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July 2010
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Georgia on my mind

bullet image Georgia becomes first country to sign Vienna Declaration

The First Lady of Georgia announced at a breakfast event at the AIDS 2010 conference today that Georgia would sign the Vienna Declaration, the first country to do so.

Good for them! (Have you signed it yet?)

bullet image Several organizations, including Drug Free America Foundation, have released a ridiculous statement opposing the Vienna Declaration. They basically claim that prohibition is for the most part working just fine and only needs some tweaking, that it’s the drug use, not prohibition, that’s causing problems like:

Marijuana also contains bacteria and fungi that put users at risk for infection.

Oh, and yeah… balanced approach.

We are committed to efforts to improve current drug policy to further reduce illegal drug use by building on a balanced strategy that includes the criminal justice system.

bullet image More Politicians, Strategists See Opportunity in Supporting Marijuana Reform by Mike Meno in the Huffington Post. Good piece demonstrating that supporting reform is no longer a political liability.

bullet image Mike Meno also has this important, but unsurprising, bit of data: Marijuana Use Rarely Leads to Emergency Room, Study Shows

Researchers at the University of Michigan have sifted through nationwide data to determine the prevalence of different drug-related emergency room visits and (surprise, surprise!) their recently released results show that “marijuana dependence was associated with the lowest rates” of emergency room visits.

bullet image A lot of fuss has been made regarding how Mexican cartels are getting their guns. What about hand grenades? They’re not likely to be picking those up in sporting goods stores in the U.S. Turns out they don’t need to.

There have been more than 72 grenade attacks in Mexico in the last year, including spectacular assaults on police convoys and public officials. Mexican forces have seized more than 5,800 live grenades since 2007, a small fraction of a vast armory maintained by the drug cartels, officials said. […]

One of the most common hand grenades found in Mexico is the M67, the workhorse explosive manufactured in the United States for American soldiers and for sale or transfer to foreign militaries. Some 266,000 M67 grenades went to El Salvador alone between 1980 and 1993, during the civil war there.

bullet image Methinks Russia is just a little bit defensive about Fedotov being named head of the UNODC. Moscow Times

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko waved the complaints aside.

“It’s no secret to anyone that there are powerful and active forces interested in presenting the situation with HIV and AIDS in Russia as nearing a catastrophe,” he said, without identifying the forces.

“We believe this approach is absolutely unfounded,” Nesterenko said in a statement published on the Foreign Ministry’s web site.

He acknowledged at a news conference that authorities have failed to slow soaring HIV rates but said there was “every reason to believe that we will achieve that sooner or later,” Interfax reported.

Pravda reacted even more strongly

As for the first accusation, in Russia, buprenorphine and methadone are considered drugs and therefore their circulation is limited and is under strict control. In the West, these substances are used to treat drug addiction. However, the Russian authorities are against methadone treatment, pointing to the conclusions of Russian medical professionals who believe that its effectiveness is not proven by science. […]

Besides, where is the guarantee that when we “crack open the doors” to semi-legal drugs, we can ensure that the number of drug addicts will not increase as a result? There is a suspicion that foreign NGOs are openly lobbying for the interests of the producers of drugs”legalized” in the West. […]

And secondly, what are the other ways to fight against illicit drug production and drug trafficking besides stringent measures?

bullet image Surprise! Woman Gets 2 lbs of Marijuana in the Mail

Now, something like this should be a pleasant surprise, yet in today’s regime of bust-down-the-door, shoot-first-investigate-after policework, it’s a frightening prospect to get an unexpected shipment of marijuana — especially since the fake address ploy is a common one for shipments, and since some militarized police seem to be unaware of that (see Cheye Calvo incident).

An additional concern I have is that I don’t have any dogs. So what are the police going to shoot?

This is an open thread.

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15 comments to Georgia on my mind

  • laughing out loud

    Marijuana contains bacteria and fungi. It will if the goverment controls it. I want some of that White Widow crossed with Country Time they are smoking. Maybe those Mexi cartels are getting their guns from drug war surpluses? Ahh good old unintended consequences.

