Hypercapnic Tom

Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

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Reefer Madness 2018 Reboot
 

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Here are 17 of 2018's most ridiculous overreactions to weed:

 

1. Kansas state rep: Pot is illegal because of African Americans' "character makeup" and "genetics."

Kansas state Rep. Steve Alford (R–District 124) started poorly and just kept digging. "Any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs," he said in January. (Spoiler: No, it's not.) "What you really need to do is go back in the '30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs...What was the reason why they did that?" he asked.

"One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that. And so basically what we're trying to do is we're trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past."

...

 

It goes on like that.

Some of us do remember Anslinger, just not all that fondly.

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Hemp4War.jpg

Or, you know, for research.

But not on private property.
 

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Thank you all for your support of the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Pilot Project (“UF hemp program”) this year. We have made important strides towards our objectives and look forward to getting plants in the ground in 2019. I write to you with some hemp news, an update of our activities this year, and some plans for the new year.
 
In summary:
- The farm bill passed and begins a national transition to hemp commercialization. However, it is still illegal to grow hemp without a permit in Florida.
- The UF hemp program obtained the necessary funding and authorization to initiate the program this year. We are preparing the necessary permits, personnel, and infrastructure to plant our first experiment spring 2019.
- We have not yet identified any Qualified Project Partners and are still communicating with any individual or group that is interested to collaborate with the research activities.
- We are working to expand the scope of our program in 2019 with multiple project partners and sponsorships.

...

Keep in mind, research activities related to hemp production will be conducted only at UF research facilities. UF will not authorize hemp production on private land as part of our pilot project. Despite that position, we are very keen to engage with anyone interested in making a meaningful contribution to our research program. Such partner contributions can include knowledge, effort, technology, resources, and other creative means.

 

I'm glad to see tiny bits of progress but this kind of thing also makes my Uncooperative side kick in and makes me want to see what would happen if I sprinkled a few forbidden hemp seeds around my place.

But I don't want my property to become a subject of the asset forfeiture thread.

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9 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

Hemp4War.jpg

Or, you know, for research.

But not on private property.
 

I'm glad to see tiny bits of progress but this kind of thing also makes my Uncooperative side kick in and makes me want to see what would happen if I sprinkled a few forbidden hemp seeds around my place.

But I don't want my property to become a subject of the asset forfeiture thread.

Better to sprinkle them around the properties of the local police and pro-forfeiture politicians, film the plants if they reach a decent size, then publish YouTube videos demanding the properties be confiscated.

There's more ways than one to skin a cat....

FKT

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3 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Better to sprinkle them around the properties of the local police and pro-forfeiture politicians, film the plants if they reach a decent size, then publish YouTube videos demanding the properties be confiscated.

There's more ways than one to skin a cat....

FKT

It has crossed my mind to find a suitable victim whose property should be stolen that way but I just don't want to be any part of it.

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22 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

It has crossed my mind to find a suitable victim whose property should be stolen that way but I just don't want to be any part of it.

You're missing the point - they *WON'T* take the property if it's a cop or politician but the excuses they use to not do it could be quite useful next time they DO try it on....

There's a lot to be said for malicious obedience to stupid laws. Back here, in the day, sodomy was illegal and aimed at gay men. A bunch of women decided to protest the law by turning up to the cop shops en masse and confessing to having participated in sodomy, demanding to be arrested & charged. The cops & political leaders were not amused but it arguably helped to get those laws taken off of the books.

You could try seeding some expensive bit of corporate real estate then report them for growing drugs.

FKT

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49 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

There's a lot to be said for malicious obedience to stupid laws. Back here, in the day, sodomy was illegal and aimed at gay men. A bunch of women decided to protest the law by turning up to the cop shops en masse and confessing to having participated in sodomy, demanding to be arrested & charged. The cops & political leaders were not amused but it arguably helped to get those laws taken off of the books.

Sometimes I'm glad everything that happened back in the day isn't still on youtube today.

Then there's now.

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7 hours ago, dogballs Tom said:

Sometimes I'm glad everything that happened back in the day isn't still on youtube today.

I've had that thought many times WRT digital cameras, phones with cameras and a number of the voyages I did to Antarctica....

FKT

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Sigh. What's old is new again in California.
 

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While "state officials estimated there would be as many as 6,000 cannabis shops licensed in the first few years," the Los Angeles Times reported last week, "the state Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued just 547 temporary and annual licenses to marijuana retail stores and dispensaries." The New York Times notes that legal cannabis sales totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, which is about $500 million less than in 2017, before the first recreational shops opened. Marijuana tax collections amounted to $234 million at the end of September, which suggests the total for 2018 will be less than half what officials predicted and less than a third of the $1 billion annual haul they were expecting within a few years.

What went wrong? Nothing really surprising. California is regulating and taxing the hell out of cannabis, which makes it hard for legal suppliers to compete with the state's longstanding, extensive, and highly developed black market.

 

The original Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 enacted a tax that was never intended to be collected, and wasn't.

They used the power to tax to impose prohibition.

Now California is using the power to tax to continue prohibition while trying to discontinue prohibition.

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What might the new Congress do?
 

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By the end of 2018, medical marijuana had been legalized in 33 states, 10 of which also now let adults use cannabis without a doctor's note. Nearly a quarter of the U.S. population lives in a jurisdiction where recreational use is legal. Yet marijuana is still prohibited in any form for any purpose under federal law, something that could change now that Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives.

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, a bill first introduced by now-former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R–Calif.) in 2013, would have made the federal ban inapplicable to "any person acting in compliance with State laws." The most recent version of the bill attracted 46 co-sponsors, 70 percent of whom were Democrats. It never got a hearing.

"While members of Congress in both major parties have become increasingly supportive of good marijuana legislation," Marijuana Policy Project co-founder Rob Kampia wrote on his blog the day after the elections, "approximately 90% of Democrats—and only 25% of Republicans—support such legislation generally." When it comes to marijuana reform, Kampia said, "the Democratic takeover of the U.S. House was the most important outcome" of the 2018 elections.

Assuming that the new House leadership lets something like Rohrabacher's bill advance, a coalition of reform-friendly Democrats and federalism-friendly Republicans should be able to pass it. While that prospect may seem more remote in the Senate, which is still controlled by Republicans, a similar bill introduced in June by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), known as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, attracted 10 co-sponsors, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. "We'll probably end up supporting that," President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly said states should be free to go their own way on marijuana, told reporters after the STATES Act was unveiled.

 

Entrusting States. Interesting concept.

Justice Thomas' dissent in the Raich case emphasized that what Raich was doing was authorized by her state and county. He said that Congress could rely on the state to enforce its laws. A good point.

The majority countered that Congress need not depend on the states to enforce their laws. Another good point.

But now Warren and her bipartisan co-sponsors say that Congress can and should let states enforce their own laws. And Trump seems to agree, at least at the moment.

We've come a long way since decades ago when only a handful of nutty libertarians talked about ending prohibition, but killing a big government program is a very long, slow process.

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I guess this is encouraging.

The Fake "Dry Alabama" Campaign

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The “Dry Alabama” Facebook page, illustrated with stark images of car wrecks and videos of families ruined by drink, had a blunt message: Alcohol is the devil’s work, and the state should ban it entirely.

Along with a companion Twitter feed, the Facebook page appeared to be the work of Baptist teetotalers who supported the Republican, Roy S. Moore, in the 2017 Alabama Senate race. “Pray for Roy Moore,” one tweet exhorted.

In fact, the Dry Alabama campaign, not previously reported, was the stealth creation of progressive Democrats who were out to defeat Mr. Moore — the second such secret effort to be unmasked.

 

The good news that I see is that prohibition is viewed as so stupid that supporting it is a smear.

 

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It's the shipping containers, stupid
 

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As The New York Times notes (citing a 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment), most of the heroin smuggled into the country does come in via the southern border with Mexico.

But it's not coming in the knapsacks of border jumpers. "For the first 11 months of the 2018 fiscal year, 90 percent of the heroin intercepted at the border and 88 percent of the cocaine, was captured at a legal port of entry rather than between those ports," USA Today explains, citing Customs and Border Protection data.

Even if the wall gets built, legal ports of entry aren't going away. Most smugglers aren't trying to hop across in the first place; they're trying to sneak contraband by manned border posts. A border wall likely won't change this.

It's also worth noting that, according to the Times, most black market fentanyl comes into the U.S. from China. As Trump's own opioid commission reported in November 2017: "We are losing this fight [against fentanyl] predominately through China."

 

And the airplanes, and the private vehicles, and of course the boats and submarines and underground railways.

We had a problem with doctors and pharamacists going around prohibition laws and prescribing opiates with few or no questions asked. A good answer would have been to bring the behavior of addicts out into the open to help them recover.

We went the "cause a Chinese fentanyl epidemic" route instead, in the process making life more difficult and painful for people who really do need large amounts of opiates.

And a stupid wall won't help any of it.

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Reefer Madness Is Still A Thing
 

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Alex Berenson, the former New York Times reporter who has just published an anti-pot polemic that he aptly named after a notoriously hysterical 1936 anti-pot movie, says marijuana legalization "appears to lead to an increase in violent crime." Like his claim that marijuana causes schizophrenia and other "serious mental illnesses," his claim that it causes violence is based on a highly selective reading of the evidence.

...

University of Oregon economist Benjamin Hansen finds that "the homicide rates in Colorado and Washington were actually below what the data predicted they would have been given the trends in homicides from 2000-2012." He says "we can't conclude that marijuana legalization increases violence, and perhaps even there could be small negative effects."

