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Asset Forfeiture push-back

It feels like there’s a growing concern around the country regarding the travesty of use of civil asset forfeiture to steal from citizens. We’re starting to see more states push back in their laws, and this has to be because a lot of people (including us) have educated the public about just how unjust this practice has become.

Here’s an editorial from Casper, Wyoming:

“Guilty until proven innocent” isn’t how the United States is supposed to work, but that’s the basis of Wyoming’s asset forfeiture law.

Currently, members of law enforcement can seize any property even when the owner hasn’t been convicted of anything. Simple suspicion is enough. If police think money, vehicles or guns are related to the drug trade, for example, they can confiscate those items. Then, owners must go to court and mount a defense to regain possession.

That’s backward. Suspicion of illegal activity simply doesn’t set the bar high enough. Of course, we have no problem with the state seizing the assets of someone convicted of a serious crime. But the conviction must come first. We must ensure our residents are granted due process – a fair trial – before the government takes anything.

That’s why we’re glad to see Wyoming lawmakers weighing two draft proposals. One would require a felony conviction, and the other would require “clear and convincing evidence” of illegal activity. The current situation is so wrongheaded that either would be an improvement, but we – along with anyone else who respects the rights and values on which our country was founded – would like to see the threshold raised to require a conviction.

Personally, I would add that the seized assets must not be used to enrich the agency or agencies involved in the seizing.

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53 comments to Asset Forfeiture push-back

  • jean valjean

    “Personally, I would add that the seized assets must not be used to enrich the agency or agencies involved in the seizing.”

    Good point, Pete. The Casper Star Tribune editorial seems to have missed the most important reason why asset forfeiture is wrong; namely the conflict of interest between enrichment for law enforcement officers versus justice for everyone else. It’s usually known as corruption, and is at the heart of the drug war.

    • Francis

      “Personally, I would add that the seized assets must not be used to enrich the agency or agencies involved in the seizing.”

      I’d go further and require that seized assets only be used to provide restitution to the crime’s victims. “But wait, how would that work for victimless crimes like drug offenses?” Well, gee, I guess it wouldn’t…

    • claygooding

      A legal conundrum,,can a prosecutor,,who stands to gain control of any DEA/DOJ grants and seizures,,be disqualified from prosecuting a defendant in a seizure action because he has a vested interest in the outcome?

  • Servetus

    “…clear and convincing evidence” of illegal activity is too subjective. Leaving forfeiture decisions to law enforcement in the field invariably produces the least desirable results: human rights violations.

    What the government is offering its citizens with forfeiture is in fact tyranny, specifically a violation of the 4th Amendment right to be secure in their property and personal information, served up with enough bitter prohibition sauce to disguise the taste for those not paying attention to what went into the sausage. It’s notable that forfeiture afflicts the least wealthy and most vulnerable citizens. Someone with the money to hire a good lawyer can always fight to get their money or property returned on mere principle alone, even if the justice does cost more than the monetary value of the seized property.

    When people speak of “flyover states”, it’s not necessarily a derogatory judgment made about people living in the flyover state. It’s about the forfeitures, the speed traps, all the highway drug-interdiction con-games, the inability to drive while black or brown or hippie without being harassed by predatory racists and bigots sporting police uniforms. That’s a flyover state. Wyoming and the rest of the forfeiture state governments will need to get their act together if they want to be treated as something other than political pariahs.

  • Francis

    This quote from the Department of Justice website might make things a little clearer for you laypeople:

    Civil judicial forfeiture is an in rem (against the property) action brought in court against the property. The property is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is necessary.

    Treating the property as the defendant rather than its owner is an example of what we lawyers call a “legal fiction” (i.e., “bullshit” to use the non-technical term). But it solves a problem for the government beautifully because it means that the state isn’t depriving a person of his property without due process (that would be totes unconstitutional). Instead, it’s depriving property of its person without due process. But property doesn’t have a right to due process. And so you see, there’s no problem.

    • Tony Aroma

      No matter how they word it, a person’s property is being taken away. While the property may not have rights, the person who owns it does. And the Constitutional rights of a citizen should supersede any claims against (non-citizen) objects. But I guess if you want to take someone’s property bad enough, you can twist the words however you like. To a reasonable person though, I think the 5th Amendment is quite clear and unambiguous:

      No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

      How could the meaning of that possibly be in dispute???

