Out with the old, in with the new

A strange year, to say the least.

2017: The Year Pot Policy Stood Still as Opioids Ravaged the Nation – a year-in-review from Rolling Stone.

The take-away quote:

While many federal lawmakers have called for overhauling the criminal justice system and for rethinking the government’s relationship with substances like marijuana, 2017 saw little to no action on drug policy.

“Status quo year,” Democratic Representative Jared Polis tells Rolling Stone. “It was a year of stagnation.”

Civil liberties predictions for 2018 – in an annual tradition for Radley Balko, he puts together a post of ridiculous predictions of the most outrageous things that couldn’t possibly happen, and you quickly realize that they all actually occurred this past year.

Stunningly disheartening.

Here’s wishing everyone on the couch a better new year. Take the time to celebrate what you have, and then continue your work on improving the world.

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125 Responses to Out with the old, in with the new

  1. With Brown Bells On says:

    May you breathe fire, dance and run amuck.

  2. kaptinemo says:

    A belated Merry Christmas and a (hopefully) happier New Year to all the Couchmates.

  3. Hope says:

    Thank you, Kaptinemo. I hope you are doing well. Much joy to you and all all the other couch-mates, in the coming New Year.

  4. Will says:


    An Open Letter to Rick Simpson by Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen


  5. darkcycle says:

    Happy New year all. Haven’t heard from Clay in a bit…he was healing up from a fall on his scooter and he seems to have dropped off the net. Give us a shout if you get a chance,Clay. Everyone else have a great 2018!

  6. NorCalNative says:

    This reply is to Will’s link about the open letter to Rick Simpson.

    When I fled the wine-country fire and was staying in Mendocino County’s Fort Bragg I visited the local MMJ dispensaries. At one, I told the 20-somerthing female bud tender about Rick Simpson’s video “Run From the Cure.”

    I told her that it had changed my life because it led me to study cannabis by taking post-graduate courses through UCSF School of Medicine. She laughed, and said, “Run From the Cure is why I moved here from New York.”

    The open letter by Dr. Grotenhermen is spot-on in his critique of Rick Simpson and his message. Specifically, some cancers may benefit from traditional chemo and radiation in association with cannabis oil. Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather, current Presidient of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians claims this as one of his most important pieces of advice to his cannabis patients with cancer.

    What we owe Mr. Simpson is getting the info about the cancer-killing properties of cannabis nudged into the conscience of SOME of the public.

    Here’s the four ways cannabis fights cancer.

    1) anti-proliferative, 2) anti-angiogenic, 3) anti-metastatic, and 4) apoptotic.

    Number one kills cancer cells and leaves healthy cells alone. Number two, stops tumors from developing their own blood supply. Number three, stops the spread of cancer in the blood stream (AFTER) a tumor has developed it’s own blood supply. Number four, is normal cannabinoid maintenance of killing off damaged and dying cells.

    In the case of chemo and radiation, they rely on trick #1 ONLY, anti-proliferation, which kills cancer cells. However, chemo and radiation also kill healthy cells as well.

    Rick Simpson deserves our respect as a Folk Hero.

  7. Mr 4% says:

    “I am the master of consciousness. The creator of infinity. My brain contains every last molecule of the universe, and is therefore capable of penetrating all dimensions of time and space. I just can’t remember what I’m supposed to do with this fucking huge sword.”


  8. jean valjean says:

    The crazy times we live in…
    “Swatting,” one more consequence of running a drug war:

    “[Officer] Livingston said the hoax call was a case of “swatting”, in which a person makes up a false report to get a Swat team to descend on an address.”


  9. Servetus says:

    Regarding prohibition predictions for 2018, here is one more:

    20 October 2017 — “People will absolutely die as a result.”

    That’s how Chris Abert of the Indiana Recovery Alliance described the consequences of an Indiana county’s decision to stop a needle exchange program, which provides clean syringes to drug users in an effort to stop the spread of infectious blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis.

    Lawrence County commissioners’ reasoning: morals — and the Bible.

    “It was a moral issue with me. I had severe reservations that were going to keep me from approving that motion,” County Commissioner Rodney Fish, who voted against the program, told NBC News. “I did not approach this decision lightly. I gave it a great deal of thought and prayer. My conclusion was that I could not support this program and be true to my principles and my beliefs.”

    Before he cast his vote, Fish quoted the Bible — specifically, 2 Chronicles 7. It says, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

    The empirical evidence, however, is on the needle exchange programs’ side. Abert said that it’s led to a 50 percent decrease in hepatitis C cases in Lawrence County so far this year. […]


    Pure bait and switch propaganda from Rodney Fish. What happens if the land doesn’t heal? Does Mr. Fish get sent to a permanent holding tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Guppies need to be held accountable for their delusions of moral superiority and instrument-of-the-gods hysterias.

    Why isn’t someone like Fish ever held accountable for using a book Hitler used to justify his pogrom against Jews? There are no prohibitions for polygamy or slavery to be found in that ancient tome. Noam Chomsky said the Bible can be used to justify anything.

    The elimination of people suffering from opioid disorders and all other so-called moral diseases such as AIDS is no different in many respects from how Christians once dealt with lepers and Jews. Today, leprosy is curable, but stupidity is not.

    A happier new year to everyone.

    • WalStMonky says:


      Hmmm, this is the first time I’ve heard of a Fish baiting people.

      When I was back there at seminary school one of the novitiates suffered an almost pathological obsession with trying to figure out why Moses had included both the 5th and 9th commandments when he carved the 10 commandments. His question “doesn’t ‘thou shall not lie’ preclude bearing false witness against your neighbor? Doesn’t that render #9 redundant?

      Extensive possibilities were explored including the hypothesis that Moses was a bit OCD himself and so he needed 10 for the sake of symmetry. But the final consensus was that one need not lie in order to bear false witness. By definition lying requires that the liar be aware that he’s lying. False witness can be achieved by a person who thinks he’s telling the truth but isn’t. The person has an obligation to ascertain that what he thinks true actually is true.

  10. Brown Brick says:

    These are not the usual flashy school bags adorn­ed with popular cartoon cha­racters.

    In place of Frozen’s Elsa and Anna or Ultraman, these black school bags featured a white marijuana leaf pattern along with the word “stoned” on the front.


  11. kaptinemo says:

    So, CA is finally fully legal. Lame Linda must be passing broken bricks and busted bottles out of sheer apoplexy…

    • Hope says:

      I was perusing the Sacramento Bee the other day and thought of your old nemesis, Linda. You and Alan did a very good job of telling her the truth. Sadly, she managed to do a nearly equally good job of rejecting it.

      • kaptinemo says:

        Hope, when I learned that even the FBI thought she was a loose cannon WRT being a source of intelligence, I figured that it simply couldn’t have gotten any better.

        I was wrong. With CA going full legal, it has gotten better. This must absolutely stick in her craw so bad a tracheotomy wouldn’t save her.


      • Hope says:

        I would say Linda is a frustrated wanna-be cop of some kind. She was hateful and weird. Discussion wise, she’d take me down pretty fast, because she is that kind of woman. A quarreling woman. She’s good at it. She wasn’t there to listen to reason. She was there to set people straight and take dissenters out. But you guys persevered against her acidity and got the truth out there for more people to see and think about. I appreciated that.

