Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Searching for Harper | Main | Al & Mike Show - Episode 56 - Two to go »

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Big Lie

In honour of the long-overdue announcement that federal raids on medical marijuana America have ended, I thought I would post an excerpt on the origins of marijuana prohibition from Peter McWilliams' outstanding book, Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do, the text of which is available online through that link (but it's well worth purchasing).

The chapter of the book from which I'm drawing the following excerpt lays out the steps through which the Marijuana Tax Act (which banned cannabis in the United States) went before it was passed under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Harry Anslinger, and the false premises and outright bullying to which the FBN had to resort to get the act passed and force medical professionals to get on board.

... how many doctors were heard in the congressional hearings in 1937? Precisely one. He represented the American Medical Association. The AMA opposed the bill. At least twenty-eight medicinal products containing marijuana were on the market in 1937, the doctor pointed out; drugs containing marijuana were manufactured and distributed by the leading pharmaceutical firms; and marijuana was recognized as a medicine in good standing by the AMA. [...]

[...] Like the Harrison Narcotics Act before it, the Marijuana Tax Act claimed—even in the title of the bill—only to tax marijuana. It was yet another deception perpetrated on Congress and the American people: the intent of the bill was never to tax, but to prohibit. Beyond mere deception, however, the Big Lie to Congress was yet to come.

In testifying before the congressional committee, the doctor sent by the AMA said the AMA had only realized "two days before" the hearings that the "killer weed from Mexico" was indeed cannabis, the benign drug used and prescribed by the medical profession for more than a hundred years. Said Dr. Woodward,

We cannot understand, yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the [medical] profession, that it was being prepared.

Anslinger and the committee chairman, Robert L. Doughton, DuPont Dynasties, Robert Doughton was a key DuPont supporter in Congress denounced and curtly excused Dr. Woodward. When the marijuana tax bill came before Congress, one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?" Representative Vinson answered for the committee, "Yes, we have . . . and they are in complete agreement."

The Big Lie. The bill passed, and became law in September 1937.

Anslinger was furious with the AMA for opposing him before the congressional committee. As the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he could prosecute any doctors who prescribed narcotics for "illegal purposes." Which purposes were "illegal" was pretty much Anslinger's call. From mid-1937 through 1939, more than 3,000 doctors were prosecuted. In 1939, the AMA made peace with Anslinger and came out in opposition to marijuana. From 1939 to 1949, only three doctors were prosecuted by the FBN for drug activity of any kind.

McWilliams, for those who don't know, passed away in 2000. He had AIDS and cancer and had been successfully using marijuana (legal under California law) to control his nausea, but switched to Marinol after a federal investigation and a judge ordered him to do so. Marinol was only effective about a third of the time for McWilliams and one day shortly after he switched medications he began vomiting and choked to death.

For all the economic damage he's likely to do, Obama's policy on letting the states legislate on medical marijuana would have saved Peter McWilliams' life, and will save lives that would have been lost. If I had a hat, I'd tip it to Mr. Obama today.

Posted by Janet Neilson on February 27, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

I work nights and need to get some sleep but you do make me laugh Shane, you really do.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-04 8:46:41 AM


Consider your surrender accepted, Homer.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-04 9:15:05 AM


"...The simple facts of the case are that marijuana research in the US has been deliberately curtailed and censored by any truly objective researchers ever since the La Guardia report came out..,."

I guess every Wipehead Wacktivists opinion is now suddenly a simple fact.thats that then.. it is a conspiracy.

LYIN" OUR ASSES OFF, JUST TO BE MEAN SINCE 1943

"...Anyone who can't see the dynamics of prohibition causing organized crime and violence is not only wearing blinders they are totally ignorant of US history..."

It just is..

We won't even go _near the list price of $1.47 a US gallon for magic hemp ethanol- but really ....where did you get this price for a commodity that doesn't exist based on a resource that isn't in production at all- zero-anywhere on earth...

if some hippy genius could for some reason actually create hemp ethanol for $1.47 per US gallon- with local, state and federal taxes tacked on it--dealers profits, storage and transport costs

it would cost the same as evil gasoline.and not have the same punch of of BTUs per gallon and tie up tons of thousands of US acres of productive soil better used for food, Will this hemp be grown organically or will your hippy chemists be applying chemical fertilizers?.. fertilizers derived from natural gas..??

or if the future American republics of Sustainia & Organica, tell us who will be spreading septic night soil from the cities on the fields of Agra-Transportatia ?


Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-04 10:54:47 AM


The lives of others are less important than his right to get high. Disprove that, and you win. Fail, and I win. Now get to work.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-04 7:32:33 AM

I am not concerned, really, about the "right to get high." Quite frankly, prohibition laws don't interfere much with the rights to self-ownership much since they don't stop people from getting high anyway. I really wish the argument was that academic.

Innocent - even by your standards - people *die* because of the drug war. People reacting rationally to what appears to be a break-in but is in fact a no-knock raid are shot, sometimes as many as 39 times, by SWAT teams. Elderly men and women are shot. Children are shot. For misunderstanding orders, for obeying them, or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, people are shot. The drug war makes the Dziekanski incident look like mollycoddling by police officers.

Unlike in a regular crime, no one is held responsible - police are often found to be blameless. There is no justice for the families of these people.

If you could justify why the lives of ordinary, law-abiding, innocent people are less important than trying, unsuccessfully, to keep people from getting high, it might be worth listening to your arguments again, but you still would not win.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-03-04 12:08:22 PM


Unfortunately for this emotion-filled screed, Janet, police raid businesses and residences for any number of reasons; it's not just about drugs, you know. Hell, it's getting to be so that it happens for calls of domestic abuse, or simply being a member of a currently unpopular ethnic group with panicky neighbours. People die when police bungle, but there's more to law enforcement than the so-called "drug war." Otherwise we'd have to believe that police as we know it didn't exist before Woodstock.

Your problem is you're so overflowing with outrage at the "drug war" that you don't stop to consider whether that there might be other types of violent crime beyond it. Unfortunately, there are. Drugs are but one of many wrinkles in the underground economy—I have listed many of them here, and there are many more—and gangs are well motivated, well armed, and utterly without thought or care for the morrow. More traditional crime syndicates are more circumspect and sophisticated but just as dangerous.

In any case, the consequences of those raids that are the result of drug enforcement can simply be added to the long list of the victims of the drug user's determination to get high no matter the cost. Your position seems to be that drug users shouldn't be held responsible for the consequences of their funding of organized crime because it's just "human nature." Well, no, actually, it isn't. It's just their nature. Not everyone does drugs, honey. And their nature is corrosive to the fabric of our society, as is the all-consuming greed that drives it. If shaming the johns is okay, then so is shaming the junkies.

And I see that you, like DesCartes, when presented with a single, straight-to-the-gut question whose answer allows no room for waffling or obfuscation, utterly fail to answer. In any court you would have long since been declared a hostile witness. DesCartes's solution is to depart in a self-congratulatory huff; yours is to throw up a smoke screen of righteous indignation that you hope will deflect the issue. Well, I am not so easily put aside. Is there an alternate conclusion to support the facts in evidence or not? If there isn't, you may as well concede the point. Are you honest enough to do that, to yourself if not to me? Are you?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-04 12:46:58 PM


Unfortunately for this emotion-filled screed, Janet, police raid businesses and residences for any number of reasons; it's not just about drugs, you know. Hell, it's getting to be so that it happens for calls of domestic abuse, or simply being a member of a currently unpopular ethnic group with panicky neighbours. People die when police bungle, but there's more to law enforcement than the so-called "drug war." Otherwise we'd have to believe that police as we know it didn't exist before Woodstock.

Your problem is you're so overflowing with outrage at the "drug war" that you don't stop to consider whether that there might be other types of violent crime beyond it. Unfortunately, there are. Drugs are but one of many wrinkles in the underground economy—I have listed many of them here, and there are many more—and gangs are well motivated, well armed, and utterly without thought or care for the morrow. More traditional crime syndicates are more circumspect and sophisticated but just as dangerous.

In any case, the consequences of those raids that are the result of drug enforcement can simply be added to the long list of the victims of the drug user's determination to get high no matter the cost. Your position seems to be that drug users shouldn't be held responsible for the consequences of their funding of organized crime because it's just "human nature." Well, no, actually, it isn't. It's just their nature. Not everyone does drugs, honey. And their nature is corrosive to the fabric of our society, as is the all-consuming greed that drives it. If shaming the johns is okay, then so is shaming the junkies.

And I see that you, like DesCartes, when presented with a single, straight-to-the-gut question whose answer allows no room for waffling or obfuscation, utterly fail to answer. In any court you would have long since been declared a hostile witness. DesCartes's solution is to depart in a self-congratulatory huff; yours is to throw up a smoke screen of righteous indignation that you hope will deflect the issue. Well, I am not so easily put aside. Is there an alternate conclusion to support the facts in evidence or not? If there isn't, you may as well concede the point. Are you honest enough to do that, to yourself if not to me? Are you?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-04 12:46:58 PM


Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-04 12:47:42 PM


Shane,
"Your reasoning shows more than a lack of taste; it betrays a particularly murderous and virulent strain of selfishness, a flippant assertion that the lives of our police and even of innocent bystanders amount to less in the cosmic scheme of things than your own metaphysical dabblings."

This was the first attack, and it was by you, a lying pussy.

Posted by: NewDescartes | 2009-03-04 3:05:03 PM


Hey Newdescartes..

lyin' pussy dept.. whew- does your girlgang know you talk this way over the internet to strangers?

somday, when you get a chance, share some insight, and not Saturaday moring cartoon accusation modes. This could be good for your carreer to come across from time to time..

BTW I doubt that Shane is in any way affected by your snits- this forum is about " the Big Lie" OK? maybe read the lead in article and get back on track..you do have some good ideas when you have some dicipline to deliver them...

otherwise when you get the last word it will because everybody else left ..

meanwhile... back to ignorant society VS the evil drug weed

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-04 4:14:14 PM


Excuse me, NewDescartes, you're quite wrong. Because in the post preceding that, you stated quite categorically that marijuana use, even given its current illegal status, "should not be viewed as offensive to anyone with good taste." Since it was clear that I did not hold such views, that amounts to unsubtle declaration that I have bad taste.

By the way, I d not recall complaining about the attacks per se; that I leave to Homer when he isn't too busy ducking the tough questions. I complained that people got personal, and by that I meant not attacks and insults but injecting their own personal experiences into the discussion, a criticism in which I have been steadfast from the start of the thread.