Nor is the effect that Berenson perceives apparent in national data. The share of Americans reporting past-month marijuana use in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health rose by 55 percent from 2002 to 2017, a period when the national violent crime rate fell by 23 percent.

How plausible is it that legalizing marijuana would immediately cause "sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults"? Here is how a bunch of experts at the RAND Drug Policy Research Center summarized the evidence in a 2013 report commissioned by the Office of National Drug Control Policy: "Even though marijuana is commonly used by individuals arrested for crimes, there is little support for a contemporaneous, causal relationship between its use and either violent or property crime. There is evidence supporting a possible intertemporal relationship, but it is not clear to what extent this is unique to marijuana." The authors flatly state that "marijuana use does not induce violent crime," while "the links between marijuana use and property crime are thin."

In line with that research, several studies have found that relaxing legal restrictions on marijuana is not associated with an increase in violent crime. A 2016 analysis of data from 11 Western states, published in the Journal of Drug Issues, found "no evidence of negative spillover effects from medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on violent or property crime." To the contrary, the researchers found "significant drops in rates of violent crime associated with state MMLs."

...

Berenson's book has received respectful reviews in The New Yorker and Mother Jones, along with considerable pushback from people who study these issues. You can expect to see more of the latter.

 

I cut out some of the evidence that he's wrong because there's just too much of it.

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My mother buys those things. I don't know what's in them and don't really approve but my dogs have all seemed to love them. I also find them eating rotten fish and things, so it's not a high bar.

3 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Had to post this somewhere 

There's some relevance here because dogs do have an amazing sense of smell but I've called them "search warrants on leashes" in this thread for a reason.

They react to cues from their owners. I see this all the time because some of my activities, mostly involving internal combustion engines, are upsetting to my dogs. How the fuck they KNOW that I've entered my shop dozens of times but one particular time I'm going to fetch string for the weedeater is beyond me, but they KNOW. The scolding starts as soon as I head that way.

A drug sniffing dog knows what his trainer is up to and knows when an "alert" would be appreciated.

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@.22 Tom makes a very interesting accusation about the use of drug sniffing dogs. 

 

I could set up appropriate tests to determine whether the dogs react accurately. I am not willing to accept a government commissioned test or a test by druggies.

A couple things to test: 

a. Do clean  cut people who are carrying drugs get past the dogs? 

b. Are false positives more common in those who “look like druggies?”

 

  • Downvote 1

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On 7/20/2017 at 6:14 AM, dogballs Tom said:

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.

 

 

There are a couple of links there at the end that may be of interest to you Gouv.

 

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6 minutes ago, dogballs Tom said:

I'll read the article and post something later - A few days ago, I had read a meta-study that suggested that CBD is ineffective compared to THC at moderating things like seizures and the WHOLE CBD debate is a read herring - it's the 'nasty' THC that matters.   I'll see if I can dig it up.  If nothing else, the psuedo-legalization might help resolve some of those issues.

 

 

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On 1/14/2019 at 4:54 AM, cmilliken said:

I'll read the article and post something later - A few days ago, I had read a meta-study that suggested that CBD is ineffective compared to THC at moderating things like seizures and the WHOLE CBD debate is a read herring - it's the 'nasty' THC that matters.   I'll see if I can dig it up.  If nothing else, the psuedo-legalization might help resolve some of those issues.

There are a lot of conflicting studies right now on the ratio of CBD to THC and it is likely that studies will find that different concentrations of different ingredients are going to be more or less effective for different conditions.  The Charlotte's Web drug that has been super effective in humans is almost entirely CBD i believe.  I think at this point, it's unfair to write off one chemical or another...

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13 minutes ago, EquusAsinusDomesticus said:

There are a lot of conflicting studies right now on the ratio of CBD to THC and it is likely that studies will find that different concentrations of different ingredients are going to be more or less effective for different conditions.  The Charlotte's Web drug that has been super effective in humans is almost entirely CBD i believe.  I think at this point, it's unfair to write off one chemical or another...

I'd REALLLLY like to see Marijuana moved off the 'schedule 1' bad guy list so that researchers can actually.. you know.. DO RESEARCH...  and answer some of these questions!

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1 minute ago, cmilliken said:

I'd REALLLLY like to see Marijuana moved off the 'schedule 1' bad guy list so that researchers can actually.. you know.. DO RESEARCH...  and answer some of these questions!

The Canadian research will provide some answers, although probably not the answers the prohibitionists want.

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I read that moving to schedule 2 is problematic cause application will be regulated by the FDA meaning endless clinical trials.  Need to go straight to schedule 3.  Sadly William Barr’s comments on MJ today were not promising.  Guys a dinosaur.

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3 hours ago, Fakenews said:

I read that moving to schedule 2 is problematic cause application will be regulated by the FDA meaning endless clinical trials.  Need to go straight to schedule 3.  Sadly William Barr’s comments on MJ today were not promising.  Guys a dinosaur.

Your whole fucking government is something out of 1860, WTF is wrong down there?

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9 hours ago, Fakenews said:

I read that moving to schedule 2 is problematic cause application will be regulated by the FDA meaning endless clinical trials.  Need to go straight to schedule 3.  Sadly William Barr’s comments on MJ today were not promising.  Guys a dinosaur.

The Pure Food and Drug Act was the only legislative effort that ever reduced addiction in America.

It happened because people learned that "snake oil" was actually "morphine" and yes, it makes you feel good, with a price.

If you're going to be in the business of selling medicine, you need to prove it's medicine. And it's for what you said it's for. That's what Schedule 2 trials would be about and it's not such a bad idea if you look at our pharm industry before the PFDA.

But there's another problem: the FDA regulates food and drugs to ensure they're safe and effective. That's why nicotine can't be a drug. That cigarette is safe and effective for what, exactly? Ummm... OK, it's not a food nor a drug. It's a product.

That's the only way to treat the recreational market without running into: That joint is safe and effective for what, exactly?

So I think we'll need to regulate it two different ways: the usual way for medicines and the usual way for, for lack of a better word, vices.

Not such a simple proposal, since someone could then hint at the medical benefits of his recreational product.

Ending the drug war will cause an explosion of regulation. That's not a bad thing because the alternative is one very simple, very stupid rule.

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On 1/14/2019 at 5:48 AM, dogballs Tom said:

From the article:
 

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By the time Charlotte turned 5, her parents had tried just about every treatment available. Yet Charlotte still needed a feeding tube to eat and was debilitated by seizures that came on at all times of day and night.

"We did vitamins, acupuncture, gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, all raw and organic," Figi says. "We tried every pharmaceutical drug on the market except ones that were dangerous to children. You're just sort of throwing darts aimlessly."

Even after all those failures, there was one more thing Charlotte's parents wanted to try. During the hundreds of hours Figi spent researching Dravet syndrome, she came across studies from Israel and Europe that showed that CBD worked as an anticonvulsant and could possibly keep Charlotte's seizures at bay.

Figi wanted to administer CBD to her daughter. She found translators so she could talk to physicians and researchers in Israel and France. From these distant mentors, she learned how to extract CBD from marijuana, how to dose it, and how to test its purity.

The only remaining obstacle was finding a doctor who would recommend giving a cannabis derivative to a kindergartner. While federal law is shifting all the time, in 2011 CBD was illegal. As a compound that could be derived from cannabis, it was classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. It was therefore illegal to manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, or consume. Even in pioneering Colorado, then home to a very liberal medical marijuana system, giving CBD to a small child was a tough sell.

"I was terribly nervous," Figi says. "The 'red card' doctors"—physicians who specialized in approving people for the state's medical marijuana program—"were all opposed." Eventually, Figi convinced a small team of physicians across several institutions to review Charlotte's case and sign off on giving her CBD, making her the youngest medical marijuana patient in the state.

After 18 months, Figi stepped forward to announce that her daughter was free of seizures and no longer taking any medication aside from CBD. Sanjay Gupta, a physician and talking head, flew to Colorado to meet the Figis and eventually created a series of CNN specials on medical marijuana that sparked national interest in Charlotte's case.

 

Parents of kids who have seizures are desperate to help their kids and drug warriors are desperate to continue their sacred prohibition.

I remember when former drug warrior Sanjay Gupta stopped parroting drug war propaganda and came out and said that Americans had been "terribly and systematically misled" about cannabis, including by him.

It was the topic article and subject title in the thread that was purged by the moderators, mentioned in the topic post. Lots of good info there and purging it was an asshole move.

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We're almost, but not quite, done with alcohol prohibition.

The 21st amendment did pass, but what does it mean?
 

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If you want to sell liquor in Tennessee, a state law requires that you live there for at least two years before seeking a license. And if you want to renew that one-year license after it expires, you need to show that at some point you lived in Tennessee for at least 10 consecutive years. On Wednesday, the 100th anniversary of the 18th Amendment's ratification, two lawyers told the Supreme Court those blatantly protectionist rules are constitutional thanks to the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th but recognized that states retained the authority to ban alcohol within their borders.

Notably, neither of those lawyers represented Tennessee, which stopped enforcing the residency requirements after the state's attorney general concluded they were unconstitutional. A federal judge and an appeals court agreed, and now the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association (TWSRA) is asking the Supreme Court to overrule them. Shay Dvoretzky, the TWRSA's lawyer, was joined on Wednesday by Illinois Solicitor General David Franklin, speaking for his state and 34 others. Carter Phillips represented the respondents, who include the owners of a Memphis liquor store they are not allowed to operate because they recently moved there from Utah.

 

I hope the TWRSA loses this one. States do have broad authority to regulate and ban alcohol but the commerce clause is also quite broad.
 