  12. Servetus says:

    Researchers at the University of Cambridge have mapped human brain wiring in a way that can be correlated to IQs. Since standard intelligence tests are sometimes flawed due to unseen or unusual variables, MRI scanning can more accurately determine how commonly consumed substances such as cannabis affect human intelligence:

    2-JAN-2018 — …In recent years, there has been a concerted effort among scientists to map the connections in the brain – the so-called ‘connectome’ – and to understand how this relates to human behaviours, such as intelligence and mental health disorders.

    Now, in research published in the journal Neuron, an international team led by scientists at the University of Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, has shown that it is possible to build up a map of the connectome by analysing conventional brain scans taken using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

    The team compared the brains of 296 typically-developing adolescent volunteers. Their results were then validated in a cohort of a further 124 volunteers. The team used a conventional 3T MRI scanner, where 3T represents the strength of the magnetic field; however, Cambridge has recently installed a much more powerful Siemens 7T Terra MRI scanner, which should allow this technique to give an even more precise mapping of the human brain.[…]

    “This could take us closer to being able to get an idea of intelligence from brain scans, rather than having to rely on IQ tests,” says Professor Ed Bullmore, Head of Psychiatry at Cambridge. “Our new mapping technique could also help us understand how the symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression or even schizophrenia arise from differences in connectivity within the brain.”

    AAAS Public Release: New brain mapping technique highlights relationship between connectivity and IQ

    It’s unethical to restrict MRI scanned IQ results to adolescent drug consumers alone. It’s far more ethical, as well as critical to human survival, that public figures such as prohibitionists and politicians be subjected to mandatory MRI IQ testing.

    By detecting and screening out IQ disorders in government, American citizens could effectively limit the government’s practices with respect to hiring crazed sadomoralists, or reduce or eliminate the electability of the anti-drug American Taliban and politicians such as Donald Trump or Mike Pence, ultimately sparing Earth and humanity from prohibition, climate collapse, and a subsequent sixth extinction.

  13. Servetus says:

    Marijuana legalization in California has struck at the heart of mandatory minimum sentencing, mandatory drug testing for regular citizens–and for welfare recipients–so much so it has triggered a response from 81-year-old Dr. Robert L. DuPont, MD, creator of the marijuana ‘gateway-drug’ myth, former NIDA director, current president of The Institute for Behavior and Health, advocate of testing welfare recipients as early as 1991, and onetime Nixon henchman in the tradition of Haldeman and Ehrlichman.

    True to his fascist persona, DuPont’s response to liberalized drug laws is to get the feds to pass a law that transforms a person’s family doctor into a drug cop:

    01.03.18 — An adviser on marijuana policy to Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to see doctors make drug testing a routine part of primary-care medicine and force some users into treatment against their will, he told The Daily Beast. […]

    A national model bill he helped write in 2010 called on law enforcement to test anyone stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence for all controlled substances, and arresting them if any trace at all shows up in their system—regardless of the amount. […]

    The bill’s language makes clear that these people will still face sanction even if they live in a state in which medical marijuana is legal. […]

    Calling his platform “the opposite of harm reduction,” DuPont said the goal of his plan is to promote “long-term results… and greater accountability” in the treatment sector.

    Among other things, he proposed giving doctors the authority to compel suspected substance abusers into treatment against their will. Once in treatment, patients could face as much as five years of monitoring, including random drug tests.[…]

    “Drug testing is the technology of addiction medicine, but it’s underutilized,” he said. “We want [drug screens] to be routine in all medicine. The health-care sector in general should approach addiction in the same way as diabetes, and that includes monitoring. Doctors already check for things like cholesterol and blood sugar. Why not test for illicit drugs?”[…]

    DuPont is listed as a scientific adviser on the website of global drug-testing startup called CAM International Ventures. That company was founded in 2013 by David Martin, former president of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association, and includes among its staff other prominent members of the drug testing industry.


    DuPont’s stated opposition to harm reduction is a blatant violation of the content and spirit of the Hippocratic oath he presumably took upon becoming a physician:

    noxamvero et maleficium propulsabo (I will utterly reject harm and mischief), and the equivalent found in Epidemics, Book I, of the Hippocratic school: “Practice two things in your dealings with disease: either help or do not harm the patient” Wiki

    Harm results from criminalizing benign drugs and robbing people who possess or consume them of their identity, privacy or freedom. DuPont has no discernible background in molecular psychiatry. His clueless, unscientific ranting about cannabis makes him out to be a quack. The medical profession should pull Dr. DuPont’s medical license if it really cares anything about its own credibility.

    • jean valjean says:

      Those pesky diabetics dropping dirty…. we know the answer to THEIR problem: lock ’em up!

    • Purple Haze says:

      According to Kaiser Health News, Medicare was investigating 31 pain-management doctors. The docs had 80% of their income based on urine testing where a small plastic cup of pee could earn almost $2,000 per.

      Piss is the new GOLD.

    • kaptinemo says:

      I knew this would happen. I knew it. It’s why I cannot ever support any MMJ law that mandates patient registration. Because it invariably is used as a weapon against such patients. Recall Frederick Douglass’s admonition:

      ” Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

      I’ve often said in the past that cannabis prohibition is but the mask hiding an even greater evil, one that has been used as a corrosive agent in rendering our supposedly unalienable rights, particularly that of self-sovereignty. The ownership of firearms is definitely in that category, for it is meant to assure that self-sovereignty. No wonder the Powers That Be are trying this gambit.

      The re-legalization laws were those ‘words and blows’ Douglass mentioned, and our opposition, which was much larger than the gaggle of prohibitionists it uses as naive foot-soldiers, knew it. Each passage of drug reform laws were another stab in the Beast’s side, whose cumulative effect would lead to a final, mortal wound. For what would flow out from those wounds was, for the Beast, the equivalent of blood: Power. Power regained by those it was stolen from under false pretenses; power remanded back to its rightful owners; power to lock the Beast back into its cage.

      So, it seeks to strike back, and in this fashion. Considering the enormous implications of what is happening at the highest levels of government, with the FBI and other alphabet agencies constituting the ‘Deep State’ facing for the first time an actual, true existential threat courtesy of their criminal conspiracies being exposed publicly, you’d think such as Jeff Sessions would have vastly more important things to do than attempt to turn back the drug law reform clock. But given how much funding of some of those demonstrably criminal agencies receive courtesy of bankster drug money laundering, this latest move by the DoJ shows just how important cannabis law reform actually is.

  14. Will says:

    US to end policy that let legal pot flourish


    • kaptinemo says:

      That’s it. The Fed vs. State gauntlet has finally been thrown down. No dancing around this time, no wiggle room courtesy of vaguely worded memorandums, no court cases focusing myopically on legal minutiae.

      The legal States, and those who seek to become one, must become champions of the 10th Amendment once more, or face final emasculation as political entities. For this cuts deep at the very core of democratic principles, and makes a mockery of ‘federalism’, which far too many States pay lip service to and rarely practice.

      Either votes count, or they don’t. The people of the legal States have exercised their sovereign franchise as citizens regarding cannabis and voted. Sessions, with this move, has declared that those votes don’t count.

      After all these decades, push has finally come to shove. Grab your popcorn, Couchmates, this is gonna be a helluva fight.

    • Brown Brick says:

      Canada is already on the rebound.


    • Tony Aroma says:

      What about that budget rider that prevents the DOJ from spending money on state-legal mj enforcement? That’s still in place until Congress removes it, regardless of what policy changes the DOJ might make, right?

    • darkcycle says:

      Oh my. Cole is dead? All those States Attorneys are preparing their suits as I type.
      *evil laughter*
      Toothpaste doesn’t go back into the tube easily. Or cleanly. This is going to bite back, Jeffy.

