Open thread

We had a little problem yesterday where a regular’s posts got sucked up by the spam filter. This can happen sometimes and it’s hard to know why, but I am very much dependent on the extraordinary efforts of that filter. At this point, we’re up to around 88,000 spam comments each month at Drug WarRant.

I no longer have the time to check through them to see if something legitimate got swept in, so please, if you post something and it fails, please let me know so I can rescue it for you.


Our Real Drug Facts Week is now underway (to counter NIDA’s Drug Facts Week, and we’re getting our facts out in the Twittersphere. Even if you don’t tweet, you can check out all our tweets, and you can see all tweets marked with the #drugfacts2011 hashtag.

Via Radley Balko…

New Police Drone Near Houston Could Carry Weapons

A Houston area law enforcement agency is prepared to launch an unmanned drone that could someday carry weapons, Local 2 Investigates reported Friday.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Conroe paid $300,000 in federal homeland security grant money and Friday it received the ShadowHawk unmanned helicopter made by Vanguard Defense Industries of Spring.

What are they expecting? An alien invasion?

Gage said it will also be deployed for criminal investigations such as drug shipments.

“We’re not going to use it to be invading somebody’s privacy. It’ll be used for situations we have with criminals,” Gage said.

Oh, drugs.

And how do we know it won’t be abused?

“No matter what we do in law enforcement, somebody’s going to question it, but we’re going to do the right thing, and I can assure you of that,” [Sheriff Tommy Gage] said.


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66 Responses to Open thread

  1. primus says:

    You know how you feel right now? That’s what it feels like to live in a police state. Fear, uncertainty & insecurity rule.

  2. darkcycle says:

    Was that my post? I was wondering if it had been removed as…ahem…inappropriate.

  3. allan says:

    wow Pete… the page looks great! I’ll spread it around.

  4. allan says:

    so I googled “drug facts week” and Pete’s is #5, NIDA is at #1. Pete’s is the top link in the highlighted Sponsored Links.

  5. darkcycle says:

    Okay. I googled it, lifted the link from google and pasted it to my facebook page. I’ll link to it in every comment I make on the drug war for the next week. If we all do that, we’ll replace NIDA’s page pronto. Google’s algorithm weights links posted to other websites as opposed to raw clicks. Spamming is only spamming if the links aren’t salient to the topic, right?
    Hey, is that sponsored link costing you money?

  6. Duncan20903 says:

    Well I’m really glad that I’ve kept up the skeet shooting discipline. Does that helicopter have a range as far as the east coast or am I going to have to travel?

    Boo yah! Colorado gonna get certified way before California! Say, are the bookies in Vegas taking bets on which State is going to be first?

    The chances of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol making the November 2012 ballot continue to grow. Right now, Tvert estimates that 95,000 signatures have been collected — over the 86,000 required, and only about 50,000 away from the 145,000 target set in the hope of guaranteeing enough valid signatures to be blessed by the Secretary of State’s office.

    But wow, less than 20% of the signatures to assure that the measure gets on the ballot than California. Unfortunately this Tvert fellow doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb on the marquis. He wants a politician to promise to be honest. Right, like anyone’s going to believe it anyway. What’s next, making him swear he doesn’t molest puppies? C’mon Mason, do something a little more useful, like go count the number of paper towels on the roll to make sure the manufacturer isn’t fibbing on the package.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Disclaimers: I know who Mr. Tvert is and despite being clueless of how to pronounce his name verbally have nothing less than the utmost respect for his work on the issue of cannabis law reform.

      I haven’t shot or even held a gun since I was at summer camp in 1974. Dick Nixon resigned his office while I was at camp that year just so everyone knows how ancient that ancient history is.

    • DdC says:

      La la la la la…
      Same as the first, still Commerce.
      Mason should be supported for the message.
      Until the CSA is burned at the stake, and the DEAth Merchants hung upside down at the courthouse. With a string of dung worriers perpetuating the Ganjawars profit on misery. Knelt down on corn cobs in public stocks as a message to the childrens.

