Charles Cully Stimson lies with the authority and confidence of a career fabricator

There’s an OpEd at the Dakota Voice: Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No by Cully Stimson of the Heritage Foundation. The “Legal Memorandum,” as it’s called there, is also available at the Heritage Site and probably easier to read there.

Now this Cully Stimson is no ordinary bloke. This is a “serious” guy with “serious” credentials. Check out his bio and you’ll see. Not a lot of drug policy experience, true, but some real serious education and high-level world experience in a lot of areas including some major positions in criminal justice fields. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that he managed to do all that he has done in one lifetime.

I point this out to make it clear that what he puts in this legal memorandum is not the result of ignorance.

The only way this article happens is through intentional and malicious manipulation of the facts in order to come up with the conclusion desired by the Heritage Foundation.

Oh, in places it sounds good. Sure. Like it’s been written by someone who’s done some research. But any analysis of any section of it, and it all falls apart.

Start with his analysis of our approach…

The current campaign, like previous efforts, downplays the well-documented harms of marijuana trafficking and use while promising benefits ranging from reduced crime to additional tax revenue. In particular, supporters of the initiative make five bold claims:

  1. “Marijuana is safe and non-addictive.”
  2. “Marijuana prohibition makes no more sense than alcohol prohibition did in the early 1900s.”
  3. “The government’s efforts to combat illegal drugs have been a total failure.”
  4. “The money spent on government efforts to combat the illegal drug trade can be better spent on substance abuse and treatment for the allegedly few marijuana users who abuse the drug.”
  5. “Tax revenue collected from marijuana sales would substantially outweigh the social costs of legalization.”[3]

As this paper details, all five claims are demonstrably false or, based on the best evidence, highly dubious.

Check out the things Stimson snuck in there…. “downplays the well-documented harms of marijuana trafficking and use.” Of course, the well-documented harms of marijuana trafficking are the result of prohibition and we haven’t been downplaying that at all, and the well-documented harms of marijuana use are not-so-well-documented.

As far as the 5 things he says we’re claiming, on 1 he’s right (although some of us would insert “when used responsibly.” Number 2? Absolutely. Same with number 3. Number 4 is badly worded and I’d bet some of us would wonder about wasting a lot of money on treatment for marijuana. But in general, yes, these are claims we make and can prove, and Stimson’s memorandum does nothing to disprove them.

But number 5? Nobody I know makes this claim. “Tax revenue collected from marijuana sales would substantially outweigh the social costs of legalization.” That’s because we don’t have to. What we know for a fact is that the savings in reduced criminal justice costs and the societal savings in black market violence way more than makes up for any supposed social costs of legalization (which nobody has been able to identify with any certainty), even if there is not a single penny in tax revenue.

Our opponents like to create this straw man, and then supposedly shoot it down by showing that the potential tax revenue is uncertain. From our perspective, tax revenue is just a carrot to stick in front of the nose to get the approval/attention of some, but we don’t need it to achieve a net benefit to society.

I could take his entire memorandum apart piece by piece, but it doesn’t really deserve it. I’ll be happy to address any part of it you request, or if he stops by, I’ll do the same. In the meantime, you can have fun with it in comments.

I do want to point out the most amazing section of this article, where Stimson practically has to alter the physical makeup of the universe in order for his argument to work…

Unsafe in Any Amount: How Marijuana Is Not Like Alcohol

Marijuana advocates have had some success peddling the notion that marijuana is a “soft” drug, similar to alcohol, and fundamentally different from “hard” drugs like cocaine or heroin. It is true that marijuana is not the most dangerous of the commonly abused drugs, but that is not to say that it is safe. Indeed, marijuana shares more in common with the “hard” drugs than it does with alcohol.

A common argument for legalization is that smoking marijuana is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol and that prohibiting the use of marijuana is therefore no more justified than the prohibition of alcohol. As Jacob Sullum, author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use, writes:

Americans understood the problems associated with alcohol abuse, but they also understood the problems associated with Prohibition, which included violence, organized crime, official corruption, the erosion of civil liberties, disrespect for the law, and injuries and deaths caused by tainted black-market booze. They decided that these unintended side effects far outweighed whatever harms Prohibition prevented by discouraging drinking. The same sort of analysis today would show that the harm caused by drug prohibition far outweighs the harm it prevents, even without taking into account the value to each individual of being sovereign over his own body and mind.[7]

At first blush, this argument is appealing, especially to those wary of over-regulation by government. But it overlooks the enormous difference between alcohol and marijuana.

