Odds and Ends

A few more links because there’s a lot of interesting stuff out there.

I don’t have much time to comment on stories right now between some work commitments and my sister being in town to visit me. It’s great to have her here and I’m going to enjoy spending time with her.

bullet image Cato Unbound is starting a series titled “If not now, when? The slow rise of of marijuana reform”

It features essays by Paul Armentano, Norm Stamper, Allen St. Pierre (coming), and Morgan Fox (coming), plus a conversation to follow.

bullet image Report: Mexico Commits Rights Abuse in Drug War

No surprise there. And of course, it’s not just Mexico. The drug war always leads to abuse…

Former Narcotics Detective Admits Drug Planting Common

And when it comes to the drug war, governments seem not to care about international law.

New report on corporal punishment for drug users

Thousands of drug users and alcohol consumers – and people found in possession of small amounts of drugs and alcohol – are subjected to judicially-sanctioned caning, flogging, lashing or whipping each year, says a new report.*

In the landmark study, the non-governmental organisation Harm Reduction International finds that over forty states apply some type of judicial corporal punishment for drug and alcohol offences. The vast majority of these sentences are handed down in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Iran and Saudi Arabia. According to the report, such state-sanctioned violence is in clear violation of international law. The report will be launched today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

bullet image Does Occupy Wall Street Have a Drug Problem? – an interesting article by Jed Bickman on balancing a human-based approach with a public-relations challenge.

bullet image California Dispensaries Moving to Block U.S. Marijuana Crackdown

SAN FRANCISCO — Lawyers for the medical marijuana industry said on Monday that they would seek court orders to halt a threatened federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, their landlords and marijuana growers.

In legal motions to be filed on Tuesday, marijuana distributors and some medical patients will ask federal judges in four districts to issue temporary restraining orders to prevent federal prosecutors from taking action, lawyers and a lobbyist for the industry said at a news conference here on Monday. […]

Asked to comment on the suits, Benjamin B. Wagner, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of California, issued this statement: “Unless and until ordered otherwise, we will continue to do our duty in enforcing federal narcotics laws.”

bullet image Joint Statement of the President of the United States and the President of Portugal. Apparently the one truly relevant topic of discussion for these two countries (differences in approach to the drug war) is just about the only thing they didn’t discuss.

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97 Responses to Odds and Ends

  1. Danas says:

    “Former Narcotics Detective Admits Drug Planting Common” I’ve read that earlier today… very interesting and eye-opening story. It pretty much exposes a huge network of corruption from cops to policy makers.

    “California Dispensaries Moving to Block U.S. Marijuana Crackdown”. Good. NORML sues the fed and dispensaries working together could possibly stop the ridiculous imposition of the government’s will.

    “Unless and until ordered otherwise, we will continue to do our duty in enforcing federal narcotics laws.”
    It sounds bad, but I’d say let them dig their own grave a little bit deeper. I understand there will be casualties (arrests, destroyed lives, etc) but it’s the administration that’s committing suicide, slowly but surely

    • Francis says:

      “Former Narcotics Detective Admits Drug Planting Common”

      I don’t understand how cops could get away with framing people for drug crimes. I mean, how do they get people to file false police reports claiming to have been the victim?… oh right.

  2. kaptinemo says:

    Marijuana amendment will have little effect on law enforcement in Kalamazoo, chief says

    from the article:

    “I certainly respect the democratic process,” Hadley said. “It certainly gives you an insight to what some of the voters are thinking in terms of their views on marijuana. However, it really has little to no impact on how we operate at Public Safety.”

  3. Servetus says:

    Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard calls the drug war ‘schizophrenic’. Says he will run for President of Mexico on a platform that opposes President Calderon’s militarization of drug policies.


  4. Duncan20903 says:

    They spank potheads in Fiji.

  5. Duncan20903 says:

    How about 6 States with re-legalization referenda on the 2012 ballot?


    Are we there yet?

    • Chris says:

      I would definitely vote for that too if it gets proposed here in Michigan. I’m already buying marijuana from stores and smoking it in my home legally, so it won’t change anything for me, but other people will be recognize my right for any reason in 2012.

    • Francis says:

      “John Sellek, a spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Wednesday that Schuette was not supportive of the ballot proposal [making marijuana possession the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority].

      ‘Police officers should not be handcuffed when making decisions on how to best protect public safety,’
      Sellek said.”

      Actually, dipshit, citizens should not be handcuffed for possessing a plant.

  6. Francis says:

    “The drug war always leads to abuse…”

    The drug war IS abuse, Pete.

  7. kaptinemo says:

    It’s nice to hear confirmation about something I’ve been railing against for years…and this, from the horse’s mouth>

    from the article on police illegally planting evidence:

    “This has been going on for forty years,” Downing states simply. “These corruptions are emerging all over the country. It’s not systemic to a police department, per se, but it is systemic to the War on Drugs in the context that the federal government is basically corrupting local government with their funds and the helter-skelter way of putting these task forces together and diverting local police from their basic public safety duties to the priorities of the federal government in terms of the War on Drugs.”

    Then, cities get “hooked,” as Downing puts it, on federal drug money and asset seizures (the federal government splits seizures with local communities) to fulfill their budgets.

    Yes, they’re hooked, alright. But guess what? Like a junkie whose only source has been busted, these departments are going to find out what withdrawal is like. The hard way.

    It still hasn’t sunk in to the shuttered brains of most pols that the gravy days are over. A fiscal noose is tightening around the neck of the entire country. For the moment, the noose is being imperceptibly tightened, millimeter by millimeter. The illusion that things will stay the same has been able to be maintained, since no other serious shocks in the world of finance have been felt…yet.

    But they will, and soon. Events happening outside the country may be ignored by most, but the financial markets of the world are on the verge of collapse.

    The Euro as a currency will eventually be doomed if the Eurozone falls; the entire European banking system could crash overnight, sending shockwaves around the planet even worse than what happened here in 2008. All the trillions (TRILLIONS!!!!!!) in currency the Federal Reserve illegally, secretly sent to their partners in crime, the Eurobanksters, will not save them…or us.

