The New York Times continues its rampage of sanity

The Federal Marijuana Ban is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia

The federal law that makes possession of marijuana a crime has its origins in legislation that was passed in an atmosphere of hysteria during the 1930s and that was firmly rooted in prejudices against Mexican immigrants and African-Americans, who were associated with marijuana use at the time. This racially freighted history lives on in current federal policy, which is so driven by myth and propaganda that is it almost impervious to reason. […]

The federal government has taken a small step back from irrational enforcement. But it clings to a policy that has its origins in racism and xenophobia and whose principal effect has been to ruin the lives of generations of people.

Why now?

Timing the Call the Repeal Marijuana

In the practice of editorial writing, timing matters a great deal. The series that The New York Times editorial board began on Sunday, calling for an end to the federal ban on marijuana, is receiving a great deal of attention not because it is a wildly radical move, far ahead of its time. It’s because it comes at a moment when the country is engaged on this topic, and is moving with surprising speed toward a different appraisal of marijuana […]

“These are not new arguments,” said the Los Angeles Times, citing statistics about the cost to society of widespread marijuana arrests. “But this time they come from the New York Times, not High Times. Support for marijuana legalization has grown so rapidly within the last decade, and especially within the last two years, that some advocates and pollsters have compared it with the sudden collapse of opposition to same-sex marriage as a culture-redefining event.”

What about the White House?

The Required White House Response on Marijuana

When the White House issued a statement last night saying that marijuana should remain illegal — responding to our pro-legalization editorial series — officials there weren’t just expressing an opinion. They were following the law. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is required by statute to oppose all efforts to legalize any banned drug.

It’s one of the most anti-scientific, know-nothing provisions in any federal law, but it remains an active imposition on every White House. The “drug czar,” as the director of the drug control policy office is informally known, must “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance” that’s listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and has no “approved” medical use.

I like to believe I had a hand in helping create awareness of this particular point.

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46 Responses to The New York Times continues its rampage of sanity

  1. darkcycle says:

    Indeed you did. And the megaphonic virtual couch didn’t hurt. You pointed it out, and we rubbed their noses in it every chance we got. Good on you, Pete. Good on us all.

    • DonDig says:

      I second that.

      • Dittoes. It’s sad that the PTB keep trotting out that dead nag, insisting that the medicinal value of marijuana is just some selective hallucination we are having.

        There are cancer survivors and others who can actively put the lie to their suppositions.

  2. Servetus says:

    In any fight, the ONDCP has a glass jaw: Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225. The NY Times editorial board used it to KO the ONDCP in the first few seconds of Round 1. Too bad there isn’t someone there to count the ONDCP out.

    The NY Times goes on to discuss its “High Time” series on marijuana, and the effort that went into its bringing a rational, scientific viewpoint to the problem of marijuana prohibition.

  3. Pingback: The Ridiculous Required White House Response on Marijuana at B12 Solipsism

  4. claygooding says:

    I hate people that blatently steal other peoples words,,,unless it is me.

    Vindicated indeed.

  5. kaptinemo says:

    Pete, I’ve long suspected that we had lurkers from the 4th Estate…hence my seeming harshness in commenting about their apparent lack of diligence in confronting purblind DrugWar ‘authorities’ and ‘sources’ who only proffered propaganda as ‘news’.

    Maybe they finally got the hint…

  6. primus says:

    They all like to think that they have ‘journalistic integrity’, whatever that is. When that is impugned, they pay attention. If the letter writer is coherent and corrects the errors in a kind and gentle way while also gently admonishing them on their shortcomings, they seem to respond well. They even print some of my more creative ones.

  7. Mike Parent says:

    There are any examples of how the Govt lied and com sealed scientific info to maintain their morally bankrupt policy. Here’s one of the most egregious;

    The results of this research was censored by different administrations.

    • allan says:

      that story alone should have enraged far more people, especially those in oncology or dealing with cancer in their own lives. Imagine the number of folks that have dealt with cancer since the early ’70s that may have had different outcomes had research continued enthusiastically rather than being buried.

      That has long been one of my oft swung sticks.

      And some day… some day… we will find out exactly who buried that study. There had to be conversations, memos, notes and letters telling someone to do it.

      • kaptinemo says:

        I’ve lost several people dear to me to cancer. One was a brilliant scientist and engineer who was also a really decent Human being, who died of EXACTLY the same glial cell cancer the 1974 study found that cannabis shrank.