Legalization advocates claim that marijuana and alcohol are mild intoxicants and so should be regulated similarly; but as the experience of nearly every culture, over the thousands of years of human history, demonstrates, alcohol is different. Nearly every culture has its own alcoholic preparations, and nearly all have successfully regulated alcohol consumption through cultural norms. The same cannot be said of marijuana. There are several possible explanations for alcohol’s unique status: For most people, it is not addictive; it is rarely consumed to the point of intoxication; low-level consumption is consistent with most manual and intellectual tasks; it has several positive health benefits; and it is formed by the fermentation of many common substances and easily metabolized by the body.

You getting this? This is amazing stuff. But he’s not done.

Alcohol differs from marijuana in several crucial respects. First, marijuana is far more likely to cause addiction. Second, it is usually consumed to the point of intoxication. Third, it has no known general healthful properties, though it may have some palliative effects. Fourth, it is toxic and deleterious to health. Thus, while it is true that both alcohol and marijuana are less intoxicating than other mood-altering drugs, that is not to say that marijuana is especially similar to alcohol or that its use is healthy or even safe.

In fact, compared to alcohol, marijuana is not safe. Long-term, moderate consumption of alcohol carries few health risks and even offers some significant benefits. […]

To equate marijuana use with alcohol consumption is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, actively misleading. Only in the most superficial ways are the two substances alike, and they differ in every way that counts: addictiveness, toxicity, health effects, and risk of intoxication.

Not a single bit of that is connected to reality.

I find myself trying to imagine the discussion that went on in the Heritage Foundation when they assigned this article to Cully. “OK, here’s the deal… We really don’t like the people who like marijuana. This is a cultural battle, but we’re supposed to be a think tank, so we can’t say keep it illegal because it’s immoral or because we don’t like those people. We need to make it look like this is a researched academic paper that comes to this indisputable conclusion. Now we’re about small government, so you’re going to have to really lay it on about marijuana being so dangerous that we have no choice but to use government to outlaw it. And we all like to drink, so you’ve got to show that alcohol is OK, while marijuana is not. And… go!”

Wonder how it feels to sell your soul?

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50 Responses to Charles Cully Stimson lies with the authority and confidence of a career fabricator

  1. strayan says:

    I’ve always been a bit curious, what exactly is a ‘hard’ drug?

    Heroin? Methamphetamine? They give both of these drugs to children.

    According to a randomised controlled trial published in the BMJ (2001) diamorphine [heroin] “should be the preferred method of pain relief in children and teenagers presenting to emergency departments in acute pain” and is safe to give to children as young as 3 years old.

    Methamphetamine is approved by the FDA in the US for use in children as young as 6.

    Seems to me like the category of ‘hard drugs’ is total bullshit.


  2. Dudeman says:

    Pete, wouldn’t you agree that because of our centuries of experience with alcohol and the cultural norms surrounding it we no longer have drunken accidents, bar fights, or overdose deaths? I personally have never had to step over vomit in a college town and I certainly do not see drunk people at sporting events. So you should just lay off Charles Cully Stimson unless you have the facts to back up what you say.

  3. Servetus says:

    Charles Cully Stimson is a conservative career bureaucrat. His bizarre claim that “Scientific research is clear that marijuana is addictive and that its use significantly impairs bodily and mental functions” is the statement of a person educated in the remotest of humanities, not science.

    Drug law reformers keep on top of drug science because they need to in order to distinguish the real science from prohibitionist pseudoscience. But as a Navy man, a career lawyer, and a kind of glorified warden of Guantanamo, there’s never been a reason for Mr. Stimson to be any kind of expert on cannabis science, until now that is, now that someone has apparently conned him into campaigning against Prop 19.

    Mr. Stimson is the type of bureaucrat whose brain would implode if he ever cracked a university level textbook on physics or biochemistry. I’ve seen bureaucrat’s resumes that were much better than his. The thing about working in government is that you can turn a brief three-week stint into something that looks and sounds like an entire career. Typically the stint is just window dressing for resumes, and whatever is done often turns out to be not that big a deal under a spotlight.

    The Heritage Foundation is a concoction of the Koch brothers, who among other things use the organization as a front for their climate denial propaganda.

    If you go to Heritage Foundation’s main webpage, you will be greeted by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh’s happy shining faces. Yes, they’re members. And they want you to be a member, too. Sounds like a deal, right? Line up with the three Koch-heads, Sean and Rush and Charles Stimson?

    I don’t think so.