    If that Euro crash happens, that noose around Uncle Sam’s fiscal neck will be tightened with shocking speed, so fast the rope might catch fire from the friction. Because our own financial system is too intimately tied with those of other countries (another gift of the banksters). As the old saying goes, “If Uncle Sam sneezes, the world catches cold.” The converse is also true. And no amount of hyperinflation of the currency will avert the catastrophe that will follow.

    Then it really will be a matter of honest-to-G*d fiscal triage, with what we would normally spend being spent instead on shelters and food kitchens, or face social breakdown…and revolution. And there won’t be any money for anything but basic survival. Which doesn’t require drug prohibition.

    • allan says:

      and throw in an increasingly unstable environment with even more dramatic weather/climate changes ahead… yeah, survival will have to start taking priority. Heck we still haven’t finished w/ New Orleans… (speaking of… if you’re a Doctor John (Max Rebenack) fan, his The City That Care Forgot CD is solid stuff, w’ lotsa ‘tude)

      • darkcycle says:

        The GOOD doctor…

        • allan says:

          I’ve been a Dr John fan a long time. The messages in this album are heavyweight – especially for the GOOD Doctor. Check out Time For a Change, Promises Promises (w/ Willie Nelson) , Land Grab and the title tune w/ Eric Clapton and Ani DiFranco… some spicy gumbo in that disk.

          In fact… I’m gonna put it on, make some cookies and smoke some herb (and not necessarily in that order). Heck, I may even smoke a cookie! I hear people talking about smoking salmon and venison… if they can keep those lit I can keep a cookie burning. Mmmm… cookies…

        • Duncan20903 says:

          When I was a very young Cannabinoidian a local carpet merchant store had an actual fire followed by a real, honest to goodness fire sale. We got a lot of mileage out of the concept of smoked rugs. We even wrote a song about it. Called “Smoked Rugs.” As if you didn’t see that coming. Ha!

          That’s the only fire sale I’ve ever known of in my life. How did that phrase become so ubiquitous?

      • thelbert says:

        mac not max

        • allan says:

          indeed… flog me now or later? And I’m usually pretty picky about shit like that too. Damn…

          Thanks thelbert !

          by the by… if any of you westcoasters have access to a copy of CannabisNow Mag, check out Issue 2, 2011, page 10. The layout on my piece is graphically bitchin’… and my article is pretty good to, Mexican Drug War: Free the Weed.
          Try this… it seems you might be able to view the issue as a video.

        • thelbert says:

          x is close to c

  8. Through most of the English-speaking world, legislation backing the “war on drugs” purports to reverse the onus of proof in drug-possession trials. That reversal is incompatible with the rule of law and is therefore unconstitutional in ALL jurisdictions. More: http://is.gd/noreverse.

  9. Matthew Meyer says:


    Suddenly California is not feeling really friendly to cannabis.

    Some locals are sure glad they’re on the same page with the feds, though.

    It’s old hat on Pete’s Couch that when political principles like state’s rights come up against Reefer Madness, it’s RM every time.

    • kaptinemo says:

      I almost split a gut laughing when I saw this:

      “Among the intelligence agencies that could be tapped if the bill becomes law are the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency for its unclassified satellite imagery of public lands and the Treasury Department’s intelligence office to track illicit money, LaNier said. The National Security Agency could be assigned, on a limited basis, to intercept public two-way radio communications. The CIA would not be involved.

      Suuuure they won’t be involved. Suuuuure they won’t, uh-huh. Just like they’ve never, never, ever been involved in the drug trade, right? BTW, is that bridge up in Brooklyn still for sale?

      This is classic mission creep at work, right before our eyes. The DrugWarriors are only just now feeling the cold, sharp edge of the budgetary knife being ever so gently placed against their throats, so of course, they play the ‘national security’ trump card, as they have for the past 30 years since Ronnie Raygun’s days.

      This is going to a very bad place, and I am glad that someobody else sees this:

      While the provision targets a specific problem rather than a nebulous issue, such as terrorism, it’s another example of the blending of intelligence and law enforcement in the decade after 9/11, said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.

      “The barriers between federal intelligence and domestic security that existed in the past have all but disappeared,” he said in an e-mail. “We have a right to ask for greater transparency.”

      Jeffrey Richelson, a senior fellow with The National Security Archive, said there is a difference between an occasional task for spy agencies and direct consultation through a full-scale program.

      “The question is, what specific constraints are there on the use of imagery – pictures of individuals and their activities?” he said. “Inevitably, it gets you into the area of domestic spying by using overhead surveillance for law enforcement purposes. It always raises questions of what’s the next step? Where does it go next?”

      Most of you, dear readers, know damn well where this is going. The same place that previous encroachments upon rights and liberties in the name of ‘the children’, ‘national security’, etc. have gone in the past. The same route that caused the US to make the Constitution null-and-void courtesy of the horribly misnamed PATRIOT Act.

      Ben Franklin wrote: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

      The longer this nation travels the Road to Hell, the more the heat starts to get to it, causing it to make even worse decisions, until finally we arrive where that Road leads. We’re almost there, thanks to drug prohibition and these damnable laws intent upon destroying the last vestiges of freedom for the sake of illusory ‘security’…to ‘save’ us from a weed.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        …is that bridge up in Brooklyn still for sale?

        Well actually the darn thing got to be worth so much money that no one could afford to buy it, so they’ve converted it to a time share property. You can buy a week when one comes up for sale. You pay a nominal fee to the city and the rest of the tolls you get to keep. They still take care of the annoying stuff, employee payroll etc. It’s really remarkable that you’ve expressed interest right at this time, I just happen to know a fellow who’s trying to get rid of a very desirable week, 31 or 33, I’d have to check. Give me a call on my cell if you’re interested but don’t dilly dally, this deal won’t last long. These things sell quick!

        • kaptinemo says:

          Damn, Duncan, my morning tea almost went up my nose and onto the monitor. Gimme some warning next time 🙂

        • Duncan20903 says:

          Well, you blew it, it’s sold. Next time make sure to move a little faster. I’ll give you a call if/when another becomes available.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      The story above is about the mega farms grown on Federal land. Even I can’t find it in me to be friendly toward the people who run those ops. Of course if I were King I’d wave my magical re-legalization wand and make them disappear. I suspect that Matthew more likely means “unfriendly” as in acting like brain dead idiots and embracing guaranteed failure. If that’s not true let me apologize in advance.

