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Author Topic: The War on Drugs  (Read 54178 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #200 on: June 03, 2011, 09:56:40 AM »


The war on cancer is not kicking in people's doors.
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G M
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« Reply #201 on: June 03, 2011, 09:57:40 AM »


The war on cancer is not kicking in people's doors.
Search warrants are served on more than just drug crimes.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #202 on: June 03, 2011, 10:22:31 AM »

So?  What's your point?

You used the War on Cancer, and I distinguished its applicability to the question presented here.  Your answer is a non-sequitor.

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G M
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« Reply #203 on: June 03, 2011, 10:27:04 AM »

If you are opposed to search warrants, they happen for all sorts of investigations, not just drugs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #204 on: June 03, 2011, 11:00:14 AM »

C'mon GM, don't be silly.  We both know I am not opposed to all search warrants.  I am noting though that a cost of the WOD is a lot of doors getting kicked in, exigently or otherwise tongue.    This something all good Americans believe should be minimized, yes?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #205 on: June 03, 2011, 11:16:25 AM »

Quote
Again, I'm trying to get your criteria you'd use to judge any law enforcement policy's effectiveness.

If you deem the WOD a failure, please explain how the other "wars" are or are not a failure. Didn't Nixon also declare a war on cancer? We still have cancer, right?

Hmm, I think I understand. You are conceding the point that the WOD has failed by any rational standard, but it's a double secret concession, and now want to move on to a thesis that you won't state aloud 'cause it's silly, namely that a failed policy can't be abandoned despite it's failure unless it's failure is fully defined, not counting the trillion dollars, half million incarcerated, millions arrested, enriched enemies, damage done to our founding values, families ripped apart, law enforcement bribed and subverted and on and on and on.

You are sounding like others I won't bother naming; the contortions you have embraced to avoid speaking to the thesis under discussion speaks for itself.

BTW, there has been progress made in the war on cancer. Has there been progress made in the WOD, or does using the term "war" requires us to keep fighting wars we've lost by any rational standard?
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G M
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« Reply #206 on: June 03, 2011, 02:04:37 PM »

If someone wants to give meth to a young child, should society attempt to prevent/stigmatize/punish such conduct?

Should we just shrug our shoulders and say it's none of our business?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: June 03, 2011, 07:52:44 PM »

What is the point of speaking to us as if we agree with something which we don't?

Oy vey.
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G M
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« Reply #208 on: June 03, 2011, 08:02:11 PM »

Just trying to clarify the jello-like positions here. Simple questions.
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G M
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« Reply #209 on: June 03, 2011, 08:08:11 PM »

What does the end of the "war on drugs" look like? Everything uncontrolled? Oxycontin machines next to gumball machines? Cocaine back in coke?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #210 on: June 04, 2011, 05:57:06 AM »

The first step is to agree to go in that direction and as a society work out a consensus.

I'm guessing that it would look something like this:

Pot:  Legal, but regulated.  Home use OK, OK at clubs. bars-- just like alchohol.  Just like alcohol, no puffing in public places.  No access for children.  I'd be perfectly comfortable with no mass advertising, Home grown OK.  Stores like the clinics here in LA?  Psylocybin, peyote, and other psychedlics: Home grown OK, available at clinics.  Addictive substances (e.g. heroin and other substances which by-pass free will)  Decriminalized, but available through clinics administered by some sort of nurse practitioner or some sort of trained, certified person on site?

Just some initial thoughts.


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G M
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« Reply #211 on: June 05, 2011, 05:15:41 PM »

"Pot:  Legal, but regulated." Regulated by whom?

"Psylocybin, peyote, and other psychedlics: Home grown OK, available at clinics." How does one get a prescription or refferal to grow or purchase such things at clincs?
"Addictive substances (e.g. heroin and other substances which by-pass free will)  Decriminalized, but available through clinics administered by some sort of nurse practitioner or some sort of trained, certified person on site?" Given the litigation case law related to cigarettes and the potential for malpractice accusations, can you see many medical professionals willing to prescribe crack or meth?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #212 on: June 05, 2011, 06:49:24 PM »

GM:

Regulated by whom?  State?  County? City?

How to get a prescription/referral?  Liability?  Law defines standards (e.g age, no liability for provider, etc)

Really, this is a matter for discussion by our elected officials, so I'm not going to get into all the details.  I've given a rough outline of what occurs to me off the top of my head to refute your imputations of meth to children and other childish arguments.