      • kaptinemo says:

        What’s the old line about it being better to keep your mouth shut and cause others to wonder if you are a fool, or to open it and remove all doubt?

        It’s too late for Jeffie to shut his pie-hole; he was given the benefit of the doubt about his mental and political acumen, but with this latest blathering chose to display his lack of understanding of the political realities. Realities governing what is behind the continuing wave of cannabis law reform. As in the reality that the only people who want to maintain cannabis prohibition are the ones who directly or indirectly profit from it, and that they are a vanishingly small minority as demographics go.

        This was about the dumbest move Sessions could have made, and the fallout from it may lead to a Constitutional crisis.

        This places the Federal government at odds with the democratically-expressed will of the people residing in ‘green’ States…and in doing so, has sought to violate the ‘social contract’ that has existed between both the Feds and the States, as well as the States and their respective citizens.

        Like I said above, either votes count or they don’t. If they don’t, then ultimately this ruling will be extended to other issues in the same way an amoeba moves in enveloping its next meal.

        This is one major can of worms, a bald-faced power-grab hiding behind an issue that many citizens are ambivalent about, and that is why it was prosecuted in this fashion. This has vastly broader ramifications that ‘merely’ the issue of legal cannabis, itself.

        State legislatures and their Attorneys General had better rap the knuckles of the Feds for attempting this power-grab, before precedent becomes policy. From a legal point of view, this is inviting the Feds to be drawn into a court battle in which it cannot help but lose, as every factually-bereft belief underpinning cannabis prohibition can now be subjected to the scrutiny it has avoided. Stupid, stupid move, Jeffie.

        • DC Reade says:

          This move by Sessions is much more likely to result in the return of the Republicans to minority-party status than success in rolling back cannabis legalization.

          As for Donald Trump- well, we know he has his hands full with both internal and external schisms already. But I thought he had more pragmatic political savvy than to allow his Attorney General to attempt to re-assert police-state control to keep marijuana prohibition in effect. There isn’t a political issue I can think of that has a broader base of bipartisan popularity than support for marijuana legalization. As the newest Gallup poll indicates: http://news.gallup.com/poll/221018/record-high-support-legalizing-marijuana.aspx

        • Tony Aroma says:

          Unless they’re reporting this on Fox News, the president is probably not even aware of it.

        • darkcycle says:

          Perhaps, Kap’n. But I don’t think Cole actually ties anybody’s hands, so it already carries limited weight. It is, after all, just advisory, and doesn’t mandate forbearance, just suggests it. The crisis really only happens if we get an overeager Federal Prosecutor…one that doesn’t understand that this can of worms he’s about to open are angry, carnivorous worms, eager to turn and make a meal of him or her.
          See my post below. The fact the Federal District Attorney in California stepped down, about TWO HOURS after the Sessions announcement, has my ears tingling. This stupid product of cousin marriage in Alabammy may actually think he can. Okay….popcorn time, Couchmates. Somebody pack a bowl and lets watch…

        • kaptinemo says:

          Couchmates, I present another viewpoint on this issue, which seems to corroborate many of the sentiments here: Jeff Sessions Just Demonstrated Why We Need to Decentralize Government

          From the article:

          If I were Donald Trump, furious wouldn’t even begin to describe how I’d feel right now. Not only is such a move incredibly unpopular across party lines, it’s patently ridiculous for him to prioritize such an issue given all the enormous problems facing the country. It also represents a clear and blatant attack against states’ rights, something Republicans claim to stand for. Finally, he’s giving the Democrats a winning issue on a silver platter for 2018. Dems can simply decide to rally around cannabis legalization, which will throw Trump into a corner and pave the way for a midterm sweep. Jeff Sessions just put Trump and the entire GOP in a terrible position for absolutely no good reason. Not only is he a petty fossil, he’s very, very stupid.

          Popcorn time, indeed. And don’t forget the coconut oil; it makes it taste better.

        • jean valjean says:

          The Gallup poll posted by DC Reade shows a majority of REPUBLICAN voters support cannabis legalization. Sessions truly has his head in the sand. I wonder how many of this government’s base in the neo-nazi right enjoy a little “visual enhancement” when they’re out parading, tikki light in hand? (Although I suspect that the drug of choice of Nazis everywhere has always been beer, enhanced liberally with amphetamine)

    • WalStMonky says:


      The evil elf certainly does know how to get a lot of mileage from hot air, even by inside the beltway standards. All he has to say is boo and the cannabis community starts with the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Remember that it wasn’t until people ignored him that the proverbial shepherd boy got eaten by the proverbial wolf. I think we ought to give it a try.

  15. Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug to Federalism

    … “The United States is a collection of . . . well, of states; it is not a giant centralized democracy with fifty regional departments. Congress should make it a priority to get the federal government out of this area, and to let the states, not the attorney general’s fealty, determine which rules are best for their citizenries.” …

    Good time to remove cannabis from the CSA.

  16. Mouthy says:

    I just wrote to my Congressman and Senator about Mrs. Jeff Sessions and what he’s doing with the Cole memo:

    The time is now to end the failed experiment of states rights and create a government wholly controlled by the Federal Government and with no more wasted spending on governors and state senators. What Jeff Sessions is doing by ignoring the Cole Memo, is creating the gateway where America will become a more secure nation where total absorption by the Feds will destroy the individuality of the State. As time progresses, A totally Federalized America can do away with the very offensive U.S. Flag, which is a testament to the individuality of all the States (50 stars and 13 stripes). As Jeff Sessions tightens–destroys the rights of the states to initiate Medical or legal marijuana, time will come when the same practice will be used to destroy states rights in regards to guns, education, taxes, municipal laws, etc. States rights, in any form, regardless if one agrees or disagrees is the medicine protecting today’s Constitution, which needs to be outlawed for a brand new one to be made.

  17. darkcycle says:

    The plot suddenly thickens: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/01/04/us-attorney-for-california-announces-sudden-leave-from-office/
    Jeffy and the Donald will appoint a successor.
    Hmmmm. Wonder where this will go….

    • jean valjean says:

      Maybe the Haag is on the way back (old Exorcist eyes)….. why not bring back Leonhart too? Sessions has already tumbled down the stairs and out on to the street for all to see (copyright Kapt) so who will be the next horror show? Such a long list of potential zombies from the last 50 years ….

  18. kaptinemo says:

    I don’t want to give anyone nightmares, but the way things have been going with this latest Administration, here’s a possibility: Melinda Haag.

    She went private, leaving Federal ‘service’, having been more-or-less universally loathed by everyone in the SF Bay area cannabis community…and she made it known the feelings were mutual. The current Administration would be more to her (fanatical) liking. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeffie is on the phone right now, asking her to come back to the fold. ‘Bad pennies return’ and all that.

    • jean valjean says:


      Isn’t that just the face of nightmares? She looks like a replicant who escaped from Blade Runner, one of the really angry ones.

    • Will says:

      Yeah, Melinda Haag crossed my mind too — which is a scary thought even during daylight hours while staring at a picture of unicorns and kittens. But I suspect even for Ms. Haag the thought must be, “Nope, too late”.

      By allocating prosecutorial discretion to US Attorney Generals in states where cannabis is legal, Jefferson Ballsack Sessions is hoping to find AG’s with the same overzealous hatred for cannabis that he has. But he’s going to have a hard time finding any. Judging from reactions in legal states the pushback has to be disconcerting for Sessions. Even if he does eventually prod a state AG to go after ‘somebody, anybody?’, that AG might want to travel back and forth in an armored truck having already voluntarily entered into a witness protection program.