      The Mexicans are so inept at growing pot that they even fuck it up in Northern California. Go figure that one out. Call me when you do because I’m clueless how they pull off that trick. I think maybe the ONDCP approved rhetoric lost something in the translation and the Mexicans heard that the pot in the ’70s was 20 times better than today’s. Man I miss that Oaxacan and Acapulco Gold.

      It’s kind of like finding Donald Trump broke, drunk on Mad Dog 20/20, and passed out in the gutter in a pool of his own vomit. What the heck went so flipping wrong with Mexican cultivation?

      This is about a raid of a genuine medicinal cannabis, fully compliant with State and local regulation. At least so claims Sheriff of Mendocino County Tom Allen unequivocally states on camera in the following interview:

      PBS Newshour, “California Raids Threaten Medical Marijuana Regulation”

      California Raids Threaten Medical Marijuana Regulation
      clip length 7:41

      The further we go, the more I’m convinced that Mr. Obama just doesn’t want to get re-elected. He’s a dictionary picture example of an incompetent putz if that’s genuinely untrue. No matter how they paint the raid above they look like genuine jack booted thugs, and its all on video. Video which they didn’t friggin’ confiscate. Now who ever heard of jack booted thugs that wouldn’t confiscate video that made them look bad? I’ve heard no mention that this was uploaded to a remote server owned by a disinterested 2nd party. State of the art surveillance, required and documented as existing and working in inspections by the Sheriff’s office. This one is genuinely mind boggling from this point of view.

      “There’s something wrong here.” ~ Dr. Henry Lee

      • Duncan20903 says:

        You know, I just thought that maybe its the jack boots that don’t want Mr. Obama re-elected and this is just them letting him know who’s boss. That does work to.

        One of the complaints of Know Nothing prohibitionists, particularly in California is about people making a living selling medicinal cannabis because they’re required to be non-profit. I’ve got serious issues with that reading of the Medical Marijuana Program Act because in my dictionary the phrase “does not authorize” does not forbid either. Whatever, enough of the high muckety mucks in California have agreed that the dictionary is wrong that it isn’t worth arguing.

        They’re fond of saying, how can they be “non-profit” if they take in millions of dollars? Well, I know that there are some seriously high revenue agricultural non-profit co-operatives. Almost all Californians have bought milk or other dairy from one huge one but I couldn’t for the life of me recall the co-op’s name. I wanted a high revenue, non-profit co-op organized under California law with a name those reading my post would recognize. I never did find the name of that darn milk co-op because I found one much better. Sunkist. You better believe my hat jumped 3 feet in the air when I found out that Sunkist is a non-profit agricultural co-operative organized under California law with gross revenue of more than $1 billion. All I can say is “wow.” [Ben Stein deadpan]

        Maybe this will work better than the Girl Scouts of America did. Stay tuned.

        2. What exactly does “not-for-profit” mean?
        In Sunkist’s core business, the marketing of its members’ fruit and fruit products, Sunkist neither earns nor retains any profits for itself. All the money the cooperative generates from the sale of its members’ fruit, less actual expenses, is returned to the growers. Only income generated from non-member and other incidental business activities is retained by the cooperative and then only as a source of capital with which to operate the business for the members.


        • damaged justice says:

          The cowardly, statist dipshits of the Republican Party absolutely want Obama to win a second term. How else can they whip up kneejerk hysteria among their base while simultaneously pretending to offer something different?

        • Duncan20903 says:

          My assertion is that Mr. Obama is a neo-Republican in drag.

        • damaged justice says:

          Whoever voted me down: I assume you vote and cheer for Team Red?

      • Matthew Meyer says:

        “Matthew more likely means “unfriendly” as in acting like brain dead idiots and embracing guaranteed failure.”

        Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

        You know, about those cartel grows: while it doesn’t make sense to me that the cartels would not be trying to get in on the action here, there are those who question whether those grows are really run by foreign cartels.

        I realized how racist and stupid I had been for assuming that votive candles, books in Spanish, Latin food, and so on meant “cartel.”

        Now I am not so sure: who do American companies hire in California to do their farm labor?

    • darkcycle says:

      “While federal officials suspect that Mexican organized crime bosses might be involved, authorities say they have not proven a direct link between marijuana gardens on U.S. public lands and the major Mexico-based drug cartels.

      “The amount of money being generated by this activity can’t possibly be happening without Mexican cartels wanting to get their hands on it,” Prince said. “My presumption is money can’t be made without cartels knowing and taxing at a minimum.” …just as I’ve said. They still don’t have a shred of evidence these grows are cartel grows, outside of the occasional 7-11 burrito wrapper. I know a few guerilla growers and they do it out of fear of forfeiture laws. And ALL were born no more than 100 miles from where they’re growing right now. It’s a B.S. charge, not backed up by hard evidence. And as far as the super grows? If you’re hangin your ass out for 100 plants or 10,000, the feds will have your ass for a mandatory minimum, no matter. And the risk is next to nil. Usually the worst that happens is you loose your crop and have to try again next year.

      • Matthew Meyer says:

        Yeah, that’s what I just tried to say. Shoulda read your comment, darkcycle.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        C’mon DC, there aren’t any Mexicans in California. Didn’t you know they got rid of them all by criminalizing cannabis in 1913? They all moved to Utah so Utah followed suit and the Mexicans moved to Arizona, which criminalized pot, and the Mexicans kept moving east and the States just kept criminalizing. Next stop in Lousiana they transmogrified themselves into Negroes but always singing “La Cucuracha” gave them away in no time and the Lousianians did what they needed to do. It didn’t stop them from causing Katrina with voodoo spells. Typical behavior for Negro fried Hispanics as everyone knows. Finally the Federal government criminalized cannabis in 1937 and they all moved back to Mexico. Problem solved! Why did you think that Mexico is all Negro today? They used to be Hispanics you know, at least a lot of them. There’s just no room for black or brown in the red, white and blue!

        I can’t believe I’m doing this:
        [sarcasm disclaimer, the above was presented as political parody and does not reflect the poster’s genuine opinion. How in the world could anyone come to the conclusion that white people are the superior race with the likes of John Walters, Linda Taylor, Harry J Anslinger, Sara Palin, and Kevin Sabet in our number? If you ‘splain that to me I’ll consider taking up racism.]