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G M
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« Reply #213 on: June 05, 2011, 06:51:52 PM »

"Really, this is a matter for discussion by our elected officials, so I'm not going to get into all the details.  I've given a rough outline of what occurs to me off the top of my head to refute your imputations of meth to children and other childish arguments."

So, even under your plan, someone who sold meth to children would face having law enforcement serve a search warrant on his home and arrest him for dealing drugs?
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G M
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« Reply #214 on: June 05, 2011, 07:07:05 PM »

A Colorado doctor under fire for recommending marijuana to a pregnant woman says he provided the patient with appropriate care and disputes that pregnancy and medical marijuana don't mix.

Dr. Manuel Aquino, who could lose his medical license over the recommendation in January, also says the woman's behavior was "intentional, reckless or grossly negligent" in not telling him during the exam that she was pregnant. He also accuses the Colorado Medical Board of taking too long to bring a case against him and says new laws requiring a fuller relationship between doctors recommending marijuana and patients seeking it were not in place when he made the recommendation.

"The charges herein do not allege conduct below the standard of care," Aquino states in his defense.

Aquino's response comes in a document filed late Wednesday in the administrative case against him. In that case, the Colorado Medical Board is seeking to strip his license, which would make him the first doctor punished for substandard care in making a marijuana recommendation.

The medical board accuses Aquino of writing the recommendation for the woman, who was six months pregnant, after a 3-minute visit in which he didn't perform a physical exam, didn't review her medical history and didn't ask whether she was pregnant.Aquino, though, says new regulations requiring him to have a "bona-fide" relationship with marijuana-seeking patients weren't in place in January. He also denied a statement contained in the medical board's complaint that "pregnancy is a contraindication for the use of medical marijuana."

Aquino's attorney, Sheila Meer, has declined to comment. The case is scheduled for a hearing in March.

News of Aquino's prosecution has spurred comments on online cannabis message boards debating whether marijuana use during pregnancy is harmful. Medical research hasn't been unanimously conclusive on the subject, though several studies suggest prenatal marijuana exposure can have negative consequences for children.

A 2009 article in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience noted that numerous studies have shown marijuana use during pregnancy can result in low birth weight and children with hyperactivity, and short-term memory and impulse-control problems.

"Recent evidence suggests that perinatal (marijuana) exposure alters fundamental developmental processes," the study's authors wrote.



Read more: Colorado doctor defends recommending marijuana to a pregnant patient - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_16933274?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #215 on: June 05, 2011, 09:25:04 PM »

"So, even under your plan, someone who sold meth to children would face having law enforcement serve a search warrant on his home and arrest him for dealing drugs?"

Give this man a cigar for reading comprehension! cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #216 on: June 05, 2011, 09:30:44 PM »

So, the war on drugs continues?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #217 on: June 05, 2011, 10:54:35 PM »

""Pot:  Legal, but regulated." Regulated by whom?"

Decriminalization would offer more freedom than a complete, legal government takeover.
-----------------------
"Recent evidence suggests that perinatal (marijuana) exposure alters fundamental developmental processes,"

GM, There isn't a human being developing inside a pregnant woman.   This is settled law.  Saying otherwise is 'crazy talk'. 

If there was, and we systematically killed 40 million of them, it would be like a ... modern day holocaust.  And we know it isn't.
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G M
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« Reply #218 on: June 05, 2011, 11:40:11 PM »

But funny enough Doug, it would be unethical and possibly criminal to run a study on pregnant mothers, exposing some to THC in a double blind study to determine exactly the damage done to a developing fetus. However, aborting those fetuses is like some sort of holy sacriment that cannot be questioned. Weird how that works.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #219 on: June 06, 2011, 09:32:21 AM »

Yes, like terrorists.  You can shoot them but not question them for long periods.

Fetal alcohol syndrome and damage from cigarette smoke are other areas of impossibility because they falsely assume there is a human being growing and developing inside the mother. 

'Holy sacrament' is the truth.  It is the one area where we accept putting a religion (atheism) ahead of the discoveries of science and ultrasound photography.  If we admitted that one of God's creatures was in there we could at least weight the merits of affording it reasonable protection from alcohol and drugs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #220 on: June 12, 2011, 06:41:35 AM »

By GEORGE P. SHULTZ And PAUL A. VOLCKER

"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world."

