Do You Puff, Daddy?

  Do You Puff, Daddy?

Posted by CN Staff on July 12, 2004 at 21:13:15 PT
By Larry Smith 

How do you tell your kids to stay away from drugs when you used to do them, or -- gasp -- still do? What if you don't think drugs are so very wrong? Twelve years ago, back when you could put things in the mail without a return address, my old college buddy Jim sent me a package. Opening the plain, brown box, I was surprised at its contents: the small purple bong he and I had put to very good use in the late '80s and early '90s. Along with this stained relic he had scribbled a note of explanation: "Getting married and planning to have children, so I guess I won't be needing this anymore."
I wasn't sure what unnerved me more: his decision that "growing up" meant giving up something that he enjoyed without incident, or the implied idea that I was stuck in a hazy past while he moved on to an appropriate, adult future. The second time I experienced In Loco Bongus I thought: This is getting weird (and also: What am I going to do with two bongs?). This time my co-worker walked into my office, closed the door, and sheepishly explained that while he and his glass two-footer had had some great times together, his son was getting older, he had a second on the way, and he didn't want anyone under 4 feet to stumble across it accidentally. "I don't want my boy to think it's OK to be a pothead," he explained. "Well, that's not true, I don't want him to think it's OK to be a full-blown hazed-out pothead." Which is why he switched to a much smaller, more easily stashed pipe. According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than a third of Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana at some point in their life -- that's 80 million people who actually admit it, and I suspect there are a couple more who don't. Many of these millions can look at their offspring with a straight face and explain that while they once experimented with drugs during the folly of their youth, now they don't -- and neither should you, little man. That must be nice for them. I don't know many of these people. The people I have spent the last decade working and playing with have inhaled more than a few puffs and taken a variety of trips down Alice's rabbit hole. Yet some way, somehow they have turned into able and impressive members of the republic. These are people with good jobs, who engage in charitable pursuits and who rarely cut in line at Whole Foods. We've taken some of our old vices with us into adulthood without burning down the house or checking into rehab. We've done a good job prolonging our adolescence, but now we're facing adulthood's ultimate gut check: children. And when it comes to kids, we have a drug problem. What to tell the children about past -- and, in many cases, current -- drug use ain't easy. Should we practice what we preach? Should we lie? Where do you draw the line between being a hypocrite and protecting your kids? Are we worse parents if we get high in front of our kids than if we have a couple of stiff drinks? How do we reconcile our own experiences with drugs -- ones that have been overwhelmingly positive -- with the very real possibility that our kids could run into trouble with what are in fact potent substances? Before you write nasty letters to the editor denouncing my friends and me for advocating drug use, let's be clear: Scores of people have had their lives and the lives of those around them destroyed by drugs. No one I know believes that all drugs are good nor wishes a nation of junkies on anyone. Drugs are not for all people, all drugs are not for all drug users, and no illicit drugs are good for children. Among my close friends, there's a general feeling that there are "good" drugs and "bad" drugs. The good ones are empathetic and eye-opening (MDMA, marijuana, hallucinogens). The bad ones are ego-driven and destructive (coke, speed, heroin). Both types can destroy you -- it's just that they haven't in our case. In a topic that doesn't deal much in grays, this is a nuanced and certainly unpopular point of view. So it's no surprise, if a bit disappointing, that most of the people I talked to asked to have their names changed. "I'm not nervous at all about talking to my sons about sex," says my friend Rob, a 32-year-old writer living in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife and two small boys, aged 1 and 5. "But