Transcript: Today's Drug War 

Transcript: Today's Drug War 
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2005 at 14:36:08 PT
By Ryan King, The Sentencing Project
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- A recent study by The Sentencing Project shows a change in the war on drugs over the past decade, as arrests for marijuana use have increased and arrests for drugs like heroine and cocaine have decreased. Why the shift, and how is law enforcement adjusting its war on drugs to reflect this?Ryan King , a research associate with The Sentencing Project was online to answer your questions about increased marijuana use and the war on drugs today. 
A transcript follows.____________________Washington, D.C.: Please clarify a point from your report: Does "drug arrest" refer only to arrests where the drug offense was the primary offense? In other words, your figures for marijuana arrests do not include arrests for other serious crimes where the suspect was also found to be carrying marijuana, or do they?Ryan King: We used official FBI Uniform Crime Report data. Each arrest is a single event in which that is the offense reported by the law enforcement agency. So, these numbers do not measure individuals, but arrest events. In other words, if a singe person was arrested five times, that would count as five arrests. In the case of an arrest with multiple offenses, the reporting agency must determine and report the most serious offense. Thus, in this report, the arrests counted are ones in which the marijuana offense is the most serious._______________________Arlington, Va.: Given that marijuana is far more widely used than heroin or cocaine, why is it unreasonable to think that marijuana should be the primary target of anti-drug law enforcement?Ryan King: This is an important question. Our report focused upon the growth in arrests between 1990 and 2002. We understand that marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance, and thus you would expect to see the largest number of arrests in that category. However, that does not explain the shift in law enforcement emphasis over the period that we studied. In the report, we note that between 1990 and 2002, of the entire growth in drug arrests, 82% was for marijuana. This is a markedly different trend than in the 1980s and one that is not explained by changes in general use patterns.If you take a look at our report, you will see in Figure 4 that in 1982 marijuana comprised 72% of all drug arrests. This figure declined to a low of 28% in 1992 and has since increased to 45% at the end of our study period. Those changes are not linked to general use patterns. Instead, we argue, discretionary decisions made by law enforcement helped create these trends.Although marijuana is the most used illegal substance, that does not explain the rapid growth during the 1990s nor the changing proportion of arrests between 1982 and 2002._______________________Anonymous: One important part of today's article struck me as especially egregious:"In addition, the study showed that although African Americans make up 14 percent of marijuana users generally, they account for nearly a third of all marijuana arrests."This makes me wonder if perhaps Jim Crow isn't dead, he's just reappeared under the guise of the Drug War. The vast majority of marijuana users I know are all white, yet if African Americans are disproportionately arrested, then maybe this isn't really about stopping drug use, just another in a long line of methods in our government's sorry history of racial segregation.I mean, it seems today that a black man using marijuana risks arrest and a criminal record that will ruin his life, while a white man who uses marijuana can grow up to be President.Ryan King: One of the truisms of the "war on drugs" has been that it is not enforced equally across geographic regions. Anybody who lives in an urban area can attest to this fact. Where law enforcement CHOOSES to pursue the war on drugs will impact who is arrested far more than rates of use or sale. This is reflected in disproportionate rates of arrest, charging, conviction, and sentences to prison for communities of color. In addition, these numbers are reported to the public and they reinforce incorrect stereotypes of "who" is using drugs. One of a number of the more corrosive elements of the war on drugs for society at large_______________________Washington, D.C.: Do you think that these results will start a debate over the propriety of federal involvement in marijuana law enforcement? We have seen efforts by many states to reduce or in some cases eliminate penalties for possession. Do you think the U.S. may soon become more like Canada and the U.K. in the way our criminal law deals with marijuana?Ryan King: That is probably a long way off. We have seen movement in the states, but the federal government remains very committed to keeping marijuana, in all its forms, as an illegal substance. This is reflected clearly in the debate around medicinal marijuana. The federal government maintains the position that marijuana is a substance with no redeeming medical value, and it should remain illegal in all forms. This has been their core position and the reason that they have fought the states that have tried to permit its use