Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

Pertinacious Tom

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Gold Coast couple unapologetic about giving 13 year boy cannabis


Amanda Abate - 7News Brisbane on June 18, 2016, 7:43 pm

For most of his life Joseph has suffered seizures so severe he’s broken his arms and legs around 10 times.

The only drug that has worked is cannabis oil.

“Joseph has now been 20 months seizure free.”

https://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/31866731/gold-coast-couple-unapologetic-about-giving-13-year-boy-cannabis/#page1
Lots of people have to give loved ones dangerous drugs. Generally a lot more dangerous than cannabis and often far less effective, as in this case. Yet it's noteworthy that these parents don't apologize.

Drug warriors should apologize for putting people into their situation. But they too are unapologetic. We'll keep electing them.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Gary Johnson will lose some libertarian votes over this

During a CNN town hall last week, a member of the audience asked Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, about heroin legalization. Although the former New Mexico governor correctly pointed out that prohibition makes heroin use more dangerous, he disclaimed any interest in repealing it, saying his legalization agenda is limited to marijuana. He thereby undercut the utilitarian case against drug prohibition and missed an opportunity to make a moral case for individual freedom.
I think we should start with cannabis prohibition because it's the most obviously stupid and ending it enjoys popular support.

But we shouldn't stop there. Drug prohibition just makes prohibited drugs more dangerous.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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DEA's Deep Throat Floating Trial Balloons About A Decision They Already Made

In a follow-up article published on July 4, the Santa Monica Observer's Stan Greene offers a notably different account of what would happen if the DEA moved marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. While the original "groundbreaking article" (as Greene modestly describes it) said that change ""will have the effect of making THC products legal with a prescription in all 50 states," the new article, which features quotes from a second interview with the unidentified "DEA lawyer," says "moving marijuana to Schedule II is all about allowing people to do clinical research." The lawyer, whom Greene calls "Deep Throat," notes that any cannabis-derived medicine will "have to go through the same trials as anything else," saying "exhaustive scientific studies" will be required to survive "the FDA wringer." In other words, rescheduling marijuana will have no immediate impact on its availability as a medicine. The production, distribution, and consumption of marijuana for medical purposes (or any other purpose) will still be prohibited by federal law, regardless of what state law says.

Deep Throat also casts doubt on whether the change he predicts will actually happen, saying, "There's a reason I'm talking to you today, and it's to float a few trial balloons." Federal officials floating trial balloons usually do not announce that is what they're doing, and they usually do not do it in the Santa Monica Observer. Nor is it clear exactly whose trial balloons these are, since the lawyer "was not authorized to speak to the press." Furthermore, the idea that Deep Throat is floating trial balloons seems inconistent with his claim that "the decision has already been made."
I think the DEA will deny the petitions for rescheduling, tossing the ball to Congress, where there will surely be a sit-in.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Trump, Clinton, Stein, and Johnson on Prohibition

They all sorta agree on cannabis policy and agree that any reforms should be limited to cannabis.

"We are not espousing the legalization of any drugs outside of marijuana," Johnson, the former CEO of a cannabis company, said during a CNN town hall last month. Pressed about whether he and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor William Weld, want to legalize drugs such as heroin, he said they would "keep the drugs illegal" while trying to reduce the harm caused by prohibition, which sounds similar to Jill Stein's position.


Johnson's campaign website likewise says "Johnson and Weld do not support the legalization of other recreational drugs that are currently illegal." But it also says, referring to the Founders, "Imagine their shock to learn that the government has decided it is appropriate to tell adults what they can put in their bodies." That, of course, is exactly what the government is doing when it "keep the drugs illegal."
And speaking of those illegal drugs, we're convicting people based on unreliable field tests.

...Despite the dubious nature of the evidence against her, Albritton ended up taking a plea deal that involved a 45-day jail sentence after she was told that she otherwise could spend up to two years behind bars. She ultimately spent just three weeks in jail, but that was the least of her punishment. She lost her job as the manager of an apartment complex in Monroe, Louisiana, and her new status as a felon made it impossible to find steady work that paid nearly as well, which in turn made it difficult to care for a son with cerebral palsy. Her whole life was upended by a crumb on the floor of her car that a lab test later found was not any sort of illegal drug. Albritton had no idea she had been exonerated until Gabrielson and Sanders tracked her down and got in touch with her.