I'm scared shitless to talk to them about drugs." Rob smokes as much as two to three times a week, but never when his children are awake. He thinks the worst thing for him to have heard when he was a kid would have been that smoking pot is acceptable. "I would have been off to the races," he says. That's why Rob is hesitant to be completely honest with his own children about his drug use. "I probably won't be fully open about my drug use until my sons are in their 20s, post-college maybe. I feel like I have to give him guidance before that, but I'm not going to tell him about the time I dropped two hits of E and two tabs of acid and had my brain melt while I watched the Breeders and the Beastie Boys at Lollapalooza. I can't say, 'Make sure you don't melt your brain like daddy!'" "My push for parents is always to be open and honest," says Marsha Rosenbaum, who leads workshops for parents on how to handle drug use among their kids as director of the Safety First project of the Drug Policy Alliance. "Kids have amazing bullshit detectors and are probably going to know that we aren't telling the truth. To the parents who stopped using drugs, I say tell them your story and tell them the real story." Drug story hour's a tough one, but many of my friends want to tell their children about all of their experiences -- the good and the bad and the hazy in betweens -- eventually. Knowing whom to tell what when is the hard part. Rob says he knows exactly what he'll say to his kids when they're 25; he just has no idea what to tell them when they're 10. "My husband and I won't hide our pot use from our daughter because it's just such a natural part of our lives," says Carla, a 35-year-old communications specialist in Oakland, Calif., and mother of an 8-month-old girl. "But while she's growing up will we tell her Mommy and Daddy loved having sex on coke in a hotel room when she was staying with Grandma? Will we tell a teenage girl that the occasional line of K [Ketamine] is a blast? Absolutely not. The important thing is to explain that drugs are for adults who are old enough to handle them, and that they will have a chance to experiment soon enough in life if that's what they want to do." Allie, a 33-year-old legal aid attorney in Washington, D.C., who has been known to enjoy a large cocktail of substances over the years, is planning a family now and suspects she'll take a somewhat less tolerant -- perhaps hypocritical -- approach. "I won't tell them about my own use until they're old enough not to be influenced by it, which I think is 16 to 18 depending on the kid, because I won't tolerate any drug use from them," she says. "It just seems like they'll have so many sources in their lives justifying drug use -- from friends to hormones to boredom to the Internet -- that they will also need to have something on the other side balancing it." I myself don't have kids. I may very well someday, and as I get older I can increasingly understand the temptation to just out and out lie to them about a variety of parts of my life, especially my drug use. I mean, do I really want to tell Larry Jr. that daddy had a mind-altering moment on mushrooms at Joshua Tree when he was 23, but my dear, my dear boy, if I ever find mushrooms in your backpack you'll be grounded from now until your freshman year in college? "I would be much more concerned if my kids thought I was a hypocrite than if they thought I was a pothead," says my friend Alan, a professor of English at Indiana University and soon-to-be father of twins. Alan's been thinking a lot about what he's going to tell his children about his daily pot use, a habit he suspects won't be so compatible with the daily rigors of daddyhood. "I'll tell them that I smoke, I like it, but that it's not for everyone," he says. "I will tell them that I did certain drugs for adventure and exploration, but never to counter self-esteem and an inability to tolerate reality. I will tell them if they decide to try drugs, I hope they tell me and I'll demand that they be safe." Safe is actually less subjective than it may sound. "Just as you can't use a chain saw or drive until you are a certain age, you shouldn't use drugs until you are old enough to be able to handle it," says Mitch Earleywine, a professor at the University of Southern California and author of "Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence." Earleywine says new studies reveal