for medical purposes._______________________Harrisburg, Pa.: I will always remember hearing that young people in prison spend much of their time in prison being taught by other prisoners on subjects such as how to become criminals. I fear it is not good to sentence non-violent, drug related offenders to prison only to create more future criminal troubles. I believe people with drug addictions troubles would better be sentenced into rehabilitation programs. I realize these are more of comments than questions, yet I would appreciate your discussing whether these points are valid, in your opinion.Ryan King: Our position is to try and keep people in the community if at all possible. The problem is that prison has become the first and only response to crime. It needs to be the last resort -- when we have exhausted all other options.Particularly when it comes to drug offenses, we have a wealth of empirical data that suggests that treatment is more effective at addressing drug use, is less costly, and reduces reoffending. So, why not continue to dedicate resources to treatment so that more people can fill those slots?Furthermore, keeping people in the community is key to positive future job prospects and reduced recidivism. Treatment offers much more long term, viable options than warehousing in prison for many people. However, this requires a shift to viewing drug use as a public health problem and not a criminal justice problem._______________________Washington, D.C.: Ryan, your reasoning in response to the "Jim Crow" poster is flawed. Drug enforcement is not leveled equally because violent crime is not spread out equally. There is a reason why there are busts in Compton instead of Beverly Hills. Cops go where the crime is. The "crime" isn't sparking up the joint; it's the social ills that accompany it, like theft, violence, and blight. If there was less crime, then there would be less a need for a war.Ryan King: I would agree with you if drug arrests were linked to other types of crime. However, that is simply not the case. Drug arrests, on the aggregate, are reflective of where law enforcement choose to patrol and make purchases. The violence that you refer to is often a product of prohibition itself, rather than of the drug trade. If law enforcement began to make routine "jump-outs" and knocked down doors in Bethesda the way they do in Anacostia looking for drug sales, you can bet you would see a commensurate jump in violence. You need to be careful not conflate the people with the policy when you are talking about causation. The methods of harassment and enforcement are problematic. Prohibition, pursued on the scale with which we do in this country, has serious consequences - one of which is the violence that you describe._______________________Lexington, Ky.: The United States has waged a war on the recreational use of some drugs now for at least 70 years. The costs of imprisoning a larger percent of our population than any other country continues to skyrocket. The original racist nature of the war on some drugs is easily seen in examples such as Tulia, Texas. Our federal and state governments now spend tens of billions of dollars per year in this Quixote-like endeavor. Entire countries such as Afghanistan and Colombia are turned into narco-states as a result of our one-dimensional approach to the use and abuse of some drugs. Despite decade after decade of failure and increased harm associated with the drug war we still see a clear anti-drug hysteria in the overwhelming majority of Americans, the media, and government officials concerning things like meth use, steroid use by baseball players and others, and now we find out that this hysteria continues with respect to law enforcement's focus on the users of marijuana. Despite all of the above, how do you maintain a sense of optimism that some day our country and even the world will come to see the folly of this incredibly futile endeavor?Ryan King: I maintain a sense of optimism because I have seen in the last 15 years a significant change in the way in which drugs are addressed in this country. Recall, the term of President Bush in the early 1990s when the drug war was in full swing, incarceration rates for drugs were skyrocketing, and the public was convinced that prison was the answer.Fast forward to 2005 and we have a White House increasing federal funds for drug courts, state legislators proposing and passing statutes supporting treatment, and a public that seems keenly aware that the war on drugs as currently pursued is not working. Education and speaking out has brought us a long way since the days of the early 1990s when the mere suggestion of treatment by a politician would have been political suicide.Now, we have a long way to go (prison is still rising and there are nearly 500,000 persons in prison and jail for drug offenses), but I am encouraged in my daily work about what we see at the state level and the way in which the public has responded. Just the way the discussion has changed by policymakers is remarkable. We have only just begun the fight, but there are positive developments and victories to build upon._______________________Miami, Fla.: More of a comment than a is my belief---based upon more personal experience than I wish I had---that marijuana