Targeting Marijuana Saps Anti-Drug Effort

  Targeting Marijuana Saps Anti-Drug Effort

Posted by CN Staff on June 05, 2005 at 10:16:38 PT
By Stevenson Swanson, Tribune Correspondent 
Source: Chicago Tribune 

New York -- A new government anti-marijuana campaign has reignited a long-smoldering debate over how dangerous the most widely used illegal drug in America really is and whether it should be the central focus of the nation's war on drugs.Headlined "Marijuana and your teen's mental health," an advertisement appearing in newspapers and magazines nationwide cites scientific studies in the last seven years that have found that regular use of marijuana in the teenage years can put users at risk of depression, suicidal impulses and schizophrenia later in life.
"Still think marijuana's no big deal?" the ad asks parents.Yes, responds one leading advocate of decriminalizing marijuana."If you want to focus on problem drugs in the U.S., marijuana is the last drug you would focus on," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which favors treating marijuana like alcohol: a legal product that is regulated, taxed and illegal for minors to use."We have methamphetamine out there, we have heroin, we have OxyContin, we have booze, we have cigarettes. To make statements that marijuana in the hands of teenagers is this dangerous threat, it's ludicrous."And last week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman and more than 500 other economists endorsed a report that said state and federal coffers could reap a net gain of $13.9 billion if marijuana were legalized.The study by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron estimated that law enforcement would save $7.7 billion, while taxes on the drug could amount to $6.2 billion. Miron's study was largely funded by the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C., lobbying group that supports liberalizing marijuana laws.The renewed war of words regarding a drug that has been prevalent in American society for some 40 years erupted in early May when John Walters, the Bush administration's drug czar, launched the government's latest print and broadcast ad campaign.Mental Health Alert"A growing body of evidence now demonstrates that smoking marijuana can increase the risk of serious mental health problems," said Walters, whose official title is director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.One recent report, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that adults who had used marijuana before age 12 were twice as likely to have experienced a serious mental illness in the past year as those who began smoking it after 18.Among early users, 21 percent reported suffering a serious mental health problem, compared with 10.5 percent among those who started smoking marijuana later. The study was based on interviews with almost 90,000 adults.Other studies cited by the drug control office, which will spend $120 million on public-education advertising this year, have found that teenagers who smoke marijuana weekly are three times more likely than non-users to have suicidal thoughts and that some teenage users have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia as adults."We are very concerned about marijuana for a very good reason," said David Murray, a policy analyst for the drug control office. "It's so prevalent, so widespread in the population. There's a public-health responsibility here. This is not an innocuous drug."A University of Michigan study found last year that 34.3 percent of high school seniors and 11.8 percent of 8th graders had smoked marijuana in the previous 12 months. Drug use among teenagers has been falling since 1996, the study noted.Teenagers are the targets of the government anti-marijuana campaign because officials believe that use of marijuana early in life can lead to harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin later. And adolescents may feel they are fully grown, but they aren't."The evidence is now pretty significant that central nervous system development is not complete in adolescents, and the use of this drug may have effects on the maturation of their central nervous systems," said Dr. Richard Suchinsky, a psychiatrist who oversees the Department of Veterans Affairs' addiction programs."It inhibits certain functions, such as cognition, judgment and the ability to postpone gratification," Suchinsky said.But critics of the government's war on drugs say the latest studies do little to advance what is already known about marijuana and do not prove that the drug is responsible for mental illness. Children and teenagers who are predisposed to have mental health problems may be more likely to try marijuana, they say. "There's a question about whether there's a causality," said the Drug Policy Alliance's Nadelmann. "What's interesting about marijuana, you can't even find a presidential candidate now who will say he has never used it. We all know people who have smoked marijuana for periods of time, and they're all doing fine."Ten states have approved marijuana for medical use by cancer patients and others who appear to benefit from its relief of severe nausea.D.C. vs. CaliforniaThat has set up a classic states' rights confrontation between the federal government and one such state, California. In a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal authorities argue that they can override state medical marijuana laws.The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case that federal officials had overstepped their constitutional boundaries when they raided the homes of patients who were growing marijuana for their own use. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its opinion before the current session ends later this month.The war on drugs, whose law enforcement, public education and other components cost an estimated $35 billion a year, has come under fire lately not only from groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance, which favors a heavier emphasis on treatment and prevention, but also from some conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.In a March assessment of the war on drugs, the institute reported that the number of drug offenders in jail has ballooned tenfold since 1980 with little evidence that the tactic has led to markedly less drug use in the general population."Despite this massive investment of tax dollars and government authority, the United States still has the worst drug problem among Western nations," the study concludes.The study also questioned the efficacy of pursuing marijuana users, a pursuit that has grown dramatically as a proportion of the war on drugs in the last decade.Between 1990 and 2002, the number of drug arrests rose from about 1.1 million to more than 1.5 million, with 80 percent of that increase coming from marijuana arrests, according to a recent report by The Sentencing Project, which examined FBI data to draw its conclusion that the war on drugs has increasingly turned into a campaign against just one drug--marijuana.Murray, of the anti-drug office, criticized the report for "data-slicing" by choosing as its starting point a period when the nation was battling an epidemic of crack cocaine and when cocaine arrests were abnormally high."What appears to be a policy choice is in fact a natural response by law enforcement to a change in use patterns," he said.Extent of Use CitedDespite longstanding concerns about the addictive power of heroin and cocaine and growing worries about methamphetamine, which is often manufactured in household labs, a spokesman for the drug policy office said the government's emphasis on marijuana is justified by its status as the most widely used drug among minors."If you are trying to get useful information into parents' hands, this is the more educative way to go," said spokesman Tom Riley.But Mitch Earleywine, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, believes that the campaign overstates the dangers of marijuana and runs the risk of backfiring among teenagers, who are already skeptical of adults."My big worry is that if you tell a 14-year-old that if you smoke pot, you're going to become psychotic, and then he tries it and nothing happens, you lose credibility," said Earleywine, author of "Understanding Marijuana." "So when you tell him that using meth will make your brain smaller, which it absolutely will, he'll think, `You lied to me about the marijuana, so I think I'm going to smoke this meth.'"Complete Title: Targeting Marijuana Saps Anti-Drug Effort, Critics SaySource: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author: Stevenson Swanson, Tribune National CorrespondentPublished: June 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 Chicago Tribune CompanyContact: ctc-TribLetter Tribune.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Sites:Marijuana Policy Project Policy Alliance Raich v. Ashcroft News Miron Report High Cost of Prohibition Friedman: Legalize It! 

