More Intellectual Dishonesty and fear of Philip Morris

Keith Humphreys, who has been blogging over at Mark Kleiman’s place (and yes, this blog consistently performs a Mark Kleiman Drug Policy Watch function) has been joining in with Mark in lamenting the sad state of affairs that is the less-than-honest arguments used by both sides of the legalization debate. “Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?” (OK, so they don’t actually talk like Big Daddy from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).

Of course, this is usually done by pointing out a specific example of lying on the part of the prohibitionists, and then balancing it by saying “and the other side is just as bad.” Or, they may trot out an argument that is used by some legalizers (legalization may bring in as much as $X in taxes, for example – something that we’ve never given much of a damn about compared to reducing the harms of prohibition), point out how that full dollar amount is unlikely to be achieved and use that as justification to tar all legalizers as dishonest.

As always, they pose as reasonable moderates who abhor the excesses of prohibition, and long for a legalization of marijuana that fits their specific requirements (ie, is not legally sold by anyone, ever), while still resisting any efforts to consider real reform, which means replacing prohibition with an actual regulatory scheme. But always, they complain about arguments on both sides lacking valid support.

Let’s see how Keith does in presenting the facts in a debate about legalization. He pointed out that he was nicely captured by Paul Rogers in this debate with Joe McNamara, so I thought we might look at it.

Let’s start with one of my pet peeves in dishonest arguments:

Q: Mother’s Against Drunk Driving opposes Prop 19. Is highway safety an issue?

KH: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did a roadside survey and showed on a weekend evening something like one in six people had a legal or illegal substance in their system. At least some of them are going to be high. When you are driving down the road, are you happy that one in six people have a drug in their system? I’m certainly not.

OK, Keith. You worked in the Drug Czar’s office. You know how data works, and clearly you learned how to work data. Which means straight out lying. Let’s review the study you reference once again.

“The reader is cautioned that drug presence does not necessarily imply impairment. For many drug types, drug presence can be detected long after any impairment that might affect driving has passed. For example, traces of marijuana can be detected in blood samples several weeks after chronic users stop ingestion. Also, whereas the impairment effects for various concentration levels of alcohol is well understood, little evidence is available to link concentrations of other drug types to driver performance.” (Page 3, boxed for extra visibility)

“Caution should be exercised in assuming that drug presence implies driver impairment. Drug tests do not necessarily indicate current impairment. Drug presence can be measured for a period of days or weeks after ingestion in many cases. This latency of drug presence may partially explain the consistency between daytime and nighttime drug findings.” (Page 3)

This study didn’t measure anything other than a base line to use in future studies. Nothing meaningful in itself, except in terms of intellectual curiosity. Most of us have some kind of drug in our system at one point or other.

In other words, it is intellectually dishonest to use this study in the way you did (and the way the drug czar did until I corrected him). Period. Oh, sure, you can say “Well, I didn’t claim that they were all stoned. I just said that some of them were probably stoned.”

Then why reference the study? You could have said that you assume that some drivers on the road are stoned, and nobody would have disputed that, but no, you had to go and use a study dishonestly so as to appear to back up your story. That’s a powerful and obnoxious odor in the room.

KH: However you respond to addictive substances there will be costs. You can’t make tobacco illegal. You can’t go back. But I could say “400,000 dead a year.” Is that working?

And just what does 400,000 dead a year have to do with marijuana?

The horrible [gang] violence in Mexico has killed probably 30,000 people in Mexico in the last six years. But 40,000 Mexicans a year die from smoking, according to the Mexican Department of Health. In the United States, tobacco products kill 400,000 people a year. So if you look at who is going to end up in the grave prematurely, it’s wrong to think that if we move from an illegal market to a corporation we will reduce death. We won’t.

Again, what does that have to do with marijuana? Tobacco causes lung cancer. Marijuana doesn’t. Period. So why bring up all these dead smokers as a reason for not saving dead Mexicans from violence?

Ah, but you have a connection…

In a lot of the world people smoke cannabis and tobacco together. What do you think will happen to health when there are products that are cannabis-tobacco mix products like they have in Europe? When Madison Avenue is cut loose on cannabis? When you have marketing to kids?

In what fantasy world do you live? Sure, across the pond, that may be the way they like the cannabis, but not here in the States. And given the negative public relations that surrounds tobacco and the tobacco companies right now, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that such a move would be forthcoming. In fact, legalisation in England might allow a situation where you could actually have public service announcements warning people not to add dangerous tobacco to their relatively safe skunk.