  4. Windy says:

    Actually, Servetus, the Koch brothers are libertarians who also fund drug legalization efforts, and I find it very difficult to believe they would sign off on this piece of bullshit. If anything, I’ll bet they are entirely pissed at Charles Cully Stimson for this ridiculous op-ed.

    I, personally, am finding it difficult to not equate this Stimson with the Stimson character in the televised series The Dead Zone.

  5. malcolmkyle says:

    The comment section is closed and there are no previous comments, if there ever was any, viewable.

  6. Ed Dunkle says:

    Wow what a piece of work this guy is. He’s at that whole other level where facts are malleable and the little people don’t factor into it at all. A pure machiavellian creature. Fascinating. Is the Heritage Foundation Koch money?

  7. Drew says:

    Heritage Foundation. Whose heritage?

    The ancient Egyptians invented beer a very long time ago, over 3,000 years ago, by some estimates. That’s a long time in human heritage.

    Hm, we’ve also found that humanity was using cannabis 2,700 to 7,000 years ago. That’s a long time in human heritage.

    His attempts to sound like a historian are a joke

    … as the experience of nearly every culture, over the thousands of years of human history, demonstrates, alcohol is different. Nearly every culture has its own alcoholic preparations, and nearly all have successfully regulated alcohol consumption through cultural norms. The same cannot be said of marijuana.

    Mr. Scholastic Smelly Urn (anagram of his name) seems to overlook the undeniable fact that cultures were using plants to “alter mood,” for religious purposes, for healing, for fun, etc… LONG before “alcoholic preparations” were created on demand. But that would only fit another anagram of his name, that his claims ruthlessly con.

    Also, I would add that his work skewers another insult they throw at us: “drug culture.” If in fact there are no cultural rituals or norms of marijuana consumption then why do they use “drug culture” as an insult? These people will hang themselves by their own tongues; they toss their big fat lying tongues over a branch of the Drug War Tree and fashion it into a noose.

    They need to do some double-checking of whose heritage it is they are promoting. The inheritance of racists, liars, etc… is gnawing of tongues, gnashing of teeth, crying in pain, hot hot sulfur fires, being cut in pieces by their own hypocritical lies, being denied all the things they denied others, etc…

  8. Ed Dunkle says:

    “Some of the finest conservative scholars alive today, live, work and breathe at The Heritage Foundation.”
    Rush Limbaugh

    Sadly, “conservative scholar” is sounding more and more like an oxymoron.

  9. Tor likes meatballs says:

    Toxic and deleterious to health, you can eliminate that one with a vaporizer. Harmful effects of trafficking is due to prohibition best example being the Mexi cartels. I wonder if this guy gets some funding from alcohol companies.

  10. Cannabis says:

    The Koch brothers are not the only ones funding the Heritage Foundation. Please check out the Heritage Foundation page at SourceWatch.

  11. allan420 says:

    Aaah, thought the name familiar… Cully made a brief foray into dpr back in 2008 with these gems in the LA Times, “debating” Jacob Sullum:

    US CA: OPED: America on Drugs

    US CA: OPED: Raiding States’ Rights?

    US CA: OPED: ‘Gateway’ to Washington

    US CA: OPED: Blood Weed

    US CA: OPED: Drug Policy, From Scratch

  12. Chris says:

    Well, part of this article is true, you just have to read it differently:

    To equate marijuana use with alcohol consumption is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, actively misleading. Only in the most superficial ways are the two substances alike, and they differ in every way that counts: addictiveness, toxicity, health effects, and risk of intoxication.

    But seriously, it’s like they tried to fit as many lies as possible into a connected piece of writing. I think I need to bookmark this as a concise list of all the pathetic arguments against legalization.

  13. claygooding says:

    When America removes the criminals profits from drugs,how long do you think it will take for these prohibitionists to stfu? Or are we doomed to listening to them forever?
    I hope from now on to point out these people and inform anyone that does not know who they are,ask them publicly
    who was paying them for their lies and do everything in my power to dissuade America from using them for any form of public service,except maybe as a trash truck driver.
    I look so forward to the day that ex-DEA.Ex-NIDA,and ex-ONDCP will be a reason to not hire or appoint someone
    for public service works.
    Because as we all know,the prohibition started on lies,exists only because of lies and their lies are defeating them and one day,very soon,America is going to start checking our facts and links to scientific proofs of medical properties instead of dismissing them
    with pot humor.
    And the same is true for the Stimson’s of our society.

  14. Kyle says:

    The irony of the website is awesome. The byline at the top of the webpage hosting the article that we should give our freedoms to the government?

