Greenwald: Steve Jobs and drug policy

A must-read from one of the Advisory Council members of my Prohibition Isn’t Free Foundation (and one of the top political writers today).

Glenn Greenwald: Steve Jobs and drug policy

America’s harsh prohibitionist drug policies are grounded in the premise that the prohibited substances have little or no redeeming value and cannot be used without life-destroying consequences. Yet the evidence of its falsity is undeniable. Here is one of the most admired men in America, its greatest contemporary industrialist, hailing one of the most scorned of these substances as integral to his success and intellectual and personal growth.

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22 Responses to Greenwald: Steve Jobs and drug policy

  1. Tyler says:

    A convincing, well-written, and effective article.

  2. Duncan20903 says:

    Watch the prohibitionists glom on to the fact that he died at 56. He would have lived until he was 112 if he weren’t a drug addict!

    If you think I’m kidding, be advised that I’ve only slightly exaggerated a couple of responses I’ve gotten when I’ve mentioned Carl Sagan’s name. (passed away at age 62)

    • DdC says:

      RIP, Fulla Nayak
      Fulla Nayak – believed to be the world’s oldest woman – puffs “ganja” cigars and drinks strong palm wine in her cow-dung hut in India.

      “And out of the ground
      made the LORD God to grow
      every tree that is pleasant to the sight,
      and good for food; the tree of life
      also in the midst of the garden,
      and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
      ~ Gen.2 [9]


      Cannabis and Longevity

      In the article Beliefs about Aging and Longevity in Ancient China, Alain Corcos notes: “The sacred intoxicating drink, named haoma by the Iranians and Soma by the Aryans in India was believed to cure disease and to confer immortality. Hemp was an active ingredient of both drinks” (Corcos, 1981). Interestingly, the Anandakanda (Root of Bliss) a considerable text of 6900 verses on tantric alchemy and yoga, which is thought to have originated around the 12th or 13th century AD, has similar references to cannabis and these are believed to have been based on the descriptions of Soma.

      [T]he Anandakanda describes rejuvenation treatment based on cannabis. This involves treatment over a long period in a specially constructed hut (kut.i). This procedure is strongly reminiscent of a similar rejuvenation procedure described in the earliest Sanskrit medical literature, one that requires not cannabis but the unknown plant Soma. And that procedure itself echoes a rite of ritual rebirth that dates from the mid-first millennium BC. (Wujastyk, 2001)

      The Tree of Life…
      A study by University of Saskatchewan researchers suggests beneficial aspects of smoking marijuana at least among rats, who appear to have sprouted new brain cells and besides benefiting from reduced depression and anxiety. The study’s results appearing in the ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation’ have actually given a fillip to the traditional and mythological view that associates the addictive weed in some ways with immortality.

    • Francis says:

      Yep, I had the exact same thought. Plus, he probably would have died a gazillionaire (instead of a mere multi-billionaire) if his mind hadn’t been so addled by drugs. It’s yet another tragic case of drugs preventing a bright, promising young person from ever reaching their full potential.

    • darkcycle says:

      ..or at least 102, like you…

  3. DdC says:

    I wish him [Bill Gates] the best, I really do.
    I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow.
    He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once
    or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
    ~ Steve Jobs, The New York Times

    Steve Jobs Requiescat In Pace
    “In the 1960s and early ’70s, the first generation of hackers emerged in university computer-science departments. They transformed mainframes into virtual personal computers, using a technique called time sharing that provided widespread access to computers. Then in the late ’70s, the second generation invented and manufactured the personal computer. These nonacademic hackers were hard-core counterculture types — like Steve Jobs, a Beatle- haired hippie who had dropped out of Reed College, and Steve Wozniak, a Hewlett-Packard engineer.


    Forget antiwar protests, Woodstock, even long hair.
    The real legacy of the sixties generation is the computer revolution

    Newcomers to the Internet are often startled to discover themselves not so much in some soulless colony of technocrats as in a kind of cultural Brigadoon – a flowering remnant of the ’60s, when hippie communalism and libertarian politics formed the roots of the modern cyberrevolution. At the time, it all seemed dangerously anarchic (and still does to many), but the counterculture’s scorn for centralized authority provided the philosophical foundations of not only the leaderless Internet but also the entire personal-computer revolution.

    Thank God for Hippies

  4. Servetus says:

    More on hippie power can be found in David Kaiser’s new book, How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival (2011).

    From inside the jacket cover:

    Dubbing themselves the ‘Fundamental Fysiks Group’, they pursued an audacious, speculative approach to physics. They studied quantum entanglement and Bell’s theorem through the lens of Eastern mysticism and psychic mind-reading, discussing the latest research while lounging in hot tubs. Some even dabbled with LSD to enhance their creativity.

  5. Christy says:

    It’s no coincidence that the most industrious states like New York and California tend to have higher rates of drug use.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      New York has a population that’s 54% of California’s and have 73% more residents in “treatment.” Keeping that population percentage in mind New York had 76,553 in “treatment” for opioid abuse in 2009, California had 36,785. 2009 is the last year for which SAMHSA has published in “treatment” statistics for both States. 2010 stats are out for NY, their opioid in “treatment” cohort increased marginally to 76,591 and their in “treatment” for anything cohort managed to decrease from 313,531 to 310,506 or 0.96%. Oops, New York’s population decreased from 19,541,453 to 19,378,102 or 0.84%. For a second there I thought that almost 1% decrease might have been significant.

      California may have a reputation as a State who’s people like to get high but it just isn’t reflected in the statistics. To date Nebraska and Idaho are the only States I haven’t been able to beat up when some local clown says “we don’t want to be like California!”

