Absurd ideas from the White House

The ACLU weighs in:

The White House announced a new proposal today for policies that respond to the opioid addiction crisis, including possibly imposing the death penalty for those charged with dealing drugs.

Jesselyn McCurdy, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office, had the following reaction:

“The opioid crisis is a serious problem that requires a serious solution. But the draconian law enforcement provisions included in this proposal are unconstitutional and absurd. […]

“The administration has, once again, put out a potentially disastrous and ill-thought-out policy proposal into our national discussion. The idea of executing people who sell drugs is ineffective, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle understand that.”

This was a completely moronic idea 20 years ago. Now it’s moronic and tone-deaf.

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163 Responses to Absurd ideas from the White House

  1. WalStMonky says:


    For the last 10 days or so the POTUS has been in a fairly extreme manic state, possibly Adderall (or similar) driven. I certainly hope that Senator Gardner recorded the conversation because absent hearing the POTUS say it or written on a page he signed it my never have happened. I’m not calling the Senator a liar. I’m calling the POTUS a bi-polar lunatic in need of anti-psychotic (not ADHD) meds.

    PS Both Colorado and the Feds have single party consent wire tapping laws so it would be legal for him to record their conversation. That’s assuming no special rule for recording the POTUS due to “national security” or some such nonsense. Just because I’ve never heard of it doesn’t mean it isn’t true as it’s a very arcane piece of Federal law.

  2. Mike says:

    Wow what a change and to think its just about
    21 years since the Hemp Aid event at Rainbow Farm

    May 23-26 1997


    reat in peace Tom and Rollie

  3. Servetus says:

    “[O]n the supreme irony of the drug war waged by the United States in Central and South America”:

    “Suppose that, say, China established military bases in Colombia to carry out chemical warfare in Kentucky and North Carolina to destroy this lethal crop [tobacco] that is killing huge numbers of Chinese.” — Noam Chomsky


  4. “End the War on Weed” – “Federal marijuana laws are counterproductive and overly harsh”
    By THE EDITORS | Scientific American May 2018 Issue –

  5. σφαῖραBlue says:

    The Honourable Gaston Browne is the first sitting Caribbean Head of Government who has acknowledged the wrongs against Rastafari in the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda and has issued an official apology to the Rastafarian community. His government took the courageous step of liberalising the cannabis laws with the commitment of passing a comprehensive Cannabis Act that will regulate the use of cannabis in Antigua and Barbuda by the close of 2018.

    Drawing on the network of cannabis activists, the Cannabis Movement of Saint Lucia requested Antiguan activist Frank I to enquire of the Hon Prime Minister if he would be so kind as to issue a statement for the Saint Lucia 420 celebration in Soufriere this Friday 20th April 2018.

    Below is PM Browne’s 420 message:

    “Hi, this is Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda. …


  6. Will says:

    Patrick Kennedy profits from opioid-addiction firms


    • Yeah But says:

      “Turd Blossom.” Stupid Patrick could fall into vat of shit and still make a profit. Nothing to do with his brains. I wonder if it could be anything to do with his name?

      • Will says:

        I don’t think Patrick Kennedy understands the bad optics his profiting from the addiction treatment industry reveals (because he is, indeed, quite stupid). His SAM co-founder, Kevin Sabet, has doggedly attempted to lay waste to any idea that SAM is financially connected to or profits from the addiction treatment industry. Now, however, ‘bumbling, fumbling’ Patrick has exposed this as not entirely true. Except I expect Sabet to likely now claim that while Patrick profits that does not mean that SAM profits — or is influenced by Big Pharma, the rehab industrial complex, or any of the other entities he constantly deflects from. Which is a big pile of shit of course.

        I really don’t see SAM as much more than a nuisance speed bump anymore (a diminishing one at that). Not that long ago many news outlets described SAM as the stalwart, effective warrior in the battle to re-legalize cannabis. But what have they really won lately? Sure, they still have influence with staunchly misguided prohibitionists in certain positions of power. But there seems to be a lot more losing instead of winning with those addled numbskulls.

  7. DdC says:

    Goldman Sachs & Big Pharma Admit Cures Aren’t Profitable… https://youtu.be/q62J9bQwE_w via @YouTube

    A U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee is poised to approve cannabis-based drug Epidiolex from GW Pharmaceuticals.

    2018 Meeting Materials, Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee

    GW cannabis-derived epilepsy drug gets positive FDA staff review

    GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR
    134.13 USD +13.55 (11.24%)

    131.98 USD −2.15 (1.60%)

  8. Servetus says:

    Biophysics is giving Big Pharma a run for its money in the opioid pain industry. Gene Fridman, Ph.D., M.S., at Johns Hopkins medical school, is using a pulsed electrical direct current to treat certain types of chronic pain:

    18-APR-2018 — Using computer models and laboratory rats, Johns Hopkins researchers have demonstrated that “direct electrical current” can be delivered to nerves preferentially, blocking pain signals while leaving other sensations undisturbed.

