Out and about

Tonight (Thursday) at 8:00 pm, I’ll be speaking at the University of Illinois chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. Topic: The Drug War’s Assault on Liberty. I’ll be covering a number of topics, followed by a Q and A. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you.

This is an open thread.

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35 Responses to Out and about

  1. N.T. Greene says:


    So, there’s this study… someone want to help me take it apart? I have noted multiple problems already (it being a NIDA-sponsored study isn’t even the biggest one, IMO)… but I am hoping that others might be able to help me find other relevant research as well as other potential errors.

    The madness ain’t over yet.

    • N.T. Greene says:

      I know that the alcohol variable isn’t adequately controlled for, especially since alcohol (and tobacco, for that matter) have been shown to affect the same brain regions AFAIK. I certainly remember seeing studies dealing with alcohol’s effects on the amygdala — and the MJ users in this study drinking twice as much as the controls certainly stands out.

      I don’t see how you can adjust the data to deal with that, either.

    • darkcycle says:

      Way ahead of you. Numerous debunkings have already been written. Here’s one and I’ll see if I can find some more. http://tinyurl.com/ob878hn

      • darkcycle says:

        Dr. Aggarwal posted this yesterday: “Some responses from our community of researchers to the fmri brain study published in the Journal of Neuroscience that has the media and some involved researchers on their usual 15 mins of hyperbole:

        *these functional imaging techniques are a static representation of a dynamic process subject to interpretation.

        *important for people to understand the importance of conflicts of interest in research, and to remember that they need to keep ideas of cannabis use in a context of its relative effect in comparison to other substances.

        *it’s interesting that “social play” in rats increases anandamide levels in those two brain regions

        *it’s not clear in any of these types of studies if you are actually measuring the effects of cananbis or the effects of stigma, threat, and stress related to its use.

        *there isn’t any information in the actual brain scans to suppose that this is a “disruption” of function. That’s an interpretation that reveals a bias built into the study.

        • Servetus says:

          Here’s another. Maia Szalavitz, in a piece called No, Weed Won’t Rot Your Brain, tackles the ignorance of the media (and prohibs) when it comes to proper and rational interpretations of scientific research:

          “Can casual marijuana use damage the brains of young adults? A new study says yes—but its participants suggest otherwise.”

          …as we consider policy changes like legalization, we need a far more skeptical and intelligent press. Marijuana itself may or may not impair cognition— but discussions of marijuana policy clearly do so, in a way that is detrimental to our political health.

        • N.T. Greene says:

          Do you have the source link? It seems as though the MM blitzed this, but a few medical sources have resisted the claims.

          Also, looking at the study (as I previously said), there doesn’t seem to be enough to establish solid correlation — after all, other substance use is noted but not accounted for. What about the disparity in education? What about the gap in alcohol use? What about the fact that this is all based on self-reports in the 18-25 age bracket?

          What about the fact that the subjects were chosen due to their apparent lack of demonstrable side effects? I’m no neuroscientist, but I’ve read a couple of books on the subject and I’m led to believe that each brain is wired the same in a general sense, but individual areas become dense or sparse based on a variety of factors.

          As for some areas appearing larger — that suggests increased density and greater capacity. If a section of your brain grows more dense, then you become more attuned to things that utilize that area. What a thought, people who enjoy something grow to enjoy it more. Or just enjoy life in general more.

          I’m still waiting to hear what the downside is, especially since the subjects were chosen because they didn’t seem to be suffering from anything at the time the trial was conducted.

        • claygooding says:

          Even if cannabis changes the structure of the brain it is probably for the better,,,will we have to wait 50 years for NIDA and the US govt to figure that out,,remember,,cannabis has been changing peoples brain structuring for thousands of years,,is cannabis why we have the brain we have?

  2. Duncan20903 says:


    This is getting tedious. Why the heck haven’t we seen anything comparable happen in California in the last 7 to 10 years since the Medical Marijuana Program Act was codified in 2004?