that cannabis can interfere with the brain's development before the age of 17. It stands to reason that a compelling case can be made for telling your kids to hold off until after high school graduation, even if you didn't. A current Office of National Drug Control Policy anti-drug campaign seeks to help confused adults reconcile their past use with whatever version of "just say no" they're trying to work out as they raise kids. Called Hypocrite," it reads: "So you smoke pot. And now your kid's trying it and you feel like you can't say anything. Get over it. Smoking pot can affect the brain and lead to other risky behaviors. So you have to set the rules and expect your kid to live drug free no matter how hypocritical it makes you feel." "In the focus groups we asked parents to identify some of the barriers that existed in talking to kids about drugs -- and their own experience with drugs came up as one of those barriers," says Jennifer DeVallance, a spokesperson for the ONDCP. "These ads are saying: You need to step up to the plate, regardless of what your experience was." Unlike the folks in the government's focus group, most of my friends don't think their own past makes them hypocrites, but rather better informed parents. Jill, an interior designer who lives outside of Nashville, Tenn., with her teenage son, says that she's not so worried about her son's experimentation because she has so much experience with drugs herself. "If you never did drugs as a teen, or any other time in your life, I suspect all you can think about is your kid behaving like he or she is a character in 'Reefer Madness' or that he's going to become Robert Downey Jr.," she says. Jill has resigned herself to the fact that her son does drugs, but she is tough with him about his use. "We talked about what some people can handle and others can't." She explained to him that in her mind, pot is on par with alcohol: Both get you high, both should be taken in moderation and both can have devastating effects on your life if you overindulge. "Once I knew about his use, I told him what I had done," she says. "Not everything all at once. I didn't want my former experiments to encourage him, and it was more information than he needed at one sitting." "If you didn't think your drug use was a big mistake, don't tell them that it was a big mistake, which is what the government wants you to say," says Rosenbaum. "Tell them that they were probably attracted to it for the same reasons that you were. And if you quit, tell them why." Delia, a 47-year-old physical therapist in Manhattan with a 13-year-old daughter, agrees. "I will tell her drugs were fun and seductive," she says, "but ultimately they were a mistake." Knowing that Delia had a pretty wild ride in the late '60s and '70s, I ask her if she plans to tell her daughter the whole story. Her answer is an unflinching no. "I can't ever tell her everything I did, especially that I tried heroin," she says. "I tried it once and liked it so much that I knew it could destroy me. A survival instinct kicked in, one I don't know would kick in for her. But I can't tell her the entire truth of my use because I don't want to influence her." And there's the riddle: There's no more influential person in a child's life than a parent. Therefore, in one way or another, every parent I talked to felt that to a certain degree they had to lie to their kids about drugs. Yet almost in the same breath, few want to mask what for at least a certain period in their life was a very real, important and joyful part of who they were and are as people. "My goal as a parent," says Carla, "is to give her the tools to know what she can handle and what's too much. I don't want her to say no to drugs, because they can be freakin' fun. It's not a popular perspective, but it's true. Fun is a big part of my life, and drugs are a part of fun." "But you know what?" she says with a pregnant pause, "my perspective today could change a lot in 10 years." If so, I fear I'll be getting another bong in the mail. About the writerLarry Smith has written about his and other people's lives for ESPN magazine, the New York Times, Teen People, and other publications. Source: (US Web)Author: Larry SmithPubdate: July 13, 2004 Copyright: 2004 Salon.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Safety First Project Policy Alliance Drug Information Harms Kids of Dr. Mitch Earleywine Interview on NPR

