Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

Pertinacious Tom

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The standard Duopoly line from the 70's and 80's was that drug users just need to be locked up.

That has given way to the new mantra that drug users just need treatment.

This guy says that's not true and that drug users for the most part just need harm reduction education.

We've all been fed a diet of panic-inducing misinformation about what drugs actually do to our brains, he says.

Most of us were taught that drugs like cocaine are so addictive that a rat in a laboratory experiment will continue to press a lever to receive the substance—to the exclusion of all its other physical needs—until it actually dies. Hart said at first even he believed that finding to be true. But it turns out, those studies weren't what they were cracked up to be.
I still think most just need to be left alone by government. That's how we treat most alcohol users and should be how we treat users of other drugs unless/until their entertainment harms others.

 

slatfatf

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The standard Duopoly line from the 70's and 80's was that drug users just need to be locked up.

That has given way to the new mantra that drug users just need treatment.

This guy says that's not true and that drug users for the most part just need harm reduction education.

We've all been fed a diet of panic-inducing misinformation about what drugs actually do to our brains, he says.

Most of us were taught that drugs like cocaine are so addictive that a rat in a laboratory experiment will continue to press a lever to receive the substance—to the exclusion of all its other physical needs—until it actually dies. Hart said at first even he believed that finding to be true. But it turns out, those studies weren't what they were cracked up to be.

I still think most just need to be left alone by government. That's how we treat most alcohol users and should be how we treat users of other drugs unless/until their entertainment harms others.
I agree with this. There are plenty of functional users of illicit drugs, especially of pot, just as there are plenty of people who have a few drinks without it destroying their lives. We should focus on whether people are functional or become a danger, not on what substances they are using or not using. When people are not able to function in society, and become a menace and dangerous, then we should compel treatment. What we do now is the worst of all worlds. We continually let out dangerous addicts in the pursuit of the great white whale of drug dealing, it is a game not a concerted effort to protect and improve society. And a very expensive game at that, both in terms of blood and treasure.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Blood, treasure, and liberty. Civil asset forfeiture abuse, no-knock raids, RICO, and various types of snooping and surveillance have all been justified using the drug war before the war on terror became the bogeyman.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Meet The Conservative Tea Party Republican Who Legalized Pot Cultivation to Save His Town From Bankruptcy

...along came Johnny “Bug” Woodard and his big idea: Save Adelanto by legalizing marijuana. Woodard, a self-described gun-toting Tea Party Republican, decided to run for city council on the promise of turning around the town's finances by allowing the mass cultivation of cannabis within city limits.

"I had already picked out some property in Arizona to move my family to Arizona, because I really didn't think I'd be elected," says Woodard. "I mentioned the 'M-word.' Mention the 'M-word': political suicide."

But something surprising happened: Woodard won his race, defeating an incumbent and entering the office with a mandate. Adelanto's voters had booted out most of the previous city council and the mayor after they had tried to patch the budget with a utility tax hike, a wildly unpopular move in a city with an unemployment rate above 10 percent. Woodard's outside-the-box proposal seemed to make sense for a desert town with lots of cheap land and giant warehouses that hold everything from windmill turbines to predator drones.

...

slowly but surely, everyone came around and supported Woodard’s plan. The ordinance passed with a 4-1 vote, positioning Adelanto as the first Southern California city to legalize marijuana cultivation on a mass scale. And already, investors are flocking to buy up the land, generating a large spike in real estate prices.
I doubt I'll live to see a libertarian President but I remember when he was right that "the M word" was political suicide. Now it's not.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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This one seems like it could be an April Fools joke but it's dated 3/26

Oregon to pay reparations to marijuana convicts

Carol Shapiro is the newly appointed coordinator for the Oregon Department of Marijuana Reparations, and he elaborated on how this system will work to get those effected by previous laws, back on their feet. “These were essentially incidents that should have never have been tried as crimes to begin with. Thousands of people have payed dearly over the years for laws which have criminalized a substance that is basically less dangerous than any over-the-counter painkiller.”


“Individuals who was served prison time for drug offenses involving marijuana within the last 10 years will automatically be eligible for a refund of any fines and fees incurred as a result of those convictions, as well as compensation for pain and suffering endured from being incarcerated. These parties will also have their records automatically expunged. We are hoping that these actions will correct the injustices previously inflicted upon innocent citizens, and help them to go on with their lives.”
Refunding fines and fees and expunging records seem reasonable, but "compensation for pain and suffering endured from being incarcerated" could get out of hand.

Obama is also seeking to reduce the excesses of the drug war. The people at Bearing Arms are upset about it. I'm not.