    Denver woman spent 13 minutes on 911 call before being shot to death
    By Kieran Nicholson and Ryan Parker

    I do think it morbidly amusing that there’s been so little press coverage of this event. Maybe it’s because the headline appears to want us to believe that something bad that happened in the general vicinity of cannabis may not have been caused by the cannabis? Perhaps it’s just because the sycophants of prohibition were falling all over themselves to form their latest self congratulatory circle jerk after the “latest” “scientific” “study” “proves” that cannabis causes “brain” “damage”, I don’t know. It’s enough to make a guy believe that there’s a prohibitionist conspiracy afoot. Would a man like Kev-Kev actually throw a college student off a balcony, shoot a poor woman dead, all in an attempt to monkey wrench re-legalization?

    Tip: I’m looking for drinking alcohol to be involved because the man appears to be a drunken stumble bum from my reading between the lines.

    • N.T. Greene says:

      You forgot “causes”.

    • NorCalNative says:

      Anslinger had a handy “GORE” file for the incurious media, ingnorant public, and politicians always at the ready. This appears to be history repeating itself.

      I think when California LEGALIZES in 2016 we’ll probably be seeing this same media/gore-file/propaganda crap unless the public wearies of the “drip-drip” of “marijuana is still bad for you fantasy,” by then.

  3. skootercat says:

    Pete, will your event tonight be available on the internet?

    • claygooding says:

      If not please have someone video it and post it on youtube,,perhaps a camera/phone on the podium in front of you when you speak and filming the other side from your chair would work

  4. dancapo says:

    Mark Kleiman interviewed by Ezra Klein, I don’t really have time to view/read it right now but thought someone here might:


    • Freeman says:

      I saw that this morning. The usual spiel.

      Shorter Klieman:
      Pot should be legal to possess but illegal to sell.

      His response to Klein’s spoon-fed talking point posing as a non-question showing that “the K is silent”: It’s not just that the problem users are profitable, it’s that nobody else is profitable.

      If occasional consumption patterns means a consumable can’t be produced profitably, there are a lot of apparently unprofitable products out there on the market. Most of us only buy one or two lawn mower blades a year, and they don’t cost much, but somehow several companies produce them, and you can buy them in any hardware store. So they only make profits off the lawn companies that buy a lot of them? Why produce products like Midol when less than half the population will use it at all, and then only a few days a month?

      It’s not like there aren’t enough marijuana consumers already in the market to support healthy profits even if we were ALL occasional users. A pot shop makes the same profit selling 10 joints a day to the same guy as it does selling 1 joint a week to 70 different people.

      He can’t claim ignorance of economics. This is bullshit fear-mongering propaganda, plain and simple.

  5. Duncan20903 says:


    The Humpty Dumpty school of sophistry is at it again. Take a look at this example of their work toward expanding the meaning of the phrase “the children!!!”:

    Let’s save our kids from an early grave [Letter]
    April 16, 2014

    The number one cause of injury and death for our young, ages 5 to 35, is motor vehicle crashes. Entities such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the American Automobile Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as many smaller nonprofits such as Bike Maryland, Perils for Pedestrians, and the Association for Safe International Road Travel are working hard on specific aspects of making our thoroughfares safer.

    Notice how they sneak that in without drawing any attention to the event. It really isn’t germane to the instant article so I’d guess most people would just read it and discard. But now the impression has been placed in their minds. After several more stealth impressions you point it out to them and they scratch their chinny chin chin and ejaculate, “Why yes, it is reasonable to refer to a 35 year old as a children!!!”

    Perhaps the goal is to include everyone in “the children!!!”? After all, everyone knows that Mother says, “You’ll always be baby to me.”

    Well all that I can add is that I think that rat bastard egg man got what he deserved. I’ve no doubt that Mr. Dumpty was pushed.

  6. NorCalNative says:

    How the ELITE Rule your ASS!

    Step #1. DEFINE the problem.

    Step #2. DEFINE the reaction.

