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Uncooperative Tom

Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

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Science Calls Out Jeff Sessions
 

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Amid a drug crisis that kills 91 people in the U.S. each day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked Congress to help roll back protections that have shielded medical marijuana dispensaries from federal prosecutors since 2014, according to a letter made public this week. Those legal controls—which bar Sessions’s Justice Department from funding crackdowns on the medical cannabis programs legalized by 29 states and Washington, D.C.—jeopardize the DoJ’s ability to combat the country’s “historic drug epidemic” and control dangerous drug traffickers, the attorney general wrote in the letter sent to lawmakers.

The catch, however, is that this epidemic is one of addiction and overdose deaths fueled by opioids—heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers—not marijuana. In fact, places where the U.S. has legalized medical marijuana have lower rates of opioid overdose deaths.

A review of the scientific literature indicates marijuana is far less addictive than prescription painkillers. A 2016 survey from University of Michigan researchers, published in the The Journal of Pain, found that chronic pain suffers who used cannabis reported a 64 percent drop in opioid use as well as fewer negative side effects and a better quality of life than they experienced under opioids. In a 2014 study reported in JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, the authors found that annual opioid overdose deaths were about 25 percent lower on average in states that allowed medical cannabis compared with those that did not.

 

The provision that Sessions wants gone sunsets in September. It originally passed by 219 to 189. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll258.xml

 

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10 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Science Calls Out Jeff Sessions
 

The provision that Sessions wants gone sunsets in September. It originally passed by 219 to 189. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll258.xml

 

You caring about people dying every day? That's rich. Drug overdose is just another form of self-murder.  You should be happy people have found a way to do it without making a mess.

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Saw this post from Alexis this morning on FB:
 

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Yes, I am over 800 days seizure free on ONLY cannabis. I will get a 'day meme' finished soon but "Patches of Hope" and the farm have kept me very busy. Yes, thanks to cannabis I drive a tractor and I can do everything my sister does on the farm without being limited.

I even get to ride go karts with my friends who live next door.

NO LIMITS!

 

800 days, when our best pharmaceuticals could only manage to hold off her seizures for hours at best.

Perhaps one day drug warriors will admit they were wrong and that there are medical uses for cannabis. I doubt it.

 

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13 minutes ago, My name is Legion said:

The father of a poster-child for medicinal cannabis was in tears as police confiscated the drug from their home, according to a video shown in court as he answered charges of cultivation and possession.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-16/cannabis-cultivation-case-underway-in-gosford-court/8359120

Just as stupid down under, I see.

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The Problem With Search Warrants On Leashes

If a well-trained drug sniffing dog named Kilo alerts on a car in Colorado, it's not a search and might just indicate the presence of legal weed so it doesn't justify a search. Oops.
 

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Since Kilo's alert might indicate nothing more than the legal possession of marijuana, it could not by itself provide probable cause for a search, which requires a "fair probability" that contaband will be discovered. "A drug-detection dog's alert does not alone give a Colorado state law enforcement officer probable cause to conduct a search of a vehicle where the occupants are at least twenty-one years old," Berger writes in his concurring opinion.

...

When I covered this issue in 2015, I asked Lawrence Myers, a veterinarian and neurophysiologist at Auburn University who is an expert on dogs' olfactory capabilities, whether the animals can be retrained so they no longer react to marijuana, as some police departments intended to do. "Retraining is possible," Myers said, "but it takes time and scientifically valid testing to show that the dogs no longer alert to marijuana." He added, "I doubt that many departments would do the testing."

That concern is fully justified given the uneven training and lax testing that make the "well-trained narcotics detection dog" of the Supreme Court's imagination more an aspiration than a reality. Even with proper training, a dog may respond to its handler's expectations, distracting stimuli, or smell-alike cues rather than actual drug odors. Given the relative rarity of illegal drugs in cars stopped by police, even the best-trained dog is apt to be wrong far more often than right when he signals the presence of contraband. In light of these problems, which the Supreme Court has consistently ignored or minimized, marijuana legalization is merely the latest reason dogs should not be trusted to issue search warrants.

 

 

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You can't be fired for testing positive for cannabis in Massachusetts
 

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Cristina Barbuto was fired after her first day promoting products in a supermarket for Advantage Sales and Marketing in 2014. A human resources representative informed her that she did not pass the drug test and that the company follows federal, not state law.  

...

This ruling affirmatively recognizing a level of worker-related protection under state medical marijuana laws.

"Massachusetts is not a state where such protections are written in the law so this is really significant," Deitchler said. "The court created law."

 

If the company reverses course and starts following state law, that means breaking federal law. It might mean engaging in a conspiracy to break federal law. RICO.

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Reefer Madness at the New York Times

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"The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana," The New York Times declared in an editorial published on July 27, 2014. That week, the paper ran a series of essays fleshing out the case for legalization, including a piece in which editorial writer Brent Staples exposed the ugly roots of pot prohibition.

The NY Times was very much part of that ugly history, as all the articles linked to that one demonstrate.

They finally gave up on the prohibition party line just three years ago. So, for the vast majority of my life, our "newspaper of record" has been a lying propaganda organ of the drug war.

Their recent conversion will eventually cause me to develop some trust in them on this issue. After about as many decades as I watched them proselytize for the drug war. Meanwhile, I'll continue to rely heavily on pre$$ outlets like REASON which have not spent most of my life lying to me about this issue.

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8 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Reefer Madness at the New York Times

The NY Times was very much part of that ugly history, as all the articles linked to that one demonstrate.

They finally gave up on the prohibition party line just three years ago. So, for the vast majority of my life, our "newspaper of record" has been a lying propaganda organ of the drug war.

Their recent conversion will eventually cause me to develop some trust in them on this issue. After about as many decades as I watched them proselytize for the drug war. Meanwhile, I'll continue to rely heavily on pre$$ outlets like REASON which have not spent most of my life lying to me about this issue.

Do you have a problem with "lying propaganda organs?" What do you consider CATO to be?

Joyce in her prime.JPG

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On 12/23/2015 at 6:25 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Gardening is bad

 

Quote

Because the cops refused to say why they thought the Hartes were growing marijuana, the couple spent a year and $25,000 in legal fees to get a look at the affidavit supporting the search warrant.

 

Among other things, Lungstrum's ruling means he thought the evidence cited in that affidavit provided probable cause for the search. If so, that's only because probable cause is a much weaker standard than people generally imagine.

 

It turned out that the genesis of the search was a tip from a Missouri state trooper who saw Robert Harte leave a Kansas City hydroponics store on August 9, 2011, carrying a bag. Inside the bag were supplies for a horticultural project involving tomato, squash, and melon plants that Harte thought would be edifying for the kids. Since people often buy indoor gardening supplies for such perfectly legal purposes, that purchase itself was not enough for probable cause. But eight months later, sheriff's deputies rummaging through the Hartes' trash came across wet "plant material" that the Hartes think must have been some of the loose tea that Adlynn favors. Although a field test supposedly identified the material as marijuana, a laboratory test (conducted after the raid) showed that result was erroneous.

 

The Hartes argued that police should have known better than to trust field tests, which are notoriously inaccurate. Experiments by Claflin University biotechnologist Omar Bagasra found that one commonly used field test, the NIK NarcoPouch 908, misidentified many legal plant products as marijuana, including spearmint, peppermint, basil, oregano, patchouli, vanilla, cinnamon leaf, lemon grass, bergamot, lavendar, ginseng, anise, gingko, eucalyptus, rose, cloves, ginger, frankincense, vine flower, chicory flower, olive flower, cypress, and St. John's wort. Several of those are common ingredients in herbal tea. In their complaint, the Hartes say the test used to incriminate them has a false-positive rate of 70 percent. They also note that the test is not supposed to be performed on "saturated or liquid samples."