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Comment #24 posted by dongenero on June 06, 2005 at 07:42:52 PT
so nothing will change
So... people will go on using cannabis just as they have been and a certain percentage of those people, terminally ill or not, will be arrested, incarcarcerated, have their life and family ruined and their possessions robbed by our Government.Our Federal Government should be very proud of their "win".Brilliant!
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Comment #23 posted by Nick Thimmesch on June 06, 2005 at 07:42:02 PT:
Court Rules Against Pot for Sick People
The operative term here being:Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.Court Rules Against Pot for Sick PeopleBy GINA HOLLAND
The Associated Press
Monday, June 6, 2005; 10:31 AMWASHINGTON -- Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug.The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various illnesses.Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.The closely watched case was an appeal by the Bush administration in a case that it lost in late 2003. At issue was whether the prosecution of medical marijuana users under the federal Controlled Substances Act was constitutional.Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state's economic activity so long as it involves "interstate commerce" that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines.Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."California's medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 1996, allows people to grow, smoke or obtain marijuana for medical needs with a doctor's recommendation. Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state have laws similar to California.In those states, doctors generally can give written or oral recommendations on marijuana to patients with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses.In a dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that states should be allowed to set their own rules."The states' core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens," said O'Connor, who was joined by other states' rights advocates.The legal question presented a dilemma for the court's conservatives, who have pushed to broaden states' rights in recent years, invalidating federal laws dealing with gun possession near schools and violence against women on the grounds the activity was too local to justify federal intrusion.O'Connor said she would have opposed California's medical marijuana law if she was a voter or a legislator. But she said the court was overreaching to endorse "making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one's own home for one's own medicinal use."The case concerned two seriously ill California women, Angel Raich and Diane Monson. The two had sued then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, asking for a court order letting them smoke, grow or obtain marijuana without fear of arrest, home raids or other intrusion by federal authorities.Raich, an Oakland woman suffering from ailments including scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea, fatigue and pain, smokes marijuana every few hours. She said she was partly paralyzed until she started smoking pot. Monson, an accountant who lives near Oroville, Calif., has degenerative spine disease and grows her own marijuana plants in her backyard.
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Comment #22 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 07:34:38 PT
but it's not pureley for medical purposes
Even in the transcripts, Clement suggests an avenue for recourse in the face of such fraud, so this may be a boon . . . a great opening for an appeal:from: STEVENS: Do you think there could be 
any state of facts on which a judicial tribunal could 
disagree with the finding of Congress that there's no 
acceptable medical use? Say they had a -- say there was a 
judicial hearing on which they made a contrary finding. 
Would we have to ignore that? Would we have to follow the 
congressional finding or the judicial finding if that 
happened? MR. CLEMENT: Well, it depends on the exact 
hypothetical you have in mind. I think the -- the 
judicial finding that I think would be appropriate, and 
this Court would not have to ignore in any way, is a 
finding by the D.C. Circuit that, in a particular case 
where there's a rescheduling effort before the FDA, that 
the underlying judgement of the FDA refusing to reschedule 
is invalid, arbitrary, capricious. That's the way to go 
after the finding that marijuana is a Schedule I substance 
without a valid medical use in treatment. This is not a 
situation in -- and your hypothetical might respond to a 
different statute that raised a harder question, where 
Congress made such a medical finding, and then just left 
it there without any mechanism to adjust the finding for 
changing realities. But, here, Congress made it clear 
that a process remains open to reschedule marijuana in a 
way that gets it onto Schedule II or Schedule III. And I think it's wrong to assume that there's 
any inherent hostility to the substances at issue here. I 
mean, the FDA, for example, rescheduled Marinol from 
Schedule II to Schedule III in a way that had the effect 
of making it easier to prescribe and more available. But 
I think what's going on with the FDA is an effort to try 
to counterbalance the risk for abuse, the risk for 
diversion, with these other considerations of getting safe 
medicine -  available to patients . . .All use is medical, AND it's food, stupid.
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Comment #21 posted by OverwhelmSam on June 06, 2005 at 07:32:20 PT
Okay, Supreme Court Ruled
Those Bastards! Now it's time to take the fight to Congress. We should start by identifying the hard core zealots like Souder and Sensenbrenner in the House and Senate, find the dirt on them, support other candidates and hit themd hard in the 2006 election. let's let 'em know we're here. 
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 07:23:50 PT
It's Time To Change The Federal Law
I haven't found an article yet but will post one when one becomes available.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 07:19:34 PT
More Info