Now, have you come up with an alternative to drug users caring less about lives and crime than they do about the high, you loathsome skank? Or are you still busy scrubbing off the blood from last night's shootings?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-04 7:18:45 PM


Shane,

Rather than allow myself to get sucked into your obvious little game of squid in the water I'm going to stick primarily to the subject at hand and address your ignorance and misconceptions on this topic.

To begin with you said:

"I'd like to know why marijuana is getting such special treatment. It is not part of the pharmacopoeia, having been removed for reasons still valid today; its efficacy has not been ; and it has not passed the stringent requirements that every other drug sold to the public must pass. Neither the AMA nor the FDA support the use of marijuana as medicine. Any other drug that was pushed onto the public in such flagrant disregard of established procedures would be a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit waiting to happen."

What I have said is that while some credible research has been done, and that research does show medical benefits of marijuana that can't be found in other existing medications due to the US government's anti marijuana stance research into the medical properties and benefits of marijuana have been deliberately thwarted by government agencies and instead any research was that was done was preformed by those who sought only to reinforce the governments position.

You dispute this but are obviously quite wrong as evidenced by the following quotes and sources.

Dr. Petro, a former FDA medical officer, said that he became aware of the therapeutic benefits of smoking marijuana while in private practice treating people who suffered spasticity. After listening to patient after patient reporting relief and even improved bladder control, he became intrigued enought to research the topic. "Unlike many modern chemicals that have only been used in medicine for short periods of time, marijuana has a history of use in medicine that stretches back at least 5,000 years." Most important, Dr. Petro found marijuana's use in the treatment of spasticity is repeatedly mentioned by different writers living in different times and different cultures. Furthtermore, there was an "immense body of medical literature developed during the late-19th and early 20th centuries on the medicinal uses of cannabis."

Why was this knowledge lost? Some noted that it occurred within the same time period as the rise of the pharmaceutical industry. But the end to the medical availability of cannabis and the decline in the level of research came with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, reported psychiatrist Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D. He said that from then on the prohibitionistic rhetoric of the era began to taint the medical literature with emphasis on toxicity.

Lester Grinspoon, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, author of Marihuana Reconsidered (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), responded to statements made at the hearings by government experts. "Claims that there have been no long-term studies concerning the chronic effects of cannabis use are inaccurate. There have been several long-term studies. These studies all involved long-term heavy use of marijuana (daily use over a number of years) and found no evidence of serious adverse, physical, or psychological effects." Many witnesses, including those from the DEA, acknowledged that marijuana has never caused a death, either from chronic use or overdose.

In 1967, while a consulting researcher for the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. Mikuriya said he set up the first legitimate research program for the study of marijuana (using modern methods of research). He did so after an extensive review of all the medical literature available on marijuana, including the results of previous government research that had never been released.

Honest Research Inhibited

During his brief stint at the NIMH, Dr. Mikuriya reported a firsthand view of the government's bias in the way it approached the assessment of marijuana. Instead of taking a neutral stance one might expect of scientists, the goverment seemed bent on justifying its prohibition of marijuana as a medicine. He said that this attitude inhibited honest research and was the principle reason for his departure from the NIMH.

Dr. Petro also spoke of his difficulties trying to conduct marijuana research--after leaving the FDA to return to private practice. Without providing an explanation, the FDA refused permission to study people smoking marijuana. Instead, the study participants had to be given a synthetic substitute--in the form of a pill--of marijuana's most psychoactive component, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Nine people with spasticity related to multiple sclerosis were randomly given either THC or a placebo (an inactive substance) for a study that took place at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Neither the investigators nor the participants knew who was receiving placebo.

The findings from this pilot study went strong enought to warrant additional research, according to Dr. Petro. Significant reductions of spasticity were found in those taking THC as compared with those on the placebo. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and in Psychosomatics. Unfortunately, the participants who had been smoking marijuana before the study reported that improvements from THC were not as great as those experienced by smoking marijuana.

"...the government's preference for synthetic or single compound drugs, as opposed to natural marijuana, is more based on prejudice than any other rationale. Inhaling natural marijuana is in some ways preferable as the patient is better able to control the dose through self-adjustment... A pill is a fixed dose while a cigarette can be varied to suit he needs of the patient. The inhaled dose is also preferable because the gastrointestinal tract is not involved," said Dr. Mikuriya.

In 1986, Dr. Petro filed yet another request with the FDA, this time to study cannabis in other than its synthetic form. Though he had once served as an FDA reviewer of applications for new drugs, Dr. Petro said this request was never acknowledged. He agreed with several government witnesses who stated that marijuana could never receive the required New Drug Application (NDA) approval from the FDA, "...not because marijuana is unsafe or ineffective. Indeed, the reasons marijuana cannot become an NDA-approved drug have nothing to do with science or medicine." Though there is more than enough evidence to demonstrate its safety and efficacy, Dr. Petro observed that marijuana falls though a crack in the existing regulatory scheme. The FDA's system is not designed to scientifically assess the therapeutic utility of medicinal substances, according to Dr. Petro, but to regulate the commercial marketing of drug products and to protect the public from false or misleading claims about safety and efficacy. "The combination of intensive bureaucratic oversight and fears of being labeled a 'pot doc' act as very powerful disincentives to researchers. This is particularly true in a world where there are many other drugs to study which are not so encumbered," observed John Morgan, M.D., professor of medicine and director of pharmacology at CCNY Medical School, which is part of the City University of New York.

When the hearings ended in 1988, the DEA Administrative Law Judge ruled in favor of those who wanted marijuana's classification under the Controlled Substances Act to be changed from Schedule I to Schedule II. (According to the book's glossary, Schedules I and II have basically the same definition with the exception that Schedule I drugs have "no accepted medical value in the U.S.") The new classification allows marijuana to be used under medical supervision. Concluded Judge Young: "There are those who, in all sincerity, argue that the transfer of marijuana to Schedule II will 'send a signal' that marijuana is 'OK' generally for recreational use. This argument is specious... The fear of sending such a signal cannot be permitted to override the legitimate need, amply demonstrated in this record, of countless sufferers for the relief marijuana can provide when prescribed by a physician in a legitimate case."

In a recent telephone interview, R.C. Randall, editor of Muscle Spasm, Pain & Marijuana Therapy, provided an update on what has happened since the hearings ended. "The DEA then waited 15 months and in December 1989, the DEA rejected Judge Young's decision and refused to implement his recommendations." He said that his organization, the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT --see page 6), was forced to go to the U.S. Court of Appeals and sue the DEA for failing to abide by the Judge's verdict. The Court took the case, and in mid-April ordered the DEA to reconsider its decision, and this is where things stand at present, according to Randall.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0815/is_n147_v16/ai_11229091

Study: Some May Benefit from Medical Marijuana for Neuropathic Pain
August 7, 2008

Share Share Email
Email
Print
Print
SubscribeSubscribe
Research Summary

A group of HIV patients with neuropathic pain that did not respond to conventional pain relievers found benefits from the use of medical marijuana, HealthDay News reported Aug. 6.

Recent research, encompassing 28 HIV patients, involved adding medicinal marijuana to the individuals' existing pain medication. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that 46 percent of patients smoking medical marijuana reported clinically meaningful pain relief, while 18 percent who smoked a placebo reported this level of relief.

The research was sponsored by the University of California Center for Medical Cannabis Research, and the results were found to be consistent with other center studies finding short-term benefits from medical marijuana for neuropathic pain management.

Results of the latest study were published online Aug. 6 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
This article summarizes an external report or press release on research published in a scientific journal. When available, links to the sources are provided above.

http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2008/study-marijuana-neuropathic.html

Jan-12-2009 12:33printcomments
DEA Rejects Judge's Ruling, Quashes Medical Marijuana Research Project
Salem-News.com

"Once again, science has taken a back seat to ideology in the Bush administration, with research that could benefit millions needlessly stalled" - Aaron Houston, MPP's director of government relations

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - In a major setback to medical marijuana research, the Drug Enforcement Administration has rejected the decision of Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner and blocked a medical marijuana research project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst -- a project considered vital if marijuana is ever to be an FDA-approved medicine.

The DEA's ruling, dated January 7th, was only released today.

"It's no surprise that an administration that has rejected science again and again has, as one of its final acts, blocked a critical research project," said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.

"With the new administration publicly committed to respecting scientific research and valuing data over dogma, this final act of desperation isn't surprising, but the true victims are the millions of patients who might benefit."

Professor Lyle Craker had applied for permission to cultivate marijuana for use in medical research.

At present, marijuana for research can only be obtained through the National Institute on Drug Abuse -- a government monopoly that does not exist for any other Schedule I drug.

Because NIDA's marijuana is of notoriously poor quality and has only been inconsistently available to researchers, scientists and advocates consider Dr. Craker's project essential to the advancement of medical marijuana research.

The long and difficult process of seeking approval culminated on February 12th 2007, in a ruling by Judge Bittner that Craker should be allowed to proceed. But such administrative law judge rulings are not binding on the DEA.

In the nearly two years since the ruling, several small, pilot studies have shown marijuana to safely and effectively relieve nerve pain that afflicts millions suffering from HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other conditions, making more advanced research -- including strains custom-tailored for various conditions, which was one of the goals of Craker and his colleagues -- vital.

"Once again, science has taken a back seat to ideology in the Bush administration, with research that could benefit millions needlessly stalled," Houston said. "They can delay progress, but they cannot stop it."

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/january122009/dea_meddling_1-12-09.php

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-04 9:14:48 PM


Shane,

You have also said: "Neither the AMA nor the FDA support the use of marijuana as medicine."

In reference to the AMA your are also and obviously quite wrong. As evidenced by the quotes and sources cited below.

2001
June

The AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs sent a report to the AMA House of Delegates:

"Until such time as rapid-onset cannabinoid [marijuana] formulations are clinically available, our AMA affirms the appropriateness of compassionate use of marijuana and related cannabinoids in carefully controlled programs designed to provide symptomatic relief of nausea, vomiting, cachexia, anorexia, spasticity, acute or chronic pain, or other palliative effects. Such compassionate use is appropriate when other approved medications provide inadequate relief or are not tolerated, and the protocols provide for physician oversight and a mechanism to assess treatment effectiveness."

