cannabisnews.com: Pot Plan Would Strain Authorities, Foes Say










††Pot Plan Would Strain Authorities, Foes Say

Posted by CN Staff on September 21, 2006 at 09:43:39 PT
By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News †
Source: Rocky Mountain News†

Colorado -- Voter approval of a statewide ballot measure that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana would put further strains on federal law enforcement officials, opponents of the proposal said Wednesday. Drug runners will begin trafficking large amounts of marijuana to sell if Colorado voters approve the amendment, Drug Enforcement Agency special agent Jeffrey Sweetin said. Large amounts, he added, become a serious federal problem.
"It will clearly impact what we do," he said. "Right now, a smaller amount of focus is on pot, but if this passes, we will be able to focus less and less on other drugs, and pot will become a major focus." Standing with medical professionals, Sweetin and Lt. Gov. Jane Norton urged voters to reject Amendment 44 in November. That measure would legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana by adults throughout Colorado. Calvina Fay, executive director of Florida-based Save Our Society from Drugs, said "the stakes are very high" because she believes that this is just the first step toward the pro-Amendment 44 forces' eventual goal of legalizing all drugs throughout the nation. She also said that legalization would undo much of the anti-drug education that has been a staple of educating youth. "Messages that drugs can hurt, addict or kill have had a positive effect by decreasing overall drug use," Fay said. "Certainly by legalizing and normalizing, you're sending the wrong message to children." The fight over the ballot measure, which a recent Rocky Mountain News/CBS 4 poll showed to be failing 53 percent to 42 percent, has centered largely on the medical effects of marijuana and the age of those who would be allowed to smoke the drug. Fay said that the amendment would make it legal for an adult to give an ounce of marijuana to a 15-year-old, but proponents said that is misleading. Mason Tvert, campaign manager for a group that supports the amendment, said that there are already laws on the books that make it a felony to provide marijuana to a minor. His group wants to make it legal only for those over 21 to possess pot, he said. Tvert said the opposition forces "bend the truth" about marijuana and are using scare tactics to defeat the measure - including the charge that they're part of a national movement to legalize all drugs and are funded by wealthy individuals and political action groups. "I have no interest in other drugs, and we don't intend to run a statewide campaign anywhere else in the country," Tvert said. "They're also trying to say we took money from (billionaire Democratic donor) George Soros. We've never received a cent from George Soros, and believe me, if he offered me $1 or $1,000, I'd take it." Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)Author: David Montero, Rocky Mountain News Published: September 21, 2006Copyright: 2006, Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/Related Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choicehttp://www.saferchoice.org/Safer Coloradohttp://www.safercolorado.org/DEA: Pot Law Would Strain Copshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22182.shtmlFeds Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep Off Grasshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22129.shtmlDEA Should Butt Out of State Ballot Debate http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22122.shtml