      • claygooding

        When they busted me for growing and dropped the charges but kept the grow equipment I asked where the due process of law was when no conviction still allowed them to take my property,,the county judge told me that them informing me they were keeping it was due process,,,I had to leave before I picked up another charge.

      • Francis

        To a reasonable person though, I think the 5th Amendment is quite clear and unambiguous

        Well, yeah. But that’s a reasonable person. I’m pretty sure that in the civil forfeiture context, the applicable standard is what’s called the “reasonable inanimate object” test. And so the relevant question is whether a particular forfeiture procedure would “shock the conscience” of the average desk chair or shopping cart. I assure you, the legal reasoning is airtight.

        • DdC

          Air tight explains prohibitionists acts of deprivation. They’re suffering from a lack of oxygen.

        • jean valjean

          “In legal history, an animal trial was the criminal trial of a non-human animal. Such trials are recorded as having taken place in Europe from the thirteenth century until the eighteenth. In modern times, it is considered in most criminal justice systems that non-human creatures lack moral agency and so cannot be held culpable for an act.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_trial
          Evidently the U.S. legal system maintains that inanimate objects do not lack “moral agency” if and when the object is desired by law enforcement. The whole of the drug war charade reminds me of the Salem witch hunts and the various legal fictions so well portrayed in The Crucible.

        • DdC

          Witch hunts and the war on weed
          The persecution of “witches” was really a war on sacred plants that continues today.

          MEDICAL CANNABIS
          A SHORT GRAPHICAL HISTORY WITCHCRAFT & CHRISTIANITY
          Both Catholics and Protestant churches persecuted witches. The only difference being the form of execution, Catholics burnt witches while Protestants hang them.

          Marijuana and the Goddess
          In most ancient hunter-gatherer societies, women balanced the males’ supply of game with their collected harvest from the surrounding wilderness. Women therefore became the first to learn the secrets of plants, and how they propagated themselves.

          CHRISTIANS & POT: A HIGH HOLY HISTORY

          Marijuana Monopolies of Yesterday and Today

        • Servetus

          Property has no right to due process? Strange. In some situations property appears to possess more due process than people, certain people in particular.

          In the U.S., a corporation–a thing, a personal ‘effect’ in 4th Amendment legal parlance–is legally defined to be a person, with equal access to due process. Under this strange law, it seems a custodian would be able to incorporate their possession for protection under the corporate umbrella. If the corporation is afforded due process, and if the effect is the defendant, it follows that it’s a person. Incorporation is cheap, easy, and can be done online.

          Additionally, if no criminal charge against the custodian of the effect is necessary, then shouldn’t the effect being forfeited automatically be given a court appointed lawyer who defends the incorporated effect, especially if one’s stash cannot afford to hire an attorney of its own?

        • DdC

          Firstly, I think when it comes to the drug war, anything goes for cops, unless you have a lawyer. In which case charges are never filed or possessions never taken. Except in quasi-legal businesses such as dispensaries. Or if enough evidence warrants a big haul on some rich person with lots of evidence. Or cops can just shoot them and remove any complaints at the same time.

          L.A. Forfeiture Squads Kill California Millionaire – 03/13/00

          Then I wonder if individuals can incorporate themselves or is their skills they incorporate or can potentially “illegal” business incorporate? The question came up when the cops raided the santa ana dispensary and others, where they took the items described as being protected, as a corporation.

          “corporation” as “a number of persons united in one body for a purpose.” The Supreme Court ruled that corporations are protected by the ban on warrantless search and seizure. Otherwise, as the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro puts it, “the police could storm down the doors of some company and take all their computers and their files.”
          When Did Companies Become People? N.P.R.
          Excavating The Legal Evolution July 28, 2014

          Incorporate Now Only $49 Plus State Filing Fees.

          How Does a Person Become Incorporated?
          Then enter information about yourself as the sole shareholder, because you are becoming incorporated yourself. Write your name and then write 100 percent shares in the blank that asks for the percentage of shares the individual holds.

    • B. Snow

      So, does this mean – “Assets Are People Too”?
      That would entail them the same 4th Amendment Rights as “persons” = Yes, I realize this is a bit of an absurd statement – but no less so than “Corporations Are People Too”…

      In an age when money/cash has First Amendment Rights in regards to Elections.

      Surely we can guarantee it Fourth Amendment Rights when traveling and/or in a residence it (often) pays for, No?

