It'll Kill You -- Wait, No It Won't 

It'll Kill You -- Wait, No It Won't 
Posted by CN Staff on September 15, 2003 at 08:54:54 PT
By Jon Carroll
Source: San Francisco Chronicle 
Let us consider the case of Dr. George Ricaurte, still a "member in good standing" of the faculty of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine despite recent events. Ricaurte has long been a fighter in the War Against Some Drugs. Much the way some universities are able to find positive things to say about a drug in studies funded by the manufacturer of that drug, so is Ricaurte able to say negative things about recreational drugs in studies funded by the WOSD. Science is a lot easier when you know your conclusions ahead of time. 
Last year, Ricaurte issued a study saying that the amount of ecstasy commonly taken by a user in one night could lead to permanent brain damage and symptoms resembling those of Parkinson's disease. The study was met with some skepticism even when it was released. According to Donald J. McNeil, writing in the New York Times, "the study was ridiculed at the time by other scientists working on the drug, who said the primates (used in the study) must have been injected with massive overdoses. Two of the 10 primates died of heatstroke, they pointed out, and another two were in such distress that they were not given all the doses. If a typical ecstasy dose killed 20 percent of those who used it, critics said, no one would use it recreationally." Yeah, word would get around. Thirty or so dead bodies at a rave -- people would talk. It was noted that Ricaurte's study was published just in time for him to testify to Congress in favor of a proposed law called the Anti-Rave Act. (Thank God there's no Anti-Rant Act, or I'd be out of a job.) Well, now it turns out that the drug Ricaurte gave to his baboons was not ecstasy but a powerful amphetamine called d-methamphetamine. The admission of error was published in the journal Science. Ricaurte called the mistake "a simple human error." "We're scientists, not politicians," he said, and later: "We're not chemists. We get hundreds of chemicals here. It is not customary to check them. " Snipped: Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Jon CarrollPublished:  Monday, September 15, 2003 Copyright: 2003 San Francisco Chronicle -  Page D - 8  Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles:Results Retracted On Ecstasy Study of Ecstasy Drug's Great Risks
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on September 16, 2003 at 09:57:03 PT
The url was too long to put in the link part of the comment. It will work if you post it like this in the comment.
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Comment #24 posted by ron on September 16, 2003 at 09:54:11 PT
linking woes
i see my link didn't work... it was phyliss schafly's column two years ago arguing continuation of the WOSD and quoting nahas and heath...   you can find it at: 
better research about drugs needed
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Comment #23 posted by ron on September 16, 2003 at 09:27:00 PT
re comments by EJ, SS, JT, FF
Ricaute's research certainly smells like a nark operuption. Johns Hopkins standards weren't always this low. A century ago William Stewart Halstead, a "junkie", was professor there. Halstead was a cofounder of Johns Hopkins Hospital. He pioneered so many innovative surgical techniques and taught so many future medical greats that his reputation reached legendary stature before he died in 1922 at the age of seventy.Years later it was learned that from his early twenties until he was almost forty, he struggled with cocaine addiction (2gm/day pharmaceutical grade injected). He finally overcame it with pharmaceutical grade heroin injected thrice daily. This was apparently bolstered by alcohol. Not sure whether he used nicotine, caffeine or cannabis. In the light of this history, Johns Hopkins should be ashamed of associating with such an obvious schill as Ricaute. He joins the ranks of Heath and Nahas, who are still being quoted by Phyliss Schafly. Narks get a lot of mileage from these scientitutes. Come on Phyliss, you can't keep quoting these parasites decades after their disgrace.We need an inquiry into how our taxes are being spent in the War on People by bullies paid and propagandized by government grants directed by big business bribes. We could start by trying to find out who switched the labels that started such coincidental timing to hype a bill that took away so many more of our rights.Conservative estimates of nark corruption are 20-25%. Many believe it ranges in the 99% range. It's fair to assume that scientists who sign on with government money are just as corrupt.Time to stop this narkokracy before it does anymore damage. 
Better Research About Drugs Needed  April 12, 2001.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on September 16, 2003 at 08:01:46 PT
SoberStoner Try This
This is a closed list. To subscribe, people may send 
an email to majordomo with just :subscribe cnewsPS: I contacted observer and he will help me figure it out.
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Comment #21 posted by freedom fighter on September 15, 2003 at 22:13:13 PT
Ho's and Whores..
sure do have higher values than that quack!Oh, it was an accident that I am not a chemist!Then what the heck is he?I really want to know how much he made out of this so-called "research".ff
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on September 15, 2003 at 19:49:31 PT
I can't figure out how it should work. I can see some have registered but I can't seem to figure out how to say ok. I'll need to probably email observer and see what I'm not doing right. I probably won't get to it until tomorrow because of it getting late. Well at least we are trying! That's all we can do is try! Thanks!
