The Antidrug Campaign Tries a New Message

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  The Antidrug Campaign Tries a New Message

Posted by CN Staff on April 09, 2009 at 17:24:06 PT
By Ellen Gamerman 
Source: Wall Street Journal 

USA -- Every April 20, marijuana smokers around the country light up for an unofficial holiday celebrating pot that stems from the smoker slang "420." This year, as the drug war rages in Mexico, the festivities fall against an increasingly violent backdrop.Some antidrug advocates are using the occasion to jump-start a movement against marijuana not just for health and legal reasons, but on moral grounds. American pot smokers, they say, are unwittingly supporting drug cartels in Mexico.
Aaron Byzak, president of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition, an antidrug group in north San Diego County, says he'll focus on the Mexican drug war when he addresses 1,000 seventh- to 10th-graders at the group's annual antidrug festival, also held on April 20, at an amusement park in Vista, Calif. Mr. Byzak will urge the kids to think of Mexico's drug lords if they're offered a puff."This is a prime opportunity for us to educate them about how every bit of marijuana someone smokes here is giving more power and more money to the drug cartels in Mexico," he says.The drug war in Mexico, which in the past two years has left thousands dead, comes as prevention groups search for new ways to send a clear message about the dangers of pot. Unlike campaigns against cocaine or heroin use, the argument against marijuana is more complex. Thirteen states have legalized its use for medical purposes, and an organized movement is pushing to decriminalize it altogether.John Redman, who heads Californians for Drug Free Youth, says violence in Mexico helped spark the creation of a new antipot group, the California Marijuana Initiative, two months ago. One of its central themes: Smoking marijuana is not a victimless crime.Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator of the University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future Study," which is funded by the federal government's National Institute on Drug Abuse and tracks drug, alcohol and tobacco use, says he plans to press the Obama administration and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America to use the death toll in Mexico to engage the consciences of pot smokers.Mr. Johnston likens the Mexico argument to the campaign against secondhand cigarette smoke; when smokers learned their habit was harming others, he says, many quit who wouldn't have otherwise.The administration's pick for "drug czar," or head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske, declined to comment because he hasn't yet been confirmed by the Senate.Marijuana accounts for the bulk of Mexican drug-trade revenues, bringing in more than twice as much money as cocaine, according to a study released last year by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. John Walters, director of drug-control policy for eight years under President George W. Bush, estimates that roughly a third of all marijuana smoked in the U.S. comes from Mexico, which he says supplies a cheaper, lower-grade product.Pro-legalization groups argue that the criminalization of the drug is what's fueling the violence and compare it to the violence surrounding the alcohol industry during Prohibition.Keith Stroup, who founded the pro-legalization group NORML and serves as its legal counsel, says violence in Mexico "does help encourage a long-needed debate over the possible merits of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana in this country."Mr. Stroup says that a growing number of Americans are smoking pot grown in this country, rather than Mexico, thanks in part to a "Grow America" movement in the U.S. Many pot smokers believe domestic marijuana is more organic. "Just like someone who wants a good wine is going to buy from California or France, the same is true for marijuana," he says.The argument that pot smokers are unintentional collaborators in drug-related violence has been tried before. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the ONDCP ran ads in which one middle-aged man told another that buying drugs supported international terrorism. That campaign broadened into ads saying that casual drug use supported violent groups in Mexico, Colombia and U.S. cities."A lot of young people, especially teenagers, can sometimes be a little impervious to just simply, 'This is bad for your health,' or 'This is bad for your future,"' says Mr. Walters. "They are idealistic and ... they don't like supporting people who kill others and harm the innocent."But research suggested the ads did not work. A federally funded study released in 2006 and conducted by the research firm Westat and the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication found that antidrug ads by the ONDCP during that time had no effect on the kids who'd seen them, and in some cases actually made them more interested in marijuana."Our best guess is that the more kids saw lots of ads saying, 'Don't use drugs,' the more they came to believe that all their peers were using drugs," says Robert Hornik, one of the study's lead investigators. Researchers found no evidence that any one antidrug argument worked better than another, he says.Pot smoking by teens has dropped 25% in the past seven years, according to an ONDCP spokesman, who added that two smaller-scale studies conducted around the same period as the larger federally funded study showed that the agency's antidrug campaigns have been effective.Some say that marijuana grown in the U.S. is distinguishable by sight from that grown in Mexico. Mexican pot is brown and often contains seeds and stems, while U.S. marijuana is greener, says Richard Lee, who only supplies California cannabis at his medical marijuana clinic in Oakland, Calif. Smokers prefer U.S.-grown pot, he says, but not for political reasons."The smell of the Mexican is so bad, my girlfriend wouldn't let anybody smoke it in the house," he says.Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: Ellen GamermanPublished: April 9, 2009Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: Articles:The Two Faces of U.S. Drug Policy Picks The Right Man for Drug Czar 

