Tag Archives: bigotry

international

Time to Reschdule, President Laughy-Boy – part 1

by Patrick Devlin

Scientists in England are reporting what could be a significant breakthrough in the treatment of all forms of cancer stating that their research that suggests that cannabis’ psychoactive component, known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could act to shrink cancerous tumors in patients stricken with the deadly disease.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia, in the UK, have found that THC appears to effect two receptors found in cancer tumors called cannabinoid receptors helping to shrink the deadly growths.

The scientists bombarded human cancer cells in mice with doses of THC that were isolated into compounds for the research study. The compounds were found by the researchers to help shrink tumors. The scientists hope that their discovery can lead to the development of a synthetic form of the compound that can eventually provide relief for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The UK researcher’s discovery supports the opinion of the US medical Establishment. Although medical researchers and the community of cancer patients in the US are laboring under an embargo on researching the possible medical benefits of cannabis that is coordinated by politicians and the scientists who are beholden to them, the nation’s medical researchers from the National Institutes of Health reported in July of 2012 that the “evidence accumulated during the last decade supports that cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa and their derivatives, possess anticancer activity.”

The scientists cautioned that the cannabinol compound that has the diminishing effect on cancer tumors was specially synthesized for the experiments and was targeted directly at the cancerous tumors in specific concentrations – a medical application that cannot be achieved by cancer patients by self-administering cannabis using common methods of cannabis ingestion.

national

HillBilly on the same prohibitionist page as Choomer-in-Chief

Over the course of the past couple of weeks and culminating recently in an interview on Meet the Press, it appears that the woman who would be king and her first-mate to be, the HillBilly (sm), have laid out their dry-doper vision for speaking to the concerns of both America’s dire-medication needers and it’s life changing arrest-recorded-pocket-carrying weeders – “Who cares what you think”, in a manner of speaking and referencing a quip of the highly quotable GWBush.

What we have heard from the HillBilly is language that they know is crowd tested to seem mildly progressive in tenor and even hopeful (tm – Barack Obama), that cannabis may be medically useful and that the states are “laboratories of democracy”.

Thanks HillBilly, but we were already aware that the National Institutes of Health said in 2003 that cannabinoid “compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumour cells in culture and animal models by modulating key cell-signalling pathways,” and then went further in 2012 when the NIH stated firmly that the properties of cannabis have “anti-cancer activities.” And, that in states such as Illinois where cannabis has been made legal for medicinal purposes, politicians agree with the medical establishment that asserts that cannabis is medicine that helps patients who are suffering from a long list of crippling and permanent medical maladies including these diseases that the HillBilly most assuredly do not have or do not want to contract or become afflicted with:

“Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency, syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia/wasting syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, including but not limited to arachnoiditis, Tarlov cysts, hydromyelia, syringomyelia, Rheumatoid arthritis, fibrous dysplasia, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, Myoclonus, Dystonia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type I), Causalgia, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndromes Type II), Neurofibromatosis, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Sjogren’s syndrome, Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, Myasthenia Gravis, Hydrocephalus, nail-patella syndrome, residual limb pain,” as well as “any other debilitating medical condition” recognized by Illinois Department of Public Health as being treatable with the useful and important medicine called cannabis.”

Hooray for the forward march of science.

And, HillBilly (sm), we are also aware that the states can indeed be “laboratories of democracy” – as we have seen over the past decades, where obstructionist politicians who are keenly concerned with pandering to the rubes (so as to keep their jobs) have labored to reduce Americans’ access to abortion, enable citizens to carry high powered rifles into restaurants and shopping malls, forestalled equality in marriage and voted over and over to ensure that we do not follow “shria law” in places like Oklahoma and Florida. And we have seen even in the past year, in states that have legalized cannabis usage for medical and recreational purposes, state level prohibitionists and suburban township cultural custodians effectively stymie the will of the people by imposing ridiculous “home rule” restrictions on the sale of cannabis for no other reason than to make it difficult for the citizens who they represent to use the legal substance.

Hooray for small “d” democracy.

When I hear the HillBilly talking like this, it’s hard for me to say hopefully that the statements that have come from both of the soon-to-be first couple reflect a growing “evolution” on matters related to cannabis. I think rather the stance is nothing more than self-serving dry-doper kick-the-can cowardly narcissistic bullshittery.

I am certain that the cynical liars HillBilly know full well that the current dry-doper in the White House has used this exact fake-assed framing throughout his tenure (when he wasn’t actually publically making fun of those Americans who understand the medical usefulness of cannabis and are cognizant of the bigoted pogrom that is the war on cannabis in America, by using his ‘bully pulpit’ as a dais from which to be a bully), as in when Obama told a New Yorker writer earlier this year that, “it’s important for it to go forward…And the experiment that’s going to be taking place in Colorado and Washington is going to be, I think, a challenge.”

Hooray for “evolving”.