 

But according to Judge Lungstrum, the innocent act of visiting a hydroponics store, combined with the result of a test that is accurate only 30 percent of the time (even assuming it is performed correctly), adds up to probable cause for a search....

 

 

I don't think that's right. The field test was done after the search so it could not have been part of the "probable cause" for the warrant.

 

That leaves visiting the gardening store as the act that established probable cause that these people were growing the dreaded killer (that has never killed anyone), marijuana.

5 years after this ridiculous raid, the lawsuit filed by the Harte family has been revived.
 

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Today a federal appeals court revived a lawsuit filed by Robert and Adlynn Harte, the Kansas couple whose Leawood home was raided in 2012 based on a visit to a garden store and discarded tea leaves that police claimed tested positive for marijuana. While all three members of the 10th Circuit panel agreed that a federal judge erred when he dismissed the Hartes' lawsuit in 2015, each wrote separately. Judge Carlos Lucero best sums up the fiasco that led to the lawsuit in a blistering rebuke of reckless police practices:

"Law-abiding tea drinkers and gardeners beware: One visit to a garden store and some loose tea leaves in your trash may subject you to an early-morning, SWAT-style raid, complete with battering ram, bulletproof vests, and assault rifles. Perhaps the officers will intentionally conduct the terrifying raid while your children are home, and keep the entire family under armed guard for two and a half hours while concerned residents of your quiet, family-oriented neighborhood wonder what nefarious crime you have committed. This is neither hyperbole nor metaphor—it is precisely what happened to the Harte family in the case before us."

 

 

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House committee blocks attempt to let VA docs recommend marijuana

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WASHINGTON — A House committee has struck down a measure allowing Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where the drug is legal, blocking it from debate Wednesday on the House floor.

The “Veterans Equal Access” measure has been debated and voted on the past three years in the House as an amendment to the VA appropriations bill, and it passed the House with a vote of 233-189 in 2016. After Tuesday’s vote of the House Rules Committee, it won’t have that chance this year.

“This provision overwhelmingly passed on the House floor last year — and bipartisan support has only grown. It’s outrageous that the Rules Committee won’t even allow a vote for our veterans,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said in a prepared statement. “They deserve better. They deserve compassion.”

 

Hmm... yes and no. It's outrageous but at least consistent.

Why should VA doctors be allowed to discuss the dreaded killer, marijuana? After all, it has no known medical use and a high potential for abuse. At least, that's the official position of the federal government. It would be inconsistent to allow doctors to discuss such a drug with patients.

 

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Hat Tip to Sen. Cory Booker

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The Marijuana Justice Act would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level. The bill would also incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws were shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color.

I doubt his bill has any shot in a Republican Congress but at least he introduced it.

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On 4/5/2017 at 6:31 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Cowboys For Cannabis?

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Jerry Jones is pushing the league to reconsider those rules and loosen the ban on marijuana. According to anonymous sources cited by NBC Sports' Mike Florio, Jones raised the issue of marijuana at a closed-door meeting of NFL team owners last week.

 

Jones "wants the league to drop its prohibition on marijuana use," Florio reported. "Jones was reminded that the issue falls under the umbrella of collective bargaining, which would require the players to make one or more concessions in exchange for significant changes to the marijuana prohibition." The current collective bargaining agreement runs until 2020, so its unlikely the league would be able to change it's policy until then.


I guess I don't understand collective bargaining. Ending the policy is in the interest of the owners and the players. Now. Why is a delay and a concession necessary? Guns.

The NFL seems ready to consider the possibilities that cannabis might be medicine and that getting knocked in the head might hurt your head.

It's a step. Or at least a thought about a possible step.

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You know the old saying, "What gets bought in Vegas..."

Well, actually, nothing legal happens to it when the customer is a tourist.

Quote

The resuit, as CBS News puts it, is that "the law here essentially says what tourists buy in Vegas, they can't use in Vegas." Nor can they legally take it home to consume there. As Yemenidjian, the marijuana merchant, observes, there's "no other industry in the world" where "you can you buy a product and then not use it anywhere."

 

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Nevada Running Out Of Weed EMERGENCY

No, really. It's official.

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Nevada's governor has endorsed a statement of emergency declared for recreational marijuana regulations, after the state's tax authority declared that many stores are running out of weed.

This time, it's all about crony capitalist protection of the liquor distribution industry.

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California LP Candidate for Governor Wants Reparations
 

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Millions of other minor drug offenders like me are left holding the bag. It wasn't just the defamatory criminal sentence many of us received. The government confiscated my Jeep Comanche and my beloved Honda motorcycle during the ordeal. What little money I had I spent on lawyers and judicial filings in our convoluted court system. My total financial loss a quarter of a century ago was $20,000 dollars. Had I been able to invest that money in the stock market, for example, I'd have over $100,000 now.

The American Civil Liberties Union reports that 8.2 million people in America were arrested between 2001 and 2010 for marijuana offenses. The Washington Post says at least 137,000 people sit in US jails on any given day of the week for weed.

Now that the country is on its glacial way to likely legalizing marijuana and taxing the sale of it like it does beer, where is the official apology, to me and all those others? For many of us, an apology—and the government's inevitable mea culpa when they likely make pot legal across the land—won't be enough.

Some of us also want compensation for the financial damage forced upon us—for the literal theft of our property. Maybe that means a class action lawsuit insisting on government reparation for all damage caused, maybe in the form of tax credits or proceeds from the sale of unused Federal land, so as not to abuse the American taxpayer further over the drug war. It's safe to say—given the damage caused and the lives affected—such a suit would likely be in the billions of dollars.

 

 

This is silly. He wasn't going to sell his Honda and invest the money and the real harm is the felony on his record, not the lost property and money.

But the bigger problem is that these are a couple of cans of worms that just shouldn't be opened. Now we're into selling Federal lands and using that money to compensate drug war victims? I'd rather focus on ending the drug war. Why drag in land use policies?

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It is possible for a drug to go from "dangerous substance with no known medical use" to "breakthrough therapy."
 

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Two decades after the Drug Enforcement Administration banned MDMA, classifying it as a dangerous intoxicant with no accepted medical use, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed the same substance a "breakthrough therapy." The designation should speed MDMA's approval as a prescription medicine, which could happen as soon as 2021.

...

Nigel McCourry, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, was part of the medium-dose group in the veteran study, which saw the most improvement. He was amazed at the dramatic effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. After years of insomnia and nightmares, he was suddenly able to sleep through the night, and within two years he felt like this "huge healing event had taken place" because he finally "had this sense of separation from the experiences of Marine combat." McCourry is eager to share his "story of healing" with fellow veterans. Every day in America, he says, "veterans are committing suicide because they can't stand living with PTSD, and I think we could save a lot of these people if we just got this medicine available."

 

I wish 1985 were only two decades ago. Oh well. If they've decided "Ecstasy" has some medical use, maybe one day the fedgov will notice that cannabis does too.