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

  15. Shap says:

    To follow up on Kyle’s comment above, The Heritage Foundation is a complete fucking fraud considering their claimed intent to extend liberty and bring back America to its constitutional roots. They are moral crusaders who don’t know shit about the constitution. I’m pretty sure they mistakenly believe, like other christian crusaders, that the U.S. is a “christian nation” whose founders were somehow inspired by christianity when they developed the constitution (which could not be further from the truth). They talk about themselves like they’re the Cato institute, ughhh.

  16. darkcycle says:

    Anybody skilled in the use of language can come up with a nice sounding think-piece. As long as you read the artical with no prior knowledge, and avoid any attempt at fact checking.
    He begins with a blatant lie and moves on from there. The problem with this piece is it’s encyclopeadic nature. He trots out so many untruths that I have to believe that everybody who reads this, regardless of their sophistication, is going to spot some of these. Especially the claims that Marijuana is addictive, and, somehow, alcohol is not. Anybody who has set foot out side their door, ever, knows this to be untrue.
    He also seems to think we have no cultural experience with Pot. With some estimates of seventy- plus percent of the population having tried it, and a bad guess of 18% (my own, based only on anecdotal observation) this doesn’t hold up under any scrutiny, either. He also seems to forget Marijuana and Hashish, as well as an entire pharmacopea of cannabis indica products were freely available prior to 1937. As a measure of cultural experience, Americans have 161 years collective cultural experience with legal Marijuana, and only 73 years experience with it’s prohibition. And the general consensus is, prohibition causes more problems than it solves. This piece of garbage is only persuasive if you haven’t openend you front door….ever.

  17. hypey samey says:

    Budget on Autopilot

    by Phillip Smith, February 05, 2010, 12:00am, (Issue #619)

    The Obama administration released its Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal this week, including the federal drug control budget. On the drug budget, the Obama administration is generally following the same course as the Bush administration and appears to be flying on autopilot.

    According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP — the drug czar’s office), the administration is requesting $15.5 billion for drug control, an increase of 3.5% over the current budget. Drug law enforcement funding would grow from $9.7 billion this year to $9.9 billion in 2011, an increase of 5.2%. Demand side measures, such as prevention and treatment, also increased from $5.2 billion this year to $5.6 billion next year.

    The $15.5 billion dollar drug budget actually undercounts the real cost of the federal drug war by failing to include some significant drug policy-driven costs. For instance, operations for the federal Bureau of Prisons are budgeted at $8.3 billion for 2011. With more than half of all federal prisoners serving time for drug offenses, the real cost of current drug policies should increase by at least $4 billion, but only $79 million of the prisons budget is counted as part of the national drug strategy budget.

    The Obama drug budget largely maintains the roughly two-to-one imbalance between spending on treatment and prevention and spending on law enforcement. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske called the imbalanced budget “balanced.”

    Highlights and lowlights:

    * Funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration prevention programs (SAMHSA) is set at $254.2 million, up $29.6 million from this year, while funding for SAMHSA treatment programs is set at $635.4 million, up $101.2 million from this year.
    * Funding for ONDCP’s Drug Free Communities program is set at $85.5 million, down $9.5 million from this year.
    * Funding for the widely challenged National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is set at $66.5 million, an increase of more than 50% over this year.
    * The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring II program (ADAM) is funded at $10 million. It got no money this year.
    * Funding for the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment program is set at $1.799 billion, the same as this year.
    * Funding for the Second Chance Act for reintegrating people completing prison sentences is set at $50 million, a whopping 66% increase over this year.
    * Funding for the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force is set at $579.3 million, up $50.8 million over this year.
    * Funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program is set at $210 million, down $29 million from this year.
    * Funding for the Defense Department’s counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan is set at $501.5 billion, up about one-third over this year.
    * Funding for State Department counternarcotics activities in West Africa is set at $13.2 million, up $10 million from this year.
    * Funding for State Department counternarcotics activities in Colombia is set at $178.6 million, down $26.6 million from this year.
    * Funding for the DEA is set at $2.131 billion, up 5.5% over this year. That pays for 8,399 employees, 4,146 of whom are DEA agents.
    * Funding for the Office of Justice Programs’ Byrne grant program, Southwest Border Prosecutor Initiative, Northern Border Prosecutor Initiative, and Prescription Drug Monitoring program has been eliminated.

    “The new budget proposal demonstrates the Obama administrations’ commitment to a balanced and comprehensive drug strategy,” said Kerlikowske. “In a time of tight budgets and fiscal restraint, these new investments are targeted at reducing Americans’ drug use and the substantial costs associated with the health and social consequences of drug abuse.”