American Medical Association - Council on Scientific Affairs
2001
June 19

American Medical Association's House of Delegates rejected the committee's June 2001 report (above) that would have urged the organization to consider of compassionate use of medical marijuana for cancer patients and others.

Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) had inserted the concept of compassionate use of medical marijuana into its recommendations, but the committee on public health rejected those changes. Without debate, the House of Delegates approved the report without the mention of compassionate marijuanause.

Herman Abromowitz, MD, a family physician in Dayton, Ohio, and a member of AMA's Board of Trustees, stated to the press at the time [June, 2001]: "There just is no scientific evidence to establish the effectiveness of marijuana."
American Medical Association - Council on Scientific Affairs
2001
June 19

The AMA's position on medical marijuana is released as follows:

1. "The AMA calls for further adequate and well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible efficacy and the application of such results to the understanding and treatment of disease.
2. The AMA recommends that marijuana be retained in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act pending the outcome of such studies.
3. The AMA urges the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to implement administrative procedures to facilitate grant applications and the conduct of well-designed clinical research into the medical utility of marijuana. This effort should include:


1. disseminating specific information for researchers on the development of safeguards for marijuana, clinical research protocols and the development of a model for informed consent on marijuana for institutional review board evaluation;
2. sufficient funding to support such clinical research and access for qualified investigators to adequate supplies of marijuana for clinical research purposes;
3. confirming that marijuana of various and consistent strengths and/or placebo will be supplied by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to investigators registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency who are conducting bona fide clinical research studies that receive Food and Drug Administration approval, regardless of whether or not the NIH is the primary source of grant support.
4. The AMA believes that the NIH should use its resources and influence to support the development of a smoke-free inhaled delivery system for marijuana or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to reduce the health hazards associated with the combustion and inhalation of marijuana.
5. The AMA believes that effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions."

American Medical Association - Council on Scientific Affairs

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questionID=88

And here's another list of medical organizations supporting the medical benefits of marijuna.

http://www.perkel.com/politics/issues/endorse.htm

Obviously there are many memebers of the AMA who do see medical benefits of marijuana, including their science committee, and while the governing body of the AMA remains fearful of the government's anti marijuana position, other organizations that consist of members of the AMA are not and have taken public positions. Specifically the American College of Physicians.

Criminal Law
: Underdog
ACP recognizes benefits of medical marijuana.

In a recent position paper, the American College of Physicians recognized real benefits of medical marijuana, called for continuing research, and acknowledged the importance of rescheduling marijuana from its Schedule I status.

The report's executive summary states:

"Marijuana has been smoked for its medicinal properties for centuries. Preclinical, clinical, and anecdotal reports suggest numerous potential medical uses for marijuana. Although the indications for some conditions (e.g., HIV wasting and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting) have been well documented, less information is available about other potential medical uses. Additional research is needed to clarify marijuana?s therapeutic properties and determine standard and optimal doses and routes of delivery. Unfortunately, research expansion has been hindered by a complicated federal approval process, limited availability of research-grade marijuana, and the debate over legalization. Marijuana?s categorization as a Schedule I controlled substance raises significant concerns for researchers, physicians, and patients. As such, the College?s policy positions on marijuana as medicine are as follows:

"Position 1: ACP supports programs and funding for rigorous scientific evaluation of the
potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and the publication of such findings.

"Position 1a: ACP supports increased research for conditions where the efficacy of
marijuana has been established to determine optimal dosage and route of delivery.

"Position 1b: Medical marijuana research should not only focus on determining drug
efficacy and safety but also on determining efficacy in comparison with other
available treatments.


"Position 2: ACP encourages the use of nonsmoked forms of THC that have proven
therapeutic value.


"Position 3: ACP supports the current process for obtaining federal research-grade
cannabis.


"Position 4: ACP urges review of marijuana?s status as a schedule I controlled substance
and its reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence
regarding marijuana?s safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions.


"Position 5: ACP strongly supports exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil
liability; or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for
physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law.
Similarly, ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who
use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws."

http://www.uslaw.com/library/Criminal_Law/ACP_recognizes_benefits_medical_marijuana.php?item=53582

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-04 9:44:46 PM


Um.. this is sort of degenerating away from the topic
"the Big Lie" into a show and tell swap meet of old newsclippings.. some 40 years old, none what we would consider relevant 21st century "findings "or "research" these are opinions.. from back in time somewhat stale dated legalization activist medical drop outs ( Grinspoon//Mikuriya ) who both stopped medical practise to become paid lobbyists and expert witnessess at drug dealers trials.... the rest of your sources are primarily one shot small town US physicians giving far left opinion to some newspaper-- opinion you can get at a corner store.

37 years of pot smoking really shows..


Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-04 10:04:45 PM


Shane,

"Stig- Please don't think I'm being insensitive. Does she get "high" from this drug? I'm curious about which ingredient helps with the nausea. Is there some combination of ingredients that makes some people so adamant that only the "real thing" works for them.

Posted by: dp | 2009-02-27 12:58:57 PM

I have no objection to the harvesting of cannabis for medically useful derivatives and their controlled distribution via prescription for those in need. But that is not what compassion clubs do. The do the cannabinoid equivalent of selling raw opium for smoking in pipes. The fact that there are maverick physicians who would prescribe either does not make the practice more respectable."

In answer to the questions you raised here about why extractions don't work as well as actually smoking marijuana and to address your false analogy that compassion clubs are: "equivalent of selling raw opium for smoking in pipes. The fact that there are maverick physicians who would prescribe either does not make the practice more respectable," I offer the following (because your claim that only maverick physicians would prescribe marijuana has already been debunked in the previous posts).

Medical Marijuana: The State of Research

Abstract: The recent controversy over the medical use of marijuana in California has sparked renewed interest in research about the drug's benefits and risks for patients with AIDS and other conditions. For years, the U.S. government has classified marijuana as a drug with much potential for abuse and no medical benefit, and doctors are prohibited from prescribing it. President Clinton's drug czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, reinforced this position recently, saying "there is not a shred of scientific evidence that shows that smoked marijuana is useful or needed." However, medical journals, including The Lancet and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), have published articles that both tout the medical benefits of marijuana and appeal for more research and loosened government restrictions. For example, Dr. Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar wrote in JAMA last year that marijuana was found to be more beneficial than the synthetic alternative, Delta-9-THC, or Marinol, for relieving nausea and vomiting that resulted from chemotherapy. They noted that "one of marijuana's greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety.

http://www.aegis.com/news/ads/1996/AD962076.html

Abrams, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, has just received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study whether smoked marijuana in cancer patients can increase the pain-relieving effects of opioid pain control substances like morphine. He says that animal data suggest that cannabinoids (the 66 cannabis chemicals that bind to specific human tissue receptors) and opioids have synergistic effects, "so it may be possible that patients using marijuana can get away with using lower doses of opioids for longer periods before they become immune to them."

But Abrams can't predict where the study will lead, citing constraints by regulations governing marijuana research. For example, his study can only be a safety study, because NIDA did not fund a study designed to detect a benefit for smoked marijuana given the agency's mission, Abrams says. So he can only look to see if cannabinoids can increase blood levels of opioids. Other funding agencies also say there isn't a good body of evidence that shows a benefit, yet legal access to marijuana for study can be difficult. Even if they do find a benefit—which Abrams has for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus symptoms—peer reviewers have argued that it is impossible to design a randomized, placebo-controlled study of marijuana because the differences between the two substances would be obvious.

Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries, and cannabis products were widely prescribed for pain and other symptoms by physicians until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was passed—over the objections of the American Medical Association.

Most of the research on the use of smoked marijuana for treatment of cancer and several diseases was conducted in the 1970s and 1980. For example, six state-sponsored clinical studies established that smoked marijuana is an effective antinausea treatment for cancer chemotherapy. But the Controlled Substance Act subsequently prohibited all medicinal use of marijuana by placing it in the most restrictive category of schedule I, and in 1992, marijuana testing through the FDA's compassionate investigational new drug program was closed.

The medical community remained interested in the potential medical uses of the drug. In March 1996, the American Public Health Association formally urged the U.S. administration and Congress "to move expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine where shown to be safe and effective and to immediately allow access to therapeutic cannabis through the [investigational new drug] program."

An expert panel formed by the NIH in 1997 found that research showed some patients, especially those receiving chemotherapy to treat cancer, could be helped by the drug. The 1999 Institute of Medicine report concluded that although some newer drugs can effectively help symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment, some patients still benefit. "The critical issue is not whether marijuana or cannabinoid drugs might be superior to the new drugs, but whether some groups of patients might obtain added or better relief from marijuana or cannabinoid drugs," it said.

Two years later, the AMA urged the NIH "to implement administrative procedures to facilitate grant applications and the conduct of well-designed clinical research into the medical utility of marijuana."

Angst and Frustration Limit Research

Although several states were legalizing the medical use of marijuana, and were funding studies, the DEA began conducting raids on medical marijuana distribution centers in California and other states, according to a 2003 Congressional Research Service report. Their response came from a study that estimated 30,000 California patients and another 5,000 in eight states possess physician's recommendations to use marijuana medically, the report said.

In two 2005 rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court said that states have the prerogative to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, but it also reaffirmed federal authority to prosecute patients in those states who use it, along with anyone else.

To many researchers, conducting research on the medical effects of smoked marijuana is becoming nearly impossible. Not only is it difficult to address the position, expressed by Rep. Souder, that allowing marijuana to be used as medicine would allow opportunities for recreational use, but other researchers question the value of offering patients a substance to smoke that could logically cause lung disease, as cigarettes do. For example, Benson said that he and the IOM panel "did not like smoke as a way of delivering a therapeutic substance because of the possible risks." However, a new study presented in late May at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting may mollify Benson somewhat. The study, by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, found that smoking marijuana did not increase the risk of developing cancer compared with nonsmokers, even among users who reported smoking up to a cumulative 22,000 marijuana cigarettes. Although other health issues may come from smoking marijuana, such as repression of the immune system, cancer isn't one of them, the researchers concluded.

Be that as it may, Abrams, who has been studying medical marijuana for 14 years, says the research is "difficult, payoffs are few and far between, and there is a lot of frustration and angst" and he doesn't expect that to change. Still, he vows to press on because "marijuana can do amazing things. If you have a have a drug that increases appetite, decreases pain, decreases depression and nausea, and makes people who are in the late stages of cancer happy, why is that bad?" he said.