Monday, June 06, 2005June 6th OpinionsThe Court issued opinions today in the following argued cases:No. 03-1454, Ashcroft v. Raich, reversed 6-3, per Justice Stevens.No. 128 Orig., Alaska v. United States. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, upholding the Special Master's recommendation in favor of the federal government.No. 03-1388, Spector v. Norweigian Cruise Line Ltd. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion.Court upholds government on medical marijuana
 The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Monday that Congress had the authority to make it a crime to grow and use marijuana purely for personal medical purposes when recommended by a doctor. In an opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court overturned a Ninth Circuit ruling that the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 exceeded Congress' Commerce Clause power.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on June 06, 2005 at 07:15:35 PT
We Lost Raich!
We Lost!
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Comment #17 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 05:56:16 PT
analogy suggestion
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Congress' and the Executive branch's clinging to outdated and illogical classification system more like a drowning human clinging to a lead weight in cold ocean water?
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on June 06, 2005 at 05:29:08 PT
Graffiti from the 1960's
"Give me librium or give me meth."This unpatriotic corruption of Patrick Henry's famous quote, "Give me liberty or give me death!," is doubly troubling to conservatives. On one hand, it seems to insult the memory of the early patriots and to trivialize the brave sacrifices of every soldier since the Declaration of Independence.On the other hand, it seems to promote indiscriminate drug use. This is the immature kind of thought, speech and behavior that stampeded Congress into passing the draconian Controlled Substances Act with its political and unscientific classifications (schedules 1 through 5). Much has been learned about the effects, both beneficial and detrimental, of many of these so-called "Controlled Substances" since 1970. Yet, Congress and the Executive have stubbornly clung to this outdated and illogical classification system, like a drowning human clinging to a life preserver in cold ocean water: some in Congress and the Executive seem to think that to re-examine this legislative monstrosity would lead to the very downfall of Western Civilization itself.The time of open debate and policy change is indeed upon us. We can ill afford to deny the benefits of some of these useful medicines, like cannabis. We can ill afford the social disruption, political corruption, financial burden, suppression of agriculture, and stunting of national vision that accompany the so-called "War on Drugs"!Declaration of Independence
"... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ..."When did liberty get such a bad name? "lib·er·ty "Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French liberté, from Latin libertat-, libertas, from liber free -- more at LIBERAL"1 : the quality or state of being free: a : the power to do as one pleases b : freedom from physical restraint c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e : the power of choice"...synonym see FREEDOM
- at liberty 1 : FREE 2 : at leisure : UNOCCUPIED""lib·er·ate "Etymology: Latin liberatus, past participle of liberare, from liber"1 : to set at liberty : FREE; specifically : to free (as a country) from domination by a foreign power"...synonym see FREE
- lib·er·a·tor""lib·er·al "Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lEodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free"1 a : of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts  b archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth
2 a : marked by generosity : OPENHANDED  b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way  c : AMPLE, FULL
3 obsolete : lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS
4 : not literal or strict : LOOSE 
5 : BROAD-MINDED; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
6 a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism b capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives"...synonyms LIBERAL, GENEROUS, BOUNTIFUL, MUNIFICENT mean giving or given freely and unstintingly. LIBERAL suggests openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given . GENEROUS stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift . BOUNTIFUL suggests lavish, unremitting giving or providing . MUNIFICENT suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords or princes ."
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!
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Comment #15 posted by mayan on June 06, 2005 at 04:41:47 PT
On The Contrary
"A growing body of evidence now demonstrates that smoking marijuana can increase the risk of serious mental health problems," said Walters, whose official title is director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.Sorry, Johnny Pee. Your credibility is up in smoke...Chemicals in Cannabis may help mentally ill:
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Comment #14 posted by jose melendez on June 06, 2005 at 02:11:14 PT
Now that you've mentioned elephant rampages, the underlying causes of school shootings and angry young urban urban males become clear. Since "Justice" is corrupted by false propaganda promoted by the same source as their paychecks and pensions, we'll be needing to fight regardless of the Raich ruling.Propaganda gets catapulted by repetition, as someone recently said . . . - - -What's the difference between the two links below?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 22:18:10 PT
I think I'm ready. I wasn't ready when Kerry lost but I won't ever get my hopes up that high again. I understand politics and how they work now better then ever before. I would love to be pleasantly surprised and I might even cry if we lose but I don't believe that 10 years of showing society that medicinal cannabis in the whole plant form is good medicine can be cast aside. 
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Comment #12 posted by Taylor121 on June 05, 2005 at 22:07:18 PT