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Comment #32 posted by museman on April 13, 2009 at 08:01:31 PT
rchandar #30
Well, different times, geography , and experience accounts for most of that.
In terms of mexican 'swag' the term itself defines the experience.It is true, I have been fortunate in my herb kharma, and since about 2001, I haven't even seen any mexican herb. And I've spent less than a few hundred dollars on herb in that time. But until 2000, I experienced many very good bags of mexican -including some Indica varieties that were obviously taken from Humboldt strains. Occasionally the 'dirt weed' would make it into the local market, but the solution to that was knowing a good dealer who didn't buy 'swag.'This is all west coast though. A lot of mexican import that goes to other areas of the country may have all been swag for all I know.As far as the nature of plants and how they interact with our emotions and 'psychic vibrations' there are plenty of studies done on the subject -mostly in the 60's and 70's before 'science' wholesale became the tool of the rulers to estabish their 'credentials' and justify their global destruction.The earth is alive. It has being. All life has being and intelligence (to some degree) and mans puny errant thought that he is somehow 'superior' to other life that we share this planet with is a real stumbling block to higher consiousness.Even as a bad attitude in a person can literally create poisonous toxins within the body, and a good attitude can enable healing, those actual, real vibrations and frequencies and oscillations of matter being affected by mind are/can be transfered into the chemical matrix of any plant that is in reception range.Try playng classical music to one plant in one room and heavy metal in another, see which one thrives, and which one is stunted or dies. Reality.FREE CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #31 posted by Vincent on April 11, 2009 at 18:28:04 PT:
Guilty conscience?
Oh, I'm sorry to say that I have no feelings of guilt re: my pot-smoking leading to violence in Mexico. On the contrary, drug prohibition leads to violence, so, when I go to bed at night I sleep like a baby, assured of my innocence.
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Comment #30 posted by rchandar on April 11, 2009 at 08:36:09 PT:
museman, etc.
I don' know 'bout all THAT. As far as I could tell, all the MJ that comes over the border is 100% schwag. I'm guessing there are some growers who ship their product without rotting it first.Re the ONDCP. Most smokers don't really have a choice--green bud is expensive! "Schwag" still has about 40% of the market. Tell a teenager, or a person who hasn't smoked for 10, 20 years--and "schwag" is popular because its cheap. These things are changing, slowly.--rchandar
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 16:24:18 PT
Kevin Zeese
From The E-mail: News reports indicate that Obama has called Webb twice to express his support for this bill so we may also have an ally in the White House.
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Comment #28 posted by kaptinemo on April 10, 2009 at 16:14:58 PT:
Mr. Zeese took the words right out of my mouth
Yes, NOW IS THE TIME. Now is the time to let your elected officials know you stand in support of Senator Webb's Commission...and you expect them to do so too...or else, kiss that cushy job goodbye. And, yes, with things getting that bad out here, that threat has a lot more edge to it than ever before. Because too many have already lost everything, and are becoming desperate for the social safety net that was left in tatters because the money that could have funded it instead went into the wallets of DrugWarriors, who used it to buy toys like armored personnel carriers and .50 cal sniper rifles. Like you need those those serve warrants with? (And it's simply amazing what $20 worth of 'Molotov cocktails' can do to such a fancy, expensive toy like an APC. The occupants have a choice of either suffocating or roasting alive, whichever happens first. I ask again: Are they truly that stupid?) Yes, NOW IS THE TIME to let your elected officials know what you think of such waste, when families are being evicted into the street with nowhere to go but the gutter. When the children of those families, the ones the Drugwarriors always claiming they want to 'save from drugs', are more in need of saving from homelessness and malnutrition.NOW IS THE TIME. OUR time.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 12:15:10 PT
News Article About Senator Webb's Bill 
Can Senator Webb Lead America Out of the Drug War QuagmireBy Kevin ZeeseApril 10, 2009URL:
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 10:44:19 PT

