Fear of Pot 'Bogarts' Relief 

Fear of Pot 'Bogarts' Relief 
Posted by CN Staff on June 29, 2005 at 13:12:04 PT
By Steve Stajich, Mirror Contributing Writer
Source: Santa Monica Mirror
USA -- Maybe it was the language that got us goofed up. Perhaps putting too fine a point on drug use made us believe we were successfully dealing with it. So, we had terms like “casual use” or “recreational” (like badminton or croquet). Then we started talking about “gateway” drugs and it felt like we were really sorting things out.I would argue that these categories are no longer useful. Subdividing the use of drugs has only slowed us down in dealing with the complexities of humans taking drugs for other than medical purposes.  This is hardly a bold stance, and it’s certainly not a conservative one. It’s just a way to get through the swamp of any discussion of humans and drugs.
More difficult is embracing a wider, more accurate view of what constitutes “drug use” in the 21st century.  Are Cialis and Viagra “medical” drugs? Do they treat a medical problem? Or are they pleasure drugs legitimized by nothing more than their source, the huge pharmaceutical companies that market them not to relieve human suffering but simply to make money. It’s the same corrupt motive we always applied to “drug dealers,” especially in films and television.In many of those entertainments, the black-hearted “dealer” would eventually justify his role in society with some rationale along the lines of “Hey, I don’t make them overdose or have problems. I just sell a product.” That’s something you might hear when confronting any sharp executive from America’s $57 billion plus a year alcoholic beverage industry. And because it’s a sore point with my generation, yes, according to the AMA, alcoholism is a “drug dependency.” All of which exacerbates the annoying illogic of the Supreme Court ruling allowing the federal government power to seize and destroy marijuana that is used as pain-relieving medicine by seriously ill patients.  Not to mention the flattering portrait it paints of lawmakers investing energy in suppressing pot when more important things might be troubling us right now.In 1970, Congress classified marijuana as a dangerous and illegal drug that had no benefits. It remains a “controlled substance.” Regardless of the relief that pot brings to someone suffering with a brain tumor, Congress has made no effort to amend marijuana’s position in the pantheon of substances Americans ingest on a regular basis.  The Supreme Court takes time out from its important duties to strengthen the fed’s ability to hassle medical marijuana storefronts, while at the same time butyl nitrate “poppers” are easier to order off the Internet than a Craftsman socket wrench set.Like substance use itself, drug laws are never going to be completely logical, rational, or fair. (Ask a dude doing hard time in Texas for selling coke how he feels about Merck getting Vioxx back on the market.) But the law should be able to learn. It should evolve with the increased sophistication and education of the society it seeks to protect. Of course, “education” can have it folds and ripples. Witness the struggle we’re having right now with the notion that fatty junk foods might be something more akin to a drug dependency than a personal choice. “Hey, I don’t make the kids have diabetes…” argues the ‘dealer’ in the clown costume.Although the Supreme Court looked at important considerations in the balance of powers between states and fed, there’s no escaping a whiff of that old “devil weed” vibe when you review the decision.  This, at roughly the same time the federal government has backed down on gigantic monetary punishments in the historical ruling against big tobacco.  And unlike pot, mountains of testing show tobacco to be addictive and deadly. But again, it often seems to matter more who the dealers are.Source: Santa Monica Mirror (CA)Author: Steve Stajich, Mirror Contributing WriterPublished: June 29 - July 5, 2005 Copyright: 2005 Santa Monica MirrorContact: Mirror200 aol.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on June 29, 2005 at 19:24:38 PT
link 2 gives error, but...
you can see the seal photo at link three
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on June 29, 2005 at 19:21:36 PT
"The Lost Liberty Hotel" Proposed 
Justice Souter's House Under Eminent Domain Threat? State Project: Liberty in Our Lifetime [seal] links courtesy of the US Marijuana Party
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Comment #7 posted by jose melendez on June 29, 2005 at 18:33:44 PT
Lawsuits Begin, Medicaid Consistently Defrauded
June 14, 2005—The scheme concocted by the pharmaceutical industry and pushed forward by the Bush administration to screen the entire nation's public school population for mental illness and treat them with controversial drugs was already setting off alarms among parents all across the country. But in the state of Indiana, the alarm just got louder. June 29, 2005 : Nation By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff WriterWASHINGTON — The Medicaid health insurance program for low-income and disabled people is overpaying for prescription drugs by hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars a year, according to three inspector general reports to be released today.