At one point, Joe McNamara pointed out that the big danger with decrim (fines for possession, but still criminal to sell) rather than legalization is the problems involved with the sales of marijuana being controlled by the black market and that a legal industry would reduce the harms. Keith responded:

KH: To say that a legal industry will make the product safer, then you have to say that the tobacco leaf is more dangerous than a Marlboro. It is the legal industry that makes that raw tobacco leaf into a deadly product.

JM: That’s not a good comparison.

KH: It’s a very good comparison. It’s the one we have.

Um. No, it’s not.

It’s abundantly clear that Humphreys shares Kleiman’s fear of the tobacco industry (although I dare say that Mark would never descend this far into mendacity).

McNamara got him good right off the start, though, in a way that helps us really see what’s going on…

KH: Number one, this is about the business side, rather than the user side. The legislature has already decriminalized marijuana, so it’s going to be like a parking ticket in California.

(The California legislature approved SB 1449, by State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, on August 31, sending it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. The bill would reduce possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction, meaning those in violation of the law would not be arrested, booked or forced to appear in court. They would continue to pay a $100 fine.)

So you should really be voting on this based on whether you want an industry that delivers marijuana. Because what will be legal, which is legal in no other part of the world for marijuana, will be marketing, lobbying, sports endorsements, celebrity endorsements, labs that spend all day trying to figure out how to make the product more flavorful and addictive. And if it sounds like I am describing the tobacco companies, I am. But that’s the question that’s really before us. Do you want that industry? What’s been our experience with tobacco, and are we satisfied with that experience such that we want to repeat it with cannabis?

Q: Your thoughts, chief?

JM: The industry is already here. The industry as it is now produces incredible amounts of crime and violence.

That’s right. Keith Humphreys would rather have large, violent, criminal enterprises control the distribution and sales of marijuana than risk even a long-shot possibility of an American corporation selling it.

That’s pretty bizarre.

It’s also pretty paranoid. There’s no reason that cannabis legalization is going to result in Philip Morris. It could just as easily (in fact, perhaps more likely) result in Starbucks. About the only things that cannabis and tobacco have in common is that they can be smoked. But then, cigars can be smoked and they’re marketed and managed a whole lot differently than cigarettes.

The culture surrounding cannabis is going to produce a different kind of commercialization than cigarettes.

It’s also unrealistic to think that the rise of a Cannabis Morris could occur today with the same dangerous characteristics of chemically manipulated cigarettes as they were developed and marketed in the past century. We’ve been through that once and are aware of it, and unlike in the 20th Century, we’ve got a raging Nanny State that is examining everything we even consider consuming with a magnifying lens on steroids.

We’re also much more of a socially conscious consumer society that is interested in things like gourmet and organic together, and is willing to pay $4 for a coffee. That’s more likely to result in a craft beer version of cannabis than a Budweiser. And yes, I’m mixing coffee and beer and cigars and cigarettes because cannabis is none of those things. It will have its own characteristics of commerce. It won’t be Marlboro.

Keith Humphreys does a nice job now and then of pointing out the problems with prohibition, and is quick to note when he parts company with the excesses of prohibitionist views, and that I appreciate. However, the arguments that he uses to oppose Prop 19 himself range from the hysterical to that powerful odor of mendacity.

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32 Responses to More Intellectual Dishonesty and fear of Philip Morris

  1. Matthew Meyer says:

    Nice one, Pete.
    Funny how there’s no “craft cigarette” industry, unless you count American Spirit, or perhaps other companies so obscure you’ve never heard of them.
    Really weird that Humphreys would rather keep locking people up for pot than take a chance on letting Mad Men get their hands on it. Really, really weird.