Obama Commutes Sentences of 12 Gun Offenders

They are drug offenders and their gun offense in almost every case seems to have been possession. A couple of them were sentenced to life in prison, others 20 and 30 years, but those sentences haven't made the drug war a success.

...Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch.

“While I feel these actions do more to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens while having little direct impact on reducing violence, I have supported federal proposals to improve the enforcement and implementation of existing firearms laws. However, enforcing existing firearms laws seems like an uphill battle when this Administration has made a point of commuting the sentences of criminals with firearm convictions.”

Well that makes too much sense, what does the Commander in Chief say about that?

“They’re Americans who’d been serving time on the kind of outdated sentences that are clogging up our jails and burning through our tax dollars,” Obama wrote on Facebook before meeting inmates on Wednesday. “Simply put, their punishments didn’t fit the crime.”
Obama is right. Some of them have been locked up since the 90's.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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The tax code is always good for a chuckle.

'

Apparently, marijuana that a business buys is considered "goods" for tax purposes, so the cost of those goods is tax-deductible. Expenses related to selling it are not. And for the cherry on top, the judge who wrote that decision is in trouble over...drumroll... tax evasion.

Citing a 2007 U.S. Tax Court decision that let Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems (CHAMP) deduct expenses related to "counseling and other caregiving services" even though the organization also distributed marijuana, Martin Olive, the owner of another San Francisco dispensary, the Vapor Room Herbal Center, argued that the bulk of his expenses likewise were unrelated to "trafficking in controlled substances." Kroupa rejected that claim, saying Olive essentially was engaged in the business of selling pot, even if those sales were accompanied by "incidental" services such as advice and yoga classes.


At the same time, Kroupa said Olive should be allowed to subtract his full "cost of goods sold" (COGS), which consisted mainly of his marijuana purchases, from his gross revenue, because COGS, which "is subtracted from gross receipts in determining a taxpayer's gross income," does not qualify as a "deduction" under Section 280E. Kroupa's ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in 2015.

The upshot of the distinction between COGS and business expenses is rather counterintuitive. A marijuana merchant cannot deduct ordinary business expenses such as rent and wages unless he can persuasively attribute them to activities other than selling marijuana. But he can deduct the cost of the marijuana he sells—either the price he paid for it or the expenses he incurred in growing and processing it. While a can of coffee in the break room may not be deductible, a jar of Purple Urkle buds in the sales area is....
 

Pertinacious Tom

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Bernie Almost Asks An Interesting Question

He was saying he opposes high taxes on sodas because they're regressive, falling most heavily on the poor.

Here's the exchange, which came after Sanders explained his opposition to a proposed soda tax:

CHUCK TODD: So you must be against cigarette taxes, too, then?

BERNIE SANDERS: No, I'm not. Cigarette taxes are— There's a difference between cigarettes and soda....

CHUCK TODD: I don't think Michael Bloomberg would agree with you on that one.

BERNIE SANDERS: Well, that's fine. He can have his point of view. But cigarettes are causing cancer, obviously, and a dozen other diseases. And there is almost the question as to why it remains a legal product in this country.
But it does remain legal and he doesn't quite want to ask the question. That being the case, there's no difference between taxes on sodas, cigarettes, or tools. All fall most heavily on the poor.

I guess that's only bad sometimes. It's OK to protect the poor from self-murderizing themselves with smokes or tools, but not sugary drinks.

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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The Disposable Life of a 20 Year Old Confidential Informant

...arrested in 2013 after selling $80 worth of marijuana to a confidential informant, then threatened with 40 years in prison unless he agreed to become a confidential informant.


Video footage of Sadek's interrogation shows Weber encouraging the college student to make more "contacts" in the drug trade. Sadek, who had no lawyer representing him, was also ordered to keep his status as a C.I. a secret, including from his parents.

It wasn't until Andrew's body was found on the Minnesota side of the Red River that his parents learned he had been working as a C.I.
The police seem to think he killed himself but the parents want his death investigated as a potential murder. Either way, I'd say his death was caused by our stupid drug war.

The young man did have a bullet hole in his head, so it's possible that tools, not the drug war, caused his death. Matter of perspective, I suppose.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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BATH SALTS PANIC!!!

No one knows why Rudy Eugene, a 31-year-old car wash employee, suddenly launched himself at Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man he encountered on Miami's McArthur Causeway, chewing off most of his victim's face in an 18-minute assault that ended only after a police officer shot him dead. But one thing is certain: "Bath salts" did not make him do it.

We know that because toxicological tests found no trace of synthetic cathinones, the stimulants known as bath salts, in Eugene's body. But the results of those tests were not announced until a month after the attack, which happened on a Saturday afternoon in May 2012. In the meantime, news outlets around the world, based on zero evidence aside from one police officer's speculation, attributed Eugene's savage violence to a drug he had not taken, using security camera footage of the "Causeway Cannibal" (a.k.a. the "Miami Zombie") to illustrate the horrors wrought by a nonexistent "epidemic."