is a drug like all the rest. Worse actually because it puts people who don't believe it is a 'hard' drug in both the mentality that it is acceptable and also in the company of people who are experimenting with lots of other drugs and the progression is easy to make when someone is already 'high' and open to experimentation. Marijuana is a bad drug, maybe the worst of them all, because it truly IS the gateway drug to a mentality and a world filled with questionable people and even more questionable options. I have lost many loved ones to addiction, and they all started out smoking pot. Sorry, it is the same as crack to me.Ryan King: Even if people disagree on the harm associated with marijuana, where I think there should be agreement is that an approach of arrest and incarceration has not been effective in addressing these harms. Whether you think marijuana is harmless or as dangerous as crack cocaine, you should still be willing to consider that prison may not be the most effective option. We spend billions on the drug war every year, yet on the aggregate, drug use continued unabated, cost is decreasing, and purity is increasing. There are generational cycles in use over time, but there is no empirical evidence to suggest that prison has been the driving force in these trends. If you are concerned about the dangers of marijuana, I would urge you to demand accountability in how we address its use. I would think that you would be frustrated with the endless expenditure of resources with limited results. I empathize with your loss and understand the consequences of drug use, but I would ask you to consider if incarceration may not be the best way to address these problems._______________________Washington, D.C.: Will governments every wise up to the fact that drug use--not selling or distribution, but use--is a public health issue and not a criminal justice issue? Have there been any breakthroughs in programs that put people in treatment rather than jail?Ryan King: There have been some positive developments re: treatment rather than incarceration. We have seen a significant increase in the use of drug courts since they were introduced in 1989. What started out as a pilot program in Florida has spread across the country. We have seen substantial support (and funding) from the White House for these programs. However, drug courts are only one means of addressing drug use. In addition, a number of states have modified drug sentencing statutes to divert low-level offenders into treatment. However, there is still a long way to go. The federal government and states still have a number of strict sentencing laws on the books, such as mandatory minimums, that continue to generate new prison admissions for drug use. There is a reason to be encouraged, primarily because the public has become educated on the issue and has been demanding change, but there remains stiff opposition to reform at all levels of government._______________________Washington, D.C.: I don't wish to start anything here, but just because an earlier poster knows plenty of white marijuana smokers doesn't mean white neighborhoods are the only, or even dominant, market for illegal drug use. The fact is that urban neighborhoods DO have more drug distribution, sales, and usage. To be clear, it's not a race thing, it's a poverty thing. But to suggest that drug enforcement should be applied with equal vigor in the suburbs as it is in the inner city is disingenuous political correctness. Thank you.Ryan King: I could not agree more that the war on drugs is class-based, but I want to address your last point. At no time would I ever suggest that the war on drugs be expanded to be pursued with equal vigor in the suburbs. I am not suggesting an expansion of a failed policy. I was merely using that as an example of the fact that arrest patterns do not reflect drug use patterns. The fact of the matter is that drug use and sale is substantial in suburban and rural areas, which is not reflected in drug arrest figures. I am not suggesting that we need to even it out by entering the suburbs, but I think we should be wary of the stereotypes that this approach perpetuates and question some of the underlying justifications for the way drugs are pursued by law enforcement._______________________Washington, D.C.: Ryan,Regarding your comment that the federal government believes that all forms of marijuana have no medical value-they recently released a statement that mentioned that "smoked marijuana" has no medical value. Do you think that this distinction marks a change in government values regarding medical marijuana, especially with Sativex being approved in Canada?DEA Website: King: I believe that the federal government has always drawn a distinction between smoked marijuana and synthetic THC, so this is not a new position. However, I believe that research indicates that the smoked form is more effective at addressing the symptoms of certain medical issues, and that is why the public has been asking for allowing the smoked form for medical purposes, rather than relying on the synthetic version._______________________For Anonymous: Actually, Jim Crow was how the War on Drugs got its start in the era of William Randolph Hearst. To further various business interests, Hearst often