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Industrial Hemp Taking Root Again In KY
 

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Kentucky's new face of hemp looks remarkably like the old one. A really old one. For much of its history, the Bluegrass State grew hemp, otherwise known as Cannabis sativa—the same root that produces marijuana, though hemp doesn't share its psychoactive properties. (Marijuana's active ingredient is THC, which can get you high. Hemp's is cannabidiol, or CBD, which can't. The plant does contain a trace amount of THC, but not enough to get anyone stoned.) Kentucky grew more hemp than any other state; by 1850, it was producing more than 40,000 tons. Kentuckians spun the fibrous stalks into rope, clothing, shoes, and American flags. Hemp seeds became a food, and hemp oil became a base for medicines and salves. In 1938, Popular Mechanics touted hemp as a "billion dollar crop" and estimated it could produce more than 25,000 products.

A decade later, nearly all the hemp was gone. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 required farmers to buy an expensive "stamp" for the right to grow cannabis, whether or not it was the kind that can make you high. Most Kentucky farmers couldn't afford it and turned to tobacco; nationwide, farmers turned to corn, soybeans, and other commodity crops. (Popular Mechanics might have had an early deadline, or else they didn't get the memo about the tax.) A brief reprieve came in World War II, when the government lifted the tax because the Navy needed rope and sails for its ships. One government film, Hemp for Victory, declared it American farmers' patriotic duty to grow hemp. The U.S. Department of Agriculture even gave the seed to the prospective farmers, which it forced Graves' grandfather to sell to them at way below its value.

When the war ended, the stamp came back.

...

Creative Commons

On June 30, five senators, including Rand Paul, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to clarify the federal government's position on industrial hemp. Farmers were having difficulty getting bank loans, because those are backed by a federal government that currently regards hemp as a dangerous drug. Paul's staff declined to comment; at press time, Sessions had not responded.

...

Farmers can't get crop insurance for hemp, thanks to the plant's ambiguous status. Bankers won't lend hemp farmers money, prompting the senators' letter. In North Dakota, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents told state officials that farmers who grew hemp could not ship it out of state. In Virginia, a hemp farmer had to tell his Mennonite family that they would all need to be fingerprinted—a tall order for a group of people who prefer minimal contact with government. Even in hemp-friendly Kentucky, this year officials confiscated some growers' seed because its THC levels were higher than the .003 percent the current law allows. (Comer is looking at what limits may be possible in his new legislation; he'd like to keep the permitted THC levels low, but even in the confiscated seed, there wasn't enough THC to produce a high. It can be difficult to keep seed varieties at precise levels, however, especially for CBD crops.)

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration will not bestow upon hemp food products the coveted "generally regarded as safe" designation. Such approval would broaden the customer base for hemp protein powder, seeds, and oils and make them legal to produce everywhere. In states where it's not legal to grow hemp, importing it to make products is also somewhat tricky.

 

I'm glad to see people like Comer who are willing to risk the wrath of Sessions to grow an incredibly useful and harmless plant. It's discouraging that he's wasting time fussing about trace amounts of THC.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Industrial Hemp Taking Root Again In KY
 

I'm glad to see people like Comer who are willing to risk the wrath of Sessions to grow an incredibly useful and harmless plant. It's discouraging that he's wasting time fussing about trace amounts of THC.

 

 

(Note: this thread had ten Pooplius posts in a row. I am TR's best customer. We should get a room.)

Tom, the plant is not "harmless." I have a buddy from the Oregon growing area, call it near Medford. Hemp farmers are now setting up there, driven by certain subsidies and a certain business model. He says there is big panic among the growers. They say the pollination routines (or biology I don't grasp) will neutralize all the outdoor marijuana grows. 

Another buddy grew up in the hemp crops of Ohio. Said the stuff looked like great bud, but generated a hopeless no-high, period.

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I hadn't thought about that but it's true that people who are growing for THC won't be happy about male plants pollinating their females. Those growing for industrial uses will want that to happen so there is a conflict.

Your friend from Ohio is right. "Ditch weed" won't get you high. But the off chance that it might is the reason the FDA won't say it's "generally regarded as safe." The "harm" I was talking about is the ability to get you high. That's the "harm" the FDA is trying to prevent, despite there being no chance that the "harm" can occur at all.

 

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On 8/31/2017 at 11:29 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

It is possible for a drug to go from "dangerous substance with no known medical use" to "breakthrough therapy."
 

I wish 1985 were only two decades ago. Oh well. If they've decided "Ecstasy" has some medical use, maybe one day the fedgov will notice that cannabis does too.

Anyone who dies without experiencing what MDMA can do, is missing out.  Some of the best times I have ever had. 

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Since this hijack had nothing to do with feral swine...

23 hours ago, mikewof said:
On 9/12/2017 at 8:44 PM, Uncooperative Tom said:

I think if we can figure out ways that are rational enough for dangerous substances like tobacco and alcohol, others shouldn't be that different.

Okay hypothetically ... but we have mechanisms to regulate the safety of alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, morphine-based drugs, even cannabis. 

How are we supposed to regulate meth, krokadile and bath salts?

The old cliche is that armchair generals talk strategy and generals talk logistics. Similarly, amateurs like you and I talk policy, but policymakers talk compliance. You really do need to have a handle on how your legalization would actually work, not hand-wave the argument.

Yeah, I favor legalization too, but I have no delusions that I know how to make it actually work. I've no idea how to regulate certain toxic drugs, and thus I can't really support legalization until someone explains to me how it will actually work.

First, that's a ridiculous standard. If you can't support legalization that means you can support prohibition, despite knowing it doesn't work. Why is "does it work" a necessary condition again?

Second, I don't think a plan for more complicated situations should be developed until we experiment with cannabis legalization. We're already learning how not to do it in various states (and learning what works too) and it's like training wheels on a bike. You try that first, then move on.

 

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13 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Since this hijack had nothing to do with feral swine...

First, that's a ridiculous standard. If you can't support legalization that means you can support prohibition, despite knowing it doesn't work. Why is "does it work" a necessary condition again?

Second, I don't think a plan for more complicated situations should be developed until we experiment with cannabis legalization. We're already learning how not to do it in various states (and learning what works too) and it's like training wheels on a bike. You try that first, then move on.

Bingo, that's a workable plan as far as I can see. And it's 180-degrees from your stand that my standard is "ridiculous." It absolutely is not ridiculous to get a handle on regulation. I think that some drugs are easy to regulate (like cannabis) and some nearly impossible to regulate in use, because they're essentially poison.

It's the height of stupidity for two grown adults like you and I to say "I support legalization of drugs" without having some handle of the challenges of actually making that happen. Cannabis isn't really a drug Normy, it's more accurately a food product that's used as a drug, with a ridiculously well-defined risk-profile. It has as much in common with Desomorphines or MDPV (for instance) as a slingshot has in common with a shotgun. Both move shot through the air, but they do so in a very different way.

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On 9/2/2017 at 8:14 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

I hadn't thought about that but it's true that people who are growing for THC won't be happy about male plants pollinating their females. Those growing for industrial uses will want that to happen so there is a conflict.

Your friend from Ohio is right. "Ditch weed" won't get you high. But the off chance that it might is the reason the FDA won't say it's "generally regarded as safe." The "harm" I was talking about is the ability to get you high. That's the "harm" the FDA is trying to prevent, despite there being no chance that the "harm" can occur at all.

Industrial hemp has something less than 1% of the THC of a recreational strain. But the hemp that was grown as a food product for centuries in Eastern Europe supposedly had a much higher amount, mainly because industrial hemp needs the fibrous parts of the plant and food hemp needs the flowery parts of the plant to make butter and oil. You can't separate the the effects of the plant from the user ... it's possible that the reason cannabis gets us high is because we've had the oil removed from our diets completely, and the LN and LNL oils from similar plants (like flax and pumpkin seeds) don't have the accompanying THC. If our children start growing up again on hemp butter and hemp oil and good hemp seed, that they will likely accommodate the chemicals differently ... it's even possible that future generations may not be able to get high off of even designer hydro.