Aminah Jatoi, M.D., an associate professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., agrees that studying marijuana "is very, very hard. It is a unique substance, and getting a placebo to compare it to is difficult. But even with those limitations, I think it is very important to look for therapies that can help our patients."

In a 2002 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jatoi compared dronabinol, an FDA-approved synthetic cannabis derivative, with megestrol, an accepted treatment for cancer-associated anorexia. She found that dronabinol had no advantage over megestrol. She said it may be because the cannabis derivative contains just one of the hundreds of chemicals that work synergistically in the natural plant. She rarely recommends dronabinol to stimulate the appetite.

"We need more research to treat symptoms of cancer patients, such as pain, wasting, and nausea," Jatoi said. "It is important to look at all avenues, not just to put up roadblocks and say we are not going to examine this product or that. We need real information."

http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/98/13/888

In general, the report found that marijuana, though not a panacea, could help relieve some of these symptoms in at least some patients. In some cases, the report found, marijuana worked as well as or better than accepted treatments.

It also found that smoking treats symptoms such as pain and nausea more quickly and effectively than taking the medicine by mouth.

The report raised concerns about the long-term health effects of smoking marijuana, which, like tobacco, is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Such long-term risks probably don't matter for patients who already are dying, the report noted.

A synthetic form of marijuana's most active ingredient, THC, is available by prescription under the trade name Marinol. But it takes longer to work than inhaled marijuana smoke.

Also, taking cannabis by mouth can get patients "higher" than smoked cannabis - which many patients don't want. When THC is eaten, the liver, which smoking bypasses, breaks the psychoactive elements down into even more potent chemicals.

Another problem with synthetic oral cannabis is that it contains only a few active ingredients, while smoked marijuana contains more than 60.

The combination of those ingredients, not just one, may provide the most medical benefit, says Dr. Wilkie Wilson, director of the DukeLEARN neurological-research program at Duke University, who notes that drug companies are researching that question.

"What you need is something, maybe like an aspirator or an inhaler, that can deliver the drug better than a pill would," said Dr. Steven R. Childers, a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine. Childers co-wrote the 1999 Institute of Medicine report.

Wilson, co-author of "Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy," says some patients prefer smoking because it gives them greater control over their dosage - they can choose to stop, or continue, at any time depending on how much relief they're getting.

http://www.news-record.com/content/2009/01/17/article/should_smoking_marijuana_be_a_medical_option

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-04 10:48:11 PM


Shane,

I think the use of your Red Herring fallacy and the contradiction you make in this statement bears addressing:

"1. What I resent is the marijuana smoker's willingness to fund organized crimed and the violence that now convulses our streets. Those who grow their own and neither buy from nor sell to the criminal element are excused from this definition, but they're a minority. Most pot smokers do not grow their own. The gangs would have no market for their wares otherwise."

Your attempt to misdirect the argument with this appeal to emotion gains both momentum and hyperbole as this discussion advances but never escapes the error of the cause and effect you maintain. And likewise you grandly contradict yourself when you say: "Those who grow their own and neither buy from nor sell to the criminal element are excused from this definition, but they're a minority."

First let's address your cause and effect fallacy. While you try to contend in this case that is marijuana smokers who are responsible for the gangs and violence that is not true. The exist solely due to prohibition or drugs and some activities which creates a blackmarket environment for them to flourish in. This creates both the illegal consumers and the illegal suppliers. So it is those who support making and keeping these activities illegal that must also accept the inevitable consequences.

Second you use this Red Herring to constantly reinforce your appeal to emotion without looking at the actual facts. One is you acknowledge there are many marijuana smokers who do in fact grown their for their personal use. However, in the US the penalties are so severe and potentially expensive many people will not risk anywhere from five to 20 years in prison as well as having their house and all other assets seized by the government.

So that leaves them with the option of buying it from someone else. You would try to contend that must put them in contact and support of violent murderous criminals which is also not the case in what might even be the majority of cases.

Marijuana has been identified as the number one cash crop in the US and Canada is also a major supplier. Most of these growers have nothing to do with the drug cartels and street gangs you refer to. Instead they are peaceful, non-violent, productive members of society who choose to ignore the law and risk arrest and prosecution to supply a product that is in high demand. That may make them criminals under the law but it does not make them murdering thugs.

Irregardless, however, while both criminals and murdering thugs have always been with us and always will legalizing marijuana would take at least one avenue for criminal activity away from them as well as taking a rather huge group of otherwise law abiding citizens and the money they spend completely out of the picture.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-04 11:41:25 PM


419--

We both know by now that you have nothing to offer in this discussion other than pat reactionary rhetoric which right now I neither have the time nor inclination to deal with because your input is just that empty.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-05 2:35:18 AM


Homer, pardon my obduracy, but it looks to me like you simply mined the records for some disaffected doctors. As someone who smokes marijuana both medicinally and, most likely, recreationally before that, you've had ample time and incentive to do that. Of course dissent exists within the ranks of the AMA and the FDA; that's willingly conceded. What ship doesn't have its grumblers?

But even you concede that the AMA's official position is that marijuana should be retained as a Class I drug pending the outcome of the research it encourages. I have no problem with research or, if such research leads to FDA approval, the re-admission of marijuana to the pharmacopoeia (by prescription only). So for the present, marijuana is still a Class I substance, with the support of the AMA.

Also, I don't care for how many thousands of years marijuana has been used. Bleeding and leeches have also been used for thousands of years. Trepanning goes back to the Stone Age. Along with a host of other folk remedies of dubious medical value. This is the 21st century. We will use the tools that best fit our needs today. Attempting to create respectability via antiquity is a cheap-ass end-around.

It's also amusing to watch medical marijuana activists squirm when they try to justify smoking real Mary Jane instead of using asthma-type inhalers, injections, vaporizers, or numerous other derivatives and methods of ingestion that would eliminate the godawful stink the neighbours have to put up with. But then, concern for others has, as I have noted, never been high on the doper's list. Pot smokers like to go on about how "everyone you know"—doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, stockbrokers, et al—is a marijuana smoker, but to judge from the way they argue, they all run remarkably true to type.

Bottom line: I don't oppose the use of cannabinoids as medicine in general. It would be foolish to not exploit every resource available. But marijuana also has a high potential for abuse and many negative effects. The fact that the debate over it is intensely politicized, and that the people doing the arguing are the same people who smoked it in youth, further muddies the waters. I don't want to hear any more whining about government conspiracies. Evidence both for and against is growing every day. If enough is found for it to receive FDA approval, fine. If not, don't cry for me, Argentina. The fact that it's your drug of choice does not entitle you to push it through the system.

I'll deal with your marijuana/crime argument in a separate post.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-05 6:37:35 AM


Homer wrote: "I think the use of your Red Herring fallacy and the contradiction you make in this statement bears addressing..."

1. On the contrary; the logic is unimpeachable. Those who grow their own marijuana do not contribute to the problem of organized crime, unless of course they sell to organized crime, or buy from organized crime to supplement their homegrown fodder. Those who purchase marijuana from gangs, however, directly contribute to those gangs. The math is pretty simple.

2. Your "exposé" of my so-called cause/effect "fallacy" is nothing but a retread. You just keep saying it's prohibition, period. Not a shred of proof. No explanation for why it took prohibition thirty years to have this effect, but why it took increased demand in the 1960s no time at all. Prohibition doesn't create consumers, legal or illegal; consumers create themselves. That should be a pretty simple conclusion for a libertarian.

3. Excuse me, but isn't it a common argument of marijuana smokers that "everyone" smokes marijuana? Millions of people grow their own despite the risk. And are you actually admitting that prohibition can reduce illegal activity?

4. Or the option of not buying it at all.

5. The fact that it has been "identified" as the number-one cash crop by this or that group doesn't make it true. Even if it is, it may not be true in 30 years after the baby boomers have died off. And isn't your remark about numerous non-violent drug growers and sellers a contradiction to your earlier statement that no one in the U.S. will risk it because of high penalties? I knew that admission was too good to be true, coming from you.

6. "Irregardless" is not a correct word. Look it up. And quit making excuses for lawbreakers. They choose to buy illegal product, and it's doubtful most of them trace it to its source to be sure it's not blood pot. The fact remains that drug gangs could not exist if people weren't willing to break the law to buy drugs. Period. The logic of this is inescapable. No buyer, no seller. You can't disprove it because it can't be disproved. DesCartes couldn't do it either. But neither of you is honest enough, even with yourselves, to admit it. And coming from people who push the supremacy of personal accountability, that is the most ghastly irony of all.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-05 6:56:23 AM


at least when Marc Emery talks trash defending drug sloth he can do it in a single sound bite-

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-05 10:04:31 AM


we didn't even notice Uncle Homer using big words to tell me he had given up talking to us..

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-05 10:18:44 PM


I haven't given up on talking to "us" just you, at least for now 419 because your reactionary empty headed babbling is not really worth responding to.

But I am about to give up on this site because I have been trying to post a rather lengthy response exposing more of Shane's fallacies and while I keep getting a message that my comment has been posted it does not appear on this thread.

So not being much into wasting my time I won't put up with that.

However, your lies have been exposed, your arguments defeated and you especially discredited so there's not much else I need to do.

Except ask you guys if you're so anti marijuana and sure it will never be legalized have you ever visited "Little Amsterdam." That's Vancouver British Columbia isn't it. Its also I believe the home of "BC" Bud, and that is some really excellent marijuana.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-05 11:10:08 PM


"Homer, pardon my obduracy, but it looks to me like you simply mined the records for some disaffected doctors."--Shane

Your Ad Hominem fallacy is quite obvious here.


"But even you concede that the AMA's official position is that marijuana should be retained as a Class I drug pending the outcome of the research it encourages."--Shane

I conceded nothing. I proved you wrong.

"So for the present, marijuana is still a Class I substance, with the support of the AMA."--Shane

Which obviously proves your initial statement wrong.

"Also, I don't care for how many thousands of years marijuana has been used."--Shane

Don't you mean you hypocritically don't care how long marijuana has been used. After all the long history of alcohol use was one of your defenses for it.

"It's also amusing to watch medical marijuana activists squirm when they try to justify smoking real Mary Jane instead of using asthma-type inhalers, injections, vaporizers, or numerous other derivatives and methods of ingestion that would eliminate the godawful stink the neighbours have to put up with."--Shane

Both your ignorance and academic dishonesty is showing again. First, because the methods you mention are being tried, as well as liquefied and food delivery. But you are also being academically dishonest because I posted research results showing why smoking was actually a better delivery system which you simply choose to ignore.