When I hear self-serving asshats talk like this it’s difficult for me to think of progress because, since Obama became president and decided to do nothing regarding cannabis for legacy burnishing reasons, more than 4.2 million of our fellow citizens have been arrested for possession of cannabis – the overwhelming majority of these arrests have been for small amounts of the substance (i.e. personal use – not drug trafficking) and the overwhelming majority of these arrestees have been minorities. Seems to me that’s a step backwards for our country.

I also think about the “smash and grab raids” that Obama’s DOJ has performed on medical cannabis dispensaries since he became president, and the fact that Obama’s DEA is currently threatening doctors in Massachusetts (a state that has legalized cannabis for medical use) that, if they prescribe cannabis as medicine, they will lose their license to prescribe any medications. Nice, that hopeful and evolving mindset, eminently reasonable.

I know, I know – why take such a hard stance against the clear and considered, callus and continual foot-dragging of our royal Democratic class members? Those Republicans are so mean and selfish and so much worse that our Democrats…and, by the way, it’s only cannabis, I can hear supporters of HillBilly intone patronizingly. Let me advise, I realize that it’s “only” cannabis.

So – let’s instead consider; banker bailouts, imperial wars, inescapable total surveillance, union busting, propping up the amoral health insurance industry, supporting polluters over our people, killing citizens in extra-judicial executions, funding illegally occupying religious zealots, criminalizing dissent, supporting the oxymoronic concept of “humanitarian war” and rehabilitating torture as US policy – these are the legacies of Bill Clinton and the vision for America that define the motivations of Hillary Clinton to run this nation.

Hooray for oligarchy.

“I recognized at once that we had never understood the meaning of these words, so common and yet so sacred: Justice, equity, liberty; that concerning each of these principles our ideas have been utterly obscure; and, in fact, that this ignorance was the sole cause, both of the poverty that devours us, and of all the calamities that have ever afflicted the human race.”
– Pierre Joseph Proudhon

national

Arizona Supreme Court Actually Takes a Smart Approach to Marijuana and Driving

The Arizona Supreme Court has overturned an appeals court ruling that allowed police to arrest drivers who are legal medical cannabis users who are in no way impaired.

The state’s lower court had agreed with state prosecutors who argued that Arizona’s zero-tolerance style law regarding driving with detectable remnants of cannabis use, some of which remain inactive in the blood stream for as long as 30 days after using the medicine, allowed police officers to arrest medical cannabis users who were not under the influence of the substance.

The court ruling establishes that, in Arizona, for a driver to be arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis, the driver has to actually be under the influence of cannabis. Only after finding active cannabis metabolites in the blood of a driver can the police make a DUI arrest for cannabis.

The court’s decision arose from an incident where a driver was stopped by Arizona police for speeding. When the driver advised the officer that he had used cannabis the previous evening, the driver was blood tested and arrested.

The decision rendered by the court stated plainly that the officer’s interpretation of the law “leads to absurd results. Most notably, this interpretation would create criminal liability regardless of how long the metabolite remains in the driver’s system or whether it has any impairing effect.”

Hold-out Justice Ann A, Scott-Timmer, who remained unconvinced by the other justices’ clear-cut understanding of the matters involved in the case, wrote as the sole dissenter that, in her mind, arresting drivers whose blood stream contains inactive cannabis metabolites that in no way effect or impair drivers for DUI serves to “enhance detection and prosecution of drugged driving.”

The practice of arresting patients who are not under the influence of cannabis, a knowing misinterpretation of the intent of Arizona’s traffic safety laws, was viewed to be a form of harassment by police (some of whom do not personally agree with medical cannabis) due to the fact that simple common sense should indicate to an honest person that it is physically impossible for a cannabis user to be under the influence of a drug that they consumed weeks or even months earlier.

The questionable and aggressive interpretation of the state’s zero-tolerance rules was enshrined as standard operating police procedure when Arizona state prosecutors warned all medical cannabis users to simply stay off Arizona’s roads or risk being arrested for driving under the influence. Medical Cannabis advocates and patients, outraged over the suggestion that cannabis using patients could never drive again because they are administering legal medications, correctly analyzed that the prosecutors’ threat criminalized their usage of the legal medicine.

Across the US, 26 states have passed legislation allowing for cannabis to be used by patients as medicine. As it stands today the laws regarding how cannabis in the blood stream of drivers is measured to identify impaired drivers are inconsistent and contradict each other. Eight of these states have rules similar to Arizona, where the laws do not distinguish between active and inactive cannibidiol metabolites creating Catch 22 situations for patients; choose to use medicine and risk being arrested on criminal charges, or do without needed medications.

In 2013 the Supreme Court of Michigan held that medical cannabis patients have to be shown by police to actually be impaired by cannabis usage before being criminally charged with driving under the influence.