        I want to know why he and tens, scores, hundreds of millions of others around this planet had to suffer and die while one of the greatest medical discoveries of all time, a discovery that quite possibly would have cured them and saved them from indescribable pain…was quietly buried.

        We paid for it. It’s OURS, g-ddammit, and it’s long past time we collect on this debt the Gub’mint owes us.

  8. Mike Parent says:

    There are many examples of how the Govt lied and consealed scientific info to maintain their morally bankrupt policy. Here’s one of the most egregious;

    The results of this research was censored by different administrations.

  9. pfroehlich2004 says:

    Jesus, I feel like I’ve walked into an alternate reality where Pete is controlling the Times editorial board like sock puppets. They called out the Drug Czar’s office for being legally obligated to lie? Pinch me!

  10. thelbert says:

    what bureaucrat wouldn’t want to have lying as a mandated duty of their job. i am sure that gilbert will stop lying, now that he has a new job. of course, he probably lies to himself when he thinks about how hard he works and how good it is for the country, and the youth.

  11. Crut says:

    OT: From Canada Drinking too much soda can affect teenagers brains More ammo against the idjits who try to use this angle as a reason to maintain Prohibition 2…

    • Servetus says:

      Here’s a study no one will talk about: “Improving air quality in [New York City] would boost children’s future earnings.” The corporatist-sounding title refers to work done by Dr. Federica Perera that says certain air pollutants have an effect on prenatal development in the form of lowered IQs measured later on in the children of mothers who were exposed to smog.* The title presumes people with higher IQs earn more money on Wall Street, or something.

      Prohibition is hypocritical in many ways. This way is stranger than many. We don’t see Kevin Sabet, Robert DuPont and other prohibitionists championing a major environmental cleanup to save the brains of the little children, do we? Could it be the IQ thing isn’t all that important when it involves something other than marijuana? Are prohibitionists only pro-environment when it comes to condemning people who grow marijuana in the federal wilderness?

      *Perera FP, Tang D, Whyatt R, Lederman SA, Jedrychowski W. “DNA Damage from Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons measured by benzo[a]pyrene-DNA adducts in mothers and newborns from Northern Manhattan, the World Trade Center area, Poland, and China.” Cancer Epidemiology of Biomarkers and Prevention 14 709-714 2005

  12. allan says:

    “These are not new arguments,” said the Los Angeles Times, citing statistics about the cost to society of widespread marijuana arrests. “But this time they come from the New York Times, not High Times.

    I find that both humorous and disgusting. Humorous because it’s a great point. Disgusting because it also implies that well, y’all are pot heads and MUST have been lying all these years just trying to get high legally (activist1 logic).

    The dead are dead, as dead now as then. But the death toll and injustice has mounted while they sat around and deliberated. Had they followed thru then, lives, money and the general welfare might have been spared such colossal damage.

    Nobody is getting off scott-free when the payment is due.

    • Dano says:

      Well, the Los Angeles Times has long been the drug warriors friend. The fact that they are dismissive of people who use marijuana while praising the NY Times for bringing these facts to light isn’t surprising in the least.

      At least Los Angeles Times doesn’t seem to be backing the drug war the way they were just 1 year ago. Changes are afoot.

  13. thelbert says:

    reparations are in order: so far the gubbmint owes me at least an ounce of dope and a pipe. and a ton of liberty.

  14. jean valjean says:

    all this talk at nyt and wapo is very nice but for those caught up in the legal machine, or jumping through hoops because of a record, its business as usual. i cant believe that obama doesnt know that this is the one and only oportunity in his otherwise lacklustre presidency to leave a legacy on a par with the ending of slavery. do the right thing for once, you have nothing to lose. lets have some executive decisions here.

    • War Vet says:

      The only way I’ll ever like Obama is if he’ll end pot prohibition. All the agony from the Drug War outweighs any of the politics and policies he’s created/endorsed. If Obama doesn’t legalize weed, he’ll only be remembered as being the first non-white President and nothing more . . . our grandkids will not be able to tell you what he did with his terms unless he begins dismantling the War on Drugs. Any president can take credit for blessing Washington and Colorado and D.C.s decrim, but only a great leader worthy to be mentioned at the dinner table 30 yrs down the road will help end the war on drugs.

  15. War Vet says:

    One of these days, all of our drug czars will be posted next to pictures of Hitler, Saddam, Osama, Those N. Korean dictators etc . . . especially considering the fact that our drug czars financed most of these evil men with our laws ability to create drug money out of thin air.