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Comment #24 posted by museman on April 10, 2009 at 10:41:41 PT

I know I am.People would smoke my bud and claim it made them 'think too much' lol.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 10:33:52 PT

You very well could be right. A happy person can grow a happy plant I would think.
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Comment #22 posted by museman on April 10, 2009 at 10:09:03 PT

That is right.The wide range of medicinal properties has yet to be even really researched. And each strain is unique.One thing I found out about growing things -while a cannabis farmer- is that the plants absorb parts of the nature and character of the grower.If you are a paranoid pot grower, your pot will make people paranoid, and vice versa.The best herb one can get is that which they grew themselves, because it is tuned into their being, and since it is a living thing, with consciousness that materialistic stupid 'scientists' who couldn't find their way into the right brain if their life depended on it (and it does) will deny with all their left-brain 'mathematical' limitation, it 'formats' its own properties and character to be compatible with the grower.Many long time growers are aware of this -particularly the ones who didn't get swept away in the profit motive.FREE CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 09:23:40 PT

Variety is important since strains are different. I know of a person who can't smoke sativa anymore because it makes his heart beat too fast. Indica doesn't seem to do that to him. 
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Comment #20 posted by museman on April 10, 2009 at 09:05:03 PT

sensimillion vs seeded
Homegrown vs imports.Variety is a good thing. I personally miss such things as, 
Columbian Brown, Red, Gold, and Black,...Acapulco Gold, Oahacan, and a few others that used to come over the south border before Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and their CIA, DEA dogs started interfering with the sovereignty of Mexico and created the so called 'drug cartels' -yes Virginia, those people were trained, funded, and supplied with weaponry by OUR COUNTRY and YOUR TAX DOLLARS.Whos the 'terrorists'? C'mon.If it weren't for mexico, who supplied us with herb while we were figuring out the nuances of 'flower tops' (bud)vs 'leaf' the cannabis revolution would have gotten a much slower start, and when they introduced us to 'Sensimillion' (spanish for -'without seeds') I didn't hear anybody complain about bud-except of course the born again idiots known as 'americas finest' (lol)I think the west coast focus on Indica hybrids, using less and less Sativa in the mix is causing the cannabis user to miss out on all the other 'high' possibilities that are represented in the many strains of Sativa, as well as the seldom considered Ruderalis strain.When I can, the first thing i will be doing is genetic rebreeding of the over indicated humboldt stains (Americana.) I do miss the Sativa effect.Differentiating between 'acceptable cannabis' and unacceptable, is entirely the purvue of prohibitionists, and absolutely ridiculous, like debating how many angels can sit on the edge of a pin.I don't like smoking seeds, and cleaning that old dirt weed was a pain that sometimes was hardly worth it, but somebody has to keep making seed, other wise cannabis will go the way of a lot of our food seed -to Monsanto, who will copyright Creation for their own profit, and make it illegal for anyone to grow without their permission.FREE CANNABIS FOREVER

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Comment #19 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 08:23:57 PT

Neil Young Says Homegrown Is ...
Neil Young said the song meant marijuana but as Farm Aid evolved it also took on another meaning.Homegrown's all right with me.Homegrown is the way it should be.Homegrown is a good thing.Plant that bell and let it ring.
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Comment #18 posted by Zandor on April 10, 2009 at 07:45:22 PT