      And certain senators and representatives are loudly crying foul over Sessions’ move. Maybe some of those useless bastards are thinking, “Hmm, maybe we should reconsider cannabis’ erroneous Schedule I status”. Question is, if nothing major comes to fruition from the Cole Memo being rescinded, will they just slink back into their dens of complacency? The ship has genuinely, legitimately sailed. With possibly Vermont, New Jersey, and a few other states legalizing cannabis through state legislatures sometime this year, Jeffy will be left in his sinking tugboat firing blanks, crying, and cursing the likes of Kevin Sabet, Robert DuPont, Bertha Madras (among many others) for not being more effective propagandists. Woe is you, Imp.

      • kaptinemo says:

        …Jeffy will be left in his sinking tugboat firing blanks, crying, and cursing the likes of Kevin Sabet, Robert DuPont, Bertha Madras (among many others) for not being more effective propagandists.

        All of this came after his secret meeting with the above-mentioned prohibitionists…when he should have been meeting with legal scholars to determine what course of action should be taken regarding such things as the WikiLeaks revelations vis-a-vis corruption in very high places. If anything, that meeting with the modern-day equivalent of the Women’s Christian Temperance League calls into legitimate question his sense of priorities.

      • jean valjean says:

        My vote goes to Big Bertha Madras (queen of harm increase; don’t give ’em naloxone) and her circle jerk with NIDA and Nutty Nora. 80s horror films come to life.

    • WalStMonky says:


      I’d like to see someone dump a bucket of water on Ms. Haag. I’ll be betting that she melts.

  19. cy klebs says:

    May I enter the possibility of ending that schedule1 designation in the CSA.

    • kaptinemo says:

      You may, and not just for the immediately obvious reason (to anyone with an above room temperature IQ) that cannabis does not belong there. This is one of those multi-dimensional chess games involving several players.

      WRT to cannabis relegalization, for decades, at least since 1996, the Feds and the States have been like a couple of dogs circling, snarling and snapping at each other, darting in and backing out, each side getting a nip or two in, but not engaging in a full-on dogfight. A Cold War-style ‘balance of power’ was maintained, mostly at the (fiscally costly and terrible human) expense of the patients. To tip that balance was to invite the kind of Constitutional crisis the Feds would lose on too many levels to catalog.

      With this latest move, the Feds under Jeffie have tried to break the deadlock by going for the State’s throats. All 50 of them. Bad move.

      Recall a few years back when the DEA issued, as if they were The Pope speaking ex cathedra, a “Final Directive” regarding the legality of hemp products, claiming that since they contained (almost sub-atomic) levels of THC they were verboten. They got their pinkies rightfully singed for attempting that power grab.

      The same fate awaits Jeffie, big time, for pulling this stunt. Because it will cause that ‘balance of power’ to shift, causing the Fed side to be too far out of kilter to retain that balance.

      It will allow for the kind of move on the ‘green’ State’s part that will call the very origins of cannabis prohibition into question, allow for all the latest pro-cannabis research to be examined fairly, shine a spotlight on the devious, incestuous relationship between Big Pharma, the treatment and prison industries, etc. (A spotlight that the pols profiting from that relationship have struggled mightily to remain beyond its periphery.)

      Such a move may cause the CSA to be weighed in the balance scales and ‘found wanting’. And that, perforce, means the scrapping of the CSA. Nixon’s Golem will finally be thrown in the grave with him, where it belongs.

  20. jean valjean says:

    Trump goes after California:
    “Battle lines between liberal politicians and the president intensified this week as Trump’s administration targeted cannabis, immigrants and the environment…..

    “To some progressive leaders, the most terrifying threat this week came on Tuesday when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) promised to “significantly increase” the number of deportation officers in the state in direct response to California’s new “sanctuary state” law, which is meant to limit local police cooperation with Ice and protect immigrants……

    “Ice declined to comment on whether it plans to prosecute politicians, but an official said in an email, “Ice and DoJ … are working collaboratively to explore any and all potential options for holding sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for their dangerous practices.”

    And this on legalization:
    ‘“They don’t have the ability to stop legalization, but they do have the ability to hurt a lot of people in the process,” said Tamar Todd, legal affairs director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which helped pass California’s law.’

    It’s going to get nasty before it gets better.


  21. Servetus says:

    Sessions’ ill-advised attack on the fledgling marijuana industry has produced blowback from conservatives, no less. Some fear mid-term elections may be affected and certain Republican candidates may lose re-election if Sessions goes through with threatened federal attacks on state dispensaries:

    January 5, 2018 — “Attorney General Sessions needs to read the Commerce Clause found in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution that limits the power of the federal government to regulate interstate and not intrastate commerce,” Coffman said in a statement. “The decision that was made to legalize marijuana in Colorado was made by the voters of Colorado and only applies within the boundaries of our state. Colorado had every right to legalize marijuana and I will do everything I can to protect that right against the power of an overreaching federal government.” — Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colorado […]

    The Colorado state Senate’s Democratic Caucus tweeted this: “We’ll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands.” […]

    — National Review calls marijuana “a gateway drug to federalism”: “If Colorado or Oregon want to legalize weed while Mississippi and Utah ban it, that’s fine. In fact, that is how the country is supposed to work,” writes Charles C.W. Cooke. “The United States is a collection of . . . well, of states; it is not a giant centralized democracy with fifty regional departments. Congress should make it a priority to get the federal government out of this area, and to let the states, not the attorney general’s fealty, determine which rules are best for their citizenries. And conservatives, of all people, should celebrate that. The Founders did not write the Constitution to impose uniformity on hemp. Rarely will we get a better teaching moment than this one.” […]


  22. Will says:

    Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has tweeted quite a list for Jeff Sessions to consider;

    Dear Attorney General Jeff Sessions and @TheJusticeDept: Let me give you a list of things more important for federal prosecutors and federal law enforcement to pursue other than marijuana:

    1. Basically anything.

    [Ted, you win the twitterverse for a least a day ;)]

  23. Will says:

    Well, there are some supporters of Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) of the Freedom Caucus (yeah, the Freedom Caucus);

    […] “There comes a point where you allow the states to affect federal policy instead of the other way around. So I support Attorney General Sessions in this move.” […]

    Good grief.

    The cannabis segment is at the beginning of the video below. Afterward, Meadows describes why he thinks Sessions should be replaced. For some folks it is, indeed, a topsy turvy world.


    Looks like I need to amend my claim that only the worst politicians are from Texas. Sorry my North Carolina friends, but your state is now in the running.

  24. DdC says:

    Marijuana Moment: Trump administration ends Obama cannabis policy: http://mailchi.mp/marijuanamoment/marijuana-moment-trump-administration-ends-obama-cannabis-policy

    ✦ U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama-era Cole memo that has generally allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

    ✦ The move represents a clear violation of President Trump’s repeated campaign promises to respect state cannabis laws.

    ✦ A large number of members of Congress and state officials across party lines pushed back against the decision. Vermont’s House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill, setting up a final Senate vote next week.

    ✦ A U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson wasn’t willing to predict whether the marijuana change would lead to more prosecutions. The official also said there are no current plans to begin sending threat letters to state-legal cannabis businesses. However, an official also wouldn’t rule out medical cannabis prosecutions.