  16. DdC says:

    OT Save on Geeko in 15 minutes?
    Well did you know… Chinese Take out boxes…

  17. claygooding says:

    Right now,,following the NYT article,,the registration of “new” voters has doubled in the OKLA initiative for MMJ and I suspect in every state that has an initiative being voted on or trying to make the ballot.
    New voter registrations speaks louder to incumbents than all the emails and phone calls,,,new voters equals danger Will Robinson for incumbents,,citizens are tired of your shit.
    Now we need to go into a voter registration drive mode.

  18. strayan says:

    To the Editor:

    Your opinion, in “Repeal Prohibition, Again,” that marijuana should be legalized is based in part on an assumption that during Prohibition “people kept drinking.” Prohibition reduced the public’s alcohol intake considerably. The rate of alcohol-associated illness dropped in similar fashion. Prohibition was perhaps a political failure, but an impressive success from a public health standpoint.

    Both alcohol and marijuana can lead to the chronic disease of addiction, directly affect the brain and negatively affect function. As more than 10 percent of our population has addictive disease, your statement that marijuana is “far less dangerous than alcohol” doesn’t reflect decades of research demonstrating risks associated with both of these drugs.

    Why would we possibly wish to add to the alcohol- and tobacco-driven personal and public health catastrophe with yet another substance to which some people will become addicted?

    Some people use marijuana currently. Legalize it, and more people will use more marijuana, leading to more addiction, lower productivity and higher societal costs.

    President, American Society
    of Addiction Medicine
    New York, July 27, 2014

    Apparently cannabis doesn’t exist until you legalise it.

    • Jean Valjean says:

      He would say that wouldn’t he. He’s the union rep for addiction quacks

      From ASAM’s wiki:

      ASAM is critical of the current regulatory state of medical marijuana; in 2010, the society published a white paper calling for federal regulations to oversee research and development of cannabis based medicines [and no doubt to hush up any benefits] …… in 2012 the society stated that there is no “Medical marijuana” because the plant parts in question fails to meet the standard requirements for approved medicines, that Marijuana has many serious, negative health effects.

      Gitlow has twice unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for Rhode Island General Assembly representative for Woonsocket, Rhode Island district 49.
      What are his chances today I wonder?

      • allan says:

        This statement (we hear it often):

        fails to meet the standard requirements for approved medicines is far more an indictment of “standard requiremnts” and “modern medicine” than it is of cannabis. And as cannabis has an equivalent “addiction” level of coffee I’m totally shocked they haven’t called for the prohibition of coffee.

        Dipwad Gitlow fits the description of “witch doctor” more than any shaman I’ve ever met. Altho’ I have met one o’ them new agey spiritual “leaders” that was as flakey a twit as Gitlow (and his peers) must be…

        In fact… this whole cadre/cartel of Prohibitionists must have been the group this old joke was based on:

        Q – How do you get flies out of the kitchen?

        A – Put a bucket of shit in the living room.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          I’d bet dollars to dirt that if drivers in so called “road rage” collisions/incidents resulting in injury or death were tested for caffeine that there would find a strong “association” between higher than “normal” serum caffeine levels. (Doggoneit, why the heck can I never spell the word caffeine correctly? I before E except after F. I before E except after F. I before E except after F. Someday I’ll get it right!)

          Oh never mind, I’m late to the party. Again. Be careful what you wish for allan, the FDA is way past road rage and screeching hysterically fatal overdoses. Soon we’ll probably be hearing horror stories of atrocities blamed on the Juan Valdez cartel. This one is from the “it’s time to infantalize America!” category:

          Teen’s death puts focus on caffeine powder dangers
          Ann Sanner , Associated Press
          July 21, 2014

          COLUMBUS, Ohio – A few weeks before their prom king’s death, students at an Ohio high school had attended an assembly on narcotics that warned about the dangers of heroin and prescription painkillers.

          But it was one of the world’s most widely accepted drugs that killed Logan Stiner — a powdered form of caffeine so potent that as little as a single teaspoon can be fatal.