    Drug reformers tended to disagree with Kerlikowske’s take on the budget. “This is certainly not change we can believe in,” said Bill Piper, national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It’s extremely similar to the Bush administration drug budgets, especially in terms of supply side versus demand side. In that respect, it’s extremely disappointing. There’s nothing innovative there.”

    “This budget reflects the same Bush-era priorities that led to the total failure of American drug policy during the last decade,” said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. “One of the worst examples is $66 million requested for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign when every independent study has called it a failure. The president is throwing good money after bad when what we really need is a new direction.”

    Houston also took umbrage with the accounting legerdemain that continues to allow ONDCP to understate the real cost of federal drug policies. “It’s disconcerting to see the Obama administration employ the same tactics in counting the drug budget that the Bush administration did,” said Houston. “Congress told ONDCP in 2006 to stop excluding certain items from the budget, and we had a Democratic committee chairman excoriate John Walters over his cooking of the books, but it doesn’t appear they’ve done anything to stop that. Maybe they have to cook the books to make this look like a successful program.”

    But reformers also noted that some good drug policy news had already come out of the Obama administration. They also suggested that the real test of Obama’s direction in drug policy would come in March, when Kerlikowske releases the annual national drug control strategy.

    “I’m a little disappointed,” said Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, “but I think there is a significant difference in the environment from the Bush years. Maybe not in this budget, but things like issuing those Department of Justice regulations on medical marijuana have made a major difference.”

    “They are unwilling or unable to change the drug war budget, but the true measure of their commitment to a shift in drug policy will be the national drug control strategy that comes out in a few weeks,” said Piper. “The question is will their drug strategy look like Bush’s and like their drug budget does, or will they articulate a new approach to drug policy more in line with the president’s comments on the campaign trail that drug use should be treated as a public health issue, not a criminal justice one.”

    The Obama administration’s decision to not interfere with medical marijuana in the states was one example of a paradigm shift, said Piper. So was its support for repealing the federal needle exchange funding ban and ending the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.

    “In a lot of ways, the budget trimming that comes out of the White House is a fraud because they know Congress won’t make those cuts,” said Piper. “I wonder if that’s the game Obama is playing with the Byrne grants. That’s the kind of thing they can articulate in the drug strategy if they wanted to. They should at least talk about the need to shift from the supply side to the demand side approach. They could even admit that this year’s budget does not reflect that, but still call for it.”

    This is only the administration’s budget request, of course. What it will look like by the time Congress gets through with it is anybody’s guess. But it strongly suggests that, so far, there’s not that much new under the sun in the Obama White House when it comes to the drug budget.

  18. darkcycle says:

    Of course the comments thread is closed. Malcolm, they heard you were coming.

  19. Chris says:

    So, we know it’s going to happen somewhere. There will be a response to this article with counterpoints. That’s a difficult task, similar to trying to rationalize with a raving lunatic. It’d be more easily done piece by piece by many different people.

  20. allan420 says:

    to continue with the quote Chris pointed out:

    To equate marijuana use with alcohol consumption is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, actively misleading. Only in the most superficial ways are the two substances alike, and they differ in every way that counts: addictiveness, toxicity, health effects, and risk of intoxication.

    Mr Stimson isn’t lying. It is, truly, “uninformed” to equate cannabis use w/ alcohol. But the safety factor points to cannabis as the safer alternative.

    Of course we can always point to the wonderful work of the DEA (judge Young of course):

    “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care. …

    “The administrative law judge recommends that the Administrator [of the DEA] conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II.”

    It’s not that they think we’re stupid, they hope the public is… in fact they’re counting on it.

  21. FM58 says:

    Before we crucify the president for no action on this ridiculous war on our own citizens, we have to own up to the fact that the president does not control the government. Our “government” has been bought and sold. We elect our so called representatives and the minute they set foot in DC, they are either purchased by the highest bidder or told which ideology they are going to follow by the party hacks, who have already sold out. The voters of this country need to understand that until we outlaw lobbying, and run these government highjackers (the Heritage Foundation is a prime example) out of DC, we will have to live the consequences. Unfortunately, I think it is too late.

  22. warren says:

    This guy is the most ignorant person on this subject I`ve seen. He would have been the highest paid in hitlers propaganda machine. If he believes what he said I would suggest an immediate brain transplant. WOW.WOW WOW>!!!!!!!!

  23. Just me. says:

    This guy is spewing the same old bullshit just to justify the war on people. But I will tear this apart:

    To equate marijuana use with alcohol consumption is, at best, uninformed and, at worst, actively misleading. Only in the most superficial ways are the two substances alike, and they differ in every way that counts: addictiveness, toxicity, health effects, and risk of intoxication.