In addition to the unreliability of field tests, Albritton's case illustrates the power that cops have thanks to excessive judicial faith in drug-sniffing dogs. Police supposedly stopped her car, which her boyfriend was driving, because he had failed to signal a lane change. It turned out the boyfriend did not have a driver's license, but the registration showed Albritton was the car's owner, making her presumptively responsible for any drugs police might find in it. At this point the cops had no justification for searching the car, as became clear when they asked her permission. Albritton consented to the search partly because she knew she was not carrying any drugs but also because one of the officers said that otherwise he would bring in a police dog. The implication was clear: Either he would search the car based on her "consent," or he would search it based on the dog's purported "alert," which like the field test might or might not actually indicate the presence of contraband.

One point that Gabrielson and Sanders do not make in their otherwise excellent exposé: It would be utterly absurd and unjust to lock Albritton up and ruin her life even if the speck of material on the floor of her car (which weighed in at less than two-hundredths of a gram) had contained cocaine. But whether or not they have anything to do with illegal drugs, Americans should be alarmed by the the fact that police have the power to stop your car at will, search it at will (assuming they have a dog or use the threat of one to obtain your consent), incriminate you with a test so unreliable that its results cannot be used in court, and railroad you into a felony conviction.
It's impossible to reduce this kind of harm while keeping those drugs illegal. It's disappointing that Gary Johson doesn't see that.

 

Olsonist

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America’s Democratic Party ready to legalize marijuana

America’s millions of cannabis consumers and allies scored a major victory Saturday in Orlando when the committee in charge of the Democratic Party’s official platform approved a measure calling for ending pot’s federal status as the world’s most dangerous drug, as well as “a reasoned pathway to future legalization.”


http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/12/americas-democratic-party-ready-to-legalize-marijuana/

Meanwhile from the other member of the duopoly

Republican delegates unanimously adopted an amendment to their draft platform Monday morning that called pornography “a public health crisis” and a “public menace” that is destroying lives.

I swear, you can't tell these parties apart.

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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America’s Democratic Party ready to legalize marijuana

America’s millions of cannabis consumers and allies scored a major victory Saturday in Orlando when the committee in charge of the Democratic Party’s official platform approved a measure calling for ending pot’s federal status as the world’s most dangerous drug, as well as “a reasoned pathway to future legalization.”


http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/12/americas-democratic-party-ready-to-legalize-marijuana/

...
I'm not sure how moving it from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, as Hillary advocates, is a reasoned pathway to future legalization. It would be an improvement and it's about time.

I have a more direct and reasonable path: Just Say No To Prohibition.

Kinda catchy, huh?

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Medical Marijuana Fails To Make GOP Platform

...Medical cannabis has greatly improved the lives of patients with debilitating conditions, noted delegates in favor of the measure. They also said children “are being saved” by hemp products because their conditions often can’t be controlled with any other substance. ...
Opponents, presumably citing Reefer Madness, claimed that legalizing medical use would cause kids to become mass murderers.

No, really, I didn't make that up. That's really what they claimed and is really the argument that won the day for the GOP platform.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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They're slowly coming around...

Darren White resigned from Gary Johnson’s administration over the then-governor’s push for marijuana legalization. Now, White thinks that Johnson should be the next president.

Last Thursday, just before the end of the Republican National Convention, White took to Twitter to announce his support for Johnson.

“This year I can’t back the GOP,” White wrote. “And I’m not alone.”

...

“I think the endorsement by him implies he is on board with recreational marijuana.” Johnson told NM Political Report in a text message. “Not sure if that is the case.”

“Oh yeah, I’m on board with it,” White told NM Political Report with the caveat that he wants it to be done in a thoughtful and cautious manner.

White served as the state secretary of the Department of Public Safety under Johnson’s administration. After his resignation, White would go on to run for Congress as a Republican.

He also served under Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry as the city’s chief public safety officer. Berry is a Republican, though Albuquerque municipal elections are officially non-partisan.