When conquistadors came to the new world, they became violently addicted to the caffeine beverages of the natives, they had nothing in Europe that had prepared them for that kind of chemical profile. But had they grown up on chocolate, tea, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks, like we do today, the caffeinated beans probably would have had as mild effect on them as it has on us.

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7 hours ago, mikewof said:

I think that some drugs are easy to regulate (like cannabis) and some nearly impossible to regulate in use, because they're essentially poison.

That hasn't stopped us from legalizing tobacco. Why are others different?

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

That hasn't stopped us from legalizing tobacco. Why are others different?

Tobacco is dead easy to regulate, we've been regulating it for over 200 years. Grow it safely, package it safely, and you have a drug that can be sampled with almost perfect safety and even used extensively for forty years or longer with relative safety. One hit probably will never kill you and it even works fine with driving and operating heavy equipment.

How do you compare that to manufactured drugs like desomorphine or methamphetamines or MDPV where even one dose can be fatal or contraindict violently with prescribed drugs? 

Tobacco is different from those drugs because -- like cannabis -- it is generally safe, and it has a very well-defined production method. It's more defined than cannabis, the nicotine pathway is supposedly easier to characterize than THC.

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A lot of it comes down to concentration and toxicity.  

Unless you're being really stupid, it's hard to 'OD' on nicotine.  Possible - but hard.  It's hard to OD on THC.  It's even generally hard to OD on alcohol but easier than the other two.   Hell, you can OD on DI Water and Oxygen gas.

It's SUPER easy to OD on Fentanyl - it fact, it's kind of hard NOT to OD on Fentanyl.

 

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3 hours ago, cmilliken said:

It's hard to OD on THC. 

So hard, in fact, that no human has ever managed it. We've killed ourselves with too much alcohol, water, milk, you name it, but no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. In thousands of years of use by millions of people.

So maybe "impossible" would be a better word.

Mike to your question about things that aren't grown, they can be regulated the same as alcohol or any opiate can. I really don't see any special cases that are just impossible to legalize. Nor any special cases for which I think prohibition is a good idea, for that matter.

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23 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

So hard, in fact, that no human has ever managed it. We've killed ourselves with too much alcohol, water, milk, you name it, but no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. In thousands of years of use by millions of people.

So maybe "impossible" would be a better word.

:)  Point taken.

My only counter is that people haven't tried hard enough!   THC itself is pretty hard do die from but never underestimate the delivery method.  You KNOW some dumbshit is going to choke to death trying to snort THC laden gummy bears or something stupid and it'll be 'the marijuana's fault'.

 

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We're now up to 22 states where a little weed can't land you in the clink

Glad to see New Hampshire belatedly join the club. Seems to me that Free State Project didn't affect things there much. If it did, why were they not first?

The majority of states, along with the majority of voters, are still pursuing the stupid war on weed.

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On 9/14/2017 at 9:24 AM, mikewof said:

How do you compare that to manufactured drugs like desomorphine or methamphetamines or MDPV where even one dose can be fatal or contraindict violently with prescribed drugs? 

Any drug (except, as noted, cannabis) is poison. There's a deadly dose, even if the substance in question is water.

I'd compare manufactured drugs to manufactured drugs. We're somehow able to have a legal, regulated market in all kinds of dangerous, psychoactive drugs, many with bad interactions with other drugs. There's no "special" drug that can't be regulated.

And if there is, let's just focus on the much bigger problem of ending cannabis prohibition, learn the lessons along the way, then deal with those.

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8 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Any drug (except, as noted, cannabis) is poison. There's a deadly dose, even if the substance in question is water.

I'd compare manufactured drugs to manufactured drugs. We're somehow able to have a legal, regulated market in all kinds of dangerous, psychoactive drugs, many with bad interactions with other drugs. There's no "special" drug that can't be regulated.

And if there is, let's just focus on the much bigger problem of ending cannabis prohibition, learn the lessons along the way, then deal with those.

Cannabis prohibition will remain in several states even in decades, I'm quite sure of that. But as long as there is some kind of Federal guideline to prevent criminal punishment for it in those states, that's probably as good as we're going to get. And yes, focus on cannabis decriminalization.

But I think that you're a little off base that there are no drugs that can't be legalized. There are hundreds of drugs that fail FDA compliance because they can't generally be used safely or the benefits are outweighed by the negative effects. 

The "manufactured drugs" to which you refer are made in pharma factories with super tight quality control, ISO compliant traceable and all of the checks and tracking needed to be able to know what went where, or trace errors. I'm sure that the pharma companies would shitcan a lot of that expense if the FDA didn't hold their feet to the fire. The other "manufactured drugs" are the ones that come out of basement and backyard labs with essentially zero compliant controls. Can those be "regulated"? Sure, the FDA could control their methods and many of them would never pass compliance ... could the limited benefits of desomorphine be sufficient to justify the negative effects? I doubt it. And since it can't be patented, I also doubt that any pharmaceutical would invest the billion-some dollars into running it through the FDA for recreational use. It would become a basement-lab drug regardless. You tell me Normy, how would you regulate a drug like that?

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5 hours ago, mikewof said:

There are hundreds of drugs that fail FDA compliance because they can't generally be used safely or the benefits are outweighed by the negative effects. 

My answer to that is to simply abandon the Puritan aspects of the nanny state and realize that people are going to use products like tobacco for which it's extremely hard to make any argument that the benefits outweigh the risks. Yes, it's terrible that we behave this way, but we do.

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

My answer to that is to simply abandon the Puritan aspects of the nanny state and realize that people are going to use products like tobacco for which it's extremely hard to make any argument that the benefits outweigh the risks. Yes, it's terrible that we behave this way, but we do.

1. The risks of tobacco are well understood, and it usually takes half-a-lifetime of use to die from it. Someone can smoke one or a hundred cigarettes in relative safety, even while operating heavy machinery. Desomorphine -- as my regular example -- can cause addiction and even death after even one use.

2. The Nanny State argument is a different one, and you'll get all kinds of people to your agenda of decriminalization that will have no interest in your desires to "abandon the puritan aspects of the nanny state." I have my objections to the FDA, the EPA, the NRC and others, but I am okay with them using my tax dollars to create some baseline level of public safety. What they do for my $100 or so of tax per year would cost me a hundred times that much to educate myself in what to avoid or personally test product. That isn't "puritan" to me, that's just convenient oversight.

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But do the risks of tobacco outweigh the benefits? That was the standard we have and the one you talked about.

The answer is clearly no. Yet it's legal. So products can be legal if the answer is clearly no.

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5 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

But do the risks of tobacco outweigh the benefits? That was the standard we have and the one you talked about.

The answer is clearly no. Yet it's legal. So products can be legal if the answer is clearly no.

The answer is clearly not "no", that's your opinion. 

Between smokeless tobacco (8 million), vaping (9 million) and smoking (55 million), there are about 0.5 million deaths per year attributed to that drug. That's an annual death rate of less than 0.7%. Tobacco is a natural plant like cannabis, and like cannabis it has some proven health benefits like a lower instance of Alzheimer's in smokers, a proven self-medication benefit for schizophrenia and mental illness, a proven appetite suppressant and self medication against obesity and nicotine as an anti-inflammatory. Tobacco is a risk, but it's a well-characterized risk that about 72 million Americans seem to enjoy, thus it's not unlike other proven health risks that give pleasure like cooking meat over open coals, eating fruit with pesticides, amusement parks, motorcycles and private planes.