  2. darkcycle says:

    Gawd. I read it. Did he really say “….there’s no reason to expect moving from an illegal market to a legal one would reduce death.” ? Well, no, he’s right on that one, everyone dies…he even rightly points out that many people are killed by cigarettes….but that’s a reason to let the violence continue?!! That’s like saying because cigarettes kill 400,000 people in America each year, and drunk drivers only kill 40,000 or so, we should ignore drunk driving. And last time I checked, Tobacco companies were’t beheading their enemies, or shooting up schools and churches. I don’t recall any tobacco wars at all….
    We have here is a concern troll. Because we don’t know what will happen with certainty, he argues, we would be better off not messing with it. It’s easy to come up with scary hypotheticals when you ignore the current reality. But it is more and more difficult to find someone who has not been directly and negatively affected by the drug war. The hyperbolic hand wringing isn’t having the desired effect anymore, there is too much information readily available. Too many people have had positive experiences with pot. Pot’s medical benifits are evident to just about everybody, and it’s been readily available for a number of years in medical states. Society hasn’t collapsed, there aren’t gun battles in the halls of our middle schools (at least no more than usual). This arguement doesn’t stand even limited scrutiny. It BARELY even sounds good….And this is Stanford’s Magazine? Folks, I went to a Jesuit University, maybe I’m confused about what “scholarship” means out in the California University system….

  3. darkcycle says:

    American Spirit is a nich brand from a major tobacco company, with marketing designed to capture liberal smokers. Their connection with the Tribes doesn’t extend past the feather and peace pipe on the label.

  4. darkcycle says:

    sorry, niche.

  5. Steve in Clearwater says:

    Thanks for the analysis here Pete.

    A patient and persistent reminder to all readers that any time someone presents a stat on “percentage of drivers with drug(s) in their systems”, it must be strongly noted that such data only applies to drivers who have had their blood legally tested.

    And that pool is an incredibly tiny percentage of overall drivers since such blood tests can only be administered in rather limited circumstances – most usually when a driver has been involved in a vehicle collision that harms another person.

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  7. again, the easiest way to derail claims about drugged driving come directly from the government’s own data:

  8. claygooding says:

    The reason that marijuana will have a different marketing aspect is that people will be able to control the price of retail marijuana by growing their own if taxes,licensing fees or retail markup just keeps going up,as they are trying to do on tobacco now.

    Only tobacco is not an easy crop to grow and cure for consumption,especially if you are used to the tobacco sold in stores now.

    If you have never smoked raw tobacco,uncured or cured improperly it is hard to explain just how tough it is to smoke it. But marijuana that is cured wrong or is too harsh to smoke can still be eaten or turned into hash.

  9. TrebleBass says:

    As for the tobacco, it is true that we could do a lot better job of regulating it, and probably with alcohol too. But the biggest difference is, i think, that acceptance of those two drugs go back hundreds of years (and more actually), and that those industries developed all that time ago. The legal marijuana industry will be formed in today’s world, and we can probably do a better job of forming it responsibly now, especially since we have society so concerned about drugs in general now. Plus, it is still likely that at some time down the line, an emerging culture of drug regulation will have its impact on tobacco and alcohol, and that we’ll finally have enough people trying to regulate them more strictly in order to beat their lobbyists. Thing is, people have always grown up with alcohol and tobacco being what they are. People don’t really consider that much the possibilities in which they could be regulated better. Some people do (like Mark Kleiman and us here), but most of the general population doesn’t. If we could get a big social debate about how to regulate tobacco and alcohol (to the degree we’re debating about legalizing marijuana now), we could get better laws passed. The legalization of marijuana (and other drugs in the future) will probably help that debate develop.

  10. malcolmkyle says:

    Mr Humphreys, it seems, doesn’t like honest debate.

    The following reply, has been removed twice. -Humphreys claims I’m using personal abuse.

    Keith, why are you also removing comments, such as mine, that simply call you out on your reasoning?

    Using the serious health risks related to tobacco to argue against regulating marijuana use leads me to suspect that you haven’t really thought this whole thing through.

    1) Tobacco is cancer causing largely because it delivers specific carcinogens such as NNK and NNAL that are not present in cannabis. Not all “tar” is created equal, and tobacco has some of the most carcinogenic types of tar known to science, whereas cannabis does not.

    2) Cannabis (marijuana) use is associated with a DECREASE in several types of cancer… potentially even providing a protective effect against tobacco and alcohol related cancer development.

    Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.

    Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn’t also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

    In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, “in a dose-dependent manner” (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, “Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer,” AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.

    Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the mice’s lifespans. Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.

  11. darkcycle says:

    Alcohol and Tobacco have established lobbyists, and the ‘citizens united’ (corporations united) decision working for them. I doubt that in todays climate, any ammount of people talking about it will result in better conmtrols.
    It is interesting though that those who don’t want tobacco regulated by the FDA are also the first ones out there claiming that MJ is untested and can’t be regulated by the FDA due to it’s “crude mixture of elements and variable potency”.