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Comment #44 posted by FoM on September 23, 2006 at 06:50:16 PT
Sukoi
 When music started getting way different then Dylan, CSNY, James Taylor, Carole King as examples and seemed to be getting more sex and hard drug related my son was young and I was worried that society because of the change in music styles wasn't what the hippie dream for me was about. We tend to listen to music that hits us where we live and don't change too much after that. When you go to a fundamentalist church the only music they said we could listen to was country but we didn't like country but absolutely no rock music because it would warp our minds and make us rebellious. I believe churches still feel that way about rock music but I could be wrong. Country fits with republicans and conservative values of don't do this or that. I was so upset with the entry of cocaine into the scene and marijuana was the only substance that I ever felt was ok so that was that. I didn't want a work driven society but a society that cared for others and it got lost somewhere along the line. 
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Comment #43 posted by Sukoi on September 23, 2006 at 04:41:37 PT
FoM
I think that their first album came out in 1975 and they were indeed VERY popular in the early and mid 80's. You missed out on some really good music during that time IMHO :-)
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Comment #42 posted by FoM on September 22, 2006 at 21:01:05 PT
Sukoi 
I did a search to find out why I don't recognize Rush very well. It appears their music was very popular thruout the 80s and I didn't listen to music for about 6 years from 80 to 86 or even a little later so I missed hearing them. I remember I thought the name meant like cocaine or speed or shooting up. I also didn't listen to the Grateful Dead because I didn't know why a band would be named the Grateful Dead. We didn't have any good music on the radio either. There was a lot of country music but we didn't listen to it.
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Comment #41 posted by Sukoi on September 22, 2006 at 19:29:48 PT
I'm sure that you'll recognize this...
I was looking for the video to this song this morning but surprisingly couldn't find one. It's called "a Passage To Bangkok", Here are the lyrics:Our first stop is in bogotaTo check columbian fieldsThe natives smile and pass alongA sample of their yieldSweet jamaican pipe dreamsGolden acapulco nightsThen morocco, and the east,Fly by morning lightWere on the train to bangkokAboard the thailand expressWell hit the stops along the wayWe only stop for the bestWreathed in smoke in lebanonWe burn the midnight oilThe fragrance of afghanistanRewards a long days toil pulling into katmanduSmoke rings fill the airPerfumed by a nepal nightThe express gets you there
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on September 22, 2006 at 18:25:34 PT
Just a Note
After viewing a little of the one video I recognized the group. Thanks for the video links. I think I must have been in my church lady time when they were popular.
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Comment #39 posted by The GCW on September 22, 2006 at 18:00:32 PT
mayan, Thanks...
Thank You.
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Comment #38 posted by whig on September 22, 2006 at 10:49:35 PT
mayan
Opinions change, for sure. Mine have. But I like Rush, and I was not putting them down, only stating a disagreement with the implication that I and many people I know have taken from a song, whatever Neil Peart may have thought it meant or will admit to.
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Comment #37 posted by FoM on September 22, 2006 at 10:15:09 PT
Mayan and Everyone
I still haven't had time to watch the videos on youtube but I will later on. I noticed with Neil's music it is different now then it was. He seems like he likes Democrats more by his song Looking for a Leader but then I look back and he seemed more Republican around Reagan. I know that I voted for Reagan too but now I would never consider it. Life and time teach us. I am not who I was but I am not who I will be either.
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Comment #36 posted by mayan on September 22, 2006 at 10:03:03 PT
GCW
Regarding Iran...War Signals? http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061009/lindorff
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Comment #35 posted by mayan on September 22, 2006 at 10:00:13 PT
Whig
Whig, there are as many opinions about the meaning of that song as there are folks who've listened to it. You're making a lot of assumptions about the band who wrote that song in 1978. Neil has changed a lot since his Ayn Rand days. My take on the meaning is that if we all fight over everything we all end up with nothing. Anyway, an old statement from Neil Peart... When asked in the April/May 1980 Modern Drummer magazine about whether there is a message to this song, Peart said, "No. It was just a flash. I was working on an entirely different thing when I saw a cartoon picture of these trees carrying on like fools. I thought, 'What if trees acted like people?' So I saw it as a cartoon really, and wrote it that way. I think that's the image that it conjures up to a listener or a reader. A very simple statement." - Neil PeartSongfacts: The Trees
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2276
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Comment #34 posted by BGreen on September 22, 2006 at 08:42:34 PT
My wife and I both liked Rush before we even met
I bought the live album "All The World's A Stage" back in the late 70's when I was in high school. My gosh! Three men would have to be nearly supernatural to produce that quality of music live!My wife's favorite album in high school was "2112."The really cool thing is that Rush is still making great music to this day, and the teenage sons of my friend are fans of Rush just like us old timers. LOLThe Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #33 posted by whig on September 22, 2006 at 08:25:10 PT
Sukoi
"The Trees" is a good example of a libertarian song. It's all about how unfair it is that some trees are naturally taller than others, and so the solution is to cut all the trees down to size, as an ironic statement against trying to reduce inequality.So be happy in your subjugation, then?I think the solution (in their metaphor) is separation, not cutting the trees down to size, but arranging them in such a way as all trees get the same sunlight.Sorry if you think I'm taking a song lyric too seriously, but Rush meant it seriously and I think some of the libertarians here do too. So what I'm saying is that there is a false assumption being made, that there is no alternative to privileging some people over others except for the axe.Try peaceful resolution.