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Comment #24 posted by rchandar on July 16, 2004 at 09:39:56 PT:
mom, dad, i hate you
anyone remember that commercial? where the kids "speak out" and "stand up" to the drug use of their parents by saying that "i hate you" and that "you're disgusting"? Yes, our government encourages children to hate and effect hostile subversion of parents. Parents who only feed, clothe, and protect these ignorant f $king spoiled drug-free waifs. just like the nazis did...--rchandar
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Comment #23 posted by kaptinemo on July 14, 2004 at 04:16:55 PT:
'Ignite' a 'Culture War'?
That fuse was lit long ago, by prohibitionists, and we've been slugging it out in the trenches for decades. We're 'veterans' of the fight for individual freedom over religious- and politically-mandated intolerance.And quite a few of us bear the 'war wounds' to prove it...
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on July 13, 2004 at 16:14:15 PT
Off Topic: Reuters Article
Gay Marriage Vote Could Reignite 'Culture War' By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent Juky 13, 2004WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican push for a Senate vote to ban gay marriage has thrust the topic into the thick of the 2004 campaign, possibly reigniting a "culture war" on social issues that has become an election-year staple. The effort to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriages seemed headed to Senate defeat on a procedural vote scheduled for Wednesday. Complete Article:
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Comment #21 posted by Jose Melendez on July 13, 2004 at 16:03:16 PT
Video Alert
I want to note that I've posted a free download of a 68 mB stream sample of an upcoming Law Enforcement Against Prohibition video at: topics of youth access and more from some very credible speakers are explored, and more: - - -Prohibition has made the opium poppy, the coca plant, the marijuana plant . . . more valuable than gold and we've proven the old adage "money doesn't grow on trees" to be wrong, money does grow on trees that's what the U.S. Congress . . . that's what prohibition has accomplished.Eric SterlingPresident, Criminal Justice Policy Foundationhttp://cjpf.org"If you have 30 minutes, you can convince any rational person that the war on drugs is a failure, it's ill conceived, and it is doing the country a lot more harm than it is good . . . "Jerry Cameronfmr. DEA, FBI Academy Graduate
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Comment #20 posted by sukoi on July 13, 2004 at 14:40:42 PT
Off Topic: Donald Trump???
Someone over at the Kerry forum posted that today he heard Donald Trump voicing support for cannabis law reform on a syndicated radio show. Has anyone heard anything about this? I think that he would be a great asset to this cause, especially if he puts his money where his mouth is!FOM, sorry about the url but it was an interesting article; Sheriff Bill Masters thinks like all LEO's should!
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Comment #19 posted by E_Johnson on July 13, 2004 at 14:33:27 PT
Healthy kids shouldn't smoke pot
I want to make it clear that I was not healthy when I was 13, and it would have been better if someone could have intervened in my family, rather than forcing me to protect my brain through self-medication.That being said, since society back then was not ready to admit to this particular problem or try to solve it, I am glad pot was there.
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Comment #18 posted by mamawillie on July 13, 2004 at 13:16:49 PT
What to tell the kids
I have several children, and the hubby and I have already talked about this. We'd rather have them smoke pot than to use cigs or alcohol. I'd rather they sit at my house and get stoned and veg on the sofa and NOT hang around low-self-esteem kids who are out on a death wish. I admire Johnny Depp for saying he'd buy pot for his kids. Heck, I'll grow it for mine if I didn't think I'd be strung up by the government.But the fact in life is: there are things you can do when you are older that you can't do when you're younger. Drive. Skinny Dip. Go to an R rated movie. Etc.What I would do if they were 13 and I found out they were smoking? I don't know. Ideally I'd rather they wait till 16 or 17 before they start.But I'm NOT going to lie. I'll probably frame the discussion in the context of: the law, school and that there are some things you just have to wait for.... depending on what these issues mean WHEN we get there.
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Comment #17 posted by E_Johnson on July 13, 2004 at 11:18:17 PT
The way I view it
I do not have children. I view that in a positive way. Someone else's children will be able to have the water and resources mine would have required. The world is being stretched too thin between too many people. Water especially is going to become more and more of a problem in coming years.
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Comment #16 posted by shrox on July 13, 2004 at 10:54:17 PT
Treeanne, children are "replacements" for you
Treeanne, you don't have children do you? I don't either, but your comment sounds as insensetive as any government official. shrox
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Comment #15 posted by Treeanna on July 13, 2004 at 10:38:42 PT
Simplest Solution
Is not to have children in the first place.If more humans practiced such restraint, the world would not be dying as it is now from our tremendous overpopulation.Of course, that is a forlorn hope, and most folks vehemently defend the "right" to procreate without limits or sense.There is also the problem of many governments (including the US) not having the balls to develop social policies that are not dependant on ever-growing populations (I refer to it as encouraging the peasants to breed).I realize that this misses an important thrust of much of the article, and in that regard the major concern should be that kids are recruited by law enforcement, etc as a huge pool of naive snitches, which was totally ignored here.
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Comment #14 posted by shrox on July 13, 2004 at 10:37:44 PT
CHP's "Supplemental Compassionate Use Act of 1996 
 Where can I find this?!CHP's "Supplemental Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Marijuana) Procedure."shrox
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Comment #13 posted by E_Johnson on July 13, 2004 at 09:49:02 PT
THis is a fact
BY the time I was 13 my brain was in a state comparable to a soldier who just returned from combat in Vietnam. This was not from drugs, this was from living with my family. My father was traumatized by WWII and couldn't control his rage, and my mother was not strong enough to stand up to that without developing problems of her own.There are many many teens in America who exist in this mental state. A HUGE fraction of young black males exist in this mental state.The Drug War only exacerbates trhe problem of PTSD in youth because it punishes the youth for one medication that is uniquely suited to this disorder because it alone has the power to make a traumatic memory behave like a normal memory -- only in your conscious mind when you want it to be.And the Drug War is a war, it's a shooting war, and shooting wars always produce traumatized survivors.War is trauma, period. America is trying to traumatize traumatized people, to get them to stop self-medicating their trauma.This country has a personality disorder and needs psychiatric intervention!
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 13, 2004 at 08:37:34 PT

