NIDA dances around drug truths

NIDA has had a terrible track record when it comes to scientific inquiry, tending to cherry-pick the research it highlights to match its political anti-drug focus.

This is still true, and their social media pages are chock-full of fear-mongering nonsense. But once in a while, a tiny bit of truth trickles through.

Here’s one example: Childhood Maltreatment Changes Cortical Network Architecture and May Raise Risk for Substance Use — the article is from November, but was just recently highlighted on their Facebook page.

Childhood maltreatment alters children’s brain development in ways that may increase their risk for substance use and other mental disorders in adulthood. In a NIDA-supported study, researchers found that young adults who had been maltreated as children differed from others who had not been maltreated in the connectivity of nine cortical regions. The differences could compromise the maltreated group’s basic social perceptual skills, ability to maintain a healthy balance between introversion and extroversion, and ability to self-regulate their emotions and behavior.

Those of us who care about the science of drug policy already knew this, from the outstanding work of Dr. Gabor Maté (his work was also highlighted in Johann Hari’s “Chasing the Scream”).

And, of course, this flies in the face of NIDA’s usual talking points – that it’s drugs that cause addiction. The notion that there are some people who are more likely to abuse drugs because of outside influences suggests that there are other people (like the majority) who are not likely to abuse drugs, and this, leads to the notion (gasp!) that maybe drug problems should be attacked some other way than by attacking drugs.

So for them to highlight this research is really startling (although you couldn’t tell it from reading their article as they show no indication of awareness that it undermines much of their efforts).

NIDA still is up to its old tricks in one way, however. Note their usual mangling of the English language by including the word “use” in the title and in the body of the article, when, from the context, it clearly should be “abuse.”

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44 Responses to NIDA dances around drug truths

  1. Mr_Alex says:

    Whatever Nora Volkow or Nora Trotsky says on Cannabis, its either wrong, dead wrong or complete PROPAGANDA

  2. Chris says:

    Novermber can’t come quick enough. I want to legalize this already.

  3. InKushWeTrust says:

    Landmark ruling upholds de facto marijuana decriminalization in Costa Rica

    Mario Alberto Cerdas Salazar was facing 24 years in prison for growing marijuana on the terrace of his home, which he was arrested for multiple times.

    Defense attorneys argued that the plants were for personal consumption and Article 58 of Costa Rica’s narcotics law does not punish personal marijuana consumption.

  4. Drug Effectiveness Research Project (DERP) says:

    I never trust any data or editorial commentary from think tanks with an agenda who have never tried any drugs while proclaiming themselves to be the wizards of smart Omni experts.

  5. Rather than seeing this subject as a social issue NIDA keeps seeking to insist that this be dealt with as either a medical issue or a mental health issue. We are currently dealing with it as a criminal justice issue. There will be a mental health concept to “fix” these problems found in the studies while NIDA seeks to keep and expand their scope of influence by using mental health and the medical profession in their study concepts.

    That is also why there is is a tendency to see this as a “use” problem rather than an “abuse” problem. It keeps the bucks right where they are and expands their scope of influence.

    Trust me, they have got to be seeing dollar signs in their eyes as they contemplate legalization drying up the criminal justice funds, and dream about them having those now homeless funds drift their way. We are talking about huge sums of money drying up in the federal budget when the drug war does end.

    Trust me, they are not contemplating savings to the taxpaying public.

    This is big, big money.

    Their future existence as a federal organization is at stake.

    If Kevin and his ilk get their way all the huge budget sums that currently fight the drug war stay right where they are with plenty of future promise for more – for NIDA and any other federal agency getting funds to fight a scaled down (LOL) war on drugs.

    Dancing around the truth is normal for any con looking to pad his pocket.

    If drug abuse is a social issue neither NIDA nor the medical profession, nor the mental health profession, nor the criminal justice system, has any right to be laying claims to using federal funds to fix problems related to using drugs.

    If we used that trillion and a half dollars that we wasted fighting a drug war instead on some rat parks for humans type solutions we would be much happier as a society, and much better off.

    It wouldn’t take a doctor, or a mental health professional, or a judge, or a cop to do it.

  6. Mouth says:

    Huffpost: DEA gives the TSA permission and incentive to take out cash from luggage and uses the pay to help its informants.