That is the opening sentence of a report issued last week by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Both of us have signed on to this report. Why?

(Drug use in the U.S. is no lower than in countries with different approaches.)

We believe that drug addiction is harmful to individuals, impairs health and has adverse societal effects. So we want an effective program to deal with this problem.

The question is: What is the best way to go about it? For 40 years now, our nation's approach has been to criminalize the entire process of producing, transporting, selling and using drugs, with the exception of tobacco and alcohol. Our judgment, shared by other members of the commission, is that this approach has not worked, just as our national experiment with the prohibition of alcohol failed. Drugs are still readily available, and crime rates remain high. But drug use in the U.S. is no lower than, and sometimes surpasses, drug use in countries with very different approaches to the problem.

At the same time, the costs of the drug war have become astronomical. Inmates arrested for consuming drugs and for possessing small quantities of them now crowd our prisons, where too often they learn how to become real criminals. The dollar costs are huge, but they pale in comparison to the lives being lost in our neighborhoods and throughout the world. The number of drug-related casualties in Mexico is on the same order as the number of U.S. lives lost in the Vietnam and Korean wars.

Throughout our hemisphere, governance and economic development have suffered because of drugs. It is no accident that the initiative for this global commission came from former presidents of Latin American nations. These countries, sometimes with American support, have made strong efforts to reduce drug supplies. But they have increasingly concluded that drug policies in the U.S. are making it more difficult for their people to enjoy security and prosperity.

The problem starts with the demand for drugs. As Milton Friedman put it forcibly over 20 years ago in the pages of this paper: "It is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials."

We do not support the simple legalization of all drugs. What we do advocate is an open and honest debate on the subject. We want to find our way to a less costly and more effective method of discouraging drug use, cutting down the power of organized crime, providing better treatment and minimizing negative societal effects.

Other countries that have tried different approaches include Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal and Australia. What can we learn from these varied experiences, some more successful than others? What can we learn from our own experience in reducing sharply the smoking of cigarettes or in the handling of alcohol after the end of Prohibition?

Simple legalization is by no means the only or safest approach. One possibility is to decriminalize the individual use of drugs while maintaining laws against supplying them, thus allowing law-enforcement efforts to focus on the drug peddlers. Some of the money that is saved can be spent on treatment centers, which drug users are more likely to seek out if doing so does not expose them to the risk of arrest.

The situation that confronts us today is dangerous. After 40 years of concentrating on one approach that has been unsuccessful, we should be willing to take a look at other ways of working to solve this pressing problem. As the global commission concludes: "Break the taboo on debate and reform. The time for action is now."

—Mr. Shultz, former U.S. secretary of state under President Reagan, is a distinguished fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Mr. Volcker, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is professor emeritus of international economic policy at Princeton University.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #221 on: June 15, 2011, 02:27:31 PM »

Well said:


« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 07:00:31 AM by Body-by-Guinness » Logged
G M
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« Reply #222 on: June 19, 2011, 07:04:56 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/national/24marijuana.html?

Officials Say Drug Raids Found Clubs Were a Front


By DEAN E. MURPHY
 
Published: June 24, 2005
 

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 - Federal authorities said Thursday that they had cracked the biggest case ever involving the use of medical marijuana dispensaries in California as a cover for international drug dealing and money laundering, which they said extended to Canada and countries in Asia.

"This organization had been operating for over four years," Javier F. Peña, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco, said at a news conference. "It is now dismantled."

In court documents unsealed here, the federal authorities accused a 33-year-old San Francisco man, Vince Ming Wan, of leading a multimillion-dollar operation in the trafficking of marijuana and Ecstasy that used three medical marijuana clubs in the city as a front.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #223 on: June 20, 2011, 12:03:37 PM »

Back in my telephone hotline days there were several pharmacologists who worked the phones, too. Use to have interesting conversations with them about the subjective nature or many prescription drugs, with one man's analgesic being another's psychoactive experience. Because these men of science couldn't get inside a patient's head they had little they could measure to determine if a given substance was being used prescriptively on recreationally. Well good news, not the government is gonna try to work it out for us:

The Government's Top Minds Are Working Hard to Make Painkillers 'Tightly Regulated Yet Easily Available'
Jacob Sullum | June 15, 2011

Yesterday I noted a New York Times profile of Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, focusing on her simplistic, reductionist view of addiction. I should have mentioned that she and her amanuensis at the Times, Abigail Zuger, also had some woefully misguided things to say about the conflict between drug control and pain control:

Quote
Prescription drugs, she continued, have a double life: They are lifesaving yet every bit as dangerous as banned substances. "The challenges we face are much more complex," Dr. Volkow said, "because we need to address the needs of patients in pain, while protecting those at risk for substance use disorders."