"But then, concern for others has, as I have noted, never been high on the doper's list. Pot smokers like to go on about how "everyone you know"—doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, stockbrokers, et al—is a marijuana smoker, but to judge from the way they argue, they all run remarkably true to type."--Shane

Your use of such false gross generalizations totally defeat you.

"I don't want to hear any more whining about government conspiracies."--Shane

Yes, I've noticed that about you when it comes to the truth.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-05 11:41:14 PM


Homer,

1. Pointing out that people who complain about conspiracies, institutional obstructionism, inadequate support, no one understands my work, etc., are likely disaffected, is not ad hominem. These men do not reflect the attitudes of their profession as a whole. If they did medical pot would be legal already. You just think they're right and the majority is wrong. I guess some people just like being on the outside, looking in.

2. About what? From your own keyboard came the information that the AMA's official position on marijuana is that it be retained on the Class I list, pending further research. Which is no more than what I said.

3. My initial statement was that the AMA does not currently support use of marijuana as a medicine, which is exactly what being a Schedule I drug means. The AMA is interested but for research not for use (yet).

4. Alcohol is not generally used as medicine and marijuana was hardly known to Western culture at all. There is almost no evidence to suggest it was used in medieval Europe, or even Classical Europe. Its ancient cultural roots are in Asia, and most of those lands are now Islamic--with very serious penalties for pot use as well as for alcohol use. In European-descended societies (like our own) alcohol commands more respect from society than your chosen drug. Get over it, already.

5. Tried by whom? Only a small fraction of medical-pot users try these new delivery methods; most insist that they get the best result from smoking it. (Incidentally, that's also how you get the best high, but of course that is sheer coincidence.) And all the research I've read suggests that vaporization is far superior to smoking. No charred taste, no lung damage, far less waste. Oh, and no stink either.

6. Your refusal to answer a simple question defeats you. You are evading big-time, and attempting to cover it behind a show of righteous outrage. Don't look now, but your whole post is dripping with ad hominem opinion--the very thing for which you chastise me. The rules just don't apply to you, do they? Or maybe you're just putting up a loud front to conceal a feeble argument. Why is it that virtually every advocate of pot has a big mouth and a bad attitude?

7. The truth is almost never "it's a conspiracy." The simplest answer is usually the explanation, and conspiracies are complicated. Though, since they're next to impossible to prove, they're a popular shelter for those who feel the world isn't going where they want it to. Next you'll be telling me the moon landings were hoaxes. And I'm still waiting for your answer to my question.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 12:27:24 AM



have I ever been to vancouver? yes I have.. several times..its a charming, overpriced morally decayed two class system city - the dynamic, goal oriented hard working straights and the chemically compromised stoner underclass..maybe you noticed all the sober people with all their teeth ignoring the wipeheads. Its only polite

I was not impressed with what easy access to marijuana does to so many people.. and only a tiny % of the wipehead hoards claims their high THC pot is for medicine, That's why its the last days of drug abuser shangra la in Vancouver, Possibly if you have ever visited Scamcouver you noticed dope was everywhere- and petty crime rampant- that and leftover hippy silliness- - but not for long-

- the Cnadian government is cracking down on the stoners and not putting up with their seagull like ways any longer..that is one government conspiracy you can count on.. rational life Vs the party zombies.. & guess who's going to prevail ?


but hey-- maybe after 37 years of pot smoking ,you might think thats a bad thing

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-06 12:50:10 AM


"1. On the contrary; the logic is unimpeachable. Those who grow their own marijuana do not contribute to the problem of organized crime, unless of course they sell to organized crime, or buy from organized crime to supplement their homegrown fodder. Those who purchase marijuana from gangs, however, directly contribute to those gangs. The math is pretty simple."--Shane

Your logic is laughable. If marijuana was legal everyone would be excused and no one would be purchasing it from gangs. That's just so obvious I have to use that word again.

"No explanation for why it took prohibition thirty years to have this effect, but why it took increased demand in the 1960s no time at all."--Shane

I'm sorry Shane I assumed you had at least the most basic knowledge of US History. Here let me correct that.

"The contributing factor to the sudden increase of felonies was the organization of crime, especially in large cities. Because liquor was no longer legally available, the public turned to gangsters who readily took on the bootlegging industry and supplied them with liquor. On account of the industry being so profitable, more gangsters became involved in the money-making business. Crime became so organized because “criminal groups organize around the steady source of income provided by laws against victimless crimes such as consuming alcohol” (Thorton, 13). As a result of the money involved in the bootlegging industry, there was much rival between gangs. The profit motive caused over four hundred gang related murders a year in Chicago alone (Bowen, 175)."
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/troy/4399/

And you also have your facts reversed. Organized crime and increases in all other crimes began to appear within a year after prohibition was implemented.

Conversely during the youth revolution of the 1960's there was little to no gang related activity. Drug use among teens and young adults reached 70% and drug laws became unenforceable. Drug use then began to decline and steadily declined until the US began the War On Drugs in the mid-1980's.

There was an initial drop in drug use but within two years a completely new social phenomena occurred. Up that point drug use had spread from older people down to younger people. But for the first time in the late 1980's after an initial lull, drug use for the first time centered on middle school students and spread both ways to younger and older students.


"Prohibition doesn't create consumers,"--Shane

Actually it does. This is clearly proven because during prohibition both the amount of alcohol consumed and the number of people consuming it increased.

"3. Excuse me, but isn't it a common argument of marijuana smokers that "everyone" smokes marijuana?"--Shane

That may be an argument by some marijuana smokers but I'm not one of them. I don't buy that argumentum ad populum fallacy any more from them than I do when you offer the social acceptance of alcohol as a justification for it being legal.

"Millions of people grow their own despite the risk. And are you actually admitting that prohibition can reduce illegal activity?"--Shane

No, prohibition only increases illegal activity. I was pointing that your cause and effect fallacy and contradictions were obvious when you employed your appeal to emotion fallacy that marijuana smokers are responsible for gangs and violence. First, because prohibition creates the environment for them in the first place, and in the second place many marijuana growers and users never come into contact with gangs.

"4. Or the option of not buying it at all."--Shane

Yes, I agree that is an option, but since millions of people reject that option prohibiton of marijuana does not work and only causes far more problems so we need to look at what will work and that would be legalization.

"5. The fact that it has been "identified" as the number-one cash crop by this or that group doesn't make it true."--Shane

Estimates very from the number one cash crop to the number four cash crop, but I will admit that because of its illegal status accurate figures are hard to come by.

But that does not change the fact that your insistence that anyone who smokes marijuana is supporting violent gangs and drug traffickers is not true.

"Even if it is, it may not be true in 30 years after the baby boomers have died off."--Shane

To save you from speaking from ignorance again you just need to know that drug use among teens and young adults remain fairly consistent and have for decades. Its not just the baby boomers Shane.

"And isn't your remark about numerous non-violent drug growers and sellers a contradiction to your earlier statement that no one in the U.S. will risk it because of high penalties? I knew that admission was too good to be true, coming from you."--Shane

Well Shane that is actually just another one of the many things you do not know.

What I said was that if the penalties for growing marijuana were not so severe many people would be willing to just grow their own and not supply either non-violent or violent criminals.

Marijuana is a very easy plant to clone and grow and makes a lovely house plant.

"And quit making excuses for lawbreakers. They choose to buy illegal product, and it's doubtful most of them trace it to its source to be sure it's not blood pot. The fact remains that drug gangs could not exist if people weren't willing to break the law to buy drugs. Period."--Shane

You're contradicting yourself again. You've stated in many posts all the other criminal enterprises gangs and organized crime make money from. Gangs and criminals feed off of prohibition. Period.

"The logic of this is inescapable. No buyer, no seller. You can't disprove it because it can't be disproved."--Shane

No, but that does not justify being irrational in the face of reality. There are buyers, there always have been buyers and there always will be buyers. So instead of hoping and wishing for something that will never happen we have to accept reality and work with them. And you guys are the ones who say drug users have a problem with reality. That really makes me laugh.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 1:00:49 AM


keep laughing Uncle Homer--it's the best medicine

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-06 1:31:22 AM


Your response is obviously ad hominem and becomes even more glaring so with each post because instead of addressing the information and evidence you just was to try and falsely that is just a conspiracy between a few disgruntled doctors.

The scientific discovery committee of the AMA is not just a few disgruntled doctors. Neither is the American College of Physicians. The preponderance of evidence is overwhelming Shane. You are just flat out wrong on those points.

From your own keyboard came the statement ""Neither the AMA nor the FDA support the use of marijuana as medicine."

From my own keyboard came the recommendation from the AMA scientific committee that marijuana be reclassified. And from the AMA itself the resolution that doctors should be allowed to discuss medical marijuana as an option with patients without fear of sanction nor criminal prosecution.

You cannot be any more obviously wrong than that.

You, Shane are a regular spectrum of misinformation and logical fallacies. Once again you resort to argumentum ad populum to justify alcohol and spot ignorance about the history of marijuana used as medicine, plus throw in a heaping dose of ethnocentrism to try and justify your erroneous position.

Marijuana does have a 5,000 year history of being used as a medicine and you are the one who needs to get over that.

And Shane I provided you with information why smoking marijuana is the best delivery system as well as studies of why the synthetic drugs don't work as well.

But if its any consolation to you probably most medical marijuana users as well as recreational users will be switching to vaporizers because the high is much more intense and it does have the other advantages you mentioned.

"6. Your refusal to answer a simple question defeats you."--Shane

What simple question is that Shane? If its the same one you put up before I did answer and can't stop laughing about it every time I think about it.

But be kind enough to repeat the question to me and I will answer it.

And Shane, put your effort where your mouth is. Show me my ad hominem fallacies. I have done that for you and will so again right here.

What follows is purely and obviously ad hominem because you're not addressing any points of the discussion you're just trying to personally attack me and all pot smokers. Proof positive you have no logical and rational rebuttal.

Here, read it again.

"You are evading big-time, and attempting to cover it behind a show of righteous outrage. Don't look now, but your whole post is dripping with ad hominem opinion--the very thing for which you chastise me. The rules just don't apply to you, do they? Or maybe you're just putting up a loud front to conceal a feeble argument. Why is it that virtually every advocate of pot has a big mouth and a bad attitude?"--Shane

PS Shane if you would actually read and comprehend what I have written you would notice it is you, and not me that keeps using the word conspiracy. I have never believed nor tried to claim that from the Big Lie to the present time is one big conspiracy. On the contrary. But that neither changes the facts nor the truth Shane when it comes to marijuana and the fact that you are unable to accept it does not change it.