And the argument is a straw man ... the risks don't necessarily need to outweigh the benefits, amusement parks arguably have zero benefit other than fun and pleasure and profit for the owner. Rather, my point is that drugs that the FDA REGULATES have a reasonably-defined risk level, and a reasonable assurance that Americans who take the drug won't drop dead with one dose, or their children won't be born with missing limbs or missing organs.

Now, should the use of those kind of dangerous drugs be decriminalized, like any other poison? Maybe. Should the manufacture and sale of those drugs be decriminalized like wooden toys or cherry pies? That's a more difficult question. But can the government "regulate" these kind of drugs? That's what this conversation is about, it's what JBSF suggested and now you've picked up. 

If the gov't is to regulate them, then please share some of the specifics of how that would happen, because I've no idea how a government could regulate the use, manufacture and distribution of a drug with the potential for a single fatal dose and few, if any clinical applications.

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24 minutes ago, mikewof said:

If the gov't is to regulate them, then please share some of the specifics of how that would happen, because I've no idea how a government could regulate the use, manufacture and distribution of a drug with the potential for a single fatal dose and few, if any clinical applications.

I'll start caring about the "clinical applications" question when someone shows me the clinical applications of tobacco. As I said, the benefits of a drug are for the consumer to determine and might not include anything we'd call therapeutic benefits. "Getting high" is a benefit. Puritans must accept it. Even if it's risky, as with alcohol.

How could the government regulate it? Same way as with cocaine or heroin: assure purity and dosage and that's about all the government can do that has any benefit. That's why the Pure Food and Drug Act, which predated all our prohibition experiments, was the only American drug law to reduce drug abuse. If you're going to sell something, say what it is and the concentration. How it is used should then be up to the consumer.

It's something we've seen the government do better than black markets too. I'd rather have a government-certified dose of cocaine than something I picked up on the street.

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I'll start caring about the "clinical applications" question when someone shows me the clinical applications of tobacco. As I said, the benefits of a drug are for the consumer to determine and might not include anything we'd call therapeutic benefits. "Getting high" is a benefit. Puritans must accept it. Even if it's risky, as with alcohol.

How could the government regulate it? Same way as with cocaine or heroin: assure purity and dosage and that's about all the government can do that has any benefit. That's why the Pure Food and Drug Act, which predated all our prohibition experiments, was the only American drug law to reduce drug abuse. If you're going to sell something, say what it is and the concentration. How it is used should then be up to the consumer.

It's something we've seen the government do better than black markets too. I'd rather have a government-certified dose of cocaine than something I picked up on the street.

Normy, cocaine (solution) and opiates are government regulated and produced in compliance with the FDA, they have legitimate uses and FDA-compliant manufacturing.

You want the government to regulate cocaine and heroin? Okay, that's workable, but it would be a major expense if we're talking recreational quantities, the entire manufacturing chain from the refining all the way back to the coca and poppy fields will need some level of oversight. This seems 180-degrees from what you wrote about the "Nanny State" but okay, that's your choice. 

Now, cocaine and morphine also have fairly well-defined risks, they've been used medically in the USA for a long time. What about MDPV or Desomorphine where we have no clear pathway to apply the Pure Food and Drug Act? Keep those illegal? Make them legal anyway without regulation? Regulate them without a compliance method?

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I don't see manufacturing standards as "nanny state" activity. That's just the government certifying that this package contains this and only this substance in this concentration.

Saying what we may use that substance for is what crosses my line. The government should ignore that question.

We have lots of drugs with "off label" uses. That's just reality, acknowledging that the nanny state isn't always best at saying what a drug is good for. Those are used by doctors and consumers, acting illegally and without oversight. As long as the package contains what the manufacturer said it does, I have no problem with "off label" uses. For the same reason, I have no problem with other risks people might wish to take, even though the government hasn't said it's OK. I think the government should get out of the business of saying it's OK. Just make sure what's being sold is what's on the label.

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Drug Recognition Expert Fail
 

Quote

 

To the untrained eye, Katelyn Ebner seems completely sober during her 28-minute roadside encounter with Cobb County, Georgia, police officer Tracy Carroll, who has pulled the 23-year-old waitress over for ailing to maintain her lane as she made a left turn. But Carroll, who was designated a "drug recognition expert" (DRE) after undergoing 160 hours of special training, perceives "numerous indicators" that Ebner is under the influence of marijuana. Ebner repeatedly assures him she does not "smoke weed" or "do any of that stuff" and volunteers to prove it by taking a drug test. "You're going to jail, ma'am," he replies. "I don't have a magical drug test that I can give you right now."

Carroll does not need a magical drug test, because he is a magical drug test—or so the Cobb County Police Department would have you believe. But the experiences of innocent motorists like Ebner, who were arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana based on Carroll's hunch, only to be cleared by negative blood tests, suggest otherwise. This week three of them, including Ebner, filed a federal lawsuit that casts doubt on the drug-detecting abilities of DREs like Carroll.

The plaintiffs, who are represented by the ACLU of Georgia, were all stopped for briefly touching or crossing the line at the edge of their lanes—an offense that every driver on the road probably has committed at some point. They were all evaluated by Carroll, who deemed them stoned despite their protests to the contrary. They were all arrested for DUI and spent a night in jail. And in all three cases, as WXIA, the NBC station in Atlanta, revealed in an exposé last May, the DUI charges were eventually dropped after blood tests found no trace of marijuana—neither active THC nor inactive metabolites.

...

Even after blood tests confirmed that Ebner, Mbamara, and Oriyomi were telling the truth when they denied being under the influence of marijuana, the Cobb County Police Department defended Carroll's methods. Amazingly, the complaint notes, his superiors "continued to state that even if Defendant Carroll had known of the negative results of Plaintiff Ebner's blood test at the time she was arrested, nonetheless there would have been probable cause for her arrest."

Who are you going to believe? Some fancy lab test or Officer Carroll's gut?

 

Sadly, the Cobb County cops are right about that. Probable cause for arrest doesn't depend on things you can learn after the fact.

Treating cannabis more like alcohol won't make this problem go away. It's still going to be hard to tell whether someone is high enough to be an unsafe driver (or even high at all, apparently).

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Beware of butterflies!

How a Blue Butterfly Stamp Brought Down One of the Dark Web's Biggest Marijuana Vendors

Quote

Those screening guidelines are meant to intercept packages containing poisons and explosive devices. But as the Justice Department continues to indict suspected drug vendors operating on the AlphaBay and Hansa markets, some new, unpublicized screening tactics are coming to light. The Justice Department built its case against Michael Farber--who allegedly sold nearly $7 million worth of illicit drugs (mostly marijuana) on The Silk Road, Pandora and AlphaBay cryptomarkets under the user names purefiremeds and humboldtfarms—using USPS surveillance.

Whatever else Mr. Farber may be, he's productive and successful.

If you read about how they caught him, it should give you some faith in government competence. Some pretty clever people put together the pieces of his particular puzzle.

What a waste.

All of them on both sides should be doing something else.

In Mr. Farber's case, that's quite possibly legally selling cannabis. He seems to be good at it. Those agents could turn their attention to plenty of other criminal activity.

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Overdose deaths

overdosedeaths1.jpg

Quote

Drugs Involved in U.S. Overdose Deaths - Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with over 20,000 overdose deaths. Source: CDC WONDER

64,000 people last year.

The black market isn't safe for them and isn't safe for people who don't use those drugs either.

 

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On 9/30/2017 at 8:26 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Beware of butterflies!

