
The article points out that Gorman later backtracks on his statement (not that anyone was really buying it).
Freed notes: “The whole scare campaign seems so ham-handed, frankly, it recalls-well-the War on Drugs: a ham-handed campaign that is way past its expiration date.”
TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2014 /CNW/ – A recent national study¹ commissioned by the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada revealed that almost 25% of parents of teenagers did not consider driving while high on cannabis to be as bad as drinking and driving. Meanwhile, almost a third of teens (32%) did not consider driving under the influence of cannabis to be as bad as alcohol.
Well, since I’m not aware of a single study that claims marijuana impairment is as dangerous to driving as alcohol impairment, nor a single scientist in the field that would claim it, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a verifiable fact that driving while high on cannabis (regardless of its potential for danger) is not as bad as drinking and driving.
What should be disturbing is that only 25% of the parents and 32% of the teens realized this (or, at least, were willing to admit that knowledge on a study commissioned by the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada).
What a bizarre factoid to use in their campaign.
From reading the rest of the press release, it appears that, to the Partnership, the correct answer to the question of “Which is more dangerous: cannabis impairment or alcohol impairment?” is “C: Facts don’t matter; impairment is impairment.”
Yes, we do keep track of Andrea’s public activities here at the Rant. After all, we’re the ones who exposed her Illinois Marijuana Lecture series and her End Needless Death program, both based on falsehoods.
She’s been director of more companies than I can count – simply keeps creating new ones.
Haven’t seen much of her lately. Perhaps in the states people know too much about her. However, they’re bringing her in to Bermuda.
A former deputy drug czar for the US will outline the dangers of marijuana use before a group of medical doctors and general practitioners tomorrow night.
Dr Andrea Barthwell, the managing partner and medical director of the Chicago-based addiction treatment centre Two Dreams, says the alleged medical benefits of the plant are overblown.
From a quick look at the comments, seems the folks in Bermuda aren’t too excited about her visit, either.
There’s a distinct buzz out there about this event: Annapolis police chief apologizes for citing hoax story in testimony against marijuana legalization
Testifying against bills proposed in Maryland to legalize and decriminalize marijuana, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop cited a hoax story that claimed 37 people died the first day marijuana was legalized in Colorado.
“The first day of legalization, that’s when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana,” Pristoop said in testimony at Tuesday’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing. “I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths.”
I remember when that satire piece came out as well. We joked about the gullible idiots on Twitter who actually thought that was somehow true.
Pristoop was immediately corrected by Senator Jamie Raskin, who was not a gullible idiot on Twitter.
Now, of course, people are trying to backtrack…
“After conducting additional research, it appears that was not accurate at all,” Pristoop said. “I believed at the time that was accurate. But I don’t think it takes away from the other facts we presented… I’m guilty of being a human being. I tried really hard to present verified facts.” [...]
Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides said he remains confident in Pristoop, whom he believed errored in his testimony. [...]
Pristoop’s focus on heroin enforcement may have influenced his comments in front of the Maryland General Assembly, Pantelides said.
“Clearly when you’re constantly dealing with a drug where people overdose, it’s probably in your head to think overdoses, drugs,” he said. “Again, it could have just been a slip of he said something he shouldn’t have.”[...]
Alderman Fred Paone, a member of the Annapolis City Council’s Public Safety committee, said he had not read the hoax article or Pristoop’s comments, but believed the police chief’s remarks were likely “a good faith mistake.”
“The guy is doing his job and frankly you get kind of intense when you’re in the middle of something,” Paone, R-Ward 2, said.
Let’s be clear, here. This is not a good faith mistake. This is not a slip of the tongue.
This is the chief law enforcement officer of a major city claiming to be enough of an expert on a topic to actually testify in front of the Senate, with a goal of using his “facts” to justify continuing arresting people, and in the course of that testimony, actually and earnestly claims something so ridiculously false that any high school student would know it was parody.
Remember: Police Chief Michael Pristoop didn’t accidentally tweet it like those idiots we ridiculed. He used it in testimony in the State Senate.
This truly exemplifies the way that law enforcement has worked to corrupt the legislative process when it comes to marijuana. They’re not interested in facts, only ammunition. The truth about medical marijuana’s value, or the truth about the impact on marijuana’s use on society doesn’t matter to them a single bit, and so they don’t even care to learn it. All they care about is protecting their ability to use these unjust laws and their revenue stream that comes from marijuana enforcement.
And so they show up to testify at every legislative hearing (and what politician wants to go against law enforcement in uniform?) as they regurgitate canned talking points usually crafted by prohibitionists further up the food chain.
Police Chief Michael Pristoop got caught. And this should be brought up every time law enforcement officials show up to testify about why marijuana must remain illegal.