    ✦ Colorado’s U.S. attorney suggested that the disappearance of the Cole memo wouldn’t change his marijuana enforcement strategy.

    ✦ The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio implied that the Sessions move wouldn’t change much.

    ✦ Vermont’s U.S. attorney also indicated she’s not about to launch a cannabis crackdown.

    ✦ The same goes for the Western District of Washington’s U.S. attorney.

    ✦ Oregon’s U.S. attorney suggested he would continue to use Cole memo priorities in determining enforcement actions.

    ✦ Alaska’s U.S. attorney said he will “continue to use the long-established principles of federal prosecution to determine what cases to charge.”

    ✦ The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said the office will “utilize long-established principles of prosecutorial discretion in pursuing cases.”

    ✦ Pennsylvania’s U.S. attorney said his office will continue going after “criminal organizations which traffic in all illegal controlled substances, including marijuana.”

    ✦ The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas said he will “continue to exercise our prosecutorial discretion and evaluate criminal cases on an individual basis.”

    ✦ The U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of California said the office will “evaluate violations of those laws in accordance with our district’s federal law enforcement priorities and resources.”

    ✦ Former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration head Chuck Rosenberg suggested the removal of the Cole memo wouldn’t change much.

    ✦ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is responding to the federal marijuana change by pushing for even broader state protections in federal spending legislation than just the existing medical cannabis rider.

    ✦ U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) seems to want to extend budget protections to cover state recreational laws as well.

    ✦ Congressman Earl Blumenaeur (D-OR) congratulated Vermont on its marijuana legalization vote.

    ✦ The U.S. Senate bill to respect state medical cannabis laws got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to eight.

    ✦ Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) placed a medical cannabis measure on the state’s June 26 primary election ballot.

    ✦ Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said the state won’t amend its marijuana laws in response to federal enforcement policy changes.

    ✦ Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that regulators have approved that state’s first medical cannabis dispensary to begin serving patients.

    ✦ Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) says he wants the federal government to distinguish between medical and recreational marijuana.

    ✦ Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said the state will move ahead with legal marijuana sales.

    ✦ California’s top marijuana regulator and attorney general said the state will move ahead with legalization. And an assemblyman will file legislation to prevent state and local police from assisting federal agents in any cannabis crackdowns.

    ✦ Massachusetts regulators are moving ahead with marijuana legalization implementation.

    ✦ Ohio regulators said they would continue implementing the medical cannabis program despite federal changes.

    ✦ Minnesota regulators said their medical cannabis program would continue as well.

    ✦ The chair of Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board, who is a police chief, resigned in response to the federal move.

    ✦ Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates JB Pritzker and Daniel Biss slammed the federal marijuana change.

    ✦ Louisiana’s attorney general said he supports the move to scale back state marijuana protections.

    ✦ Indiana’s attorney general also seemed pleased with the change.

    ✦ New Jersey’s Senate president slammed the federal cannabis move.

    ✦ Seattle, Washington Mayor Jenny Durkan (D), a former U.S. attorney, said local police will not assist federal agents in any marijuana crackdowns.

    ✦ Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock (D) expressed “severe disappointment” about federal marijuana changes.

    ✦ The Los Angeles, California City Council president said the city would move ahead with legal marijuana sales.

    ✦ San Francisco, California’s marijuana permitting will proceed as well.

    ✦ Some Democratic analysts think that the party stands to benefit politically from the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

    ✦ Actor George Takei tweeted, “AG Sessions’s move to override the will of local voters and legislatures when it comes to marijuana laws is just the latest example of conservatives’ using federal power to impose red state values on the whole country. So much for that whole smaller government thing, I guess, eh?”

    ✦ Actor Richard Schiff tweeted, “The war on drugs was a monumental mistake on so many levels. Militarizing gangs and police forces; mass incarceration; crowning kingpins of trafficking in Mexico, Columbia et al; endangering and handcuffing law enforcement and costing taxpayers over a trillion dollars.” Late night TV hosts bashed Sessions’s marijuana move.

    ✦ Freedom Partners, an advocacy group funded by the Koch Brothers, slammed the federal cannabis change.

    While the profiteers cling to cashing in on persecuting sick citizens. Waving their flags of Nazi storm troopers and wingnut dictators.

    ✦ The Fraternal Order of Police applauded the Department of Justice’s move to rescind state marijuana law protections.

    ✦ The National Sheriffs’ Association is also happy.

    ✦ Prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana could barely contain itself over the federal news.

    ✦ A Maine legislative committee hearing on marijuana legalization implementation scheduled for Friday has been canceled.

    ✦ Rhode Island’s U.S. attorney said he would “evaluate each matter based upon its specific facts, and then rely upon the well-established principals that govern all federal prosecutions when deciding which cases to pursue.”

    ✦ The Massachusetts U.S attorney said his office would “prosecute bulk cultivation and trafficking cases, and those who use the federal banking system illegally.”

    • Purple Haze aka NCN says:

      Thanks for the nice update.

      I’m back in NorCal, on the coast (Fort Bragg). Spent the last two months checking out places to live in WA and OR but my candy ass isn’t fond of cold weather so I’m back in CA.

    • DdC says:

      ✦ The New York Times editorial board slammed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s marijuana enforcement policy.

      ✦ The Los Angeles Times editorial board wants Congress to overrule Sessions on cannabis.

      ✦ Even the Washington Post editorial board, which has long opposed marijuana legalization, criticized the Justice Department action.

      ✦ The Wall Street Journal editorial board supports Sessions’s anti-marijuana change, but said that it could spur Congress to end prohibition.

      ✦ The Chicago Tribune editorial board is calling on Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.

      ✦ Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is working with California officials to formulate a response to the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

      ✦ The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Justice Department marijuana changes won’t affect government doctors’ ability to talk with veterans about cannabis.

      ✦ Montana’s U.S. attorney said he would focus “on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our citizens and communities.”

      ✦ Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who authored the Cole memo, spoke about its rescission.

      ✦ A federal judge scheduled oral arguments in a lawsuit against marijuana’s Schedule I status for February 14.

      ✦ U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, criticized Sessions’s anti-marijuana move and said that cannabis could become a campaign issue in 2018.

      ✦ Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who is running against U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), is making marijuana a campaign issue.

      ✦ Members of Congress from Colorado held a conference call to discuss legislative responses to the Sessions marijuana move.

      ✦ U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter asking the attorney general to rescind the anti-marijuana guidance

      ✦ Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) sent a letter asking President Trump to overrule Sessions on cannabis.

      ✦ U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said the Sessions marijuana move could be an impetus for Congress to end prohibition.

      ✦ Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said he supports the Sessions policy change.

      ✦ U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) cheered on the Sessions cannabis move, and also seems upset that some Democrats want to include broader state marijuana protections in appropriations legislation.

      ✦ Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) says Sessions’s anti-marijuana move inspired him to cosponsor cannabis legislation.

      ✦ Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is calling on Sessions to resign.

      ✦ Trump ally Roger Stone called the Justice Department’s marijuana policy change a “cataclysmic mistake.”

      ✦ The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators also slammed the Sessions anti-cannabis move.

      ✦ Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro bashed cannabis consumers but said he supports decriminalization.

      ✦ Corona distributor Constellation Brands, which has marijuana investments, says it is not concerned about a federal crackdown.

      ✦ Marijuana industry operatives don’t seemed too spooked by Sessions’s anti-marijuana move.

      ✦ Trump-supporting Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams said he may turn on the president over the administration’s anti-cannabis move.