The attorney for the arrested Arizona medical cannabis patient, Michael Alarid III, told the Associated Press that the court’s the ruling on the matter and the clarity that the decision provides can “have far reaching impacts on medical marijuana patients” in that it “corrects an error in the interpretation of the law.”

national

Barney Fife alert: don’t look suspicious in Kilgore’s County

A Sheriff in rural Nevada is defending his office’s new use of an old tactic in his own private battlefield as the world-wide-war-on-cannabis continues to sputter and stumble. Sheriff Ed Kilgore of Humboldt County Nevada, a rural county in Northwestern Nevada, says that the two speeding stops that his deputies carried out where more than $60,000 was seized even though no criminal charges or allegations were made against the two drivers were legal and not speed-trap shakedowns.

In one of the instances, Tan Nguyen was stopped for driving 78 in a 75 mph speed zone. Nguyen’s attorney, who filed a federal lawsuit against Humboldt County, asserts that the police stop last September, was a “profile stop” based upon the suspicion that Nguyen was transporting drugs in the rental car that he was driving through Humboldt County. No drugs were found during the police search of Nguyen’s vehicle, and Nguyen was given a simple warning (instead of a speeding ticket).

Nguyen was told during the stop that if he handed over the $50,000 he was carrying with him, he would be freed. Nguyen was required to, as a condition of his release, sign a “property for safekeeping receipt” that indicated that the money Nguyen was forced to relinquish during the police roadside take-down was abandoned or seized and was therefore not returnable. Deputy Lee Dove is alleged in the federal lawsuit to have intimidated Nguyen into signing the release telling the speeding suspect his vehicle would be impounded unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office and the Humboldt County District Attorneys Office have refused to comment on the two arrests that are the subject of the federal lawsuits stating, “as a matter of policy, we never comment on pending litigation.” But at the time of Deputy Dove’s roadside cash bonanza speed-warning incident, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office issued a self-congratulatory press release that included a photo of Deputy Dove and the $50,000 seized from Nguyen, which said in part; “This cash would have been used to purchase illegal drugs and will now benefit Humboldt County with training equipment. Great job.” Would have been used…really?

The speed concerned sheriff’s deputies of Humboldt County stopped Denver resident Ken Smith in December who was also, according to the federal lawsuit that he filed against the county, required by deputies to relinquish $13,800 he was carrying. Smith, also stopped by Deputy Dove, was held, according to the deputy, because of an outstanding warrant for a man named Smith. Smith was never charged with a crime and was eventually released, but the money he was carrying and a handgun were “seized” by Deputy Dove. As it turns out, the Smith that Deputy Dove stopped, held and seized property from was born on a different day and is of a different race than the wanted Smith (personal identifiers that Deputy Dove was well aware of during his speed-confiscation-stop). Held due to a warrant…really?

The tactic that Humboldt County is manipulating, civil forfeiture, is both legal and controversial. In situations where an arresting officer suspects an individual obtained property illegally or intends to use property for illegal purposes, police officers can seize the property of an arrestee or suspect. But, in situations such as those detailed in the federal lawsuits filed against Humboldt County, where police stops are based upon subjective determinations made by officers on the ground, allegations of profiling have given rise to further allegations regarding police shakedowns and conflicts of interest.

Humboldt County deputies are “trained to recognize evasiveness during questioning”, and report that they have seized over $180,000 from suspicious drivers over a two year period. Money that they proudly report via press release that they have targeted uses for within their police force. When property such as money is charged with a civil offense – the basic idea behind asset forfeiture, former property possessors have a steep judicial hill to climb in having their property returned to them. In many incidents, as in the two cases that resulted in federal lawsuits in Humboldt County, there is often no criminal arrest or criminal charges filed against the property possessor. The Humboldt County District Attorney is correct in stating that individuals whose property (including cash) is seized have a right to make a claim for their property in the courts.

But, in such proceedings, in a topsy-turvy fashion, the person claiming the property, who may have never been even charged with a criminal violation, is required to prove that his possessions are his possessions and that he came into possession of what was confiscated by officers lawfully; i.e. putting the claimant in the position of having to prove his or her innocence – contrary to most other instances in American jurisprudence, where one is innocent until proven guilty.

It is because of instances of civil forfeiture like those Humboldt County has been sued over that “civil asset forfeiture has been harshly criticized by liberals and civil liberties advocates for its greatly reduced standards for conviction, reverse onus, and financial conflicts of interests arising when the law enforcement agencies who decide whether or not to seize assets stand to keep those assets for themselves”

Humboldt County law enforcers claim that their confiscatory efforts are indeed well intended, stating; “We’re trying to combat crime in our own little way in the war on drugs. We’re not just talking about people driving to buy medical marijuana. These are drug traffickers with guns who may be staying in our hotels.” Staying in your hotels…really?

An interesting side note in all of this is that Humboldt County’s rough and tough Sheriff, Ed Kilgore – a gun-lover, has “put the Obama Administration on notice” with regards his interpretation of the second amendment, advising the president that he will not enforce any new gun laws that he feels violate his personal interpretation of the constitution. His vision of the constitution…really?