More recently, White announced his role in Purlife, a medical marijuana company in New Mexico. The move that prompted Johnson to label White a hypocrite.

White publicly distanced himself from Johnson when White resigned as secretary of the Department of Public Safety after Johnson spoke in favor of legalizing marijuana in 1999...
Better late than never. Too many drug warriors are still sticking to their tools.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Breaking Federal Law Outside the Dem Convention

The march concluded at the gates of the DNC, where most of the demonstrators proudly and openly toked up on joints in plain view of law enforcement. One of the march's organizers thanked the Philadelphia police for supporting their right to protest and decried the "assholes" who breached the gates of the security perimeter last night, which he described as a deliberate attempt to mislead the media and make the police look bad.

People are still rotting in jail for marijuana-related offenses, and despite the Democratic Party's platform, there's plenty of reason to be skeptical of what a potential Hillary Clinton administration would do when it comes to marijuana legalization and prosecuting the war on drugs. But a large group of self-professed potheads blazing up in plain view of the police — and thanking those same police for being "cool" — is still quite a thing to behold.
Good to hear that the police ignored the law breaking.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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This one is just for jocal:

The Fucking Useless NRA and GOA on Medical Marijuana and Tools

"At the moment it concerns me, but I'm not going to stop taking medical marijuana, and I'm not going to give up my firearms," Regennitter said. "I don't use (THC) recreationally. I use it because it helps me."

Jon Svaren, a 15-year Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 2009, is a medical-marijuana patient who is recovering from a surgery last November to repair a severe injury to his back.

Svaren is also a gun owner who hunts and uses guns on the farm to control vermin.

"To take away my Second Amendment rights is contrary to everything I've ever fought for and contrary to every oath of enlistment I've taken," Svaren said.

Gun rights and medical-marijuana advocates both expressed outrage over the letter, which they say singles out a specific group of citizens and attempts to strip them of their Second Amendment rights.

"The cannabis issue has become representative of nationwide concerns," said Kate Cholewa, a board member of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association. "Citizens are increasingly concerned that the government, rather than expressing the will of the citizens, now sees itself as separate from the citizens and is imposing their will upon the people."

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana for certain medical conditions, but the federal government classifies the drug as a schedule 1 controlled substance and thus illegal for any use.

According to ATF spokesman Drew Wade, the Herbert letter was intended to provide guidance to federally licensed firearms dealers in complying with federal firearms laws and was not intended to speak to consumers of medical marijuana.

"We received a number of questions from federal firearms licensees and gun dealers on (medical-marijuana patients), and we felt we needed to provide some clarity so they can be in compliance with the laws," Wade said.

Officials for the National Rifle Association did not return calls seeking comment, and Larry Pratt, executive director for Gun Owners of America, declined to comment.
Fuck the NRA and fuck Larry too for their stance. Or lack of one.

Federal law made my father's guns illegal when we were illegally treating his bone cancer with cannabis oil because nothing he could legally buy worked anywhere near as well. They have no comment on that? Screw them!

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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...

Do you find that your gun policies have a lot in common with Larry Pratt's gun policies?
Not really. But I'm not sure which policies you're talking about. You are not familiar with the GOA? Try being specific. Like this.
Let's be more specific than that. Let's be man-to-man, sonny, with no dodging like a little girl.

In what ways do your gun policies differ from Pratt's?
I have comments on the relationship between our stupid drug war and gun control. He does not.

As for the topic of that other thread, I'm not sure whether Pratt thinks the government should protect us from self-murderizing ourselves through gun control. If you have an article about his stance on that topic, I'd be happy to read it.

 

jocal505

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Tom, who sent you?

Was it Larry Pratt? Is this where you want to discuss it? On a drug control thread?

You are elusive, I find, like a snake in the grass.

You peddle Pratt's rhetoric using the names of MLK, Adam Winkler, and the ACLU...but they would each disown you.

At issue between us is your irresponsible stand on guns.

And the immoral, unconstitutional outcome of your violence-based values.

Across eight threads, you have avoided discussing Larry Pratt, and any lack of similarity between his libertarian gun philosophy, and your own.

See you elsewhere. I predict that you will need to dodge me there.

 

jocal505

moderate, informed, ex-gunowner
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...

