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Sativex is being touted as a "cure" for marijuana "addiction" in New Zealand.


honestly, we have crossed over into bizarro world.

so, cannabis that's sold by a pharmaceutical company is being promoted as a cure for cannabis addiction that is less dangerous or addictive than coffee.

This is like offering Starbucks as a cure for Folgers.

The argument is that current whole plant cannabis is generally very THC concentrated. As Michael Pollan wrote about

and as Judge Gray testified to - http://www.democraticunderground.com/1170156

the reason for this higher-grade THC cannabis is because of prohibition!!!

If this were not such a tragedy for so many people - this would be one of the most hysterically funny attempts to bullshit the American people since Orson Welles' War of the Worlds.

But the reality is that people go to jail for doing something less harmful than drinking a glass of wine in this nation. The real criminals seem to be in DC, however.

Ret. Judge James P. Gray (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)

Howard Zinn in 2008: Vote for Obama but create a social movement for change

our political class is limited in its interests. to create change, we have to demand it and not give up until it occurs.

The Big Switch-a-roo


Dr. Lester Grinspoon "On The Pharmaceuticalization of Marijuana" a decade ago.

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


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

Drug Czarina in the palace:

...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.”

Former Drug Czarina turned lobbyist:

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.

So, basically, if the DEA and the office of the Drug Czar make claims that Sativex is substantially different than cannabis that they oppose as medicine at the state level, the only difference between being a drug dealer and someone in the Fed. govt who sets cannabis policy is that dealers get paid more money. Both don't give a shit about human life if there is money to be made for a few at the expense of the many.

Gil Kerlikowske spoke in Fresno in July of 2009. He said: "Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit," regarding Operation SOS -- Save Our Sierra -- a multiagency effort to eradicate marijuana in eastern Fresno County, according to the Fresno Bee.

He rephrased his statement soon afterward on a program on KOMO news in Seattle to say: “I certainly said that legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary nor is it in mine. But the other question was in reference to smoked marijuana. And as we know, the FDA has not determined that smoked marijuana has a value, and this is clearly a medical question that should be answered by the medical community.”


In response to one of the many petitions to the White House web site to stop the war on cannabis, including this one from LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) that noted:

Taking a noncriminal, regulatory approach to marijuana would enable states to pass their own laws, regulations and taxes to control marijuana and would end the Justice Department's intimidation tactics in medical marijuana states. One or more states will likely legalize adult use of marijuana in 2012, and the Obama administration should stop wasting scarce federal resources and uphold the president’s campaign pledge to respect states’ rights when it comes to marijuana.

Kerlikowske responded:

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

Kerlikowske obviously "got the memo" to continue to treat average American citizens like criminals regarding cannabis UNLESS Bayer, etc. can profit from it. As Grinspoon explains in the first link, above, cannabis WILL NEVER be approved as medicine in the U.S. based upon current regulatory demands - just as ASPIRIN would never be approved as medicine in the U.S. at this time based upon current regulatory demands - b/c no pharma co could profit from the same with the amount of money required to bring a substance onto the market - unless that substance has NO COMPETITION from natural substances and can be a FALSE scarce market.

Because of this reality, the truth is that the Federal govt. simply needs to decriminalize and then legalize cannabis - or simply legalize it if Sativex is going to be on the market here - otherwise, what a bunch of elitist, citizen-despising crony capitalists. I wonder how much money GW Pharma is using to grease the backsides of the pigs in various federal offices and Congress to achieve this stunningly anti-democratic level of perfidy against the American people? I wonder if Bayer contributes to Lamar Smith's campaign since he's holding up the Decriminalization Bill in the House?

I hear it pays well to be a prostitute among the monied class in DC.

Kerlikowske and the President need to take some vocabulary lessons. The Drug Czar said it's not in the administration's vocabulary to say the word "legalization." They need to learn that one. They already know "hypocrisy" very well, it seems. I don't care if Obama said he opposed legalization. If Sativex is going to be marketed in the U.S., American-grown cannabis should be regulated as a product like alcohol and made available to the millions who cannot afford to pay for the pharmaceutical elixir of cannabis (which is, btw, nearly the exact same product that was sold in the U.S. throughout the 19th and first half of the 20th century!) The science indicates that anything else is breathtakingly corrupt.