Additionally, Humboldt County was the subject of a lawsuit that made its way up to the US Supreme Court in 2004, where sheriff’s deputies’ practice of requiring uncharged citizens to identify themselves at the threat of arrest was challenged. The Supreme Court agreed that (given precedents set in other cases) requiring citizens who have done nothing wrong and are not the subject of a law enforcement investigation to identify themselves on the threat of being arrested was all A-OK with “folks” on the court who opined that the narrow requirements of Nevada’s “stop and identify” law were met and the petitioner’s rights had not been violated in that case.

The majority opinion was, however, countered by two justices (Stevens and Breyer) who both recognized that the acquiescent to and in service of America’s para-militarized drug-warring local coppers majority opinion was problematic. Stevens wrote, “The officer in this case told [Hiibel] that he was conducting an investigation and needed to see some identification. As the target of that investigation, [Hiibel], in my view, acted well within his rights when he opted to stand mute. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent.” And, Breyer conveyed his concern that giving on-the ground police such latitude to question an uncharged citizen would be dangerous and could open the door encouraging aggressive police officials to tramp upon the constitutional rights of Americans.

So, in sum – A self-promoting county sheriff, who thinks he has the right to not prosecute laws due to his personal interpretation of the US Constitution, has conveyed that his officers have done nothing wrong and broken no laws as they stop “certain vehicles” and confiscate large sums of money from US citizens who have not been charged with any crime, so he can buy a bunch of cool-neato law enforcement equipment, in a county where sheriff’s deputies (it was in fact Deputy Dove whose behavior landed the state in the Supreme Court because of his 2004 “stop and demand ID on the threat of arrest” incident) seem to feel they can stake out their own personal territory when it comes to enforcing (or forcing as the case may be) the state’s laws against just the specific types of folks that they “know” are really law breakers.

As a majority of our Supreme Court Justices – supremely attentive to the needs of the military, law enforcement, the national security state and corporate oligarchs – would surely exclaim: “no laws broken – nothing to see here – move along now.”

national

Sauschuck foresakes redemption

This week Americans in several cities and small towns decided to stop waiting for their putative “representatives” (whether in DC or their local statehouses) to, you know, “represent” their interests by legalizing cannabis for consumption by adults. We are all aware – and for some time now – that a majority of Americans seek the end of the violence inducing, life destroying, bigoted, wrong-headed and not in the least effective prohibition of cannabis in the US.

We also have seen push back by self-appointed cultural custodians and propagandized law enforcement who fear losing a raison d’etre for their discompassion, their smug self-righteousness, their bigotry, their orgies of taxpayer-dollar funded militarized storm-trooping police equipment procurement, their drug bust quotas, their tacit support of the dangerous and debilitating drugs tobacco and alcohol and their blithe shit-canning of arrested and convicted cannabis users as not-possibly-able-to-contribute-to-society. It is important to remember that such people are liars, who have supported societally harmful lies for nearly a century.

The comments by police chief of Portland Maine, Michael Sauschuck (an appointed by the mayor public service position in that city, which voted overwhelmingly to allow adults to consume cannabis for recreational purposes earlier this week) exemplify the predictable but tragic ‘sore loser’ mindset of these prohibitionists who are facing their own extinction. Sauschuck stipulated that his police force will not take into consideration the will of the electorate, you know, as in American Democracy, but will rather continue to arrest Portlanders who, following the local laws, choose to use cannabis recreationally.

Sauschuck personally wants to make sure that Portland residents who carefully follow the recently enacted law and possess 2.5 ounces of legal in Portland cannabis for personal consumption but who are arrested by his coppers will be fined between $350 and $1000 and given an arrest record. And, Sauschuk wants everyone to know that he ensures that, should his patrolmen decide to consider that the Portland residents who are arrested because they are in possession of legal in Portland cannabis may have thought of selling the substance, well then that criminal will be charged criminally and face possible jail time and a lifetime of being an ex-con. That is brave Sauschuck’s threat, and he wants you to know it. He assures that the only reason for his harsh application of laws that the electorate of the city he was hired by just days ago rejected out of hand, is because of his respect for the law, the state law that outlaws the use of cannabis. That is the only reason that Sauschuck will forever damage the unlucky college kid’s life. It is, after all, his duty.

There is an alternative, as in Michigan, where cannabis use by adults was legalized in 3 cities (Lansing, Ferndale and Jackson) and where local police have advised the people who they protect that they will honor the “will of the people” and cease arresting cannabis users (and instead use their resources to protect the citizens of their towns from actual crime).

Sauschuck, who was appointed as Portland Police Chief in 2012, was lauded by city councilman Vern Malloch, who said that the city council “couldn’t have made a better choice” upon Sauschuck’s appointment because he’s “fair, he’s compassionate, and he has the utmost respect of everyone inside the Police Department” and because he said he would not speak ill of his fellow police officers. All of which, I suppose, would make Sauschuck a fine work peer. But his job as the police chief is actually to be “fair,” “compassionate” and “have the utmost respect for” the citizens of Portland-not members of its police force.

