Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

Pertinacious Tom

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Dr. Oz Warns That Legalizing Marijuana in Pennsylvania Would Aggravate Unemployment by Weakening 'Mojo'
 

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The charge that marijuana saps motivation goes beyond the commonsensical observation that the acute effects of cannabis, like the acute effects of alcohol, are generally incompatible with work. It alleges that regular marijuana use has a persistent impact, making people so lazy that they fail at school, neglect their personal responsibilities, and "stay home" rather than go to work or look for a job. Since Oz cited "addiction to marijuana" as a distinct concern, he implied that even moderate cannabis consumption, unlike moderate drinking, makes people disinclined to work for a living.

Harvard psychiatrist Dana Farnsworth put a name to this perceived problem during congressional testimony in 1970. "I am very much concerned about what has come to be called the 'amotivational syndrome,'" he said. "I am certain as I can be…that when an individual becomes dependent upon marijuana…he becomes preoccupied with it. His attitude changes toward endorsement of values which he had not before; he tends to become very easily satisfied with what is immediately present, in such a way that he seems to have been robbed of his ability to make appropriate choices."

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Despite its long appeal as a propaganda theme, the idea that smoking pot makes people unproductive remains scientifically controversial. In their 1997 book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, the sociologist Lynn Zimmer and the pharmacologist John P. Morgan examined the evidence and concluded: "There is nothing in these data to suggest that marijuana reduces people's motivation to work, their employability, or their capacity to earn wages. Studies have consistently found that marijuana users earn wages similar to or higher than nonusers."

1999 report from the National Academy of Sciences noted that amotivational syndrome "is not a medical diagnosis, but it has been used to describe young people who drop out of social activities and show little interest in school, work, or other goal-directed activity. When heavy marijuana use accompanies these symptoms, the drug is often cited as the cause, but there are no convincing data to demonstrate a causal relationship between marijuana smoking and these behavioral characteristics."
Seth Rogan is open and funny about his pot smoking. He's also hyperactive and hyperproductive. He suggested in an interview that those "young people who drop out"  are drawn to self-medicate with pot, meaning that's the effect, not the cause.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Rhode Island Becomes the 19th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
 

Rhode Island yesterday became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Gov. Dan McKee, a Democrat, signed a bill that immediately allows adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public and grow up to three plants at home. State-licensed recreational sales are supposed to start on December 1, beginning with the state's three existing medical marijuana dispensaries. The law also requires automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions.

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It's good to see they are allowing cultivation but growing three plants at home does continue to risk having that home seized by drug war looters.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Delaware's Democratic Governor Vetoes Cannabis Decriminalization Bill
 

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Carney says he supports medical marijuana legalization and decriminalization but cited "long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns[.]" Carney also said legal marijuana possession would be bad for Delaware minors. 

Legislators who fought for the bill's passage are dismayed by the veto. Rep. Ed Osienski (D–Newark) said in a statement that he is "deeply disappointed" with the outcome, "especially since [Carney] could have allowed the bill to become law without his signature, which would have preserved both his personal opposition and the will of the residents and legislators."

"Vetoing HB 371 will not stop people from obtaining and consuming marijuana," Osienski continued. "It simply means they could face civil penalties for possession."

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I'm more worried about long term health and economic impacts of idiotic prohibition policies. But old habits die hard and America is still a long way from listening to libertarians about the stupid drug war.

 

BeSafe

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Delaware's Democratic Governor Vetoes Cannabis Decriminalization Bill
 

I'm more worried about long term health and economic impacts of idiotic prohibition policies. But old habits die hard and America is still a long way from listening to libertarians about the stupid drug war.
Hopefully, the bill to move Marijuana from Schedule 1 to 3 might eventually get some love.

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/01/house-passes-marijuana-legalization-bill-again-but-with-no-clear-path-forward-00022303

But its been tied up in the typical status quo fight for six years now.

Most of congress actually agrees this is a good idea and having Marijuana as a Schedule 1 has hurt medical research.  But they're paralyzed by a) wanting to tie it up with broad criminal reform b) wanting to use it as a vehicle for social funding and c) fear at somehow being branded 'weak on drugs'.

So, rather than just passing what they all actually agree on during some afternoon session, nothing happens...  year after year.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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America's Failed Opioid Policy Drove the Tulsa Shooter to Violence
 

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Misguided drug policy has stigmatized chronic pain patients, who are often suspected of being "drug abusers." And many doctors are just as misguided as journalists and politicians in their understanding of the pharmacology of opioids, as well as the difference between chemical dependency and addiction.