Grown in America still has meaning to me!!
I for one will NOT support terrorists!!!That's why I grow my own and care for my own needs and those of my friends and family!!Who would want to smoke Mexican Dirt weed anyway??Grown in America is SOoooo much better!!! :) 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 07:24:26 PT

Since It's Easter Weekend
We watched the documentary on Animal Planet the other night about 2 young hippies that helped raise a lion cub. I hope we can all find a special moment in our lives like these two young men did back then.Christian The Lion - Reunion
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Comment #16 posted by George Servantes on April 10, 2009 at 06:10:07 PT

When you got no arguments...
...then reach for your only argument wich will be ignorance.
Come on people, prohibitionists don't have arguments, they can only rely on good old ignorance.
Ignorance is bliss / some say.So now we have to stop buying mexican marijuana, OK but in that case you have to legalize it so people can buy it in their local retail store or maybe even order only. I like to buy stuff online.
See my prohibitionists, there are other way to accomplish your ideal of drug free america. you must except the fact that there are millions of marijuana users that you can't put all in jail or punish.
We are here to stay and use our God given herb no matter what you do.
I'll tell you one thing how to accomplish your ideal of drug free america. legalize all drugs, because all drugs are medicinal and then regulate them like what you do with other legal drugs. All drugs have some medical uses, even LSD, mescaline, mdma, cocaine, meth etc... You just have to regulate them and sell them to responsible adults.i can see now your reaction / this will destroy our american youth. but i can tell you something, there already a lot of more dangerous legal drugs available and we are still running fine. we just have to educate users of what they are doing. it worked with tobacco, that god given herb is addictive and causes some diseases (although i think for this i blame stuff you add to tobacco, why you complicate and add chemicals and other stuff in tobacco - i want tobacco not some crap inside that you put/ we should regulate this). you know why it is working with tobacco, it's because we are educating them how tobacco laced with chemical can kill them and are trying to help them stop with nicotine patches. now we have a lot less people smoking tobacco. you did a good job here. now do the same with other drugs, let responsible adults use them and then you start educating these people about possible dangers and that this is social and medical problem, not criminal and there treat abusers medicinally.This way you can stop mexican cartel, killings, rape, steal and other bad things that can happen to any of us. Crime is preventable too / same as drug abuse. I know what you doing is based on ignorance, we just simply must educate you instead of you trying to educate us with your lies.
Lies can never last forever.Let responsible users use any drug that helps them medicinally, spiritually or if it's there any other need - drug abusers treat like they are sick and help them.This way you spend less many and even make one - and still remain moral.
think about it, because this kind of thinking is influenced by a mind on drugs - same one wich you prohibit. We must get down and honestly talk and come to an mutual agreement.
there is other ways of thinking and seeing thinks, our bodies are designed to take drugs, and what you are doing here is unnatural and may i say a little bit of crazy. we can't all think and be same like we are in the army. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 06:03:19 PT

It's really nice to see you. 
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Comment #14 posted by TroutMask on April 10, 2009 at 05:58:07 PT:

Bring your own
When we visit Puerto Vallarta (nearly every spring), we bring our own. Enough said! -TM
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 10, 2009 at 05:48:31 PT

Brooklyn May Host 40th Anniversary of Woodstock
I know this is off topic but Woodstock even though I wasn't there and hadn't experimented with any substances that were illegal I find myself finally having a little hope that maybe some of what people believed about Woodstock might happen in our lifetime. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. 'Taking Woodstock' Official Trailer***Crosby Stills Nash A Long Time Gone Woodstock 1969
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Comment #12 posted by Paint with light on April 09, 2009 at 23:44:36 PT

Just remembered fact
When homegrown first started showing up commercially, there were actually domestic growers that would sun dry and wet stack with turning(for the slight compost effect that was said to provide the Columbian its unique taste) and then press their cannabis to make it look like Mexican.My how things have changed.Equal with alcohol.
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Comment #11 posted by Paint with light on April 09, 2009 at 23:32:54 PT