In other words, these drugs must be somehow legal and illegal, encouraged yet discouraged, tightly regulated yet easily available.

How is that possible? It isn't. Because pain cannot be objectively verified, there is an unavoidable tradeoff between providing adequate treatment and preventing people from getting high. Even if you think the latter goal is a legitimate function of government, protecting one group of people from their own bad choices simply cannot justify forcing another group of people to live (or die) with horrible pain. Morally, this is a no-brainer: It is better to let 10 addicts trick doctors into prescribing them narcotics than to let one legitimate patient suffer needlessly.

That is not how the government, as channeled by Zuger, sees it:

Treating people with the prescription drug problems is particularly challenging, because, of course, for these particular drugs, physicians are the nation's pushers.

The number of prescriptions written for potentially addictive pain medications has soared in the last decade, reaching more than 200 million in 2010, Dr. Volkow said. Surveys asking teenagers where they get pills find that relatively few buy from strangers. Many have their own prescriptions, often from dental work. Even more are given pills by friends and relatives, presumably out of other legitimate prescriptions.

Doctors may be flooding the country with narcotics, but most have never learned much about pain control. Dr. Volkow said that some data suggests that medical schools devote considerably less time to the subject than veterinary schools do. The Obama administration addressed exactly this deficiency in April with a call for doctors to undergo special training before being allowed to prescribe some of the most addictive painkillers.

"Students and residents have gotten the message that pain is undertreated," said Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, an internist who directs the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. "So they just prescribe higher and higher doses."


The official narrative that emerges from the Times article goes like this: Doctors used to be unnecessarily reluctant to prescribe opioids, but now they are erring in the other direction. Therefore we need to crack down on prescriptions, because too many people are using these drugs for nonmedical reasons. But such a crackdown inevitably hurts people in pain, because it encourages doctors to distrust their patients.

In an April column, I argued that the Obama administration's anti-diversion recommendations would limit access to pain treatment. More on pain treatment here.

http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/15/the-governments-top-minds-are
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G M
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« Reply #224 on: June 20, 2011, 12:08:51 PM »

What I don't understand is the restriction on narcs for terminal patients. It's one thing to closely monitor potentially addictive meds for someone recovering from knee surgery, something else for someone in end stage cancer.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #225 on: June 20, 2011, 03:23:44 PM »

Amen to that.  The arrogance of hubris is mind-boggling.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #226 on: June 21, 2011, 11:10:16 AM »

Nanny state/Puritanism run amok at its finest.
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G M
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« Reply #227 on: June 22, 2011, 11:00:08 PM »

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/

Very compelling TV. Watch it all.
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G M
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« Reply #228 on: July 01, 2011, 11:37:55 AM »

http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/30/white-house-overrides-2009-mem

Obama Administration Overrides 2009 Ogden Memo, Declares Open Season on Pot Shops in States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal

Weird timing. Med marijuana users are most likely Obama voters, so why turn on them now?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #229 on: July 29, 2011, 07:55:49 AM »

I saw Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico (and first non PRI president ever IIRC!) on Piers Morgan last night.   He is completely for ending the War on Drugs and near complete legalization.
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G M
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« Reply #230 on: July 29, 2011, 08:04:48 AM »

I saw Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico (and first non PRI president ever IIRC!) on Piers Morgan last night.   He is completely for ending the War on Drugs and near complete legalization.

I bet he's for the end of the war on illegal immigration too.  rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #231 on: August 29, 2011, 08:36:09 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws7Zp41fByE&feature=related
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JDN
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« Reply #232 on: August 29, 2011, 10:34:55 PM »

I saw Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico (and first non PRI president ever IIRC!) on Piers Morgan last night.   He is completely for ending the War on Drugs and near complete legalization.

