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Odds and Ends

bullet image Commissioner gives ultimatum; Vermont Reps remove PTSD language from medical marijuana bill

MONTPELIER — A House committee, poised to allow PTSD patients to qualify for medical marijuana, reversed itself Friday when the state’s top law enforcement official stepped in before the panel voted.


bullet image While heroin epidemic rages, Bain seeks profit in drug treatment centers

But as opiates ravage communities from rural Vermont to Hollywood, treating addiction has become big business. The push for national health care, and recent changes to federal health insurance laws could make it even more attractive. Substance abuse treatment is a $7.7 billion industry, according to a recent report by IBISWorld Inc., a New York research firm, and growing at an annual rate of about 2 percent.


bullet image Why You Should Never Believe a Newspaper On The Value Of A Cocaine Bust

So, the total value is more like $17 million than the $250 million in the headline.

There is an economic point to this over and above just quibbling with the numbers being offered to us. Now that we can see the price difference between a half container full of cocaine in Colombia and a half container full of cocaine in Rotterdam we can work out why people try to smuggle half containers around the world. Because there’s a $230 million profit in managing to get one half container through. And a $230 million profit on a possible $17 million cost means that the authorities have to intercept at least 12 out of each 13 shipments in order to make it an unprofitable activity.

And no, no one at all thinks they are managing to do that and nor is there anyone who thinks they ever will. Meaning that we can now understand why that War on Drugs doesn’t seem to be having all that much effect: there’s simply too much profit to be made from the smuggling for the war to have any noticeable effect.


bullet image Legal pot becomes a touchy workplace issue

DENVER — Last month, Colorado diner owner Mark Rose posted an unusual job description: “Looking for part time experienced breakfast cook. Pays well, must be friendly and a team player, could turn into a full time gig by summer. 420 friendly a must.”

With that public declaration, Rose put himself squarely in the camp of employers acknowledging that marijuana use is perfectly legal in Colorado. Perhaps more significant, it also puts him in the camp of employers who officially don’t care if their employees use pot off-duty. The phrase “420” is shorthand for someone who uses marijuana.

Rose owns Dot’s Diner on the Mountain in the pot-friendly mountain town of Nederland, Colo., just west of Boulder. He says he wanted to hire a marijuana-friendly employee to ensure he didn’t have to deal with someone who might complain about his own pot use.

More employers like him, please.


bullet image For fun, here’s a delightful parody of how the media gets sucked in to all the latest hoax drug scares.

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27 comments to Odds and Ends

  • thelbert

    i have heard that hemp leaves in the bedding will discourage the wily bedbug. another feature of the drug war harming the general welfare of the nation.

  • DdC

    Ohio high school athlete sues over suspension for pro-marijuana retweet
    According to the lawsuit, Clear Fork’s athletic director, Benji Bethea, charged the senior with violating the district’s morality clause and drug, alcohol and tobacco policies.

    Bong Hits 4 Jesus

    Sensible Drug Policy ‏@SSDP
    We Cannot Let Undercover Cops Trick Students into Selling Marijuana

    Obama ask about legalizing cannabis.jpg
    It’s must be all in how you ask the question…

    Hippie Butter ‏@hippiebutter
    10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Eat Hemp Seeds

  • ezrydn

    What next? Banana peels?

    • kaptinemo

      LOL!!!!!!

      Yeah, they warned me in junior high school about those. For real, it was actually printed up in slick, mass-produced anti-drug brochures before the idiot prohibs realized they’d been punked by the ‘stoners’.

      Just as the ‘heads’ punked them again with ‘Cheech and Chong’, never realizing that it was a parody of prohib stereotypes of cannabists, and had no relation to reality. Marin and Chong laughed all the way to the bank, thanking stupid, clueless prohibs for their unintentional generosity and support.

      Even were I so inclined, I wouldn’t try selling them a clue, as it would be ‘pearls before swine’. They truly are that hopeless.

      In a way, I pity them. The dinosaurs didn’t have the mental wattage to understand what killed them. The prohibs, like the dinos, are toast, but, unlike the dinos, the prohibs can not only see it coming, they also know why it’s happening.

      And it must taste like ashes in their mouths to realize that those for whom they ostensibly fought have almost completely repudiated their efforts. Even worse, the prohibs know why that’s happening…and just like that meteor that whacked T Rex and Company, the process is unstoppable, now.

      • Servetus

        It was Abbie Hoffman who invented the banana peel hoax. Who but Abbie could’ve convinced drug agents to test-smoke banana peels? Hopefully someday we’ll find out if any drug agents tried smoking bed bugs.

  • NorCalNative

    Vermont decides that allowing cannabis for PTSD is beyond the scope of their medical cannabis program and instead opts for further research.

    Is there a bigger asshole than an elected official who would deny cannabis for PTSD?

  • Servetus

    Caffeine can kill, according to this informative, short youtube video on the Science of Caffeine, the World’s Most Popular Drug. Yes, 75 cups of coffee, or 180 cups of black tea, consumed in one day, more or less, can put you on a marble slab in the morgue.