Now ask me your question again.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 1:54:39 AM


"keep laughing Uncle Homer--it's the best medicine"--419

Yes laughing really is the best medicine and it is so much easier to acquire with you around 419.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 1:58:19 AM


'My mind may be closed in your eyes, but at least it’s not drug-addled."--Shane

Shane,

Considering how poorly your brain is doing against mine in this debate, who knows, maybe you should try some.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 2:21:20 AM


"1a. The point I was making was that legalizing something that was formerly criminal will of course reduce the crime rate: The act that was once a crime no longer is, so the overall crime rate goes down. That’s not a dodge; that’s simple logic. You advocate the very same dodgy hypothesis DesCartes does, with the sole stipulation that only acts that damage person or property be retained. That’s an incredibly simple-minded, almost childish view of crime and law. What about making bombs in your basement? No theft; no harm done; unless one goes off. Or how about shooting machine guns in a public place, but trying really, really hard to miss every time?"--Shane

I need to correct something here because when I said there should be no crimes that do not directly harm the person or property of another I actually misquoted Peter McWilliams, and both he and his book deserve better than that.

What McWilliams said and I should have said is there should be no crimes that do not harm the person or property of another, or hold the potential for harming the person or property of another.

He used the example of our legal drug alcohol. If a person wants to walk down to the corner liquor store and by two quarts of alcohol, take it back home and drink it everyday there are no laws against that nor should there be even though the person will certainly eventually die from it. But the individual is not harming the person or property of another.

However, if that same person decides to drive himself to the liquor store the potential of harming the person or property of another is great enough that it should be illegal and is.

I think with that correction it will answer all your other questions, Shane.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 2:33:25 AM


Another correction required.

I said:

"PS Shane if you would actually read and comprehend what I have written you would notice it is you, and not me that keeps using the word conspiracy. I have never believed nor tried to claim that from the Big Lie to the present time is one big conspiracy. On the contrary. But that neither changes the facts nor the truth Shane when it comes to marijuana and the fact that you are unable to accept it does not change it.

Now ask me your question again."

What I meant to say was I do not believe the prohibition of marijuana and the refusal to actually study it for its medicinal purposes, nor legalize it is one big conspiracy. On the contrary, it is actually nothing more than politics and business as usual.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 3:32:36 AM


Homer,

1. "Your logic is laughable," "your ignorance is astounding," blah, blah, blah. So you've been catcalling throughout this entire exchange. Your rebuttal is just another retread of the same thing you've been saying over and over again. Do you really need me to get out the crayons to show you how those who don't buy from gangs don't contribute to gangs?

2. Actually, Homer, crime did not spike until the Depression of 1929 (predictably). Most of the most famous gangsters of the Prohibition era, like Al Capone, were already involved in everything from racketeering to contract murder in 1919. The Public-Enemy era was largely the result of the new mobility provided by the automobile exploiting a fundamental weakness of the American jurisdiction: the ability to flee justice by simply making it to the state line. Oh, and it's generally believed that alcohol consumption dropped during Prohibition, extrapolated from cirrhosis statistics (the only reliable ones available).

3. Gangs as we know them today were comparatively rare in the 1960s, true, but there were still narcotics syndicates, must drug pushers were addicts themselves, and dealers and producers were still dangerous, violent men. Crime skyrocketed to unprecedented levels in the 1960s and 1970s; at one point New York City alone was losing over 30 cops per year. So much for peace and love, dude.

4. Of course prohibition increases illegal activity, because it defines new crimes. If nothing were illegal there would be no crime. But if you expect rates of robbery, rape, murder, and human exploitation to drop to zero, you're mistaken. Also, you keep harping on the lie that I said that all pot smokers contribute to gangs. I specifically said only those who buy from gangs contribute to gangs. You actually mocked me for that above, remember?

5. Many people are willing to grow their own, Homer; don't be dense. For those living on a city (the majority of pot smokers), it's often a matter of not having the space to grow enough two-metre plants to make the yield worth the trouble.

6. Actually, drug use among use is dropping. It is spiking among baby boomers, though, according a recent report. The love children are taking their drug habits into retirement with them.

7. Yes, gangs operate many illegal activities. However, some specialize in drugs, and drug gangs are especially violent. And it is one of the few types of crime over which John Q. Citizen has direct control. Don't buy, and they won't sell.

8. Refusing to accept that those who create the illegal market are responsible for its negative effects is the true irrationality. There will always be criminals of every sort. That hardly justifies legalizing everything. And we are not the ones who need a chemical to deal with reality, Homer.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 6:36:41 AM


Homer,

1. I'm beginning to think you pull these answers out of a hat. You've dropped so many accusations of "obviously ad hominem" I've lost count. But what about your innumerable accusations of ignorance, your studied insults, your giggling snootiness?

2. If there is such broad consensus within the AMA and FDA, Homer, why haven't they changed their official line? You said it yourself: They currently support keeping marijuana in Schedule I. You cite fear of the government, but that's only an opinion with a faint whiff of conspiracy theory about it. The AMA is an independent body. Cite all the exceptions, dissenters, and "angst and frustration" you like; at the end of the day the official policy is what matters. Must rankle.

3a. Lots of things have 5,000-year histories as being used as medicine, including ground tiger bones. And few of them are in use today. You're starting to sound like a New Ager who chews willow bark instead of taking Aspirin. Isn't it strange, though, that the huge jump in life expectency occurred after the rise of pharmacology and the decline of traditional medicines? And marijuana is not a traditional medicine in Europe.

4. The question is this:

Fact: Marijuana is illegal. The gangs who sell it are violent criminals and murderers.

Fact: The marijuana smoker knows this.

Fact: He buys from them anyway, thus adding fuel to the violence.

My conclusion: He considers getting high a higher priority than reducing crime and saving lives.

The question: Find an alternate conclusion that fits the facts above.

As I recall, you said you “needed to get some sleep.” And later called it a game of “squid in the water.” You never answered it. Not once. You can't answer it without looking like an idiot and a bloodthirsty reprobate (or without admitting that you exclusively grew your own, which for you would hardly be difficult), so you try to bury me in academic-style puffery. Did you really expect it to work?

5. Let’s see. There’s accusations of unbelievable ignorance, of hypocrisy, irrationality, dishonesty, irrational empty-headed babbling, all delivered in the snootiest, most condescending, most petulant, and most flippant manner possible. I’m not going to mine your screeds for every example; everyone here has seen them, and unless your short-term memory is well and truly shot, you remember them. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a college professor; you have the insufferable ignorance part down pat. But arrogance has to be earned, and have you done to earn yours, besides get sick and get high after a lifetime of lawbreaking?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 7:03:51 AM


Homer wrote: "I need to correct something here because when I said there should be no crimes..."

Then correct it; don't quote someone else's opinion. And no, it doesn't answer anything. Because the original question was whether legalizing marijuana would reduce the theoretical crime rate, and I said, legalizing anything will reduce the crime rate, because fewer actions will be considered crimes. McWilliams's opinion of what should and should not be crimes is completely irrelevant.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 7:07:56 AM


Homer wrote: "What I meant to say was I do not believe the prohibition of marijuana and the refusal to actually study it for its medicinal purposes, nor legalize it is one big conspiracy. On the contrary, it is actually nothing more than politics and business as usual."

As is the push to legalize it. What activists don't seem to realize is that they're just as driven by politics as the Man, in fact more so. Politics is driven by emotion, but sound policy is driven by fact. And activists are not motivated by facts.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 7:09:35 AM


Homer wrote: "Considering how poorly your brain is doing against mine in this debate, who knows, maybe you should try some."

Have you noticed, Homer, that the only ones on this board who believes that are an unabashed hedonist and you? You have me beat hands-down in the arrogance department, granted, but an arrogant delivery in itself does not constitute victory. Pierre Trudeau you ain't. And you still haven't answered the question.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 7:11:58 AM


Sorry, that bit about the college professor should read, "insufferable arrogance."

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 7:13:01 AM


Homer wrote: "But I am about to give up on this site because I have been trying to post a rather lengthy response exposing more of Shane's fallacies and while I keep getting a message that my comment has been posted it does not appear on this thread. So not being much into wasting my time I won't put up with that."

Your screed probably choked the hard drive. A hard drive capable of holding thousands of hours of video. It is quality not quantity that counts, Homer.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 7:27:40 AM


"4. The question is this:

Fact: Marijuana is illegal. The gangs who sell it are violent criminals and murderers.

Fact: The marijuana smoker knows this.

Fact: He buys from them anyway, thus adding fuel to the violence.

My conclusion: He considers getting high a higher priority than reducing crime and saving lives.

The question: Find an alternate conclusion that fits the facts above.

As I recall, you said you “needed to get some sleep.” And later called it a game of “squid in the water.” You never answered it. Not once. You can't answer it without looking like an idiot and a bloodthirsty reprobate (or without admitting that you exclusively grew your own, which for you would hardly be difficult), so you try to bury me in academic-style puffery. Did you really expect it to work?"--Shane

Shane, are you feeling alright? I'm beginning to actually be a little worried about you. First because if you look at your own post there is no question there. Only a pair of fallacies contained within relatively few words. And second because I did address this and defeated it.

Allow me to try it one more time in a different way. You don't get to start in the middle of a social problem and erroneously assign false cause and effect and then try to make someone address only your logical fallacy which is also designed to appeal to emotion which is you second fallacy.

The fallacy of your logic is this. If marijuana were legal your scenario would not exist. Is as simple as that. Your logic also fails because as you have said anyone who grows their own for their own personal use is exempt. It also fails because as you have also said many times gangs and criminals thrive off several different prohibitions not just marijuana. Take marijuana completely out of the picture and you still have the gangs, the killings and the mayhem.

So the cause of the gangs, the killings and the mayhem is the prohibition of these things, and those who support prohibition must accept the responsibility for the consequences of it. We could probably argue for decades of whether or not those prohibitions are actually worth the cost in terms of the benefits as opposed to the damage done.

But it does not change the reality any more then your refusal to accept it does.

Now its my turn to ask you a very simple question that actually is a question. Can you name a prohibition of anything that has ever successfully worked in all of human history?