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Justice Samuel Alito was similarly skeptical. "The 21st Amendment is about the transportation or importation of alcohol into a state," he told Dvoretzky. "How do you get from there to a durational residency requirement that is imposed on the owner of a retail outlet in the state?"

The Supreme Court has already said the 21st Amendment is not a free pass for alcohol-related protectionism. In Bacchus v. Dias (1984), the Court rejected an excise tax exemption designed to favor local distillers in Hawaii over out-of-state competitors, and in Granholm v. Heald (2005) it said Michigan and New York could not constitutionally prohibit out-of-state wineries from shipping their products directly to consumers while allowing in-state wineries to do so. The TWRSA wants the justices to read those precedents as applying only to discrimination against manufacturers.

"I know you want to limit it to producers," Justice Sonia Sotomayor said to Dvoretzky, "but that's not the way that Granholm talked about...this issue." She also noted that if the Commerce Clause has no relevance in cases involving state alcohol regulation, as Dvoretzky maintained, Bacchus and Granholm must have been wrongly decided.

 

Professor Sotomayor is right that previous cases conflict with the idea that any state regulation is OK.
 

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That argument seemed to resonate with several justices, but there was also concern that overturning Tennessee's rule would invite challenges to other longstanding aspects of state alcohol regulation, including the "three-tier system" of segregated producers, wholesalers, and retailers. The Court has repeatedly said that system is within the authority granted by the 21st Amendment, even though it discriminates against out-of-state businesses in some ways.

Justice Neil Gorsuch suggested that an "Amazon of alcohol" could argue that states violate the Commerce Clause when they stop online retailers from selling beer, wine, and liquor directly to consumers. Phillips said his clients have no interest in challenging the three-tier system, but that did not really answer the question of whether the principle on which they are relying implies that courts should overturn other stupid, anti-competitive restrictions on the distribution of alcoholic beverages. Would that be such a bad thing?

 

I think an "Amazon of Alcohol" could make exactly that argument and be right.

Of course, each of those tiers would probably have a lot to $ay about the issue.

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On 1/19/2019 at 4:53 AM, dogballs Tom said:

We're almost, but not quite, done with alcohol prohibition.

The 21st amendment did pass, but what does it mean?

I still haven't studied this case, just read a couple of articles, but this one cracks me up.
 

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...

If not all justices are comfortable striking down the law on the Commerce Clause grounds, there is another constitutional provision that could invalidate the law. According to the Institute for Justice, which represents the Ketchum family, the law is also unconstitutional because it violates the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Ratified after the Civil War, the Clause responded to the notorious Black Codes enacted by many Southern states, which sought to re-impose slavery on newly freed black Americans by denying their right to earn a living.

In its brief, the Institute for Justice notes that the Privileges or Immunities Clause “squarely recognizes the right of a resident newly arrived in a state to be treated on terms equal with those who have resided there longer” and originally protected the right “to migrate in pursuit of a livelihood.” Although the Supreme Court largely gutted the Privileges or Immunities Clause in the 1873 Slaughter-House Cases, “both the majority and dissenting opinions” in the decision “recognized that the clause protects such a right.”

Nearly 20 years ago, the High Court ruled that California’s one-year residency requirement for full welfare benefits violated the Privileges or Immunities Clause because it discriminated against new residents. “If the Privileges or Immunities Clause protects the right of a newly-arrived resident to be treated equally in the receipt of welfare benefits,” IJ argues, “it surely protects her right to be treated equally in the pursuit of a livelihood…States cannot hoard or reserve economic opportunity for longtime residents only.”

 

Hmm... Now I want to look up that California case. I thought the Privileges and Immunities Clause was a zombie.

From the oral arguments in the McDonald case:

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Alan Gura

--Although it's impossible to give a full list of all the unenumerated rights that might be protected by the Privileges and Immunities Clause, just as it's impossible to do so under the Due Process Clause, at least with respect to the Privileges and Immunities Clause we have wonderful historical guideposts.

There are--

 

Antonin Scalia

Mr. Gura, do you think it's at all easier to bring the Second Amendment under the Privileges and Immunities Clause than it is to bring it under our established law of substantive due process?


Alan Gura

--It's--


Antonin Scalia

Is it easier to do it under privileges and immunities than it is under substantive due process?


Alan Gura

--It's easier in terms, perhaps, of -- of the text and history, the original public understanding of--


Antonin Scalia

No, no.

I'm not talking about whether -- whether the Slaughter-House Cases were right or wrong.

I'm saying, assuming we give, you know, the Privileges and Immunities Clause your definition, does that make it any easier to get the Second Amendment adopted with respect to the States?


Alan Gura

--Justice Scalia, I suppose the answer to that would be no, because--


Antonin Scalia

And if the answer is no, why are you asking us to overrule 150, 140 years of prior law, when -- when you can reach your result under substantive due -- I mean, you know, unless you're bucking for a -- a place on some law school faculty--

[Laughter]


Alan Gura

--No.

No.

I have left law school some time ago, and this is not an attempt to -- to return.


Antonin Scalia

Well, I mean, what you argue is the darling of the professoriate, for sure, but it's also contrary to 140 years of our jurisprudence.

Why do you want to undertake that burden instead of just arguing substantive due process?

Which, as much as I think it's wrong, I have -- even I have acquiesced in it.

[Laughter]

 

That didn't go well.

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The NFL Still Just Says No

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While the NFL has never allowed players to use marijuana for any reason, there is a well-documented history of teams handing out pharmaceutical pain-killers by the handful. "The medicine being pumped into these guys is just killing people," former player Nate Jackson told Rolling Stone in 2016, as part of an excellent piece on the league's nonsensical marijuana rules and how they've led to an over-reliance on opioids.

Just say no to weed, of course. If you crash into giant athletes for a living, you're going to need handfuls of opiates and anti-inflammatory drugs, all of which are fine.

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Florida's New Ag Commissioner
 

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QUESTION: When will we see directives on medical marijuana and industrial hemp?

FRIED: We will be creating a director of cannabis. You will start seeing those changes once that person is in place. We’ll start doing a lot of initiatives that we talked about on the campaign trail: the edibles rule; such as making sure we’re doing best-management practices in regard to medical marijuana treatment centers; and start working on rules and regulations for hemp per the 2018 federal farm bill.

 

A Director of Cannabis.

So the State of FL will have a single person in charge of how, where, and when Floridians violate federal law.

Lots of states have such officials now, all of whom seem to me to be potential subjects of RICO charges. I mean, that's what happens to people whose job is violating federal law, right?

It sounds like the Director of Cannabis will be regulating edibles and industrial hemp, as if we're talking about the same plant or something. Wow.

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Michael Bloomberg: Legalizing Weed 'Is Perhaps the Stupidest Thing We’ve Ever Done'
 

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As he considers a 2020 run for the Democratic presidential nomination, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is continuing to defend his controversial positions on several issues. Speaking yesterday at the United States Naval Academy's 2019 Leadership Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, Bloomberg explained why he opposes marijuana legalization and still believes "stop and frisk" was a good idea.

Bloomberg has long been ignorant when it comes to weed. In 2013, he called medical marijuana "one of the greatest hoaxes of all time," despite endless evidence to the contrary. And in 2015, he said marijuana legalization is "one of the stupider things that's happening across our country."

In Bloomberg's mind, stop and frisk helped lower the city's murder rate. He said:

We focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system, where they just came out worse than they came in, kids who walked around looking like they might have a gun, remove the gun from their pockets and stop it, and the result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left.

Bloomberg's argument is flawed. As Sullum noted in September, crime in New York actually started declining in the '90s. And while that decline continued while stop and frisk was in full effect, the homicide rate still went down by 43 percent between 2011 and 2017—as the program was being phased out!

 

Prohibitionists can't be bothered with the facts about policies like stop and frisk. The power is too seductive.

Pursuing Nixon's drug war for decades is among the stupidest things we've ever done. Every crackdown leads to more potent drugs and more dangerous drug dealers.

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Here's a Laffer!

Californicators think that lowering tax rates might increase tax revenue.
 

Quote

 

A.B. 286, sponsored by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and three other legislators, would immediately cut the excise tax on marijuana from 15 percent to 11 percent and eliminate the cultivation tax, which is $9.25 per ounce for buds and $2.75 per ounce for leaves. The taxes would revert to their current levels on June 1, 2022.

"A.B. 286 is an important step to ensure that we protect legitimate taxpaying businesses and stop the illegal black market in California," Bonta said at a press conference on Monday. "Once the legal marketplace has established its roots, once it is on its way to success, the tax rates will return under this bill."

 

OMG. The idea that cutting tax rates might be a good idea has penetrated to TeamD Californicators. The end must be near.

In other good news,

Baltimore's Top Prosecutor Will Stop Prosecuting Marijuana Possession Cases

Woo hoo! Prosecutorial nullification (it's called discretion when they do it) is even better than the jury kind!

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15 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

Dogballs, please give us more of you quoting yerself, and regurgitating your drug war routine.

(s) all posters


OK.

Please regurgitate stupid gossip that shows your firm membership in the chorus. Thanks in advance.

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On 1/30/2019 at 12:20 PM, badlatitude said:

1423cbCOMIC-spot-the-criminal-danger.jpg


This cartoon needs updating.

Drug warriors cracked down on the "pill mills" and now we have much more dangerous dealers peddling much more dangerous fentanyl.

That's "winning" drug warrior style.

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What happens to doctors who actually want to use opiods in treatment?
 

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To treat just 30 concurrent patients, qualified providers must complete eight hours of training and receive an additional Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) prescribing number. Even after completing that training, providers must wait a full year to apply for federal permission to treat 100 patients concurrently. According to Herdman, most of his team won't be eligible to treat 100 patients concurrently until June 2020.

