Open Thread

NYPD Sued for Refusing to Reveal Data on Millions in Asset Forfeiture Revenue

The New York City Police Department is stonewalling a records request for information on how it collects and distributes “tens of millions” of dollars in seized cash and property under asset forfeiture laws, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by Bronx Defenders, a legal aid organization that assists low-income people.

Philippines President Duterte on vigilante drug war: “You can’t stop me”

The crackdown has been one of the biggest and bloodiest in the Philippines’ recent history and has alarmed human rights groups and the dominant Roman Catholic Church. But Duterte has dismissed their concerns and has openly threatened to kill crime suspects, assuring law enforcers that he would defend them if they face lawsuits while battling criminality.

Church leader Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued a statement, read in churches Sunday in his northern district, expressing deep concerns over the killings of drugs suspects and lamenting a lack of widespread outrage over the deaths.

Marijuana Haters Say They Have Millions to Spend Against Legalization Effort

But there’s a third horse in this race. The antipot group Smart Approaches to Marijuana says its political arm, SAM Action, has raised more than $2 million to fight legalization in California and elsewhere this election season.

“The ballot initiatives in California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine usher in massive commercialization of kid-friendly marijuana products,” said SAM co-founder Kevin Sabet. “They go way beyond just legalization for adults’ personal use.”

Enjoying watching the Olympics. The good news these days is that, as long as you don’t smoke marijuana on the day you’re competing, you’re not likely to get bounced for having it in your blood like you used to.

Side note: the drugging scandal going on now in the Olympics has to do with Russian athletes – kind of ironic considering how hard line Russia is against any kind of recreational drug use.

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28 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Uncle Albert's Nephew says:

    Hate to agree with Kleiman but a few years ago he said on his blog that he didn’t like the use of the word “doping” to refer to sports drugs. The people who do that aren’t getting high, much less partying. They’re working. It’s a different issue and shouldn’t be conflated with recreational drugs. Hey, even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

  2. jean valjean says:

    Kevin Sabet….thought he’s been too quiet recently. No doubt he’s been busy smoozing Sheldon Adelson and the Semblers for cash. Last time California voted on regulated legalization out of state Mormons pumped millions into the election to oppose it. Seems its now time for the Bahais to do the same.

  3. Servetus says:

    Duterte is emerging as a Trump imitator with an action plan—notice his use of the command “believe me” after he says something stupid:

    Duterte had vowed to keep his “shoot-to-kill” order “until the last day of my term, if I’m still alive by then”.

    “I don’t care about human rights, believe me,” he said, according to official transcripts released by the presidential palace.

    I believe him.

    Duterte named a total of 158 officials, many of whom are police and military officers, but also include three members of Congress and seven judges.[…]

    As many as 57 people have turned themselves in to police in Metro Manila, with many saying the allegations against them are unfounded and that they are determined to clear their name.

    The integrity of the list that President Duterte released over the weekend has also been questioned by some factions who have found that a number of those on the lists are either long dead, some did not even hold public office, and a few others were found to not exist at all. [ibid]

    Truth is up for grabs, just like in Trumpville. Dead men tell no tales, so they’re easily accused. With the drug war menace confounding modern world politics, should a few ruthless dictators want to recreate Hitler’s Night of the Long Knives (AKA Reich Murder Week), all they need for a plausible disguise is a phony drug crackdown.

  4. DdC says:

    As California voters mull over legalizing recreational marijuana in November, pot advocates accuse U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein and a host of powerful lobbyists of submitting false arguments against Proposition 64 to elections officials.

    Pro-Pot Group Decries Lies in California Ballot Bid

    The political fact-checking website Politifact California says Feinstein’s claims are “mostly false.”

    Prominent drug law reform attorney Graham Boyd says Feinstein, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and the California Hospital Association and others signed off on false ballot arguments that are set to appear in millions of voter guides this fall.

    Filing on behalf of the Yes on Proposition 64 campaign, Boyd sued the opponents Thursday in Sacramento County Superior Court, asking a judge to order California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to remove the challenged statements before the voter guides are finalized on Aug. 15.

    Kids Are More Likely To Be Poisoned by Crayons
    Lawmakers Shouldn’t Be Neutral On Marijuana

  5. jean valjean says:

    Check out the last couple of minutes of Yvette Carnell’s take on how “black people sunk Bernie.” Income inequality? Free education? Healthcare? ” Nah! We don’t want that socialist.” Another “What’s the Matter with Kansas” moment, but you can’t say that because it’s racist to point out the stupidity of American voters if they’re black.

    • darkcycle says:

      (Some)Black people aren’t the only ones who inexplicably vote against their interests. I’ll accept that that comment isn’t racist, Jean Valjean, when you ‘splain me all those white poor folks in the South who rely on welfare and public assistance to survive and yet vote Republican. I’ll wait.