    Don’t know how credible it is, but the DEA have been known to walk-act and quack like Ducks before.

    • That’s what I hate about the drug war. It’s so self sustaining. Shit rolls downhill and stops at public level.
      That’s you and I.

    • DdC says:

      They bread like cockroaches.
      Or spread like cancer.

      DEA Hired A TSA Informant To Help Take Cash From People’s Luggage
      huffingtonpost 01/20/2016

      The Transportation Security Administration
      TSA agents join undercover cops aboard Houston bus system. The TSA will help undercover police perform random bag searches and other security activities in a new program on the METRO bus system, marking the maligned federal agency’s latest foray out of airports and into other forms of mass transit. […]

      TSA expands power, VIPR Squads Roam Florida Train Stations. Squads of TSA agents conducted random searches and patrols at a train station in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday [4/21/2011] in yet another example of the expansion of TSA Tyranny beyond the nation’s airports.

      Report: TSA employee misconduct up 26% in 3 years. The Transportation Security Administration is probably not going to top anyone’s list of Favorite Federal Government Agencies. And the stories of its failures spread faster than a speeding jetliner: TSA officers stealing money from luggage, taking bribes from drug dealers, sleeping on the job.

  7. Servetus says:

    Just in time for the next dance, NIDA delivers, and we have a new PROPAGANDA ALERT.

    This time the research agenda focuses on blaming medical marijuana dispensaries for increasing the number of medical marijuana patients. An answer to the discrepancy can probably be found in the delicate balancing act of availability between the legal and the black (or gray) market. ‘Gray market’ can be used to classify off-record-caregivers, growers, private enterprisers, and so forth. Dispensary record-keeping appears to affect results or conclusions.

    Research, however, isn’t supposed to exhibit hysteria, or a political agenda. Yet, the data is presented in the press release as if it were suspicious, as if something fraudulent is happening just beneath the surface; because, you know, it’s those stoners, and they’re always doing weird and evil stuff, like smelling the roses. Some journalist(s) will likely fall prey to the trap and run with the following confusion:

    20-JAN-2016 — In one finding, researchers determined that medical marijuana use in the states of Colorado, Montana and Michigan rose dramatically in 2009 when the federal government announced that it was making medical marijuana prosecutions a low priority. (In the previous administration, the federal government prosecuted medical marijuana users along with recreational users, since marijuana was — as it is today — against federal law.)

    By contrast, medical marijuana participation rose little in states the expressly prohibited dispensaries, such as Alaska, Rhode Island and Vermont.

    The federal policy change led to an increase in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries, which may have led to an increase in medical marijuana participation. When Colorado and Montana responded with regulations aimed at limiting dispensaries, their numbers fell, as did the number of medical marijuana registrants in these states.

    “At one point, it seemed like there were more dispensaries than Starbucks in some cities,” says study author Brian Fairman, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health. “Then when the number of dispensaries dropped, so did the number of registrants. Interestingly, after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use, the rates of medical marijuana participation held steady, perhaps because sales taxes are lower for medical marijuana, so it’s more affordable.”

    No, Brian, it’s the dynamics of convenience. Convenience has real value in the commercial sector. Many of us pay extra for it every day.

    AAAS Press Release:

    • DdC says:

      No, Teens Don’t Smoke More Pot In Medical Marijuana States

    • Duncan20903 says:


      It’s not convenience. It’s just plain horse puckey. Supply rises to meet demand, not vice versa.

      It would have been a darn good trick for Michigan’s registered patient population to have not increased dramatically in 2009. Michigan voters approved that State’s medicinal cannabis patient protection law on Election Day 2008. Michigan still hasn’t authorized or regulated medicinal cannabis vendors.

      Montana never authorized or regulated medicinal cannabis vendors. In 2011 the Legislature approved de facto repeal of the law created by voters in 2004. SB-423 most certainly did not authorize or regulate medicinal cannabis vendors.

      Rhode Island has had dispensaries for 7 or 8 years now. It wasn’t a secret either. The Legislature overrode the Governor’s veto to authorize them.

      Alaska never specifically forbade dispensaries. The reason that they didn’t have any is because the law approved by voters in 1998 never specifically authorized them. State and local authorities were not inclined to establish them without being ordered to do so.