      Marijuana Moment: Will Sessions’s anti-cannabis move actually help legalization?: http://mailchi.mp/marijuanamoment/marijuana-moment-will-sessionss-anti-cannabis-move-actually-help-legalization

  25. Mike says:

    President Trump just talking at Camp David says we must
    get harder on drugs no reporter asked any questions on
    what he has in store for the US.

    • kaptinemo says:

      More and more, Trump is reminding me of Mussolini, who was a blustering egotist surrounded by sycophants that egged him on until he made huge errors, like invading foreign countries out of an insane idea of re-establishing the Roman Empire. History shows where that led.

      Like Mussolini, Trump (a blustering egotist if ever there was one) is listening to exactly the wrong advisors (self-serving sycophants), who are making similar mistakes…like trying to turn back the clock WRT drug law reform. The demographics clearly showing no support for such a move should give anyone contemplating it grounds for pause.

      The ancient Roman emperors used to have a slave riding in their chariots, reminding them that ‘all glory is fleeting’, ‘dust to dust’, etc. I’d happily volunteer for a modern-day version of the position…

      • Servetus says:

        The solution for leaders such as Trump and his sycophants was solved by the Chinese roughly 5000 years ago.

        China placed its almighty leader alone in a tower and gave him strict instructions. His Royal-Ass’ only duty was not to gaze too long upon the kingdom in any one direction, east, west, south or north, because it was bad luck.

        Even then, 5000 years ago, the Chinese knew that a politician could screw up anything just by looking at it.

      • jean valjean says:

        Trump’s folded arms and thrust out chin pose are pure Mussolini. He should remember that Musso ended up on a meat hook.

  26. jean valjean says:

    No link established between Alzheimer’s and cannabis consumption. Nevertheless this Big Pharma funded research is being used as a scare tactic against legalization. I see Francis’s Law coming back to bite them:


  27. Servetus says:

    Kevin Sabet makes a big move on Big Marijuana and gets his pot paranoia exposed by Barry Peterson in a CBS interview:

    January 7, 2018 …The state is NOT better off with legal pot, says Kevin Sabet, president of the bi-partisan group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), which supports a decrease in marijuana use.

    “We are reintroducing the new ‘Big Tobacco’ of our time, ‘Big Marijuana,’ with all of the kinds of promotions that they are putting out there,” Sabet said.

    Sabet and others point to an increase in pot-related DUIs and traffic fatalities. But state officials warn that it’s too soon to know if that is a trend or just better reporting by police.

    And Sabet says lobbyists want pot so pervasive you could even smoke it in restaurants. “We haven’t had smoking in restaurants in this country for 30 to 40 years,” he said.

    Petersen said, “I don’t know anybody who’s lobbying for smoking in restaurants. There is a Denver, Colorado ordinance they’re talking about where you can smoke in specific designated places.”

    “Oh, I’d be happy to introduce you to the D.C. lobbyists that have that on their lists, and absolutely are –”

    “Well, they’re not doing it here, because I live here.”

    “Yeah, well, I mean, but there are people that are advocating for that,” Sabet said. […]


  28. Kathy Vongolioch says:

    Cannabis has long been shrouded in misinformation and stoner stereotypes. But with California now the world’s largest legal market, and others likely to follow suit, it’s time to start talking like adults. In a new column, Alex Halperin kicks off a conversation and invites your questions.

    High time: introducing the Guardian’s new cannabis column for grownups


    • Purple Haze aka NCN says:

      Kathy, one of the questions raised by your link is physician uncertainty around the use of cannabis during pregnancy.

      Stacey Kerr MD, has an article at ProjectCBD.org. She helped put together the coursework for The Medical Cannabis Institute, a cannabis-related continuing medical education program for physicians.

      If you type her name into the ProjectCBD search engine you’ll quickly find her article titled, “Cannabis Use During Pregnancy: Is it Safe?

      She’s delivered many babies and has studied cannabis. She debunks the fears and mythology surrounding this subject. Her conclusion? Other than smaller birth-weight, mom’s who use cannabis during pregnancy have babies with normal development.

      Stacey mentions that as a mother, having a smaller baby at birth is a blessing to the mothers. It’s a good read for anyone interested in this subject.

      BTW, if we want to taklk about cannabis like grownups? The Endocannabinoid System is a great topic to explore for those curious about why and how cannabis is so damn poly-therapeutic.

      Also, did you know the breast milk of all mammals contains the body’s endogenous form of THC, i.e, 2-AG?

    • DdC says:

      Ganja Mothers, Ganja Babies
      By Pete Brady, with illustrations by Tom Arnatt on January 1, 1999

      Denver Doctor Could Lose License for Recommending Marijuana

      the law vs. 12 million people
      Life magazine
      Oct 31, 1969. 25-35

      * One way or the other it all goes up in smoke
      * For the long-distance runner who got caught – a 20-year sentence
      * A bust at gunpoint and an armed search at sunset
      * Should it be legalized? Soon we will know.

      • jean valjean says:

        Governor’s pardon issued in 1970 for the long distance runner (Frank Lavarre). Can’t see a cynically political governor like Chris Christie doing that today. Too worried about appearing soft on drugs and upsetting his paymasters in Big Pharma and the police “benevolent societies.”


      • Purple Haze aka NCN says:

        @DdC. Did you see where the FDA has given Priority Review status to GWP’s Epidiolex? They have a June 2018 goal date for completion of their review.

        Google priority review for Epidiolex. This may help answer when CBD will be rescheduled under the CSA. My cynical ass thinks it’ll drop down to Schedule II, although INSYS has lobbied the FDA to reschedule CBD to Schedule IV.

        The market for Epidiolex is small and narrow, OTOH, the future for Sativex as off-label superstar looks promising. Off-Label is key here and that depends on physician education which we know is lacking. Still, there has never been a medicine on pharmacy shelves that has the off-label prescribing promise of the 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD.

        What that future potential as off-label star implies for stock investors, I have no idea. But, if sales volume is critical to stock price it has huge implications.

  29. Servetus says:

    New research from UC Riverside implicates tobacco and alcohol outlets with increases in neighborhood crime, but not marijuana dispensaries:

    5-JAN-2018 – Tobacco shops, also known as smoke shops, may represent potential “nuisance properties” in urban communities of color, a study led by a researcher at the University of California, Riverside has found. Nuisance properties are properties where unsafe activities affecting public health and safety occur repeatedly.

    Past research has shown that alcohol outlets such as liquor or corner stores may promote nuisance activities like robberies, drug use, or other crimes in urban communities, rendering them unsafe for residents to walk by or visit. Other examples of nuisance properties are motels, payday lenders, and vacant homes and lots. Add to this list now tobacco shops.

    “We know alcohol outlets can be associated with unsafe nuisance activities in urban areas, but this study appears to be the first to suggest U.S. tobacco shops may also impact public health…Our analyses show that in South Los Angeles tobacco shops as well as liquor stores were associated with high levels of violent and property crime around their locations. This finding is important because tobacco shops are common in many cities, but until this study have not been viewed as possible public health threats. ” […]

    The study also looked for associations between medical marijuana dispensaries and crime in South Los Angeles, a timely topic given the recent legalization of recreational marijuana use in California.

    “Our research indicated that dispensaries were not linked to greater violent crime around their locations,” Subica said, “likely for several reasons including that they often appear and disappear quickly in these communities while liquor and tobacco stores stay at one location for many years. Many dispensaries also have property safeguards like security guards and cameras to deter crime that liquor and tobacco stores may not.”