    The researchers say the experiments advance the search for improved implantable devices able to treat chronic pain that is due to peripheral nerve injury or disease.

    “We have developed a potential new concept for neural implants that works differently than conventional electrical stimulators,” says Gene Fridman, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery and biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We believe we are the first to investigate the idea of using this concept for implantable medical devices that use direct electrical current, long thought to be unsafe.”

    Implantable spinal cord stimulators and peripheral nerve stimulators designed to interrupt nerve pain impulses were developed more than 30 years ago, but the devices work by interacting with sensory nerve cells, leading to numbness, tingling and other side effects. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Direct electrical current used to preferentially inhibit pain-transmitting neurons

    Also, the University of British Columbia released a study showing naloxone kit distribution cuts deaths from opioid ODs:

    Key findings include the following:

    ●Rapid, wide-scale distribution of naloxone kits effectively prevents overdose deaths

    ●Between January 1 and October 31, 2016, the expansion of the Take-Home Naloxone program prevented 226 deaths in BC, or 26 per cent of all possible overdose-related deaths in that time period

    ●For every 10 THN kits that were used, one overdose death is estimated to have been prevented […]

    AAAS Public Release Study: Wide distribution of naloxone can slash overdose deaths during epidemics

    Lancet Journal Source: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30044-6/fulltext

  9. strayan says:

    Blood THC is not a good proxy either for recency of use or for impairment, and the dose-effect curve for fatality risk remains a matter of sharp controversy. The maximum risk for cannabis intoxication alone, unmixed with alcohol or other drugs, appears to be more comparable to risks such as talking on a hands-free cellphone (legal in all states) than to driving with a BAC above 0.08, let alone the rapidly-rising risks at higher BACs.

    You will never guess who wrote this. Not in a million years.


  10. Servetus says:

    The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has published a review study on how marijuana may help people as they age:

    19-APR-2018 — Managing symptoms such as pain, nausea, and psychiatric illness can be challenging as people age. A … review highlights what’s currently known about the indications and risks of medical marijuana use for older adults.

    …medical marijuana appears useful for the treatment of pain (particularly neuropathic pain) and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It has neuropsychiatric side effects but even when smoked, it does not appear to increase the risk for lung cancer.

    Importantly, however, medical marijuana’s positive and negative effects have not been thoroughly studied specifically in older adults.

    “There is a dearth of evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids for medical indications in older adults. Common sense practices are applicable here though, including performing a thorough assessment for side effects and expecting that lower doses will have a greater impact,” said lead author Dr. Joshua Briscoe, of the Duke University Medical Center. “As younger generations age, it is also important to expect that they have experience using marijuana in recreational contexts, which will affect their approach to its use in a medical setting.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: How can medical marijuana benefit older adults?

  11. Servetus says:

    The State of Washington uses cannabis taxes to fund marijuana research at Washington State University. Ideally, cannabis research should be funded by the federal government, but due to drug scheduling, that isn’t happening.

    For their research, WSU scientists used a medical marijuana app called Strainprint to gather data regarding the effects of commercially available cannabinoids on stress, depression and anxiety:

    19-APR-2018 — PULLMAN, Wash.–In a first-of-a-kind study, Washington State University scientists examined how peoples’ self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by smoking different strains and quantities of cannabis at home.

    …published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders, [it] suggests smoking cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.

    It marks one of the first attempts by U.S. scientists to assess how cannabis with varying concentrations of the chemical compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) affect medicinal cannabis users’ feelings of wellbeing when smoked outside of a laboratory. […]

    Data for the study were taken from the trademarked app Strainprint, which provides medical cannabis users a means of tracking how different doses and types of cannabis affect a wide variety of symptoms of wellbeing.

    Strainprint users rate the symptoms they are experiencing before using cannabis on a scale of 1-10 and then input information about the type of cannabis they are using. Twenty minutes after smoking, they are prompted to report how many puffs they took and to rerate the severity of their symptoms.

    Cuttler and WSU colleagues Alexander Spradlin and Ryan McLaughlin used a form of statistical analysis called multilevel modeling to analyze around 12,000 anonymous Strainprint entries for depression, anxiety and stress. The researchers did not receive any of the Strainprint users personally identifying information for their work.

    “This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression,” Cuttler said. “Currently, medical and recreational cannabis users rely on the advice of bud tenders whose recommendations are based off of anecdotal not scientific evidence.”

    The study is among several cannabis-related research projects currently underway at WSU, all of which are consistent with federal law and many of which are funded with Washington state cannabis taxes and liquor license fees.

    AAAS Public Release: Scientific guidelines for using cannabis to treat stress, anxiety and depression

  12. darkcycle says:

    Happy Bicycle day Couchies!!!

  13. Will says:

    A couple of things;

    Cannabis harm to teenagers’ brains ‘overstated’, finds study


    A meta-analysis by University of Pennsylvania researchers looked at 69 studies, which all tested the impact of marijuana smoking in adolescents and young adults, and found little to no long-term harm.

