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RainDog

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Links to DU threads in other forums regarding cannabis issues

This post/thread is here for anyone who wants to post links to stories in other threads related to cannabis issues. Please feel free to post a link from your own post or from someone else.

War on the War on Drugs
http://www.democraticunderground.com/100287555

Top 10 Science-Related Cannabis Stories: 2011
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002146025

'I just planted seeds, I thought they were flowers': Grandmother, 67, busted for growing marijuana
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002131642

"Surprise, Surprise: Black Market Cashes In On Pot Crackdown"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/100291007

Now that Obama has caused the price of pot to skyrocket, we can fire up the 1000 watt lights again.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/100291916

Feds Shut Down Marin Pot Club, (California's) Oldest
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10146452

Please help build this link list as you see stories. thank you!

Top 10 Science-Related Cannabis Stories for 2011

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/drug-law/top-ten-cannabis-science-stories-2011

Here are a few of them:

8. Two-thirds of patients surveyed substitute marijuana for prescription medications

7. Oxycontin is five times the “gateway drug” as marijuana

6. Drug testing is still unreliable, inaccurate, unnecessary, invasive, and counter-productive

5. For past two years, more Americans arrested for marijuana than all other drugs combined despite arrest protection for America’s One Million Legal Marijuana Users

When somebody mentions “The War on Drugs”, remind them what we’re really talking about is a “War on Marijuana”.

Nationally, there were 1,638,846 drug arrests reported to the FBI, with 52.1% of those arrests for marijuana charges. Last year, 51.6% of all drug arrests were for marijuana, showing a slight increase in marijuana as the majority of all drug arrests. The last time marijuana made up a majority of the “War on Drugs” was 1985, when 55.6% of all drug arrests were for marijuana.

Keep in mind that these annual marijuana arrests continue to climb even as we reduce the number of marijuana users eligible for arrest in the medical marijuana state, users who grow and use the most marijuana.

Between one to one-and-a-half million people are legally authorized by their state to use marijuana in the United States, according to data compiled by NORML from state medical marijuana registries and patient estimates. Assuming usage of one-half to one gram of cannabis medicine per day per patient and an average retail price of $320 per ounce, these legal consumers represent a $2.3 to $6.2 billion dollar market annually.


I included the text of this last one to demonstrate to those who want to claim arrest for possession is no longer an issue in the U.S. Even with medical marijuana, more people were arrested on marijuana-related charges in the U.S. than at any time since Ronald Reagan was in office and moved from "It's no one's business if they choose to use cannabis" to "Cannabis is dangerous and not an issue of personal freedom while driving without a motorcycle helmet must be protected as an important infringement of liberty." (If you wonder about why that quote - check out "Quote/Unquote" in the Drug Policy Forum.)

more at the link above...


Dr. Lester Grinspoon: On The Pharmaceuticalization of Marijuana

Dr. Grinspoon, a medical doctor and professor of psychology at Harvard, has long been on the front lines fighting the propaganda war against cannabis. His initial response to cannabis, as a professor who saw so many students using marijuana in the 60s, was to study it to show them the harm. Instead, he became a courageous spokesperson for the use of cannabis in both medical and personal life. He has real world experience with the use of cannabis medicine through his son's chemo treatment for leukemia.

The following article was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, 12 (5-6) (2001) pp. 377 - 383.

http://www.rxmarijuana.com/Pharmaceuticalization.htm

Abstract: Given the very limited toxicity of marijuana and the growing appreciation of its therapeutic value, it will undoubtedly find increasing application as a medicine in the coming years. But there is uncertainty about the forms in which it will be made available. Governments are hesitant to approve it because of concern about its use for nonmedical purposes and the difficulties of distributing as a medicine a substance that is already easily available. An alternative is the development of commercial cannabis pharmaceuticals that can be regulated and controlled. But pharmaceutical firms will be reluctant to invest the necessary money if they believe they cannot compete successfully with marijuana. Some of these products may have advantages over whole smoked or ingested marijuana, but most will not, and they will all be quite expensive. Ultimately, we can anticipate two medical distribution networks, a legal one for cannabinoid pharmaceuticals and an illegal one for street or homegrown marijuana