Picking up on my risk/benefit analysis from Homeland Security, I understand President Vicente Fox.  Mexico is spending billions of dollars to fight drugs.  Worse, thousands of innocent citizens are dying.  And why?  Because America seems to have an insatiable appetite for drugs.  Mexico doesn't have a "drug problem"; America does.  So why is Mexico fighting and funding "our" war on drugs is the question I'm sure they are asking themselves. 

From Mexico's perspective, why not simply end the war on drugs in Mexico; it will save pesos and more important, Mexican lives.  Imagine Mexico without nearly as much drug violence and the money and police/army used to combat it saved, instead being used for productive purposes.  Mexico is definitely better off.  Not much down side if you think about it.  I'ld be curious to see what America's response would be.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #233 on: September 21, 2011, 04:09:33 PM »

instead of the persuasion of power:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/see-these-graphic-ads-credited-with-dramatically-decreasing-drug-usage-in-montana/
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G M
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« Reply #234 on: September 27, 2011, 07:34:59 AM »


http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051201/marijuana-raises-risk-of-fatal-car-crash

Marijuana Raises Risk of Fatal Car Crash

French Study Shows Pot Smokers More Likely to Be Responsible for Deadly Accident


WebMD Health News


Dec. 1, 2005 - People who drive after using marijuana are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

French researchers studied all drivers involved in fatal car crashes over a two-year period and found 7% tested positive for marijuana, including nearly 3% who tested positive for a combination of marijuana and alcohol.

Although marijuana's share of fatal crashes is much lower than those attributed to alcohol, researchers say the results show that marijuana use, even in low doses, significantly increases the risk of fatal car accidents.

More Pot, More Deaths

In the study, published in the medical journal BMJ, researchers reviewed information on 10,748 drivers who were involved in fatal car crashes and took required tests for drugs and alcohol.

Twice as many drivers involved in fatal car accidents tested positive for marijuana compared with a group of other drivers.

Researchers say about 2.5% of the fatal crashes were attributable to marijuana compared with nearly 29% attributable to alcohol.

The study also showed that drivers who tested positive for marijuana were more than three times as likely to be responsible for the fatal car crash. Researchers say the likelihood of being at fault increased as the blood concentration of marijuana increased.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #235 on: September 27, 2011, 09:09:27 AM »

Therefor if people smoke marijuana instead of drinking alchohol, there would be less car crashes, yes?  grin
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DougMacG
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« Reply #236 on: September 27, 2011, 11:23:00 AM »

"Researchers say about 2.5% of the fatal crashes were attributable to marijuana compared with nearly 29% attributable to alcohol."

Less than 1/10th the effect of alcohol is implied, even the low number of 2.5% involves only crashes in question enough to order the test; the total may be lower yet.  They mix results of trace levels with intoxicating levels. They mix correlation with causation.  No mention that I saw of testing for and removing other factors, for example the drivers in fatal crashes who test positive for marijuana may have been more likely to have taken something else as well. No mention of testing for control the drivers who didn't cause fatal crashes.
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G M
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« Reply #237 on: September 27, 2011, 11:44:37 AM »

I've had a number of marijuana smokers insist that driving while high is safer than driving drunk. Also, for the "medical marijuana" user, how does one measure impairment?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #238 on: September 27, 2011, 11:48:49 AM »

Well, based upon your data, it is  cheesy cheesy cheesy

BTW, as we all know, measurable traces of pot linger in the system for a very long time after the buzz itself (weeks? months?)
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G M
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« Reply #239 on: September 27, 2011, 11:53:37 AM »

Yes, unlike alcohol, THC is fat soluble and is present in various degrees for a lengthy period. A "medical marijuana" patient who smokes daily will have THC present in their system in elevated levels at all times. Should that person be driving?
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G M
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« Reply #240 on: September 27, 2011, 12:27:28 PM »

The disagreement over what to do about the rising number of people in Colorado caught driving after using marijuana took center stage Wednesday, when members of a group charged with studying the issue presented three proposals.

The presentations at a meeting of the drug-policy subcommittee of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice were the first step in a process that could lead to a new law during next year's legislative session. But the meeting mostly underscored how little consensus there is around the issue of driving stoned, which law enforcement officials fear is on the rise with the expansion of the state's medical-marijuana system.

"This issue is not about a person's right to use medical marijuana," Christine Flavia of the state health department's Division of Behavioral Health said at the meeting. "It's about public safety."