Shall the Fundamentalists Win?


one of the most famous debates in the public sphere concerning Protestantism in the modern era was whether religion required one to oppose scientific evidence or whether religious faith could be reconciled with changes in understandings of the way in which the earth was formed and animals came about upon it.

Thought I'd share for anyone who is interested.

This morning we are to think of the fundamentalist controversy which threatens to divide the American churches as though already they were not sufficiently split and riven. A scene, suggestive for our thought, is depicted in the fifth chapter of the Book of the Acts, where the Jewish leaders hale before them Peter and other of the apostles because they had been preaching Jesus as the Messiah. Moreover, the Jewish leaders propose to slay them, when in opposition Gamaliel speaks “Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God ye will not be able to overthrow them; lest haply ye be found even to be fighting against God.” . . .

Already all of us must have heard about the people who call themselves the Fundamentalists. Their apparent intention is to drive out of the evangelical churches men and women of liberal opinions. I speak of them the more freely because there are no two denominations more affected by them than the Baptist and the Presbyterian. We should not identify the Fundamentalists with the conservatives. All Fundamentalists are conservatives, but not all conservatives are Fundamentalists. The best conservatives can often give lessons to the liberals in true liberality of spirit, but the Fundamentalist program is essentially illiberal and intolerant.

The Fundamentalists see, and they see truly, that in this last generation there have been strange new movements in Christian thought. A great mass of new knowledge has come into man’s possession—new knowledge about the physical universe, its origin, its forces, its laws; new knowledge about human history and in particular about the ways in which the ancient peoples used to think in matters of religion and the methods by which they phrased and explained their spiritual experiences; and new knowledge, also, about other religions and the strangely similar ways in which men’s faiths and religious practices have developed everywhere. . . .

Now, there are multitudes of reverent Christians who have been unable to keep this new knowledge in one compartment of their minds and the Christian faith in another. They have been sure that all truth comes from the one God and is His revelation. Not, therefore, from irreverence or caprice or destructive zeal but for the sake of intellectual and spiritual integrity, that they might really love the Lord their God, not only with all their heart and soul and strength but with all their mind, they have been trying to see this new knowledge in terms of the Christian faith and to see the Christian faith in terms of this new knowledge.

full text at the link

Vancouver Sun op-ed: Canadians decide it's time to legalize marijuana


A new poll suggests Canada may have reached the tipping point and a 66-per-cent majority favours legalizing marijuana.

Conducted Dec. 13 by Toronto-based Forum Research Inc. and released Tuesday, the latest poll of 1,160 respondents 18 or older showed that residents of B.C. were the most likely to support pot-law reform, with 73 per cent wanting change. Quebec had the lowest support for reforms at 61 per cent.

Who's leading the way? Those aged 55 to 64.

Why? Yes, there are a lot of old hippies. But of all the age cohorts, the middle-aged and elderly, the late-boomers are learning faster than most that marijuana may be the Aspirin of the 21st century.

Earlier this month the Canadian Liberal Party decided, by 77% of delegates, to include legalization in its political platform. The New Democratic Party (Democratic Socialists) and the Greens also support legalization.

Go Canada!

Good Science Always Has Political Ramifications (Scientific American)

Why? Because a scientifically testable claim can be shown to be either most probably true or false, whether the claim is made by a king or a president, a Pope, a Congressperson, or a common citizen.


Knowledge is DEMOCRATIZING political power

Let's consider the relationship between knowledge and power. "Knowledge and power go hand in hand," said Francis Bacon, "so that the way to increase in power is to increase in knowledge."

At its core, science is a reliable method for creating knowledge, and thus power. Because science pushes the boundaries of knowledge, it pushes us to constantly refine our ethics and morality, and that is always political. But beyond that, science constantly disrupts hierarchical power structures and vested interests in a long drive to give knowledge, and thus power, to the individual, and that process is also political.

Why did the church go to such absurd lengths to deal with Galileo? For the same reasons we fight political battles over issues like climate change today: Because facts and observations are inherently powerful, and that power means they are political.

Failing to acknowledge this leaves both science and America vulnerable to attack by antiscience thinking—thinking that has come to dominate American politics and much of its news media coverage and educational curricula in the early twenty-first century. Thinking that has steered American politics off course and away from the vision held by the country's founders.