Since the url was too long anf threw the page off I went ahead and removed it and replaced it here.
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Comment #11 posted by Virgil on July 13, 2004 at 08:30:43 PT

It is clear there is fear when beer is near. If they want prohibition they need to start with the worst. Limiting the harm of substance abuse has nothing to do with current attitudes, even though the "we need more jails" mantra is pretty much over done on most people. There really was an increased problem when beer of the 1600's became the rum and distillations of the 1700's. By the time of the American revolution, the problems of the "crack cocaine" would buid a couple generations until people really did call for a prohibition. CP never had a public outcry and is a fantasy of a police state and stronger goofy grass is better. Put down the booze and take up the bud.Let's give alcohol prohibition another try. With Free Cannabis it won't be as bad as last time. What tells a person that CP is a farce is because the goverment would not allow it instead of taking up a great evil of preerving an acoholic culture. You cannot even bargain for Free Cannabis by contracting to give up tobacco and alcohol. Now how effed up is this freedom imposed on us. We need to impose the Constitution on the government and clear the courts of anyone who has ever supported the drug war. Zero tolerance on treason, as I always say.
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Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on July 13, 2004 at 08:27:42 PT

I can yell as loudly as I want but I wonder if the researchers out there are even interested.Why search for the truth when avoiding it can get you a nice federal grant?I will give Earleywine my opiion on the subject:Dr. Earleywine, I was severely traumatized and dissociative by the time I was 13.That is when and that is why I first smoked pot.I beleieve to this day that smoking pot protected my brain from being fried even more by the ghastly life my parents led and the chaos and violence in our home.Put that in your feaking study.Do people like me eve get counted at all in science?I look all the time for research into this subject and I conclude -- people like me do not count, we have not been counted in science, and because of the basic way people in science think about the world -- people like me are not likely to be counted unless we stand up and demand it.So here I am Dr. Earleywine -- demanding it!I believe that smoking pot was the right thing for me to do when I was 13 because my brain was already fried by severe chronic PTSD and I needed a neuroprotective antioxidant and thank God that I was able to find one.
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on July 13, 2004 at 08:20:15 PT

