Rat Park

We’ve showcased the outstanding work of cartoonist Stuart McMillan before.

Well, Stuart has a new drug-war-related piece about the Rat Park experiments led by Professor Bruce Alexander who saw the flaw in the research that had seemed to suggest hopeless addiction was inevitable with easy access to drugs.

Rat Park

Particularly if you’re not familiar with the Rat Park story, or would like a refresher, this is a really good read.

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21 Responses to Rat Park

  1. This is excellent, Pete.

    Question authority.

  2. Frank W says:

    Held a week with criminally high bail without access to (non-weedy) medications, an atrocity waiting to happen.


    • divadab says:

      Judge Tim Barnack – Republican and drug warrior. Wisdom of Solomon not evident.

      • Windy says:

        I saw a video of this judge, he’s awfully young to be such a prick about the drug war.

        • War Vet says:

          That judge is the reason why we need to tell women not to drink lots of alcohol or smoke tobacco while they are with child.

          Frank W: Mrs. Duckworth will receive her deserved justice one day. Hopefully Guantanamo Bay will be used to house these drug warrior terrorists like the judge instead . . . he’s a synthetic American citizen.

        • allan says:

          bail has been dropped on all, hopeful for news of release coming soon

      • Justice and righteousness not present. What were they thinking putting this guy on a bench?

        • primus says:

          They were thinking; “Here’s a guy we can count on to do as we wish. He believes everything we tell him. We can control him.”

  3. claygooding says:

    Are they trying those experiments on humans using Afghan Kush(they should have plenty)yet? It has to include cable,internet and Doritos but I am game.

    It is time once more to ask the GAO for the total amount of tax dollars spent on marijuana research by NIDA,,we know there is a total kept somewhere in their paperwork because no self serving accountant would leave that column out but all the GAO will reply with is the pdf for NIDA’s budget,,which doesn’t report that total separately but as all studies.

    Perhaps I am not wording my request properly but I figure the amount of tax dollars NIDA has spent on marijuana studies since it’s inception is in the billions of dollars,,so much they hide it because it proves they have already researched marijuana thoroughly for harms and found nothing to justify keeping it Schedule 1. It is why they are still funding more harm studies. Even more bizarre and unbelievable studies than ever as their house of cards trembles around them.

  4. DonDig says:

    Ah, science. Mind-boggling to me that I’ve never heard of this kind of debunking of rat studies, (researchers not actually testing what they thought they were testing), and yet it makes perfect sense. Puts ‘science’ in a different light, and the drug war as well.
    Nice to see that we may well gravitate toward social interaction when given the opportunity, and of course, unless severely challenged in some way, we may all follow this tendency.
    I knew there was hope for humanity!

  5. Servetus says:

    Stuart McMillan’s excellent depiction of rat addiction research explains the horror of addiction felt by those unable to distinguish cause from effect, those who believe poverty and other social degradations are caused by drugs. This condescending attitude is seen throughout the history of prohibition.

    In the 1890s along Mexico’s west coast, Carl Lumholtz studied ritual pot and peyote (hikuli) use by the Tepecanos. Lumholtz noted:

    “a form of common hemp called mariguana [sic] or rosa maria (Cannabis Sativa) sometimes takes the place of hikuli. The leaves of this injurious narcotic are smoked throughout Mexico, but mostly by criminals and the depraved.” – Isaac Campos, Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico’s War on Drugs, 2012, p. 144.


    It probably never occurred to Lumholtz that Aztec Amerindians living in dreary mud huts on the nowhere-fringe of Mexico’s cities might get really bored, like caged lab rats on some days, and decide to do some recreational or religiously inspired drugs. The same is true of “criminals and the depraved”. By Lumholtz’s standards, and that of many others, Amerindians, criminals and the depraved aren’t allowed to feel good once in a while, nor to cure or treat illness using local folk medicines prepared from criminal substances like pipilzintzintlis, an Amerindian name for weed.