How a Blue Butterfly Stamp Brought Down One of the Dark Web's Biggest Marijuana Vendors

Whatever else Mr. Farber may be, he's productive and successful.

If you read about how they caught him, it should give you some faith in government competence. Some pretty clever people put together the pieces of his particular puzzle.

What a waste.

All of them on both sides should be doing something else.

In Mr. Farber's case, that's quite possibly legally selling cannabis. He seems to be good at it. Those agents could turn their attention to plenty of other criminal activity.

I see what you mean.  Some talented investigators... what an absolutely ridiculous waste.

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Modern Slavery

The "fix" for illegal drug use? Go to prison or go work for free in a chicken processing plant.
 

Quote

 

CAAIR was originally launched in 2007 by food executives having trouble finding employees for low-pay, high-risk, all-hours work at chicken-processing plants. But CAAIR's claims of fulfilling a rehabilitative function are dubious. It has only one licensed counselor and no certified treatment or recovery program.

Its philosophy is that Christianity and hard work can cure addiction. Church and Bible study groups are mandatory; counseling, skills classes, and group support meetings are not.

...

CAAIR administrators even keep worker's compensation money when those sentenced get hurt on the job. As CAAIR clients, workers are required to sign a form giving up their right to workers' comp. The company still files claims for injured workers and keeps the reimbursements, Reveal found.

"Chronic drug users .... are commodities, exploited by a growing world of drug and alcohol rehab operators," noted the Orange County Register recently in a piece on California's corrupt rehab industry. "Everything from the opioid epidemic and Obamacare to prison realignment and legal loopholes has created conditions in which unethical operators can flourish, using addicts to bilk insurance companies and the public out of hundreds of millions of dollars."

 

 

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5 minutes ago, kmacdonald said:

A large portion of the murders that happen in the US are drug dealers killing drug dealers and criminals killing criminals.  We're not interested in reducing those numbers.


And you win the MOST INSANELY STUPID STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PROHIBITION award for this year.

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A booze snob on how prohibition almost killed the cocktail

With a little help from WWII. It notes that the first guy who wrote the book on drinking was, unsurprisingly, a sailor. Back then, a blue blazer was a drink that was also a fire hazard from the sound of it.
 

Quote

 

A sloppily constructed spirits-dumpster like a Long Island iced tea has no sensibility. At a bar like The Roosevelt Room, the drink would be carefully measured and served with freshly squeezed juice, then presented with dense, clear ice and a colorful garnish in a thoughtfully selected glass. Even in an idealized form, though, it's just an ironic wink at drinking's barbaric past.

For most of its existence, the drink—a mix of gin, tequila, vodka, rum, and triple sec that dates back to the 1970s—would have been served with sour mix, a vile substitute for fresh citrus, then slopped together in unmeasured proportions over cloudy ice, in whatever large-enough vessel might be handy. The Long Island iced tea is, at heart, little more than a crude booze-delivery system. A proper cocktail is a statement, a liquid argument, about how to drink well.

 

And how is that done?
 

Quote

 

This version, dubbed the "Parisian Sazerac No. 2," is made with Bulleit Rye, Dartigalongue Hors d'Age Bas Armagnac, a hint of rich simple syrup infused with roasted star anise, Peychaud's and Angostura bitters, salt tincture, a mist of green Chartreuse, and oils expressed from a lemon peel. As another bartender explained to me afterward, it was based not on the original Sazerac but on a French adaptation that Kenny further modified, making it "a variation on a variation on a variation."

Three decades ago, no bar in America would have attempted a drink like this. It would have been impossible, because not all of the ingredients would have been available. And the underlying theory, which involves splitting the base of an established classic between two spirits that work in tandem, had not yet been widely developed. The drink was only possible in the wake of the cocktail revolution, and it merely hinted at the depths and complexity now available.

 

Hah! I'm not sure what salt tincture is, nor green Chartreuse. I was almost killed by a peel oil extraction machine while working at a lime juice plant years ago, but I assume he's talking about a gentler, manual process. I have no idea what that might be.

The drink argues persuasively that the creator and consumer are insufferable booze snobs. If you concentrate just a bit too hard on enjoying yourself you can forget to enjoy yourself. Or maybe I'm just a barbarian.

 

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17 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

A booze snob on how prohibition almost killed the cocktail

With a little help from WWII. It notes that the first guy who wrote the book on drinking was, unsurprisingly, a sailor. Back then, a blue blazer was a drink that was also a fire hazard from the sound of it.
 

And how is that done?
 

Hah! I'm not sure what salt tincture is, nor green Chartreuse. I was almost killed by a peel oil extraction machine while working at a lime juice plant years ago, but I assume he's talking about a gentler, manual process. I have no idea what that might be.

The drink argues persuasively that the creator and consumer are insufferable booze snobs. If you concentrate just a bit too hard on enjoying yourself you can forget to enjoy yourself. Or maybe I'm just a barbarian.

 

Typical hipster bullshit... in Reason?  ...not sure how to process that.

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5 hours ago, frenchie said:

Typical hipster bullshit... in Reason?  ...not sure how to process that.

The political point was both stretched and obvious. Prohibition destroyed businesses and careers and we apparently lost an insufferably pretentious bit of culture.

Almost lost.

Fucking thing won't die. We need to try Prohibition a bit longer next time is the lesson I draw.

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Meanwhile, back in Florida
 

Quote

 

When Rushing opened his wallet to retrieve his driver's license, Riggs-Hopkins noticed that he had a concealed-carry permit and asked if he was armed. He said he was, and she asked him to get out of his car "for my safety." At that point Riggs-Hopkins "observed in plain view a rock-like substance on the floor board where his feet were." The eagle-eyed, street-savvy cop recalled that she "recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic." The suspect "stated that the substance is sugar from a Krispy Kreme Donut that he ate," but Riggs-Hopkins knew better: Two field tests of the "rock-like substance" gave "a positive indication for the presence of amphetamines."

Rushing said Riggs-Hopkins initially was not sure what "sort of narcotic" she had discovered. "I kept telling them, 'That's…glaze from a doughnut," Rushing told the Orlando Sentinel. "They tried to say it was crack cocaine at first. Then they said, 'No, it's meth, crystal meth.'"

Adding insult to injury, Rushing was accused of possessing meth "with a weapon" (his legally carried handgun), which made a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, into a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. He was handcuffed and taken to the county jail, where he was strip-searched and locked up for 10 hours before being released on $2,500 bail. Three days later, after a lab test found no illegal substance in the evidence recovered by Riggs-Hopkins, the charges against Rushing were dropped. The lab test was not specific enough to identify which brand of donut the glaze came from, so we'll just have to take Rushing's word that it was indeed a Krispy Kreme.

Rushing told the Sentinel he had tried to start a security business but could not find work because "people go online and see that you've been arrested." The Orlando Police Department (OPD) initially defended the arrest. But according to the Sentinel, the OPD "ended up training more than 730 officers on how to properly use the field test kits," and "Riggs-Hopkins was given a written reprimand for making an improper arrest."

 

Rushing sued the city of Orlando and won $37,500. Seems a paltry sum compared to the damage done to his reputation and earning potential by the felony arrest record.

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5 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Meanwhile, back in Florida
 

Rushing sued the city of Orlando and won $37,500. Seems a paltry sum compared to the damage done to his reputation and earning potential by the felony arrest record.

I once had the coast guard and Rockland county sheriff threaten to arrest me for seaweed they found in the bilge of my boat. They were sure they found some mafia/Peruvian smuggling connection. Thankfully, one of them had a clue and convinced the others that it was not pot.