      The Federal government has never used Federal law against end users except when Federal law has sole jurisdiction.

      “Never let the facts stand in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric”
      ~~ The Prohibitionist’s Motto

    • claygooding says:

      I wonder if NIDA realizes the generic medical marijuana we buy from the guy in the park has medicine on it and we used it until the MMJ showed up,,,

  8. claygooding says:

    Addiction is not caused by drug use. Life is addicting and anything that gives us pleasure can become addictive.

  9. DdC says:

    OT Spectrum was a daily broadcast series on CBS Radio, c. 1970-1992, featuring a varied range of opinions on political and social issues. At first its five-minute segments ran three times a day, and rotated commentary from six print journalists: M. Stanton Evans, Jeffrey St. John, Stewart Alsop, Jon K. Jessup, Nicholas Von Hoffman and Murray Kempton. Uploaded by ulTRAX 1/13/2016

    Recorded commentaries of Murray Kempton

    1972-73 CBS Spectrum commentaries from Nic von Hoffman

    • Servetus says:

      From a linked article in The Nation: “The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal, Opponents of marijuana-law reform insist that legalization is dangerous—but the biggest threat is to their own bottom line,” by Lee Fang:

      JULY 2, 2014 — Downing, the retired LAPD deputy chief, notes: “The only difference now compared to the times of alcohol prohibition is that, in the times of alcohol prohibition, law enforcement—the police and judges—got their money in brown paper bags. Today, they get their money through legitimate, systematic programs run by the federal government. That’s why they’re using their lobbying organizations to fight every reform.”

    • DdC says:

      High Time to stop just defending ourselves from these profiteers hogwash. Start suing them for willfully endangering the public at large. In numerous ways. From stealing their homes and assets, to brainwashing the tikes with propaganda. Systematically targeting a group they politically disagree with. Not science or even logic. Blown so far out of proportion it’s abundantly clear the monkey’s are running the zoo. Canadian gets Life for “smuggling” pot into the US. It’s 2016, with buds and concentrates delivered. Time to sue them.

      There is nothing respectable about trashing the courts and jails with non violent no victim citizens. Nothing a bit moral about plea bargain kids snitching themselves to DEAth. Raiding Indians is ok because treaties still mean nothing. Sovereignty for Casino’s but not Hemp or Ganja. The almighty DEAth has spoken. The references prohibitors justify taking seizure meds from babies and kids. Or jailing seniors or Vets. Or the thousand other humiliations, set backs fines, court cost, probation, gag rules, max cap prisons, rehabiltators.

      All what we have been saying and people still think it’s a back burner not my business issue. YOU are a Victim of the Drug War! Second thought, why enrich the lawyers. Off with their heads! Or at least a public flogging. Stripped of their property and driving privileges. Ankle bracelets and piss tests for sugar. After parole.

      Perjury by cops is a crime in need of enforcement. Along with Roid Rage and sticky fingers during raids or speed trap interrogations. Courts that abuse the law for their own political gain are already guilty of a crime. Politicians or DEA and the choir of fibbers lying to Congress. NIDA misleading rags for ghoulish headlines, after retractions. No one of sound mind can look at the mountain of evidence and draw any other conclusions than the harm in doing drugs is caused directly by Prohibitionists lies and exaggerations beyond belief.

      All we are saying is give accountability a chance. Show me the bodies and stop wasting a trillion dollars chasing ghosts of Anslinger. I’m suing the entire Florida team of Swamp Gas delusionists. Chicken Little Chicken Hawks at KFC. Turner and Hooch Sembler to Sabeteur SAM and her pal Calvin. Step right up and witness the witless for yourselves. Only a quarter. In the side show tents are Real Live Liars Cheats and Scum of the Earth. Print to Spewing out loud in public. Cover your children’s ears. Such vulgarity.

      NIDA Gossip and local Copshops taking tax money from the infrastructure, schools and healthcare facilities. For Americans they swear an oath to serve and protect. How is it the preachers are always in league with the established crooks and thugs? I’ve rarely, if ever seen actual democracy. The Ganjawar proves why. The citizens wants and needs are not a concern to these paid liars. The waste of money and lives either. They want respect for the uniform while shooting stoners in cars to choking them to death with court ordered pisstests preventing anti-nausea Ganja, keeping medications and food down. Now the Sheriff’s are suing citizens seeing through the lies?