    Hes absolutely right in this statement except hes substituting the negitive effects of ALCOHOL to cannabis.

    addictiveness, toxicity, health effects, and risk of intoxication

    Very low risk of addictiveness,non-toxic,proven to have positive health effects, no risk of overdose.

    This is just another government yes man twisting words to fit their warped sense of reality.

    Then on the other hand its a deliberate act to keep the people unenlightened to the reality that we are all being use by government.Consumers and non-consumers alike. The system is corrupt.

    Corruption: A disease that spares no one.

  24. malcolmkyle says:

    It’s so ‘over the top’ he must know that it’s all total bullcrap, which is also precisely why there’s no comment section. Bottom-feeders like him are the true enemies of the people. Shouldn’t we start making some kind of inventory for later prosecutions?

  25. darkcycle says:

    Malcolm, the guy was an apparatchik from Guantanamo. If justice were even possible in this country anymore, he would already be in chains. This piece of crap and his role as a prohibitionist pales in comparison to his other crimes against humanity.
    Naw, he’s just too valuable as a lying tool to be brought to justice. He’s got a position in government gauranteed for life.

  26. darkcycle says:

    Did that sound cynical?

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  28. Tony Aroma says:

    I think that guy was all hopped up on the alcohol when he wrote that piece. I hear it makes people do and say some pretty crazy things. What he needs is a nice, strong cup of reality.

  29. allan420 says:

    More direct lies from his piece:

    Third, it has no known general healthful properties, though it may have some palliative effects.

    Well… since it is banned in all its forms… the nutritional value of cannabis seeds makes it a premier food source. (An abundant and vigorous provider, it is a shame places like Haiti and the poorest nations in Africa don’t embrace cannabis as food and fiber)

    Fourth, it is toxic and deleterious to health.

    Oh please… with an LD50 that would require a 2 ton bale to fall on someone before it ever kills anybody… there is no toxicity. The green, early water leaves have antibacterial properties and then there is that small matter of neuroprotectivity – patented by the US gov.corpYou are a Maroon Mr Stimson. Plain and simple…

  30. TrebleBass says:

    He does bring an important point to the table: there seem to have been an abundance of societies in human history in which a very large percentage of their populations have used alcohol and there do not seem to have been any societies where such high percentages of their population have used cannabis. Maybe there have been but I don’t know if there have been. Why that is is a mystery to me. He implies that such a society would become a reality if cannabis was legal, but he doesn’t have any evidence; it has been legal throughout most of human history and that doesn’t seem to have happened. And he also purports to have scientific evidence of why such a society would be dysfunctional, but he doesn’t. His statements contrasting alcohol and cannabis are completely unscientific. What he would have to find would be an example of a society that was made unreasonably dysfunctional (using alcohol drinking societies as a standard for reasonable functionality) by the use of cannabis. He doesn’t do that.

  31. ezrydn says:

    It just slipped his mind that Cannabis WAS legal in the US for a long, long time and none of his “visions” materialized then.

    Notice the surge of crazies coming out of the woodwork? Their fear that we might just make this one has got them running around in circles. Like I’ve said, this is when it gets real interesting.

  32. darkcycle says:

    Treble Bass. Here are a few societies that have embraced Cannabis: The Scythians, the Hindu’s, Bhuddists (early), Arabians, Persians, (at various times) Zoroastrians (controversial) Rastafarians, Chinese, Americans (prior to 1937), shall I go on? While various societies have placed taboos upon hemp for use as a drug at various times, by and large cannabis has been an integral part of human existance. Never have taboos extended to hemp’s use as a food or fiber, so even societies that had this taboo in place, stillhad access to the various benifits hemp provides. This insane, blanket prohibition of a plant is unprecedented in human history. You are living a (ludicrous and badly failed) human experiment.

  33. allan420 says:

    … this guy is bugging me… consider too y’all that this is like the best of what they have. They’re firing their big guns. And the old folks here will prolly remember the old play rifles that fired ping pong balls… yep… that’s what the Prohibs are using intellectually speaking. Unfortunately they still have the drug war military machine and all its armaments and those killer-Corgy-shooting SWAT teams…


    And ya know what else?! Not since his death have any of these Asshats ever mentioned Peter McWilliams death. Let’s see, for fucking one, one of these folks with balls who’ll say, “hell yeah, we killed McWilliams, he was dangerous. He was right…”

  34. darkcycle says:

    Allan, try this Afgooey…..there, that should help. Better sit down…

  35. allan420 says:

    fffffffffp….. ….’ere…

    Thanks… when I think of the fouling of my life because of the WOD and add to that the Hell I’ve seen those around me thrown thru and then multiply that times the suffering unleashed upon the mulitudes I don’t know… damn. There is a lot of grief and suffering to be atoned for.