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 8:26:39 AM


"1. I'm beginning to think you pull these answers out of a hat. You've dropped so many accusations of "obviously ad hominem" I've lost count. But what about your innumerable accusations of ignorance, your studied insults, your giggling snootiness?"--Shane

I was astute and academically honest enough to point out your ad hominem fallacies, and show what made them to be just that.

You on other hand apparently have no such scruples and instead site the times I have referred to you ignorance on certain points of this discussion as attacking you. Now, if I had simply called you ignorant you would have a point. But since I did not you don't.

In the instances where I have sited your ignorance I have also gone on to supply the factual information that proves your ignorance. The is a major distinction Shane and does not qualify the same as trying to claim that all the doctors and all the researchers who site medical benefits of marijuana as well as problems with government agencies that inhibit scientific research are simply disgruntled people with an ax to grind or an illegal drug to support.

Look it up yourself Shane so you know what ad hominem really means. And then show me where I have attacked you instead of the actual subject matter. Site the examples Shane not just your endless rhetoric.

You may actually be right. As humans we are not all that good at seeing ourselves, but I'm willing to bet right now you can't produce actual examples.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 8:45:02 AM


"Homer wrote: "What I meant to say was I do not believe the prohibition of marijuana and the refusal to actually study it for its medicinal purposes, nor legalize it is one big conspiracy. On the contrary, it is actually nothing more than politics and business as usual."

As is the push to legalize it. What activists don't seem to realize is that they're just as driven by politics as the Man, in fact more so. Politics is driven by emotion, but sound policy is driven by fact. And activists are not motivated by facts."--Shane

This is another logical fallacy on your part Shane because its a false assumption on your part and a really glaring one at that.

And is very simply demonstrated to be just that. What in the world are activists like myself, the author of this blog, thousands and thousands of other people from casual smokers to doctors, researchers, lawyers, professors and politicians being active in if it is not the politics of marijuana's legal status?

What are you and I engaged in right now if it is not politics?

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 8:54:29 AM


"Homer wrote: "I need to correct something here because when I said there should be no crimes..."

Then correct it; don't quote someone else's opinion. And no, it doesn't answer anything. Because the original question was whether legalizing marijuana would reduce the theoretical crime rate, and I said, legalizing anything will reduce the crime rate, because fewer actions will be considered crimes. McWilliams's opinion of what should and should not be crimes is completely irrelevant."--Shane

Shane, I would not have taken the time and trouble to quote you in my post if it was not so you, I and everyone else would know exactly what I was referring to.

You may consider this ad hominem but quite frankly I have come to see this sort of thing as academic dishonesty on your part. Specifically what I am referring to is not addressing what is actually being said and instead just launching into an unrelated tangent about something else entirely.

Here, once again are the questions YOU asked:

"That’s an incredibly simple-minded, almost childish view of crime and law. What about making bombs in your basement? No theft; no harm done; unless one goes off. Or how about shooting machine guns in a public place, but trying really, really hard to miss every time?"--Shane

By misquoting Peter McWilliams these are very valid questions from what I said. But when I actually correct the mistake of what Williams actually said and what I believe to be true the questions become moot.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 9:07:45 AM


"I was astute and academically honest enough to point out your ad hominem fallacies, and show what made them to be just that."

While pumping out three times that number of ad hominems yourself.

"...if I had simply called you ignorant you would have a point. But since I did not you don't."

Citing ignorance and calling ignorant are synonymous. You can't be ignorant without ignorance. Logic guru.

"In the instances where I have sited your ignorance I have also gone on to supply the factual information that proves your ignorance..."

Many of which "facts" have proven to be opinions, wishful thinking, or outright falsehoods. And the word is "cited," genius.

"The is a major distinction Shane and does not qualify the same as trying to claim that all the doctors and all the researchers..."

You were rushed when you wrote that, weren't you? In any case, until the official position of these regulatory bodies changes, those you support will remain dissenters, not policymakers. Many of these esteemed researches have made outrageous claims for marijuana, including the ability to cure up to 270 types of tumours. If that were the case baby boomers should never get cancer at all. But that's not true. The stats are headed in the other direction.

"Look it up yourself Shane so you know what ad hominem really means..."

Argumentum ad hominem: "Argument against the person." Distinguished by attempts to discredit the person, rather than his arguments. Instead of pointing out the "errors" in my reasoning or the facts I have wrong, you rail like a madman at my "ignorance," call arguments "empty-headed," an in general conduct yourself after the fashion of a petulant child. And you were the one who levelled accusations of bullying. It is to laugh.

"You may actually be right. As humans we are not all that good at seeing ourselves, but I'm willing to bet right now you can't produce actual examples."

If you'll read my responses above, you'll actually find some. Go back and you'll find several more. To satisfy you I'll include a few more:

“I find it very interesting to see a couple of internet bullies posing as pseudo intellectuals…”

“You surely reveal your closed minded bias as well as your ignorance of this topic…”

“I find you academic dishonesty in these discussions to be a little trying…”

“And finally you're such an OBVIOUS hypocrite…”

“But don't worry I'll still get back with you tonight because you are in need of a lot of education…”

Enough?

Not only do you savage the person, you commit the supreme rhetorical crime of not attacking the arguments—at least not with proper debate. You have laid red herrings of every description. You attempt to give legalized drug-grade marijuana credibility based on an attribute it shares with ground tiger bones (antiquity). On the fact that (non-drug-grade) hemp can be a useful source of industrial fibre. On the (non-fact) that it is the best, or even an economically feasible source of biofuel (not enough oil content).

When called on all of that, you truck forth a dreary parade of grumpy doctors who can’t find enough bad things to say about their employers and blaming others for their lack of success. You cite their claims of oppressive stonewalling by the government, while ignoring the fact that cannabis research is ongoing. And while you didn’t call the conspiracy duck a duck, you did say that it walked like a duck, swam luck a duck, looked like a duck, and quacked.

To break all this down into bite-sized chunks:

1. Many of your “facts” about the hemp plant in general are dead wrong, easily debunked, and I notice you haven’t uttered a peep about them since I first debunked them.

2. The fact that a remedy is old does not make it appropriate for use today.

3. Illegal markets are created by buyers, not sellers. And without some pressing need or gross violation of civil liberties, there is no reason to break this law. To blame human nature is evasion.

4. The atmosphere surrounding marijuana is too intensely politicized at this time to make any change in direction responsible. You have a personal stake in this and your bias and bitterness are evident.

5. Your (professed) inability to remember your own insults suggests a lack of short-term memory (a common problem among marijuana smokers), your profound repository of largely inaccurate facts speaks to a selective cherry-picking of relevant facts from activist websites, your encyclopaedic knowledge of pro-marijuana doctors and officials betrays your own activism (and therefore bias), and your inability to spell demonstrates either a poor education or a sloppy and perhaps decaying mind.

Good day.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 9:58:24 AM


"Shane, I would not have taken the time and trouble to quote you in my post if it was not so you, I and everyone else would know exactly what I was referring to."

Who else?

"You may consider this ad hominem but quite frankly I have come to see this sort of thing as academic dishonesty on your part."

What you "see" does not equal fact. Perception follows reality, not reality perception.

"Here, once again are the questions YOU asked:"

Those are rhetorical questions; I did not expect an answer. I do expect an answer on an alternate explanation as to why a person buys drugs he knows are illegal and likely to contribute to violence in the street, though. My conclusion is that he cares more about the high than about the lives of others. What is yours?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 10:02:41 AM


what are the chances that recreational marihuana will be legalized in the US/Canada block in the next three years /
thats 2012 -just in time for the end of the Mayan world
the wipehead arguments for legalization will have to convince tens of millions who so far, are not at all convinced..in fact, they applaud even _more crunch down on the stoner underclass and spraying of the drug crops worldwide to bring this social psychedelic side show to an abrupt end- and fast

So if the pot laws are so wrong/bad and the next social move is to liberate noble soulful cannabis from 70 years of racist laws..
Are you willing to put $100 on that ? cash no cheques??

every other wipehead chest thumper that waltzed through here quickly shrinks from this challenge to put their money where their mouth is..

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-06 10:08:40 AM


This is another logical fallacy on your part Shane because its a false assumption on your part and a really glaring one at that.

Prove it.

And is very simply demonstrated to be just that. What in the world are activists like myself, the author of this blog, thousands and thousands of other people from casual smokers to doctors, researchers, lawyers, professors and politicians being active in if it is not the politics of marijuana's legal status? What are you and I engaged in right now if it is not politics?

Your reasons for wanting to change this policy are emotional, not logical or ethical. I wish to have the existing policy retained (and even strengthened) because the facts do not currently support treating raw, unprocessed marijuana like a carefully measured, painstakingly researched and approved prescription drug.

Your emotional stake in this is plain, as is the desperation in your tone. You have launched the most comprehensive campaign of bob and weave I have ever seen on these blogs. You won't answer the question of personal responsibility I pose—a perfectly legitimate question given the libertarian's emphasis on personal responsibility—and justify this by alternately pretending not to see it, pretending you thought I meant another question, denouncing it as a squid in the water, or starting in the middle of a social problem. Then you dump on the scorn and the mockery and the sneering in the hopes of getting me mad enough to forget that I asked it in the first place.

No chance.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-03-06 10:10:39 AM


Thats right Shane_ Uncle Homer quietly dropped this stance of hemp as wonder crop when we shot it down with marshmallows.., didn't even refute us, just skulked away and came back after whipping up his sublimated rage as the cranky obtuse old hippy he probably really is -yelling at us, like I can only imagine- his Mom/wife/ doctor yells at him.. You're right I don;t know what his position is, he is quite a remarkably vague and artless dodger. I do know he is on what his people would call " on a trip" We are here reading his lines at lunchbreak and laughing at him..we all have a doped out incoherient relative combatant of the acid wars,, victims of their own freak outs-

- he comes off as some crusty old US Civil war veteran - wheezing and flailing that " the south will rise again"

and if you look close at that creaky irrational prophesy by stiff necked defeated civil warriors, aging in disgrace after fighting the will of their own people in vain...,

the south actually did rise again--
........................
ya- but it was - Disneyland

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-06 10:47:28 AM


What's with this Methodist minister analogy that keeps coming up time and time again?

Something to do with demon rum in an issue society has resolved a long time ago?

I don't get the point.

Alcohol has harmful long-term effects.