Just be Ready for the Feds Winning
and the propoganda will be spilled out everywhere with the anti drug agencies saying this reaffirms that cannabis is not a medicine blah blah blahIt will be up to us to redouble our efforts!
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 21:12:56 PT

Just a Comment
Tomorrow might be the day we will get the ruling on Angel's case. I am anxious, worried but still have a little hope left. We'll see soon one way or the other. If we win it will be such good news for state's rights and if we lose we will know where we stand. We watched a program tonight about elephants and how they have been killing people. The program was to try to figure out why elephants have been turning on people. The relative points to cannabis reform are this. We have pushed the elephants by culling adults and the young didn't have guidance. They were suffering from a form of PTSD. We are being pushed and told how to be or not to be and it's becoming harder to take. The Justices can use wisdom and make a very large part of society happy and hopeful or they can keep pushing and who knows if we will turn into killer elephants too. If you pray say a little prayer that our Justices use wisdom and make the right choice.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on June 05, 2005 at 19:32:36 PT

"So why is it illegal?
Why is it illegal????It is a Biblical scale issue.It is spiritual.Cannabis is a threat to people like George Bush because cannabis helps expose truth.Cannabis helps expose truth in Biblical spiritual realms.Cannabis helps expose Bush as a DISOBEDIENT CHRISTIAN.Bush types can not afford to let the people have a simple plant that helps expose their level of dark evil.Cannabis can help disobedient Christians become obedient Christians.But Bush types absalutely can not have disobedient Christians becoming obedient Christians. Losing a base of disobedient Christians to support killing and war, must never get in the way of the dark evil bush men.Disobedient Christians that overcome evil and become obedient Christians are granted to eat of the tree of life. (-see Rev. 2:7)The leaves of the tree of life / cannabis is for the healing of the nations; (-see Rev. 22:1-5)and the last thing the Bush men want is to heal;HALIBURTIN IS NOT IN THE HEALING MARKET.The reasons cannabis is illegal are many and it certainly includes the corporate implications, but,CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS A BIBLICAL SPIRITUAL ISSUE.I think We have reason to believe Christ God Our Father is on Our side, on this issue and this issue matters to Him.With that in mind, We must pray for the Bush men; they need Us.We get a lot from cannabis before We are even granted to use it; when We are granted the realities expand.The Green Collar WorkerI don't notice people from around the world being angry at obedient Christians; which Jesus described in John 14-16 & 1 John as to "love one another".What I see is people from around the world being sick and tired of disobedient Christians.People are through with "Christians" that refuse to love one another.The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 19:15:34 PT