Under public pressure to acknowledge the medical potential of marijuana, the then director of the Office of National Drug Policy, Barry McCaffrey, authorized a review by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science which was published in March of 1997 (Joy et al. 1999). The report acknowledged the medical value of marijuana, but begrudgingly. One of the report's most important shortcomings was its failure to put into perspective the vast anecdotal evidence of marijuana's striking medicinal versatility and limited toxicity. The report states that smoking marijuana is too dangerous a form of delivery, but this conclusion is based on an exaggerated evaluation of the toxicity of the smoke. The IOM would have patients who find cannabis helpful when taken through the respiratory system wait for years until a means of delivering smoke-free cannabinoids is developed. But there are already prototype vaporizers which take advantage of the fact that cannabinoids vaporize at a temperature below the ignition point of dried cannabis plant material. The report's Recommendation Six would allow patients with what it calls "debilitating symptoms (such as intractable pain or vomiting)" to use smoked marijuana for only six months, and then only after all other approved medicines have failed and the treatment is carefully monitored with "an oversight strategy comparable to an institutional review board process." (Joy et al. 1999: 7-8). This makes legal use of medicinal cannabis practically impossible. The authors of the report are treating marijuana as if it were a drug like thalidomide, with well-established serious toxicity (phocomelia) and limited clinical usefulness (leprosy). This is inappropriate and unworkable for a drug with limited toxicity, unusual clinical versatility, and easy availability. At least the IOM Report confirms that even government officials no longer doubt that cannabis has medical uses. Inevitably, cannabinoids will be allowed to compete with other medicines in the treatment of a variety of symptoms and conditions; the only uncertainty involves the form in which they will be delivered.


Dr. Grinspoon goes on to note that he assumed, after studying cannabis for decades, that all that is necessary to make it possible to allow U.S. citizens to utilize this "useful and benign" (according to the DEA's own judge, Francis Young) plant-based medicine would be to have the DEA reschedule marijuana. Now, he says, this assumption was wrong.


Today, transferring marijuana to Schedule II (high potential for abuse, limited medical use) would not be enough to make it available as a prescription drug. Such drugs must undergo rigorous, expensive, and time-consuming tests before they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This system is designed to regulate the commercial distribution of drug company products and protect the public against false or misleading claims about their efficacy and safety. The drug is generally a single synthetic chemical that a pharmaceutical company has developed and patented. The company submits an application to the FDA and tests it first for safety in animals and then for clinical safety and efficacy. The company must present evidence from double-blind controlled studies showing that the drug is more effective than a placebo and as effective as available drugs. The cost of this evaluation exceeds 200 million dollars per drug. Case reports, expert opinion, and clinical experience are not considered sufficient.


It is unlikely that whole smoked marijuana should or will ever be developed as an officially recognized medicine via this route. The extensive government-supported effort of the last three decades to establish a sufficient level of toxicity to support prohibition has instead provided a record of marijuana's safety that is more compelling than that of many, if not most, approved medicines, while thousands of years of medical use have demonstrated its value. The modern FDA protocol is not the only way to establish a risk-benefit estimate for a drug with such a long history. To impose this protocol on cannabis would be like making the same demand of aspirin, which was accepted as a medicine more than 60 years before the advent of the double-blind controlled study. Many years of experience have shown us that aspirin has many uses and limited toxicity. Even if we thought that this experience was insufficient to establish its credentials by modern standards, it would not be possible to marshal it through the FDA approval process. The patent has long since expired, and with it the enormous economic incentive to underwrite the cost of this modern seal of approval. The plant cannabis too cannot be patented, so the only source of funding for a "start-from-scratch" approval would be the government, which is, to put it mildly, unlikely to be helpful. Other reasons for doubting that marijuana would ever be officially approved are today's anti-smoking climate and, most important, the widespread use of cannabis for purposes disapproved by the government.


It appears, then, that in the United States two powerful forces are colliding over the issue of medicinal cannabis. On the one hand, there is a growing interest in and acceptance of the medicinal importance of cannabis, and there is every reason to believe that this development will continue to gain momentum. As it does so it increasingly confronts the proscription against any use of marijuana. At the same time, there does not appear to be widespread interest in moving from an absolute prohibition against cannabis to a regulatory system which would allow for the responsible use of this drug. The federal government, until recently has denied any medical utility to cannabis, and it appears to be vehemently opposed to any relaxation of the prohibition.


We see this issue is being played out in the U.S. at this time with the issue of Sativex's planned entry into the U.S. drug market compared to the federal govt's continued insistence that marijuana has no medical value.

The only way to undo the harm of the drug war is for the federal government to decriminalize cannabis entirely and remove it from the drug schedules.

We have massive civil disobedience at this time as millions ignore the propaganda of the drug warriors, just as we saw during alcohol prohibition.