      Cannabis is legal in California for some Individuals…
      10th Amendment Trumps an Act. Particularly an act of fraud merely changing titles of the “Marihuana Tax Act” found Un-Constitutional, against 5th Amendment Protections.

      The ‘Virtues’ of Ganja October 23, 2005

      Vote Yes on initiative I-100
      Reduce family and community violence in Denver
      Alcohol use makes domestic violence 8 times more likely. . .
      Marijuana use does not.

      Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative

      WHEREAS, according to the National Institutes of Health, an average of 317 Americans die annually as the result of alcohol overdoses; and
      WHEREAS, there has never been even a single fatal marijuana overdose recorded in the medical literature, as noted by the British Medical Journal in September 2003; and
      WHEREAS, according to U.S. Department of Justice, About 3 million crimes occur each year in which victims perceive the offender to have been drinking at the time of the offense. Among those victims who provided information about the offenders use of alcohol, about 35% of the victimizations involved an offender who had been drinking; and
      WHEREAS, extensive research, documented in official reports by the British government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, among others, shows that — unlike alcohol — marijuana use is not generally a cause of violence or aggressive behavior and in fact tends to reduce violence and aggression;
      WHEREAS, it is the intent of this ordinance to have the private adult use and possession of marijuana treated in the same manner as the private adult use and possession of alcohol;

      Safer Choice

      Disobedient Denver Cops.jpg

  7. darkcycle says:

    They done messed with the wrong folks…Hey Oakland PD,…Whoops!
    “Occupy Marines tweeted:


  8. allan says:

    Experts begin to doubt Obama’s re-electability

    And he keeps flipping millions of possible supporters the finger. I hope he realizes he was not just the first black man elected President he was the first black stoner elected President. (and who woulda ever thought that would ever happen?)

    It’s not that hard to figure out Mr President… if you would stick to the science (as you promised) the science will CYA. There is nothing to lose!

  9. Hi everyone – I’m in Los Angeles now for the Reform drug policy conference. I’ll be tweeting from @davidbratzer if you want to follow my updates. And drop me a line if you’re at the conference as well!

  10. allan says:

    Nice set up David…

    Blockades of cops stations in NYC and a rally against the WO(s)D in LA in the same week… hmmm… could this be a trend? A movement perhaps? Or is it the groundswell of rage by the disaffected millions of amotivated stoned couch potatoes?

    Anyway, pass this along to your friends in SoCal…

    NO MORE DRUG WAR: A Rally & Concert to End the War on Drugs

    Event Location: Levitt Pavilion, MacArthur Park

    Event City and State: Los Angeles, CA

    Date and Time: Thu, 11/03/2011 – 6:00pm – 8:00pm

    Event Emcee: Lalo Alcaraz (KPFK’s “Pocho Hour of Power”; “La Cucaracha” comic strip)

    Featured Artist: Arise Roots (LA based, socially conscious, original roots reggae)

    Performances By: drdiggs / The Real J McCoy / Jonathan Gomez / The Author of Skid Row Flowing: Twin the Poet / King Howard & the Black Oynx / People’s Poetry with Special Guest Real8

    Event Media Sponsor: KPFK 90.7 FM

    Mama’s Hot Tamales (including vegan items)
    The Bun Truck
    Raw Bites Happy Food
    Temaki Truck

    Rarely do I feel a desire to go to LA… this is one of those moments.

  11. Dante says:

    Off Topic Warning:

    I have to get this out before I forget –

    What if Obama is playing yet another card, and right before the election, with the entire enchilada on the table, he says … I support legalizing cannabis.

    Can you imagine?

    • Leonard Junior says:

      He could say it, and people might believe it. And it would still be a lie unless, right then and there, he did something about it like deschedule it.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Actually no, I can’t.