          Caffeine caffeine
          A little speed is all I need
          Caffeine caffiene

          ~~ Caffeine
          by Alice Cooper
          from Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011)

    • DdC says:

      I may have run into this lint gatherer or its twin on another forum. Always with the cart pushing the horse. As with drugs, especially Ganja. Prohibition is the harm. The entire fabrication of prohibition had to be sold. There was not a public outcry. The amount of speak easy’s filled gives testimony to the fact people like their beer and shots. No one was busted for drinking and at the end only farmers were forced into a different lifestyle, buying crude oil fuel for their tractors. Manufacturers still distilled bottled booze. Bootleg Moonshine is still illegal. The violence subsided after repeal. Leaving the same makers making and plenty of customers drinking it. Rockefeller with Hearst headlines help pushed the same scam as they did for Hemp and Ganja. Follow the money. While all of the hoopla focused on the untouchables and Capone gasoline stations were added to the infrastructure. Farmers are still given discount fuel dyed differently than cars. But homegrown distilled is not an option. Every vice prohibition profits, and has ulterior motives.

      Al Capone and Watergate

      Why Do YOU Think They Call it DOPE?

      When the gasoline stations were ready, Hearst headlines reversed themselves. Then again in the mid 30’s favoring it for “marihuana”. Just the business of corporatism. Same with cannabis, only it has more competition not having to deal with it. Nixon lumping in hemp and medicinal was not for we the people anymore than Rockefeller and Hearst. DdC

      “I am against Prohibition because it has set the cause of temperance back twenty years; because it has substituted an ineffective campaign of force for an effective campaign of education; because it has replaced comparatively un-injurious light wines and beers with the worst kind of hard liquor and bad liquor; because it has increased drinking not only among men but has extended drinking to women and even children.”
      — William Randolph Hearst,
      initially a supporter of Prohibition,
      explaining his change of mind in 1929.
      From “Drink: A Social History of America”
      by Andrew Barr (1999), p.239.

      Same bait and switch of tobacco with chemical cigarettes doing the actual harm. Billion dollar black market and an excuse for corporate housing to smell evictions of fixed or low income families. Rising prices with taxes leaving the poor to by cheaper cigarettes with even more chemical poisons. Same chemical poison companies spraying cotton fields in the so called pro life bible belt. Greed or just gullibility? Do they not know where the road they pave with good intentions leads?

      Organic Cannabis/Tobacco vs Chemical Cigarettes

      Pro Life? Not even anti abortionists
      Wall street’s Spontaneous Abortionists

      UK hemp crop growing well without fertilizer, pesticides.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Has anyone heard the position held by the American Academy of Phrenology?

  19. strayan says:

    Hahahaha, Crazy Uncle Gitlow obviously borrowed Sabet’s idiot cards:

    only a small percentage of state prisoners are there for marijuana offenses, how much would we be saving in criminal justice costs?

  20. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Marc Emery got a CBC interview today from the prison where he’s waiting patiently for deportation back to Canada.

    • DdC says:

      He could be there for weeks!
      Marc’s sentence ended 3 weeks ago but he’s still in the US.
      Send letters to: Marc Emery #079067710,
      Tensas Det. Center, 8606 HWY 65,
      Waterproof LA, 71375 @Big_Scinto420

      A Drug Warmongers Toll on Americans

      DEA Press Release Admits Marc Emery Extradition Politically Motivated
      The US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted on the day of Marc Emery’s arrest that his investigation and extradition were politically motivated, designed to target the Marijuana Legalization organization that Emery spearheaded and ran for over a decade in Canada. F U L L S T O R Y/4685.html

      Emery contends a news release issued July 29, the day of his arrest, reveals the U.S. government’s intention to mute his efforts to advance the spread of marijuana. In the release, Karen Tandy, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, wrote: “Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement. … Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada.”

      Tandy’s office has declined to comment about the statement, but locally, federal prosecutors have distanced themselves from her remarks.

      Canada’s Supremes Cower Under DEAth Threats

      All cannabis arrests are political. None as blatantly obvious as with Marc Emery. For seeds many others were selling. Seeds that have never stopped being shipped to Pet Shops as song bird feed. Seeds that can’t get you high and are sold in every organic super market. Sold through Amazon or directly from the manufacturer. Edible seeds have been arbitrarily decided to be sterilized, just in case. Eliminating sprouts with as much nutrition, only more quantity.

      Paranoid beyond my comfort zone of any one of them carrying a firearm, or driving a car. They see druggies behind every corner and in every shadow. Suspects become victims to set up for a bust. Only in Marc Emery’s case it was for his generosity funding political parties. Trying to end the legislated lies and obstructions. Through the political process, selling a product to fund it.