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on September 22, 2006 at 08:22:04 PT
Sukoi
Thank you. I will check them out a little later on today when things slow down a little around my place.
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Comment #31 posted by Sukoi on September 22, 2006 at 07:44:36 PT
FoM: Rush
Rush is probably one of the best if not THE best three piece bands there ever was. Here's a few of their songs; be sure to listen to the lyrics:The Treeshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3rOaAd2nEA&mode=related&search=Subdivisionshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcNIdqSBrW4&mode=related&search=Time Stand Stillhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylViJpX1KBs&mode=related&search=Distant Early Warninghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGBN48CPTUsWitch Hunthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljSISPBITt4
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Comment #30 posted by mayan on September 22, 2006 at 06:13:58 PT
GCW
Al-Qaeda in Palestine threatens truck bombings - Global jihad group takes credit for assassination, warns more attacks on the way:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3306861,00.html"Al-Qaeda in Palestine" is either a false-flag front organization or they just aren't that bright since they are tipping everyone off to their intentions. It's only a matter of time until "Al-Qaeda in Iran" pops up. The PNAC agenda must go forward as far as the neo-con terrorists are concerned but they desperately need something big to happen before the mid-terms so they can invade Iran or they will risk losing congress.
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Comment #29 posted by The GCW on September 22, 2006 at 04:36:20 PT
Strain?
Less need for police to monitor cannabis is more likely.One thing that would strain police and Feds... WAR against Iran.10987...Dear Friends,The Bush Administration is preparing for war against Iran, using an almost identical drumbeat of weapons of mass destruction, imminent threat, alleged links to Al Queda, and even linking Iran with a future 911. In the past few months reports have been published in Newsweek, ABC News and GQ Magazine that indicate the US is recruiting members of paramilitary groups to destabilize Iran through violence. The New Yorker magazine and the Guardian have written that US has already deployed military inside Iran. The latest issue of Time writes of plans for a naval blockade of Iran at the Port of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world's oil supply passes. Other news reports have claimed that an air strike, using a variety of bombs including bunker busters to be dropped on over 1,000 targets, including nuclear facilities. This could obviously result in a great long term humanitarian and environmental disaster.Earlier this year, I demanded congressional hearings on Iran and was able to secure the promise of a classified briefing from the Department of Defense, the State Department and the CIA. When the briefing was held, the Department of Defense and the State Department refused to show and are continuing to block any congressional inquiry into plans to attack Iran.Just this past week, the International Atomic Energy Agency called "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated" statements relating to Iran's nuclear program which came from a staff report of the House Intelligence committee. Other intelligence officials have claimed over a dozen distortions in the report which, among other things, said Iran is producing weapons grade uranium. The Washington Post wrote: "The IAEA called that 'incorrect' noting that weapons grade uranium is enriched to a level of 90 percent or more. Iran has enriched uranium to 3.5% under IAEA monitoring."I have demanded that the Government Oversight subcommittee on National Security and International Relations, of which I am the ranking Democrat, hold hearings to determine how in the world the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, viewed the report without correcting the obvious inaccuracies before it was published. Once again a case for war is being built on lies.You will recall that four and a half years ago I warned this nation about the deception behind the build up to war against Iraq. Everything I said then turned out to be 100% right. I led 125 Democrats in opposing the Iraq war resolution in March of 2003. The very same people who brought us Iraq in 2003 are getting ready to bring us a war against Iran. With your help, I will lead the way to challenge the Bush Administration's march to war against Iran. Please support my campaign for re-election with a generous donation to help continue my work in the Congress. The plan to attack Iran, on its face, threatens the safety of every US soldier serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the countless Iranian lives at risk and the threat to world peace and environmental catastrophes.With your support, I intend to continue to insist upon:(1) Direct negotiations with Iran. 
(2) The US must guarantee Iran and the world community that it will not attack Iran. 
(3) Iran must open once again to international inspections of its nuclear program. 
(4) Iran must agree not to build nuclear weapons.
Many of you joined me three years ago as I ran for President to challenge the deliberate lies about WMDs, Iraq and 911, Iraq and Al Queda and the Niger "yellowcake" claims which put us onto the path of an unnecessary, illegal, costly war in Iraq. The Iraq war has caused greater instability and violence in the world community. In the meantime, our government has used the oxymoronic war on terror to trample our Constitution, rip up the Bill of Rights and rule by fear.Please join with me as we continue our efforts for the end of fear and the beginning of hope, for international dialogue, for cooperation and for peace.Thank you,Dennis Kucinich
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Comment #28 posted by The GCW on September 21, 2006 at 20:23:11 PT
Author: Mason Tvert - Campaign Director, SAFER
US IN: EDU: LTE: "Just say no" not good pot policyPubdate: Thur, 21 Sept 2006 Source: Indiana Daily Student (IN Edu)Author: Mason Tvert - Campaign Director, SAFERViewed at: http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.php?adid=search&id=37641
 