      Watching a 6 year old girl have seizures and Ganja oil stop them and then look the camera in the lens and screech no medicinal value sayeth the DEAth gods. Then continue to assault our intelligence and waste our taxes on rehashed unsubstantiated fear mongering. We are not children, except at heart. They are not the adults capable of ordering us to speak when spoken too.

      We really shouldn’t be sending such insane messages to the children. Calvina shouldn’t be using them for shields to hide behind while hurling censorship, stalling legislation, intimidation and lies. We should not be drug down dumb and silent while the loud liars get 7 figure booties spewing DEAth Merchants advertisements.

      They are not hard to find. If there are Prosecutors left in the Criminals of Justice Stism, find your Gahoonies and do something about bringing Justice to the persecuted masses seeking an alternative. Now.

  10. Duncan20903 says:


    Gosh, it feels like it was just within the last couple of months that we heard that the number of adults who are “users” of “marijuana” had doubled in the US since 2001. At least if you count people who have tried cannabis once in the preceding 12 months as “users.” I’m assigning this one to the “play that funky music white boy” category:

    Marijuana use among Oregon adults higher than rest of country

    Marijuana use among adults 26 and older in Oregon has doubled since 2006, while at the same time use has gone up only slightly in the rest of the country.

    Overall, 1 in 10 adults in Oregon said they use the drug, which remains especially popular with young men. Oregon’s marijuana use among adults has exceeded national trends for the past decade.

    The Oregon Health Authority this month issued a report detailing marijuana trends and attitudes among Oregonians. It is the state’s first comprehensive review of the latest government public health surveys looking at who consumes marijuana in Oregon and how frequently, as well as attitudes about cannabis, which is now legal for recreational use.

  11. Duncan20903 says:


    The voters of Wichita Kansas approved the decriminalization of less than an ounce to a $50 fine. The one is obviously going into the “by hook or by crook using every trick in the book” category”“>Kansas Supreme Court strikes down Wichita marijuana initiative (+video)

    A voter-approved ballot initiative lessening marijuana penalties in Wichita was struck down Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court on a technicality.

    The court did not address the state’s argument that the proposal conflicted with state marijuana possession laws. Instead, it decided that petitioners did not follow state law in filing the proposed ordinance with the city clerk.

    “If the only way they can beat us is on a technicality, it really says something about their argument,” said Esau Freeman, one of the organizers for Marijuana Reform Initiative-ICT, which organized the ballot petition.

  12. claygooding says:

    If anyone on the couch would like to visit the Portland,OR area for 4/20 we could have a couch party..

    I am booking a flight out of Dallas to Portland and back for $110,,renting a car and going to run around in OR for a week,,,or until the couchies from OR run me off.
    I could drive up there from here but if I stopped on the way through Denver they would probably find me in the parking lot of the first dispensary I hit in the fetal position with drool on my chin.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Now you’re giving me flashbacks to the evening of my introduction. At one point I did that drooling and fetal position thing. The problem was that I did it on the sidewalk in front of a bar. I’ve really do enjoy the memory of getting thrown out of a bar for being stoned to the bejesus and getting carried a couple of blocks away by the bar’s bouncers. Gosh that was a great night.

    • Swooper says:

      We’ll welcome such a good couchie to Portland come 4/20! The more the merrier! While I personally don’t know of any activities planned, yet, I can post here if I see their advertising or hear by word of mouth.

      Be prepared for some rain in April. It’s iffy but possible, depends on el nino.

      • darkcycle says:

        We’re good for you up North here, too. You can consider my couch an extension of Pete’s. Camp as long as you like!

        • Windy says:

          dark, diva, and I are about 4.5 hours north of Portland, clay, we’d welcome the opportunity to meet you in person.

  13. cy Klebs says:

    I guess the plaintiffs of the lawsuit don’t believe that families who herbalize together; stay together. Perhaps they should ask, what is the money really buying?!