In recent years, harm reduction advocates have suggested that the training requirement and patient caps endanger patients by discouraging provider participation. Herdman agrees, telling Feldman, "That limitation on prescribing is really weird. A regular physician can prescribe all sorts of other narcotics without additional training. But for buprenorphine, they want additional training."

...

We must also consider the fact that applying for permission to prescribe buprenorphine puts physicians under intense DEA scrutiny, and that the DEA is known to raid the homes and offices of doctors who prescribe the drug, sometimes for reasons that don't hold up in court. While there are doctors who do hand out Suboxone in a way one might charitably describe as uncareful, the drug is significantly safer than methadone, which is itself significantly safer than illicit fentanyl and heroin. Put another way: if it were as easy for Philadelphians to obtain pharmaceutical buprenorphine as it is for them to obtain illicit fentanyl, there would likely be fewer Philadelphians in the county jail and fewer still in the ground.

If you haven't already, please read Jacob Sullum's recent Reason feature on the deadly consequences of the feds micromanaging prescribers, and my interview with Christopher Moraff on Philadelphia's fentanyl problem.

 

Short answer: too many rules and too much liability created by drug warriors, so they make money practicing medicine in other ways.

And the addicts go off to fentanyl dealers, who don't face nearly as many rules and are far harder to catch so face far less liability too.

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14 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Billionaires decline to play by any rules . .   

Many of them, not just the Sacklers, get rich by causing others to suffer . .  

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/unredacted-lawsuit-against-oxycontin-maker-reveals-they-pushed-opioid-low-n965721

 

Quote

Purdue is accused of trying to profit off a crisis that it helped spark by having its sales force tell doctors that the prescription painkiller OxyContin had a low addiction risk.

Ah, the good old daze, when our stupid prohibition policies led to a prescription opiod crisis instead of the current, and much worse, Chinese fentanyl crisis.

That's what happens when drug warriors crack down: the unintended consequences are worse. Again.

Heroin was a wonderful development in its day. It was going to get rid of that nasty addiction problem we were having with morphine.

Uh huh.

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Philly tries to do something smart, the DOJ sues to block it
 

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President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union Address last night that he wants to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS in America within 10 years.

This morning, a Justice Department attorney announced he would try to stop a supervised injection site planned for Philadelphia that would help reduce both the spread of HIV among intravenous drug users and overdose deaths.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held a press conference Wednesday morning to announce he would be seeking a judicial review that might prevent a local nonprofit named Safehouse from moving forward with plans to build a center funded by private donations.

This nonprofit group is not attempting to force this building and program into the city. Philadelphia officials, including the city's mayor, police commissioner, and district attorney, are all supportive of a supervised injection center, where intravenous drug users can be supervised by health workers and counseled about treatment options. Philadelphia has a serious problem with drug overdoses and public use, having seen more than 1,200 overdose deaths in 2017.

 

Ever try telling an alcoholic, "Go fix your life!"

I have. It didn't work. Helping did.

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The Chemists and the Cover Up
 

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...

Both scandals undercut confidence in the criminal justice system and the validity of forensic analysis. And both pose the obvious question about how chemists could behave so badly for years without detection.

This story is an effort to reconstruct what was known about Farak and Dookhan's crimes, and when, based on court filings, diaries, and interviews with the major players.

Dookhan's transgressions got more press attention: Her story broke first, she immediately confessed, and her misdeeds took place in big-city Boston rather than the western reaches of the state. But the Farak scandal is in many ways worse, since the chemist's crimes were compounded by drug abuse on the job and prosecutorial misconduct that the state's top court called "the deceptive withholding of exculpatory evidence by members of the Attorney General's office."

Thanks largely to the prosecutors' deception, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in October 2018 was forced to dismiss thousands of cases Farak may never have even touched, including every single conviction based on evidence processed at the Amherst lab from 2009 to the day of Farak's arrest in 2013. The court also dismissed all meth cases processed at the lab since Farak started in 2004. At least 11,000 cases have already been dismissed due to fallout from the scandal, with thousands more likely to come.

Because state prosecutors hid Farak's substance abuse diaries, it took far too long for the full timeline of her crimes to become public. In the aftermath, the court felt it necessary to make clear that "no prosecutor…has the authority to decline to disclose exculpatory information."

...

 

The bolded bit is quite a discovery.

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Kamala Come Lately
 

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...

Charlamagne says there's a rumor going around that she's against marijuana legalization and she says that's "not true." If you listen carefully, the two of them are circumspect about how they're approaching this. They are talking about Harris' current position on marijuana legalization. She states very clearly that she is in favor of legalizing marijuana.

But that's a significant change of her position in the last 10 years, and the show simply does not grapple with any of it, treating Harris as though she's ahead of the curve on legalization.

She's not. She is playing catch-up and has been publicly supporting legalization for all of a year.

Harris has a lengthy history as a prosecutor in California of opposing marijuana legalization. She opposed Proposition 19, the first failed attempt in California to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Here's a quote from her campaign manager when she was running for attorney general in 2010, when Prop. 19 was on the ballot: "Spending two decades in court rooms, Harris believes that drug selling harms communities. Harris supports the legal use of medicinal marijuana but does not support anything beyond that."

In 2014 she actually laughed at a reporter in response to the very idea (pushed by her Republican opponent) of legalized recreational use.

For almost the entirety of Harris' political career, she has been against legalizing pot. Like a lot of politicians, she has only recently come around to recognize the reality that whatever damage marijuana use might cause pales in comparison to the harms created by the government enforcing marijuana laws.

 

Laughable in 2014, a campaign position in 2019.

Better late than never, so welcome Senator Harris!

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Like many drug warriors, Senator Harris got so friggin' high she didn't know what she was listening to.

Quote

In an interview yesterday with the radio show The Breakfast Club, Harris admitted to smoking weed in college ("I did inhale," she said, laughing, "I just broke news!") and that she listened to Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur while getting high. Here's the problem: Harris graduated from Howard in 1986 and law school in 1989. Snoop Dogg, then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, didn't get started until 1992 and Tupac's "career did not take off until the early 1990s when he debuted in Digital Underground's 'Same Song' from the soundtrack to the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble."

 

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Reefer Madness
 

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The no-knock warrant claimed that Fricke had sold marijuana to a confidential informant on February 1. One sale for $20, one for $40.

Fricke is said to have fired four times through the hole the police made in the door with the battering ram, using an AK-47 type pistol. One of the shots hit officer Rittner.

As the officers finished breaking down the door, Fricke said he realized they were police, raised his hands, and surrendered.

...

The case illustrates the dangers of no-knock warrants. It seems likely Fricke would have surrendered to officers and peacefully allowed the search of the house if the officers had knocked peacefully and allowed him time to answer the door.  He quickly surrendered once he was convinced the intruders were actually police.

We do not know what “equipment used in drug sales” might have been. Scales and ziplock baggies are plausible items.

None of the guns are alleged to have been illegal. No fully automatic guns or sawed-off shotguns appear to have been found.

If illegal drugs had been found at the house, it is likely they would have been included in the complaint.

Was Fricke a small-time marijuana dealer? It may be so. Did he illegally sell guns? We do not know for certain. It is possible.

Was the no-knock raid dangerous and unwarranted?

It resulted in the death of Officer Rittner.

Did Fricke act legitimately under the Wisconsin Castle Doctrine law? That may be left up to a jury.  It may depend on whether the jury finds that Fricke was using the dwelling to further criminal activity.

 

Officer Rittner died to preserve evidence of small time weed sales, and the evidence wasn't even found.

I doubt they can get a conviction on the gun sale thing because proving he was "in the business" is likely to be difficult, since he likely was not. There are exemptions for hobbyists, which he likely was.

I don't know about Wisconsin Castle Doctrine but he'd likely be convicted in Florida. He shot through a door. He could not have known who/what he might hit. He hit a cop. And that's why we don't shoot through doors.

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CBD Madness
 

Quote

 

Last week New York City's health department, long the bane of food freedom supporters, banned city restaurants from adding cannabidiol—a compound found in both cannabis and hemp that's commonly known as "CBD"—as an ingredient in food or drinks they sell.

CBD products, purported to offer health benefits to consumers, also offer quite a premium for sellers. A coffee at Bushwick's Caffeine Underground costs $2.50. A CBD-infused coffee—presumably the same coffee with a couple drops of CBD added—will set you back $6.00.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (who is also a potential mayoral candidate) blasted the health department's move this week, saying it "doesn't make any sense."

I agree with Johnson. But considering the health department's long track record of targeting food ingredients—including sugar, salt, and trans fats—the agency's latest turn against CBD is hardly unexpected. Neither is it unique. It follows a similar crackdown last month by Maine's state health department. Other locales, including Detroit, have since jumped on the bandwagon.

But is there any merit to the move? The risks of ingesting CBD, if any, are somewhere between unclear and unconfirmed. Its benefits are better known.

 

That's true about the risks and NY health authorities are probably guarding against a minor threat, but about those benefits...
 

Quote

 

A key element of media and government skepticism of CBDs stems from claims about their seemingly miraculous curative powers. Health websites regularly tout CBD as a marvel substance that can aid everything from digestion to pain relief and cancer prevention. Critics argue that CBD proponents claim falsely the cannabis derivative "cures everything."

Indeed, CBD proponents have become something like the new Paleo or vegan diet evangelists. Like many of the most vocal adherents of those diets, CBD fanatics have been mocked for claiming that CBD products can cure any and every malady—up to and including rigor mortis.

 

It does seem to have a range of uses and I'm open to exploring most of them but rigor mortis?