      The man is a tool. You’re simply providing fodder for those who claim that pot causes brain damage with such nonsense. We’ve already got enough of a handicap there with DdC in our numbers.

      Reality, what a concept. The man betrayed you. He played you for a chump. Don’t think I don’t know how it feels, played for a chump by Obama sitting here typing, no doubt. Why would you want to let him bend you over a second time?

      Did you know that the very common con job in financial fraud is the second con man that comes along after a first con man has taken a victim and promises to get the stolen money back? Sit down and think about the psychology at play there and see if you can’t relate it to what you’ve posted above.

  12. Furball says:

    My in-laws used to live out in this part of Texas, and I wouldn’t buy a word this sherrif says. This is the same part of Texas that had the FBI and Texas Rangers investigating foreclosure fraud instigated by the local Constable and his “associates” with his department and MCSO (Montgomery County Sherrif’s Office). That they say they’ll “only” use this for crimes in action and surveillance before a search warrant/raid is a lot of bullshit…. and this section of the state has enough ranches around that they provide enough bullshit on their own. I also know that the county salivates at the Rennaisance Festival crowd coming into town during this time of year, because they look at it as easy pickings for DUI and/or citizens in possession (every Faire I’ve been to has tons of cannabis users).

    If you want to root for someone from this area who has good influences, Cody Johnson of the Texas Longhorns (running back) is the son of the man who started the whole federal investigation and had threats on his life afterward because it was found out that he dropped the hints on who was doing what within local law.

    It’s very ironic… for such a pro- Tea Party area that hates the government, the ones in office still support the War on (some) Drugs, but the locals (who are every bit as vehemently anti-gov’t) grow LOTS of indoor hydro grows.

    • claygooding says:

      I live north of Austin and the LEO’s are all playing the drug war card,,they are already hooked on the bounty money from the ONDCP for popping marijuana users.

      They now depend on the bounty money to buy the sophisticated toys necessary to bust more marijuana users.

      That is why even in the small town I live in,the city police are sitting on the bypass,,,waiting for the big bust,,instead of patrolling their town and stopping such things as assaults,burglaries and thefts.

      • darkcycle says:

        That patrolling stuff is dangerous! You might happen on a CRIMINAL! Then what do you do? There’s no money in it if you bust criminals, and real criminals are sometimes violent! Jeez….you just want them to suffer, Clay… [massive sarcasm disclaimer, but since I’m the one who never gets sarcasm here, it’s probably unnecessary]

      • allan says:

        You live in LAWN? omg… I’m so sorry…

  13. claygooding says:

    We need an emergency joint session of congress,,,ASAP.

  14. Servetus says:

    Anyone looking for a great future in drug smuggling should apply immediately at the following Monster jobsite:

  15. Matthew Meyer says:

    NIDA is having a chat day for kids in school:

    One kid asked, “How can I avoid marijuana?”

    The ‘NIDA scientist’ told him it was a great question.

    What was a great question was “Why do people use drugs?”

    The “main reason,” the answerer said, is that they “don’t understand the risks.”

    Hmmm… I don’t quite know exactly the risks involved in paragliding from the Empire State Building to Central Park, but that does not make a reason for doing it!

    • darkcycle says:

      ARRRRGGG. I just watched that chat scroll by for a minute. It’s “Lie to a Schoolkid day” at NIDA.

      • Chris says:

        “Cathedral High School, Indiana: How many people die from weed a year?”
        “Not sure–but about 14% of fatal accidents involve marijuana. That’s the most common reason for weed fatalities.”

        “involve” marijuana. Sure. I don’t have to explain their basis for this “fact” do I?

        • Pete says:

          Yeah, that is just outright lying. And they’ve convinced themselves that they’re “technically” telling the truth.

        • Chris says:

          “Texas: Is it true that using a vaporizer to smoke marijuana is much better for you than smoking marijuana out of a pipe? Because smoke doesn’t enter your lungs?

          Ruben Baler:
          nope, that’s totally bogus.”