    AAAS Public Release: Tobacco shops associated with crime in urban communities of color–UC Riverside-led study, focused on South Los Angeles, also suggests that medical marijuana dispensaries may not be closely linked to neighborhood violence

  30. jean valjean says:

    Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is banned in some New Jersey Prisons. The prison industrial complex clearly doesn’t want its victims to know that they are being discriminated against. N.J. has the highest disparity for black incarceration compared with white in the country.


    • Servetus says:

      New Jersey isn’t the only state invoking a creeping fascist-style censorship. In the State of New York:

      A new program … is cutting people in prison off from all books except five romance novels, 14 religious texts, 24 drawing or coloring books, 21 puzzle books, 11 how-to books, one dictionary, and one thesaurus.

      Directive 4911A, which was issued last month, currently applies to three prisons in the state and could be expanded to every facility in New York.[…]


      Fascism’s objective is to dumb people down and place prosperity out of reach, making such individuals desperate and more exploitable through an alliance of church and state. It’s an easy enough task to achieve with prisoners who make up a captive audience, but it won’t stop there. Believing the clown act in Washington DC will prove a sufficient distraction, prohibiting critiques of the government and the drug war is likely to emerge in other arenas.

    • jean valjean says:

      The shame of America’s mass incarceration mania and the determination to keep the public ignorant of the facts:

      “For the state burdened with this systemic injustice to prohibit prisoners from reading a book about race and mass incarceration is grossly ironic, misguided, and harmful…In its worst light, it looks like an attempt to keep impacted people uninformed about the history of the very injustice that defines their daily lives.”

      Amen to that Chris Christie, you fat fuck, piece of shit.


      • WalStMonky says:


        It’s nothing new. I’d never have read 13 Steven King novels in 1987 if there had been much other of a choice when I was on vacation at the Graybar Hotel. No right to freedom of the press, to assemble, no search warrant or even probable cause needed to search an inmate’s home or visitor’s person or body cavities*, involuntary servitude is specifically allowed in the 13th Amendment et cetera et cetera, et cetera ad nauseam. Prison administrators get away with a lot in the name of facility security.

        (*visitors are allowed to refuse but won’t be allowed to visit that day or ever again)

  31. kaptinemo says:

    A recent article from the National Review, which (belatedly) echoes everything those who reside on Pete’s Couch have been saying for many years: Jeff Sessions’s Wrong Turn on Marijuana

    Like his asset forfeiture policy and his attack on sanctuary cities, Sessions’ effort to target marijuana in states that have legalized it is an assault on constitutional federalism, as well as terrible policy. It undermines state autonomy on a policy issue where there is little, if any justification for federally imposed uniformity. Admittedly, as Damon Root points out, the policy is consistent with a series of dubious Supreme Court decisions. The most notable is in Gonzales v. Raich (2005), which held that Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce allows it to ban the possession of medical marijuana that had never been sold in any market or crossed state lines. Raich is a terrible decision that principled conservatives — and others who care about enforcing constitutional limits on government power — should be trying to overrule. They should not be exploiting it to impose federal prohibition on unwilling states.

    (Emphasis mine – k.)

    I’ve been yelling about the dangers of Raich ever since it was passed, and how it was deliberated by such as Justice Scalia, whose willful ignorance about medicinal cannabis (i.e. calling The Wo/Mens Alliance for Medical Marijuana hospice a ‘hippie commune’) was only matched by his unreasoning generational authoritarian enmity against those who used it, and thus defied authority…his authority.

    (I sincerely hope the soul of Scalia’s new digs are as inversely comfortable as those whose lives he helped make miserable while alive.)

    Prohibition laws and rulings like Raich are examples of the snake-swallowing-its-tail circular logic regarding drugs that must be cut in two if the madness is ever to end.

  32. HopelessPattern says:

    Kansas state rep: Black people ‘responded the worst’ to marijuana because of ‘their genetics’

    State Rep. Steve Alford (R) said at a “Legislative Coffee” session on Saturday that Jim Crow-era policies banning drugs such as pot were to protect other citizens from the drug use of black Americans.

    “Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs,” Alford said, as first reported by The Garden City Telegram. “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas and across the United States.”

    “What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African-Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that,” he continued.

    “And so basically what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to do a complete reverse, with people not remembering what has happened in the past.”

    Alford was talking to a crowd with no black people present, according to the Telegram.


    • allan says:

      just came over to post that one… this cracker-ass mofo is almost 100 years out of the reality loop. I mean seriously, wtf?!

    • kaptinemo says:

      Added my tuppence, too. A part of me can’t believe he said that; a much larger part of me is not surprised at all. Sessions was bad; this is worse, much worse. One of the worst of the ‘crazy uncles’ in the prohib attic has just escaped.

      The crazy is just oozing out under high pressure between the mental bulkheads from inside these prohib goofs. They’re in danger of explosive decompression, and it would be unwise to stand next to them, as they’re likely to splatter violently when it does, and judging from their behavior that crazy is proven to be highly toxic. Chemturion suits are in order. Simply best to keep your distance.

      We said it here first that they’d get so brazen that the madness they try to hide so hard would finally find a way out if they thought the conditions were optimal, and now here it is.

    • jean valjean says:

      I’d be happy to pay for Kansas State Rep.Steve Alford to be tested to see how many “black genes” he has in his DNA. Who knows, he may even get banned from the country club on the strength of it. The Trump presidency has opened a sewer and it’s spewing out long hidden racist themes which never really went away.

    • jean valjean says:

      “So basically I’m against marijuana…” and that’s his argument.
      What a maroon (copyright Bugs Bunny).

    • “Fear of Mexicans, Not Blacks, Led Kansas to Ban Marijuana”
      by Jacob Sullum – https://tinyurl.com/yaj6v9uu

      “Steven Alford, a Republican who represents Ulysses in the Kansas House of Representatives, recently opined that his state banned marijuana because blacks “responded the worst” to it, due to “their character makeup” and “their genetics.” He was wrong, of course. The contemporaneous evidence suggests it was mainly Mexicans, along with white teenagers, who were on the minds of Alford’s predecessors when they voted to ban marijuana in 1927 (not “in the ’30s,” as Alford claimed).” … https://tinyurl.com/yd6q6znb

    • jean valjean says:

      Hey Mike, are you from Michigan?

    • The odds ratio for marijuana crashes are close to those of antidepressants. Ever seen someone cited for being high on antidepressants?

    • My thinking is this: nothing below the “P” value of alcohol is normally policed for in “drugged driving” unless it is very obvious in a crash that the substance was the cause.

      Why do they want an exception made for marijuana? Where has the policing outcry for opiates been? Anti-depressants? Stimulants? Other legal drugs?

      The closer they get, the closer big pharma is to catching their tit in a wringer.

      • … and states and interstates having empty roads.

        Cops and Highway patrols are crossing the lines of good and common sense.

      • WalStMonky says:


        It’s a tactical strategy worthy of Sun-Tzu. As long as people are willing to continue their embrace of this failure of public policy because there is no “breathalyzer” All the prohibitionists need to do to maintain the stupidity is absolutely nothing. In this case just don’t invent a device needed to implement per se limits that aren’t SWAG estimates.

  33. Mike says:

    yes but have nothing to do with the link i dropped

    on driving studies.