The refusal to accept the medical value of whole-plant cannabis will continue to burden Americans with prescription drug prices that are beyond the reach of many, while criminalizing their actions to mitigate the effects of chemo, epilepsy, migraines, HIV drugs, CP, MS, rheumatoid arthritis and alzheimers via affordable practices.

And so, America continues a class and drug war on its people, no matter which political party is in office. I thought we were better than that. Apparently not.

Netherlands to Close Prisons For Lack of Criminals

http://vorige.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals

"The Dutch justice ministry has announced it will close eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty.

During the 1990s the Netherlands faced a shortage of prison cells, but a decline in crime has since led to overcapacity in the prison system. The country now has capacity for 14,000 prisoners but only 12,000 detainees.

Deputy justice minister Nebahat Albayrak announced on Tuesday that eight prisons will be closed, resulting in the loss of 1,200 jobs. Natural redundancy and other measures should prevent any forced lay-offs, the minister said.

The overcapacity is a result of the declining crime rate, which the ministry's research department expects to continue for some time. "

On the other hand, Belgium has a surplus of prisoners, so The Netherlands will house some of the Belgian prisions for them.

I would like to point out that The Netherlands has more progressive drug policy than Belgium, for what it's worth.

Andrea Barthwell: Deputy Drug Czar turned lobbyist for Bayer/GW Pharma/Sativex

h/t to fredamae for this excellent information.

Here's what Barthwell had to say when she was being paid to promote prohibition:

...You won’t find any commercial development of plant-based marijuana medicines being pursued in the United States. Andrea Barthwell, a deputy director in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and President Bush’s point person on medical marijuana, says cannabis medicines aren’t compatible with modern science. They do not constitute “a serious line of research,” she says.

“The people who are advancing marijuana as a medicine are perpetuating a cruel hoax that exploits our compassion for the sick,” Barthwell says. “They are using patients’ pain and suffering in an attempt to change America’s drug control policy. Marijuana is a crude plant product that most definitely is not a medicine.”

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/andrea-barthwell-snake-oil-salesman/

More from Barthwell:

"Having this product available will certainly slow down the dash to make the crude plant material available to patients across the country," said Barthwell, an addiction medicine specialist.

Some medical marijuana activists suggested that Sativex could help spur efforts to legalize medicinal use of leafy marijuana.

"In practical terms," said Mirken, of the Marijuana Policy Project, "Sativex is to marijuana as a cup of coffee is to coffee beans."

Barthwell drew a different comparison.

"Comparing crude marijuana to Sativex is like comparing a raging forest fire to the fire in your home's furnace," she said. "While both provide heat, one is out of control."

(From Kirk Tousaw, Campaign Manager, BC Marijuana Party via the BCMP Website cache)

This is, again, pure propaganda to sell a product and make inexpensive medicine unavailable to Americans - and Canadians, for that matter.

Barthwell showed up at a conference sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and claimed that Sativex is not cannabis...and she's a doctor? An advocate from ASA noted her appearance.

After I pointed out to the few reporters that she was not JUST a private citizen, but the ex-Deputy Drug Czar, a representative of GW, and the failed Republican nominee for IL Senate, she told the press that rescheduling marijuana would not make it available to patients. I concurred. Then she asked me how I could say that Sativex was marijuana. I asked her if it was not marijuana, what was it? She rattled off her sound byte "If your grandmother was in pain would you give her opium?"

I am writing this list because I have major concern for the future of Sativex. Barthwell looked ridiculous. All the reporters kept asking her "They are here in support of Sativex, what is your problem?" And she just kept giving her sound bytes about how Sativex was not marijuana. Luckily Matt Atwood, Executive Director of IDEALReform, also a chemist was present and challenged her on the "compound level" to which her only response was "What are you a scientists?"

Directly after the press conference, I received a "Cease and Desist" order from the Bayer attorneys over a domain name ASA purchased but had yet put up the content www.SativexInfo.org , www.SativexInfo.com, and www.SativexInfo.net which is a pro-Sativex website they also found out about from Don Wirtshafter's e-mail. We have kindly told them we will not be giving over the domains and we will end up in court in the next 20 days or so.


So, we see that, yes, indeed, drug warriors like this woman are working with Bayer and GW to pull some slick shit and make Sativex legal while keeping the cannabis plant illegal by pretending that a medicine made from WHOLE-PLANT CANNABIS, not a synthetic, is not WHOLE-PLANT CANNABIS.

I suppose that's why the Drug Czar amended his pronouncement that there is no medical value to cannabis to "smoked" cannabis. He may soon have to start saying... smoked, buttered, baked, vaped, tinctured or any other way... if not done by the big pharma the government favors.