          Kids, keep smoking off aluminum foil and pez dispensers, because vaporizers are totally bogus.

        • darkcycle says:

          Stop now, Chris, it’s not worth it. Watch too long and you’re likely to claw your own eyeballs out.

        • Chris says:

          The live chat ended, but here’s an actual fact for once:

          “Texas: is meth illegal

          Dave Thomas:
          Yes, unless it is prescribed by a doctor.”

          Hmm.. left out the “it’s usually prescribed to kids for ADHD” though. Hopefully kids can understand that meth is a safe, legal substance, whereas this “medical marijuana” stuff is all nonsense.

          “Susan Weiss:
          Marijuana is not an approved medicine–only the FDA can approve medicines and marijuana has not met the standards required for approval.”

          this always gets me.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          “…only the FDA can approve medicines and marijuana has not met the standards required for approval.”

          But Susan, how in the world would they know if it meets those standards or not since the DEA refuses to let them look?

          That shit head Dennis Romero from the National Enquirer LA Weakly is at it again. He’s annoyed with those pests over at the Harm Reduction Journal. It seems patients in Berkeley are using pot instead of wholesome, FDA approved and prescribed by “well-trained physicians” opioids and anti-depressant medication. There’s no mention of the FDA approved monkeys on the back of the users of FDA approved opioids or the FDA approved suicides committed by the people who took FDA approved anti-depressants prescribed by “well-trained physicians” instead of pot recommended by doctors who are (I presume he thinks) untrained quacks.

  16. Duncan20903 says:

    Arizona authorities broke up an alleged Mexican drug cartel distribution network, arresting dozens of smugglers responsible for bringing over $33 million worth of drugs through the state’s western desert every month, officials said Monday.

    The ring is believed be tied to the Sinaloa cartel — Mexico’s most powerful — and responsible for smuggling more than 3.3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the U.S. through Arizona over the past five years, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Their efforts in that time generated an estimated $2 billion, according to ICE.

    Wow, I guess they finished off the cartels!

    Some of the officials at the news conference in Phoenix lauded the bust as a significant blow to the Sinaloa cartel, while others acknowledged that it affects only a portion of the cartel’s massive operation, which still has cells operating in the state.

    “It’s a body blow but it doesn’t knock them out by any sense of the imagination,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau said. “This literally is just a fraction of what’s going on.”

    Nope, bad guess. I guess the Zetas are disappointed.

    So, are there still people that think that Barry isn’t intent on being the guy that wins the war on (some) drugs? I think everyone needs to hang an HID light in their basement, closet, and/or garage. If we don’t end up with a product shortage the government may as well just quit. Now don’t be looking at Canada, their crop report said their cannabis harvest blew chunks this year.

    Now, is there anyone left who thinks that Barry didn’t specifically sucker us with the Cole memo? All those people that came out of their hidey-holes, all those idiots in Colorado that allowed themselves to be recorded committing Federal felonies on video uploaded directly to government servers, all those potheads for Obama still chanting “thank you sir may I have another…”

    Me? I’m heading for the hills. How hard is it to learn how to ski? I mean on a real mountain covered with snow that fell from the sky?


  17. darkcycle says:

    Hey, Duncan, skiing’s not hard, but I’m not clear on how that skill will help you evade capture. Since IIRC, the end of your run is always at the bottom of the hill…
    Come on out here and visit us. This is where they store most of the mountains, anyway.
    And yes, I DID see James Bond lose the baddies on skis, but he had a parachute too, and I don’t do that anymore

    • darkcycle says:

      They MADE me jump out of those planes. I wouldn’t have done it but for the really, really hard looking sergeant in the doorway.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        The kismet on this blog is getting too weird. Earlier today I wrote out, but decided not to post, the epic adventure I had in 1985 on an airplane that didn’t crash land at La Guardia. But now that you’ve mentioned jumping out of an airplane…