Reviewing that bizarre episode in a recent issue of the journal Contemporary Drug Problems, two researchers at the University of Minnesota, neuroscientist Natashia Swalve and media scholar Ruth DeFoster, draw some lessons that could help journalists avoid such drug panics in the future. That's assuming journalists want to avoid drug panics. Their track record before, during and after the Great Bath Salt Freakout of 2012 suggests otherwise.


Swalve and DeFoster searched the Nexis database for coverage of Eugene's assault by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS and NPR. They found 31 stories: 24 from CNN, three from ABC, two from NBC and one each from NPR and MSNBC. The stories typically linked bath salts to aggression, unusual strength and hallucinations, and most referred to a recent increase in use of the stimulants; eight stories used the term epidemic. The reports featured "direct appeals (often by news anchors themselves)" for legislators to do something about the bath salt menace. "In an ostensibly impartial, fact-based medium," Swalve and DeFoster note, "it is relatively uncommon for journalists to appeal directly to legislators."

...

The same hyperbolic tendencies that Swalve and DeFoster saw in stories about the Causeway Cannibal can be seen in prior coverage of drugs such as marijuana, LSD, PCP, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and salvia, not to mention subsequent coverage of drugs such as Krokodil, Captagon and flakka (another name for alpha-PVP, one of the stimulants used in bath salts). All of those panics have been accompanied or followed by critiques like Swalve and DeFoster's, pointing out the gap between the horror story and the reality. How many times must leading news outlets fail to live up to their supposedly "high ethical standards" before we conclude that those are just as mythical as tales of drug-induced cannibalism?

Turns out pretty much every pre$$ corporation has a mythical front page when it comes to drug war panic.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Oh great, now 3D printers are going to take political fire from both halves of the Duopoly. The Demopublicans are unhappy because people might print tools.

Now the Puritan Republicrats can be unhappy because people might print drugs.

"Today's primitive psychedelics and artificial mood-boosters may be just the beginning," fretted The Week's Chris Gayomali, referring to the ability to craft recreational drugs on demand at the point of use.

But it was all so very speculative... So far off in the future.

Except, it wasn't. And now the concern is that regulators might find the challenges of 3D medicine so daunting that they try to choke it off—and, ironically, leave illegal use as the only implementation.

The first commercially 3D-printed drug, the epilepsy medication SPRITAM, went on sale in March of this year. SPRITAM doesn't fulfill Cronin's promise of custom medications printed by patients—3D production in this case is used to create a rapidly disintegrating, easily swallowed pill—but it's a demonstration of the medical use of the technology earlier than most people expected to see anything of the sort.
Recreational drugs that do not exist until moments before they are used would present a serious problem when it comes to enforcement of laws against possession. If the response from drug warriors is to try to choke off 3D drug development then we will only see the illegal kind.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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MassRoots Rejected By NASDAQ

MassRoots, Inc. (OTCQB: MSRT), one of the largest and fastest growing technology platforms for the cannabis industry, received notification on Monday, May 23, 2016, that the Nasdaq has denied MassRoots’ application for listing, which was filed in August 2015. The Nasdaq determined that as MassRoots may be deemed as “aiding and abetting” the distribution of an illegal substance under Federal law, they are unwilling to proceed with MassRoots’ listing application. MassRoots plans to appeal the staff decision to the Nasdaq Listing and Qualifications Board.
That seems a reasonable objection, except...

...the Nasdaq has already listed at least 3 biotechnology companies that extract compounds from the cannabis plant for scientific research – actually touching the plant as part of their business model...
You can't touch the plant without "aiding and abetting" the violation of federal law. It got distributed to you somehow and unless you're one of a couple of surviving people grandfathered in when Saint Ronald ended legal research years ago, it was distributed illegally.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Obama in Vietnam

Another asked whether Internet posts about Obama's alleged marijuana smoking as a youth were true.

"I don't know if that's true," Obama quickly remarked, further dousing the issue with a warning: "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet."
He doesn't know?

Obama in 2006

Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who said Sunday that he was considering running for president in 2008, has created a little sunlight between himself and both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

For one thing, he said, "When I was a kid, I inhaled."

"That was the point," Obama told an audience of magazine editors...
 
cG0c0.jpg


 

Raz'r

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and more repubs jumping on the smoke train - which is a good thing....