      • jean valjean says:

        That’s why “What’s the Matter with Kansas” is mentioned. (Some) black people are by no means the only voters who vote against their own economic interests, but in this case it’s what sunk Bernie Sanders’ bid. I don’t know if you watched the video but it’s a nuanced view by two African American academics on the need for a different, non MSM approach to getting the news out to many black voters. I don’t think there’s anything inexplicable about voting against one’s own economic interests….look at the countless white working class Trump supporters who are about to do just that. Similarly, many white working class Britons voted to leave the E.U. and are now suffering buyers remorse when they see how E.U. grants will disappear.

        • darkcycle says:

          No, the media blackout, the manipulated caucus votes and the DNC sunk Bernie’s bid. If there hadn’t been a media blackout and Bernie’s message had gotten exposure, I could see a different result. The racist part is you lay it at the feet of black voters who didn’t get to hear the candidate or see his platforms. Voters who were Bernie supporters were disenfranchised, had their registrations altered and purged from the rolls, where nobody could identify any Hillary supporters who had the same thing happen. Polling places were closed and long waits were the norm. It was a situation set up by the powers that be. It would serve you in good stead to look for the reasons that vote went the way it did, and not place blame where it doesn’t belong. IMHO.

        • jean valjean says:

          All of that is of course true and undisputed. However, I was drawing attention to the views expressed by the two makers of the video…. are they self-hating racists? I think not. As it happens they’re making the same point as you, namely that the media is not giving coverage to anyone who threatens the Wall Street establishment. Therefore many black voters are unaware of Sanders and his policies, hence the large majority of black primary voters chosing the 1% candidate, Hillary Clinton.
          They also suggest that whites cannot draw attention to this voting trend without being accused of racism. I think you’ve just made their point.

  6. NCN says:

    Open Thread Worthy.

    Purchased some topical cannabis salve recently. My dad had a good-sized nasty-looking wart on his right index finger. Covering the wart with salve and a band aid and that beeeyotch was history in less than a week.

    In my case I was hoping for some deeper penetration to reduce inflammation of a hip bursa condition called trochanteric bursitis. The damn sac was causing a “pseudo-radiculopathy” i.e., sciatica-like shooting pain that was really messing with my daily activities.

    I wasn’t helped by the topical application for this problem but it did take care of some painful cracked skin and callous on my heels.

    In a lawless country where extra-judicial killings are encouraged by the leader of the nation one might be forgiven for thinking Roman Catholicism is impotent and useless in terms of protecting human rights.

    I keep doing this search with NO hits: “Pope speaks out against human-rights abuses of Duterte.” Keep getting NOTHING. Where is Rome?

    • strayan says:

      I took a massive dose of sativex one time and the following day the site where I had a wart got really itchy. Could definitely be a connection!

      • NCN says:

        I used some Sativex-like hash oil tincture on a mole. I wasn’t even trying to manage the mole, just looking for a place to put the little amount of liquid that splashed on my finger from spraying it in my mouth.

        I did it a couple of times with an amount equal to much less than one-spray. In just a few days the mole changed color to a dark reddish-brown and when I touched it, it basically just dissolved and came off.

  7. BombingRaidsOnMayors says:

    “If I order the killing of someone, you cannot arrest me, I have immunity,” he said in separate remarks Friday, drawing the ire of human rights organizations.

    Rumors have circulated in Philippine media that mayors with ties to the drug trade have begged for private meetings with Duterte and cried before him, asking for police not to storm their homes.

    Duterte’s National Police Chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, has said that conducting air strikes on the homes of “narco-mayors” is not out of the question: “If those providing them safe haven are armed, then we will request the Air Force to bomb the place.”

  8. Servetus says:

    An example of a jury voting against their own human and civil rights:

    Jury Finds Police Violated Family’s Constitutional Rights; Awards $1 in Damages

  9. Bernie out for blood, raising money to defeat Wasserman Schultz

    Hillary Clinton Backs Debbie Wasserman Schultz During Florida Campaign Stop

    I can’t believe that Hillary has her heart behind any of changes to the DNC party platform (due to Bernie’s influence) with her backing of DWS.

    Particularly the platform changes re: marijuana.

  10. Servetus says:

    The gene responsible for making some people aggressive when they drink alcohol may have some positive benefits for its bearers:

    10-AUG-2016 — University of Helsinki researchers have previously demonstrated that a point mutation in a gene of serotonin 2B receptor can render the carrier prone to impulsive behaviour, particularly when drunk. Now the research group has established that the same mutation may shield its bearers from obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are associated with type 2 diabetes.[…]

    “It is fascinating to think that this receptor mutation which has been passed through the chain of evolution would impact both the brain as impulsive behaviour and energy metabolism,” says psychiatrist, Dr Roope Tikkanen from the University of Helsinki, who led the study.