        The flight attendant says to me, you’re a big guy. We want you to sit in front of the emergency exit. Your job is to block anyone who panics and tries to jump off the plane before we finish crashing. A true strategic error on their part, who the heck was going to keep me from jumping? Better two broken legs on the tarmac than dead in a twisted lump of burning fuselage at the other end of the runway, that’s my motto. So I said sure. You can count on me (to jump). Oh well, the plane was never in any real danger, they just weren’t sure the landing gear had locked into place. One itty bitty light bulb on the pilot’s console burned out and they acted like all the engines were certain to fail. The truly scary part was the flight crew who’s faces had turned totally white, white as a ghost indeed. Even scarier than the 37 fire engines and the 67 ambulances lining the runway. You better believe I intended to jump. It was very fortunate that I was able to maintain my composure. I certainly wanted to punch the pilot in the nose on the way out. It certainly happened in my imagination. But I just didn’t have the time to tour Riker’s Island that day.

  18. jackl says:

    Didn’t see this in the recent thread about Obama’s rejection of the latest seven marijuana legalization petitions, but a NEW follow-up petition to “Replace Gil Kerlikowski” has been started here

    It now has 717 votes after two days and needs another 24,283 votes by the end of the month to reach the 25,000 threshold for a response.

  19. claygooding says:

    We will just have another chicken dancing when they turn the heat up on the stage floor.

  20. DrunkInTruroWithYerPantsDown says:

    Truro Police Chief John Lundborn’s eyes were watery, glassy and severely bloodshot, and his speech slow and slurred when his own officers arrived at his crashed cruiser Friday night in North Truro, according to the police report.

    Lundborn couldn’t stand up, and had cuts on his hands, Truro police Sgt. Craig Danziger wrote in the report. Danziger reports that he asked Lundborn if he’d been drinking.

    Right now a big story locally is the Truro police chief’s OUI trouble, which is only the latest of alcohol-related problems Cape cops have been having, only showing that when it comes to handling alcohol they are not immune to the problems of many in the general population.

    I doubt there are many whose reaction to the Truro chief’s troubles is: If only we still had Prohibition, all this could have been avoided and the chief’s life wouldn’t be over, as he puts it. We understand it differently.

    Two distinguished TV productions, Ken Burns’ PBS documentary and HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” series, seem to agree that Prohibition (1919-1933) was a disaster. As rampant as was the alcoholism that had seemed to make it a logical response, the attempt to eliminate it now looks downright bizarre. What were they thinking?

    Both these programs make it clear that by far the most dangerous thing about alcohol was the effort to outlaw it. And yet in our time we have never known anything but the legal prohibition of drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, etc. The disaster of the War on Drugs drags on and on, the only war more useless and endless than the war in Afghanistan. What are we thinking?

    Why don’t we apply the same logic that seemed and seems so clear with the repeal of the 18th amendment?

  21. vickyvampire says:

    New Police Drone carries Weapons,Your damn right we are going to question it remember ROBO COP.

  22. Gary Floyd says:

    I was a sheriff in mountgomery county TX, I grew up in the same home in the county. I used to like our sherriff’s deputies because they cared about the citizens and they would take you home if you got into just a little bit of trouble. I left law enforcement because of the changes that I saw in the department and it was always leading to this. Yes mountgomery COunty is large but most of it is industrial, swamp, or state forest. The sherriff said we needed our own swat team to handle large drug shipments and ordered a tactical assualt vehicle. That is what happens when all the power of the governed is given to the govering body. I hold hope that we as a people can step back from the brink and look around at what is truely important like family and helping each other, not just helping ourselves to what everyone else has.

  23. Gary Floyd says:

    correction to above I was a deputy sheriff.

  24. darkcycle says:

    And it seems they’ve already perfected the “wrong house raids” with drones, too. A quick google search for “drone strike kills civilians” turned up four million, two hundred and eighty thousand results.

