Andrea Barthwell Turns to Rats for Help

There are a number of new additions to the Illinois Marijuana Lectures website featuring the Honorable Andrea Barthwell. (Yeah, she uses that title in her own bio. I know it’s used for judges and certain government officials (like Mayor), but having formerly served as the deputy director in charge of lying about marijuana hardly seems sufficient for calling yourself “honorable.”)
The Take Action page now has a whole section justifying the legality of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to lobby against a bill. I guess that makes it clear that Judy Kreamer’s Educating Voices is footing the bill for the Lecture Tour. Still no explanation why Andrea Barthwell lied about her sponsorship.
They’ve finally added a contact form on the site for “comments, suggestions, messages of support, or feedback.” (Please, folks, be polite. I’m serious. But if you do ask a question and get a response, I’d love to know about it.)
One of the lead items on the newly filled citation page is the Rat Study!
Yep, this 10-year-old study, conducted by Dr. Billy Martin, involved marijuana and rat dependency. Rats were injected with THC for four days and then they were injected with a synthetic THC “antagonist” which suddenly and immediately blocks certain types of receptors in the brain. This caused the rats to twitch and shake.
Of course, this clearly proves that if you plan to do something that requires a steady hand, you shouldn’t

  1. Inject THC directly into your body for four days,
  2. Follow it up with an injection of THC antagonist SR 141716A, and
  3. … be a rat.

This is so incredibly typical of the absolute lack of any integrity on behalf of the Illinois Marijuana Lectures, Andrea Barthwell, and the other drug warriors. Andrea Barthwell is a treatment specialist, and has access to all the resources of the federal government’s multi-billion dollar drug control agency network…
And what does she come up with? The same old crap of the misleading “60% in treatment” statistics and 10-year-old studies of injected rats. 90,000,000 Americans have used marijuana at some point in their lives. Millions of dollars have been spent on studies trying to prove marijuana is dangerous, and this is the science that Barthwell has to offer? Embarrassing. If 60% of teens in treatment are truly there for marijuana addiction (and not just referred there), then where are the studies on the severity of their dependency? Nobody wants to talk about that.
The truth is that marijuana can cause dependency, but it’s mild, and generally less of a problem than alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine — all legal substances.
I don’t have an objection to Dr. Martin’s experiments. I’m all for further research in every aspect of marijuana use (unlike the prohibitionists who block any attempt that doesn’t fit their world view). But what possible relevance does this have with approving a medical marijuana bill in Illinois?
And let’s see if it answers the key question related to medical marijuana:

Q: Why do you want to put sick people in jail for following the advice of their doctor?
A: Look at the rats. They’re shaking.

Nope. Doesn’t work.
Fortunately, some are choosing not to swallow the garbage that the prohibitionists are serving.
In the Quad Cities online:

A medical marijuana bill died last week on a 4-7 vote in a House committee after White House drug ‘czar’ John Walters flew into Springfield to testify against it. He dragged out all the old lies about marijuana being addictive, leading to hard-drug use and said the fact that it helps sick people feel better is no reason to OK its use.

Fewer and fewer people are willing to listen to such nonsense, given the mounting body of evidence — gleaned through formal studies and personal experience — that says otherwise.

And in the Austin Chronicle:

Over the past few years, Walters has increasingly used his position as head of the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy to lobby against drug policy reform proposals made in individual states, in part by using inflated rhetoric and highly questionable “facts.” Last week he was at it again, telling Illinois lawmakers that 60% of people seeking drug treatment do so because of marijuana abuse and dependency problems, and recycling his ain’t-your-grandpappy’s-pot arguments.

Why am I so hard on Andrea Barthwell?
Because she is intelligent. Because she is a doctor. Because she served for years in the treatment field. Becuase she knows better.
Because people tell me that she once would never have dreamed of testifying against harm reduction like she did last week.
Because she went into the deputy drug czar position claiming that she wanted to fight for increasing the emphasis on treatment over enforcement, and then when the administration used bookkeeping tricks to make it falsely appear that there was an increase in the percentage spent on treatment, she went out and sold it.
Because she knows that the government has blocked research on medical marijuana and yet she claims that the “science” is against it. Because she trots out studies and data that no learned person would consider proof of her assertions and pretends that they are.
Because she calls it a “cruel hoax” when multiple sclerosis sufferer Julie Falco uses marijuana to get through the day.
Why to you want to put sick people in jail for following the advice of their doctor?

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