Whether the "miracle cure" does much (or any) harm doesn't really have any bearing on whether it is being sold based on fraudulent claims.

The "snake oil" salesmen who prompted the Pure Food and Drug Act were making fraudulent claims, mostly about morphine.

 

 

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On 1/30/2019 at 5:50 AM, Contumacious Tom said:

Not so funny: California Governors Still Addicted To Prohibition

 

Quote

 

Before he was elected governor, Gavin Newsom was instrumental in legalizing marijuana for recreational use in California. Now, as he settles into office, he faces the challenge of fixing a system that has been slow to bloom.

But a new report from the state Cannabis Advisory Committee on the first year of legal pot sales in California says there is problem that requires urgent action: “Fragmented and uncoordinated” enforcement has allowed the black market to flourish, threatening licensed business with unfair competition.

“Lack of enforcement is creating a thriving environment for the unregulated ‘underground market,’ ” said the 22-member panel, which was appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.

...

The governor proposed that at least 150 California National Guard troops would be redeployed from the U.S.-Mexico border to join a federally funded Counterdrug Task Force. The new forces would focus on illicit cannabis activity in Northern California.

Newsom said recently that he would address the black market with a carrot-and-stick approach that would “move expeditiously at licensing more and more dispensaries” while also “making sure we go after the bad actors.”

“I want to see more enforcement,” Newsom told reporters two days after the critical advisory committee report was released.

 

As a candidate, he understood that more enforcement wasn't working and never will.

What is threatening licensed businesses with unfair competition? Taxes and regulatory hurdles.

 

Quote

 

So far, the number of sellers and growers getting state licenses is significantly less than many in the industry expected — a result of high taxes, city bans on pot businesses and the large underground market, experts said.

“Enforcement in the past has been expensive and ineffective,” said Hezekiah Allen, the chairman of Emerald Grown, a cooperative of 130 licensed cultivators. “If we had a robust and thriving regulated market, it is possible that enforcement might help. We don’t, though.”

The state Bureau of Cannabis Control, which has licensed 634 pot retailers, has sent out 2,842 cease-and-desist letters to cannabis shops and businesses suspected of operating without state licenses.

 

How about sending out "let us help you get licensed" letters?

 

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On 2/13/2019 at 8:19 AM, Contumacious Tom said:

In 2014 she actually laughed at a reporter in response to the very idea (pushed by her Republican opponent) of legalized recreational use.

I got curious and looked up the video of this, which starts at 1:10

REPORTER: We asked California's top cop, Kamala Harris, for her position on this controversial issue.

INTERVIEWER (To Harris): Your opponent, Ron Gold, said that he is for the legalization of marijuana recreationally. Your thoughts on that?

KAMALA HARRIS: (Pauses) Umm...I...that he's entitled to his opinion. (Laughs)

And a funny opinion it was way back in 2014.

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6 hours ago, Contumacious Tom said:

I got curious and looked up the video of this, which starts at 1:10

REPORTER: We asked California's top cop, Kamala Harris, for her position on this controversial issue.

INTERVIEWER (To Harris): Your opponent, Ron Gold, said that he is for the legalization of marijuana recreationally. Your thoughts on that?

KAMALA HARRIS: (Pauses) Umm...I...that he's entitled to his opinion. (Laughs)

And a funny opinion it was way back in 2014.

I think we should legalize the recreational use of fentanyl and outlaw the use of Narcan.  

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Forget Growing Weed—Make Yeast Spit Out CBD and THC Instead
 

Quote

 

researchers have turned to yeast to do something more improbable: manufacturing the cannabis compounds CBD and THC. By loading brewer’s yeast with genes from the cannabis plant, they’ve turned the miracle microbes into cannabinoid factories.

...

The reason researchers and cannabis companies are interested in alternative ways of producing cannabinoids is that working with the original plant is messy and complicated. First of all, growing the stuff takes a lot of time, water, and energy (if you’re cultivating indoors).

 

And it's against federal law...

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TeamD Presidential Contenders' Reefer Madness
 

Quote

 

...

When Booker introduced this bill in 2017, it went nowhere. Now he's introducing it again, and his six co-sponsors include fellow presidential candidates Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.). (The other two co-sponsors are Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Democrats of Oregon.) Another presidential candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii), previously co-sponsored the House version of the bill.

Booker is also using this bill to promote his presidential run, telling folks to text to a number to get more information, which is a typical tactic to harvest phone numbers for future campaign messages.

Compare this push to the Democratic Party's official platform in 2016, which merely recommended downgrading marijuana so that it didn't have the same classification on the drug schedule as heroin. Bernie Sanders' supporters had to fight for just that. Striking it entirely from the Controlled Substances Act was not on the table, and the goal was to give states some space to experiment.

And that change, as Reason's Jacob Sullum noted back in 2015, was itself a huge deal. Hillary Clinton was ambivalent about full decriminalization, and Sanders' pro-legalization position was almost unprecedented among major-party presidential candidates.

Now six Democratic candidates are looking to completely wipe marijuana out of the Controlled Substance Act, and Booker is actively using that push to draw attention to his campaign.

 

What a long, strange trip it's been.

It was pretty discouraging for my elk when Bill Clinton went with "...I didn't inhale" as a winning line. Obama was depressingly similar to W in his approach to the stupid drug war.

Even in the most recent election, mainstream candidates from the Duopoly pretty much sucked on prohibition with only the radical outsiders looking good to my elk.

On 11/5/2015 at 12:57 PM, Importunate Tom said:
On 10/19/2015 at 8:29 AM, Tom Ray said:

Sanders is the best of the major party candidates on cannabis prohibition

 

First ever to say he would support a state legalization effort.

 

  Quote
Until last week, Sanders sounded a lot like Clinton on marijuana policy, saying he was interested to see what happens in the states where voters have approved legalization. By publicly admitting his support for legalization, he instantly became the pot-friendliest major-party presidential candidate. Even Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the most libertarian candidate in the Republican field, has declined to take a position on the merits of legalization, saying only that the federal government should not try to force pot prohibition on the states.

 

 

If Rand Paul would take a cue from Sanders and say what he actually thinks, I suspect he would say he favors legalization as well. But he doesn't say what he thinks. I guess he hasn't noticed how much support Trump and Sanders have gotten simply by saying what they think.

 

Another hat tip to Bernie Sanders, who has now introduced a bill to end the war on cannabis at the federal level.

 

On 10/31/2015 at 10:17 PM, Importunate Tom said:

 

Bernie Sanders has come out against the war on cannabis and now it's looking like the smartest Republican on this issue is...

 

 

sigh...

 

Donald Trump

 

 

My reaction: WTF, Rand Paul? You deserve to lose to him just for being slow to realize that libertarians are right on this issue, have been for a long time, and the public is starting to realize it.

Sanders and (sigh) Trump were noticeably better than the rest last time.

Big hat tip to all the TeamD Presidential contenders for heading in a sensible direction this time around.

 

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Where's the UNDO button on this stupid drug war?
 

Quote

 

Franklin Roosevelt, who took office in the final year of Prohibition, issued some 1,300 pardons for alcohol-related offenses during his first three terms. As a 1939 report from the Justice Department explained, "pardon may be proper" in light of "changed public opinion after a period of severe penalties against certain conduct which is later looked upon as much less criminal, or as no crime at all." The report cited Prohibition as "a recent example."

That logic made sense to governors as well. When Indiana repealed its alcohol prohibition law in 1933, Gov. Paul McNutt (D) issued pardons or commutations to about 400 people who had been convicted of violating it. "If these men were kept in prison after the liquor law is repealed," he said, "they would be political prisoners."

 

The problem of lingering harm to those guilty of smoking some weed in terms of housing, employment, voting and other less desirable rights, etc. is more of a state level problem and the article delves into how that's (not) going, mostly in states where voters have bypassed Duopoly politicians and ended the drug war via ballot measures.

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On 12/2/2018 at 6:06 AM, Importunate Tom said:

IRS Rule Says Tax Exempt Corporations Can $peak For, Not Against, Prohibition
 

I'm glad that the MPP will apparently not lose their exemption but that seems to present another problem, on top of the viewpoint-based cen$or$hip problem.

Namely, "you didn't get here soon enough" isn't a valid reason to treat a new, competing organization working on the same subject any differently.

The IRS Targets Drug Policy Reformers
 

Quote

 

A recently adopted IRS rule for tax-exempt organizations seems to violate the First Amendment by taking aim at groups that support drug policy reform.

The rule, described in an Internal Revenue Bulletin dated January 2, 2018, says the IRS will deny tax-exempt status to "an organization whose purpose is directed to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business relating to an activity involving controlled substances (within the meaning of schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by Federal law regardless of its legality under the law of the state in which such activity is conducted."

As Washington, D.C., lawyers David Rivkin and Randal Meyer pointed out in The Wall Street Journal, that language arguably covers organizations that advocate legalization of marijuana (or any other prohibited substance) or favor looser restrictions on certain prescription medications, both of which would improve "business conditions" for companies that sell those drugs. The exclusion also seems to encompass advocacy of less ambitious reforms, such as allowing state-licensed marijuana merchants to deduct business expenses on their federal income tax returns or changing the laws and regulations that discourage banks from serving such businesses.

...

Asked to clarify the aim, scope, and legal basis of the rule, an IRS spokesman promised a reply or a firm "no comment" but delivered neither.

 

The lack of an IRS response is understandable.

I'd have a heck of a time thinking of a justification for this obvious viewpoint-based discrimination.

"You can't $ay bad things about federal laws you think are bad" just isn't going to fly in court, especially if saying good things about those same laws is allowed.