If there is one thing that is clear, it is there is a lot of variety in Mexican cannabis.There always has been.Even in the sixties we would get bricks that when unwrapped were pure buds.Other bricks you could cut in half and pour out a lot of dry shake.Not many were quite that dry.I was one of those retailers who lost 1/2 to 3/4 of an ounce out of every pound because I would pick out a lot of the seeds and stems.It always made for a more satisfied customer.The only thing that is consistant in Mexican cannabis is it is usually pressed.In the past I have seen some hash that was pressed less than some bricks of Mexican, or at least it seemed that way.There is a lot of Mexican now that is seedless or nearly so.There has been a tendency over the years for some mexican growers to actually go for quality.There is on rare occasion even some with an odor that carries as good as white widow or some of the other exotics.There is still a few of the old school bad taste, bad look, bad smell, bad buzz stuff out there but it is pretty rare from my personal experience.Through contacts with friends, I usually sample 15 to 20 varieties of Mexican and 10 or more varieties of domestic each year.I have found almost each strain of cannabis that I have tried over the years to differ in the dynamics of the high.Maybe it was my imagination over the years but there was an indiscriable(at least for me) positive quality of the high that seeded cannabis had that sisemilia did not and vice versa.Different......and not equal.I think the comparison with alcohol products is good.Some people like $200 or more bottles of wine or champagne.They don't get more of a buzz usually than a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.Some people see a value in $200 wine.Just as there are alcohol connoiseurs there will be cannabis connoiseurs.There will be specialty growers that have a uniquely bred strain.There will be growers with legacy strains that will bring back the taste of yesteryear.Maybe there will be a strain a day club.Some people will want predictability and want a known strain for a known ailment.I lean towards the variety since discerning the differences in strains is one of the pleasures for me.Equal with alcohol is all I ask.
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Comment #10 posted by yoshi on April 09, 2009 at 23:30:14 PT:

Mexican High
I can remember thinking that Mexican weed had a heavier, body high, with less paranoia. Although I don't miss the harshness and the need to smoke more for desired results 
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Comment #9 posted by CanadianGanjaman on April 09, 2009 at 21:50:40 PT

In Reguards to FoM
Have to agree, the cannabis using population in america that is able to appreciate the mexican ganja is rapidly declining. Id believe that ultimatly, you end up buying the american ganja for one of these reasons:*You just got your tax refund and have nothing better to spend your money on.*Your tolerance to THC has grown to the point where the 3%-10% THC level in mexican cannabis no longer gives you the desired effect, 15-25% american is required for an equal effect.*You arent aware that The stuff from the middle east is better.* You are raised on american (as you said before)and cannot appreciate something less potent but more down to earth.People dont realize there are a better part of what... 63? 66... somewhere around there, other cannabinoids that influence ones high. Picking the plant with the highest ThC level(Generally American) really only increases your paranoia and reduces the "weighted down" effect one might feel with a lesser ganja. The spiritual effect, the effects that calm, are from other cannabinoids... Appreciate the mexican cannabis people.
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Comment #8 posted by John Tyler on April 09, 2009 at 21:10:26 PT

Prohibition is good for some people 
There was an article in Forbes magazine, I think, where they interviewed El Chapo, a big time Mexican drug lord. In the article, he said that he wanted to thank the US government for cannabis prohibition, because without it, he would not the rich, successful person he is today. 

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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on April 09, 2009 at 20:53:20 PT