emphasized that marijuana was mainly used by Mexicans and jazz musicians. One telling quote: "marijuana will make a black man look at a white woman twice."Ryan King: The history of prohibition of all drugs is fascinating and worth some research for more than mere historical purposes. I think it is important that people understand the root causes of prohibition (to provide a brief teaser: it was not about the harm of the drug to society) as a means of evaluating our current course. Prohibition was a result of racism, xenophobia, and greed, as well as ignorance and political grandstanding. All Americans owe it to themselves to investigate the history and learn where our modern day war on drugs was born.The best book on the topic is "The American Disease" by David Musto. A fascinating, and disconcerting read that will challenge your perceptions of the drug war._______________________Portland, Ore.: Shouldn't law enforcement focus more on meth users than marijuana users? It seems meth is a much more dangerous drug than marijuana?Ryan King: I am sure many people would make this argument, but I want to caution you to go down that road of justifying one policy at the expense of another. Methamphetamine, like marijuana, has consequences to its use, but just because one if more harmful than another does not necessarily mean that more arrests are justified. I would argue the counter and say that the more harmful the drug, the more important it is that we invest in adequate treatment resources to address the perils of addiction. Otherwise, we are warehousing greater numbers of sick people at significant social and financial cost. Meth seems to be growing in use (although I am not familiar with the latest rates), so now is not the time to say, "Let's arrest more!" Now is the time to talk about addressing this addiction with less harmful approaches for the individual and society._______________________Arcola, Va.: After hearing these facts, my question is: do you know if the increase in enforcement of marijuana laws has led to a lesser focus on more harmful drugs and larger criminal organizations?Ryan King: One point that we address in the report is that research has shown that more law enforcement resources dedicated to drugs means less spent on other crimes. This is a zero-sum game - more manpower and money to one area means less to another. An example in the report is of a study in Florida that showed "As drug crimes receive more attention from police . . . the queues for other offenses must move slower as fewer resources are allocated . . ."_______________________Bethesda, Md.: Is there any hope our society will in our lifetime shift away from a punitive, judgmental approach to its drug addicts and toward a health-based, constructive focus? Or are we to eternally see more of the same futile, expensive, human-wasteful 15th century type lock-em-up mindset that has worked so awesomely to date?Ryan King: I want to end on a positive note, so I will take this as my final question. I do believe that this country is much more open to the consideration of drug use as a health issue than in recent years. The more the public reads and learns about the issue, the more public opinion supports harm reduction. However, there remains a strong and influential group of people that support the status quo. Only public education and support for reform will end that. I once saw former Gov Johnson form New Mexico speak a number of years ago and he said that it is the public's job to make politicians feel comfortable to "come out of the closet" on drug law reform. I think that the recent changes indicate that this approach is successful. Policymakers are listening, but we need to continue to read the research, educate ourselves, and make our voices heard. If we continue on the current path, I do believe that substantial and long-term reform is possible._______________________Ryan King: Thank you everyone for wonderful questions and my apologies for those that I could not address in this time period. For further information on this important issue, please visit our website at: as well as those of the Marijuana Policy Project: and the Drug Policy Alliance:'s Note: If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for future guests, e-mail them to:  liveonline Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Ryan King, Research Associate, The Sentencing ProjectPublished: May 04, 2005Copyright: 2005 Washington Post Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:The Sentencing Project Becomes Focus of Drug War Behind 45 Percent of U.S. Drug Arrests
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Comment #21 posted by b4daylight on May 05, 2005 at 21:57:17 PT
What they could do to meth, D.W.I.s, and proerty crime.
If they could post the same results.I personnally belive as Fom stated to the fact.They need to show something to where the billions of dollars is going why not target average people rather than skillfull criminals. Also remember at the same time crime has been decreasing giving them more time to arrst pot people.Kinda like an arrest quota if you will.My thing if pot is illegal than so should 
caffine,alcohol,tabbaccoo, and driving a car.If our message is going to be morals rather science it seems these would top the list.