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22 hours ago, Importunate Tom said:

Where's the UNDO button on this stupid drug war?
 

The problem of lingering harm to those guilty of smoking some weed in terms of housing, employment, voting and other less desirable rights, etc. is more of a state level problem and the article delves into how that's (not) going, mostly in states where voters have bypassed Duopoly politicians and ended the drug war via ballot measures.

Pesky constitution.

The UNDO button violates it
 

Quote

 

...

Margaret Love, a former U.S. pardon attorney who runs the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, says that phrasing is legally questionable.

"We took some time to look carefully at potential constitutional questions raised under Article III and separation of powers where a law purports to direct a federal court to take a specific action in a case that has been finally decided, with no motion from either party," Love writes in an email. "While there is some authority that might support a court's compliance with such a directive as a housekeeping matter, despite the absence of a case or controversy, the separation of powers issues raised by mandating specific court action make the bill as drafted constitutionally problematic."

Love suggests this language, which she says would still be "a bit problematic": "Upon the motion of any party, or upon a court's own motion after giving any notice it considers appropriate, the court shall issue an order expunging each conviction for a marijuana use or possession offense entered by the court before the date of enactment of this Act." Requiring a motion would make expungement mandatory but not quite automatic.

California's approach to expungement of marijuana records might offer an alternative to the language in Booker's bill. Under a law enacted last year, the state Department of Justice is required to "review the records in the state summary criminal history information database and to identify past convictions that are potentially eligible for recall or dismissal of sentence, dismissal and sealing, or redesignation." The review has to be completed by July 1, 2019, at which point prosecutors have a year to object. If there is no challenge within a year, the court "shall reduce or dismiss the conviction." Love says an approach like that is "much better because the manner of presentation to the court involves a motion by government," although there might still be "separation of powers issues."

 

It does seem to be a separation of powers problem.

What if the legislature simply directed the Governor to pardon those people instead of directing the courts to dismiss convictions? They would have usurped the pardon power, obviously.

Telling the court what to do with settled cases isn't that different from telling the Governor what to do with the power to pardon.

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How Florida Fixed The UNDO Problem
 

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In 2014, the Florida legislature reduced mandatory minimums for drug trafficking and increased the thresholds necessary to trigger them, but lawmakers were barred from making those changes apply retroactively thanks to an obscure provision in the Florida Constitution. This meant that there was no way for lawmakers to reduce sentence lengths that they no longer considered just.

However, in November, Florida voters passed Amendment 11, a ballot initiative to repeal the so-called "savings clause," and now lawmakers' hands are free.

Along with the Florida First Step Act, Democrat Sen. Daryl Rousson has introduced another bill, S.B. 704, that would automatically make future criminal justice reforms retroactive, and it would make all past reforms, such as the 2014 legislation, apply to people currently in prison. That would mean freedom for inmates like Caruso.

The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, which has opposed similar reform proposals in the past, did not respond to a request for comment on the legislation.

 

The article is mostly about how we're still slowly fixing it with the First Step Act, which is well named.

We need a lot more steps toward ridding our prisons of people whose only "crime" was having some weed or some pills.

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New Mexico Legalizing The Weird Way

Politicians are doing it instead of the people going around them to do it.

Quote

New Mexico could thus become the 11th state to permit the possession and use of recreational pot. The other legalization states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia. This would be only the second time recreational marijuana was legalized via the legislature instead of a ballot initiative. In 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize recreational pot this way.

An entrenched government program that has lost popular support can still have a lot of political support from those who live off the boondoggle. That's why the vast majority of change on this issue is coming via ballot initiatives: they're a way around politicians who are too comfortable with the status quo to change anything.

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Two Good Ideas

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Gabbard and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) are cosponsoring the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would take marijuana off the federal government's list of controlled substances and, importantly, would step aside to allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit. The two lawmakers also introduced the Marijuana Data Collection Act, which authorizes the study of legal recreational and medical marijuana programs in various states, with the intention of analyzing how legalization impacts state revenues, public health, criminal justice, and other key issues.

...

Unlike some of the other members of Congress seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, Gabbard's support for ending marijuana prohibition isn't an awkward political evolution conveniently timed to appeal to Democratic voters—and, indeed, all Americans—who are increasingly in favor of legalization. She introduced a similar bill to de-schedule marijuana at the federal level in 2017, and it became the first marijuana legalization bill in U.S. history to have bipartisan support. Despite that, it did not receive a vote in the House.

Time will tell whether this year's bill faces a different fate, but already its chances seem better. The Democratic takeover of the House in last year's elections is one good sign, but a more important one might have been the defeat of former House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who for years blocked marijuana bills. He lost to Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), who made marijuana a major issue in his successful campaign against the longtime incumbent.

Sessions' defeat was a necessary sphincterectomy, as noted upthread:

On 11/8/2018 at 5:25 AM, Importunate Tom said:
Quote

Emblematic of this shift was the defeat of House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), an unreconstructed drug warrior whom Kampia calls "the sphincter who has constipated all marijuana bills and amendments in the House in recent years." Sessions was defeated by Democrat Colin Allred, a medical marijuana supporter who has criticized Sessions' anti-pot prejudices.

 

Hee hee. That's a colorful and accurate way to put it and sphincter is just a funny word. Apologies for another partisan rant promoting TeamR.

 

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Why are all the usual sphincters so quiet on this thread; hello?  

"Would a sphincter, by any other name, smell as ....

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Watch Missouri Police Search a Cancer Patient's Hospital Room for Marijuana
 

Quote

 

Spoiler alert: They didn't find any.

...What's troubling is that this incident supposedly warranted a police response in the first place. Even if Sousley had been smoking marijuana (which he probably wasn't), the easiest way to solve this would have been for the hospital to tell him to do it outside.

The possibility that a cancer patient is lighting up should not be a police issue.

 

Medical marijuana use is almost legal in Missouri, but not quite.

And meanwhile, police have to protect us from Reefer Madness!

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10 minutes ago, hermetic said:
On 3/15/2019 at 10:23 PM, Sean said:

Colorado joins the party - https://www.denverpost.com/2019/03/15/jared-polis-national-popular-vote-colorado/

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs National Popular Vote Act

 

maybe all legal weed states should punt their vote for president


Nah, states that reject failed big government programs that erode our rights while exacerbating the problem they're supposed to solve are setting a far better example than stupid drug warrior states.

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On 2/20/2019 at 7:04 AM, Importunate Tom said:

REPORTER: We asked California's top cop, Kamala Harris, for her position on this controversial issue.

INTERVIEWER (To Harris): Your opponent, Ron Gold, said that he is for the legalization of marijuana recreationally. Your thoughts on that?

KAMALA HARRIS: (Pauses) Umm...I...that he's entitled to his opinion. (Laughs)

And a funny opinion it was way back in 2014.

Her opinion has changed and that's funny too, apparently.

Quote

When asked whether she supports marijuana legalization during an interview on the syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club last month, Harris, a California senator, replied, "Half my family is from Jamaica; are you kidding me?" Asked whether she had ever smoked marijuana, she said, "I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale. It was a long time ago."

So she secretly agreed with the guy she mocked a few years ago, but lacked the courage to say so at the time.

Understandable. Saying you agree with libertarians is dangerous stuff for an elected official, even if the majority of voters agree.

Cory Booker is right that it's really not that funny.

Quote

Cory Booker, one of her rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also was not amused. "We have presidential candidates—senators—bragging about their pot use while there are kids who can't get a job because they have a nonviolent offense," the New Jersey senator said on MSNBC last night.

 

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Gillibrand on drug prohibition fundamentals
 

Quote

 

In response to a backlash against her bill imposing a nationwide seven-day limit on initial prescriptions of opioids for acute pain, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) suggests she is open to changes that would address the concerns raised by critics. Gillibrand's acknowledgment of the criticism is encouraging, but her response seems confused, wrongheaded, and disingenuous.

"I want to get this right," the presidential contender writes on Medium, "and I believe that we can have legislation to help combat the opioid epidemic and the over-prescription of these powerful drugs without affecting treatment for those who need this medication. I fundamentally believe that all health care should be between doctors and patients, and this bill is not intended to interfere with these decisions but to ensure doctors prescribe opioids with a higher level of scrutiny, given their highly addictive and dangerous effects."

 

Putting the scrutiny of a bureaucrat between doctors and patients is interfering.

 

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I thought I was the only one using the anachronistic "marihuana" spelling, and I usually do it in reference to the tax act that started our stupid war on weed.

I guess Michigan still does it.

 

Quote

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order last Friday abolishing the politically appointed Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB) and creating an agency to oversee the regulation of both medical and recreational marijuana.

This is a good move, given that the Licensing Board was woefully inefficient at granting licenses and crafting rules to fulfill the Michigan’s demands for legal marijuana as demonstrated by the passage of Proposal 1 in last year’s midterm election.

...

by Sept. 15, more than 300 applications awaited the board’s decision. Yet it still took a court order to force the licensing board to push back the deadline back to Dec. 15. The deadline was eventually extended to Jan. 1 and now sits at March 31.

...

Under the board, licenses are also expensive and include a $48,000 regulatory assessment fee and a $6,000 application fee just to get started on the 10 stage process.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency should work to reduce the cost of licensing pot businesses while also streamlining the application process.

Though Whitmer’s order will likely improve marijuana licensing, she should have taken the matter to the state Legislature, which in 2016 passed a bill that included the medical marijuana board. The state constitution does not permit a governor to overturn legislation with executive orders. She should work with the Legislature to reconcile state law with the provisions of her executive order.

 

Her order should be tossed due to the last paragraph but they should try a new approach.