Because the government and medical boards limit surgeons' ability to prescribe opioids, surgeons, like us, can no longer treat a patient's complex pain using our best clinical judgment without administrative oversight. This system builds a wall between patients and their doctors, creating an adverse environment. This is not what we expected when we took the Hippocratic oath.

Up to 40 percent of spinal deformity patients have had some sort of spinal surgery in the past (performed by a spinal surgeon like Phillips or like Richard Menger, one of the authors of this article), meaning many of them are on opioids already. Recovery from these surgeries can take anywhere from three months to a year. While these patients go through a painful recovery, spine surgeons aren't always able to treat pain in a streamlined manner; we are required to prescribe only a limited amount of opioids. Oftentimes routine refill mechanisms are not available, and patients needing refills must be seen in person or prescribed medicine via an elaborate electronic co-signing system. Patients have to either run back and forth to the office or navigate an electronic prescription process sometimes between multiple pharmacies trying to connect to the e-software. Surgeons are frustrated. The staff faces burnout. And the patients have no efficient way to relieve their pain.

Patients often blame their doctor for their untreated pain. As patients become desperate for relief, they sometimes turn to the black market if their pharmacy can't fill the prescription in time.

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When incompetence combined with drug war regulations meant that my brother's cancer pain was going to be untreated, I did use black market drugs. Didn't want to. Did it anyway because that was the only option at the time.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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I like to look through SCOTUS oral argument transcripts for the word laughter.

In Ruan v US, the first instance was illuminating. It looked to me like Gorsuch and Sotomayor and possibly Thomas are bit skeptical of the idea of unintentional criminality. Starts on page 25.

Turns out the entire court doesn't believe in unintentional criminality.

With a majority opinion that will be one of Justice Stephen Breyer’s last for the Supreme Court, the court on Monday ruled 9-0 that two alleged opioids “pill mill” doctors could not be convicted absent a jury finding that they subjectively believed they were wrongfully dispensing pills. The opinion is a victory for physicians prescribing innovative treatments that they believe serve legitimate medical purposes, and it should assuage concerns about a ruling that could have chilled more doctors from prescribing needed pain treatments. Even in the midst of a historic opioid crisis, and an intensely fractured Supreme Court term, the justices found common ground in longstanding presumptions of criminal law and the core principle of physician discretion.

The case, Ruan v. United States, was a challenge to jury instructions in two prosecutions of doctors accused of prescribing outside the bounds of ordinary medical practice. The Controlled Substances Act makes it unlawful, “except as authorized,” to “knowingly or intentionally” distribute controlled substances. One of those exceptions is for physicians who operate under the statute’s registration scheme; registered doctors may prescribe controlled substances in accordance with rules promulgated by the attorney general. The rule at issue in this case allows doctors to dispense a controlled substance that is “issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his professional practice.”
 

Pertinacious Tom

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Psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non-microdosing controls

Psilocybin microdosing involves repeated self-administration of mushrooms containing psilocybin at doses small enough to not impact regular functioning. Microdose practices are diverse and include combining psilocybin with substances such as lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus; HE) and niacin (vitamin-B3). Public uptake of microdosing has outpaced evidence, mandating further prospective research. Using a naturalistic, observational design, we followed psilocybin microdosers (n = 953) and non-microdosing comparators (n = 180) for approximately 30 days and identified small- to medium-sized improvements in mood and mental health that were generally consistent across gender, age and presence of mental health concerns, as we all as improvements in psychomotor performance that were specific to older adults. Supplementary analyses indicated that combining psilocybin with HE and B3 did not impact changes in mood and mental health. However, among older microdosers combining psilocybin, HE and B3 was associated with psychomotor improvements relative to psilocybin alone and psilocybin and HE.
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So being in a better mood is nice but my mood is good enough. I'm interested in that other result. "Psychomotor performance" basically means reaction time and the ability to avoid falling off your boat. Maybe I need to find some magic shrooms and that other stuff.
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
Not sure what you mean here and unlike my question about the topic case in the thread about Caetano's Body, Caetano's Choice, it's not real obvious.
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sparau

Anarchist
Meanwhile, since growing pot is illegal and pretty visible so easier to police than cooking a bathtub of shit, chemical alternatives have been concocted falling under the incongruous title 'spice'.
Except they aren't really alternatives, unlike pot it is highly addictive and can really fuck you up : (
Good one war on drugs - fucking genius. Grass is pretty much better for you in 90% of ways than alcohol...
 