  12. TrebleBass says:

    To follow up my last post, I just want to add that we already have e-cigarrettes (which vaporize a liquid solution of nicotine, for those who don’t know), and we have many more people concerned about the harms of cigarettes than we had in the past. We also have nicotine gum. Plus, i had read Obama signed a bill about a year ago limiting flavoring of tobacco products, and that they were supposed to list the ingredients on the packet (i haven’t seen that, though). In fact, we were even able to drastically limit their advertising abilities.

    As for alcohol, we have things like chase tablets so as to not get hangovers. I know it’s not much, but the point is harm reduction and regulation of those two drugs can be done, and societal support and a culture that’s concerned about it can make it happen. With any newly legalized drug, concern is already very high, and social support for better regulations is very strong.

  13. Hex says:

    I just want to remind you that Cannabis has been in use by humans for thousands of years. It has a signifigent history of legal usage in The United States of America. Cannabis is hemp is ‘marijuana’ all Cannabis Sativa l. just different strains and breeds of the same species of plant, which again are all interbreed-able. So an above argument about a brand new legal plant and market is incorrect. What we are fighting for is it’s re-legalization and against it’s contemporary prohibition. Vote Yes Prop. 19 Nov. 2 2010 Californians.

  14. TrebleBass says:

    Plus, cigarettes lend themselves to being sold in big industrial packets of 20 each because cigarette smokers smoke a lot of them everyday. Marijuana, especially high grade marijuana, is something you smoke like 1/40th or even 1/80th of the amount of plant material that you smoke with tobacco. So pre-rolled joints are not going to be the entire market, let alone 20-packs. In fact, pre-rolled joints are going to be a very small part of the market. It will more likely be like the medical marijuana industry already in existence in california, where they sell bud (and they even check it with microscopes for fungus). So the possibility of a Phillip Morris type thing happening where they turn the marijuana into something much worse and filled with a bunch of chemicals is lower than what you have with tobacco. I mean, if you break up a cigarette and look at it, that stuff looks almost completely artificial, not at all like the dark, nice smelling stuff you can buy at a quality tobacco shop. With marijuana, seeing the buds and looking at them closely, and smelling them is what sells, and you smoke a lot less of it in a pipe or bong, not like with tobacco, where the intense addiction for many cigarettes a day is what drives the sales.

  15. give ‘im hell malcolm!

  16. darkcycle says:

    TrebleBass, we were able to regulate tobacco advertising in another country at another time. Now, well under twenty percent smoke and that’s where the ‘tobacco free’ laws come from. These are local and state laws, FEDERAL regulation, beeyon what we already have is probably impossible now. Marijuana consumers and producers, we don’t HAVE industry lobbyists. Or alot of corporate money. That was my only point.

  17. claygooding says:

    Treble,don’t you dare scare off a 20 pack of danks. I look so forward to picking up a pack of 20 Bubblegum or Northern Lights,which will give a whole new meaning to light.

  18. darkcycle says:

    P.S. I can’t find a comments section at the stanford artical anywhere…

  19. darkcycle says:

    An ounce equates to about twenty-eight pre-rolled fatties. I should think that would be the magic number…

  20. I wasn’t at all surprised when I read the other day that marijuana kills just as many people as tobacco.

    I know that marijuana has been killing me for about 50 years now and I just hope it continues killing me for another 50 some odd years.

    After having been exposed to the smell of mendacity for so long I don’t know if I can really live without it. But then I’m pretty sure I won’t have to.

  21. TrebleBass says:

    darkcycle, when i wrote the 1:24 post i hadn’t yet read your 1:18 post.

  22. darkcycle says:

    Mendacity…give me the smell of well cured sour diesel. You know, the kind that will stink it’s way right through a mason jar.

  23. darkcycle says:

    TrebleBass: in the immortal words of Emily Littella, “Oh…never mind.”