      I much prefer in “treatment” numbers because they’re hard numbers, and because who really gives a crap if someone smokes 2 joints a year? Regardless, “user” population numbers rely on surveys and I just don’t recognize numbers arrived at by having an agent of the Federal government calling people and asking them to tell them if they break Federal law and if so, how frequently. Umm no, Mr. Government agent, why would you think I’d break the law? Now it may be a good way to calculate the population of gibbering idiots, but other than that…
      ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

      Let’s not forget that California also passed Prop 36 which requires “treatment” of 1st and 2nd time drug convictions in lieu of prison. That law alone should have resulted in a significant increase of the numbers of Californians in “treatment.”

  6. Francis says:

    Finally got around to watching the Ken Burns’ PROHIBITION documentary. Wow. The current war on drugs was never mentioned by name during the entire five and a half hour series. And yet it was one of the most devastating indictments of the drug war I’ve ever seen! The parallels between alcohol prohibition and the modern drug war were so numerous and so glaring it was incredible! I mean, I was of course expecting to find parallels, but I was still blown away. (I must have shouted something at the TV every five minutes or so.) What’s great is that because it’s simply a historical documentary it will reach many people who would never voluntarily choose to watch an anti-war on drugs message movie like Grass. And if it doesn’t at least get them thinking, well there’s probably no hope for them.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Get them thinking?!? Shirley, you jest.

      • Francis says:

        Well, certainly some of them. (Particularly individuals whose jobs don’t depend on them NOT thinking.) Remember the claims made in the documentary to the effect that America had “learned its lesson” from Prohibition? I’m sure a lot of us laughed out loud. (I know I did.) But I think a lot of us forget how historically illiterate many people are. “How can people ignore the parallels between the current failed drug war and the failure of alcohol prohibition?” we ask. Well, many of them ignore those parallels because they are blissfully unaware of what alcohol prohibition was like. Heck, I’d be curious to see how many Americans are completely unaware that alcohol Prohibition ever occurred. That’s why I’m optimistic that this documentary will have an impact.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          I hope for the best, but expect the worst.

          I know, kind of shocking for the guy who regularly berates people that say nothing’s going to change. But there’s a difference. Sometimes 10 year prison sentences morph into time served 2 months later, just because you wrote a letter to the judge before he imposed sentence. The people I berate wouldn’t bother writing the letter. They’d just give up an do the 10 year bit because writing the letter fails so many times out of 10,000.

  7. antifascist says:

    America’s harsh prohibitionist drug policies are grounded in the premise that the prohibited substances have little or no redeeming value and cannot be used without life-destroying consequences.

    Well, that’s just part of the rationale they use. They also claim that people who use these drugs (including marijuana) have no qualms about using them to control and manipulate children against their will. But as for this latter excuse, which implies the “fear for the children” meme, one of the drug-warriors favorite excuses for destroying marijuana-users lives, one cannot help but wonder why the same cannot be applied to alcohol, which is legal.

    It’s because they know the premise is being abused to justify their imperial-sized budget and they also know that if we analyze it all carefully, even the average low IQ American will realize that it is wrong to persecute and punish everyone who uses marijuana simply because a few bad people might use such drugs along the “fear for the children” premise they promote.

    The bad laws and policies need to be reformed, no doubt about it, such that only people who intentionally use drugs to control and manipulate others against their will should face punishment for such actions. Anyone who simply uses such drugs for their own personal reasons and does no harm to others should not be subjected to persecution and punishment.

    But if the laws were reformed in such a way, then the drug warriors would not be able to justify such an imperial-sized budget.

    The latter fact should expose them for what they really are: fascists who have infiltrated the American Federal government and hijacked it for their own evil purposes.

  8. Francis says:

    Just read the linked article on Jobs. It was fantastic! This bit in particular caught my attention:

    “Research shows that the psychedelic experience is, in fact, long lasting: a new study published last week found that people who took magic mushrooms (psilocybin) had long-term personality changes, becoming more open, more curious, more intellectually engaged and more creative.”

    People becoming more open, more curious, and more intellectually engaged? Yikes. I can think of few things that would be more threatening to the protectors of the status quo. No wonder alcohol is legal while psychedelics aren’t.

  9. Duncan20903 says:

    Medical Marijuana: Feds Flex Their Muscles
    ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ……….

    “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    Flex their muscles? They’ve been getting a stiff beat down on this issue for almost 15 years. Now they’re going to “flex their muscles?” Ooooh, I’m so scared, I’m shakin’ like a leaf.

    The Federal government needs to change it’s tag line from “E Pluribus Unum” to “Beat me, whip me, make me write bad checks,” or perhaps “Thank you sir may I have another?”

    • darkcycle says:

      I went over there and set him straight for you Duncan.

      • darkcycle says:

        I even worked in the buzzwords of the decade: “Too Big To Fail”. Henceforth to be abbreviated by me as “TBTF”, because for some reason, it irritates me to spell it all the way out.

  10. Randy says:

    My own cannibis use helped lead me to having a more kind and generous view of my fellow man. Ironically, those who support the WOD have a less generous view of me because of my prior cannibis use. Go figure.

  11. Cliff says:

    Good thing Steve Jobs wasn’t drug tested. Just think of the creative people who are thrown to the side and denied a reasonable level of employment just because they happen to consume cannabis, all in the name of the sanctimonious war on some drugs.

  12. DdC says:

    If I instituted drug testing at Cypress,
    I would get a brick through my windshield,
    and I would deserve it.
    — T.J. Rogers, President, Cypress Semiconductor

    “Give me control of a Nation’s money
    and I care not who makes the laws.”
    – Mayer Amschel Bauer (Rothschild)

    Occupy Everywhere cybrary

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