  • thelbert

    who would have thought the government would give itself the power to take things it wants from the people? sometimes they want a thousand jury nullification pamphlets: http://tinyurl.com/ntm8vkc

  • Daniel Williams

    I believe Pete’s proposed addition would be a byproduct of proper forfeiture reform: If it became less easy to keep, the incentive goes away. Law enforcement has proven to be attracted to low-hanging fruit; pot smokers, and, correspondingly, rather phobic about chasing the real bad guys.

  • Frank W.

    Meanwhile, Michigan OF COURSE has its own idea of pushback:
    http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/08/senate_panel_approves_civil_as.html
    They just can’t bring themselves to…it’s just so…hot and moist…so juicy…

  • viggoPiggsko

    The violence caused by prohibition is just appalling.
    (Johann Hari – Chasing the scream)

    “When I met him, he was 23, but he could still describe the techniques he learned here and later. Take beheading, for example. “There’s times I’ve seen it they’ve done it with a saw,” he told me through the prison glass. “Blood everywhere. When they start going they hit the jugular and –” he clicks his fingers – “[it’s] everywhere… They put the head right there. The head still moves, makes faces and everything. I think the nerves, you can see inside, the bone, everything’s moving. It’s like they’ve got worms. I’ve seen it move, when it’s on the ground. If he’s making a screaming face, it stays like that sometimes. Sometimes it slacks off.”

    http://www.alternet.org/everything-we-think-we-know-about-drug-violence-wrong

  • Sweden is waking up

    Excuse the google translation:

    Yesterday came the judgment of the district court regarding wheelchair user Andrew Thorn, who cultivated and used cannabis in the home for medical purposes. Despite evidence of minor drug offenses freed Thorn, on the basis of need.

    It is gratifying that the Swedish courts and the rule of law sees the light in question, now it’s just time for politicians and the law to do the same.
    There is a risk that the case be appealed to the Court of Appeal, then to the Supreme Court.

    Andreas Thorn freed even where the verdict would set a precedent. Other people who find themselves in Thörns situation would end are treated as criminal cases and start treatment for what they actually are – sick people in need of help.

    Sweden should look forward on the issue. Half the world legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes and decriminalizing recreational partly. Instead of using ill fellow men as scapegoats in a completely antiquated system, Sweden should stop punishing people who want to help themselves.

    The issue of gay rights, we were almost the first in the world. The issue of women’s suffrage was also seen in the forefront. It’s way too late to be first on the issue of decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana, but let us at least not be the last.

    http://www.expressen.se/debatt/ett-viktigt-steg-mot-att-legalisera-cannabis/

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Am I a weird person because I find the unsolicited concern of strangers for the count, shape, and relative energy level of my sperm to be disturbed thinking? Of course that’s nothing new, but this time around I’m wondering if this happen on a set schedule. Does somebody ring a bell over at the ONDCP or an ONDCP equivalent, ding ding ding ding ding…it’s time to examine their testicles! It’s certainly starting to feel like a periodic concern.

    What Marijuana May Do to Sperm
    Nothing good…

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      You know, quite frankly I’m annoyed by the fact that I’m never asked if my sperm aren’t happier living in a more rural environment instead of all shoehorned in, living a life in a more relaxed manner rather than darting all hither and yon, and not rigidly complying with bureaucratic uniformity standards. Wow writing it down like that makes me wonder, doesn’t that sound like a hippie?

  • jean valjean

    Millions of Americans still carry the scarlet letter “A for Addict” whenever they apply for jobs, benefits etc.

    “Opponents of marijuana retroactive relief laws argue that those who broke the law deserve the consequences, because they knowingly committed a crime. The foundation of their argument is the belief that marijuana use merits punishment. But who would support a lifelong criminal record for someone who had been convicted of liquor possession during alcohol prohibition? We understand that alcohol possession should not be a crime and would all vote to expunge the obsolete conviction. The same should be true for marijuana.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amos-irwin/marijuana-legalization-ig_b_8040046.html

  • Servetus

    Law enforcement that profits from asset forfeiture has help, which presumably also profits. For the benefit of the government alone, there is Forfeiture Support Associates (FSA), headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, and serving the DEA, EOUSA, FBI, USMS, and other law enforcement groups, to provide civil service support and staff for those agencies in their daily routine of raids and thefts. FSA is there to help the government steal stuff with the highest efficiency possible.