  14. Servetus says:

    “Pharmaceuticals to Cure Marijuana Dependence and Abuse? You’ve Got to Be Kidding….” Phillip Smith at Alternet takes on the Topomax cure for marijuana:

    The Alternet commenters are clear evidence that NIDA propaganda has met its match in the form of a drug-educated public that outperforms the bureaucrats every time. As NIDA propaganda fades into uselessness, the NIDA cries out to be defunded. Or the present agency could be rechartered and called the National Institute for Botanical Drug Research (NIBTR), dedicated to providing valid and positive drug research to create low-cost products that counter the often less-effective drugs sold by profit-motivated Big Pharma.

    • claygooding says:

      The only cure for cannabis addiction,,which does not match the criteria to be designated as addictive by the NMH letter gang’s requirements is to smoke better cannabis.

      Even the ONDCP has quit calling cannabis addictive,,they say you can form a dependence,,just like everyone does for food or a cripple does for crutches,,,because they help him have a more norml life.

    • B. Snow says:

      First, the have a picture of someone smoking – possibly nothing – out of a small straight glass tube, typically reserved for crack or maybe some sorta speed

      Then they toss out Yet Another pharmaceutical drug that was first meant to be used for treating epilepsy!

      I can’t believe they still have more of these B*llSh*t chemicals synthesized by various chemists at a handful of companies = sometimes decades ago…

      At one point they’ve tried them out as treatments for epilepsy – desperate people will try anything if the side-effects aren’t thought/known to be more dangerous than the seizures they might reduce the severity and/or frequency of occurring .

      They put them thru a clinical trial and if more than a few people suggest the ‘new medicine’ helped them with anything, they’ll try it out on another group of people – hoping they can show some efficacy better than a placebo…

      That also doesn’t kill anyone like that artificial (‘Cannabis-like’) FAAH = [fatty acid amide hydrolase] did in France just recently, Yes that happened… looking for a (pseudo-)cannabis-like drug ended up killing five people in the clinical trial IIRC.

      I don’t recall what they wanted it to do = But they fucked it up… This should be a new baseball bat to knock every Prohib-Idiot that says, “We’ll research and synthesize pharma versions of all the cannabinoids parts & whatnot that people might need, Without the “dangers” of you maybe getting a buzz!

      Seriously, How are they still getting away with this crap, WTF?

      • NorCalNative says:

        B.Snow, hope this helps.

        FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase is the enzyme responsible for degrading (hydrolysis) the endocannabinoid system compound anandamide.

        Anandamide (the bliss chemical) is produced by the ECS on-demand and is short lived. FAAH plays an important role within the endocannabinoid system and is an integral part of it.

        Some other drugs that inhibit anandamide degradation by FAAH, are CBD, Ibuprofen and Tylenol. (Dustin Sulak, D.O.)

        CBD inhibits FAAH and increases the levels of anandamide (AEA). Anandamide levels play an important role in human health, e.g. PTSD sufferers lack sufficient anandamide.

        To your main point you nailed it, cannabis psychoactivity is seen as the “enemy” in Big Pharma cannabinoid research. Non-psychoactivity is seen as the “Holy Grail.”

        Cannabis Clinicians are discussing this at “” if you’re interested. They suspect that something was contaminated, based on previously successful lab trials in rodents.

        On the other paw, it’s also possible since mouse-brains aren’t rat-brains aren’t human brains that this is a warning that messing with the ECS in humans is a really bad idea.

        FAAH is not a pseudo-cannabis. It’s an integral part of the ECS that degrades the endocannabinoid, Anandamide, that THC mimics. It’s a natural part of our ECS.

        Was this a lab-error or another stake-through-the-heart of Big Pharma attempts to highjack the ECS for fun-and-profit?

        Not sure about the batting practice, but I wouldn’t mind a planet free of parasitical morons in while lab coats. Our health may depend on it. Oh wait, will that make Mark Klieman all sad and shit? A guy can dream.

    • DdC says:

      Daren you really didn’t have to lay your cards on the table. Just being a prohibidiot puts you as a racist. Your latest straw man has melted down. It is prohibition causing all of the things the bgots blame on skin color. No one steals to buy the same drugs when prescribed and priced according to cost. Outlaw anything and violence and higher prices will follow. Not that no evidence or unsubstantiated dribble is new with drug worriers. I guess it is a plus that you have whittled down all of the reefer madness and placed blame on the true culprit. The racist bigots. Good job exposing them, and yourself.