The debate centers on whether the state should adopt a law establishing a measurement of THC — the psychoactive component of marijuana — in the blood at which a driver automatically would be considered too stoned to drive.

But the study group examining the issue deadlocked on how to handle it, leading to Wednesday's multipronged presentation.

One group proposed reintroducing the THC limit — known, legally, as a "per se" standard — arguing that it is backed by research and would be a strong deterrent.

"We want people to be accountable, and we are concerned about the message we would be sending if we do not pass a per-se law," said Laura Spicer, a drug-addiction counselor.

Another group, though, said that the science on THC impairment is not settled and that the limits proposed were too low and would lead to the conviction of nonimpaired drivers.



Read more: Colorado panel debates stoned-driving threshold - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_18848981
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DougMacG
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« Reply #241 on: September 27, 2011, 01:16:00 PM »

The Colorado law is a farce in terms of doctor involvement, ailments and prescriptions.  Actually setting a limit fro drivers and administering a test *when justified* makes some sense, but the data and studies on the effect will not be as predictable and consistent as it is with alcohol. The effect varies more person to person.  Some in moderate usage drive safer with lower speeds and greater following distances.   

Strange to test for the least dangerous drug unless you also test for prescription drugs, amphetimine, coke, opiates, etc.

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G M
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« Reply #242 on: September 27, 2011, 01:21:23 PM »

Doug,

There are alcoholics that could pound down a 6 pack and show no visible signs of intoxication outside of HGN. They are still guilty of DUI despite their tolerance for alcohol.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #243 on: September 27, 2011, 02:04:34 PM »

GM,  Agree.  I'm not against putting a measurable limit on driving in law if it is backed up in science.  What I'm saying is that the tie between blood content and delayed reactions / loss of concentration will be more difficult to establish for THC than it was for alcohol.  Before texting while driving bans were codified, distracted driving was already illegal.  I hope that being totally incoherent while driving is already prohibited, no matter the drug or mental defect. 


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G M
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« Reply #244 on: September 27, 2011, 03:34:50 PM »

The problem being that really impaired persons on THC are much harder to detect than imparied persons that have consumed alcohol.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #245 on: October 07, 2011, 01:13:21 PM »

Not finding a stupid criminal category I will stick this here:
-------------------------
Man Busted for Marijuana After Petting K-9
Friday, Oct 7, 2011  |  Updated 8:35 AM EDT

Man Busted for Marijuana After Petting K-9

Good advice:  If you have marijuana in your pocket, it's not a good idea to pet a patrolling police dog.     

The Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin reports that 48-year-old Kelly Simpson was busted Wednesday after he stopped to pet K-9 Tarah, who was on foot patrol with her handler in Endicott.

Police say Tarah smelled marijuana and alerted the officer.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Marijuana-Dog-K-9-Man-Arrest-Dumb-131317779.html (via Drudge!)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #246 on: October 26, 2011, 09:56:04 AM »

http://www.aele.org/alert-email.html

A new article appears in the AELE Monthly Law Journal.

* Medical Marijuana and Public Safety Personnel

Marijuana is a controlled substance whose use, sale, and possession are federal crimes, regardless of any state laws to the contrary. As a result, issues have arisen as to the right of employers, including public safety employers, to discipline and terminate employees for the use of medical marijuana when it is allowed by state law.

The article discusses what some courts have said regarding the right of management to terminate employees for the use of medical marijuana.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #247 on: December 21, 2011, 11:17:18 AM »

A book review:

http://reason.com/archives/2011/12/20/modern-day-prohibition
Reason Magazine


Modern-Day Prohibition

The eternal temptation to ban things that give people pleasure

Jeff Stier from the January 2012 issue

The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition Since 1800, by Christopher Snowdon, Little Dice, 246 pages, $19.99

The new Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary Prohibition is a five-and-a-half-hour missed opportunity to demonstrate why bans on substances are doomed from the start. Fortunately, for those who want to understand the irresistible lure of all types of prohibitions, there is Christopher Snowdon’s The Art of Suppression: Pleasure, Panic and Prohibition Since 1800. Although Snowdon’s comprehensive history will never reach as many people as the PBS series, The Art of Suppression makes the case that Burns seems to go out of his way to avoid: that prohibition of products that people desire, whether alcohol a century ago or Ecstasy today, is bound to fail miserably.