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Comment #20 posted by kaptinemo on May 05, 2005 at 05:18:17 PT:
Unfortunately, because the study has been done under the auspices of the Sentencing Project, the antis will, as they always do, discount the facts presented and crank up the volume on their noise machine a couple notches louder. The release of their latest dreck about 'mental illness' (if the definition of insanity is repeating the same task again and again and expecting a fundamentally impossible different outcome - as DrugWarriors do - is insanity, then WHO is mentally ill?) is a perfect example. The timing is also suspect, given the Supreme Court is holding onto the Raich/Monson case with unusual reluctance in rendering it's ruling, the public has been treated to the likes of Montel Williams berating the Feds for giving preferential treatment to Compassionate Use patients but shutting everyone else out, and now Sativex (which really is nothing more than a liquid extract of the 'crude drug' as Rob Kampia put it) is coming out in Canada. It's soooooo transparent, you won't need any Windex.The sheer crushing weight of evidence is kept from falling on the heads of the antis by simple government unwillingness to *acknowledge*, much less examine, those facts or debate those who possess them. But with the entrance of someone like Montel Williams into the arena of public opinion, they may eventually be forced to. And given what I saw from a link provided to Mr. William's portion of the press conference yesterday, they definitely wouldn't want to tangle with him, as they'd get what la Barthwell and her male 'backup' got on his show. Namely, an *ss-whupping. The Nazis had a special governmental department which was charged to justify their inhumanity to 'lesser races' by providing pseudo-scientific biological rationales. It was called the Ahnenerbe. . The ONDCP appears to operate under the same *modus operandi* of using scientifically suspect 'studies' to continue to justify the predations of prohibition. The ONDCP represents the intellectually flabby 'ivory tower' that's supposed to explain and justify the DrugWar, while Mr. Williams and the patients represent the busted-bottle reality in the street. When the two finally clash, my money's on the patients.I can just imagine it: "Mr. Walters, I have Montel Williams on the line; he wants to talk t-" (A loud 'whoosh!' of displaced air is heard as Walters escapes his office at Warp Factor 9 and runs down the back stairs to avoid answering, just as his predecessor did in London, England years ago when confronted by reformers who wanted to talk to him.)Running from pain-wracked sick people with crutches and wheelchairs. Pathetic. Truly pathetic. There's a word for this: COWARDICE.
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Comment #19 posted by happyplant on May 05, 2005 at 05:11:18 PT
Why should cannabis be treated any different than alcohol at this day in age? Look at how much alcohol potency varies from drink to drink. If it were up to me we would prohibit alcohol and make cannabis legal. Alcohol causes way to many problems in society and people accept that fact. On the other hand there is Cannabis. One of the only plants that can do so much good for society but it remains prohibited. How can this be justified? I guess I would rather live in a world that had pot smokers in it than a bunch of angry drunks. The world would be a far better place.
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Comment #18 posted by stoner spirit on May 05, 2005 at 03:52:12 PT:
The good herb
I hope that marijuana is completely legal in my life time. I want to be able to grow my own strains, or go down to the store and buy me some K.B., or White Widdow, but if not then, maybe my grandkids will smoke some for me.
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Comment #17 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on May 04, 2005 at 23:37:22 PT
This Aticle Is Very Sensible
This is a great article, and one statement that I think is key to reforming these laws is this one: it is the public's job to make politicians feel comfortable to "come out of the closet" on drug law reform.Do your part and contact your congressional representative on this new MMJ bill just introduced. Everything is done automatically by clicking here:
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Comment #16 posted by runderwo on May 04, 2005 at 22:30:24 PT
The 1% vs 10%...
This figure comes from tests that were done in the 80's once a method to determine THC concentration was devised. Unfortunately, what they fail to take into account is the decomposition of THC into CBN (a rather useless cannabinoid) over time. The cannabis samples they had saved from the 60's and 70's were hopelessly degraded by that time, yet for some reason their test results are dragged out every time someone wants to scare people. There are some quite potent cannabis strains today, just as there were quite potent cannabis strains back then. Maybe there are more potent cannabis strains widely available today, but hashisch has been available for longer than history has - why harp on the raw product?