You know, long ago, some people in Boston had a tea party because their government favored a corporation, The East India Company, over those who lived in this nation who produced their own tea. King George ruled that the colonists must purchase the product that favored him, economically, rather than those who lived and worked here and often scraped by to eke out a living. The current teabaggers misrepresent this moment - this moment was a riot against corporate favoritism, not taxation. Now the tea is of a different blend.

Here's Barthwell on Morning Talking Heads TV



The host of the show failed to mention that Barthwell had worked as a lobbyist for a company that would benefit from keeping cannabis illegal.

In addition, the host didn't understand the difference between a synthetic and natural plant-based entity.

In addition, the crawl says 25 million have treated for marijuana abuse but failed to indicate that the majority of those entering rehab for cannabis had not used it for more than a month prior to rehab (which indicates they were not addicted), or that the majority of people in the U.S. who go to rehab for marijuana in the U.S. do so to avoid a criminal record for simple possession. iow, that stat is part of prohibition propaganda.

From Saturday, April 16, 2005 The Pharmaceuticalization of Marijuana: G.W. Does the "Right" Thing - Fred Gardner at CounterPunch

G.W. has also hired John Pastuovic, who headed the Bush-Cheney campaign in Illinois in 2000, to handle public relations in the U.S. The implication of the hires is that G.W. founders Geoffrey Guy and Brian Whittle will use any means necessary to push their products as alternatives to smoked marijuana.


Olsen v. DEA, according to the MPP, may provide a route for Bayer/GW to obtain special treatment for Sativex to allow it to be made legal while whole-plant cannabis that is not supplied by a pharmceutical company remains illegal.

The corruption, the pure financial consideration over the welfare and civil rights of Americans is, once again, is illustrated by a government that implements policy based upon lies. Who, with the power to do so, has the courage to stop this assault on Americans? Are we governed by cowards and liars who enrich themselves at the expense of the American people? I wonder, more and more.

The cycle of deceit continues, from Anslinger's Marihuana Tax Act legislation of 1937 to favor forestry paper pulp over hemp, to Barthwell's attempt to create a two-tier class of Americans based, again, upon lies.

Quote/Unquote

Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. ~Voltaire (1752)
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Corruptisima republica plurimae leges. ~Tacitus, Annals III 27
The more corrupt a republic, the more laws.

Member from upstate New York: “Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?”

Speaker Rayburn: “I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it’s a narcotic of some kind.” (Marihuana Tax Act Hearing, 1937)

If people let government decide which foods they eat and medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." ~Thomas Jefferson

Prohibition... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans' appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded ~President Abraham Lincoln (December 1840)

The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this. ~Albert Einstein "My First Impression of the U.S.A. (1921)

Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic, but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished. ~H. L. Mencken, "The American Mercury"

I’d rather see MY CHILDREN up against a wall and see them SHOT DOWN BEFORE MY EYES than to know that any one of them was going to be A DRUG SLAVE! ~Col. Levi G. Nutt, head of the Narcotics Division of the US Treasury Dept, via Hearst newspapers (1929)

Persons using this narcotic (marijuana) smoke the dried leaves of the plant, which has the effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under its influence, are immune to pain, and could be injured without having any realization of their condition. While in this condition they become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility...If this drug is indulged in to any great extent, it ends in the untimely death of its addict." Emily Murphy, Edmonton Canada (1923)

The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities. The Nation is almost defenseless against it, having no Federal laws to cope with it and virtually no organized campaign for combating it. ~Washington Times Editorial (1937)

It creates delusions of grandeur and breaks down the will power and makes the addict ready for any crime, even murder. ~Ida B. Wise Smith, Women's Christian Temperance Union, CBS radio network speech

Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim's life in Los Angeles?...THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES – that is a matter of cold record.” Hearst Newspapers

Harry Anslinger, First Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN)

"Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men."

"This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."

"...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

"How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured..." (yeah, Harry, we know it was all "conjecture.")