    That makes caffeine toxic, while the various cannabinoids remain non-toxic. Marijuana is demonstrably safer than coffee. Don’t expect the prohibitches and prohibidiots to give up their coffee addictions, though. Caffeine has many other uses, as in OTC headache remedies.

  • pt simmons

    All marijuana is medicinal!

  • allan

    heard an appropriate quote from Louis Armstrong yesterday…

    “I’m not lazy! I was just fortunate to be blessed with a lack of ambition.”

  • Crut

    .
    .
    http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20140413/NJOPINION06/304130020/

    Strong emotions on both sides of this issue should not obscure the facts.

    Yet, oddly, you only talk about the facts that support your opinion. Hmmm.

    Oh, and and an opinion from “Karen A Sabet”! Dammit, now I have to get a paper towel to clean my coffee addiction off the monitor…

  • Tony Aroma

    Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, also said she did not support adding PTSD, saying in another state it increased the number of people going to dispensaries by 30 percent.

    Translation: Our goal is to help as few people as possible.

    This would essentially change the face of the (medical marijuana) program by having it move from something that was an alternative, or actually, a last resort after other treatments have been administered for symptom relief to making it a primary treatment mechanism and that is not consist [sic] with the program that we have in place now,” Flynn said.

    Translation: We want to make the process as long, drawn out, and difficult as possible.

  • When asset forfeiture hands law enforcement the keys to the gravy train, don’t expect them to turn those keys back in voluntarily.

    http://tinyurl.com/mc9daec

    Law enforcement should not be given a voice or any credibility when medical marijuana measures are discussed in Legislatures ANYWHERE in America when it comes to patient care and medical matters.

  • DdC

    Pot stores and regulation (another forum…)

    Poster said: I was browsing in one of my usual haunts (boing boing) and ran across this article

    Interesting read, but one thing caught my attention and bothered me..

    “Except, in March, The Denver Post and The Cannabinist ran independent testing of a wide variety of commercial edibles and found that the actual THC concentrations were usually very different from what was advertised on the packaging. Most of the time, the investigation found that folks in Colorado are getting far less THC then they paid for. Sometimes, though, they’re getting considerably more, and both outcomes have their downsides.”

    The FDA needs to come down on this fast and heavy. i haven’t smoked pot or done THC since the early 70s, but I know THC is a powerful drug. That they offer it in candy form and kids would love to consume these little treats. Also it seemd there is no consistancy in dosage levels per candy. These could also make for an interesting prank at office parties.

    On testing THC in edibles: The story behind our pot report – The Cannabist
    The Dr. J’s display at Herbs 4 You, a recreational marijuana shop in central Denver, pushes the edibles for only $7 apiece. Dr. J’s products tested poorly in The Denver Post’s study on THC levels in infused edibles — scoring as low as .2 milligrams of activated THC in a chocolate bar that was supposed to contain 100 milligrams of THC. (Photo by Ricardo Baca, The Cannabist)

    The Denver Post and The Cannabist conducted a study last week on the potency of edibles as compared to their label-promised amounts, and the results were staggering. None of the 10 brands hit their promised amounts exactly, though a couple came close. Others were 20-40 percent off. And yet others were even more off, proving what an inexact science the potency of legal recreational marijuana is in Colorado more than two months after legal sales began in the state.

    Edibles’ THC claims versus lab results surprising
    An independent Denver Post study of several marijuana-infused products shows wide variances in THC levels in edibles vs. labeling

    When weed is no longer illegal, does it cease to be part of the counterculture? When the counterculture becomes mainstream, what is it?

    Dude. I don’t even know. Welcome to a brave new world. A world where your pot comes with a receipt.

  • Chris

    Failed a post-employment drug test at an IT job (medical state; cardholder). Unlucky I guess; the guy who sat next to me at work smoked as often as I did and was not asked, but brings synthetic every day just in case. Now I’m unemployed; bank account has no comma. Fun times of despair and depression ahead! It feels like getting fired for eating carrots. “Drug test” at a previous job consisted of smoking a joint on the street with everyone on the team; next job, I smoked with my boss a month after starting. His first question at the interview was “can you pass a drug test?” I really hate being born into such an insane world.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Have you ever heard of caffeine psychosis?

    This one is from the “(some) drugs are more equal than others” category:

    Driving While Caffeinated’ Defense?

    Mark Noble, 31, was involved in a hit-and-run crash Monday. His lawyer says a caffeine-induced psychosis may be to blame for Noble’s erratic driving.
    Dec. 11, 2009
    By LAUREN COX

    /snip/
    Aftermath of Driving While Caffeinated?

    Two students, Neil Waldbjorn, 19, of Malaga, Wash., and Hogun Hahm, 23, of Pullman, remain hospitalized in satisfactory condition at Pullman Regional Hospital, according to The Associated Press. Each suffered a broken leg.

    After an alleged scuffle, university police subdued the 300-pound Noble with a Taser and sent him to a psychiatric evaluation.

    Moorer told ABC News he still has no physical or psychiatric explanation for the incident, only some theories: delirium, atypical psychosis, or caffeine-induced psychosis.
    /snip/

    I should have thought to Google “caffeine psychosis” years ago. Caffeine as is one of those searches where you can’t learn a thing about a subject because there’s just too much information available without good differentiation but “caffeine psychosis” turns the trick.