Another of the confused as to who he is supposed to serve&protect copper Sauschuck’s credentials that propelled him to his position from which he commands that he will simply disregard the will of the people of the fair city of Portland, was his receipt of the Enrique Camarena Memorial Award from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. This award, according to the MDEA, is granted to a “unit or individual that through outstanding effort continued the battle for which Special Agent Camarena gave his life” – that being “trying to protect his fellow citizens from the too often violent and seedy world of narcotics”.

Now, I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on award winners and the ‘awards’ that they are given- but I have to stipulate that cannabis users are not violent, that is a simple fact. They don’t steal things to support their usage (as opposed to addiction) – and, by the way, cannabis is not addictive (well, less so than caffeine). Prohibition is the cause of violence, not cannabis. And, I just have to point out that the award giver’s description of the “violent and seedy world of narcotics” to describe cannabis users in the United States is fanciful at best if not sleazily bigoted on its face. I suspect that our dry doper presidents would likely have their Secret Service goons tackle and arrest a MDEA member if they had walked up to Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and called them violent and seedy…although if I had the chance I would probably choose “violent” as one of my personal descriptors for these narcissistic war criminal baby killing machines.

I rather think that, as with many well paid and high status promoters of cannabis prohibition in both politics and law enforcement, Sauschuck and other low level drug warriors really don’t give a shit that their entire structure of bullshit science, lies of omission, misrepresentation and conflation and hair-on-fire scare tactics have led to 80 years of prison sentences, ended careers, lost opportunities, broken families and unimaginable pain from disease suffered by Americans from Maine to Hawaii. They are concerned for only their careers and their personal wealth and status in the world of law enforcement tough-guy high school hippy hazers. Oh so dangerous…

But, it is really unfair (and fairly simple) to castigate this low-level city cop drug warrior for failing to recognize his personal role in the world-wide conspiracy of rich private prison contractors, drug manufacturers and tobacco and alcohol sellers, scheming political hacks (see the list from above of our dry doper presidents) and the whole peanut gallery of cultural custodians and finger wagging teachers and clerics – when we all know (including the small minded and wrong-headed Sauschuck himself) that local enforcers of the drug war are simply low level pawns. And, as it is, these local tin-pot dictators’ days are numbered.

The Barney Fifes and the real owners of the ‘drug war’ and its profits reaped both in trillions of black-market cash and electoral successes over the careers of drug warring pols still have the capacity to do great harm while cannabis is legalized in the US, and this is only more harm on top of the years of harm. When cannabis legalization comes to the USA it must include broad amnesty for the arrested and convicted, or we will not have truly “freed the green”.

national

Sabet slays science with propagandists’ sabre

In an opinion piece posted recently on the CNN International news website, a former White House Drug Policy Advisor named Kevin Sabet denounced the nascent but growing movement to end the prohibition of cannabis in the US in a 763 word ‘comment’ that does not include a single statistic about the subject substance : Cannabis. That the writer spends 377 words of the piece presenting alarming statistics about the horrible and horribly addicting drugs heroin, cocaine and tobacco should cause readers to question the motivations of this law enforcement scientist and his use of the misrepresentational mechanism of false equivalency and scare tactics may lead readers to question the honesty of CNN International for presenting this piece of propaganda (even couched as it is as opinion) to its readers.

While reading Sabet’s piece we grew more and more furious with every paragraph and with each incidence of an intellectually dishonest apple to oranges example that Sabet presents, we were moved to find out more about this lying mouthpiece for the disgusting alliance who seek the continuation of the harmful ‘war on drugs’ that we all know is addicted to cannabis prohibition; drug criminals, militarized law enforcement, pharmaceutical companies and private prison builders. As readers of mLaw are aware, we have zero tolerance for vested players who lie and frighten uninformed or ill-informed citizens to support their goal of perpetuating the insane, discriminatory, harmful, anti-science prohibition of cannabis through lies, distortions and reiterations of discredited scientific studies as well as other more disturbing forms of propaganda including those that rely upon promoting stereotypes and bigotry.

It turns out that this scientist (and Sabet is indeed a scientist – well, he’s not a medical professional, but rather holds a doctorate in the field of “social policy”) was actually an unabashed drug warrior from the wee age of 15, when he stood up to the Orange County school board who chose not to accept federal matching funds for an after school anti-drug program. That action brought Sabet at that young age to national prominence amongst drug warriors, which eventually led to the youth (and when I say youth- I’m talking about a teenager) to work with the National Institute of Drug Abuse in its public relations department. I wonder why Bill Clinton’s (dry doper) NIDA would hire a 19 year old, not yet graduated from college, non-scientist to work on public relations projects?