  • kaptinemo

    The whip-crack effect: the people are well ahead of the pols, like the wave-ripple of a whip being snapped, but all too often the pols don’t realize it until the people vote them out of office for having behind-the-times ideas.

    But some of those pols are beginning to realize that if they continue to listen to the (fading) siren song of the prohibs, they will alienate the very people they need to vote for them, so they can achieve their other agendas while in office

    I will say this until it’s all over but the shouting: cannabists constitute the single largest voting bloc in America, larger that any other. Its’ components cross almost every demographic there is. The pols that recognize this will have millions of critical swing voters lining up behind them.

    And the ones who bullheadedly think they can brazen it out and continue to spout prohib lies with impunity will find themselves out in the cold…where their support of prohibition have placed millions of justifiably angry voters. All of which have political axes to grind and the motivation to swing them…

  • i’ve been proving since at least 2004 that hardly any pot users are going to the emergency room over it.

    damn, all i had to do is wait 6 years for somebody else to finally point it out

  • claygooding

    I second that emotion Kapt and want to add “No incumbents
    in congress in NOV,send a message even the bought and paid for legislators and state executive officials can hear.
    If you have prohibitionist candidates,get out and actively rally against them. Go to their campaign functions and protest their election. We are the largest voting bloc,even larger than we think. As the ONDCP and all of it’s statistics gatherers have been known to skew statistics and out and out lie to meet their agenda,the estimates of people that use marijuana regularly are underestimated because they don’t want us to know how many people are reg users.
    The ER room study blew another talking point out of Kerli’s limited vocabulary and propaganda conversation.
    I can’t recall all the times he said that marijuana is the #1 illicit drug “reported” in ER room visits. He never has said it was the cause though and just left that for the listener to figure out.
    The only way he can even make marijuana sound dangerous is to team it up with other drugs such as alcohol,so the dangers of the drug he combines or compares weed with insinuates it’s dangers are also found in marijuana.
    I call it Kerli double speak and you can find it in every blog from the ONDCP’s website.

  • kaptinemo

    Inertia, Brian, it’s inertia. Of the mental sort. Like dinosaur brains.

    Whack a pol on the tail and it could take years for the brain to notice. Which is why we have to keep whacking even harder at their tails. It builds up after a while…

  • kaptinemo

    Clay, I’d been waiting for the inevitable challenge to the bogus ER visits meme the prohibs came up with, and here it is. But like Brian said, the data is out there (like @ Brian’s site) but these ‘horses’ are too damn’ dumb to ever go where they have to to find clean ‘water’ (data) and they’ll happily drink prohib sludge out of sheer laziness.

    Until you show them what the real deal is…but even then, there’s that inertia, again. What’s required is the proverbial fire lit under their backsides, and 19 has that potential.

    I say this every election year: Register to vote, and tell the registrars why. As in “Candidate X is for drug law reform by supporting 19, and I want to vote for him/her.” Enough of that filtering back into the ‘back rooms’ of the Dem Party ‘leadership’ and they’ll quit trying to be cagey and come out full bore in favor of it.

    Many’s the time I’d wished I’d lived in CA, now more than ever. I can only implore our fellow cannabists there to go all out, for This. Is. It.

    This will be the defining moment. If this passes easily, then stick a fork in the prohibs, ’cause they’re well and truly done. It’ll take a few years for the DrugWar Beast to die from that wound, but when the other States see what is happening in CA they’ll quickly follow suit in order not to be left out of the tax bonanza…and the Beast will expire faster from the additional swords stuck in it. Come on, November!

  • Pete: Holy Dan Draper, Batman! For the first time *evah*, your Google ads have gone mainstream. Today’s upper left hand banner ad is for Radio Shack and AT&T, offering an HTC Android phone for only $129.95. Gone are the ads for Criminal Justice U and XYZ rehab! Congrats! (Maybe we should puff the site on Alexa, as another banner exhorts?!)

  • (Answering my own question: ads for rehab and Criminal Justice U.com have not quite gone away yet. :-/ One can only hope!