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1 hour ago, LenP said:

I once had the coast guard and Rockland county sheriff threaten to arrest me for seaweed they found in the bilge of my boat. They were sure they found some mafia/Peruvian smuggling connection. Thankfully, one of them had a clue and convinced the others that it was not pot.

I have had a couple of such incidents, the funniest one being when some flour spilled in the cargo plane I used to fly to the Bahamas. The Customs guys in Key West (who saw us daily) got quite unfriendly until one of them tasted it.

That was a pretty bold move. I didn't want stuff that had been on the floor of that plane on my hands, let alone in my mouth.

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So what do you do with the orange leader, Tom?  Just swallow your pride and agree with him that one of the guys who literally helped millions more opioids hit the black market is a fine man and a great congressman?  Or do you call bullshit on Trump and his pick?

Rep. Tom Marino has withdrawn from consideration as the White House’s pick for drug czar following a report that he championed a bill that hindered federal agents from going after the Big Pharma firms that flooded the country with addictive opioids.

President Donald Trump made the announcement Tuesday morning on Twitter.

“Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar,” Trump wrote. “Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!”

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

So what do you do with the orange leader, Tom?  Just swallow your pride and agree with him that one of the guys who literally helped millions more opioids hit the black market is a fine man and a great congressman?  Or do you call bullshit on Trump and his pick?

Rep. Tom Marino has withdrawn from consideration as the White House’s pick for drug czar following a report that he championed a bill that hindered federal agents from going after the Big Pharma firms that flooded the country with addictive opioids.

President Donald Trump made the announcement Tuesday morning on Twitter.

“Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar,” Trump wrote. “Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!”

Your questions indicate you haven't read this thread and noticed what I had to say about Sessions, to name one example.

Show a little interest by reading the thread and then I'll answer.

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NY Times article on the withdrawal

 

Quote

 

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a Republican of Utah, defended the law in question on Monday and noted that the bill had the support of Republicans and Democrats.

Mr. Hatch introduced the bill in the Senate in February 2015.

“Lest we forget, President Obama signed the bill into law on the advice of his own D.E.A. administrator,” Mr. Hatch said on Monday.

 

Do you agree with Obama and his Drug Czar that blocking DEA authority was a good idea, CLEAN?

I'm not a fan of prohibition, no matter which half of the Duopoly is currently running it. My nomination for Drug Czar would be

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8 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Your questions indicate you haven't read this thread and noticed what I had to say about Sessions, to name one example.

Show a little interest by reading the thread and then I'll answer.

Ah yes, we hang on your every word Tom. To keep up on squirrels, the threat to .22's, etc.

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C'mon, Joe.  Even you gotta admit, anyone thinking Tom would carry water for Trump, clearly isn't at all familiar with Tom.

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6 hours ago, frenchie said:

C'mon, Joe.  Even you gotta admit, anyone thinking Tom would carry water for Trump, clearly isn't at all familiar with Tom.

Anyone thinking Joe would visit any thread for some other reason than to insult me because I oppose gun bans and confiscation clearly isn't at all familiar with Joe.

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Opiod deaths down in Colorado
 

Quote

 

Since legal recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado in January 2014, the state has seen a 6 percent drop in opioid deaths, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health. The drop follows 14 years of rising opioid deaths, going back to the first year for which the researchers had data.

 

 

That's an unsurprising result. I saw that cannabis extract helped my dad when our fanciest opiates couldn't any more.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of our fanciest opiates. They gave me some kind of synthetic morphine when I broke my hip and it zapped the pain pretty effectively for a couple of hours. They had to keep giving it to me all day and all night until surgery the next day.

I was prescribed Oxycodone to take home and only wound up using a few of them. I'm hoarding the rest.

I also learned in a bit of self-experimentation years ago that it's a bad idea for me to smoke pot as a pain reliever. I had injured my foot and had not had the foresight to hoard any opiates. The result was a slowed perception of time and a more acute awareness of each throb, allowing me to experience each one more fully. So that sucked.

We're so afraid that people are going to become hooked on these opiates but I suspect most are like me: I don't see anything fun about them. They don't even give me a buzz. They just erase pain really well. If I have no pain, they're useless.

On the way to the hospital with my broken hip, I had my wife grab whatever opiates I had hoarded and took half a something. I don't remember what. I did it because you arrive at an ER in pain and then wait and wait and wait before seeing a nurse and waiting to see a doctor and waiting some more and waiting for your prescription, followed by waiting at the pharmacy, and hours later (at best) you get a damn opiate pill. At least, that's what usually happens when I injure myself.

It turns out that if you walk into a hospital and give them the idea that you might have broken a hip, there's a distinct possibility that you'll have a blood clot and drop dead. Hospitals hate it when you do that. They had me in a bed with morphine in an IV in minutes. I didn't tell them they were putting that morphine on top of half a whatever that I took in the car.

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At long last, Jeff Sessions is in the Republican minority.

qpeszfyysk-vh_zwkbyskq.png

Now just under half of R's and just over a quarter of D's are so friggin' stupid that they think cannabis prohibition is a good idea, not a dangerous failure.

If anyone wonders how we get candidates as bad as Donald and Hillary, we have people who are that thick in the head choosing them.

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Enlisting Marijuana and MDMA to Fight PTSD
 

Quote

 

Rick Doblin, an activist who had helped organize opposition to the MDMA ban, founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which aimed to win government sanction for medical use of various proscribed substances. The group is now close to achieving that goal with MDMA. Last fall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave MAPS the go-ahead to proceed with Phase III studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, the final stage before approval of a new medicine. Doblin hopes MDMA will be available as an FDA-approved prescription drug within four years.

...

Progress with marijuana has been decidedly slower.

...

"The FDA was a joy to work with," Sisley says, because the agency is legally required to reply within a month after receiving protocols, revisions, and questions. "It's all those other agencies that come afterwards that don't have any required timeline. They can take years to respond to your inquiries, and that's how the cannabis research has been systematically impeded by the government. These are layers of government red tape that no other Schedule I drug has to deal with. Only cannabis is required to go through all these additional layers of scrutiny."

Among other requirements, the MAPS study had to get approval from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in order to obtain cannabis from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the only entity in the United States that is legally permitted to produce it for research. While other Schedule I drugs are available from a variety of DEA-licensed sources, researchers have to get marijuana from NIDA, which pays a single contractor at the University of Mississippi to grow it. MAPS fought a nine-year legal battle to break up NIDA's marijuana monopoly, arguing that competition would improve quality, increase variety, and facilitate medical research. The DEA was unpersuaded.

...

Future marijuana researchers will face fewer barriers. In June 2015, four years after MAPS ran into a brick wall at the PHS, the Obama administration eliminated that layer of review. A year later, the DEA finally announced that it is willing to license additional suppliers of marijuana for research, although it's not clear if and when that will actually happen. "We do not know how long the process takes, because this is the first time this has been done," DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson says. As of August, the DEA had received 25 applications, but a "senior DEA official" told The Washington Post the agency was facing resistance from the Justice Department.

 

I know the minimum length of time the process takes: until Jeff Sessions is out of office.

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Chris Christie: Still Stupid
 

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In the report it published yesterday, the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, endorses what has become the standard explanation for the rise in opioid-related deaths during the last decade and a half. "A widely held and supportable view is that the modern opioid crisis originated within the healthcare system," the report says. The problem began, it explains, with "a growing compulsion to detect and treat pain."

...