Again, it’s important to note that Pristoop represents a particular element of law enforcement that needs correction. His kind are not the only ones in the field.
I could sense the sadness in this tweet from Neil Franklin, who represents a lot of good cops as head of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:
Not much I can say about this embarrassing moment in Annapolis. Cops need to work with change, not against it. http://t.co/SE6ENZ5ZnZ
The head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has been arrested.
From what I can tell, he’s probably a pretty bad guy who should be put away for a long time.
And yet, when you look at the practical results of this arrest, the overwhelming consensus is that one or both of these two things will happen:
- His second in command will take over and there will be no discernable impact in the activities of his criminal organization
- Criminal rivals will attempt to exploit any perceived weaknesses with a massive amount of violence and bloodshed.
So it’s hard for anyone to get too excited about the arrest.
When you reach a point where the net benefit to society of arresting a dangerous, violent criminal is, at best, zero, then perhaps it’s time to admit that you have some seriously broken policy.
These articles are from last week, but I didn’t get a chance to comment on them then.
In recent years there has been an explosion in reporting on “drugged driving.” (I have my own news filter on that term.) Most of this reporting has been over-the-top exploitative fear-mongering; most of it has been really aimed at marijuana (instead of all drugged driving as it purports); and all of it has been driven by an obsession of the ONDCP to find a back-door way to demonize and extra-criminalize marijuana.
I have consistently pushed back against this effort because I think it is dangerous in a number of ways (even managed to force the drug czar to shut up about it once), and sometimes I have been counseled by other drug policy reformers to be careful about it because the public isn’t going to respond well to the notion that driving while stoned is safe.
But of course, driving isn’t safe. But it’s relatively safe. Your odds of getting in an accident are fairly low, particularly if you’re smart about it. So when you see reporting of an unconfirmed study that says marijuana intoxication doubles your changes of an accident, that’s still pretty low — especially when being intoxicated on alcohol increases your changes of an accident by 15 or 20 times.
Again, this doesn’t mean you should drive when impaired on anything, but it means that getting all panicky about marijuana-impaired drivers causing Armageddon on the highways, and focusing law enforcement efforts on criminalizing anyone with any amount of metabolites in their blood, is really bad public policy.
So it’s nice to see some slightly more fact-based reporting starting to surface, particularly in the New York Times: Driving Under the Influence, of Marijuana by Maggie Koerth-Baker:
“And there’s always somebody who says, ‘I drive better while high.’ ”
Evidence suggests that is not the case. But it also suggests that we may not have as much to fear from stoned driving as from drunken driving. Some researchers say that limited resources are better applied to continuing to reduce drunken driving. Stoned driving, they say, is simply less dangerous. [...]
The study’s lead author, Eduardo Romano, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, said that once he adjusted for demographics and the presence of alcohol, marijuana did not statistically increase the risk of a crash.
“Despite our results, I still think that marijuana contributes to crash risk,” he said, “only that its contribution is not as important as it was expected.”
The difference in risk between marijuana and alcohol can probably be explained by two things, Dr. Huestis and Dr. Romano both say. First, stoned drivers drive differently from drunken ones, and they have different deficits. Drunken drivers tend to drive faster than normal and to overestimate their skills, studies have shown; the opposite is true for stoned drivers.
Thanks to the New York Times. Also doing good reporting on this on a regular basis is Jacob Sullum.
Here, on the other hand, is NBC with fact-free fear mongering: Pot Fuels Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths
“Nobody will take this seriously until somebody loses another loved one.”
After dealing with the truly ugly behavior of Patrick Kennedy and Kevin Sabet on a daily basis, it’s almost refreshing to return to one of the old-style crazies.
That’s right, our old friend Cliff Kindaid of AIM, after seemingly avoiding talking about the drug war for too long, has surfaced: Obama Encourages Drug Money Laundering. Yep, it’s an article on the administration’s guidance to banks that might allow legal marijuana stores in Colorado and Washington to actually use banks.
For extra bonus, Cliff brings in Calvina Fay!
Calvina L. Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, told AIM, “This is yet one more example of the lawlessness of the Obama administration. We all know that banks are federally regulated and that pot is still illegal at the federal level. This action will clearly put banks in jeopardy of violating regulations and will enable criminal activity to thrive.”
She added, “This action tells parents and grandparents that the government can no longer be counted on to do what it is intended to do: protect U.S. citizens from criminals who engage in drug trafficking, human trafficking, weapons trafficking, and other serious illegal activities that are inter-connected to the drug underworld. Rather, our government is now embracing this activity and enabling it.”
Got a lot of stuff going on at work right now, so posting has been light for a couple of days.
Be sure to check the comments as there are always some good discussions going on around the couch.