    Here is FSA’s promotional video (VIEWER DISCRETION ADIVISED: the upbeat attitude of people who facilitate law enforcement violations of human rights may be disturbing to some viewers):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPU2db8ovdI

    • jean valjean

      “FSA maintains an uncompromising commitment to providing the highest quality people that produce the highest quality programs within the highest ethical framework.”

      Even by the standards of prohibitionists this must be a new low. They’re selling ladders to burglars.

      • kaptinemo

        And just think: now reform-minded people have been made aware of them. You know; the ones who now pay the lion’s share of Federal LE activity.

        The ones who want to end everything having to do with drug prohibition.

        Time for more Congressional testimony being given; methinks some Congressional subpoenas are in order.

        For this can’t be anything but crooked.

        • Windy

          “this can’t be anything but crooked”
          Yep, it is also absolutely unconstitutional. The Constitution specifically forbade the fed gov from having ANY police powers AT ALL! Every single fed agency with any “law enforcement” division, is absolutely unconstitutional and so is every bureaucracy that supports those agencies in any way. So why are attorneys not fighting the Constitutional authority of these agencies in defense of their clients?

        • kaptinemo

          One might argue that every Fed agency formed after the Supreme Court’s Wickard ruling is unConstitutional.

          Which is partly why the Supremes ruled against Raich; that’s a lot of intrusive, overbearing, tyrannical government to disassemble. They like their Corporate (Corp-Rat) State, they do indeed.

  • Mr_Alex

    In New Zealand, the Government is using Dr Robert G Heath’s moneky study to keep Cannabis Prohibition going, Parliament is filled with prohibitionists like Peter Dunne, Bob McCoskrie (Leader of Family First), SERCO, the alcohol, Tobacco, Pharma lobby and industry who fund the war on cannabis and drugs in New Zealand

    • DdC

      See how they create jobs? If you take out the people who make us sick. You take jobs from fat pharma. Peace sells Frisbee’s, war sells tanks at 4 yards to a gallon of Exxon. The cogs can’t see out of their cubicles. They count numbers, not humans. Or the other frivolous non profit human traits like dignity, honesty and caring. Leave it to humans and they would prevent jobs treating cancer by preventing the cancer. Or heaven forbid, cure it. Then there would be no numbers at all. Like the steel and leather depression after Polio. All of those leg brace makers out of work. These cogs have built a system beyond Soylent Green. They have learned over the decades that killing loses profits. Hitler went broke killing people. Profits are in treatments. Booze not only makes people long term sick. It causes fights and car crashes, ER’s at 10 times regular doctors prices. Plastic tubes to high tech gadgets. Tow trucks and Ambulances. Jobs.

      Plus the infrastructures required, ss tanks to ss pipes and copper kettles, glass bottles and dead tree cardboard. Cannabis needs water and dirt and sunshine. Crime, disease or hate can be very lucrative. All renewable resources for the need of treatment. Pass laws leaving discretion to cops, with fringe benefits from forfeiting retirement homes for the Chief to confiscating Christmas presents for the troopers. Politicize the courts so winning means big bucks while Justice is for black and white movies. Monsanto has been instrumental creating upswings in Neurological damage. Big Aggie, Dow Corning Exxon BP all doing their part to make us sick. Then fat pharma sells us treatments, with many side effects. Creating more jobs. Not like selfish healthy people or those stoners who grow their own prevention’s and cures. Hate is a staple from racism to police action service and repairs. Then spread it to the people with PC P&G soap opera lifestyles shunning individual thought. Divide and segregate. Vote for me and I’ll set you free.

    • Servetus

      The Merchant of Death, otherwise known as Monsanto, pushes a herbicide product known as Roundup®. Yet, given the strong evidence that glyphosate poisons humans as well as plants, no moral panic exists within the United States to stop the use of this dangerous chemical. Colombia, however, is taking the necessary step of ending all glyphosate coca spraying due to its obvious ill effects on people:

      Colombia to End Coca Farm Glyphosate Sprayings:

      31 Aug, 2015 — “Imprecise fumigations of the sort that befell Burgos are common. The people have been “sprayed like cockroaches” says Noel Amilcar Chapuez Guevara, governor of the council of Awa Tatchan, one of the many indigenous farming communities in Putumayo” :
      http://www.newsweek.com/colombia-end-coca-farm-glyphosate-sprayings-367139
      ###
      22 Jan, 2015 — “Soybean workers exposed to the agrochemicals like glyphosate, the main component in Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’ herbicide and other biocides, suffer from elevated DNA and cell damage, according to a new study ”:
      http://www.rt.com/usa/225247-monsanto-glyphosate-damage-soybean/
      ###
      29 Aug, 2015 — “Long exposure to tiny amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup may damage liver, kidneys – study ”:
      http://www.rt.com/usa/313806-monsanto-roundup-kidney-damage/
      ###
      21 Mar, 2015 — “Too ‘dramatic’: Monsanto shuns WHO verdict that Roundup ‘probably’ causes cancer” :
      http://www.rt.com/news/242801-glyphosate-cancer-risk-monstano/
      ###
      10 Feb, 2015 — “Monsanto monarch massacre: 970 million butterflies killed since 1990” :
      http://www.rt.com/usa/230823-monarch-butterflies-monsanto-massacre/

      Whereas marijuana creates happy butterflies, can treat the sick, the injured, the cancer afflicted, and can deliver a mentally healthful buzz reducing blood cortisol levels, this places cannabinoids in direct contravention of archaic, hypocritical, puritanical standards of social control and repression.

      Truly, the real Merchant of Death resides within the offices of the ONDCP and DEA, and it spreads its own poison through state and municipal agencies that afflict citizens throughout the world.

      New warning label for Monsanto products:

      CAUTION: the ONDCP and DEA are known to cause cancer in people subjected to aerial spraying.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Now you’ve gotten me waxing all nostalgic. That was the very first fraudulent “scientific” study about cannabis to which I was exposed. Holy cow, do the prohibitionists get good mileage from their lies or what?

      Remember, it (obviously) isn’t the quality of the study, it’s the headline that counts. That’s as far as the sycophants of prohibition get in a news article about “science” and merrywanna.

  • DdC

    MISSION CREEP: Feds help militarize police agencies
    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has spent billions of tax dollars since 2003 outfitting state and local law enforcement agencies with “Punt Guns” – used for hunting dissidents, it has the potential to take down 50 protesters in one fell swoop.

  • BackInDeEleventies

    One almost gets the sense that there is some desperation going on here. The feds undoubtedly know that an increasing number of people are gravitating toward libertarianism, whose philosophy dictates that drugs be legalized and the drug war ended. Maybe thats whats causing them to engage in all that weirdness. Maybe they’re hoping to come up with quick-fix formula that shows that the 40-year-old drug war is finally being won. In that way, they’ll be able to keep their jobs, their money, and their power over the lives and fortunes of the citizenry.

    http://fff.org/2011/12/09/federal-drugwar-weirdness/

  • Servetus

    The Ashley Madison hack involving the public exposure of members of an online adultery site has revealed one of its members to be Hunter Biden, son of drug war criminal VP Joe Biden, along with about 400 members of the Christian clergy.

    No word yet on how many prohibitionists were caught, if any, or who they might be, but given the presence of 400 hypocritical preachers, one might expect some low-level prohibs were guilty as well.

    • jean valjean

      Please god one of them is Kevin Sabet.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      If the hackers truly wanted to shut down Ashley Madison all they needed to do was to get Linda Taylor to join. The network would have imploded in very little time.

      It’s too bad that they didn’t find Calvina Fay, Melinda Haag or any of the other prohibitionist succubusses (or is that succubi?) Now that would be embarrassing wouldn’t it?

      Very recently I read an article that claimed an analysis of the hacked Ashley Madison data showed that AM was (is?) a sausage festival. I think maybe that’s why they didn’t care if the data was published…there wasn’t any actual adultery involved. Well, unless Jimmy Carter is a member.

      Heck, if we could come up with a way to settle it I’d wager that AM has enjoyed a substantial rise in gross revenue and increased membership numbers subsequent to and because of the hack publicity. With the right odds I might even consider a parlay with me betting that the hack was done by agents or employees of AM. A man’s little head isn’t much of a philosopher you know. The rationalization being that the service is freshly hacked so what are the odds of it happening again? Those little heads have a poor understanding of discrete events.
      —————————
      For a couple of years now I’ve been lobbying Michiganders to hire a private detective to follow key members of that State’s sanctimonious, holier than thou, the LAW is the LAW (blah, blah, blah) cohort and get proof of as many of them committing adultery as is humanly possible. E.g. I think that AG Bill Schuette is a guaranteed bust. Well at least if his Viagra still works for him. Then release the information to the press and remind the Michigan citizenry that adultery is a felony in their State.

