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couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
June 2005



A good read

Out of Joint by Jeff Hornaday, in today’s New Times San Luis Obispo. It’s a really wonderful article about a man and his dad, searching for answers to deal with his severe medical problems.

Dad tried about every combination of prescription and over-the-counter drugs we could get away with, including Vicodin, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, and a […]

DeForest Rathbone speaks… sort of

First there was this bizarre article about how Andrea Barthwell and John Pastuovic (who just happen to represent GW Pharmaceuticals, makers of the liquid version of marijuana called Sativex¬) happened to offer their services to promote drug testing in a school in Virginia.
Then Charles Darlington responded in a very well-written letter.
Well, yesterday, the paper printed a letter by… DeForest Rathbone, Chairman, National Institute of Citizen Anti-drug Policy.
Wow — they brought out the big guns. Except I had never heard of him or of National Institute of Citizen Anti-Drug Policy (would that be NICAP?) So I did a little research. Well, it’s definitely not NICAP. Turns out DeForest and his organization have been around for some time (although they’re a bit slow in developing their own web site), advocating for DeForest’s personal obsession — having young children pee for them.
Rathbone was involved in the Supreme Court case that allowed additional drug testing in schools. In reference to that hearing, he said, “Thanks be to almighty God, who has guided us, protected us and comforted us in this effort.” Apparently God is also in favor of peeing in a cup to prevent people from using one of His plants. Rathbone’s group also worked with Mark Souder to sneak a provision into a 700 page education bill that allows block grants for drug testing. As reported by Mark Boal in Rolling Stone Magazine:

It was months before anybody in the drug reform movement noticed it was there. “We snuck it by those druggie liberals!” gloats Rathbone.

“Druggie” appears to be Deforest’s favorite word.
So now that we know who he is — back to the letter in yesterday’s paper.

We also agree with Barthwell that smoked pot will never be anything other than another snake-oil medicine to cheat desperate sick people. That is also our rationale for defeating the Illinois bill to virtually legalize smoked pot as medicine, which was proposed by drug legalizers. It is not hypocrisy to support the official evaluation of Sativex by FDA while opposing unapproved smoked pot snake-oil medicine.

It is also a phony claim that Barthwell ducks public debate on so-called “drug law reform.” She and I and many other drug prevention activists are more than willing to debate drug legalizers and their legal profession supporters at any time, […]

So what else have we learned here?

Rathbone also likes to say “snake-oil.”
Despite his apparent friendship with Andrea Barthwell, he hasn’t discussed debating with her recently. Ever since she got her ass handed to her on the Montel show, she’s avoided any kind of debate.
Rathbone has had some run-ins with the “legal profession.”

Of course, he never addressed the real issues that Darlington brought up in his letter, but that’s par for the course.
But I appreciate his letter. For now I feel like I know one more character in this circus.

Economists say U.S. could save $7.7 billion by ending marijuana prohibition

… and gain an additional $2.4 billion to $6.2 billion if they taxed it. That’s a budget swing of close to $14 billion a year at a time when we’re broke. The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition, by Boston University professor of economics Jeffrey A. Miron (June 2005) Check out the long list of economists […]