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Comment #15 posted by Petard on May 04, 2005 at 21:03:36 PT
On the Potency...
25 years ago or so I smoked some purple/red/gold/light and dark green, bud that literally kept me giggling for over 10 hours. And yes, it was pure cannabis, not adulterated nor polluted with any other substances. That was KB before KB was even a common term. Just 2 small bowls between 2 people (maybe 5 or 6 hits each) of sticky Xmas tree from California.Sure, it wasn't as common to find high potency KB back then, but the vast majority of the market back then was for schwag basically due to the market demands. And then again how many of us old timers were old timers back then? Young-uns usually don't have the cash for high dollar goods after all. So my perception of the market is PROBABLY skewed by youthful ignorance of the world as a whole back then. I think if you'll check the monetary trends against the emergence of KB as a larger share of the Black Market, you'll find the money/wealth boom of the 90's precipitated the emergence of a greater trend toward high $/high quality bud. (Of course the higher levels of law encroachment efforts recently given media coverage also precipitated an increase in price overall. If one is going into a higher risk venture, one demands a higher reward for the risk naturally.) Back in the 60's money still had a real asset backing it and was in tighter supply. Since Nixon formally adopted the Bretton-Woods monetary system whereby the U.S. dollar is backed ONLY by the word of the U.S. Govt. (IOU's known as Treasury Notes, which are just that, notes, ink and paper, not gold, silver, etc., and those notes are signed by the lying politicians at that. I mean come on, would any of us accept an IOU from Ashcraft, Walters, Bushy Boy, Clinton, et al?) the money supply (ink and paper remember, OK, now throw in bookkeeping/accounting, ya know the ledger books, like Enron, Worldcom, etc., just debits and credits, no assets other than contrived stuff like amortization and depreciation) and the greater (paper) money supply has led to higher prices and of course the mindset of people (consumers) is that where the price is higher the quality is expected to be higher also...voila, KB's emergence as a greater player in the market.And that doesn't even take into account the age old selective breeding and thus overall improvement in crops, crops of better quality, fresher, more productive plant material. Nor does it take into account the increase in absolute numbers of people both partaking and becoming growers (10% of a population of, say, 150 Million is not the same in absolute terms as 10% of, say, 3 Billion. The percentage of consumers may be roughly the same as 20-30 years ago but the absolute number is probably more like 100-1000 fold greater). Of course because cultivation has been illegal and highly penalized for the entire period in question, there's no way to determine prevalance, or lack thereof, or trends over time in numbers, of growers. Of course we are told by the law encroachment authorites that growing is booming TODAY due the big $ involved, but then again they keep trotting out the same old tired lies too. The Govt. that cried wolf, noone knows whether to believe them or not on anything anymore. (BTW, what's the terror level currently? Taupe or mauve or some such? Oh, it's lemony fresh clean scent, no wait, that's my dishwashing liquid.....)
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Comment #14 posted by Patrick on May 04, 2005 at 21:01:27 PT
John Tyler on potency
I would like to 2nd what you said. Today's bud gets me stoned/high/relaxed and mellow the same way it did 25 years ago. Marijuana available on the street can come in different grades and quality and that is more I think due to its underground nature than if we were free to grow our own favorite strains without fear of arrest. Actually, the variety and quality of cannabis that could be available if it were legal would remind me of the hobbiests that brew exotic flavors of beer. Once you find your favorite and grow a garden every year who needs Joey Dimebag's streetcorner flavor of the day.