  34. Mike says:

    Kalamazoo for the last seventy

  35. Paraguayan Brown says:

    The president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, sanctioned the law that regulates medical marijuana, which establishes the legal framework for the production and use of cannabis. With the signature of the Paraguayan president, the use of marijuana in its therapeutic use is legalized.


  36. NambiaNationalAnthem says:

    When you’re a complete moron that feels like singing:


  37. New Analysis Shows Federal Marijuana Legalization Could Raise $130 Billion, Add 1 Million Jobs by 2025

    – “If full legalization occurred in all 50 states today, there would be an excess of 782,000 jobs, and would increase to 1.1 million jobs by 2025.”

    – “Full legalization would result in more legal businesses participating in the market, more consumers participating in the legal market, and more employees on official payrolls, resulting in $4 billion in payroll taxes. By 2025, payroll deductions would increase to $5.9 billion.”

    – “Assuming a sales tax at the federal level was implemented at 15%, the total tax revenues from 2017–2025 would theoretically be $51.7 billion. This amount of revenue would be entirely new revenue to the U.S. Treasury, as there are currently no federal sales or excise taxes.”

    – “By combining the business tax revenues, the payroll withholdings based on the theoretical employment required to support the industry, and the 15% retail sales tax, one can calculate the total federal tax revenue potential of legalization: The combined total is estimated to be $131.8 billion.”

    – “The difference between the current structure and the theoretical model is a $76.8 billion increase in federal tax revenues.”

    There is NO fiscal sense in keeping marijuana illegal.

  38. Servetus says:

    Experiments conducted by James Frank and Dirk Trauner in collaboration with scientists at New York University (NYU), Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), the University of Southern California (USC) and the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, have synthesized THC molecules that can be activated by light in order to study CB1 receptors:

    10-JAN-2018 — …it is still hard to study CB1 receptors and their manifold functions, because cannabinoids such as THC are highly lipophilic, so they frequently embed themselves in the membranes made of fat molecules in an uncontrolled manner. To be able to use THC or variants of it more precisely for pharmaceutical and medical applications, it is therefore important to gain a better understanding of CB1 receptors.

    To study the diverse interactions between CB1 receptors and cannabinoids, a group of chemists headed by ETH professor Erick Carreira synthesised THC molecules. Their structure can be altered with light. The researchers published their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. […]

    The scientists synthesised four variants, or derivatives, of THC by attaching a light-sensitive “antenna” to the THC molecule. This antenna makes it possible to use light of a specific wavelength to precisely manipulate the altered molecule. Ultraviolet light changes the spatial structure of the antenna, and this change can be reversed again with blue light.

    The researchers tested two of these derivatives in a living cell culture. The derivatives docked with CB1 receptors in the same way as naturally occurring THC. When the researchers irradiated the THC derivative with ultraviolet light, its structure altered just as the researchers expected, consequently activating the CB1 receptor. This triggers reactions such as the opening of the potassium ion channels located in the cell membrane, which causes potassium ions to flow out of the cell. The researchers were able to measure this with an electrode inserted into the cell.

    When irradiated with blue light, the THC derivative returned to its original form, disabling the CB1 receptor as a result. The ion channels closed and the flow of potassium stopped. The researchers were able to activate and deactivate these processes using the corresponding coloured pulses of light. […]

    …another doctoral student in Carreira’s group, Roman Sarott, is working on synthesising additional THC derivatives that react to long-wavelength red light. “Red light penetrates deeper into tissue than blue light,” says Sarott. “If we want to study CB1 receptors in a living organism, we need molecules that are sensitive to red light.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: Intoxicatingly light-sensitive: Light-sensitive THC for research

    • Purple Haze aka NCN says:

      Single-molecule THC research for Big Pharma is what I’m reading here.

      While an advancement for guys in white lab coats, no mention of whole-plant cannabis or the full range of cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids and possible therapeutic potential of such.

      • WalStMonky says:


        You’ve completely missed the point. The objective is to map the endo-cannabinoid system.

        • Purple Haze aka NCN says:

          Duncan, I’m not sure you’re right. We know where to find the CB1 and CB2 receptors because they’re G-protein coupled receptors that exist on bi-lipid cellular membranes.

          This appears to be manipulation versus mapping. Not really the same thing.

      • Servetus says:

        It’s single molecule chemistry, but it’s also a new method of analysis that might be applied to other cannabinoids besides delta-9-THC. A light-controlled on-off switch for cannabinoids and CB1 receptors is capable of producing a lot of new and potentially useful information.

      • darkcycle says:

        Just trying to get a handle on the CB1 receptor. THC is only a partial agonist, it only docks with the receptor lightly, and doesn’t open them completely. It is also knocked out of place easily. Until they understand the receptor and how it reacts to THC, they can’t begin to understand it’s workings. Same will have to be done with the CB2 receptor. We’re still learning.

      • NorCalNative says:

        Most def some lazy analysis on my part.

  39. WalStMonky says:


    The Vermont Legislature sends a message to AG Sessions:

    Vermont legislature votes to become first state to legalize recreational marijuana

    • Purple Haze aka NCN says:

      It only took a state legislature 2-decades to finally pull the trigger, but this is significant.


    • jean valjean says:

      Could this be the end of third-rail politics when it comes to drug reform? British politicians however are still striving to delay even medical use rather than give the Daily Mail the opportunity to label them as “soft on drugs.” Evidently the Vermont legislature have more balls.

      • kaptinemo says:

        The Vermont legislature understands the political cost of ignoring demographics; the issue of re-legalization cuts across almost every voter demographic there is.

        The statistical cohort that continues to politically support prohibition is literally negligible, as in pols can afford to ignore it, as they once were able to afford ignoring drug law reformers.

        Simply put, the old line that ‘we’ll legalize when Grandma dies’ is holding true. All that’s left after the sifting out are the easily identifiable, cynically manipulative monetary beneficiaries of prohibition (DuPont, Sabet, etc.) and the True Believer, ‘parents movement’ foot-soldiers they manipulate, as ‘auxiliaries’ were in Machiavelli’s day.

        Both such groups are already minorities both politically and socially; in time they’ll become ‘quaint’ anachronisms like the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement is seen today. Economics and (there’s my favorite word, again) demographics are speeding the process. As I said back in 2009, it’s our time, now. We may be delayed, but we will NOT be denied…

  40. Legal marijuana is supported by every group in America except Jeff Sessions, Republicans and old people

    “Americans support marijuana legalization across race, gender and almost all age groups and political parties—except for Republicans, according to a new poll.”

    “Sixty-two percent of Republican voters oppose marijuana legalization, and only 33 percent support it, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released on Thursday. The divide is a striking contrast to how other demographics feel about pot. Fifty-eight percent of Americans think all marijuana should be legalized, and 91 percent believe medical marijuana should be legal, in line with previous measurements of public sentiment from Quinnipiac.”

    “And a whopping 70 percent of voters oppose enforcing federal marijuana laws, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions made clear he wants to do when he rescinded the Cole Memo last week.” ..

    • jean valjean says:

      Silver surfers are the answer, and there are more and more of them. They’ll probably outlive their prohib cohort too. For Sabet et al this really is a “demographic problem.”

  41. Several Members of Congress Are Drumming Support to Attack Sessions’ Marijuana Policies

  42. This current authoritarian approach to stopping drug use adhered to by Jeff Sessions is more than useless. It is unconstitutional, promotes corruption, and is Un-American!

    Its up to the congress to act to remove cannabis from the CSA NOW. Continuing drug war is crippling the USA. This should not be Jeff Sessions call.

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