Earleywine isn't as smart as he thinks he is
This research on teens and brains is so politicized, and it's never been good, because it is informed by ideology and not by science.25% of black male teenagers are diagnosable with severe chronic PTSD. This is what science says.Nobody who studies pot use in teens, not Earleywine either, have ever once taken that fact into account, and I think renders every last bit of "scientific" research on teens and drugs highly questionable at best.Control for chronic PTSD in your results and then I will believe you.Chronic PTSD is the number one reason why people throughout history have felt they needed pot.The most striking effect of cannabinoids on the brain is how they modulate traumatic memories so that they are not intrusive into ordinary memory, they just remain on recall at will, like a normal memory.Americans are really food at pretending drugs are what harm children, not Americans.This is all a ghastly exercise in denial.Mitch Earleywone, control your studies for the enormous and undeniable (except to people who do drug research) presence of PTSD in teens and then we will see what is true about cannabis and the development of young brains.PTSD literally fries the brain. It attacks a piece of the hippocampus.he brains of young men even as old as eighteen can be permamnetly fried by trauma. Plain old PTSD is a killer of young minds.Nowe think of the political implocations of that reality. Our political system cannot handle that. Western society has relied to a great extent on making young men do battle and traumatize each other.It's too challenging to the ideology of childhood in America to admit that 25% of our children have been damaged in their brains by parents or neighborhoods or each other and the brain damage is permanent and beyond repair.That's why we need the drug war, so we can blame their damage on molecules that came from dark skinned people beyond our sacred borders.And to provide jobs for people without college degrees to replace the manufacturing jobs lost to globalization.
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Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on July 13, 2004 at 08:05:00 PT

Same here kap
I hated alcohol and tobacco because I could see how they dominated my parents and make life chaotic and unbreathable.It wasn't until I was 24 working on the ski patrol that I learned to like beer. Working a 12 hour day in ski boots -- it's amazing what that does for the taste of beer.
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on July 13, 2004 at 06:50:21 PT:

The undeniable core of the problem
*"Kids have amazing bullshit detectors and are probably going to know that we aren't telling the truth. To the parents who stopped using drugs, I say tell them your story and tell them the real story."*I thank God every time I think back to younger days that my parents were unflinchingly, brutally honest with me about booze and dope. Da was a Marine (meaning of course, he still is one) and could tell of quite a few stories about drunken brawls, and Mum let him do most of the telling. But it was obvious that some folks in the family on her side had 'problems'. 'Fighting Irish' took on another meaning for us kids. I got to hate family reunions.As a result, I never felt the slightest inclination to drink, even though after we had our little talk the liquor bottles were on the bottom cupboard, easily within reach, for years. No pencil marks on the labels to chack remaining volume. They trusted me to do right, and I never abused that trust. Da wasn't kidding when he said jail for being caught drunk driving was the least of my concerns; I'd have to face HIM when I got out. Kids do indeed have those BS detectors Ms. Rosenbaum mentioned; they aren't empty headed vessels awaiting filling with propaganda. They think their own thoughts, and they are aware of manipulation; they may not be able to spell it, but identify it in a flash. Be straight with them, and you'll win their respect for life, as they know how serious it can be. But lie to them, and you'll set in motion something far uglier than you can imagine.

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Comment #5 posted by billos on July 13, 2004 at 03:46:20 PT

It's like this kids...............................
alcohol kills, sickens, and ruins more families and lives than any other recreational drug in the world. Yet the law says you can legally obtain it and use it.Cannabis never killed anyone in its known 10,000 year use. It's not good for your lungs to smoke it but the biggest danger by far is the risk of getting caught by LEO with it. It will ruin your life, much faster than alcohol will, with a criminal record that will prevent you from getting a good job and/or federal funds for college. The record you have will, in a sense, ostracize you from society.However, you are 18 now, so make damn sure you vote for Kerry in November.
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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on July 13, 2004 at 03:13:58 PT

Its sad to see the tension that is building, when the little ones come home after going through a DARE session at school.Its as if the children are being groomed to be spys and narcos.This "war of drugs" has gone too far, it is reaching into the most private areas of life, the right to privacy is falling with this war...end the war on people, end the DEA.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on July 12, 2004 at 22:42:30 PT

I'm so glad alcoholism has been eliminated 
You can tell that there is no more alcohol abuse in the country from the way people never mention it any more.Teens especially don't need to be told anything about drinking.They can learn it all from the commercials that support professional sports!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 12, 2004 at 22:40:38 PT