Great essay that is an excerpt of a book that discusses the anti-science issue in the U.S. and is also a complement to this article and the other information included in this post:

Religious belief interferes with people's understanding of evolution (NPR)

Religious belief interferes with people's understanding of evolution (NPR)


21 percent of people with a high school education or less believed in evolution. That number rose to 41 percent for people with some college attendance, 53 percent for college graduates, and 74 percent for people with a postgraduate education.

Another variable investigated by the same poll was how belief in evolution correlates with church attendance. Of those who believe in evolution, 24 percent go to church weekly, 30 percent go nearly weekly/monthly, and 55 percent seldom or never go

The evidence for evolution is overwhelming. It's in the fossil record, carefully dated using radioactivity, the release of particles from radioactive isotopic decay, which works like a very precise clock. Rocks from volcanic eruptions (igneous rocks) buried near a fossil carry certain amounts of radioactive material, unstable atomic nuclei that emit different kinds of radiation, like tiny bullets. The most common is Uranium-235, which decays into Lead-207. Analyzing the ratio of Uranium-235 to Lead-207 in a sample, and knowing how frequently Uranium-235 emits particles (its half-life is 704 million years, the amount half a sample decays into Lead), scientists can get a very accurate measure of the age of a fossil.

But evidence for evolution is also much more palpable, for example in the risks of overprescribing antibiotics: the more we (and farm animals) take antibiotics, the higher the chance that a microbe will mutate into one resistant to the drug. This is in-your-face evolution, species mutating at the genetic level and adapting to a new environment (in this case, an environment contaminated with antibiotics). The proof of this can be easily achieved in the laboratory (see link above), by comparing original strands of bacteria with those subjected to different doses of antibiotics. It's simple and conclusive, since the changes in the genetic code of the resistant mutant can be identified and studied.

From this article I learned that creationists deny microbial mutation!!! I didn't know they went this far out into the realms of utter stupidity, but they do!

Of course, the person making this claim has NO EVIDENCE to back up her hypothesis - just a desire to maintain an unsupportable belief.

And this reality - the denial of reality, my fellow DUers, is why we can't have good govt.

Support for evolution based upon religious body

edit to add this graph - which is only Christian religious groups, not others mentioned - but others are minorities.

and a graph of the 2008 presidential election - corrected

Importance of religion by state

The percentages of high school graduates.

Political Ideology and Religion:

Income level and religious belief:

(Edited to add other graphs/info in this thread)

Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory by Nation

This link comes from this interesting article excerpted below: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bloom07/bloom07_index.html

The nations that think religion has a positive impact are also the nations with the most people who do not accept evolutionary theory in the original link in this post - I don't think Indonesia was included, however, but the U.S., South Korea, South Africa, Brazil and India are all nations with the most people who deny evolution is real.


...there are cultural factors that need to be explained. Americans are not more resistant to science in general. For instance, 1 in 5 American adults believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, which is somewhat shocking—but the same proportion holds for Germany and Great Britain. But Americans really are special when it comes to certain scientific ideas—and, in particular, with regard to evolutionary theory. The relevant data are shown below, from a 2006 survey published in Science. What explains this culture-specific resistance to evolution?

When faced with this kind of asserted information, one can occasionally evaluate its truth directly. But in some domains, including much of science, direct evaluation is difficult or impossible. Few of us are qualified to assess claims about the merits of string theory, the role in mercury in the etiology of autism, or the existence of repressed memories. So rather than evaluating the asserted claim itself, we instead evaluate the claim's source. If the source is deemed trustworthy, people will believe the claim, often without really understanding it. As our colleague Frank Keil has discussed, this sort of division of cognitive labor is essential in any complex society, where any single individuals will lack the resources to evaluate all the claims that he or she hears.

This deference to authority isn't limited to science; the same process holds for certain religious, moral, and political beliefs as well. In an illustrative recent study, subjects were asked their opinion about a social welfare policy, which was described as being endorsed either by Democrats or by Republicans. Although the subjects sincerely believed that their responses were based on the objective merits of the policy, the major determinant of what they thought of the policy was in fact whether or not their favored political party was said to endorse it. More generally, many of the specific moral intuitions held by members of a society appear to be the consequence, not of personal moral contemplation, but of deference to the views of the community.