"Pay $54,000 and we'll get back to you in September January the end of March."

Or, ignore all that and continue operating in the black market. Tough choice.

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LA Crackdown
 

Quote

 

It tells us something about California's hamfisted implementation of the state's new recreational marijuana law that L.A.'s mayor is now talking about spending millions more in police enforcement to fight a marijuana black market that likely wouldn't exist if state regulations weren't so terrible.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he may ask for an increase in police and enforcement funding to shut down all the unlicensed, illegally operating pot shops in the city.

Why would a city that has legalized recreational marijuana consider a potential tenfold jump in police spending—from $3 million to $30 million—aimed at prosecuting marijuana offenders? Because L.A.'s regulations are so difficult to comply with that the city remains full of illegal pot businesses.

...

L.A. has done a terrible job setting up the bureaucracy that allows people to get licenses to legally operate. The Los Angeles Times reported in February that people who have tried to open their shops legally have been thwarted by bureaucratic slow-rolling. Many applicants have been waiting for more than a year for permission to open their stores. Some have just given up and gone elsewhere. Others are simply taking advantage of the demand and the city's inability to consistently control the market and operating unlicensed storefronts.

The result? 80 percent of California marijuana sales are happening on the black market rather through legal vendors. Licensed vendors understandably want Garcetti to do something about that, but rather than addressing high taxes and excessive red tape, he's insisting there needs to be even more punishment.

 

I wonder what would happen if they spent $27 million dollars expediting the applications of those who want to do business legally?

I don't wonder whether another $27 millon tossed in the drug war toilet will do any good. It won't. It will do harm, as usual.

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Going to Burning Man? That's probable cause.

Quote

 

One of the demands in particular raises serious Fourth Amendment issues. A section quoted in full from Burning Man Event Special Recreation Permit Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Volume Two:

At all portals of entry into the Event, beginning 14 days before Labor Day, BRC [shorthand for the company running the event] will be required to contract a BLM-approved, independent, third-party, private security to screen vehicles and participants, vendors and contractors, and staff and volunteers entering the Event. Thirdparty, private security will report Closure Order violations, to include weapons and illegal drugs, directly to law enforcement as violations are observed so that law enforcement can respond. Third-party, private security will provide an Event summary report to the BLM within 30 days of the end of the Event

The most eye-raising part bolded. The BLM wants to demand as a permit condition from this private business that the business hire private security to conduct unwarranted searches of all 70,000 Burning Man attendees without probable cause as a condition of entry into this section of public land...

The BLM specifically spells out that part of the purpose of this requirement is to find illegal drugs, so it can't claim it's all about preserving public lands. The BLM also requires that the private security hired by Burning Man deliver law violators to government law enforcement. The nexus between the government demand and the warrantless searches without any public safety connection is therefore very clear, though the BLM bureaucrats may have thought they cleverly created plausible deniability by demanding a permit applicant hire another private firm to conduct the searches, rather than conducting the searches itself.

I ran the search demand by John Wesley Hall, a practicing trial lawyer and author of the book Search and Seizure. While nothing is a certain result with constitutional law until specific cases have been considered by specific judges, he sees potential problems with the demand.

"Sounds to me like they are essentially delegating to private authorities" what is actually their own demand, he says, "therefore, [it is] a government mandated search."

 

And about as likely to be effective as any other aspect of drug prohibition.

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More on California's laudable efforts to UNDO SOMETHING

Quote

Statements from District Attorney Jackie Lacey of Los Angeles County and District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar of San Joaquin County announced that the counties were teaming up with Code for America to automatically dismiss or reduce 54,000 weed-related convictions. The initiative would seek to harmonize the criminal justice system with the new legalization rules.

54k sounds like a good start to me.

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You can call a bong a bong in New Mexico now
 

Quote

 

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed legislation on Wednesday that decriminalizes the possession of both small quantities of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. According to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the signing of SB 323 makes New Mexico the first state in the country to repeal penalties for paraphernalia.

...

"Decriminalizing drug paraphernalia will not only save taxpayers money and free up law enforcement resources – it will prioritize health and safety over punishment and begin to reduce the stigma associated with problematic drug use," said DPA's New Mexico State Director Emily Kaltenbach in a press release. "Since many items that are characterized as paraphernalia have multiple uses, these laws have been subject to abuse, allowing police to be very selective in their enforcement – disproportionately harming black, brown and Native communities."

 

So ridiculous. I can buy a bong in Florida. I just have to call it a water pipe and pretend I intend to use it for tobacco.

By the way, for those who didn't get curious in high school, smoking tobacco through a bong is a really bad idea.

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Reminiscing About Biden
 

Quote

 

On Wednesday, the same day Biden put out a video statement responding to criticisms of his wandering hands, journalist Ziad Jilani tweeted a 1991 Senate floor speech made by the then-senator from Delaware.

Though the clip is only a minute long, Biden manages to brag about his role in some of the worst tough-on-crime policies around, including civil asset forfeiture, mandatory minimum sentencing, and an expanded federal death penalty.

 

In 1991, much like today, I thought the drug war stupid and harmful.

I thought civil asset forfeiture was police looting.

I thought mandatory minimums made as much sense as having only one size of underwear in the world.

And I thought people like Duterte who want to put drug dealers to death were sicko's.

I still think those things and am glad some of the Duopoly have sorta come around on some of that stuff.

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A bit of progress in Texas
 

Quote

 

...Hemp is often times mistaken or confused for Marijuana because the two look and smell alike, but hemp lacks the THC component that makes a person feel high when consumed.

...

The declassification, according to legal experts, doesn’t allow the farming or manufacturing of hemp in the state, but it is a step in that direction.

Lisa Pittman, a leading attorney in the regulation of marijuana and hemp, says there is current legislation making it’s its way through law makers in Austin to allow the farming of hemp in Texas.

If the legislation clear farming of hemp could be allowed in the state as early as next year.

 

Regrettably, that progress doesn't appear to include journalists who have made it out of high school.

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You can buy weed in California.

Just not, you know, in a store. Or via home delivery, according to 24 cities.

This is part of the American tradition of attacking the money through regulation in order to effect a ban.

Sure, you can have an abortion. Just not, you know, in a clinic. Sure, you can have a gun. Just not, you know, from a store. Sure, you can express yourself all you want. You just can't pay to expre$$ yourself, not that this has anything to do with cen$or$hip.

Quote

"The negative impact delivery bans would have on the industry and the state cannot be understated," Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association tells the Los Angeles Times, warning that a ban on deliveries would force users "into the illicit market."

This seems to me like evidence that the time for a bong hit is AFTER you talk to a reporter.
 

Quote

 

Opponents of home marijuana delivery argue that when Prop. 64 let local governments ban marijuana-related businesses, that naturally included marijuana delivery businesses. Their lawsuit also points to a failed bill last year that would have kept local governments from prohibiting home marijuana deliveries, saying this is evidence that existing law gives local governments that power.

Supporters of home delivery point out that Prop. 64 did not let local governments ban the transportation of marijuana through their jurisdictions. A law passed by the California legislature further establishes that "a local jurisdiction shall not prevent delivery of cannabis or cannabis products on public roads."

The lawsuit argues that even if cities can't regulate deliveries on public roads, they still have the power to pass rules on what happens at private addresses.

 

It's hard to distill what defines the nanny state better than the bolded bit there.

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My wife and I abandoned the failed state of California after 50 years farming there. The left wing government there is busy trying to regulate everything. Even telling us how to grow our crops, and charging us "fees" for their service. Marijuana and gun control are big goals of the legislators. Unfortunately the bureaucracies charged with carrying out their endless fiat regulations have proven to be incompetent on all three issues I mentioned. The state government is so corrupt and ineffective, that the lessons learned there will be, "how not to do it".  The nation should learn that government telling everyone how to do everything causes more problems than it solves. MJ is a prime example. It's being grown everywhere, unregulated, and far beyond  the control of the suits in Sacramenna. My comments come from first hand knowledge. It used to be a great state. Now it is crashing and burning. The failed Oroville Dam or the tragic fires  of "paradise lost"  or out of control immigration,  or rigged voting...just a few examples of FUBAR.

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Florida is going to sink soon with all those Californians looking for a better life.

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9 hours ago, wade hough said:

My wife and I abandoned the failed state of California after 50 years farming there. The left wing government there is busy trying to regulate everything. Even telling us how to grow our crops, and charging us "fees" for their service. Marijuana and gun control are big goals of the legislators. Unfortunately the bureaucracies charged with carrying out their endless fiat regulations have proven to be incompetent on all three issues I mentioned. The state government is so corrupt and ineffective, that the lessons learned there will be, "how not to do it".  The nation should learn that government telling everyone how to do everything causes more problems than it solves. MJ is a prime example. It's being grown everywhere, unregulated, and far beyond  the control of the suits in Sacramenna. My comments come from first hand knowledge. It used to be a great state. Now it is crashing and burning. The failed Oroville Dam or the tragic fires  of "paradise lost"  or out of control immigration,  or rigged voting...just a few examples of FUBAR.

Seems to me like without a HUGE investment long ago, in water infrastructure, the Oroville Dam among many others would not have existed. The problem is poor priorities by gov't; same as with the forest fires.

I have family that run a horse farm south of San Fran, it would be a desert -except- for the Federal water projects make it possible to live there.

Seems to me like the more more you know, the more you should want to keep things running smoothly. It costs what it costs, libby-rull or conservative don't really matter in that regard

-DSK

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AG Barr: Not Quite As Bad As Jeff Sessions

Damning with faint praise there but a little progress is better than none I suppose. That attitude has carried me through since opponents of cannabis prohibition were a small minority.
 