      From the peanut gallery of the article…

      ☛ This is a meandering, long-winded, racist confessional with nary a credible thesis, let alone a legitimate point to make.

      If you did have a thesis, it’d be: “drugs aren’t that bad, but black people are, so at least this gives us an excuse to put more of them in prison.”

      You’re a conspiratorial type lacking in critical thinking skills, and you always have been.

      ☛ only want to organize a white militia and then do war crimes to the fighting men of the race war enemy.

      ☛ Damn you rabbis! We will annihilate the men of the Israeli Defense Forces and leave them as a feast for the buzzards!

      ☛ No joke. I am sick and tired of hearing about those obnoxious negro men and how we should feel sorry for them.

      ☛ There are obviously also plenty of people, minorities in particular, who can’t handle their drugs.

      ☛ One reason Blacks and Hispanics get caught for drugs more than Whites is because the nonWhites are too stupid to properly hide what they are doing.

      ☛ It is not hard to see who is our enemy. The problem is that too many Whites are simply cowards who live in denial about these Black and Brown savages.

      ☛ I went to a school that was vast majority black. Drugs did not seem a huge problem in the school. They did act like monkeys and shout and make things difficult for the teacher.

      ☛ Any discussion of the ‘drug war’ is incomplete without addressing the role of eastern European jewish tax-farmers.

      ☛ I have defended the nationalist drug policy whether it be tolerant of drugs or intolerant of drugs, just so long as that policy is nationalistic.

      ☛ Putting subhumans in some faraway land before your own people in service of insane libshit agenda is stupid.

      ☛ Drugs are not themselves super problematic. Drug users are. This is a hair worth splitting by my estimation. The problem isn’t drugs; it’s n!ggers.

      ☛ If we ended welfare to anyone who committed a crime while under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and executed anyone who committed a drug-related violent crime (i.e., robbed someone at gunpoint for crack money, chewed someone’s face off while high on bath salts, committed manslaughter while baked/drunk, etc.) we would not have to have the immense waste of time and money and lives that is the Drug War

    • Mr_Alex says:

      The problem with the War on Drugs or even War on Cannabis gave birth to abusive rehabs like Synanon founded by Charles E dederich, the Seed founded by Art Baker, Straight Inc founded by Betty and Melvin Sembler and Joseph Zappala, many spin off programs that use the Synanon, the Seed and Straight Inc influence exist today, Project SAM and their supporters like Bridget Klotz, CADCA, No2Pot, Stop Pot 2016, Linda Taylor, Parents Opposed to Pot run by Julie Anne Schauer, CLEAR Alliance, National Council of Families and etc have admitted they have no problems with Coercive Rehabs or even forcing people to rehab, a must listen Straight Inc a legacy of abuse continues, it is obvious many Straight Inc survivors were forced there for no drug use or using Cannabis–legacy-of-abuse-continues-1

    • darkcycle says:

      Good lord. You have got to be kidding. From it’s inception, the drug war has been explicitly racist. All you have to do is read Harry Anslinger’s testimony in Congress when he testified in support of the Marijuana Tax Act. The issue of victimless crimes like possession and distribution (as well as drug trade related violence and gang and cartel activity)are a result of legal prohibition only, and an entirely different subject from crimes of violence and victimization or theft. The former are a result of prohibition, the latter are primarily driven by poverty.
      Really, this sort of racist tripe is not only disgusting and deserving of ridicule, it’s insulting. It’s insulting to bring this sort of shallow, agenda driven nonsense to the people who sit on this couch.
      Go away, Daren. And you aren’t welcome to partake of any bowl I pack.

    • B. Snow says:

      Anything that addresses the reader as “Brah”… before they start the article needs to go Learn2Seppuku ASAP!

    • allan says:

      thanks to those of you whom bothered to read that for saving me the pain… and I bet he won’t be back. It’s always a drive-by mentality that posts this dribble. As much as the-many have poked, prodded, flipped, turned-inside-out and generally dissected prohibition, none I know have ever said “yeah, that works.”

  15. sudon't says:

    The prohibitionists often conflate “use” with “abuse”. More often, though, by calling all recreational use, “abuse”. It’s interesting that they reversed that practice in this context.

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