Cannabis Patients and Advocates will Protest
Subject: DPFCA: NEWS: Medical Cannabis Patients and Advocates will Protest in Front of the C.H.P. Headquarters   
ANGEL WINGS PATIENT OUTREACH, INC. A NONPROFIT CORPORATIONFor Immediate ReleaseMedical Cannabis Patients and Advocates will Protest in Front of the C.H.P. Headquarters In Oakland in Response Raid at Oakland Medical Cannabis GardenOakland, CA -- On Tuesday, July 13, at noon, Medical Cannabis Patients, Caregivers, Providers and Advocates will protest in front of the California Highway Patrol Bay Area Headquarters. CHP officers pulled over a van on June 30, 2004 that was transporting medical cannabis, legal under Health and Safety Code 11362.5 (Prop. 215) and Senate Bill 420. CHP called in federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, who raided an Oakland growing facility. The cannabis that was being grown at the facility would have gone to a legally-permitted medical cannabis dispensaries in the City of Oakland. Four growers from the facility were arrested and are facing lengthy mandatory minimum sentences in federal court. Many seriously ill patients are without medicine as a result.The DEA and the CHP showed signs of confusion after they failed to get their stories straight. CHP Lt. Rob Patrick, disputed the DEA's version of events, calling it "not accurate" in a July 2, 2004 Oakland Tribune article. Statements filed by the DEA are contradictory.The day following the raid Angel Raich, Executive Director of Angel Wings Patient OutReach, Inc., and lead plaintiff in Ashcroft v. Raich, a case recently taken up for review by the U.S. Supreme Court, contacted the CHP Bay Area Headquarters and spoke to CHP investigator Julie Saraiva, who was at the scene. "I wanted to find out if CHP had any medical cannabis police policy," said Angel Raich. " I was told by Julie Saraiva that the CHP did not have a policy regarding medical cannabis," "however after doing some investigation of my own I found out that the CHP does have a policy regarding medical cannabis, but the department just does not follow the policy nor evidently, does it educate its officers regarding medical cannabis law or their policy".The CHP's policy states at section (3) "When a Section 11362.5 H & S exemption is claimed officers shall:... 2) Consider the totality of the circumstances in determining the type of enforcement action to be taken. If any question arises regarding validity of exemption, the officer should stronly consider use of the complaint to be filed process through the district attorney's office. At section (3)(c) the policy states, "Commanders shall coordinate with the courts and district attorney's office to ensure that: 1) Local policy on Section 11362.5 H & S is established. 2) The district attorney's office is apprised when there is potential for a court Order of Return" being sought.No where in the CHP policy does it say do not to follow CHP policy and call in the DEA. According to Raich, "If any of the officers at the scene or any officer at the CHP Headquarters in Oakland had followed their own policy the raid would not have happened. The feds would never have been called. The officers at the scene never even did an investigation of their own before calling in the feds.Attached you will find a copy of the CHP's "Supplemental Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Marijuana) Procedure."WHAT: Medical Cannabis Protest at C.H.P.WHEN: Tuesday, July 13, at noonWHERE: California Highway Patrol Bay Area Headquarters, at 3601 Telegraph Ave. (at 36th St.) in Oakland
# # #Compassion and Justice,Angel McClary Raich Executive Director, Angel Wings Patient OutReach, Inc. A Nonprofit Corporation Operation Patient RescueP.O. Box 18767Oakland, California 94619-8767oprteam sbcglobal.net510-764-1499Download the major pleadings from our litigation (Raich v. Ashcroft) at: & or
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Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on July 12, 2004 at 22:38:23 PT

too much denial
How many drugs will there be before cannabis is finally acceptable for use as a medicine.How many?Cannabis sure does wonders for many of my aches and pains.Drugs? What drugs? We don't need no stinking drugs. 
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