Adults thus rely on the trustworthiness of the source when deciding which asserted claims to believe. Do children do the same? Recent studies suggest that they do; children, like adults, have at least some capacity to assess the trustworthiness of their information sources. Four- and five-year-olds, for instance, know that adults know things that other children do not (like the meaning of the word "hypochondriac", and when given conflicting information about a word's meaning from a child and from an adult, they prefer to learn from the adult. They know that adults have different areas of expertise, that doctors know about fixing broken arms and mechanics know about fixing flat tires. They prefer to learn from a knowledgeable speaker than from an ignorant one, and they prefer a confident source to a tentative one. Finally, when five year-olds hear about a competition whose outcome was unclear, they are more likely to believe a character who claimed that he had lost the race (a statement that goes against his self-interest) than a character who claimed that he had won the race (a statement that goes with his self-interest). In a limited sense, then, they are capable of cynicism.

Canada’s Liberal Party backs legalization of marijuana


MONTREAL — Canada’s Liberal Party overwhelmingly passed a motion Sunday proposing the legalization of marijuana on the last day of its national convention, at which Michael Crawley was chosen as its new leader.

The motion says that, if elected, a Liberal government “will legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving.”

Under the motion, the Liberals also promised an amnesty for all Canadians previously found guilty of simple or minimal possession of marijuana and to clear the offenses from their criminal records.

The motion passed with 77 percent of the vote.

Congrats to the Liberal Party of Canada for choosing sane and progressive policy for their platform. The Liberal Party is centrist in Canada -- to the right of the social democrats of the New Democratic Party.

The New Democratic Party won enough seats in the 2011 election to be considered the opposition party to the Conservatives. I suppose the Liberals decided it was time to step up their game to address issues that matter to their citizens after the social democrats received more support.

It's good to see CENTRISTS come out in favor of rational actions to end the prohibition of cannabis. It would be nice to see more representation for a variety of political views in the U.S. at the national level as well, rather than two parties fighting to pander to a vocal minority.

Cannapedia: a Cannabis wiki

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[div class="excerpt" style="border-left: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-bottom: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-right: 1px solid #bfbfbf; border-radius: 0em 0em 0.3077em 0.3077em; background-color: #f4f4f4; box-shadow: 2px 2px 6px #bfbfbf;"]a wiki for cannabis information

here's a list of documentaries compiled on this wiki via the "culture" tab. If you click on the title at the wiki, there's a synopsis and a link to the documentary from an online source.


A Norml Life
AKA Tommy Chong
Adventures In Cannabis Hemp
American Drug War: The Last White Hope
Aphrodisiac!: The Sexual Secret of Marijuana
Biz Ivol, Drugs War Victim
California's Cannabis Culture
Cannabis Rising
Cannabis: What's The Harm?
Cash Crop
Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis
Emperor of Hemp
Grandpa's Marijuana Handbook The Movie
Hemp Hemp Hooray The Growing Industrial Hemp Market
Hemplands Conspiracy
Hempster: Plant the Seed
Hemp For Victory
High: The True Tale of American Marijuana
How Weed Won The West
In Pot We Trust
It's Not Just A Plant
JOHN SINCLAIR Guide To Amsterdam
Marijuana: A Chronic History
Marijuana Inc. Inside America’s Pot Industry
Marijuana: It's Time For A Conversation
Medicinal Cannabis and its impact on Human Health
Run From The Cure
Science vs. Stigma
Should I Smoke Dope
Stoned in Suburbia
Strain Hunters: Africa Expedition
Strain Hunters: India Expedition
Strain Hunters: Morocco Expedition
Super high me
The Call - Medicinal Cannabis Australia
The Doper's Guide To Amsterdam
The Fight To Be Well
The Green Rush
The Hemp Revolution
The Life and Crimes of Citizen Ming
The Magic Weed: History Of Marijuana
The Nature of Things - Reefer Madness 2
The Pot Republic
The Prince Of Pot Marc Emery
The Principle Of Pot
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
Totally Baked: A Pot-U-Mentary
Vitamin Cannabis
Waiting to Inhale
What If Cannabis Cured Cancer
When We Grow

Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters
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