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August 2011
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Open Thread

It’s been a busy weekend, with the end of my show in Chicago last night (and subsequent strike today), along with getting ready for classes to start tomorrow.

A big thanks to the Drug WarRant readers who came out to see The Living Canvas: Rain. It was great to see you and talk with you!


bullet image There are only two things I know for certain: There is no difference between good flan and bad flan, and the President will suck

Thoreau explains Presidential politics.


bullet image Student drug testing may have only small effect in reducing use

Once again, we find that all that drug testing is doing little but enrich the drug testing companies, along with instilling in the minds of students that they are not free citizens.


bullet image 3 Republicans on Arizona Corporation Commission test drug-free

No word on whether they were tested for competence.


bullet image Florida’s Welfare Drug Testing Costs More Than It Saves

No surprise there.


bullet image Why Expand the Drug War?

Jacob Hornberger discusses the latest U.S. expansion in Mexico. [Link fixed.]

Also… The War on Drugs: Doubling Down on a Bad Bet


bullet image A Radical New View of Addiction Stirs Scientific Storm


bullet image Council Members Call for Change to Marijuana Possession Law

Criticizing the Bloomberg administration’s aggressive pursuit of marijuana possession arrests as “racially biased” and costly, a group of City Council members gathered in front of City Hall on Wednesday to introduce a resolution aimed at curbing the practice.

[Thanks Tom, Mitchell and others]

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16 comments to Open Thread

  • C.E.

    If you don’t know the difference between good flan and bad flan, then you’ve never had good flan.

    Trust me, if you’ve had really good flan, you will ask for it everywhere in the hope that you get some more really good flan, even though you usually will be disappointed.

  • Lars Skovlund

    Pete, you messed up on the Jacob Hornberger link (it points to the Arizona story)

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Oh my, I’m feeling rather fondly of myself tonight. The ONDCP sent David Mineta, one of their lackeys write an op-ed in “The Tennesean”

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110822/COLUMNIST0150/308220002/Movement-legalized-marijuana-ignores-dangers

    I see that Mr. Mineta is an aggressive, conscientious and well trained in performing his assigned duties for his employer which is Congress.

    Did everyone know that the employees of the ONDCP are required by law to lie if that’s what’s required (in their perverted opinion) in order to keep cannabis legalized?

    Mr Mineta deserves the honor of being named employee of the month.
    =====

    http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/about/98reauthorization.html

    quoted from link above:

    Responsibilities. –The Director– […]

    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–

    1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
    2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;
    =====

    http://www.gao.gov/decisions/other/301022.pdf

    The GAO confirms:

    Finally, apart from considerations of whether any particular law has been violated, you have asked whether the Deputy Director’s letter disseminated misleading information in connection with statements relating to the debate over legalization of marijuana. […]

    ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for “taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of certain controlled substances such as marijuana —- a responsibility which logically could include the making of advocacy statements in opposition to legalization efforts. The Deputy Director’s statements about marijuana are thus within the statutory role assigned to ONDCP. Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director’s individual statements.

    • Once again, we see almost unanimous well-informed opposition in the comments to that article. Nice.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I did mean to mention I was cross posting my comment here. I highly amused myself with the employee of the month snark.

      Thanks Pete for putting together the factual details. Being a little more wide awake now I should have also mentioned that I didn’t credit/link your work because of a personal policy of doing my absolute best to never link to a pro-cannabis law reform source.

      The Know Nothings are genuinely a cohort of idiots. If NORML posted on their website that their analysis of the phenomenon indicated that the sun would continue rising in the east every morning and setting in the west for the foreseeable future that a large cohort of the ignorati would disregard it, and a substantial minority would declare the analysis false simply because it was posted on NORML’s website or written on their letterhead.

      Perhaps you might think that there’s an exception for “impaired” driving, e.g. linking to NORML’s official policy that responsible cannabinoidians don’t go out driving impaired? Well I did think that, and did do that, and no, it was meaningless to them. At least to the ones that I ran into the couple of times I thought that might work. The really amusing thing is that the best place to find the opinions/facts posted on ‘neutral’ or pro-prohibition websites quickly is from freedom friendly sources like this website. It is also rather amusing that they have no problem treating as true the unsupported claims of people from the obviously biased ONDCP and those with significant vested financial interests like the Association of American Phrenologists Addictionologists.