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on May 04, 2005 at 20:49:57 PT
I started using cannabis in 1976 so I can only talk about the 1960's in terms of my older friends and bandmates.We used to get Santa Marta Gold from Columbia that was the sweetest, stoniest cannabis that I've ever smoked. Any time we had a party and some good gold bud there was such a good time had by everybody. I've never seen a strain that induced more giggling and good-natured silliness.I saw good locally grown sinsemilla in 1978 and the quality of some of the imports seemed to have gone downhill in comparison, but we still continued to see some great gold bud until I moved to Texas in 1980. There it was Mexican and locally grown sinsemilla.My older friends always commented on how the cannabis of the 1970's wasn't near as good as the cannabis from the 1960's because the growers were going for quantity more than quality.Yes, we had very crappy green Mexican and very poorly grown local ditchweed, but most smokers seek out the higher quality cannabis.I've been to the Netherlands five times and have smoked not only the coffeeshop cannabis but also the personal stashes of several breeders and with Nol van Shaik, who owns three coffeeshops in Haarlem. I've also smoked with Eagle Bill at the Sensi Museum, and Eagle Bill is a LEGEND in the cannabis world dating way before I was born. I've smoked some of Mila's hash from the Pollinator and it has a THC content of over 50%.None of these people believe today's cannabis is more potent and neither do I. Maybe there's less crappy cannabis now but that's the only thing that's different.Do you think people would have used cannabis at any time in history if it was ditchweed like the idiotic drug czar is trying to have everybody believe?No?Me either.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #12 posted by John Tyler on May 04, 2005 at 19:48:06 PT
Drug War beneficiaries 
I’m sorry but I have to use this metaphor…FoM you are certainly right. If all of the folks that suck at the Drug War teat were cut off they would surely raise a ruckus.
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Comment #11 posted by John Tyler on May 04, 2005 at 19:39:59 PT
on Potency
I have done that survey several times. Nobody I have ever talked to has had cannabis that was “more potent” than it was 30 years ago. It has been pretty much the same all along at least in my part of the country, mediocre to great. We did have more variety at lower prices though and it might have even been a little better. The super weed thing was just a propaganda theme to try to scare the public.  
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 19:39:17 PT
I Believe This
I've thought about why they are arresting so many people because of marijuana and if the laws were changed and it became a legal substance what would happen to all the police they need to bust all these people? They would lose so much money and many would lose a job. It seems to be the only logical reason that marijuana is still hated by the powers that be. The drug war would fall apart I believe.
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Comment #9 posted by happyplant on May 04, 2005 at 16:46:35 PT
Get real
No matter what is said and done, we the majority of the American public should deem what is acceptable and what is not. Not a few so called government officals that twist the truth so much that they believe their own lies. Cannabis doesn't hurt people the government does and thats the TRUTH!!!
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Comment #8 posted by mastercy on May 04, 2005 at 16:28:35 PT
A quick question for you older CNews respondents: Is cannabis more potent today than it was in the sixties as the mantra goes. My impression from what I have read is that there existed very potent bud back in the day, but it was a much rarer thing. Of course, whether it is more potent or not does not matter since an experienced smoker adjusts his or her toke accordingly.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 15:53:15 PT
One More Thing
Marijuana isn't even a synthetic drug. It isn't man made or manufactured. 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 15:51:14 PT
Just A Comment
Marijuana is the number one drug that they go after and it doesn't cause harm like other drugs. I will never understand why they pick on marijuana. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 15:10:27 PT
I have a suggestion. When you make a comment add it like a signature that we can do in e-mail. Like This:Take Action on the Medical Marijuana effort:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 15:07:07 PT
You're welcome! I didn't know it either! I'm sorry we missed it!
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Comment #3 posted by jackl on May 04, 2005 at 15:03:32 PT:
Thanks for posting this!
I hadn't read in any of the articles and stories on advocate websites that the WaPo was going to host a live chat with one of the key sources for the article later today. Sorry I missed that, but thanks for posting the transcript.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 04, 2005 at 15:02:45 PT
Please feel free to post it on other articles if you want. Go for it!
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Comment #1 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on May 04, 2005 at 14:59:25 PT
Could this link be repeated for a while so that everyone will have a chance to write their congress representative asking them to support the new bill to stop the federal government from arresting medical marijuana patients?Take Action on the Medical Marijuana effort:
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