It is possible to stop most drug addiction in the United States within a very short time. Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost. Label each drug with a precise description of what effect - good or bad - the drug will have on the taker. This will require heroic honesty. Don't say that marijuana is addictive or dangerous when it is neither, as millions of people know -- unlike "speed," which kills most unpleasantly, or heroin, which can be addictive and difficult to kick. Along with exhortation and warning, it might be good for our citizens to recall (or learn for the first time) that the United States was the creation of men who believed that each person has the right to do what he wants with his own life as long as he does not interfere with his neighbors' pursuit of happiness (that his neighbor's idea of happiness is persecuting others does confuse matters a bit) - Gore Vidal, "Drugs," 1970

Our youth can not understand why society chooses to criminalize a behavior with so little visible ill effect or adverse social impact...On top of this is the distinct impression among the youth that some police may use the marihuana laws to arrest people they don't like for other reasons, whether it be their politics, their hair style or their ethnic background...

Federal and state laws (should) be changed to no longer make it a crime to possess marijuana for private use. State laws should make the public use of marijuana a criminal offense punishable by a $100 fine. Under federal law, marijuana smoked in public would merely be subject to seizure. ~National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding" March (1972)

Marijuana leads to homosexuality ... and therefore to AIDS. ~Reagan White House Drug Czar Carlton Turner (1986)

(Turner resigned on Dec. 16, 1986 after an October 27, 1986 Newsweek editorial lambasted him for his lies. He went on to make a fortune by going into the urine-testing business with partner, Peter Bensinger, a former head of the National Institute on Drug Awareness.)

"If adults want to take such chances , that is their business." Ronald Reagan

"Of course Dad was for legalization. He wasn't crazy. He didn't want his kids in jail!" Michael Reagan interview

One substitute for the disappearing Evil Empire (The Soviet Union) has been the threat of drug traffickers from Latin America. In early September 1989, a major government-media blitz was launched by the President. That month the AP wires carried more stories about drugs than about Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa combined. If you looked at television, every news program had a big section on how drugs were destroying our society, becoming the greatest threat to our existence, etc. ~Noam Chomsky, What Uncle Sam Really Wants

Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political" ~The Economist, March 28th 1992

The most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana. ~Ronald Reagan

This morning you said you were against mandatory motorcycle helmets because it's a limit to personal freedom, and then later this afternoon you said you were against decriminalizing marijuana because it causes brain damage. Can’t not wearing a motorcycle helmet cause brain damage a lot of quicker than marijuana by, for example, the head splitting open so that actual material from the road enters the brain? -- Al Franken to Ronald Reagan, as reported in Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot

And on the seventh day, god stepped back and said and said, "This is my creation, perfect in every way... oh, dammit I left all this pot all over the place. Now they'll think I want them to smoke it... Now I have to create Republicans. ~Bill Hicks, Comedian

Casual drug users should be taken out and shot. ~Daryl Gates, former L.A. Police Chief

There are no violent gangs fighting over aspirin territories. There are no violent gangs fighting over whisky territories or computer territories or anything else that's legal. There are only criminal gangs fighting over territories covering drugs, gambling, prostitution, and other victimless crimes. Making a non-violent activity a crime creates a black market, which attracts criminals and gangs, which turns what was once a relatively harmless activity affecting a small group of people into a widespread epidemic of drug use and gang warfare. ~Harry Brown, Libertarian Party

What's going on in many cities isn't people being hooked on drugs; it's people being hooked on drug money. If you undermine that, it would lead to a reduction in violence. Not the elimination—there's always going to be evil in the world—but (reduction of) this high level tied to drug distribution. ~Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore

...Short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, the report urges that “the Schedule I status of marijuana be reviewed with the goal of facilitating clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods. ~American Medical Association. November, 2009

DEA Online: "Exposing the Myth of Smoked Medical Marijuana"

Q. Does marijuana have any medical value?

A: The American Medical Association recommends that marijuana remain a Schedule I controlled substance.

Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit. ~White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, at a Fresno, Calif., press conference, 2009

I’d always done a lot of (sniffing) glue as a kid. I was very interested in glue, and then I went to lager and speed, and I drifted into heroin because as a kid growing up everybody told me, ‘don’t smoke marijuana, it will kill you’ ~Irvine Walsh, Trainspotting

The chemistry lesson from last century is that no drug has ever caused as much problems as the attempts to rescue us from them. ~Arnold Trebach, professor emeritus, American University.

(Our current prison state) has the dual effect of getting rid of a superfluous population of basically unskilled workers (with a close race-class correlation), and also demonizing them...The drug war is basically for this - It has nothing to do with drugs, but it has plenty to do with criminalizing an unwanted population and scaring everybody else." ~Noam Chomsky, "Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World," Harvard, 1996

Racial minorities comprised a strikingly disproportionate percentage of the prison population. African Americans constituted 46.5% of state prisoners and 40% percent of federal prisoners, although they constituted only 12 percent of the national population. ~Human Rights Watch World Report 2001: United States

The War on Drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. But I'm not someone who believes in legalization. ~Barack Obama





okay. decriminalization would be a good start.