    Step #3. Invent the solution that best maintains the status quo.

    The PROBLEM will always be defined as what’s in the best interest of oligarchs and plutocrats and your general anal sphincter.

    The REACTION is designed to muddy the waters so average people who spend little time on the subject believe there may be controversy or doubt, where none actually exists.

    For INVENTING the reaction you go to guys like Mark Klieman and girly-men like Kev-Kev I’m so Sabet.

    This pattern is how propaganda is spread and works.

    Very simple and very effective because it works at the root of human nature and experiences.

    So, what’s the solution? OVERGROW THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!

    • jean valjean says:

      Trouble in River City!

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Yeah, yeah, forget the human beings, the utter incompetence of 911 dispatchers in Denver, let’s just quit putzing around wwith all these middlemen and just blame it directly on reefer:
      Marijuana Suspected in Denver Murder Case

      If Harry J were still alive he’d be busting out with true pride for the next generation of reefer madness madness. Now, how the heck do you handcuff a full grown merrywanna plant?

    • NorCalNative says:

      The alcohol lobby contributes money to SAM?

      Nothing like keeping market share and the end of a gun, eh? Or Big Pharma, as well, they love having their market share protected by DEAth squads.

      Good luck Alaska.

      • Nunavut Tripper says:

        One of the posters below the article on Alaska is Pamella McColl from Vancouver.


        She’s a serious anti smoking activist and on the board of directors of SAM Canada. Yes Kev Kev and Patrick K have invaded Canada.
        She got flamed pretty good by some posters because Alaska’s laws are non of her business…she’s Canadian.LOL
        She’s the brainiak that took away Santa’s pipe.


      • kaptinemo says:

        Hey, “don’t worry, be happy!”

        They’re doing reformers the biggest favor possible: they are doing us the courtesy of flushing themselves out into the open for LTE target practice. Lock ‘n load, friends, lock ‘n load!

        And having the liquor industry’s open backing of anti-cannabis initiatives? Like that TeeVee commercial used to say, “Priceless”. They may as well be cutting their own heads off to fall onto their own platters.

        How accommodating of them.

        Blind, unthinking arrogance. As a very smart lady put it a long time ago, “The winners in a rigged game get stupid.” The winners in the rigged game called prohibition have had their way for so long, courtesy of that ‘rigging’, they’ve forgotten it’s not normal; they think it’s a natural law. Yep, they’ve gotten stupid.

        So, when the inevitable social change occurs, as it is, and the demographic underpinning that allowed for this imbalance to take place is itself upset, the benefactors of this rigged game realize – too late, in this case – that it’s ‘game over’ But they’ll still try to prevent the inevitable. And only damage themselves more by revealing what their true motivation for supporting prohibition was all along.

        Thanks, prohibs! We couldn’t do this without you! You’re a real big help! Please, keep up the good work!

        Because you make our job sooo much easier…

  7. NorCalNative says:

    Our friends from LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, have a petition at MoveOn.org asking for an end to the U.N, single-convention treaties on narcotics that are supporting the war-on-drugs.

    It’s a world-wide petition, and they’re asking for 2,000 more signatures.

    • Windy says:

      I signed that petition last week, or the week before, can’t recall exactly, I get email notifications from MoveOn (I subscribe to emails from both the “left” and the “right”, living the “know your enemy” lifestyle).

  8. allan says:

    rumor (rhymes with tumor) has it that Radical Russ and crew are “being detained” in Utah, on their way to CO’s first (and hardly last) 420 Day Revolutionary Freedom Party.

    • DdC says:

      Russ Belville ‏@RadicalRuss Apr 16
      The road trip is on! Cannabis Cup Denver or Bust… ed… http://instagram.com/p/m2xRoxKNuJ/

      We just passed the Magical Butter Limo on I-84 on the way to #CannabisCup #Denver. High Jeremy,… http://instagram.com/p/m3CufKKNpI/

      Pit stop @ Arrowhead Travel Plaza http://instagram.com/p/m3HXX3KNva/

      We’re live from Idaho! http://rad-r.us/420RADIO

      Watching show on how dogs ignore their own noses to respond to visual cues from humans, but wolves won’t. Evolution, bitches! #PunIntended

      Just hit Utah. 30 miles before border, signs say “Drug Interdiction Checkpoint”, “Drug Dog in Use”, and “Sheriff Ahead”. None there.