    Although it did not look at mental health impacts, such as psychosis, the authors of the study published in the journal JAMA Psychology today, found the “persistence and magnitude of impact” on teenagers had been overblown.

    For the test the authors looked at results of cognitive testing on learning, memory, speed of information processing, language and motor skills for 2,152 cannabis users and 6,575 who had minimal use.

    It found there was a “small but statistically significant” effect associated with heavy or frequent use.

    But this effect shrank in studies that required their cannabis-smoking participants to abstain from smoking before testing, and a period of more than 72-hours abstinence meant there was no significant impact on their performance.

    It also found no evidence that earlier use, particularly in teenagers, had a more serious long-term effect.

    There are some caveats here. We have seen other ‘studies of studies’ render cannabis problematic. Also, prohibitionists will seize on the fact that mental health impacts were not looked into in spite of the verdict that ‘“persistence and magnitude of impact” on teenagers had been overblown’.



    Texas and New Jersey Voters Support Marijuana Legalization, Polls Show


    Crazy Texans continue to confound me. At least this time in a good way (and way to go New Jersey).

    • tensity1 says:

      Here’s a superior article on MJ’s (lack of) permanent harm to the adolescent brain:


      Why is it the superior article? Because Kevin Sabet looks like he’s ready to do the world’s first septuple axle at an Olympic level with all the spin he tries to put on the results of the study.

      Makes me happy.

      Now it’s off to the shower and then to the local dispensary for holiday treats and free swag, with a stop at the local barbeque joint for their $4.20 Munch Special. I’ll stop bragging now, but I sure do like the taste of cannabis-themed barbeque in the afternoon–tastes like victory.

  14. Mike says:

    interesting can not find one story on Cynthia Nixons
    interview on Wed. 4-18 on Stephen Colbert where she
    calls for recreational cannabis. And how it has hurt minorities.

    but here a sitting Sen. comes out with all most the same.


  15. befuddled says:

    Personally I have some issues with the whole “opioid nation” concept and “crisis.” Chronic pain is exactly that: unendurable pain that refuses to go away. The idea that narcotics can be replaced by cannabinoids is nice, but really.

    I think we’ve sacrificed some of our civil rights along this past decade. My couch is nice but I’d like to upgrade some day. Doesn’t look like that’ll happen, though, as this legalization sure came too late to save the American family unit. Day late, few dollars short.

    • Hope says:

      My thoughts on it are that the cannabinoids aren’t the perfect “replacement” for opioids. The cannabinoids can and will reduce the amounts needed for pain and they can help the heroin addict endure withdrawals. If they really want to fight their way free of heroin. They have to want to though and it’s still a fight. Cannabis isn’t the magic bullet some people are looking for, but it can help. It can help tremendously. Kind of like you can’t walk and a house is burning down around you… and the cannabis can work as a crutch to get you the hell out of there… alive… if you want out. You have to want out. And generally, most of us think “crutches” suck… but we all also know that using a crutch is better than not walking at all.

      • befuddled says:

        That’s true, and most people with unendurable chronic pain want out of it. Many will try new drugs and treatments when such are offered out of desperation. Maybe some work, maybe some don’t. Your analogy of a burning house is good as it gives a picture of a situation where just about anything would be used as a crutch.

        But that’s different from drug addiction. Personally, I believe that the early medical marijuana dispensaries made many of the same mistakes that methadone clinics made in the past. Publicly serving an “unsavory” element of society where all can see, with the added condition of having green crosses three and four deep per block. Rubbed the public’s face in it whether they were looking for it or not.

        That’s public perception and personal prejudice, though, and not proven medical importance. All that’s close to 20 years in the past in California now, there’s changes been made. What’s good medical treatment is the issue for one group, what’s allowable recreational activity is another topic for another set.

  16. NCN says:

    The idea that cannabis can replace narcotics is nice, it’s also a statistic in states with medical and/or legal weed.

    Pain isn’t pain until it reaches the brain. That makes it an emotional experience.

    The issues around pain are NOT really about pain at all, but the level of suffering associated with the pain. If you have pain but you’re not suffering that allows one to get on with life.

  17. DucksInSpace says:

    After lengthy sessions and detailed reports to determine criteria for peremptory norms, the International Law Commission (ILC) has yet to find anything lending credibility to the position taken by the INCB. According to the ILC, the “criteria for identifying peremptory norms of general international law are stringent.” Only a few peremptory norms are generally recognised, and even those are limited to “the prohibitions of aggression, genocide, slavery, racial discrimination, crimes against humanity and torture, and the right to self-determination.”

    To date, no serious legal scholar has found a credible source attributing jus cogens-status to the drug treaty obligations. In fact, the Canadian Supreme Court has itself ruled that there is “no indication in international law” that drug offences belong to that highest category of legal norms. There are even provisions for exemptions, amendments, and reservations in the drug conventions themselves, and there are no specific restrictions made with regard to article 4(c). There is also sufficient state practice regarding cannabis policies to suggest that many states do not in fact consider its prohibition as absolute, from which no deviation is allowed.


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