"Why would people want to buy anything but American Homegrown?"There are a few reasons that come to mind.*price: people can smoke it with out seeing $$$ being spent so quickly.*"American Homegrown" isn't just American Homegrown. It's manipulated; sex deprived etc. It's unnatural!*price: people boycot paying so much for what should be cheap.*seeds: cannabis should be natural and that means it should have seeds. Seeds can be used.*some / many of the same effects are still available; spiritual effects...*price: the poor guy who may have a family and just simply can not afford to spend $300-$400 a month to get high... A person may rather enjoy many joints of schwag instead of limiting themselves to a few bong hits a day. It may allow someone to have cannabis every day rather than only for certain times or being with out because it's just too expensive.*choice: people want / like a choice.  *price: cheap pot / Mexican pot makes it easy to share and share and share. People don't share like they used to because a small bud is worth so much. Remember when people used to sit around and roll many joints and socialize more around cannabis? *It's better than no cannabis; remeber times when You wanted cannabis and right before a holiday or something it just wasn't around? -for days? *The smell: Mexican pot smells like the earth. Green bud smells great, gotta like it... but Mexican pot can have an earthy smell that is welcome.-0-Think of how many people didn't grow up with Mexican pot? It is hard for them to appreciate it. If they can at all.I remember when a lid was $10, then $15, then there was no more regular pot and all that was available was Columbian for $35. That jump in price made Me think about quitting... Then it got more expensive; Gold etc. Now it's $300-$400 per oz. and up. -And a person can not find any affordable Mexican reefer.There are a lot of Mexicans in Colorado but no Mexican cannabis.Where is all that Mexican cannabis going, that We read about?Perhaps people growing the expensive cannabis are buying up all the Mexican cannabis and burying it so they can sell more high dollar.Imagine, behind the scenes, a reinvented Al Capone is growing billions and billions of dollars of kind bud in Chicago and they are fighting against the Mexican mobs to keep out the competition... Between the unnatural sex starved pot with no seeds and the unnatural pricing due to the laws of prohibition--everything is tweaked.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on April 09, 2009 at 20:06:50 PT

They ARE that stupid. *Of course they don't have a smart move.That move will make the work of the cannabis activist so easy.It will direct attention to camparing the original prohibition of alcohol with the sequel of cannabis prohibition.Only now it's on an international scale.Bring it on ignoids.
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Comment #5 posted by museman on April 09, 2009 at 18:38:51 PT

more propaganda
About a month ago, one of my daughters went to central Mexico on an exchange-student program.As you can imagine, I was quite apprehensive, owing to the nightly news and mainstream sources of the situation.Fortunately, I have a cousin in law who (though I despise his profession, he's a great guy -smokes pot-) is a lawyer in Mexico City. We called him and asked him what the situation was."80% hype, about 5% so called 'drug cartels' and mexican border authorities, and about 15% American CIA, and DEA provocation."The rest of the country is too busy living to be greatly affected, except of course the tourist industry which is a major economic import for the country.This is the dogs unleashed from the last administration, trying to stir up as much crap as they can before the long arm of the people swats their misbegotten job descriptions from the face of the earth.Prohibitionists trying to ignite an an already tense but very locality specific -border- situation.FREE CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on April 09, 2009 at 18:23:02 PT

Fuzzy thinking!
It is definitely a major symptom of methane poisoning.The proverbial dark place of which I speak is also a major cause of blindness. Methane poisoning has killed more people than all the drugs put to gether. The only known cure for this is light!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 09, 2009 at 17:50:44 PT

Just My Thought
Why would people want to buy anything but American Homegrown? ***Excerpt: Some say that marijuana grown in the U.S. is distinguishable by sight from that grown in Mexico. Mexican pot is brown and often contains seeds and stems, while U.S. marijuana is greener, says Richard Lee, who only supplies California cannabis at his medical marijuana clinic in Oakland, Calif. Smokers prefer U.S.-grown pot, he says, but not for political reasons."The smell of the Mexican is so bad, my girlfriend wouldn't let anybody smoke it in the house," he says.

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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on April 09, 2009 at 17:39:22 PT:

To paraphrase The Bard
"What fools these prohibitionists be."This would be a monumental blunder on their part. All we need do is point out that their prohibition is what is causing the violence and death. We are trying to stop it. They, with their blind support of it, are helping to create the environment that they decry.Jeez, are they really, truly that unselfconscious? Honestly, are they that stupid? It would be checkmate in one move...with a pawn, no less. It would be that easy, because they opened themselves up to the attack. I guess that this is more proof we're winning; this is a desperation move, like a suicide attack, a sign of an enemy on the ropes trying to make a final gesture. Kind of sad, in a way; I was hoping for more of a fight...
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on April 09, 2009 at 17:31:10 PT

Moral: Don't smoke pot, because you'll be supp
orting the 'drug cartels' because of our prohibition!
Legalize All Drugs!
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