    “We could speculate that the compound effect the mutation and testosterone have on energy metabolism may have been beneficial in the cool, nutrition-poor environment after the Ice Age, particularly for men with a high physiological level of testosterone – they would have survived with a lower calorie intake.

    AAAS Public Release: ‘Aggressive drunk’ gene may protect carriers from obesity and associated risks

    • Frank W. says:

      Will Sabet condemn this finding as alchohol-lobby propaganda?

      • Servetus says:

        Criticizing the alcohol industry is politically awkward for Sabet. The industry still funds anti-legalization campaigns against marijuana.

        It wouldn’t be merely the competition from marijuana the alcohol businesses fear. The industry likely feels politically safer if marijuana continues to act as the lightning rod for public outrage against drugs instead of alcohol.

        Kevin has said alcohol is a lesser problem than marijuana because alcohol has a long history of social acceptability, whereas marijuana does not. The reasons for its unacceptability to Sabet are due to his prophet, Baha’ullah, who founded the Baha’i religion in 1863, and who condemned cannabis as too likely to cause its consumers to laugh hysterically when being programmed into his religious sect.

  11. DEA regularly mines Americans’ travel records to seize millions in cash

    “Agents assigned to airports and train stations singled out passengers for questioning or searches for reasons as seemingly benign as traveling one-way to California or having paid for a ticket in cash.”

    “It is a lucrative endeavor, and one that remains largely unknown outside the drug agency. DEA units assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade after concluding the money was linked to drug trafficking, according to Justice Department records. Most of the money was passed on to local police departments that lend officers to assist the drug agency.”

    This sounds more like highway robbery. Its not safe to travel with cash anymore. How long before it’s just not safe to travel at all?

  12. It is always so curious to us how attitudes towards a simple plant (cannabis) can differ so greatly between individuals and even societies. From certain states’ embracing of it to Canada’s lazy quasi-legalization, over to the grotesque behavior in the Philippines. So many players in so many different games. All over a plant that should be available to all.

    • NorCalNative says:

      Note to couch. Check out this link and take a gander at the lab report data included for most of the products.

      Hopefully, if CA legalizes this is the kind of info we’ll be seeing on all cannabis products.

      Cannabis Care, is this unique to your online ordering or is this labeling part of Canadian regulations? Whatever the case, it’s significant and important knowledge for consumers.

      Your CBD, Rene, has a nice terpene profile with the linalool and humulene. I’m seeing significantly higher terpene levels in CA outdoor grown than what’s on your menu.

      Here’s a few examples:

      Gorilla Glue, Beta-caryophyllene = 0.73%, Limonene = 0.37%, Farnesene = 0.24%, and Humulene = 0.21%.

      Sour Diesel, Nerolidol = 1.45%, Beta-caryophyllene = 0.73%, Myrcene = 0.42%, and Limonene = 0.35%.

      Here’s the problem though. Only ONE vendor ( is putting terps on their labels. I have to guess the rest.

      Those interested in terpenes would be doing themselves a favor by reading the work of Ethan Russo. His published work “Taming THC” is a great place to learn about terpenes and is available for free in full-text form at

      Dr. Russo a neurologist, claims terpenes are physiologically active at 0.05%.

      Interesting thing about the terpenes in cannabis is that they’re GRAS, i.e., FDA-approved and “Generally Regarded As Safe.” The terps have already passed FDA muster.

      Terpenoids…..The Smell of Freedom!

  13. thelbert says:

    can’t wait for november. here is something our government is giving the peons:

  14. darkcycle says:

    Sadly this is no surprise to me, nor should it surprise any other couchmates. DEA has declined the petition to reschedule…without explanation. After all, they told their own administrative Judge to take a walk. Why would they slaughter their milk cow?
    Ahhh, thelbert, you must have posted as I typed…

  15. heh… some of the older regulars will recognize an old name from the early days, just saw JHeaton commenting on a Robt Stanford post…

  16. Monty Doss says:

    Tennessee has broad civil forfeiture laws that fail to protect the rights of property owners. There, the government must establish by only a preponderance of the evidence that property is related to a crime and subject to forfeiture. Tennessee also effectively presumes owners are guilty, as the property owner bears the burden of proof for innocent owner claims. And, while it cannot be used to supplement salaries, local drug enforcement nonetheless keeps 100 percent of property forfeited, and there is no requirement to collect or report data on the use of forfeiture or its proceeds in Tennessee.

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