Off Topic: Oil Storm
This fictional, documentary type movie is currently on Direct TV on channel 248 on the FX Network. We just watched it and they are repeating it now and I thought others might like to check it out.***Oil Crisis Film Takes Market Fears to US Living RoomsSource: Reuters
 By Deepa BabingtonNEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) - Think $55 a barrel oil is bad? Wait till a hurricane knocks out a U.S. pipeline and a port at the same time that militants are killing hostages in Saudi Arabia, sending oil prices over $150 a barrel.That's the premise of "Oil Storm," a television docudrama set to premiere in the United States on Sunday. The movie uses exaggerated real life events and fictional characters to examine America's dependence on oil and the havoc a major disruption in supply could wreak on ordinary people.The movie depicts -- albeit in the extreme -- what energy markets have spent much of the past year fretting about: hurricanes that can rip apart oil infrastructure and war and turbulence in the Middle East, which have driven crude prices to record highs.Complete Article:

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Comment #8 posted by b4daylight on June 05, 2005 at 17:51:14 PT

So why is it illegal?We should protect our children...
at least that is what they say, but do not do.
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Comment #7 posted by mayan on June 05, 2005 at 17:39:36 PT

The Real Reason
If meth or crack could produce food,fuel,fiber,paper,plastics,building materials,medicine,etc. then the government would start an ad campign demonizing them. 
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Comment #6 posted by jose melendez on June 05, 2005 at 17:23:29 PT

Re: #5
Excuse me, I should have written:"To keep marijuana illegal because it may be associated with a fraction of the mental health issues known to be linked to taxed, deadly and defective drugs and delivery devices is specious, ridiculous and almost certainly unlawful."
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Comment #5 posted by jose melendez on June 05, 2005 at 17:03:08 PT

false claims carry severe penalties, Mr. Walters
The penalties for making false claims and receiving or authorizing federal funds are severe: - - -Consider first that the same zealots that use their federal jobs to threaten doctors with arrest for mentioning marijuana insist that cannabis has no medical utility, because doctors don't prescribe marijuana.Here is why they get away with that argument, for the moment:from: "A line has been crossed in terms of pharmaceutical company marketing," and . . ." . . . psychiatric residents who had presented data about the dangers of conflicts of interest would not have been able to attend without industry funding. Saying that a company marketing representative he knew had helped arrange a grant, he added: "It has paid for our residents to come here today. Now you all don't know that, but it's got to be said."Now compare the above to: " . . . when medical marijuana defendants are on trial in federal courts, judges do not allow them to mention medical marijuana, claiming that there is no such thing as medical marijuana because federal law says so. " - - -Now read, from: Several studies have found that schizophrenia patients who smoke need higher doses of antipsychotic medication. Quitting smoking may be especially difficult for people with schizophrenia, because the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may cause a temporary worsening of schizophrenia symptoms. However, smoking cessation strategies that include nicotine replacement methods may be effective. Doctors should carefully monitor medication dosage and response when patients with schizophrenia either start or stop smoking. - - -So. no medicine is smoked unless it is taxed and crammed with Polonium 210 and chopped stems sprayed with nicotine, eh?OK, now compare what we've learned to the False Claims Act: The False Claims Act imposes civil liability on any person or entity who submits a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the United States government. The False Claims Act also prohibits: * making a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid by the government; * conspiring to have a false or fraudulent claim paid by the government;
 * withholding property of the government with the intent to defraud the government or to willfully conceal it from the government; * Making or delivering a receipt for the government's property which is false or fraudulent; * buying property belonging to the government from someone who is not authorized to sell the property; or, * making a false statement to avoid or deceive an obligation to pay money or property to the government.There is precedent to sue for such fraud:see: - - -Ahem! Got fraud? from: Policing Doesn't Curtail Smoking and from: " . . . smoking rates have been reported to be over 80 percent among persons who have schizophrenia, 50 to 60 percent among persons with depression, 55 to 80 percent among those who have alcoholism, and 50 to 66 percent among those who have substance-abuse problems. One study estimated that smokers with coexisting psychiatric or substance-abuse disorders account for 44 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the US, a percentage that reflects both the high prevalence of smoking in connection with these conditions and the fact that patients with these disorders are very heavy smokers." - - -There's so much more, it is almost a surprise some young US Attorney has not already broken ranks and charged one of these drug warriors*. PERHAPS THEY FEAR REPRISAL FROM PEOPLE THEY KNOW WOULD PREFER TO KEEP MILKING THEIR MULTI BILLION DOLLAR CASH COW KNOWN . . .The argument that marijuana is illegal because it may be associated with a fraction of the mental health issues known to be linked to taxed, deadly and defective drugs and delivery devices is specious and demonstrably false. That the manufacturers of such poisons and genocidal products would have to compete in an open legal market with weeds that cost 1/175,000th of the price further provesDrug war IS crime.
* Rathbone debunked, exposed.
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Comment #4 posted by Taylor121 on June 05, 2005 at 14:45:36 PT