        [disclaimer disclaimer: Really, I’m looking for a good belly laugh and hope someone tries to convince me that the motley crew enumerated above are anything other than human flotsam. Good luck with that.]
        Seriously DC, if you think that anything those clowns say means anything to me I just can’t respond seriously. If John Walters told me that told me that daylight happens when the Earth faces the sun I wouldn’t take his word for it. I wouldn’t even piss on the man to help him out if he was on fire.

        But just because something comes out of the Know Nothing prohibitionist’s pieholes it doesn’t mean it’s untrue. We wish, it wouldn’t take very long to completely discredit them if everything that they say were a complete fabrication. How about if you consider the assertion that just because some of the mega grows are not of the cartel that doesn’t mean that they all aren’t, and it most certainly does not disprove their existence in the United States, eh?

        • allan says:

          well of course some of those grows are cartels operations. And why try to discredit that ? It’s to our advantage to decry the presence of foreign drug syndicates here on US soil. The presence of these criminal organizations is more proof (as if more is needed) that Prohibition v2.0 is a failure. There are plenty of quotes from law enforcement (go read some of the HIDTA texts for talk of the cartels) about their estimates of up to 80% of CA large outdoor grows are Mescan orgs. One thing I have found interesting is that they continually point to Asian syndicates (operating thru BC) as running the illicit indoor grows in the western states yet I rarely see mention of these groups in the press (except in Canada – the 51st state of the onion!).

          Can they prove it? Who cares? Fling it back at ’em… there’s enough known truths they lie about.

        • darkcycle says:

          Allan it does no good to our narrative to jump on unproven allegations as if they were fact. That’s a drug warrior tactic. Until I see the evidence, I’m going to disbelieve every claim they make, why? Because they LIE and we DON’T.

        • darkcycle says:

          ….and it’s very convenient for them that these people running these out door grows are not ‘Merkuns, but damn Furriners. It’s easy to demonize the alien other (oops, I almost typed “It’s easy to demonize the allen other”…).
          I suspect that’s why you never see “Asian Gangs” as a source of this in the press in this country. Right now British Columbian’s xenophobias are of the Asian Persuasion.

  10. Scott says:

    In keeping with the odds and ends theme here, I’m sharing my comment in the WSJ today fwiw (the article titled “Smokers Who Try to Quit Dogged by High Failure Rate”):

    Quitting cold turkey a decade and a half ago, about to restart by having an unlit cigarette in my mouth at a party a few months after quitting, my friend yanked it out of my mouth saying, “You don’t smoke anymore.”, and took it for himself. For whatever reason, that was the last time I had a cigarette in my mouth.

    Living by the golden rule, I always understand that if I have one drag of a cigarette, I will be hooked again. Everyone I know who opposed that rule ended up smoking again.

    What initially got me to quit was my minimal video game addiction. Cigarettes were no where near as expensive as they are today, but the money I saved from quitting allowed me to buy a new game each month (the geek in me won out).

    Though the tobacco trade played a strong role in the rise of our nation, I find it outrageous that such a dangerous product is on the market for people who have not started using it. Of course, as we should all know by now, prohibition is not the answer, as it simply creates a black market for the product, removing any real control over it from civilized society.

    Too much for any sane being to handle is the additional grand hypocrisy that is the opposition against the word unalienable as it applies to our fundamental right to liberty in the form of banning the much safer product called cannabis.

    There is no conclusive science proving any harm in moderate cannabis use, and dependency is rated at 9% and is generally mild, according to the Institute of Medicine in a report commissioned by the ‘above the influence’ people.

    “We the people” are funding prohibitionists with billions of taxpayer dollars annually to fail to reduce cannabis consumption (more importantly, irrationally applying the Commerce Clause to ban the mere possession of the plant), while people are getting seriously hooked on tobacco products and seriously suffering as a result.

    Anyone who thinks God blesses America with the outrageous degree of unopposed corruption ruining everything our brilliant nation was built upon is not paying attention and not doing his part in “We the people”, the true government of our nation.

    Reckless opinions due to brainwashing by the corrupt (e.g. blindly subscribing to reefer madness provided by people with a serious financial interest in demonizing the plant) is at least every bit as destructive against society as drug abuse.

    While quitting smoking is wise, so too is working to help people quit power addiction.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Why is there no T.A.? (Tobacco Anonymous)

      That question has vexed me for more than 2 decades now.

      • darkcycle says:

        There’s actually a theory that accounts for that. Cravings are cyclical, you don’t crave alcohol on the same cycle as, say coke or heroin, and nicotine is different still. Drunks will usually start drinking at a pretty regular time of day. The five o’clock martini comes to mind- roughly a 24 hour cravings cycle. Cocaine craving come on a more rapid cycle, often every few hours, or even every hour or so. When the brain is deprived of nicotene- the cravings can come up every FIVE MINUTES. This means that you are fighting off cravings nearly every minute of the first two days or so. Alcoholics anonymous works by providing an alternate behavior (going to meetings)to supplant the old response to this craving. There’s time to get to the meeting usually, and by the time the 90 minutes are up, the craving will likely have subsided. Nicotine, with it’s every five minutes cycle, forces you to substitute another behavior almost constantly. The craving can come up and subside, forcing you to battle it ten times an hour. That’s why people do stuff like substitute eating for smoking and immediately begin gaining weight. Or they chew pencils into sawdust, or obsessively fiddle with some toy or another. And that’s why a twelve step program is not workable…you’d be in a meeting for the entire first 72 hours. General rule: the closer together the craving come, the more addictive the substance.

    • kaptinemo says:

      Scott, in a similar vein, you can also ask why an alcoholic’s life is – judging from the amount of money spent on illicit drug prohibition – evidently not worth as much as that of an illicit drug user’s?

      I mean, who’s spending scores of billions each year trying to keep juicers from wrecking their livers? Nobody, that’s who. Are the lives of alcohol consumers not worth as much as, say, that of an intravenous drug user?

      It’s not as far-fetched a question as it might seem. We know how much is wasted yearly on drug prohibition. We constantly hear, as part of the justification, the same old whine about ‘health’ being a rationale for drug testing. Who’s testing the alcohol consumers? Doesn’t anyone care about them and their health?