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher made waves this week by admitting he used an ointment infused with marijuana on a surfing-related shoulder injury. “Now, don’t tell anybody I broke the law. They’ll bust down my door and, you know, and take whatever’s inside and it for evidence against me,” Rep. Rohrabacher quipped at a meeting in Washington DC. But the topical pot preparation worked.“It’s the first time … in a year-and-a-half that I’ve had a decent night’s sleep,” Rohrabacher said.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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This girl used to measure her time between seizures in hours, back when she was using legal pharmaceuticals to try to control them.

Now she's using illegal cannabis oil.

12605525_936750439743066_2280979454960495250_o.jpg
One year and counting as of March 19th.

But only a pothead would think that a year without seizures is better than hours, right Life Buoy?

From the Team Alexis FB page:

Alexis Bortell, a young Texan forced to flee the state in order to receive effective treatment for her seizure disorder celebrated one full year without a single seizure yesterday. Alexis’s parents sought refuge in Colorado where physicians were able to successfully treat her seizures with cannabis oil.
From her FB page, Alexis fell while playing soccer and suffered a concussion.

So two days ago at school Alexis was playing soccer and fell banging her head on the turf. Her school has turf like the nice NFL fields. At the time, she only complained of a little neck pain. Fast forward to this morning and she said she was a little dizzy. Now for Lex that is sometimes a sign of an aura which we treat with THC. Today it seemed a bit different so Liza took her to the doctor and they discovered she has a pretty bad concussion :( . The miracle here is NO SEIZURES!

...

435 consecutive days seizure free for those counting :) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She used to go hours without seizures. 435 days.

But no, there's no known medical use for cannabis according to our federal government.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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and more repubs jumping on the smoke train - which is a good thing....

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/05/27/gop-congressman-admits-medical-pot-use-says-its-working/

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher made waves this week by admitting he used an ointment infused with marijuana on a surfing-related shoulder injury. “Now, don’t tell anybody I broke the law. They’ll bust down my door and, you know, and take whatever’s inside and it for evidence against me,” Rep. Rohrabacher quipped at a meeting in Washington DC. But the topical pot preparation worked.“It’s the first time … in a year-and-a-half that I’ve had a decent night’s sleep,” Rohrabacher said.
He probably broke more than one law. They might just bust down his door, take whatever's inside and keep it.

Is blog.sfgate.com a pre$$ entity of some kind?

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Teenagers Confound Prohibitionists By Smoking Pot Less

John Walters, George W. Bush's drug czar, likewise cited the purported threat to teenagers when he urged voters to reject medical marijuana initiatives. Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama's first drug czar, took up the same theme. "We have been telling young people, particularly for the past couple years, that marijuana is medicine," he complained in 2010. "So it shouldn't be a great surprise to us that young people are now misperceiving the dangers or the risks around marijuana."


Three years later, Kerlikowske sounded the alarm again. "Young people are getting the wrong message from the medical marijuana and legalization campaigns," he told USA Today. "If it's continued to be talked about as a benign substance that has no ill effects, we're doing a great disservice to young people by giving them that message."

Kerlikowske was troubled by the rising percentage of teenagers who rejected the idea that people who smoke pot run a "great risk" of harming themselves. Since people who smoke pot do not actually run a great risk of harming themselves, he was in effect bemoaning the fact that adolescents' perceptions of marijuana had become more accurate. The less harmful teenagers believed pot to be, Kerlikowske worried, the more likely they would be to use and abuse it. The Kerlikowske Conjecture sounds plausible, but it has proven to be off the mark.
Drug Czars under Obama and Bush agree that telling the truth about the relative safety of cannabis compared to other drugs might mean that kids start to believe the truth. The horror.

The Duopoly supports lying about cannabis when the truth seems scary, openly calls their henchmen "Czars" as if that's appropriate in America, and won't change the federal policy that says cannabis has no known medical use and the same potential for abuse as heroin. But libertarians are the crazy ones.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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I hope to see some jury nullification here in FL soon

Fifty-four-year-old Bridget Kirouac was followed home by Martin County sheriff’s deputies just over two years ago after a visit to Mr. Nice Guy Hydroponics. Deputies raided her home and found about 20 marijuana plants, some cannabis tincture and some harvested pot.

She said she needs the marijuana to help get her through days of pain and depression.

Facing 10 years in prison if convicted, Kirouac is scheduled to stand trial in Stuart next week, and her attorney is hopeful he can present a defense claiming the pot was medicinal and that a recommendation from Kirouac’s doctor in Maine is sufficient for her to legally use cannabis here.

“I will show the jury that this is a medical necessity,” said Stuart defense attorney Michael Minardi in a telephone interview Friday, “that she has a right to this treatment.”
He might convince the jury of that but I don't think it matters under our law. I don't think our law accepts certification by a doc from another state to establish medical necessity.

So even if he does convince the jury that this woman has a medical need, failing to convict her would still be jury nullification.

 


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