Quote

 

...

"Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana but, if there is not sufficient consensus to obtain that, then I think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can make their own decisions within the framework of the federal law and so we're not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law," he said.

Barr's comments seem to indicate that he's taking a more realistic approach to the question of state-legal weed than did his predecessor: committed drug warrior Jeff Sessions, who had threatened a crackdown on marijuana businesses in states where weed is legal after rescinding an Obama-era memo that advised federal prosecutors to leave state-legal marijuana businesses alone. During his confirmation hearings, Barr said he would not support such a crackdown on state-legal marijuana businesses, though he stopped short of promising to re-implement the Obama-era policy.

Barr's comments on Wednesday are also more in line with President Donald Trump's expressed views on the topic. Trump said last year he would "probably" support an earlier version of the STATES Act if it reached his desk—and Barr seems to be echoing that same supportive-but-not-endorsing sentiment.

And that's just fine! If the best the federal government can muster is a promise to stop interfering in state-level marijuana policies, it would be a marked improvement on the past four decades of policy.

 

Marked improvement? Yes. Just fine? Not to me as there's a lot more to be UNDONE.

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What happens when Puritans and regulators are more concerned with the fact that some people might enjoy altering their minds than the fact that some people suffer intractable pain?

Nothing good, usually.

Quote

Acknowledging the suffering caused by "misinterpretation" of the opioid prescribing guidelines it published in 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday sought to clarify that it never recommended imposing involuntary dose reductions on chronic pain patients. In a letter to physicians who had objected to that widespread practice, CDC Director Robert Redfield emphasized that his agency "does not endorse mandated or abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation, as these actions can result in patient harm." Redfield described several steps the CDC is taking to research the impact of its guidelines and correct misunderstandings that have led to abrupt withdrawal, undertreated pain, denial of care, and in some cases suicide.

Widespread "misinterpretation" by health professionals occurred because those health professionals are not stupid and realized that they were targets of drug warriors and reacted by dramatically reducing dosages that were above Puritan-approved levels.

In managing the government-created risk, they greatly increased risk to patients.

But it's important to remember that it was the health professionals who made a mistake here. The government did nothing wrong, they were just misinterpreted by "professionals" who should have known that the regulation didn't mean what it clearly implied.

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Hat Tip To Canada For Making Weed Boring
 

Quote

 

The time passed since the end of prohibition hasn’t been long enough to establish any direct consequences from legalization so far, but one thing has already become painfully clear from Canada’s experiment. When you make pot legal, you make it super, super boring.

...

Other than new signs at the airport warning the more dull-witted Canadian citizens to dispense of their marijuana in the appropriate receptacles before leaving the country, it was hard to notice any real change after the passage of the marijuana laws. The pot dispensaries, semi-underground before the end of prohibition, were supposed to disappear, but went on just as before. They’ve just becoming increasingly polished. The place where I buy my weed looks like a Pottery Barn, and it was so busy the other day that they gave me one of those buzzers they hand out at Shake Shack to tell you when your order is ready. I had to wait twenty minutes.

It’s also money that’s making pot boring. Recently, I went to a champagne-and-hot-wings party—a superb concept, by the way—in a wealthy neighborhood in Toronto, and it felt like half the people attending were in the cannabis industry in one way or another; many of them had transitioned from hedge funds. Marijuana stocks have overtaken real estate as the standard conversational go-to of Toronto dinner parties. And you have not understood how banal marijuana can be until you overhear two parents watching their kids at a swimming lesson discuss how I.S.O. 9000 certification affects the marketing efforts for stocks of C.B.D.-extract companies.

“Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are turning their lifelong passion into superior elevated products with the launch of Houseplant,” an e-mail informed me last month. “After five years of diligent hands-on work, Seth and Evan are proud to be delivering the highest quality cannabis products to Canadians in partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation.” “Superbad” is about to have its own brand of weed! And they’re proud of being attached to a corporation. It sullies the whole experience, never mind the movie.

 

I think that corporate press release must be some kind of international crime or drug trafficking treaty violation so that makes me feel a bit less bored.

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Carl’s Jr. will test a CBD-infused burger
 

Quote

 

The limited-time offer makes Carl’s Jr. the first national fast food chain to add CBD-infused food to its menu. In another nod to the marijuana holiday, the burger will sell for $4.20

...

Most products that contain CBD became legal in December when President Donald Trump signed the farm bill. However, chefs eager to cook with the ingredient have had to operate under the radar because the Food and Drug Administration prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages. The agency will hold its first public hearing next month to decide how it will regulate CBD.

In the meantime, local health departments across the country, from Los Angeles to New York City, have been cracking down on restaurants that sell on CBD-infused food and drinks.

 

"sell on" seems weird there.

I found that article from this one.

Quote

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, CBD does not get you "high," but it can anxiety.

It can, huh?

I think some authors on this subject are showing early signs of reefer madness.

But good for Carl's Jr anyway.

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Reefer Madness, BTW, is not dead yet


 

Quote

 

Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, by Alex Berenson, Free Press, 272 pages, $26

"Harry Anslinger might have been a racist jerk," Alex Berenson writes in his anti-pot polemic Tell Your Children, but "he was right about marijuana." It's a bold thesis given some of the things Anslinger said about marijuana while he was running the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

In a 1934 report to a League of Nations committee, Anslinger wrote that "fifty percent of the violent crimes committed in districts occupied by Mexicans, Turks, Filipinos, Greeks, Spaniards, Latin-Americans and Negroes may be traced to the abuse of marihuana." He quoted a California police official who said the weed "gives men the lust to kill, unreasonably, without motive—for the sheer sake of murder itself."

In 1937, Anslinger warned in The American Magazine that marijuana users "may often develop a delirious rage during which they are temporarily and violently insane," resulting in "a desire for self-destruction or a persecution complex to be satisfied only by the commission of some heinous crime." He blamed marijuana for armed robberies, "degenerate sex attacks," the random killing of an elderly bootblack, cold-blooded murders of police officers, and a rampage in which a young man hacked his entire family to death with an ax.

"How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries, and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year," Anslinger wrote, "can be only conjectured." But it was clear, he said, that "there must be constant enforcement and equally constant education against this enemy, which has a record of murder and terror running through the centuries."

That same year, as Congress was considering a marijuana ban in the guise of a tax bill, Anslinger's agency told legislators the drug "frequently leads to insanity," resulting in "revolting crimes." Anslinger testified that "in some cases one [marijuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania" and "all the experts agree that continued use leads to insanity."

Berenson, a novelist and former New York Times reporter, agrees with Anslinger about pretty much all of that, although he is less inclined to emphasize the ethnicity of reefer-crazed rapists and murderers.

 

 

"Might have been??"

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California has lots of regulations on businesses

And they're doing an interesting juggling act, simultaneously trying to encourage and trying to strangle their legal cannabis industry.

I see it as a good thing. Yeah, they're going too far and Puritans and NIMBY warriors are fighting misguided battles and screwing things up but that's a feature, not a bug, of legal markets.

Black markets have different rules. Jeff helpfully started a thread that is largely about the results. With all the faults, legal markets are better.

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The Hunt For Stoned Drivers

It's a vexing problem and at the moment we're probably punishing lots of people needlessly, as the opening anecdote in the article shows.
 

Quote

 

'It Basically Slows Everything'

Laboratory experiments show marijuana affects cognitive abilities that are related to driving. "The most important one is executive function," says Marilyn Huestis, a forensic toxicologist who spent 23 years at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where she studied the effects of cannabis consumption. Executive function refers to "the set of higher-order processes (such as inhibitory control, working memory, and attentional flexibility) that govern goal-directed action and adaptive responses to novel, complex, or ambiguous situations," as the textbook Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience puts it. "All aspects of executive function are affected by cannabis," Huestis says. "It basically slows everything."

In experimental studies that look at performance on driving simulators or road tests, the most common cannabis effects include increased reaction time, greater weaving within the lane, and poorer performance on tasks that require divided attention. Subjects under the influence of marijuana, unlike those under the influence of alcohol, tend to be aware of their impairment and try to compensate for it by driving more slowly and cautiously. ...

 

That's like texting while driving less.

No. Don't do it at all.

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5 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Now can't be a good citizen because you use marijuana. https://www.thedailybeast.com/on-420-some-celebrate-pot-feds-say-immigrants-with-ties-to-it-can-be-denied-citizenship?ref=home

Quote

Just as the reefer smokers of the world mark 4/20, also known as ‘national pot day,’ the U.S. government has issued new guidance on migrants and marijuana. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued the guidance Friday noting that immigrants involved in any “marijuana-related activities,” even those that are legal, could be found to lack “good moral character,” according to CBS News. Those activities include both legal and illegal possession, manufacturing, distribution or dispensing of marijuana-related products. In the U.S., 33 states and the District of Columbia now allow the use of medical marijuana and 10 states and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana for adults. Marijuana remains illegal under federal laws, and “federal law does not recognize the decriminalization of marijuana for any purpose, even in places where state or local law does,” as a Schedule I controlled substance regardless of any actions to decriminalize its possession, use, or sale at the state and local level,” a USCIS spokeswoman told CBS News Saturday.

Now we're getting into "moral turpitude" territory.

Prohibition programs feature that same moral turpentine problem in lots of ways, and not just with respect to immigrants.

Bankers and insurers don't want to deal with cannabusinesses because what might be legal in one state might also involve a federal crime. And therefore a conspiracy to commit a federal crime in an organized way across state lines. RICO.

More broadly, it's always, "you're violating the sacred prohibition so you're bad."

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