"Just say no" not good pot policyNatalie Avon's column about SAFER ("Herb or Hops?" Sept. 13) demonstrates her naivete when it comes to the culture of partying on college campuses.She suggests college students stay home on weekends and have a bowl of ice cream instead of partaking in alcohol or marijuana use. First, she should consider that high-fat diets consisting of ice cream cause even more deaths each year than alcohol and marijuana combined. But more importantly, her proposal is a public policy disaster on par with preaching abstinence over educating people about practicing safe sex.Let's face it. College students are going to be faced with countless opportunities to drink and to use marijuana, and many (if not most) are going to take these opportunities, regardless of whether Ms. Avon chooses to partake.But why on earth would a college want to steer its students toward using alcohol by punishing them more for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead? After all, every objective study conducted on alcohol and marijuana has found the former to be far more harmful to both the user and to society.Isn't it about time we stop teaching students to drink responsibly and start teaching them to party responsibly?Mason TvertCampaign Director, SAFERReferred: http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.php?adid=search&id=37412(coming soon to MAP)
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 19:08:45 PT

Kaptinemo Mayan and Whig
Kaptinemo, I know how it is with family but maybe some other time when it isn't a holiday.Mayan I will sure keep it in mind. I am looking forward to Live At The Fillmore East in November.http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7293684&BAB=M I am very hopeful that they will release the Freedom of Speech tour too since Graham Nash said they will for Christmas. I never saw any DVDs of CSNY.Whig, thank you. I couldn't get it to load for me and I'll try again. My connection is not as good as usual because of scaffolding blocking my satellite dish. Soon the scaffolding will be gone and we will adjust the dish and all should be fine again.
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Comment #26 posted by kaptinemo on September 21, 2006 at 18:06:43 PT:

FoM, I am Greatly honored.
But I'm afraid I'll have to decline. What's left of my family gets together on holidays whenever we can. And Da's not in the best of shape; so long as he's with us, we all try to meet. But no matter how much we laugh, it's always bittersweet, because of Mum being long gone...from complications due to an illness cannabis could have cured.I'd like to do more than use a rhetorical carving implement on those lying turkeys, I really, really would. But unlike them, I have a code that requires that I don't prey on the weak and the sick...and in the final analysis, that's exactly what they are. Peel from them their power, and they are disgusting and pathetic excuses for human beings. Our side doesn't hide behind bad laws to attack the most helpless of our society. Our side doesn't knowingly use racist-sired laws to marginalize and disenfranchise those people who have so little to begin with. Our side doesn't cynically make money from other people's misfortunes while claiming the moral high ground in the process. Our side does not seek to throttle indivdual liberties in pursuit of some insane quest for a drug-free utopia. Our side doesn't loudly trumpet faux compassion; we just quietly demonstrate the real article.Our side doesn't use the power of The State to kill innocents...here, or abroad. Done in the name of all of us, using our tax-extorted dollars to do so. And making us all accessories to murder in the process.They have much to atone for...
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Comment #25 posted by mayan on September 21, 2006 at 18:03:05 PT

FoM
If you ever buy another DVD in your life you have to get "Rush in Rio". It is my favorite and it just blows the mind. Even if you wouldn't find the music that appealing you would be amazed by the reaction of the crowd and the visually fascinating laser/light/screen show! A Rush in Rio Review:
http://www.avrev.com/dvd/revs/rushinrio.shtml
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Comment #24 posted by whig on September 21, 2006 at 17:48:22 PT

FoM
Music: http://tinyurl.com/gkcbs
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 16:46:00 PT

Whig and Global_Warming
I posted Gallagher's video twice and it's to hard to fix so I'll just leave it. I have Watermark, Book of Days, The Memory of Trees and Sheperd Moons.GW, I'm glad I made you laugh!
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Comment #22 posted by global_warming on September 21, 2006 at 16:39:31 PT

re 19
Thanks 
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Comment #21 posted by whig on September 21, 2006 at 16:37:33 PT

FoM
I like Enya's first two albums, the one that was a soundtrack for The Celts, and the one that made her well known (Watermark).
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Comment #20 posted by global_warming on September 21, 2006 at 16:36:51 PT

re:
I like music that is more democratic! LOL! Well not too many are laughingThey are paying hard "tax dollars
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Comment #19 posted by whig on September 21, 2006 at 16:34:13 PT

gw 
I am in favor of amendment 44 passing.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 16:30:26 PT