      I’m sorry, I can’t help this, because it’s just so germane, but to paraphrase the usual ‘reasoning’ behind drug prohibition: (hysterical, wide-eyed, pearl-clutching) “The boozers! What about the boozers? Won’t somebody think of the boo-hoo-hoo-zers!?”

      The government, by its’ own actions, tacitly acknowledges that a legal drug consumer’s life isn’t as valuable as that of an illicit drug user’s. Wow, us cannabists are really something special, aren’t we? I feel so honored

  11. claygooding says:

    To all my fellow vets,,I am glad you are here to celebrate this day and hope all your friends made it home,,for the ones that didn’t make it home,,you were taken before your time and I hope your sacrifice will be acknowledged for long after the war that took you is over and forgotten.

    For my brothers that can’t,I will be having my annual shot of cognac in front of the only federal building in my town,,the post office,,at the flag pole,,at noon,,fellow veterans may join me there or at their local federal building at noon today,,,thank you all for your service.

    • darkcycle says:

      I get mixed feeling on Veterans day. I call my old bro’s (those two or three that I still have contact with) then I’ll spend the entire day in a PTSD funk…going over and over and over and over with the same bullshit. Gonna make it different this year…not calling anybody.

      • claygooding says:

        My ptsd is so complete that I cannot remember any of the live friends and brothers names I served with,,and I can’t forget the dead ones.

        You would think someone at the VA would start inquiring of Veterans,especially VN vets,of their use of cannabis in fighting ptsd. We were using it for ptsd before they had a name for it.

    • kaptinemo says:

      A sad day for me, too. As most regulars know, I hail from a military family. No rifles over the fireplace, no flags on the wall, none of that overt sh*t, just the quiet, deep understanding that when we were needed, we’d be ready. (How many kids learn to shoot a Nazi-stamped Walther P-38 and a .45 when they’re 10? Da told me only once how he’d ‘acquired’ the former at Normandy. The snarl on his usually calm, steady face in recalling it didn’t match the haunted look in his eyes. I never asked him again.) So, I ‘did my time’, and proudly, and served with some damn good people, and the memories will last a lifetime, but I didn’t make a career of it.

      But it’s a sad, sad day for me because now I know all too well a lot of the ‘unauthorized’ history of this country, and know how many of those wars were deliberately provoked solely for the purpose of profit…and to consolidate illegally acquired power. Think the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, The Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwait…9/11. I never believed anything the government told me after learning of these things, ever again. A good personal policy to maintain in these times…

      • darkcycle says:

        This year I’m trying to think of things I can do to prevent more new combat vets being minted. The only way I’ve been able to truly make a dent in my PTSD is to purge my life of violence. I don’t even watch T.V. anymore and outside of the occasional documentary, I don’t go to films. What passes for entertainment these days too closely resembles combat. One of the last films I saw was the Tom Hanks film ‘Saving Private Ryan’….I couldn’t leave my house for two days. I’m not shitting you. That was the last one, other than a couple of comedies I’ve watched on DVD.

  12. MalcsSantaArrangement says:

    In a Janus Forum debate titled “What if the U.S. Legalized All Drugs?”, the approximately 300 students, faculty and community members in attendance swelled in loud applause for Greenwald’s pro-legalization arguments while meeting Walters’ claims with a palpable lack of responsiveness.


    • Dew-Bee says:

      Drugs are a “disease”, and the best way to treat it is law enforcement?

    • kaptinemo says:

      It figures. Johnny Pee was p*ss-his-pants scared at the prospect of ever debating a reformer while he was sucking down a Federal salary.

      I still recall, with no small degree of humor, how he once offered to debate the cannabis laws, and as soon as reformers happily accepted his challenge, he clammed up for a month, and then cowardly made a noise about how the issue had already been decided ‘by science’, and there was no need to debate.

      First he offers, then there’s no need. Uh-huh. And that stripe down his back isn’t yellow, it’s amber. Disgusting.

      • allan says:

        heck, Kap, they won’t even play us softball!

        And back in da day in many communities, had hippies vs cop games, sometimes as charity gigs if I recall correctly. Pig Bowls… it still seems it would be a bridge building exercise in tolerance and community.

        I was surprised actually to see John Pee debating Glenn Greenwald. I’m really bummed ol’ Linda never accepted to debate me…

        aaah… and the reason I stopped in actually was to post this vid, of Elvy on KOIN TV. Word has it it’s outstanding for local TV news… 5 minutes I believe

  13. Servetus says:

    A hand-held fingerprint drug testing device has been created by the University of East Anglia’s spin-out company which is called Intelligent Fingerprinting:


    British drug oppressors have put a kink in former DEA Director (and heiress to the Tandy/Radioshack fortune) Karen Tandy’s plans to work with Motorola to place a portable drug testing device on the market.

    Now Motorola has some serious competition in the drug testing niche. It screwed up by letting itself fall way behind in terms of being the first to introduce a drug testing device to the market. Bad news for Motorola and Ms. Tandy. More boo hoo, hoo.

    The Intelligent Fingerprinting device doesn’t look that intelligent or difficult to circumvent. Fingertip sachets of the type used in the sci-fi movie Gattaca would work. A light coating of paraffin on the fingertips would be another option.

    • MalcsSantaArrangement says:

      It’s a pity that Motorola didn’t win out; if their drug testing device was as useless as their phones nobody would have anything to fear. A know a guy who used to carry his friends phone numbers on a piece of paper because he couldn’t work out how to put them in his Motorla phone. I also tried (for him) and failed, even following the instructions.

      • claygooding says:

        yes,,bad timing was their downfall,,the economy took a dive just before Kerli’s rants on drugged driving tried to create a market for their device,,if not for that they would have probably gotten more states to pass per se drugged driving laws and had them buying Motorola’s/Phillips million dollar machines.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Why would you think Motorola “screwed up” because they weren’t first? Innovation is not in the dictionary at MSI (nee MOT), even if they like to claim otherwise. They’ve managed to muddle through for a number of years without knowing the definition of the word. Perhaps it’s because they most certainly know at least some Latin, specifically the meaning of the phrase “quid pro quo.”