This serial prohibitionist’s past history of being utilized by the propaganda spreading federal boosters of the notion that criminal enforcement action is the only effective response to drug use in the US includes Sabet’s work for all of the ‘dry doper’ presidents who have occupied the White House over the past 20 years, all of whom (embarrassed or ashamed of their own cannabis use and how it threatened their narcissistic march to be ‘the most powerful man on the planet’) have been proud, swamp-science supporting, let patients live in pain, swarthy American jailing drug war enthusiasts – countering compassion, reason and scientific study with their aggressive pro-prohibition actions.

Throughout the past 20 years, the same time that Sabet has been a paid functionary in the ‘war on drugs’, the medical establishment and popular consciousness have made a dramatic shift in their perceptions of the natural and curative substance cannabis. While at the same time, federal and state prosecutors have arrested hundreds of thousands of American citizens for cannabis related crimes every year (over 700,000 last year alone), the largest percentage of these arrests being for simple possession of cannabis for personal use.

An awareness of how this anti-drug ex-teenage-zealot has been used for his entire post-adolescent life by propagandists to uphold the drug war and proselytize dross of the type that fills the easily debunked CNN piece can inform us of the tactics use by those who conspire to continue cannabis prohibition. It is also instructive to observe the statements of propagandists like Sabet to identify some of their most often employed tactics. The pro-prohibitionists in DC, including the choomer in chief Barack Obama, know full well that cannabis is curative and minimally harmlful, and they also know they need the support of both soccer-moms and hippy busting cops; and therefore, they must lie. And, when the goal is to counter good sense, compassion, known science and objective reality as it is perceived by the tens of millions of adult Americans based upon their own experiences, propagandists must make appeals to unreasoned fear.

Sabet says legalization of cannabis will increase addiction. But, as a scientist I am sure he must be aware that that statement is not supported by science. A review of the science by the Institute of Medicine reveals;

“Because it is an illegal substance, some people consider any use of marijuana as substance abuse. However, this report uses the medical definition; that is, substance abuse is a maladaptive pattern of repeated substance use manifested by recurrent and significant adverse consequences. Substance abuse and dependence are both diagnoses of pathological substance use. Dependence is the more serious diagnosis and implies compulsive drug use that is difficult to stop despite significant substance related problems,

and further;

In summary, although few marijuana users develop dependence, some do. But they appear to be less likely to do so than users of other drugs (including alcohol and nicotine), and marijuana dependence appears to be less severe than dependence on other drugs.”

We can see here one of the propagandists’ tricks, taking care to use the frightening term ‘addiction’ in an article about cannabis as if the addictive properties of all substances is the same or produces the same behaviors when science itself carefully distinguishes between levels of dependence and addiction between different substances, including legal drugs, is misleading at best and misrepresentional on its face.

Another intentional wrong turn made by Sabet that reveals his real purpose is contained in the following passage:

“According to internal documents that the government forced Big Tobacco to release during its historic court settlement, those companies are ready to pounce on the golden opportunity of drug legalization.

It is no wonder that the parent company of Phillip Morris, Altria, recently bought the domain. If this sounds frightening, it should be.”

We can see here that Sabet considers accepting the small-d democracy movement to end cannabis prohibition (you know, one of the constitutional process by which we make law in our great land) to be allowing a “golden opportunity” for the death dealing tobacco industry that is all “frightening” as “it should be.” (More false equivalency and more scare tactics). And perhaps unwittingly, as he just ain’t that good a propagandist, Sabet reveals the master tactic of all liars – scare the shit out of the intended audience. The science shows that tobacco is both more harmful and less addictive than cannabis.

Tobacco causes 440,000 deaths each year according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC stated in 2010 that there were no deaths attributable to cannabis in the United States, following a 237 year trend.

In 2006, Robert Gable reported in Scientific American Magazine;

“Of the people who sample a particular substance, what portion will become physiologically or psychologically dependent on the drug for some period of time? Heroin and methamphetamine are the most addictive by this measure. Cocaine, pentobarbital (a fast-acting sedative), nicotine and alcohol are next, followed by marijuana and possibly caffeine. Some hallucinogens—notably LSD, mescaline and psilocybin—have little or no potential for creating dependence.”

And way back in 1994, about the time Sabet was getting into the pro-prohibition biz, Dr. Jack Henningfield, chief of clinical pharmacology at the Addiction Research Center of the Government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse found that tobacco has the same addictive qualities as heroin.

Sabet goes on through the rest of the article spinning off of the false equivalencies and frightening scenarios he sets up by talking about the great efforts that we have made over the past decade in our financial support of the Columbian Military that has reduced the amount of cocaine that enters the US (off point) and Sabet veers off to mention the frightening scourge of pharmaceutical medication addiction (false equivalency) concluding that “legality means commercialization, normalization and wider access”.