Whig
Thanks. I like music that is more democratic! LOL! Seriously I am like Gallagher. I'm stuck in the 60s. I have different music like New Age types. I like Enya. As far as music though I am a not very modern.Gallagher's Giant Couchhttp://youtube.com/watch?v=oI8QxKTw59Qhttp://youtube.com/watch?v=oI8QxKTw59Qhttp://graphics8.nytimes.com//images/section/movies/amg/video/cov120/drv600/v696/v69634vi4ac.jpg
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Comment #17 posted by global_warming on September 21, 2006 at 16:09:04 PT

hey whig
How would you vote on this amendment?
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Comment #16 posted by whig on September 21, 2006 at 16:03:32 PT

Rush
A Canadian band, progressive rock. Very libertarian lyrics written mostly by the drummer, Neil Peart.2112 is an epic piece that was probably a good fit for what is happening between now and 2012...or so.Never heard of them. :-P
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Comment #15 posted by global_warming on September 21, 2006 at 15:44:00 PT

re: Chomsky and Chavez
The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we are extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking up all over. And people are standing up.http://www.countercurrents.org/cc-chavez210906.htmEspecially in Colorado, do you have enough money to lock up every US Citizen who does not agree with your view?The world is waking up, and the piper must be paid.Hail Colorado, Hail Tvert.Freedom tastes wonderful, may the Ansingers and Nixons rot in their Eternal Hell, which they chose, as for me and my little choice in my corner in Eternity, I vote Yes on Amendment 44.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 14:49:49 PT

Kaptinemo
Speaking of carving turkey. Kaptinemo would you like to come and have Thanksgiving dinner with us.
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Comment #13 posted by Had Enough on September 21, 2006 at 14:47:12 PT

Turkey, Itís whatís for Dinner.
Kaptinemo sure does keep his favorite carving knife honed to a fine edge, doesnít he?

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Comment #12 posted by global_warming on September 21, 2006 at 14:44:36 PT

re: comment 4
I hope this press release is circulated far and wide to the folks in Colorado, it clearly reveals that the loudest advocates for the continued prohibition of cannabis are the very same who stand to lose "money". It's not about children it is about money and some very clever and greedy people who continue to foist this 60 year old travesty on the American people.http://www.safercolorado.org/blog.htmlProhibition does not save children, it creates gangs, gangsters and out of control government agencies, it also degrades the quality of life for Americans, for such expensive programs serve not only to destroy American Liberty, but also rob average Americans of valued dollars.It is time for personal responsibility, its time to end prohibition and channel the money and good intentions towards beefing up Americas moral standing in this world.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 14:36:12 PT

Wayne and Sam
You can see the great divide in time because I have no idea who Rush is. 
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Comment #10 posted by Wayne on September 21, 2006 at 14:21:28 PT

Re: Sam #6
It's been a while since I've seen anyone quote Rush, but I commend you...it is strinkingly appropriate in this case.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 12:45:18 PT

Just a Comment
I think above all the issues on election day this year I want this to pass. Colorado and marijuana fit so well together. Ever since John Denver the state seems so marijuana friendly. It's way passed time to let it be in my opinion.
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on September 21, 2006 at 12:20:59 PT

that is re: post #4
Thanks Paul Armentano
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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on September 21, 2006 at 12:18:56 PT

SAFER press release
Great press release from Mason Tvert!What a crushing rebuttle of the propogandists' stance.
This young man is good.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on September 21, 2006 at 10:59:50 PT

The message
The 1984ism is so stark it's frightening. She's exactly right, passing this initiative WILL undo the drug education that kids have been getting. Which is proven to NOT WORK, and to actually glorify and increase use.This is what science has been telling us. This is what the Inspector General has been telling us.  She really is a modern-day priestess of the Inquisition. The poll results show that these tactics work just as well, if not better than in medieval times.Maybe all the technology has actually made it easier to persecute based on ignorance and fear. wow, look at the lyrics from Rush's "2112" and the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx, it could have been about this story:Yes, we know its nothing newIts just a waste of timeWe have no need for ancient waysThe world is doing fineAnother toy will help destroyThe elder race of manForget about your silly whimIt doesnt fit the plan
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on September 21, 2006 at 10:41:18 PT:

Too much turkey
My carving knife can take only so much..."Right now, a smaller amount of focus is on pot, but if this passes, we will be able to focus less and less on other drugs, and pot will become a major focus."Ah, but Mr. Sweetin, cannabis already is the focus of greater and greater attention from your agency...at the expense of trying to throttle proven killers such as heroin or cocaine. Your agency has deliberately chosen to make cannabis your favorite whipping-boy, because it is a much easier target than processed drugs such as the two mentioned above. And those who grow and sell it are in the main far less violent than those whose income is derived from dealing in more easily concealed and transported substances. In other words, they don't shoot back. Like I said, easier targets.Calvina Fay, executive director of Florida-based Save Our Society from Drugs, said "the stakes are very high"...She also said that legalization would undo much of the anti-drug education that has been a staple of educating youth. "Messages that drugs can hurt, addict or kill have had a positive effect by decreasing overall drug use," Fay said.
"Certainly by legalizing and normalizing, you're sending the wrong message to children."Oh, man pass me the gravy and the biscuits; what a feast! Yes, dear, sweet mendacious Calvina, the stakes are indeed high. For you, that is; you stand to lose a lot financially in reduced demand for the pee-testing kits your PFDFA pals push on businesses. Of course, we can hardly expect you to raise such points, now can we?And as to the 'effectiveness' of anti-drug education efforts? If you can't hear the young folks giggling and snickering behind your back at your pathetic and jejune efforts, I'd advise you to see an audiologist; your hearing is suffering. Those kids laugh up their sleeves every time you and yours open your bombastic mouths. They know you, Calvina. They have your range and depth, and know exactly what you'll say, thanks to your limited repertoire of prohib talking-points. They also know why you are terrified of a real debate, cutting and running away from them when you realize you will be expected to give-and-take, instead of just pontificate like some old Soviet bureaucrat lecturing about his already-doomed-to-failure 5 Year Plan. Yes, the kids have learned the same lesson mine did about Watergate: "Follow the money." They know how you and other prohibs profit from the DrugWar, and that you'll do anything to protect those profits. Lying by omission is the least of such sins...
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Comment #4 posted by paul armentano on September 21, 2006 at 10:32:00 PT