    And the Prohibs haven’t figgered out yet we’ll be screaming “foul!” to the bitter end. War crimes? You betcha… Reparations? You betcha…

  36. Chris says:

    “Lies are just another kind of storytelling, but with the very distinct and enlivening motive of desperation.”
    – John Hodgman

  37. Leonard Krivitsky, MD says:

    Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, while the so-called “gateway drug” theory is a complete fantasy, and it was just recently called “half-baked” as a result of a scientific study. CNN reported that Cocaine use has dropped sharply, by 30% since 2002. I worked in addiction medicine for years, and this is what I can advice on the matter: Any suppression of Cannabis use will be immediately followed by an increase in alcohol/hard drug/prescription drug abuse! You don’t believe me, Mr. Kerlikowske? Then maybe you will believe the Big Alcohol lobby that is financing the Cannabis Legalization opponents for exactly this reason. Right now Cannabis is just simply perceived as a much safer alternative to alcohol/hard drugs, which is precisely how it should be perceived. To have a society in which there is NO psychoactive substance use is an illusion, and it will be good for our government to realize this. So then, it becomes a matter of “safer choices”, just like with the sex education, especially after we realized that “abstinence” may not be one of the viable choices! And Cannabis is, without a shadow of a doubt, a much safer choice than alcohol, hard drugs or dangerous, physically addictive prescription drugs, such as opiate pain pills! Just very recently a research study in addiction medicine has determined that Cannabis may actually serve as an “exit” substance for recovering alcoholics/hard drug addicts. People have written to me many times, relating how Cannabis helps them to stay away from alcohol, cocaine, “meth” and benzodiazepines. For some reason, these four drugs are especially prominent when it comes to an “exit substance” function of Cannabis. Then, of course, there is a potential of Cannabis in chronic pain, where other drugs may be ineffective (or physically addictive), with very important potential consequences for our wounded veterans, many of whom have chronic pain. Mr. Kerlikowske, be very happy that the cocaine abuse rate is dropping. Do not interfere with these dynamics, and then we can possibly achieve what has already been achieved in the Netherlands where the drug overdose rate is 85%(!!) lower than in the US, and that is with much more liberal Cannabis possession laws than in this country! Please check these numbers for yourselves, by all means. Mr. Kerlikowske, it is time to give up “dogma” and to start listening to the experts, if we really want to lower the alcohol/hard drug use in this country, and the accompanying dependencies and overdoses!

  38. DdC says:

    Richard Nixon’s Vengeful War on Marijuana
    By William John Cox
    CN Source: AlterNet September 18, 2010

    Editor’s Note: Since its origins almost four decades ago, the “war on drugs” has been more a political assault – particularly on the 1960s “counter-culture” – than rational government policy.

  39. darkcycle says:

    Thank you Dr. K.
    Making people suffer for lack of easily obtained medicine is reprehensable. Here in Washington, we have a pretty good law, with one fatal, onerous flaw: mental illness is expressly excluded from the list of acceptable conditions for medical cannabis. PTSD sufferers who find relief with cannabis are excluded from recievibg a Dr’s reccomendation, and as a result, the Veterans Ad. directive, allowing the use of MMJ is not in force. These people can still be cut off from needed medical services for using MMJ.

  40. vicky vampire says:

    Yes,so right Ddc an asault on the sixties I was a child in sixties and later never cared much for progressive policies but older I get reality sets in and both extremes of political side drive me nuts one side the food police the other drug police.
    I’m a bit conservative and come to conclusion that gay marriage from Massachesetts and few states has been around a while and world did not fall apart if cannabis is fully legalized in CA and more states their scapeqoating masses of people accussing them of becoming addicts and yes losing their souls thats what they perpetuate despite everyday voluminous info coming out about cannabis wonderful healthful qualities.

  41. claygooding says:

    It is best collection of the US government’s past 40 years of propaganda,all rolled into one oped and served with out any scientific proof except the original science and statistics used when the government put it out.
    It is as if they were trying to show America,by overkill,how absurd the propaganda was then and still is now.
    Almost every statement in the article has been debunked several times over and the preposterous claim of alcohol being safer and even more beneficial for your health is the icing on the cake.
    I am waiting for the punchline,or a follow-up oped pointing out the fallacies that America has believed all this time.