  • Jackl,

    It appears that the trick was to individually blacklist each url for rehab joints.

    Apparently, even though nobody here clicks on rehab ads, the content on this site is just too delicious to them, so those sites beat out any other ads, meaning they’re not getting business, and I’m not getting ad revenue.

    So I’ve started entering the rehab urls as they appear on my site in the competitor blacklist option in Google Ads. Problem is that there’s a whole lot of them! So I keep adding more when I get a chance.

  • claygooding

    It is amazing how much work it is to get what you want,it reminds me of the votes for the pay raise in congress a few years back,where if a member did not vote for or against the raise,it counted as a yes vote with out the rep or senator actually voting for his raise. It was the most efficient display of plausible deniability I have seen congress pull.

  • paul

    Dear Russia,

    Wouldn’t you rather have your kids smoking pot than drinking vodka? They would eat more and have babies–something you’ve been trying to get them to do for decades. Marijuana is overall a far healthier drug than alcohol.

    As for the other drugs, you’re right–there is no guarantee usage rates would not go up, but the harms may go down. Maybe these “stringent measures” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Under current policy, your addicts still get their drugs, so you know stringent measures aren’t working very well, and you can always return to the iron fist if you don’t like the results. It’s not like your “democracy” is likely to object.

    Seriously. Your AIDS rate is headed for the moon, your population is falling, and you have no way to support your old people on pension. Maybe it is time to break from traditional brute-force approaches and try something a little more subtle. Try legalization.

  • kaptinemo

    We may be seeing the beginning of the end of the Single Convention Treaty with Georgia becoming a signatory to the Vienna Declaration.

    I’ve always said that the DrugWar was a ‘rich man’s hobby’, because it requires such massive amounts of discretionary spending; the program itself is a net loss to the taxpayers and produces nothing concrete but prisons which we can no longer afford to maintain.

    Rich men usually live in rich countries. The US used to be a ‘rich man’, but no longer. The economic piper’s come for his due, and our pockets are turned out empty.

    Now, imagine what’s happening in countries that never enjoyed our largesse. They’d been forced to play by the US drug law rules, with the US strong-arming poorer countries into compliance being the general rule. We can’t do that anymore, and those poorer countries cannot afford to tale up the slack.

    The possible result? The Singe Convention Treaty’s legitimacy may eventually be challenged by nations who form a bloc intent upon exiting the SCT, which is provided for in the SCT. And the Vienna Declaration may become the catalyst towards that. Which has the prohibs, domestic and international, hurriedly trying to delegitimize the VD. They know what a house of cards the SCT is, and with the world economic situation becoming ever more dire in countries that couldn’t afford the US DrugWar to begin with, the economic impetus to leave the SCT has taken on even greater impact.

  • claygooding

    Along with the prisons we can’t afford is the millions of dollars we furnish to governments that could not afford
    the WOD in the first place and the ONDCP has a department that doles out US dollars supplementing and in some cases
    paying for their anti-drug programs.
    I would have thought that we would have heard something by now on the budget oversight committee hearing back in April
    as the ONDCP’s budget is now operating on what?
    They must have passed some kind of funding for them to still be operating because their budget ran out in June didn’t it,at the end of the fiscal year?

  • claygooding

    Latest Angus Reid Poll: 52% of America Want Marijuana Legalization
    Opinion by NORML
    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/latest-angus-reid-poll-52-of-america-want-marijuana-legalization

    (Angus Reid) In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 adults, 64 per cent of respondents believe America has a serious drug abuse problem that affects the whole country. One-in-five (20%) believe America’s drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, while seven per cent believe America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.

    Two thirds of respondents (65%) believe the “War on Drugs”—the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a failure, while only eight per cent deem it a success.

    More than half of respondents (52%) support the legalization of marijuana. While clear majorities of Democrats (57%) and Independents (59%) agree with this course of action, only about two-in-five Republicans (38%) concur.

    And the numbers continue to grow every day.

  • ezrydn

    Good news for VETS:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/health/policy/24veterans.html?hp

    All the more reason to get in on the push to make your state a Compassionate one!