  25. Duncan20903 says:

    Say, didn’t someone say the end of the world is going to be in 2012?

    Wash. initiative to legalize pot gets cash boost

    A campaign to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use in Washington state is getting a big cash boost with two months left to collect signatures.


    Associated Press

    A campaign to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use in Washington state is getting a big cash boost with two months left to collect signatures.

    New Approach Washington said it received a check Tuesday for $100,000 from Harriet Bullitt, a philanthropist and environmentalist from one of the state’s most prominent families. And by the end of next week it expects to have $200,000 more from Progressive Insurance Co. Chairman Peter Lewis, who has already given $50,000.

    “In financial terms, it means we’ll have what we need,” campaign director Alison Holcomb said.

    • DdC says:

      More wasted lives on state initiatives for money not Ganja. Cheerleaders wanting profits, convenience. Overturn the CSA or continue spinning wheels with dunkem’s wet dreams. Eat the Rich but Spit out the Trolls.

      Those blaming Obombo are either racists or afraid of liberals… DdC

      Now contrary to Troll droll this doesn’t mean I support Obombo. But when narks and trolls push an agenda, with fabrications and misleading statements. One should heed caution and see where the bottom line lays at the end of the day. When the neocon racism or birthers and birchers spreading gossip in-between UFO sightings, that makes the corporate news. Trolls spread it to discredit. Not caring if its true of false. But when its all said and done people see what are lies. Then next battle is harder to overcome the temporary advance from the lying trolls or narks or pedestrian gawkers and gossip spreaders. Pro or Con. Corporations fabricated and perpetuate the Ganjawar. Trolls try to divert that and blame the government. The prohibitionists legislating policy or refusing to change policy. Are employees of Ganjawar brokers, not Representatives. Catch 22’s and Miles of red tape are by design. Profits are why the war exists and Trolls try to smudge the message to keep us wasting our time another 75 years Fuck the Trolls. So be careful out there. Trolls leaking mouthfarts, proceed with caution….

      Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

  26. DdC says:

    CANNABIS CULTURE Hemp Warrior:
    Marijuana Activist Dana Beal Had a Heart Attack,
    Died, Came Back, and Beat His Pot Rap
    Beal, a founder of the Yippees and organizer of the Global Marijuana March, was busted for weed and had a heart attack on his way to prison. Then, a judge voided his sentence.

    Down to the Wire
    – the Failure of Cannabis Prohibition
    – Stop the Violence BC, a group of experts from British Columbia calling for an end to marijuana prohibition, will host “Down to the Wire – the Failure of Cannabis Prohibition”, the first in a series of events designed to bring attention to destructive cannabis laws.

    Study: Alcohol Is “More Than Twice As Harmful As Cannabis”
    — So Explain To Me Again Why Pot Is Illegal?

    Does Occupy Wall Street Have A Drug Problem?
    It’s hardly a pot carnival or crack alley, no matter what Bill O’Reilly claims. But on-scene medics admit that despite a new zero-tolerance policy, the alcohol and drug use—and even dealing—in some parts of the park may threaten the movement’s existence.

  27. Cy Klebs says:

    I wish Ron Paul’s legislation would make it out of committee, ditto a run for POTUS.

  28. palemalemarcher says:

    Just read the Dana Beal story. I wish the best for him. I wonder if Amy Goodman will read the article in CC?

  29. Duncan20903 says:

    Gosh, you’d hardly know that the National Cancer Institute is owned by the US Government from reading their page on cannabis. Not as good as it was before being censored but a long, long way from the standard issue propaganda we all have grown to know and love.

    BTW I came to read that page after being linked by US News & World Report:

    Teen Pot Use Unaffected by Medical Marijuana Law

    Study Survey data shows no difference in kids’ use after Rhode Island made it legal in 2006

    November 2, 2011

    WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) — The legalization of medical marijuana in some states has raised concerns that it will increase the availability and appeal of the drug among youth, but new research suggests no such link.

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