  24. Duncan20903 says:

    One thing that really annoys me is the know nothings casting potheads as identical to one another. Enjoy a joint and you’ll wake up decades later having spent the time in lala land of hallucinations and selfishly victimize your loved ones who disapprove of people who want to be left alone so they can enjoy themselves. But how can anyone trust the perceptions of a person who believes all potheads march in lockstep and speak with one voice? We are talking about a distinct perceptual distortion that can’t even identify potheads as a herd of cats if we herd at all. I wish potheads could come up with a consensus on at least the basic facts of what will promote getting the idiot know nothings to leave us the fuck alone. But that scene a few days where the potheads in the goofball brigade shouted down Mr.Lee. I mean talk about a bunch of immature idiot ingrates. Yeah Mr. Lee we disapprove of you for making money. Never mind that legalization wouldn’t be on the ballot if it weren’t for $1.5 million of his money. Screw the fact that somebody’s going to make a bunch of money when repeal starts to happen in earnest. Why the heck shouldn’t it be the pothead that fronted the money to make it happen? Screw the fact that to a significant percentage of the voters Prop 19 boils down to Yes or no, legal or illegal. Look at the know nothings that practically argue the end of civilization as we know it if we repeal a $100 fine with a 3% or less chance of getting fined. Not many things in the future that you can count on with certainty, you’ll pay some taxes, the sun will rise and set, Calvina Fay will tell several bald faced lies and be quoted as an expert whatever she claims to be an expert in, and the day after election day 2010 Richard Lee will wake up a wealthy man. Well unless he wakes up in jail.

    Has anyone else noticed the sudden flood of toddlers with cannabis stories? The 3 year old girl who was going door to door trying to sell a brick of cannabis and ended up getting mom busted for cocaine possession with intent.

    Then there was the lady rocket scientist that taught her 2 year old to hit the bong and of course with such serious intellect directing the action made a video of the deed.

    Jah bless the Rhode Island Assembly for its dedication to whole plant cannabinoid medicine. My it takes the wind out of the know nothings sail when they talk about how horrid having dispensaries would be and I can mention the assembly’s vote in RI and the subsequent override of the know nothing Governor’s veto. Not once but twice.

  25. darkcycle says:

    Decrim is a sham. We’ve been here before…remember 1979? Oh, alot of you don’t. We had decrim then too, it had nearly gone nation wide. Then Reagan happened. He decided that federal funds would be withheld from States with decrim. BANG! That fast, it was back to a life ending felony, overfuckingnight. The only State that didn’t cave outright was Alaska. And with the pipeline just completed, they didn’t need no stinkin’ highway funds.
    Governor Musclebound is scamming you, and potheads are going for it again. Morons, dolts and idiots. Decrim is your graveyard. Better support 19, it’s our best hope.

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  27. strayan says:

    Here’s a graph which indicates the presence of certain amounts of cannabis in your body REDUCES accident risk:


  28. strayan says:

    God bless j-curves.

  29. malcolmkyle says:

    Brian, I sure intend too ;>)

    Keith, your claim that usage would increase with regulation, shows how little you know about this subject.

    Here are some facts concerning the situation in Holland:

    ”Cannabis coffee shops” are not only restricted to the Capital of Holland, Amsterdam. They can be found in more than 50 cities and towns across the country. At present, only the retail sale of five grams is tolerated, so production remains criminalized. The mayors of a majority of the cities with coffeeshops have long urged the national government to also decriminalize the supply side.

    A poll taken earlier this year indicated that some 50% of the Dutch population thinks cannabis should be fully legalized while only 25% wanted a complete ban. Even though 62% of the voters said they had never taken cannabis. An earlier poll also indicated 80% opposing coffee shop closures.

    It is true that the number of coffee shops has fallen from its peak of around 2,500 throughout the country to around 700 now. The problems, if any, concern mostly “drug tourists” and are largely confined to cities and small towns near the borders with Germany and Belgium. These problems, mostly involve traffic jams, and are the result of cannabis prohibition in neighboring countries. “Public nuisance problems” with the coffee shops are minimal when compared with bars, as is demonstrated by the rarity of calls for the police for problems at coffee shops.

    While it is true that lifetime and “past-month” use rates did increase back in the seventies and eighties, the critics shamefully fail to report that there were comparable and larger increases in cannabis use in most, if not all, neighboring countries which continued complete prohibition.

    According to the World Health Organization only 19.8 percent of the Dutch have used marijuana, less than half the U.S. figure.
    In Holland 9.7% of young adults (aged 15–24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%). Few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.44%), well below the average (0.52%) of the compared countries.

    The WHO survey of 17 countries finds that the United States has the highest usage rates for nearly all illegal substances.