      4:42pm 4.17.14 Word to the wise: when road tripping thru Utah to #CannabisCup, don’t stop in Snowville unless you like the Box Elder County Jail. And STFU!

      I got a perfect demonstration of that this afternoon @Nemopunk15

      5:03pm Don’t worry, I’m bailed out and Brian the Red’s bail is on the way. Just got profiled when we stopped to pee at truck stop in Snowville Utah

    • allan says:

      Russ was indeed pulled over, arrested and taken to Brigham City, Utah. Ny editor, Angela, lives in Salt Lk City and connected Russ w/ a lawyer. The boys are once again on the road to Denver.

      • Windy says:

        These stops/arrests in Utah and Idaho worry me. Hubby and I are planning a trip to Utah (to see as much of the Mighty 5 as we can squeeze into 10-15 days) and our State of origin is Washington. We’ll have our two noisy Chihuahuas with us in our motorhome and I fear for them in any roadside stop by a cop (they bark at strangers and it’s difficult to get them to stop, they’re still young, only 2 and 3 yo), as well as ourselves, we won’t be taking much cash (don’t want it confiscated) vacation on credit card and pay it off when the bill comes. Almost makes me want to say, let’s just go someplace in our own State, instead, then we won’t have to worry about being stopped for anything. Hubby thinks I’m being paranoid.

  9. Nick says:

    Thanks to the drug war I can’t get my CCW in my state, Ohio. I had a few misdemeanor drug possession charges when I was 18-19, and that prevents me from getting it for life here. Most states have a time limit, but not here. The funny part is that Ohio is an open carry state, I can open carry my gun anywhere I want(if I even wanted to do that), but I can’t put my shirt over it. It’s insane. It’s also frustrating because I get treated like a violent felon over 9 year old drug charges. So much for “serving your time” for your “crime” eh? Not a huge gripe, but it still bugs the shit out of me.

    • Freeman says:

      it still bugs the shit out of me

      As well it should. The right to self-defense is unalienable, and is enshrined in the second amendment to our national Constitution. Beside the fact that there is arguably no Constitutional authority to ban possession of natural plant material in the first place, there is absolutely no authority granted to tie the free exercise of Constitutional rights to compliance with government policies irrelevant to those rights.

      As an illustration of how absurd this practice is, let’s apply it to other Constitutional rights: How about if we tried to ban people who have ever been arrested for certain misdemeanors from practicing the religion of their choice?

      One might argue that your rights aren’t being violated because you can still open-carry. Bullshit! That’s like the State saying that you can’t take Communion for life because of a decades-old indiscretion, but you’re otherwise still free to practice Christianity.

      • Nick says:

        I only have a few options how to deal with this. I can get a Virginia ID (my brother lives there) and get my CCW there, since Ohio recognizes Virginian CCW as legit. I’m also going to pay the 50 bucks to go in front of a judge and get my convictions expunged, even though I don’t qualify. I know I won’t win, but I at least want to be able to speak my mind. I just don’t want these guys to win after they violated my 2nd amendment rights.

        • Windy says:

          Minor correction, they violated your unalienable right which is (supposedly) protected from government infringement by the 2nd Amendment. We do NOT have Constitutional rights, we have inherent natural rights which are unalienable some of which rights the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution were written, passed and ratified to protect from government infringement or encroachment (and which Constitutional protections governments at all levels ignore).

  10. DdC says:

    A federal judge yesterday ruled that two Bay State men – previously convicted of marijuana possession in other states – could not be denied the right to have guns in their homes for self-defense purposes based on their prior drug crimes.

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