Lies; They Made a Conscious Shift to Marijuana
From NORML's Report:As an instrument of policy, law enforcement has gone from arresting 1.5% of marijuana users in 1992 to arresting 3% of users in 2002, an increase of 100%. The increase in the overall marijuana arrest rate indicates that the change is not due to population changes. Changes in all drug arrests do not explain increases in marijuana arrest rates. Increases in the arrest rate per 100,000 annual users suggest that increases in use do not explain increases in marijuana arrest rates. An alternative and likely explanation for increases in marijuana arrest rates is that policy makers and law enforcement decided to increase marijuana arrests.From Liberyindex: 
"The fallacy involves interpreting drug arrests as signals of changed drug policy, rather than as indicators of drug use. As drug use went down during the 1980s, arrests fell accordingly. When drug use climbed between 1992 and 1997, arrests followed suit. "The first thing that popped out at me is why did he choose 1992 to 1997. This is not the only years we have data for usage/arrests. He chose it because it is the clearest example that holds to his reasoning, but it does not hold up when you take all of the data into account (what a surprise, see a trend with this guy?Arrest statistics and usage surveys.) Try from the year 2000 to 2001. This was the sharpest increase in marijuana usage for the 18-25 age bracket, and all other age brackets increased as well. But when you look at the arrest statistics, they dropped from around 646,000 possession arrests to 641,000. With the across the board increase in usage and the largest increase in one of the largest usage brackets, Mr. Walters would hold that marijuana arrests should have dramatically increased that year. However, this is simply not the case. There are blaring inconsistencies with the idea Walters puts forward and it is clear that there was almost a conscious shift to marijuana over the years.

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 12:00:38 PT

Thank you. I can't think of one thing to add to what you said. You said it all.
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Comment #2 posted by phil_debowl on June 05, 2005 at 11:43:45 PT

i can relate
When i was growing up i was thrown into the psych ward of a general hospital at 13 for 4 months because i tried marijuana for the 1st time (didn't even feel the effects), and my ultra conservative christian parents were told by the school i was a drug addict and thats what they should do. I learned from psychologists there how it made men grow boobs, and sterile, among other horror stories.When i got out and started actually relating to people that had smoked it and realized they weren't affected, did research and really couldn't find one case of anything bad anyone said, i didn't know what to believe.I think if people had just been honest with me at that stage, i probably wouldn't have gone on to try everything from meth, to heroin, to huffing freon. I didn't know what to believe about anything, and figured everything i was told was a fabrication of the truth, and i would just find out for myself.I did go through some stages of heavy hard drug use, thank goodness it didn't have lasting effect on my life, and i was able to realize what was happening to me, and was able to get away from all of that. I'm really thankful now that i work with the homeless populations, and see how some peoples lives are just destroyed. I think that they're life situations have more to do with their addictions than the drugs, but the drugs make it next to impossible for them to deal with their life situations in a healthy way, so that's all they are left with.Anyway, thaks for listening to my speel :). I guess what i'm getting at, is things would be so much easier (in every aspect of life and the world), if honesty employed rather than scare tactics, and bs.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 05, 2005 at 10:31:30 PT

Chicago Tribune
This is so true.`You lied to me about the marijuana, so I think I'm going to smoke this meth.'"
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