For Sabet, the only solution to the mythical problem he has identified by dishonestly conflating the effects of vastly different drugs is; drug courts, offender re-entry and probation reform, indicating quite clearly that he can only view American cannabis users the way he has been trained by the pro-prohibition establishment: as criminals. We wonder if Sabet has considered what the results of this way of thinking would have been if it had been applied to the young heavy cannabis using Barack Obama (dry doper), the latest boss who appointed Sabet to his most recent propaganda spewing position in the federal government. By the way, the Obama ‘pivot’ on drug policy is predicated upon the same conflation, exaggeration and misrepresentation that Sabet trades in, but it is official US policy.

Sabet closes by saying that cannabis legalization will “sweep the causes of drug use under the rug (untested hypothetical conveyed as a known outcome, scare tactic), it would open the flood gates to more addiction, suffering and costs than we could ever bargain for (false equivalency, scare tactic, unsupported hypothetical).

A very interesting thing about the propagandist Sabet’s conclusion is that we here at mLaw want to end prohibition and put an end to the lives lost and ruined by its lies, bigotry, violence, fakery and anti-science biases so that cannabis use can be understood and normalized (countering 80 years of propaganda and bigotry) and commercialized (ending the current requirement that American cannabis users must associate with criminals and themselves be criminals) and so that Americans can enjoy wider access to this useful substance without fear of prosecution or stigmatization by misrepresenting self-justifying self-appointed cultural custodian hucksters like Sabet.

Sabet, as a well trained and well compensated mouthpiece for the prohibitionists knows very well that the only hope to extend the drug war that enriches both drug kingpins and university social scientists is to lie, lie big and lie long because they know well, as the moral philosopher Mohandas Gandhi once said, “the truth never damages a just cause.”

national

“Things are going to be hell for you”

We live in a country where the sick are denied comfort, relief and even cures because of cannabis prohibition.  And, if you are a Parkinson’s patient, shuffling slowly across your disability payment bed-sit to re-catheterize yourself, because a former cannabis user is vain, weak and calculating,

“Things are going to be hell for you.”

We live in a country that arrested over 800,000 citizens last year for cannabis related offenses, primarily small scale possession.  Those unlucky enough to be convicted, and of course this means primarily Black and Latino Americans, will be stigmatized for their entire working lives, having their ability to contribute to our society be compromised forever.  If you are a young American who uses the same natural substance recreationally that was used by honored and lionized Americans including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson,

“Things are going to be hell for you.”

We live in a world where thousands of our neighbors are being slaughtered every year in horrific fashion because prohibition creates a black market that is estimated to be worth trillions of dollars and that is controlled by brutish criminals.  If you are an honest law enforcement official in Mexico or an innocent 8 year old niece of a drug smuggler,

“Things are going to be hell for you.”

What is it that leads otherwise rational and progressive Americans to not see in abject clarity that the Obama administration is pathologically committed to ensuring that cannabis be illegal for consumption by American adults during his presidency and that afflicted and dying American’s will not be able to receive the medically proven benefits of medicinal cannabis following the recent pharmacy raids in Washington state?

Obama’s body-armoured representative thumb nailed the administration’s approach to continuing the suffering and pain of our afflicted, continuing the racist jailing and lifelong stigmatization of our youth, continuing to cynically deploy dishonest and misrepresentational propagandic talking points, continue to dishonestly hide from what he knows from his significant use of the natural substance cannabis, that it is both harmless and helpful, continue to trumpet and support discredited pseudo-scientific studies and medical quackery, continue to blaze a path in the opposite direction of compassion, morality, humanity, science and the rest of the industrial world when he said;

“Things are going to be hell for you”

If standing by our political team in some freakish “Friday Night Lights” sports game of a partisanship slap-fest is more important than our sick and dying sisters and our unfairly arrested and prosecuted brothers who suffer on the sidelines – then we have all uttered the horrible and discompassionate threat,

“Things are going to be hell for you”

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cannabis medicine links : 05.16.2013

Study claims marijuana tied to lower bladder cancer risk : USA Today

Active Ingredient in Marijuana Kills Brain Cancer Cells: ABC News

Federal Government Reports Marijuana Effective in Combatting Certain Cancers Reports ADSI : NBC News

Researchers Say Compound in Cannabis Plant Could Cure Cancer : KION TV/ABC News


Smoking Marijuana Causes ‘Complete Remission’ of Crohn’s Disease, No Side Effects, New Study Shows
: San Francisco Chronicle

Colombia’s capital banks on marijuana cure for hard drug addicts : Miami Herald

You could be lighting up a fat-ass sticky-icky cure for HIV, dude : MSNBC News

Study: Why Pot Smokers Are Skinnier : the Atlantic

Feds threaten medical pot dispensaries with 40-year sentences : Salon

national

holder’s hackery holds little hope for an
honest hearing on hemp

The recent Senate hearings about President Obama’s declared authority to excecute Americans with no trial, charges, lawyer, ability to question witnesses, ability to be informed of evidence (otherwise known as ‘due process’) where Attorney General Eric Holder was questioned were revealing as the Justice Department winds down its ‘review’ of the ballot initiatives in CO and WA that legalized cannabis for recreational use by adults.