That response is fundamentally misguided because the narrative endorsed by the commission is wrong in several crucial ways. Doctors did not mistakenly believe that the dangers posed by opioids had been greatly exaggerated. They correctly believed that the dangers posed by opioids had been greatly exaggerated, and they were right to think that excessive fear of opioids had led to inadequate pain treatment. Contrary to the impression left by a lot of the press coverage, opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths rarely involve drug-naive patients who accidentally get hooked while being treated for pain. They typically involve polydrug users with histories of substance abuse and psychological problems. Attempts to prevent overdoses by closing off access to legally produced narcotics make matters worse for both groups, depriving pain patients of the analgesics they need to make their lives livable while driving nonmedical users into a black market where the drugs are more variable and therefore more dangerous.

...

The crackdown also has affected patients, leaving many without the medication they need to keep agony at bay and driving some to suicide. The prescription guidelines that the CDC issued last year, which encourage physicians to be stingy with opioids, already have had a noticeable impact on patients' ability to get adequate treatment for their pain. "There are many pain clinics flooded with patients who have been treated previously by their primary care physician," says Jianguo Cheng, president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. "They have a lot of patients trying to find a physician, and it has been a problem for many, many pain specialists." He says these refugees include patients who have responded well to opioids for years.

...

If the aim is reducing deaths from drug poisoning, there is not much logic to making prescription analgesics even harder to obtain. According to a 2016 analysis of opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, just 8 percent of the decedents "had an opioid prescription in the same months as their deaths." Prescription opioids were the deadliest drug in just 5 percent of the cases, while 85 percent involved heroin and/or fentanyl.

Today I heard from one of the pain patients I interviewed for an upcoming Reason feature story about recent trends in opioid use. He fits Cheng's description of patients who have functioned well on opioids for years but were arbitrarily cut off by providers in response to the CDC guidelines. This patient thinks the Christie commission is pushing the government further in the wrong direction. "If they go through with those recommendations," he wrote to me on Twitter, "I may as well drive my car off a cliff. This is horrible news. The CDC will threaten MDs, the DEA will step up their intimidation practices, and the few pain MDs that are left will fold. This is barbaric."

 

For a couple of years a while back, my wife's main hobby was having knee surgeries. We literally lost count.

She ended up being one of the people the studies would classify as "dependent" toward the end. She couldn't sleep without opiods.

Her doctor was great about it. His reaction was basically that there's not much to be done about that if he's going to flap her kneecap to one side and dig around in there. She's going to need them. He said we'll deal with the dependence when we're done causing pain. And that's what ended up happening.

 

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My very first waitering job, this one coworker always  -  no matter the weather  -  wore long sleeved turtlenecks.  I thought it was a religious thing, at first.

Turned out, she'd survived a house fire.  3rd degree burns over most of her body, her bedding had melted onto her. 

It took a year and a half before she was able to leave the hospital; then three years, gradually weaning, to get off the morphine. 

 

I think of her every time that bullshit debate comes up.

 

 

edit: it's gruesome, but on 2nd thought the post makes no sense without it:

since she didn't have any skin, she had to wear this all-over bandage, sort of like a wetsuit, while skin & scar tissue grew back.  To keep out infection, and to not dehydrate instantly, and so on.  Problem is, your skin cells grow into the neoprene-like fabric the suit's made out of.  So every few weeks, you get a new one.  The old one has to be peeled off, taking part of that new skin with it, every time. 

For a year and a half.

She said, he doctor'd told her,  that her maintenance dose when she got to go home, was about ten times enough to kill a non-habituated person.

 

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7 hours ago, frenchie said:

She said, he doctor'd told her,  that her maintenance dose when she got to go home, was about ten times enough to kill a non-habituated person.

And that's exactly the sort of explanation that will make a DEA bureaucrat with no medical training very suspicious. Their suspicion can get expensive in a hurry.

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Speaking of things getting expensive in a hurry...

CA Cannabis Farmers Lost Big In Wildfires

They faced a couple of problems not faced by other farmers:

1. Banks won't accept their money, so they tend to keep it in cash, which burns.

2. Crop insurance that actually covered cannabis would amount to a conspiracy to violate federal law by the insurance company so most don't do it. Needless to say, there's no federal crop insurance for this crop. I'm surprised anyone covers it at all.
 

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Of the cannabusinesses that do have insurance, "50 percent are covered by policies that flat out exclude marijuana," says Michael Aberle, senior vice president of Next Wave Insurance Services. His company has been underwriting commercial insurance policies for the cannabis industry for the past decade.

Years of prohibition have seen insurance companies insert clauses to guard against having to cover "health hazards," "contraband," or even Schedule I drugs. These disqualifying terms can be easily missed by marijuana business owners unfamiliar with buying insurance, and by insurance agents unaccustomed to having clients whose companies violate federal law. "When you have 'Schedule I' or 'health hazard,' those are two words in a policy that could be 5,000 or 10,000 words," Aberle notes.

As a result, countless cannabis farms have lost multi-million-dollar crops to California's conflagrations.

 

 

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Maine Gov LePage Vetoes Cannabill
 

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Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill passed by the Maine legislature 11 days ago to regulate the retail sale of marijuana.

The Maine Legislature is set to return Monday to deal with any vetoes by LePage. The bill that sets rules for sales and taxes on marijuana passed with a two-thirds majority in the Senate, but not in the House. A two-thirds vote is necessary to override the veto.

In a letter containing his veto statement, LePage noted: “The Obama administration said they would not enforce federal law related to marijuana; however, the Trump administration has not taken that position. Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine.”

 

He said in 2014 that he would implement a legalization law if voters approved it.

They did.

He didn't.

He knew in 2014 about the federal law problem. It's not new. It's just his new excuse for not doing what he said he would do.

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Another article on LePage's veto

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The oddest part of LePage's veto message may be his invocation of opioid-related deaths as a reason to keep marijuana illegal. "The dangers of legalizing marijuana and normalizing its use in our society cannot be understated," he says, although he probably means overstated. "Maine is now battling a horrific drug epidemic that claims more than one life a day due to overdoses caused by deadly opiates. Sending a message, especially to our young people, that some drugs that are still illegal under federal law are now sanctioned by the state may have unintended and grave consequences."

Of course, telling kids that "schedule 1 means schedule 1 so cannabis is the same as heroin" will not be detected as bullshit by the kids because kids are stupid and gullible. We must send them a consistent stream of BS or there will be grave consequences.

 

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Mr. Methadone - The Aspiring Patients' Advocate

He has an interesting approach that I expect would attract lots of lawyers in America these days.

The basic idea is that a heroin addict is so perilously close to death that you can ignore the need for specialists and just get a volunteer to hand him methadone. And it seems to work as well as if you get all the "required" specialists.

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Cartoonishly Stupid Prohibition Antics
 

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Last week in Detroit, undercover cops posing as drug dealers got into a public brawl with undercover cops posing as drug buyers. WJBK, the local Fox station, calls the fight, which involved drawn guns, flying fists, and at least two dozen officers, "a case of the good guys going after the good guys." The description is debatable.

The fake drug dealers, who were from the city's 12th Precinct, planned to arrest anyone who approached them and seize their vehicles—actions that would rightly be recognized as assault, kidnapping, and theft but for the warped moral logic of the war on drugs. The fake drug buyers, who were from the 11th Precinct, planned to arrest people for agreeing to the consensual exchange of merchandise for money. They ordered the other cops to the ground, at which point the two officers from the 12th Precinct must have realized they had mistaken colleagues for criminals and that their colleagues had made the same mistake. Yet they all got into a fight anyway.

 

Is anyone else tired of winning the drug war yet?

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