      • Servetus says:

        First to the market is always a sales advantage for a new product because it defines the product for the consumer in a way that makes it the benchmark to beat for future competitors. I’m guessing Motorola didn’t even think of sweat as a detection vehicle for drugs, and that they might have to start all over.

        Being first doesn’t mean a company will stay first. A Motorola engineer once complained to me that Motorola had not been able to dominate the cell phone industry even though Motorola invented the cell phone (remember the ‘brick’?).

        I’m wondering what the Fingerprint technology will do to the piss testing industry. It could knock it out, which would be a good thing in that it would bankrupt the investors and the people already in the piss testing business. They’re all a bunch of prohibitionist jerks, anyway. A negative is that the device makes drug testing less invasive and less embarrassing for everyone concerned, and therefore more convenient for violating people’s right to privacy.

        • darkcycle says:

          It will be many years before the cost of the technology comes down to the level of piss tastes. Remember the current markup of these tests is like a thousand percent…

        • Servetus says:

          The Fingerprint drug detector is set up for one-use disposable cartridges, along with taking a computer graphic of a fingerprint and making a chemical analysis onsite. The company will make its money off the cartridges that collect the fingerprint. To succeed, the company need only make the cartridge less expensive than currently standardized drug tests. Chemical reagents are used to expose alleged drug metabolites which are viewed under a fluorescent light. Overall materials costs look really minimal.


        • darkcycle says:

          It’s more complex than that. If it were only chemcal reagents involved it would already be around. And the Device it self will cost money to develop and manufacture, and then to maintain. The pee cup method doesn’t require devices of any kind, Just the reagent and the chambered cup. Fact is no matter how you slice it it will be more expensive. And single use disposable pee tests have been on the market for quite a while now.

        • Servetus says:

          The company obsesses about skin pores and sweat glands as a means of eliminating the possibility of contaminate influences from external sources. More on the technical aspects here:


  14. MalcsSantaArrangement says:

    Francisco Blake Mora was one of the president’s right-hand men. Not only because he was in charge of domestic affairs, but also because he became one of the most strident voices of Mr Calderon’s strategy against the drug cartels.

    In recent months, he helped coordinate the army, navy and federal police in the fight against drug trafficking in violence-torn cities like Veracruz or Acapulco.


    • claygooding says:

      Hmmm,,two of Calderon’s cabinet with the same job killed in helicopter crashes,,,,probably helicopters furnished by the US..the same people that were selling guns to the cartels,,,I would be sending those helicopters back and send my next replacement cabinet member to his meetings by another mode of transportation.

      • StrawberryTarmac says:

        The helicopter was built in 1983 and acquired by the Mexican government in 1987, Mexico City-based daily Milenio reported yesterday on its website. It was set to be retired after almost 28 years of use, the daily said, citing government documents.

  15. Duncan20903 says:

    When do we get drug free bar zones?


    I think that guy might be a vampire.

  16. MalcsSantaArrangement says:

    The death of Calderon’s righthand man Francisco Blake Mora has also been marked by a weird social media event. Twitter user @morf0 (the last character is a zero) “predicted” the death of the government official at least 15 hours before the tragedy, typing on his twitter account “Tomorrow at 11/11 a Secretary of the Interior will fall from the sky… avoid Reforma Avenue”.


    • MalcsSantaArrangement says:

      Correction: some sources are saying it was 12 hours before and that the actual text ended with “..avoid reform.”

      • Duncan20903 says:

        The twit was written in English?

        • darkcycle says:

          No, it was en espaniol. The end of the tweet is being mistranslated in the U.S. and U.K…They want us to believe the tweeter meant “Avoid Reforma (avenue)”…which of course makes no sense whatsoever.

        • darkcycle says:

          Which bring me to question whether the Merida Initiative is having any effect at all as far as deterring the cartels. They seem to be very happy with the status quo.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          Google is our friend DC. It was long ago when I lost count of just how many times it’s kept my foot out of my mouth. The number is most certainly in 4 figures by now. Without Google I’d be a total clavin.

          Paseo de la Reforma

          This wide avenue runs in a straight line, cutting diagonally across Mexico City. It was designed by Ferdinand von Rosenzweig in the 1860s and modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as Vienna’s Ringstrasse or the Champs-Élysées in Paris.


          For those who don’t know the meaning of clavin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Clavin

        • darkcycle says:

          Google IS our friend, read a few different accounts. Guardian says one thing (reforma ave) and there are other accounts that say it was “Avoid Reform”. Who knows? A cryptic tweet, that may or may now have any bearing on the story…and it’s being larded with meaning.
          Who knows if it’s even contextually related?

        • Duncan20903 says:

          OK, I thought you meant it made no sense to avoid Reform(a) Avenue (Paseo de la Reforma) when a dead body or a totally involved helicopter fuselage might drop on your head. Of course I thought it was just employing symbolism that the locals would understand. It would take real talent to blow up a helicopter in mid air and cause the debris to land on a specific street, even one as long as Paseo de la Reforma.

          But as they say on Wall Street, predict early and often. The 99 out of 100 times you’re either wrong to moderately right just forget it and move on. When you hit the jackpot with a prediction, get out the trumpets. You’ll have a well subscribed newsletter in no time. Hey, $29.95/month to a subscriber base of 1000 is a nice piece of change. Sent by email, all you need is a laptop, a domain name, a decent website, a payment processor, and to be ethically bereft.

          In this case, tweet the twits that some bigshot is going to die. It might get tiresome in the US but Mexico has these things happen rather frequently nowadays, no? Heck, how hard is it to set up a name to tweet the twits? You can send out a prediction every day under a new name. Great percentage play.

    • allan says:

      Malcolm… email me plz (lost your addie in a mail crash)

  17. Duncan20903 says:

    Has anyone ever heard of a “street value” fine before? I hadn’t until just a moment ago.

    Romeoville, Romeoville, where the flip art thou Romeoville? OIC now, Illinois. I wonder if he’s going to do his bit in Juliet?

    • Francis says:

      “Has anyone ever heard of a ‘street value’ fine before?”

      I hadn’t either, but apparently it’s a fine they impose reflecting the “street value” of the drugs they seize. (I’m guessing they don’t let you pay the fine in drugs–which, after all, they’ve just stolen–so I’m not sure how you’re supposed to come up with the cash. I’m sure it makes sense to the drug warriors though.)