Deploying a colorful cast of characters, Snowdon, a British journalist whose first book, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist (2009), documented the history of anti-tobacco campaigns, tells the story of prohibition’s broader context. He brings to the task the stinging humor reminiscent of H.L. Mencken, whom he quotes in describing one of the book’s central villains, the Anti-Saloon League lawyer Wayne Bidwell Wheeler: “He was born with a roaring voice, and it had the trick of inflaming half-wits.” Wheeler was a prototypical activist, Snowdon says, “the undisputed master of pressure politics…no one was more skillful or less scrupulous in applying pressure to wavering politicians.”

Just as it is today, Ohio was a battleground state in the early 1900s, when Wheeler targeted popular Republican Gov. Myron T. Herrick, who had the audacity to challenge provisions of a prohibitionist Anti-Saloon League bill. Wheeler, Snowdon writes, held hundreds of dry rallies in favor of Herrick’s opponent and “scurrilously accused Herrick of being in the pocket of the drinks industry.” Seeking to make an example of the governor, Wheeler marshaled tens of thousands of churchgoers, who flooded into the polls and bounced Herrick out of office.

The result? Practical political hypocrisy on the issue of alcohol. Wheeler’s effort, Snowdon explains, was “a bleak warning to wet politicians that it was safest to drink in private and support prohibition in public.…Politicians knew that they could placate their tormentors by supporting dry laws, but they also knew they could placate drinkers by failing to enforce them.”

The wet/dry debate was a key issue in American politics for the quarter centuries before and after 1900. Issues as varied as women’s suffrage, race relations, urban vs. rural life, and religious tensions all played out in the context of alcohol prohibition.

Wheeler’s mad female counterpart was known as “Christ’s bulldog,” the “hatchet-wielding vigilante” Carrie Amelia Moore, whose 1877 marriage of convenience to David Nation gave her a “striking name that she viewed as a sign of providence.” Arriving in officially dry Wichita, Kansas, on January 21, 1901, Carrie A. Nation assumed leadership of the militant wing of the so-called temperance movement, declaring loudly, “Men of Wichita, this is the right arm of God and I am destined to wreck every saloon in your city!” Together with three Woman’s Christian Temperance Union colleagues, Snowdon writes, “she set to work on two ‘murder shops’ with rocks, iron rods and hatchets, only stopping when the owner of the second saloon put a revolver to her head.” Vandalizing illegal saloons didn’t get Nation arrested, but attacking a policeman in a hotel lobby eventually did. “Showing considerable leniency, the chief of police released the teetotal delinquent on bail on the condition that she smash no more saloons until noon the following day. Nation’s first act as a free woman was to stand on the steps of the police station and inform the waiting crowd that she would recommence her reign of terror as soon as the clock struck twelve.” As it turned out, she could not wait even that long.

Nation, who was widely believed to suffer from mental illness, may not have been a typical prohibitionist, but her antics made her one of the more conspicuous ones. Her visibility allowed outlets such as The New York Times to position themselves as moderate by condemning her tactics but not her underlying stance.

Today’s prohibitionists are less colorful but no less determined. Consider the sad story of psychopharmacologist David Nutt’s brief term as chairman of the British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Shortly after he was appointed to the position in May 2008, the Sun reported that Nutt thought Ecstasy and LSD should be removed from the legal category ostensibly reserved for the most dangerous drugs, kicking off a Fleet Street frenzy.

Instead of backing down, Nutt doubled down. In a satirical article published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology in January 2009, he analyzed “an addiction called ‘Equasy’ that kills ten people a year, causes brain damage and has been linked to the early onset of Parkinson’s disease.” Nut added that Equasy “releases endorphins, can create dependence and is responsible for over 100 road traffic accidents every year.”

Had Nutt not revealed that Equasy was simply the time-honored sport of horseback riding, activists certainly would have rushed to introduce a ban. Nutt pointed out that since Equasy causes acute harm to one out of 350 riders, it is far riskier than Ecstasy, for which the fraction is one out of 10,000. His point, of course, was that prohibition has less to do with risk than with the importance society attaches to a risky activity. As Snowdon puts it, “If the cultural baggage is put to one side, and activities are assessed on the basis of mortality rather than morality, there are glaring inconsistencies in the way laws deal with different hazards.” In October 2009, British Home Secretary Alan Johnson fired Nutt for failing to recognize that “his role is to advise rather than criticise.”