Do you find that your gun policies have a lot in common with Larry Pratt's gun policies?
Not really. But I'm not sure which policies you're talking about. You are not familiar with the GOA? Try being specific. Like this.
Let's be more specific than that. Let's be man-to-man, sonny, with no dodging like a little girl.

In what ways do your gun policies differ from Pratt's?
I have comments on the relationship between our stupid drug war and gun control. He does not.

As for the topic of that other thread, I'm not sure whether Pratt thinks the government should protect us from self-murderizing ourselves through gun control. If you have an article about his stance on that topic, I'd be happy to read it.
How fishy. You have not answered the bolded question.

And you have not answered for the devastation brought by the libertarian gun policy, incorporated into the SAF in 1974.

It got spread all around, and became urban myth... while dodging empirical evidence.

You can't address the moral overtones of the outcome.

You need to distract to slingshots and drugs. Interesting.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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No one "sent me" anywhere. That's just your paranoid delusion and is as accurate as your weird notion that I live in a trailer park.

Do you agree with the federal prohibition on medical marijuana patients buying or owning guns?

Or maybe you're like Pratt and have no stance at all. So far, you've both declined to comment. Did he send you?

 

jocal505

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Your values and belief systems are lowlife. Like the trailer park demographic.

They call you "Bang Bang" in your online community.

You smell like Larry Pratt too, mate. Did he send you?

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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The Drug War Is Toxic To Race Relations (because it's irrational)

...
Since encounters with cops in New York and other cities frequently involve searches for contraband, the drug laws offer young black men many more opportunities to be manhandled by the police than they would otherwise have. In New York blacks are much more likely to be stopped than whites, and when they are stopped they are substantially more likely to be roughed up. The vast majority of these stops—nearly nine out of 10—end without an arrest or summons. As Fryer notes, the cumulative effect of such incidents, especially when no evidence of criminal activity is discovered, can be poisonous:

Due to their frequency and potential impact on minority belief formation, it is [possible] that racial differences in police use of non-lethal force have spillovers on myriad dimensions of racial inequality. If, for instance, blacks use their lived experience with police as evidence that the world is discriminatory, then it is easy to understand why black youth invest less in human capital or black adults are more likely to believe discrimination is an important determinant of economic outcomes. Black Dignity Matters.

In a study published last April, University of North Carolina political scientist Frank Baumgartner and three colleagues show that the racial disparities seen when cops stop pedestrians are also apparent when they pull over drivers. Looking at 12 years of data from North Carolina, Baumgartner et al. find "dramatic disparities in the rates at which black drivers, particularly young males, are searched and arrested as compared to similarly situated whites." For example, "blacks are 200% more likely to be searched and 190% more likely to be arrested after being pulled over for a seat belt violation; 110% more likely to be searched or arrested following a stop for vehicle regulatory violations; and 60% more likely to be searched or arrested after being stopped for equipment issues."

The racial differences were especially large for discretionary searches based on consent or probable cause, as opposed to protective pat-downs or searches conducted pursuant to a warrant or after an arrest. Discretionary searches of blacks were less likely to find drugs than discretionary searches of whites, which suggests the extra suspicion blacks encounter has no rational basis. Furthermore, the racial disparities grew over the years, while the likelihood of finding drugs did not.
(emphasis mine)

Blacks are more likely to be searched despite the fact that searching whites is more likely to turn up drugs.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Pertinacious Tom

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15 Years for Growing Cannabis

...Paul Fields, a gentle and generous Deadhead with a new wife and an 8-month-old daughter, ended up with a 188-month sentence for growing marijuana. That is substantially longer than the average federal sentence for sexual abuse (134 months in fiscal year 2015), robbery (78 months), arson (62 months), or manslaughter (54 months). Despite the possibility that he would be sentenced as a career offender, Fields pleaded guilty to avoid charges against his wife. “I broke the law and deserve to be punished,” he says. But especially now that Fields’ “crime” is treated as legitimate commercial activity in many states, his punishment seems grossly excessive.
15 years? I don't think he did anything wrong at all but even those who think his actions are rightfully a crime can't possibly think it's that much worse than arson or manslaughter. Can they?

 

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