      See, e.g., this story:
      “As part of his sentence, Lewis was ordered to pay a ‘forfeiture’ fine of $15,000 to Ford County and a ‘street value’ fine of $45,000 — an amount that reflects the street value of the ‘usable or sellable’ cannabis that was seized, Fitton said.”

      • Francis says:

        Seriously, that’s messed up. I mean, carjackers are dicks, but have you ever heard of a carjacker who, after stealing the car, also makes the victim cut him a check for the Kelley Blue Book value?

      • claygooding says:

        Might take some time to sit that fine out.

        • Windy says:

          I don’t know how it works in Illinois, but in WA you do the time AND you pay the fine, and if you miss a payment on the fine, even if you are in jail/prison and cannot earn the money to pay it, it goes to collection and you end up owing nearly double the original fine.

  18. darkcycle says:

    Romeoville to Joliet. Snork!

  19. Francis says:

    Headline: Mexico Loss of Second in Charge Won’t Change Drug War

    “The death of Mexico’s No. 2 official, Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora, in a helicopter crash Friday was a stunning mishap too odd for some Mexicans to accept as an accident. But just like the loss of another interior minister three years ago in a plane crash, Blake Mora’s death won’t change the course of the deadly assault on organized crime.”

    Well, I can’t really argue with that headline. I just wish that when a “key cartel leader” was killed, the headlines for those stories would ALSO note that nothing about the drug war would change as a result. Drug sellers are just as easy to replace as drug warriors. (Actually, they’re probably easier to replace, thanks to the market’s built-in feedback mechanism in the form of price signals.) And so the violence will just go on and on and on… until people finally wake up and see this madness what for it is.

  20. MalcsSantaArrangement says:

    The former U.S. Attorney for Seattle, Kate Pflaumer, endorsed marijuana legalization in a Seattle Times guest editorial today, adding credibility to an already high-profile initiative campaign.

    Pflaumer joins former U.S. Attorney John McKay in endorsing the New Approach Washington campaign, an initiative likely headed to the 2012 state Legislature that would legalize and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. The Seattle Times column also was signed by former King County Judge Robert Alsdorf and Anne Levinson, a former Seattle Municipal Court judge.

    McKay had been the highest level law enforcement official to endorse legalization, according to advocates, and has made an interesting journey from a Republican, George W. Bush-appointed prosecutor. The initiative also has been endorsed by the state Democratic party, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, former Spokane County public health officer Kim Thorburn and travel guru Rick Steves.

    Pflaumer, appointed by President Clinton, also has worked as the Seattle Police Department’s civilian auditor and vetted clergy sexual abuse claims against the Spokane Catholic diocese during bankruptcy.

    In the editorial, Pflaumer, Alsdorf and Levinson said marijuana legalization would generate money instead of being an expensive burden on the criminal justice system. They lamented the “wasted lives” of continued prohibition, particulary people of color, who are, according to the trio, three times as likely to be charged and convicted of a marijuana offense than a white person.

    “We don’t see treating adult marijuana users as criminals as an appropriate use of government resources,” they wrote.


    • darkcycle says:

      I hate Alternet. The commenters there are mostly fruits and flakes, with the occasional comment obliquely (or not so obliquely) advocating violence. In those situations, a well thought out post is wasted. I started reading the comments and made it about halfway through the second page before I called it quits. I don’t even want to get into that.

      • darkcycle says:

        …oops…just after I posted this I ran across Kap’n Nemo commenting on one of the Alternet Stories…damn edit function only works for four minutes…o.k this’ll hafta do:
        Revision 1a):
        The posters on Aternet are highly intelligent and well spoken. I do not feel worthy.
        Ahhh, bugger it. That’s not gonna work. Sorry, Kap’n. 😉

  21. Ed Dunkle says:

    L.A. police arrest L.A. fire captain in drug sting. Any predictions on how this plays out? A little “professional courtesy” perhaps?

  22. Duncan20903 says:

    Well I know that everyone’s been on pins and needles waiting for SAMHSA to release the 2010 in “treatment” numbers for California, waiting, foot tapping, wristwatch check, steam coming out of you ears with frustration, wondering what the heck takes 10 1/2 month to add up some stinking numbers in the age of high speed computers, the Internet, and highly intelligent cell phones. Really, you should be grateful. Without all those things it would take the US Government 10 1/2 years to compile the numbers. But enough blather, the numbers are out and I know you just don’t want to wait any longer, so here we go:

    From 2009 to 2010:

    California’s population increased by 292,292 from 36,961,664 to 37,253,956 or 0.79%.

    The number of Californians in “treatment” for anything fell by 16,578 from 181,966 to 165,388 or 9.11%. In 1996 that number was 172,277. Less Californians are in “treatment” in 2010 than 1996 despite a 16.864% increase in population. Go figure that one out.

    The number of Californians in “treatment” for opioids addiction fell 771, from 36,881 to 36,110 or 2.09%. In 1996 that number was 69,092 in 1996. {—no typos.

    Finally some good news in this category, the number of Californians in “treatment” for amphetamines fell 3,995 from 49,452 to 45,457 or 8.08%*. In 1996 that number was 22,739 (the one really sore spot of California in “treatment” stats).

    The number of California crackheads continued its decade and a half decline, falling 4,023 from 15,197 to 11,174 or a whopping 26.47%. That number was 17,947 in 1996.

    But the really good news from the 2010 numbers: The number of Californians in “treatment” for the fiction of merrywanna “addiction” fell 3,056 from 34,603 to 31,547, or 8.83%. The number of 12-17 year old Californians in “treatment” for TFOMA** fell 966.266 from 17,370.706 to 16,404.44 or 5.56%. The Know Nothings will likely forget the decline, instead harping on the fact that the percentage went from 50.2% to 52%. Please don’t ask me why there are fractionated juveniles in “treatment” for TFOMA because only the Federal government can answer a question like that.

    Wow, that’s a lot of good news considering that California voted to pass Prop 36 in 2000, which requires all convicted of first and second offense drug convictions to be sentenced to “treatment” in lieu of incarceration. Am I out of line to think that should have caused the number of Californians in “treatment” to “skyrocket” in and of itself?