Latest SAFER Press Release

For Immediate Release -- September 20, 2006Amendment 44 Backers Decry Involvement of Outside "Experts" in Marijuana Misinformation Campaign Initiative proponents challenge "experts" to answer one simple question: Is marijuana less harmful than alcohol?Lt. Gov. involves herself in campaign activity against the marijuana initiativeDENVER - According to sources in the media, today "local physicians [were to be] joined by Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane E. Norton and national drug policy and prevention experts to conduct a news conference to announce a grassroots campaign urging voters to vote no on Amendment 44." Amendment 44 proponent Mason Tvert was present outside of the event to highlight the distortions put forward by the so-called experts.The event was organized by John Pastuovic, a communications professional from Illinois who helped coordinate an anti-marijuana propaganda campaign to undermine a medical marijuana bill in that state. Interestingly, Mr. Pastuovic has done work for (and may still be a consultant paid by) GW Pharmaceuticals, a company in the UK that has developed a liquid cannabis spray for medical purposes. This means Mr. Pastuovic may have a financial interest in keeping marijuana illegal in the United States.Two of the nation's leading anti-marijuana propagandists were flown into Colorado to be present at today's press conference. Leading the charge was Calvina Fay, executive director of the Florida-based "Save Our Society from Drugs." Also in attendance was Andrea Barthwell, a former Deputy Drug Czar in the White House and currently a consultant with GW Pharmaceuticals,. Ms. Barthwell, who lives in
Illinois, worked with Mr. Pastuovic on the anti-medical marijuana campaign."It is interesting to note that Ms. Barthwell is paid by GW Pharmaceuticals to make liquid marijuana legal in this country, while she travels around the country fighting to keep 'dangerous' marijuana illegal," said SAFER Campaign Director Mason Tvert. "Whereas she claims she is protecting children, she appears to be protecting her own financial interest.""Nevertheless, it is clear our opponents were unable to find competent people in the state to debate the merits of our initiative," said SAFER Campaign Director Mason Tvert. "So they have brought in so-called 'experts' from Illinois and elsewhere to spread some professional propaganda. We hope the media will thoroughly examine the political and financial interests of those outsiders coming to Colorado to directly campaign against our initiative. We would also like to know who is providing the financial support for these activities. We look forward to seeing their campaign filings in the near future."It appears that these "experts" will avoid the central argument in the Amendment 44 campaign by focusing only on marijuana. The campaign does not claim that marijuana is harmless; it merely puts forth the argument that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and, therefore, adults should not be punished for making the rational choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol. The "experts" should go beyond talking about the alleged harms of marijuana and should address the question of whether marijuana is, in fact, less harmful than alcohol. If they agree with all of the objective evidence, they will acknowledge that it is. They should then explain why they think adults should be prohibited from using marijuana and why they think it is beneficial to convince children that marijuana is more harmful than alcohol.Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Jane Norton has taken the questionable step, as a state employee, of helping to coordinate a grassroots campaign against Amendment 44. The campaign will be interested to hear what her role in this campaign will be.The "experts" were apparently planning to say that legalizing marijuana will make Colorado the number one drug tourist destination in America. This statement, coincidentally, comes just eight days before the start of the Great American Beer Festival - the world's largest - and a month prior to Denver Wine Week, which will be formally proclaimed by the mayor. Colorado actually seems to use alcohol to attract tourists. As the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau notes in its advertising materials, "In Denver's mile high altitude, a golf ball goes 10 percent farther. So does a cocktail. Because your lungs have to work harder to get oxygen into the blood system, alcohol is absorbed into the blood faster, meaning drinks will hit you harder and quicker."There were also rumors that our opponents were planning to demonstrate how many joints there are in an ounce by dumping out 60-100 joints. This is another example of our opponents exaggerating the truth. Perhaps the most objective measure of a standard joint is the weight of the joints distributed by the federal government to a handful of legal medical marijuana patients. Each of these joints weighs .849 grams. Since there are 28.5 grams in an ounce, this means there are approximately 33 standard joints in an ounce. Of course, the most important point is that no matter how many joints there are in an ounce, a person could smoke the entire ounce of marijuana without doing significant harm to himself. On the other hand, if the same person drank a bottle of vodka...Among the distortions included in the release promoting this press conference --Today's marijuana is "much more powerful" than it was a generation ago. Opponents tend to cite the higher average THC levels in today's marijuana as being especially dangerous. The truth, however, is that THC itself has not changed. Thus, individuals smoking marijuana with higher THC levels do not need to inhale as much smoke as previously, in a sense decreasing the harms associated with marijuana use. Most importantly, for comparison sake, there are varying levels of alcohol in beer, vodka, and other beverages. People understand this and adjust their consumption appropriately. Marijuana use is no different.Today's marijuana is "more addictive than it was a generation ago." (We would have to ask them what this statement in the press release means. We are not aware of a study proving this exact hypothesis. They may be basing this on the misleading treatment figures, below.) According to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine's 1999 report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, "Millions of Americans have tried marijuana, but most are not regular users, ... [and] few marijuana users become dependent on it." Marijuana is generally considered about as addictive as caffeine and significantly less addictive than alcohol.More teens are in treatment for marijuana than for all other drugs combined. This is one of the favorite distortions from anti-marijuana advocates. The clear implication is that marijuana must be a terribly dangerous and addictive drug if so many youths are in treatment. The truth, however, is that the large number of youth in treatment for marijuana is due to a dramatic rise in criminal justice referrals. These teens are not "addicts" but are individuals given the choice between enrolling in treatment and receiving a harsher sentence. According to government data (The DASIS Report: Treatment Referral Sources for Adolescent Marijuana Users, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, March 2002), in 1992, the number of youth (aged 12-17) sent to treatment by the criminal justice system was about 10,000. By 1999, that number had risen to about 40,000. While easily decipherable data is not available, it appears likely that in 2004 there were more than 50,000 criminal justice marijuana treatment referrals for youth.# # #
http://www.safercolorado.org/blog.html
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on September 21, 2006 at 10:30:39 PT

What is Normalization
Calvina Fay sayís:"Certainly by legalizing and normalizing, you're sending the wrong message to children."She admits right here that what she does is not normal.And that legalization and normalizing, is the same thing regarding this issue.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on September 21, 2006 at 10:17:12 PT

Corporate Fascism
They will spend what they have to to keep us in subjection.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 21, 2006 at 10:05:13 PT

All The Money Spent Over Cannabis
I will never understand where all the money comes from to fight against every step of the way for adult use of marijuana. It down right boggles my mind.
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