      More shame on all Americans when over zealous paranoids are granted power for the soulless reason of doing harm to citizens supplying a demand. It also puts shame on every spineless Canadian standing by watching the US bullies cart off one of their own. As they kowtowed to the threats during the Clinton Bush administrations. With Marc Emery they put a face on it.

      Karen Tandy was given Motorola. As Barthwell went into Sativex and Bensinger rakes in billions pisstasting everyone in his dreams. Califona rehabilitation saveding patients from pain relief and seizures. Banning homegrown blue jeans. These are delusional signs of a much greater harm than cannabis has potental to provide. These drug worriers are full tilt bonkers. With authority. Especially the deep south and it don’t get any deeper than the LA prison system.

      Louisiana Dungeons are anti-American, anti-Humanity.

  21. Common Science says:

    Some thought Marc Emery was full of himself before selling enough seeds to benefit Revenue Canada a quarter of a million dollars in taxes. Regardless, IMHO he deserves this upcoming entrance into the free world. NYT’s David Firestone, it does seem, was leaning against the doorway when you were telling everyone about the ONDCP’s modus operandi Pete.

    These articles by the NYT Editorial Board, flanked by coming-out support from L.A. Times and Washington Post are as exhilarating as an all week marathon of ‘The Wire’ I did after discovering that series from visiting your well-worn couch.

  22. DdC says:

    PSA: ☛Ebola outbreak: U.S. Peace Corps evacuates, Liberia closes schools
    ☛WHO official says geographic scope of outbreak makes it difficult to stop
    ☛US: One American in Nigeria Dies from Ebola
    ☛We Asked an Expert if the Ebola Virus Will Kill You
    VICE United States … via @VICE


    ☛Antibacterial, Analgesic and Antiinflammatory & Nutrition!
    Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA “Superbug”
    Chemicals in marijuana may be useful in fighting MRSA, a kind of staph bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics. Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests.

    ☛Rick Simpson Hemp Oil u2b

    ☛Cannabis: the analgesic and antiinflammatory medication of the future?

    ☛Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis Sativa
    Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) has long been known to contain antibacterial cannabinoids, whose potential to address antibiotic resistance has not yet been investigated. All five major cannabinoids (cannabidiol (1b), cannabichromene (2), cannabigerol (3b), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (4b), and cannabinol (5)) showed potent activity against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains of current clinical relevance.

    ☛Ganja Sacred Healer… Cannabinoids kill MRSA
    Substances harvested from cannabis plants could soon outshine conventional antibiotics in the escalating battle against drug-resistant bacteria.

    • Howard says:

      What’s truly hilarious about the results of Bill O’Reilly’s pot poll is the graphic of the states, with the title,

      “Here’s where you stand…”

      Of course, O’Reilly is a coward for having the poll results pulled once his staff realized it wasn’t heading in the direction he had hoped for.

      • Windy says:

        They didn’t pull one polls results, there are two separate polls with a slightly different question; the first had specific answers, the second merely yes and no, the first had 90% favor legalization, the second has 65% favoring legalization.

  23. claygooding says:

    IIRC the US govt added poison to the bootleg whuskey trying to get people to quit drinking,,if the number of people still drinkng had been as low as Gitlow claims it did I doubt they would have resorted to that extreme measure and Gitlow ignores that there was medicinal alcohol the entire time the law was in effect.
    The poor couldn’t afford missing work to go to a doctor and get a script (just like now,,greed set in and most doctors started making money writing scripts)so alcohol was never completely banned as they have tried to do with marijuana.

  24. Duncan20903 says:


    I guess they do test for caffeine after all, at least in Ionia. Here’s the requiem for two dead men in a shoot out at the car wash with (legal) guns immediately after sharing a road rage incident:

    Drug screens on Ionia road rage victims show no excessive medications or alcohol
    November 28, 2013

    The drugs found in Taylor’s system, besides Valium, were amitriptyline and citalopram, as well as ordinary caffeine.

    Pullum only had caffeine in his system.

    • allan says:

      oh… I suppose next you’ll be telling us that sugar is making our nation’s children obese, unhealthy and lazy. Like sugar is a dangerous drug or something… sheesh.

  25. tinma says:

    “The “drug czar,” as the director of the drug control policy office is informally known, must “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance” that’s listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and has no “approved” medical use.”

    I think its time to get rid of the ONDCP. The world knows there are medical uses of cannibis, yet this abc agency still tries to shove this “lies are truth” crap down our throats.

    Ban and dismantle this and all agencies that lie to the people.

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