Dope's long-term effects are even worse.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-03-06 11:28:46 AM


Ya - just what we need is yet another legal poison..woven into the social fabric. orchestrated by some rotton hearted future governing body - Pot not as dangerous as the other social poisons we would be better off without-
.........some selling feature-
- being run over by a hybrid car is not as bad as
being run over by a conventional light truck, etc.

future generations will thank us ( not ) for bending over backwards to the selfish demands of the tragic Wipehead few as they mop up the social damage of drug eroded cognative fallout

Posted by: 419 | 2009-03-06 12:34:20 PM


"1. Many of your “facts” about the hemp plant in general are dead wrong, easily debunked, and I notice you haven’t uttered a peep about them since I first debunked them."--Shane


Sorry it took me so long to get back to the points about hemp but I've been rather busy exposing your ignorance on several points and providing the documentation to support that.

First neither you nor 419 have been able to rebut a single point I made about the many uses of hemp and your misinformed rhetoric will not survive my actual documentation.

Hemp as bio fuel:

Hemp Cellulose for Ethanol

Another approach will involve conversion of cellulose to ethanol, which can be done in several ways including gasification, acid hydrolysis and a technology utilizing engineered enzymes to convert cellulose to glucose, which is then fermented to make alcohol. Still another approach using enzymes will convert cellulose directly to alcohol, which leads to substantial process cost savings.

Current costs associated with these conversion processes are about $1.37[vi] per gallon of fuel produced, plus the cost of the feedstock. Of this $1.37, enzyme costs are about $0.50 per gallon; current research efforts are directed toward reduction of this amount to $0.05 per gallon. There is a Federal tax credit of $0.54 per gallon and a number of other various incentives available. Conversion rates range from a low of 25-30 gallons per ton of biomass to 100 gallons per ton using the latest technology.

In 1998 the total California gasoline demand was 14 billion gallons. When ethanol is used to replace MTBE as an oxygenate, this will create California demand in excess of 700 million gallons per year. MTBE is to be phased out of use by 2003 according to State law.

In this case we can consider biomass production from a much broader perspective. Sources of feedstock under consideration for these processes are:


We will address these in turn and show why a dedicated energy crop holds important potential for ethanol production in California, why hemp is a good candidate as a dedicated energy crop, and how it may represent the fastest track to meeting 34% of California's upcoming ethanol market demand of at least 580-750 million gallons per year.[vii]

http://fuelandfiber.com/Hemp4NRG/Hemp4NRGRV3.htm

Bottom line: The United States has 60 million acres of idle arable land. Energy crops tend to prevent erosion, so the goal is to use those 60 million acres to experiment with different energy crops and different ways of integrating land and technology to produce energy. While the theoretical standard for bulk biomass production exceeds the standards for hemp production, hemp is very competitive with the actual yields of experimental energy crops. Factor in hemp's diverse ecological adaptability, and it becomes a very appealing energy crop.

Bottom line: The United States has 60 million acres of idle arable land. Energy crops tend to prevent erosion, so the goal is to use those 60 million acres to experiment with different energy crops and different ways of integrating land and technology to produce energy. While the theoretical standard for bulk biomass production exceeds the standards for hemp production, hemp is very competitive with the actual yields of experimental energy crops. Factor in hemp's diverse ecological adaptability, and it becomes a very appealing energy crop.

Here are some interesting facts both about hemp generally and about hemp's ability to become an alternative fuel for America:

............

1. "Since 1937, about half the forests in the world have been cut down to make paper. If hemp had not been outlawed, most would still be standing, oxygenating the planet." - Alan Bock.

2. Historical tradition, if not current federal law, favors hemp. The [first drafts of the] U.S. Constitution, [and] the Declaration of Independence [the final drafts were on animal skin], The Gutenberg Bible, and Old Glory (our nation's first flag) were all made from hemp - as was the favorite fuel of Henry Ford, the reading lamp oil of Abraham Lincoln, the paints used by Van Gogh and Rembrandt, and the parachute webbing that saved the live of George Bush.

3. Hemp canvas covered the Westward-bound wagons, the tall sailing ships, the bi-planes and zeppelins of World War I, and provided the original Levi pants worn by California goldminers in 1849.

4. Hemp was so crucial to colonial America that its cultivation was mandated by law.

5. As an agricultural commodity, hemp is arguably the world's top renewable resource for fuel, paper, cloth, paint, plastic, protein, soap, oil and over 25,000 other products.

6. Anything made from oil or wood can be made from hemp.

......

8. Hemp fiberboard is stronger than wood; hemp houses are as strong as cement houses and better insulated.

......

10. Hemp paper will last up to 1,500 years; hemp cloth is stronger than cotton. Cotton requires more pesticides than any other agricultural product (39 million pounds in 1993).

11. Hemp grows without pesticides. Hemp's long taproot improves soil quality and reduces erosion.

......

24. One tank of gasoline generates up to 400 pounds of CO2. During the 1930s, Henry Ford grew hemp on his estate to demonstrate the efficiency of methanol production. Both Henry Ford and Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) intended to power their vehicles with plant-based fuels.

25. Hemp biomass grown for fuel would reverse global warming by converting CO2 into oxygen during the growing cycle. Hemp is one of the richest biomass sources. Each acre of hemp yields 10 tons of biomass (1,000 gallons of methanol) in 4 months.

26. The gas turbine generates cost-competitive electrical power using biomass fuels. Researchers at Princeton University estimate that biomass fuels combined with advanced gasifier-gas turbine technology could compete in cost with coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric power in both industrialized and developing countries.

27. If vehicle fuel efficiency were doubled, biomass energy could replace all fossil fuels now used in cars and all coal burned for electricity in the U.S. To maximize efficiency, plant-based methanol, plastic, rayon and electrical production could occur at the same facility.

28. Hemp biomass farms would abate foreign oil dependency, soil erosion, acid rain, air pollution and global warming, while laying the groundwork for revitalized rural communities. Rural pasture land (7% of U.S. acreage) could produce enough biomass to end U.S. dependence on gas and oil.

29. By converting cotton, tobacco, sugar and cattle feed production into biomass, energy independence would be within reach. The least valuable hemp product is biomass fuels. Each acre of hemp grown for fiber and pulp is worth $750 - considerably more than each acre of corn or wheat.

http://www.lightparty.com/...

.............

Some of you may remember Hugh Downs, who used to be co-anchor with Barbara Walters, on ABC's news show, 20/20. Hugh did a nine minute segment on hemp in 1990. Here are some excerpts from his segment:

.............

But the reason the pro-marijuana lobby want marijuana legal has little to do with getting high, and a great deal to do with fighting oil giants like Saddam Hussein, Exxon and Iran. The pro-marijuana groups claim that hemp is such a versatile raw material, that its products not only compete with petroleum, but with coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, pharmaceutical, timber and textile companies.[1]

It is estimated that methane and methanol production alone from hemp grown as biomass could replace 90% of the world's energy needs.[2] If they are right, this is not good news for oil interests and could account for the continuation of marijuana prohibition. The claim is that the threat hemp posed to natural resource companies back in the thirties accounts for its original ban.

At one time marijuana seemed to have a promising future as a cornerstone of industry. When Rudolph Diesel produced his famous engine in 1896, he assumed that the diesel engine would be powered by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils. Rudolph Diesel, like most engineers then, believed vegetable fuels were superior to petroleum. Hemp is the most efficient vegetable.

In the 1930s the Ford Motor Company also saw a future in biomass fuels. Ford operated a successful biomass conversion plant, that included hemp, at their Iron Mountain facility in Michigan. Ford engineers extracted methanol, charcoal fuel, tar, pitch, ethyl-acetate and creosote. All fundamental ingredients for modern industry and now supplied by oil-related industries.[2]

The difference is that the vegetable source is renewable, cheap and clean, and the petroleum or coal sources are limited, expensive and dirty. By volume, 30% of the hemp seed contains oil suitable for high-grade diesel fuel as well as aircraft engine and precision machine oil.

Henry Ford's experiments with methanol promised cheap, readily renewable fuel. And if you think methanol means compromise, you should know that many modern race cars run on methanol.

About the time Ford was making biomass methanol, a mechanical device[3] to strip the outer fibers of the hemp plant appeared on the market. These machines could turn hemp into paper and fabrics[4] quickly and cheaply. Hemp paper is superior to wood paper. The first two drafts of the U.S. constitution were written on hemp paper. The final draft is on animal skin. Hemp paper contains no dioxin, or other toxic residue, and a single acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper as four acres of trees.[5] The trees take 20 years to harvest and hemp takes a single season. In warm climates hemp can be harvested two even three times a year. It also grows in bad soil and restores the nutrients.

Hemp fiber-stripping machines were bad news to the Hearst paper manufacturing division, and a host of other natural resource firms. Coincidentally, the DuPont Chemical Company had, in 1937, been granted a patent on a sulfuric acid process to make paper from wood pulp. At the time DuPont predicted their sulfuric acid process would account for 80% of their business for the next 50 years.

Hemp, once the mainstay of American agriculture, became a threat to a handful of corporate giants. To stifle the commercial threat that hemp posed to timber interests, William Randolph Hearst began referring to hemp in his newspapers, by its Spanish name, "marijuana." This did two things: it associated the plant with Mexicans and played on racist fears, and it misled the public into thinking that marijuana and hemp were different plants.

Nobody was afraid of hemp--it had been cultivated and processed into usable goods, and consumed as medicine, and burned in oil lamps, for hundreds of years. But after a campaign to discredit hemp in the Hearst newspapers, Americans became afraid of something called marijuana.

By 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed which marked the beginning of the end of the hemp industry. In 1938, Popular Mechanics ran an article about marijuana called, "New Billion Dollar Crop."[6] It was the first time the words "billion dollar" were used to describe a U.S. agricultural product. Popular Mechanics said,

. . . a machine has been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. . . .

The machine . . . is designed for removing the fiber-bearing cortex from the rest of the stalk, making hemp fiber available for use without a prohibitive amount of human labor.

Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products ranging from rope, to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed, contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.

http://www.ratical.org/...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/5/28/154559/717/583/214006

I can do this all day Shane. The advantages of hemp are well documented. However, I do anticipate more of your ad hominieum fallacies of just attacking the sources.

But they will be meaningless unless you can provide documentation that proves these facts to be false.

Posted by: Uncle Homer | 2009-03-06 9:00:35 PM



The comments to this entry are closed.