    Since comments were not permitted at the source I sent an email to the Heritage Foundation and protested the total article as the very propaganda we have been debunking for the last 4 decades and told them that their posting of such an article which is full of lies could only cause a large loss of esteem from all Americans when it is exposed as pure fabrication.
    HF proclamation at their site:
    “The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

    How can a think tank support the government’s drug policy,a contradiction of nearly every word of their web page claims about free enterprise,limited government and individual freedom.

  42. I can't remember says:

    Alcohol sure does make you say crazy things. Fuck that drug.

  43. malcolmkyle says:

    Allan wrote: “And the Prohibs haven’t figgered out yet we’ll be screaming “foul!” to the bitter end. War crimes? You betcha… Reparations? You betcha…”

    I believe the least they can expect, with so many millions of lives effected, will be numerous civil ‘class actions’ to strip them of all their ill gotten gains. At the other end of the scale though, we may well witness rather painful & nocturnal extrajudicial retribution, followed by a brief appearance on a YouTube channel called HangTheEvilBasturdsByTheNuts.

  44. Maria says:

    Don’t be misled by the foundations marketing. If this guy is writing to uphold a charter of ‘Individual Freedom’ then it can only mean freedom for individuals who are like him.

    We are not like him. In fact in his world we need to be taken care of and told how to live in accordance to those traditional American values. Lord knows we poor shmucks have no clue what’s best for us or how to go about this whole living thing.

  45. Duncan20903 says:

    Stimson eh. Any chance he’s related to this Stimpson?

  46. allan420 says:

    I have no doubt that when the lies begin to become visible to at least some of the thinking public (beyond us) then questions will become more pointed – who? why? when? – and Lord knows when (and if…) the cancer patients and families find out the US gummint actually hid the results of a study showing great the potential of cannabis as a cancer fighter. I mean they should be mad-as-hell now… but some of us just tain’t as quick as others.

  47. Still undecided what you’re trying to say however I do get a little little bit of it I think. Thanks.

  48. Duncan20903 says:

    how long do you think it will take for these prohibitionists to stfu? Or are we doomed to listening to them forever?

    Well considering that the Alaska Court of Appeals threw out the 1990 re-criminalization of cannabis vote in 2003, that the prohibitionists are still presenting it as if that law were in force, and that people in the US have the right to free speech protected by the US Constitution, I’d expect that we are doomed to listening to them forever. Shucks, M.M. O’hair and crew got the idiocy of forced prayer in public schools tossed out in 1964 and the religionists still haven’t let that one go.

    “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, propaganda without end. Amen

  49. I don’t think anyone saying what he did in the last bit deserves to be exempt from the label “ignorant”.

    Besides what’s supposed to be wrong with a drug being just palliative? Lots of potentially lethal drugs just give relief from headaches.

    When it comes to cannabis not only is is palliative when it comes to curing naseau and vomiting, but it’s well documented that eating a healthy meal increases your chances of survival.

  50. Duncan20903 says:

    strayan said: “…Seems to me like the category of ‘hard drugs’ is total said: Seems to me like the category of ‘hard drugs’ is total bullshit.”

    Well it really does depend on your definition of ‘bullshit.’ (I’m not thinking about Slick Willie here)

    The current scheduling is total bullshit. When I say that I say it because so many of the entries are just plain wrong, cannabis in schedule 1 but Meth and Coke in schedule 2. I get a kick out of this one because it’s not infrequently the prohibitionists say ‘what’s next? Medical meth? Medical cocaine?’ Though they never can seem to grasp that they’ve embarrassed themselves with that line of thinking.

    GHB is schedule 3 if it’s prescribed but schedule 1 if it doesn’t have a pharmaceutical companys brand stamped on the pill.

    For the love of god they’ve put khat on schedule 1. Khat is basically caffeine to African people.

    Of course cannabis is schedule 1 but marinol is schedule 3.

    How about cocaine? It’s a schedule 2 drug but crack is schedule 1. Crack and powder cocaine are chemically identical.

    The thought that there aren’t ‘hard’ drugs just doesn’t pass muster. Heroin/oxycodone, cocaine both powder and smokeable, meth both for nasal and smokeable, PCP, and drinking alcohol are hard drugs most assuredly. LSD and mushrooms are debatable, but most like are dose dependent, that is if you take a little it is a soft drug, and if you take a lot they’re hard drugs. I may have left a few out so that’s ‘including but not limited to’ my list of hard drugs.

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