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Comment #19 posted by SoberStoner on September 15, 2003 at 19:35:08 PT
Well I tried
I got the authorization code and tried to reply back but it send the original message to me again..So I tried replying again, only with just the code, so I THINK I got in..In fact, I wont be surprised if i end up getting 2 copies each time now :)I havent gotten anything else yet, so I'm not quite sure if it worked, and if it did, how to submit anything..anyone else have better luck and/or can explain to my stupid self?:)SS
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Comment #18 posted by John Tyler on September 15, 2003 at 19:28:24 PT
Ricaurte, man of science
Is Ricaurte a man of science looking for truth, like he thinks he is, or is he just a another research whore looking for a grant? He has been found out. He has embarrassed Johns Hopkins University and God only knows how much damage he has done to what is left of out precious freedom. The man should lose his position at the University and be ostracized by his colleagues. He has committed intellectual dishonesty, one of the worst offenses in academia. I hope that wasn’t too harsh for our gentle readers.I notice the WOSD reference too. It is refreshing to see proper terminology entering the mainstream media. 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on September 15, 2003 at 19:13:19 PT
Let me know if you register. So far it isn't making much sense to me. I doubt I'll have it figured out for a few days.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 15, 2003 at 18:39:39 PT
Thanks! I hope the list becomes good and everyone gets along and wonderful things are accomplished. It has taken almost 5 years to get CNews where it is and I'll be patient with the list too. I want it to be good for everyone and that will take time and more time. I still don't know how to do anyone of it but I will try.
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Comment #15 posted by SoberStoner on September 15, 2003 at 18:26:12 PT
No, thank you FoM
This is a very welcome addition to our little community, I hope it gets used in the spirit it is created in.Btw, if you need any help moderating it, just ask, I'm sure lots of us will volunteer, myself included.SS
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on September 15, 2003 at 18:01:45 PT
A Very Big Request
I really hope that anyone who registers for the list uses the name they use here so I can recognize the name and so can others. This list is for those who are CNews folks and that would make it much easier. I'm not sure how to do this so please be patient and I'll figure it out. Thanks.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 15, 2003 at 17:46:09 PT
SoberStoner and Everyone
Hi SoberStoner, The list is ready but I have been hesitating to open it because I've been busy with CNews and might not be able to give it the attention at first that I feel it will need. What I'll do is post what I think you need to subscribe and try it out and I'll see if I can figure out what I need to do. If not let me know and I'll ask for help.The name to type in is: cnewsI guess this means it's open to register.
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Comment #12 posted by SoberStoner on September 15, 2003 at 17:24:35 PT
I dont believe in coincidences anymore
And this is one more reason why.Just when the new 'most dangerous substance in the world that will kill you just by being within 500 feet of it' starts getting publicity as the new drug of choice for younger people, this report comes out which helps build support for RAVE. Once it passes and piggies start telling anyone they dont like they're going to go to jail and get a huge fine if anyone does something they dont like..oopsie...Somebody made a boobooI've gotta call it..BULL SHIT!You're telling me that in one of the most respected research facilities in the world, they dont label this stuff? They deal with some of the most dangerous substances in the world with strict inventories and controls and they dont notice when a tested substance isnt used but some other substance mysteriously disappears? Congress wont repeal the rave act, since freedom lost is never regained peacefully.Although..did anyone else notice the usage of the War on Some Drugs phrasing? I first heard it here, and although I've seen it used in other articles, I take it as a sign that slowly but surely our message is being heard by some people. I know we refer to our postings here as preaching to the choir, but it's little things like this as well as the growing usage of the terminology cannabis prohibition that keeps me preaching. You never know who might be reading, and maybe something we say here can make a difference..and after all, that is why we are here right?By the way, I've been reading fairly sporadically lately, has there been any update on the mailing list? I'm eagerly awaiting it so we can have a chance to discuss other matters of importance that may not be suitable for here.Peace and Love
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Comment #11 posted by E_Johnson on September 15, 2003 at 15:42:25 PT
Maybe someone should demand an inquiry
Given the harsh political outcome of this faulty research and the obvious political ties of the researcher and his mentor in the AAAS, who published the faulty research in their journal Science (when it should have been published in Science Fiction), maybe the Drug Policy Alliance should make a demand for a formal investigation by Johns Hopkins to rule out deliberate fraud by Ricuarte.
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on September 15, 2003 at 15:36:54 PT
There really should be a fraud inquiry
He admitted that he made a mistake. Given the political pressure here that is obvioous by the role Congress played in the timing of the result, I don't think that shoukld suffice to lay the issue to rest. I think there should be a formal investigation to rule out scientific fraud in this case. How often does it happen that an experienced professional drug researcher uses entirely the wrong drug in his research? It is such a large OOPS that I think there should be an official investigation of how such a large OOPS could have occurred, if not by design.The reputations of Johns Hopkins and the AAAS are on the line here.
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on September 15, 2003 at 12:55:30 PT:
What was it John Lennon said about government?
"90% of anything government touches turns to s**t."I mean, really, what DID they expect? They turned down all the high quality seed they could get...and it was *free*. They grew it in a freakin' *mine*. They mixed all kinds of weed together; for all they knew, ditchweed predominated. I could go on, but I am too disgusted. How many died waiting for this *scheisse*?With that kind of sloppiness, what else could the result have been but failure?