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Pertinacious Tom

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Meanwhile, since growing pot is illegal and pretty visible so easier to police than cooking a bathtub of shit, chemical alternatives have been concocted falling under the incongruous title 'spice'.
Except they aren't really alternatives, unlike pot it is highly addictive and can really fuck you up : (
Good one war on drugs - fucking genius. Grass is pretty much better for you in 90% of ways than alcohol...


And yet, alcohol doesn't have to come with a brochure like California cannabis products.

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There is certainly merit in requiring that, as part of the current labeling regime, marijuana sold in California must disclose its THC levels. But the case for mandating ostentatious warning labels and literature is both overly broad and unnecessary.


Overuse of alcohol can lead to heart disease, stroke, liver disease, various cancers, and mental health problems. While California requires businesses that sell alcohol to post signs stating that their products can "cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm," it does not yet require every liquor store to hand out pamphlets to its customers. Most people who drink alcohol understand the risks and choose to partake anyway.

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The California bill references studies in its claim that marijuana can cause numerous health issues, including "mental health problems" like "psychosis and schizophrenia." But the science on that claim is far from settled: While the bill cites a 2017 National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) study to claim "substantial evidence of the association of cannabis use with certain health harms," the study is more circumspect. Although the researchers found a "statistical association between cannabis use and the development of schizophrenia or other psychoses, with the highest risk among the most frequent users," the study clarified, "There are a number of proposed explanations for why the comorbidity of substance abuse and mental health disorders exists."

In 2019, Jeffrey Singer, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a member of its Department of Health Policy Studies, wrote about a scientific meta-analysis that determined that rather than a direct relationship in which marijuana causes psychosis, it could be the case that "cannabis use may be higher among individuals with a genetic liability that predisposes them to both cannabis use and the development of psychotic disorders." The evidence is simply not clear.


The legal marijuana industry is still struggling to get off the ground in California. Retailers and suppliers don't need more costly regulations, especially those based on incomplete data masquerading as settled science.

Maybe they could hold off on more taxes and rules until the state authorized businesses manage to surpass the black market.
 

Pertinacious Tom

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You are the one who's been spamming (and trolling) the same unethical and ineffective shtick for years. You are better than that so should act better than that.
I admit it's been ineffective, as America elected a career drug warrior and hasn't backed off a bit on the drug war looting he helped implement.

Unethical? Why? I oppose the stupid drug war and its attendant abuses. Why is saying so unethical?
 

Pertinacious Tom

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The shtick is unethical because it trivializes the matter.
I never meant to trivialize the stupid drug war. I think it's a massive waste, a threat to our liberties, and generally so bad it's deserving of lots of threads about the problems it causes. I started this one.

But I'm not sure why a drug warrior like yourself would be upset that my oppostion to your stupid drug war is ineffective? Isn't that what you want?
 

Pertinacious Tom

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There are drugs that no one has a reason to be using. There are drugs that VERY few people need. And there are drugs that are hitting addictive. All resulting in the need to be highly regulated.
You're talking about Schedule 1 drugs. Like cannabis. So trusting drug warriors like Biden with that decision has proven stupid, at least to me. Cannabis is very safe and has medical uses, despite the federal government's position to the contrary.

And "highly regulating" relatively safe opioids spurred the black market innovation we call fentanyl.
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
I never meant to trivialize the stupid drug war. I think it's a massive waste, a threat to our liberties, and generally so bad it's deserving of lots of threads about the problems it causes. I started this one.

But I'm not sure why a drug warrior like yourself would be upset that my oppostion to your stupid drug war is ineffective? Isn't that what you want?
You polluted your good thread on drug policy with your unethical and ineffective shtick about the 2nd Amendment, so I gave you the usual feedback about your shtick. I never supported the war on drugs.
 

Olsonist

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Tom prefers his boy Shitstain who campaigned on drug law reform and then nominated Jeff Sessions who rescinded the Cole Memo. He also likes his boy Gary Johnson who put people in prison for drugs but became a famous Fakebertarian upon finishing his two terms as governor. He doesn't like Biden even though Merrick Garland has essentially reinstated the Cole Memorandum.

Tom is very bigly on the drug war.
 
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