    In the U.S. 42.4 percent admitted having used marijuana. The only other nation that came close was New Zealand, another bastion of get-tough policies, at 41.9 percent. No one else was even close. The results for cocaine use were similar, with the U.S. again leading the world by a large margin.

    Even more striking is what the researchers found when they asked young adults when they had started using marijuana. Again, the U.S. led the world, with 20.2 percent trying marijuana by age 15. No other country was even close, and in Holland, just 7 percent used marijuana by 15 — roughly one-third of the U.S. figure.

    In 1998, the US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey claimed that the U.S. had less than half the murder rate of the Netherlands. “That’s drugs,” he explained. The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics immediately issued a special press release explaining that the actual Dutch murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, or less than one-quarter the U.S. murder rate.

    Now let’s look at a comparative analysis of the levels of cannabis use in two cities: Amsterdam and San Francisco, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health May 2004,

    The San Francisco prevalence survey showed that 39.2% of the population had used cannabis. This is 3 times the prevalence found in the Amsterdam sample

    Source: Craig Reinarman, Peter D.A. Cohen and Hendrien L. Kaal, “The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy”

    Moreover, 51% of people who had smoked cannabis in San Francisco reported that they were offered heroin, cocaine or amphetamine the last time they purchased cannabis. In contrast, only 15% of Amsterdam residents who had ingested marijuana reported the same conditions. Prohibition is the ‘Gateway Policy’ that forces cannabis seekers to buy from criminals who gladly expose them to harder drugs.

    The indicators of death, disease and corruption are even much better in the Netherlands than in Sweden for instance, a country praised by UNODC for its “successful” drug policy.”

    The Netherlands also provides heroin on prescription under tight regulation to about 1500 long-term heroin addicts for whom methadone maintenance treatment has failed.

    The Dutch justice ministry announced, last year, the closure of eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. There’s simply not enough criminals

    After waiting 24 hours, to no avail for this to be approved, I’ve decided to remove the links.

  30. Just me. says:

    KH: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did a roadside survey and showed on a weekend evening something like one in six people had a legal or illegal substance in their system. At least some of them are going to be high. When you are driving down the road, are you happy that one in six people have a drug in their system? I’m certainly not.

    LOL, Im not happy about the people texting or talking on the phone.Being a motorcycle rider, I see these dangers all the time(and many times almost got run over). Im much much less worried about a high driver who is paranoid and paying attention to the rode.

    Please! For God Sakes!! Put the phone down!!

  31. Duncan20903 says:

    Yeah, what Just me said! …and don’t forget about the guys who don’t forget about the guys getting blowjobs. What’s next? Blowjobs getting criminalized? Oh right, like that could ever happen.

  32. allan420 says:

    … sigh…

    Not much to add, just head-shaking at Keith Humphries.

    Just a thought that occured as I read pete’s dissection and y’alls’ comments… LEAP’s press barrage in CA a couple of weeks ago was awesome, one of the best DPR moves in a long time. Why not lob a big stinker right on the steps of DC?

    If ALL the DPR orgs joined with the best and the brightest from LEAP for one day in a similarly orchestrated endeavor in our nation’s capitol it would be a wrecking ball swing at the WOD Wall. How many former police chiefs does LEAP have? A lot. (And there are some former LEO LEAPsters like Howard and J Michael who could be added, along with perhaps the CA NAACP’s Alice Hoffman and many others – Gary Johnson, George Schultz, Jeff Mirons…). Imagine a cadre of formr police chiefs calling out Kzar Droopy on the capitol steps… having his peers label him a liar should certainly garner a bit of press.

    See! That’s what happens when I smoke my herb…

    And I’ll join brian’s hat tip to Malcolm. If you folks want a lesson or two in the art of online debate Malcolm swings a sharpened cutlass and steers his pirate ship and mateys into any and all waters, openly and defiantly – and calmly! – taking on all comers.

    And a last smiley sidenote whilst I’m feeling optimistic – imagine the image of Howard Wooldridge astride Misty meeting Linda Taylor on the streets of Modesto. She was there to protest his legalization ride, with one other protester.

    I’ve offered to meet her in public debate but she refuses. It’s kinda like how we talk all our stuff right out here in the open (all over the wwweb) and they do it behind website walls of pwivacy. I guess the best conspiracies do occur right out in the open… especially when they’re conspiracies of truth.

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