Christians Against Prohibition

https://christiansagainstprohibition.org/node/628

I just came across this site and thought I'd share.

What's interesting is to see the rhetoric of religion used in support of something I also favor. I still don't find much value in the rhetoric but, hey, bring it to the people who share your view in the language you speak.

How Americans Really Feel About Drugs

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/04/how_americans_really_feel_about_drugs/singleton/

Sirota has an excellent piece about the way in which propaganda is employed to continue to lie about the WoD, specifically in relation to cannabis.

Almost exactly eight years ago, I wrote an essay for the Nation magazine looking at how terms such as “centrism” and “moderate” were beginning to be deftly manipulated to shape the parameters of America’s political discourse. In almost every policy debate, these words were being used in with-us-or-against-us fashion to delineate what was — and what was not — acceptable. Through such linguistic propaganda over the last decade, America was gradually taught that anything called “centrist” or “moderate” was Good and Serious because it supposedly represented “mainstream” thinking in America — even as “centrism” was being used to describe policies and politicians that, based on empirical data, increasingly diverged from the actual center of our nation’s public opinion. By contrast, anything positioned in opposition to that branding was wild-eyed “leftist,” “extremist,” “ideological,” “fringe” — and most of all, Evil and Unserious.

As dishonest as this kind of agitprop is, it unfortunately — but predictably — continues unabated. This is, after all, the golden era of agitprop — a moment in which wars are no longer wars, corporations are people, and top New York Times scribes are given a national platform to declare that a key architect of the Republican Party’s infamous K Street Project “is not a representative of the corporate or financial wing of the party.” And so when it comes to who is a “centrist” or “moderate,” the distortions persist without so much as a peep of editorial protest.

The latest example of this insidious framing comes in the form of a Monday New York Times Op-Ed. The piece is written by Kevin Sabet, formerly one of President Obama’s top drug policy officials. Titled “Overdosing on Extremism,” he employs the “centrist” and “moderate” code words to criticize those pressing for reforms that, for purposes of law enforcement, would treat currently outlawed drugs such as marijuana just like far more dangerous yet legal drugs such as alcohol. With the possibility of these reform proposals roiling the presidential race and appearing on statewide ballots in 2012, a breathless and hysterical Sabet sounds an old fear-mongering alarm,

Mere weeks after Gallup’s new poll showed a majority of Americans support full legalization of marijuana, Sabet insists that it’s a “fact” that the public doesn’t support legalization. And mind you, it’s not just Gallup’s surveys that show public support for legalization — in state-based polls in politically diverse states like Massachusetts and Colorado, it’s essentially the same thing: widespread public support for pot legalization.


Here's that Gallup Poll:


Here's a link to Sabet's NYT's piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/opinion/drug-policy-needs-centrists.html

Here's Sabet's most egregious lie: "...a few tough-on-crime conservatives and die-hard libertarians dominate news coverage and make it appear as if legalizing drugs and “enforcement only” strategies were the only options, despite the fact that the public supports neither." (well, yeah, unless you take into consideration all the legalization polls for mmj for the last 15 years, the recent Gallop Poll, or the President's own web site with more calls to legalize than for any other petition presented there... ever.)

Please go to Sirota's piece at the top link and read the way in which Sabet is trying to frame this issue in a way that simply denies reality.

The most extensive analysis of any drug in the history of mankind



Arnold Trebach discussing the DEA rescheduling hearings of 1988 with Judge Francis Young.

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit challenging medical marijuana in AZ (x-post from kpete thread)

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the legalization of medical marijuana in Arizona.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer filed a lawsuit against her own state’s medical marijuana law in May. She claimed that state employees could be in jeopardy because the state law conflicts with federal laws, despite Arizona’s former top federal prosecutor saying publicly the federal government has “no intention of targeting or going after people who are implementing or who are in compliance with state law.”

“It is unconscionable for Governor Brewer to continue to force very sick people to needlessly suffer by stripping them of the legal avenue through which to obtain their vital medicine,” said Ezekiel Edwards of the American Civil Liberties Union, which had urged the dismissal of the lawsuit.

“Today’s ruling underscores the need for state officials to stop playing politics and implement the law as approved by a majority of Arizona voters so that thousands of patients can access the medicine their doctors believe is most effective for them.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/04/judge-tosses-lawsuit-against-arizonas-medical-marijuana-law/
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