While The Art of Suppression does not include a chapter on marijuana legalization, Snowdon leaves no doubt about his position on the issue. “Legal highs may not be as good as the real thing,” he writes, “and they are often more dangerous, but at least users don’t have to worry about being arrested.”

Snowdon describes a cycle in which so-called “killer drugs” receive an inordinate amount of tabloid media attention, driving up consumer interest until the substance is finally banned based on sensationalistic claims about its dangers. Yet as soon as one chemical is banned, a newer one—often more dangerous—is created to elude the ban. “In the restless pursuit of hedonistic diversions,” Snowdon writes, “human beings will try almost any substance if more appealing avenues of pleasure are closed off.”

In addition to sardonic humor, Snowdon offers new reporting on how distorted science and unfounded health claims are driving lesser-known prohibitions in the modern world, such as the 1986 European ban on all oral tobacco products, including Swedish snus. Snowdon documents in detail how a 2003 scientific report funded by the European Commission and the Swedish National Institute of Public Health, intended to provide legal and scientific justification for the ban, was altered after leaving the hands of the scientists who wrote it. Among the many questionable editorial changes in the report was one that glossed over the fact that snus, unlike less refined oral tobacco products, does not cause oral cancer. While the original version said “there can be no doubt that the current ban on oral tobacco is highly arbitrary,” that phrase was missing from the published report.

In response to accumulating evidence supporting the use of snus as a harm-reducing alternative to cigarettes, supporters of the E.U. ban have become more brazen. Based on information from Asa Lundquist, the tobacco control manager for the Swedish National Institute of Public Health, the Swedish press reported that snus (which remains legal in Sweden) causes impotence and infertility. Luckily, Swedes, who have suffered through decades of similar scares, insisted on seeing the study behind the allegations. As it turns out, the scare itself was impotent. The supposed source, the Karolinska Institute, admitted “there is no such study.” Rather, “we have a hypothesis and plan to conduct a study among snus users after the new year.”     

Here in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to exercise its authority to ban menthol cigarettes, even though studies repeatedly have found that they are no more harmful than non- mentholated cigarettes. Drunk with power, regulators and those encouraging them are using catchy slogans such as “Menthol: it helps the poison go down easier.”

Prohibitionists ignore or belittle concerns that a ban on menthol cigarettes would turn citizens into criminals, increase unregulated youth access to cigarettes, and even encourage people to make their own mentholated cigarettes (all it takes is a regular cigarette, a cough drop, and a ziplock bag).

It is hard to miss the similarities between current prohibition campaigns and their historical predecessors. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union’s “stated desire was to ‘reform, so far as possible, by religious, ethical, and scientific means the drinking classes.’ ” Likewise today, says Snowdon, self-righteous activists and their allies in government do not seek to improve public health by following the dictates of science but rather use pseudoscientific arguments and “subtle deceit” to advance laws that dictate how we live.

It is easy now, as Ken Burns has masterfully done, to ridicule the prohibition of alcohol. But Snowdon does the heavy lifting of catching modern-day Carrie Nations in the act. Despite a long history of failure, the public always seems ready to enlist in prohibitionist campaigns, perhaps believing, as Snowdon puts it, that “utopia is only ever one ban away.”

Jeff Stier is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #248 on: December 23, 2011, 04:44:17 AM »

Times Topic: Mexican Drug Trafficking

  The police force in the port city of Veracruz was dissolved on Wednesday, and Mexican officials sent the navy in to patrol. The Veracruz State government said the decision was part of an effort to root out police corruption and start over in the state’s largest city. A state spokeswoman, Gina Dominguez, said 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees were laid off. She told reporters that the former officers could apply for jobs in a state police force but would have to meet stricter standards. Thirty-five bodies were dumped in Veracruz in one of the worst gang attacks of Mexico’s drug war. The Mexican Army has taken over police operations several times, notably in the border city of Ciudad Juárez. But Veracruz is the first state to disband a large police department and use marines for law enforcement.

A version of this brief appeared in print on December 22, 2011, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Mexico: City Police Force Disbanded.
 
                                                       P.C.                                             
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bigdog
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« Reply #249 on: December 23, 2011, 06:37:37 AM »

BBG: Snowdon's book looks to be very interesting.  Thank you for sharing the review.  Had I written his first book, though, it would have been titled "Velvet Glove, Iron Lung." 
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