    It’s not that I admire “treatment” as I think it’s hogwash even in the case of genuine addiction. Except for medically supervised withdrawal for nasty substances like drinking alcohol the entire “treatment” industry is a genuine fraud perpetrated on the public. It warms me heart to see that the addictionologists (read: phrenologists) have lost a lot of customers from 2009 to 2010. But if were going to judge the danger of (some) drugs then it’s the problem users we need to count. It’s beyond absurd to count the people who try some pot and swear it off for the rest of their life and almost as absurd to worry about the people who enjoy cannabis even a few times a week. We may as well say people that drink a six pack of beer during a Sunday afternoon of watching football matches are problem alcoholics.

    *It was in 2010 when CVS was fined $75 million and forced to disgorge $2.6 million in profits for promoting the manufacture of street meth in the southwestern US, primarily California, by not limiting purchases of psuedoephedrine. Interesting coincidence considering that California had 42.40% of Americans in “treatment” for amphetamines in 2009. CVS blamed this on an oversight by “normally high management.”


    **TFOMA = “the fiction of merrywanna addiction”

    In “treatment” statistics courtesy of SAMHSA:

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Oopsie, made another typo:
      CVS blamed this on an oversight by “normally high management.” should read:
      CVS blamed this on a breakdown in CVS/pharmacy’s “normally high management and oversight standards.”

      Mo’ links:


      Population figures courtesy of The Disaster Center:

      • darkcycle says:

        Thanks, more info than I could possibly use, but most is good. Thank god for your obsession with statistics, Duncan. I am equally obsessed with avoiding them now, since I’m no longer in testing and nobody will pay me for it anymore. But I’m glad you do it.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Statistics presented here for the sole purpose of demonstrating that we’re “on the side of the angels.”

          It started last December when the ONDCP cherry picked a statistic about youth in “treatment” in California and it’s increase between 1998 and 2008. Wait a second, why the frack 1998? Why 2008? The CUA passed in 1996. It’s the end of 2010. I’ll never know why they picked those years. 2009 stats had peen published. Their hysterical rhetoric would have benefited from using 1996 to 2009 so they actually shot themselves in the foot. I admit I did expect to catch them in a cherry picking lie. Well I did, just not the one I expected. When I noticed the number of opioid addicts in “treatment” in California had fallen almost 47% between 1996 and 2009 I was hooked. When someone is beating me up with a contract the first thing I do is whip it out and read it. It’s amazing how many times I’ve taken the contract out of the counter parties hands and beaten them senseless with it. I’ve never understood why people do that.

          There just aren’t many States with California’s numbers. There are a few places where they suck out loud, the amphetamine statistics most notably, but by almost every objective measure they’re at or near the top of the list of States for actually doing something to mitigate their State’s addiction problem. It’s totally mind boggling to me when politicians in New York, Illinois, and Ohio say that they don’t want their state to “be like California.” Yeah, exactly what is it that you find so appealing about having hardcore addicts coming out of your ears? I swear to christ Illinois must be offering junkies tax credits to move the. The number of Illinoisans in “treatment” for opiod addiction up almost 600% between 1996 and 2009. The number of Ohioans in the same category plus almost 400%. New York with ~52% of California’s population had 73% more residents in “treatment” for anything than California. Why in the world wouldn’t these places want to be like California? It’s totally senseless.

          Oh well, at least the end is nigh. Perhaps my head won’t end up exploding after all.

          Well, I do figure that everyone’s going to hate me soon. Tough shit, I think I’m doing the right thing. You’ll figure out what I’m talking about soon enough.

        • darkcycle says:

          Why on God’s green earth would we hate YOU for doing our work when we are too: busy/lazy/daunted by numbers/stoned/have our eyeballs caught in a vice- do do it? My god, Duncan, your obsessive-compulsive contribution to the movement can never be discounted. Watch your e-mail, and don’t click on any links from me that you may ahve got today. My account fell victim to a pfishing scam (all better now, thank you).

        • darkcycle says:

          Er, same goes for you, Allan and Malcolm.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          Because I’ve decided to formally support requiring the surrender of driver’s licenses for approval to be authorized as a medicinal cannabis patient. The truly sick people don’t drive because they’re too damn sick. It will practically eliminate the poseurs and the drug dealers. You can thank the “no on I-502” people for this 180. Those assholes counterparts in California played a huge role in defeating Prop 19. The fuck I’m going to continue a bunch of selfish assholes who don’t give a shit about me. I’ve supported their idiot asses for years and this is how I get thanked? Who in the heck gets pulled over for driving high? 34 years, I used to drive professionally, and never. For the love of god when I delivered pizza I used to prop my bong in the passenger foot well where it was handy and you better believe I used it. Falls Church Va.

          I’m going to be very vocal WRT this issue. It should resonate very well with the Know Nothings.

        • darkcycle says:

          Gee, I hope you’re just fuming over and come to your senses. Of course there’s gonna be the “I got mine you can drop dead” contingent. They have disproportionatley large incomes to protect. Just so’s you know. They’re assholes, they know they’re assholes, and they don’t care. They were never pulling for legalization in the first place. Lots of pot heads just don’t give a shit, but threaten their cash cows and they squeal like stuck pigs. They may as well be part of the prohibitionist contingent, because they were never a part of our effort anyway.
          Don’t stop pushing just because of them, because they were never on our side to begin with.

  23. Windy says:

    dc, my machine was clean, thanks for the call.

  24. allan says:

    getting to be a long string of comments…

    Here’s an informative read:

    Laredo businessman’s conviction a window into drug money laundering

    The high walls of Alexander Estates, an affluent development nestled near this border city’s country club and golf course, were supposed to keep the narcotics world at bay. But when federal agents raided the stately home of a downtown perfume salesman in January, it reinforced a notion that is feared by Texas leaders: The drug war spillover from Mexico is much broader than shootouts and kidnappings — it is cloaked in the seemingly routine business transactions of the border economy.

    Neighbors stood, mouths agape, as federal agents seized loads of cash from the home of Vikram Datta, a polite family man who acquaintances said was so concerned with the quality of Laredo schools that he moved his teenage daughters back to their native New York. Federal agents leveled an accusation that shocked other residents: that Datta, 51, was a major player in the Black Market Peso Exchange, a decades-old system of laundering drug money and reinvesting it back into the economy.

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