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on June 29, 2005 at 18:22:06 PT
re-schedule it? Congress? The DEA? The FDA? Dubya?
All of the aboveOr any of the above: FDA (science)/DEA (decision)Congress (They wrote the 1970 Controlled Substances Act)Dubya (by Executive Order)The real question is will they schedule it? And when?
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on June 29, 2005 at 18:12:46 PT
Cannabis is a gateway drug
No doubt about it. A gateway to prison..."In October, the FBI reported that 755,186 people were arrested in 2003 on marijuana charges. This is a record number of arrests, of which a full 88% involved simple possession without additional sale or manufacturing charges. In contrast, there were only 597,026 arrests for all violent crimes combined. Do you feel safer knowing that the  U.S.  is vigilant in the war against stoners?" do you fear now? The truth? Cannabis? Or maybe your government that will put you to work for a grand total of two bucks each day?It's your life. It's your liberty. It's your happiness. The only thing there is to fear is your government. The US gov is a serious health hazard. It's obvious that they could care less.Bearing false witness is their stock-in-trade.
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on June 29, 2005 at 17:24:58 PT
Raich fallout
One other nice thing about the recent supreme court ruling was that both the majority and the minory opinions agreed that cannabis has medical value. By implication, this means it should not be in schedule one. So who would be able to actually re-schedule it? Congress? The DEA? The FDA? Dubya?
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Comment #3 posted by Taylor121 on June 29, 2005 at 16:12:21 PT
Anyone from Rhode Island?
You need to call/write the governor asap over there. That bill may make it all the way.
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on June 29, 2005 at 15:14:11 PT
Reefer Madness 
The opponents of medical marijuana have waged a clever but dishonest campaign. By fighting the issue on highly technical and tangential terrain, they have scored cheap victories that allow them to say the Supreme Court has ruled against medical marijuana twice, even though they have shirked facing the central issue.The only thing to be gleaned from the majority’s 6 to 3 decision in Gonzales vs. Raich is that Congress is free to make bad laws. The Court did note that the Executive Branch -- i.e. George W. Bush -- could reclassify marijuana. However, given Bush’s flip-flopping on the issue, don’t hold your breath: as a candidate for president, Bush said that legalizing medical marijuana should be up the residents of individual states; as president, he instructed his Justice Department to argue just the opposite before the Supreme Court. (And you thought you’d never see a politician top Bill Clinton’s hypocritical “I didn’t inhale” ploy.)One of the reasons patients using medical marijuana are in such a double-bind is that federal authorities refuse to allow double-blind studies that might substantiate the widely available anecdotal and reputable scientific evidence that indicates marijuana does have therapeutic efficacy for a wide range of maladies from multiple sclerosis to chronic wasting disease. In a catch-22 worthy of Joseph Heller, John P. Walters, the Bush Administration’s drug czar, insists that “science and research have not determined that smoking a crude plant is safe or effective.” Meanwhile, Walters simultaneously uses his authority at the DEA to insure that no responsible medical organization is even allowed to acquire cannabis to perform scientific studies...Will anyone show up to see Walters funeral? I would bet not one good person will come to his funeral, and if somebody shows up, it will only be so they can spit or shit on his grave.A happy day is yet coming,
Reefer Madness 
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Comment #1 posted by Dave in Florida on June 29, 2005 at 14:31:38 PT
This article ...
Hits the nail on the head. It is what we all have know for 30 years. It's a plant, and they have'nt figured out how to make a profit from it, Or is it because it is a substitute for so many things they sell and it's free. Natures healer. All I can say is that it would be nice to see some of the staunch prohibitionist toke a few bowls and say "gee, what was I thinking". 
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