    Driver suspected of hitting pedestrians with car claiming “Caffeine Psychosis”
    by McKay Allen
    September 9, 2011

    COLFAX –

    A University of Idaho employee charged with nearly a half dozen felonies may be trying for a “Twinkie Defense” by claiming too much caffeine caused him to crash his car into two WSU students near the Pullman campus Monday morning.

    In court Wednesday Daniel Noble’s attorney Mark Moorer blamed a caffeine-fueled mental breakdown for the incident that sent 23-year-old WSU student Hougun Hahm and 19-year-old WSU student Neal Waldbjorn to the hospital for injuries sustained when Noble hit both of them with his car in two separate incidents.

    Noble then jumped out of his car and police had to Taze him in order to subdue him and take him into custody.

    Law enforcement had to eventually taze him to get him in control, in custody and into a patrol car, Sergeant Brad Hudson with the Washington State Patrol added.
    /snip/

    Simply astonishing. “I was so high on caffeine that I was totally delusional” is a friggin’ defense to causing highway mayhem? Oh well, don’t mind me, I’m one of those people that would shake my head and convict if some asshole were to try to say, “I was high on [fill in the blank] and I just couldn’t help myself!” So why the heck should anyone believe that you’ll be able to control yourself in the future?

  • Duncan20903

    Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine

    Psychiatrists rarely enquire about caffeine intake when assessing patients. This may lead to a failure to identify caffeine-related problems and offer appropriate interventions. Excessive caffeine ingestion leads to symptoms that overlap with those of many psychiatric disorders. Caffeine is implicated in the exacerbation of anxiety and sleep disorders, and people with eating disorders often misuse it. It antagonises adenosine receptors, which may potentiate dopaminergic activity and exacerbate psychosis. In psychiatric in-patients, caffeine has been found to increase anxiety, hostility and psychotic symptoms. Assessment of caffeine intake should form part of routine psychiatric assessment and should be carried out before prescribing hypnotics. Gradual reduction in intake or gradual substitution with caffeine-free alternatives is probably preferable to abrupt cessation. Decaffeinated beverages should be provided on psychiatric wards.
    /snip/

    In an experimental study, caffeine was administered intravenously to 13 patients with schizophrenia who had been caffeine free for 6 weeks (Lucas et al, 1990). The dose used (10 mg/kg of body weight) was the equivalent of drinking seven cups of brewed coffee in a row. Caffeine increased both the total score and the unusual thoughts sub-scale score on the BPRS. Conversely, caffeine decreased withdrawal/retardation. Interestingly, this large dose did not increase anxiety scores. The results of this study are consistent with those of the clinical studies described above, but they need to be interpreted with caution because of the large dose and the lack of a control group of people without schizophrenia (Hughes et al, 1998).
    /snip/

    Sheesh, and I used to think that a caffeine IV drip was just a pipe dream.

  • allan

    OT…

    … some of you may remember Toby, the dog we helped rescue from Afghanistan. After all the pup went thru, after all that we went thru, he was shot and killed, in his own yard, by a neighbor yesterday… 🙁

    • allan

      the press release:

      Wilson County Sheriffs Office (TX–outside San Antonio) and DAs Office is refusing to prosecute a man who shot and killed a soldier’s emotional support service dog. This dog was rescued from Afghanistan after it was being burned by the militants. The soldier’s unit took a liking to the dog and rehabbed him, Toby. Toby was brought to the US with the help of a nascar driver and a local high school in Massachusetts …raising money. After a necropsy on the shot dog was done here in TX, the dog was actually lying down in a resting position when the neighbor killed him and in no way a threat. In fact the man has no livestock at all! Not only that, the neighbor had alcohol on his breath when he discharged the gun. Wilson County is now telling the soldier and her family they won’t do anything about it and “are you sure you wanna press this? You wanna ruin this man’s life?” The man is now threatening her and her kids. And Wilson “good ole boy” County won’t do anything. Please please please spread the word to get justice for Toby.

      Please do a story on this. I am a local attorney, and a Facebook page is being created. This is NOT NOT NOT the first time Wilson County’s “good ole boy” system refuses to so anything but tell people to go ahead and shoot animals (which is actually not legal unless the person is in danger, or their livestock is being attacked).

      The soldier’s name is ****** ****, but she cannot talk on camera. The Sheriff Deputy who is refusing to do anything is Dep. Perez, badge #8375. And the case number is 14-02095. By the way, Wilson Cty still has not provided them with a copy of the police report.

      While we are not an “animal friendly” city, compared to Austin or Dallas, I know we are a soldier friendly city. And the fact that this dog was a service animal and shot is outrageous.

    • Windy

      I hate that story, Allan, such killings of pets by cops, strangers or neighbors is heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time. For some of us, that would be just as bad as if the neighbor shot our child in our yard while the child was napping on the patio, that Sheriff needs to arrest the neighbor, lock him away instead of allowing him to threaten the vet and her childrens’ lives.