  • Peter

    I’m confused by the “new” study by asam:

    “The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) blew the whistle on these deeply held notions [that the addict has a choice about his/her drug use]with its official release of a new document defining addiction as a chronic neurological disorder involving many brain functions, most notably a devastating imbalance in the so-called reward circuitry. This fundamental impairment in the experience of pleasure literally compels the addict to chase the chemical highs produced by substances like drugs and alcohol and obsessive behaviors like sex, food and gambling.”

    I may be wrong but I thought ASAM was run by drug warriors like Andrea Barthwell. If they are now saying that the addict has no choice about using drugs how can they justify continuing to punish them with the full weight of the judicial system?

    • Matthew Meyer

      Well, Peter, it’s kinda like gays: hate the sin, love the sinner.

      So with drugs, we just lock you up till you start to make the right choices again:

      “…a person cannot choose not to be addicted. The most an addict can do is choose not to use the substance or engage in the behavior that reinforces the entire self-destructive reward-circuitry loop.”

      See, now you’re all better!

      • Peter

        Thanks Matthew….I guess they’ve set this up to justify locking people up “for their own good.” Can the Soviet system of political incarceration in lunatic asylums be far away?

      • darkcycle

        Ahh, the new definition…It’s a justification for mandatory drug treatment. If adopted this could expand the range of behaviors labeled ‘addiction’. And it institutionalizes the old myth that once an addict, always an addict (one that I obviously don’t subscribe to). It could also serve to justify continuous intrusion into the “addict’s” life. One might need to see what new behaviors the addict has taken to since his drug of choice is no longer an option. it looks good on it’s face but it serves to open the door to expanded intrusion into the addict’s life by the for profit meddlers.

    • tintguy

      It also said something like along the lines of .. that for some addicts complete abstinence just isn’t an option. So I guess if you’re one of those they get to use you for a lab rat to figure out how to fix the rest or just brand you as a third class citizen???

  • KrokodilForBeginners

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM6v-43-1PU&feature=player_detailpage

    “thats what happens, if you forbid drugs.. people find out, how to create REAL dangerous shit…”

  • vickyvampire

    Well its about time someone city council,or who ever finally got off their fanny’s and started criticizing Bloomberg on the Pot issue never understood love for this guy,oh the feminists love him cause he is pro gay and for abortion,but forgot all his other crap that keep down the common regular folk,but the Rich Manhattans don’t care about that they had there Marijuana,opium,ecstasy,delivered to their penthouses no worry for them its minority peons getting busted.?

    Yeah,I’m like Peter,I’m confused by that ASAM article to,if addicts have no real control over their addictions,then why is it treated like a full on crime instead of a disease and if not harming anyone just made legal,same goes for gay stuff me being BISEXUAL I argue this point with the crazy Christian right on other forums some recognize that gays have not chosen their orientation but still act so arrogant and cruel and treat us like crap none the less.trust me they would arrest us to if they could.again like it was in the sixties.and before.

    Oh on my home front of the crazyass police UTAH state I live in OK last year I guess that 2010 they had 17 pot grows busted in state,now so far, this year 2011 I have of 5 since march some very big ones and one last night about one hundred plants growing in a field and this is a state that is not even mentioning legal marijuana or decriminalizing at all,their current laws, tell me again folks HOW ARE WE WINNING THE DRUG WAR.

    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=14865467

    Oh and in Draper one of the towns here in Utah they caught one of their officers smoking opium,heroin in his partrol car had been on force just a few years look like,he had busted lots of people using drugs,I’ll be nice here maybe the hypocrisy got to him.trying to drown his guilt with drugs LOL.

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=16933145

  • Servetus

    Drug testing welfare recipients in Florida has turned out to be a total flop – for Florida.

    Seems that there is so little drug use among the welfare recipients that Florida can only save about $60,000 per year out of a total $178-million/year program by booting drug users out of the system.

    Meanwhile, Florida Governor Rick Scott’s family prospers.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/08/24/303133/drug-testing-welfare-recipients-could-line-rick-scotts-pockets-but-it-isnt-saving-florida-much-money/