    So why was pipilzintzintlis and hikuli on the official, government hit list in Mexico? Well, it seems there was an objection to these remarkable substances published by the Mexican Inquisition on June 19, 1620:

    Seeing that, said herb, nor any other can possibly have by nature such virtues and efficacy that is attributed to the stated effects nor cause the images, ghosts, and representations with which are founded said divinations, and that in those one obviously sees the effects of the suggestion and assistance of the Devil, author of this abuse, taking advantage of, first of all in order to introduce it easily…indians and their inclination toward idolatry, and overcoming later many other people…we mandate that from here forward no one of whatever social status can use said herb, peyote, nor any other for the same or similar effects, under no title or color nor shall they encourage indians or other persons to take them understanding that if they do so…we will proceed against the rebellious and disobedient…as against persons suspected of violations against the Holy Catholic faith. – ibid, p. 47

    No one expects the Mexican Inquisition. Or, as an inquisitorial version of a one-time presidential candidate, Gov. George Wallace, might say, “inquisition now, inquisition tomorrow, inquisition forever…!”

  6. Servetus says:

    Another miracle medical marijuana milestone has just been crossed. Research from Tel Aviv has demonstrated that small amounts of THC suffice to protect the brain from damage due to hypoxia. Brain damage, as we know, is a common affliction found amongst prohibitionists:

    Prof. Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University’s Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine says that the drug has neuroprotective qualities as well. He has found that extremely low doses of THC — the psychoactive component of marijuana — protects the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs. Brain damage can have consequences ranging from mild cognitive deficits to severe neurological damage.

    Previous studies focused on injecting high doses of THC within a very short time frame — approximately 30 minutes — before or after injury. Prof. Sarne’s current research, published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research, demonstrates that even extremely low doses of THC — around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional marijuana cigarette — administered over a wide window of 1 to 7 days before or 1 to 3 days after injury can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function over time.

    • claygooding says:

      One of the warmest feelings I get now is knowing Kerli,Sabet and Dupont are not receiving any of the benefits from marijuana,,I truly hope they believe the crap they spew and never partake,,,ever.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      You can’t fool me Servetus. A person has to have a brain before he can suffer brain damage. Hah!

  7. darkcycle says:

    Just up from the Brookings institute. Nothing new here really. We’ve been ’round these topics here at “The Pete’s Couch Institute” and we’ve hashed these thoughts over dozens of times. But I just LOVE linking to a legalization paper that comes from the Brooking Institute. Even the Button-down-Clowns are getting it.

  8. allan says:

    Oregon legislators (most) get it right (but a few need more edjimication): Oregon Legislature Votes to Allow PTSD Sufferers Medical Cannabis, and give a nod of respect – with bi-partisan support – to our veterans. Huzzah!

  9. DdC says:

    Former Microsoft Manager Has Big Ideas About Pot
    CN By Bob Young May 30, 2013 Seattle Times

    Former Microsoft manager Jamen Shively wants to create the first national brand of retail marijuana and to open pot trade with Mexico. Shively plans to announce that and more in a Thursday news conference he says will feature Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico. “Let’s go big or go home,” Shively said. “We’re going to mint more millionaires than Microsoft with this business.” He’s acquiring medical-marijuana dispensaries in Washington and Colorado, he said, and plans to become the leader in both the medical and adult-recreational pot markets. He sees the marijuana market as the only one of its size in which there does not exist a single established brand. Read More…

    Ex-Mexico President Praises Wash. Pot Businessmen
    CN By Gene Johnson May 30, 2013 Associated Press

    Washington state businessmen who say they’re trying to create the first national brand of marijuana received some heartfelt support Thursday from the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Fox appeared at a news conference in Seattle, where he recounted how the war on drugs has ravaged his country and praised the states of Washington and Colorado for voting to legalize the recreational use of marijuana last fall. Read More…

    The Free Mexican Air Force

  10. allan says:

    not a usual news source for me but for sure a good read…

    Vaya Con Dios! Army’s Latest Weapon in Colombian Drug War: Soap Operas?

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