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Comment #8 posted by Kegan on September 15, 2003 at 12:08:55 PT
Canadian Government Pot is Yucky
Government Pot Causes Headaches, Discomfort;
Patients Want RefundsLink: FULL STORY and PHOTOS AT: late August, the Canadian government has been
distributing marijuana to patients for medical use.So far, the reviews have been far from positive,
and the proof is in the independent third party lab tests.Canadians for Safe Access (CSA) - a patients rights
organization - obtained a sample of the Health Canada
pot for evaluation of it's potency and safety.
For a balanced assessment, CSA lab-tested two samples;
one from the Vancouver Island Compassion Club Society
(the VICS) along with the Health Canada government
grown medicinal product from an old copper mine
in Flin Flon Manitoba....
See more of the complete story at:
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on September 15, 2003 at 11:23:46 PT
The science/politics angle
Ricuarte mimics a standard line of modern scientists when he says that he is a scientist, not a politician.He believes that because he is objective in the miscoscopic limit, that is, in faithfully recording the numbers that his instruments record and faithfully crunching the numbers to get all of the minus signs and factors of 2 right -- he is producing objective knowledge, untainted by politics.Those of us who can see his funding source and appreciate the necessary slant this dictates for his results would of course come to quite the opposite conclusion -- that his research is not only tainted by politics, his work is directed by politics.Who owns the knowledge in this case? Who has the truth?There is the privileged knowledge attained by Ricuarte and other researchers in their government-directed research. This knowledge is carries such a weight of political and social privilege that when it is published, the whole world gets to know about it in the form of a press release, and articles and editorials and even resulting acts of Congress.The knowledge of drug users is now considered socially inappropriate and hence politically deprivileged knowledge. It doesn't count. It can't be issued in a press release. The consumers of an illegal substance are not counted as people who know or understand their own existence or observers who can be trusted to determine facts about the substances with which they come into contact on a regular basis.This is how the politics of knowledge works. It has also worked like this for gays and women and blacks and etc. Scientists always come from the upper stratum of society. The knowledge that comes from the experience of those in the lower stratum is often missing from science, because it is deprivileged and out of sight.In the end here it is -- the objective government scientist is so uncritical of his own work and so uninformed by the socially deprivileged drug users that he could (presumably) make such a huge gigantic whopper of an error and go to press with it without even suspecting that his result might have been wrong.If Ricuarte had considered users of Ecstasy as proper and reliable observers of the effects of the drug, he could have saved himself before he published this destructive nonsense that destroyed part of our civil liberties and is now going to destroy his own career.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on September 15, 2003 at 11:06:21 PT
To be fair,
It's not just the leaders of this country, it's everyone. Hypocrisy has been ingrained into Americans as a core value. Selfishness is the rule. Every parent supports punishing the living crap out of kids, until their kid gets caught. Then all the rules about expelling kids after 1 gram of weed is found, or collecting the urine of 14 year old girls, are suddenly horribly cruel and unfair.Gee, pollution and global warming and Republicans are bad. What, some environmentalist put a sticker on my SUV? You touch my car you DIE! hippie-pinko scum!Don't forget, marijuana prohibition was just ratified again by the voters in Nevada by almost 2 to 1.We're the "me" country. 
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Comment #5 posted by BigDawg on September 15, 2003 at 10:44:47 PT
You said it right.I remember a case (specifics forgotten) where a Congressman lobbied intensely for Federal minimum sentences for drugs, including MJ. Not long after the bill was passed his own son was busted with a trunk full of cannabis while crossing a state line. This congressman, rather than attempting to change a law that he now KNEW was wrong, cried before the judge that the bill wasn't intended for "this particular kind of situation."Of course it was only intended for other people's children.The kid was given a sentence that wasn't on the list of options for the rest of us.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on September 15, 2003 at 10:26:15 PT:
JT, Uncle never puts down anything he can use
to beat you with. Even when he's told to. He just keeps on using it until some bigshot's son gets in trouble, and then the laws change...or are continued to be ignored in the case of people rich enough to hire Johnny Cochrane to get said bigshot's son out of the trouble he deserves.
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on September 15, 2003 at 10:03:56 PT
Will Congress repeal Anti-Rave Act?
So this doctor overdoses some poor monkeys on speed and kills them. He says it was ecstasy. He testifies before Congress and says that ecstasy is bad so the Anti Rave Act can be passed. Now he say "Oops, it wasn't ecstasy after all, sorry mistake were made". It looks like this whole thing was choreographed and staged. Will Congress repeal the Anti-Rave Act now? 
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on September 15, 2003 at 09:36:45 PT
Better stop these editorials Mr. Carroll
As we saw in the Tommy Chong case, expressing open skepticism about the sacred War on Drugs can get you extra prison time if you ever get arrested for anything.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on September 15, 2003 at 09:29:51 PT
Great article
Does anyone seriously believe that the injection of speed was "accidental"? Surely you jest.
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