The style of legal pettifoggery deployed by Holder throughout the entire drone-American-style debate that ended in spectacular fashion when libertarian senator Rand Paul and a group of brave but clearly marginalized senators filibustered against the a-constitutional notion that a president can assassinate Americans in the US (or anywhere) with no judge,  jury or charges is what anyone paying attention over the past four years would expect. 

When Holder’s reasoning was not specious it was circular. Most frighteningly Holder’s entire defense of the program took as a predicate that America is in lock-down mode because it is in a permanent war state where citizen’s rights are, you know, necessarily suspended for the duration.  Though slimy and lowbrow, the message was clear – Eric Holder advises the President with supreme, one may even say god-like confidence that the US President has a legal right to blow the pancakes out of you and me at any moment, for safety reasons.  We have previously seen Holder arguing in this style.  An example that can’t go unmentioned was his comments last March in Chicago where he asserted that due process was not judicial process; see v2 at the demise for a take on that statement that is informed by recent history. 

This wacky word-play as constitutional analysis has been seen throughout what little the Obama administration has revealed of it’s legal justifications for abrogating provisions of the US Constitution.  The DOJ’s neo-Orwellian re-defining of the word imminance in it’s leaked drone white paper is an example. When both Holder and his former chief of criminal prosecutions Lanny Breuer argued many times that banking criminals deserve to be treated differently than you and me under the law and when the DOJ judged Aaron Schwartz’s actions as terrorism, Holder is helping his boss justify any action, inaction or Constitutional infraction so the president can do as he pleases. 

And I have to point out, for chain-of-command challenged Democrats, progressives and other critics of George W. Bush who are weirdly mum on our current commander in chief: Holder is an employee of Barack Obama, not some sort of free wheeling individualist forming policy in Washington DC.

As Americans look toward the Obama administration’s forthcoming legal analysis of the people supported, ‘small D democratic’, ‘We the People’ rejection of law enforcement’s and private capital’s bigoted and destructive ‘drug war’ in the popular rejection of the prohibition of cannabis, we should remember that in the current Obama government, as  in previous administrations over the past 50 years both Democratic and Republican, what comes first in America is the political and the commercial, not the will of the people.

While this Democratic administration’s efforts to normalize the anti-democratic and anti-free society pronouncements and actions of the previous Republican power holders are most troublesome and far reaching when they normalize extrajudicial extermination, torture and total surveillance, we have seen its pandering to private business owners almost as much as its pandering to the unaccountable national security state.  Whether it is easing environmental standards for oil exploration and environmental degradation or deeming banking felons to be above the law and granting these private parties trillions of tax payer dollars to prop up their ‘businesses’, commerce always comes before the will of the people in Obama’s world.  And the legalization of cannabis for either medical or recreational use is fundamentally violative of that which Barack Obama has decided in his life to protect at all costs.  It is not the moral (medical marijuana), or the logical (the harms associated with cannabis juxtaposed against those of legal tobacco and alcohol), nor the fair (with hundreds of thousands of otherwise productive Americans languishing in jail) – but rather it is where ‘commerce’ and ‘public safety’ intersect as politics, what used to be known as fascism.

So now we are being softened up by former DOJ drug warriors who are bought off by industrialists and are being chicken-littled by international ‘enforcement’ entities about the defilement of ‘treaties’ that were written within the thinly veiled racist and population subordinating constructs of cannabis prohibitionism, being primed for the preordained proclamation of Obama’s DOJ: that the will of the people must be bridled for the sake of ‘international obligations’.  The pettifogger Holder, on this one, will seek refuge for his justifying Obama’s predetermination by squealing his solemn ‘adherance to international law’.

The editors of mLaw ask readers to consider Palestine, Kyoto, torture and rendition, black-site prisons, imperial wars, the threat of death from the skies…sacrosanct treaties indeed.  It is you and me, friends, who are being ‘convinced’ by this high school level rhetoric and disingenuous gum-flappery, and it is us who will pay the price for our inaction in the face of this neo-fascist policy framing.  As Sinclair Lewis noted, self-deluded Americans are fond of incanting, “It can’t happen here”.

It ain’t hard to figure what Obama is going to do regarding acknowledging the will of the people, honest and thoughtful American adults, with respect to legalizing the use of cannabis.  All one has to do is simply consider the compassionate, the rational, the just, the intelligent, the safe, the science supported, the popularly supported, the equality uplifting, the violence stemming, the patient saving, the public coffer enriching,  the just plain right and correct alternative…and Obama will do the mirror opposite.

Its not about the suffering of the afflicted, its not about the wasted future of those unfairly prosecuted, its not about the will of the people, its not about free market capitalism, its not about saving public works and the social safety net, its about one thing – the reason America exists in the mind of our current corporate sycophant and careerist narcissist: its all about the burnished legacy of an amoral former user.

Hail to the chief.

 

national

verbatim 37.3

verbatim 37.3 : cross posted from the demise