      Hey, the LAW is the LAW (blah blah blah)! Isn’t that right Mr. Schuette?

    • Windy

      So Biden the prohibitch had one son die (from something cannabis may have cured, if researchers and doctors had been allowed to develop the best methods for its use and he’d been legally allowed to use it) and another son outed as an adulterer, wonder how that’ll affect his run for the presidency (c’mon, we ALL know he’s going to go for it, he’s an authoritarian and wants more power to authoritate, yes I think I just made up a new word).

      • thelbert

        what about the son that was kicked out of the navy for drug abuse. cocaine i think it was. punished with a severe slap on the wrist, kinda like pat kennedy. no life without parole for the rich. just guys like Paul Free or Sharanda Jones, you know, the little people.

  • Mr_Alex

    Interesting Anti Cannabis groups runs with Scientology’s Narconon, Parents Opposed to Pot works with Narconon, time for Kevin Sabet to come clean on Scientology along with the Project SAM group

  • jean valjean

    Incidents like this are clearly a product of the drug war and the license it gives to loser cops to act out their power fantasies, safe in the knowledge that they have government immunity. Plus they get to cop a feel.
    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/cop-slams-moms-face-ground-she-dropped-her-kids-school-over-tinted-license-plate

  • Servetus

    Daily marijuana use among US college students highest since 1980.” It’s “on the rise, surpassing daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014
    That’s the latest proclamation from a newly published 2014 NIDA report (pdf monograph here).

    Use of drugs like synthetic marijuana, bath salts, and so forth, are plummeting, while “nonmedical use of narcotic drugs–which has accounted for an increasing number of deaths in recent years according to official statistics–actually has been declining among college students, falling from 8.8 percent reporting past-year use in 2006 down to 4.8 percent by 2014…There is no evidence of a shift over from narcotic drugs to heroin use in this population. Use of heroin has been very low among college students over the past five years or so–lower than it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    Hillary Clinton recently made noises in her campaign speeches about parents approaching her to complain about a wave of heroin use they see threatening their children. The new stats contradict Hillary’s campaign motivated drug hysteria ploy.

    Conventional drug consumption is up in some cases, or stabilizing, proving once again that if at first the NIDA/ONDCP/DEA trifecta doesn’t succeed, fail, fail again.

    The complete AAAS press release can be viewed here:

    • Tony Aroma

      I wonder if anybody will mention this part of the report:

      While 63 percent of college students in 2014 said that they have had an alcoholic beverage at least once in the prior 30 days, that figure is down a bit from 67 percent in 2000 and down considerably from 82 percent in 1981.

      I find it quite interesting that while marijuana use went up a bit, there’s a pretty significant drop in alcohol use. Sounds like a good thing to me.

  • Servetus

    Public Release: The FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SOCIETIES FOR EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY says Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol might eventually help transplant patients:

    1-SEP-2015 — New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that mice receiving THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, had a delay in the rejection of an incompatible organ[…]

    “We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing immune response in the recipient, said Mitzi Nagarkatti, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. “This opens up a new area of research that would lead to better approaches to prevent transplant rejection as well as to treat other inflammatory diseases.”[…]

    “More and more research is identifying potential beneficial effects of substances contained in marijuana, but a major challenge has been identifying the molecular pathways involved,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. “These new studies point to important roles for the cannabinoid receptors as targets that might be exploited using approaches that refine how we think about substances derived from marijuana.”

    A delay in the rejection of an incompatible organ might lead to new technology wherein brain transplants could be made available to prohibitionists. To think that a weed made it all possible….

    AAAS press release here.

  • Crut

    Plenty of successful people smoke pot, and have the financial cushion to handle it if things go wrong, said Kevin Sabet, head of the anti-drug group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Not everyone in MTV’s audience has the same luxury.

    “It’s really a bad message to young people that marijuana is harmless,” Sabet said, “especially at a time when the marijuana kids are using is 5 to 10 times as strong as the marijuana their parents used.”

    LOL! Oh Kevin, the financial cushion? If “things go wrong”? Things are going very wrong for you lately huh? Link