Pot, Truth and The DEA

Pot, Truth and The DEA
Posted by CN Staff on October 03, 2006 at 10:24:29 PT
By Paul Danish
Source: Colorado Daily
Colorado -- Colorado will be voting on whether to legalize possession of marijuana this November, and the Drug Enforcement Administration is not amused.When Safer Colorado, the group sponsoring a statewide ballot initiative to legalize the possession of small quantities of pot (up to one ounce) for personal use, turned in petitions with 129,000 signatures last month - twice as many as necessary to make ballot - the DEA sprung, or more accurately slithered, into action.
According to a story in the Daily Camera, DEA agent Michael Moore sent out an e-mail to professional political consultants seeking a campaign manager for the drive to defeat the initiative. The e-mail, which was sent from a Department of Justice computer, claims that a group opposed to the initiative has $10,000 to launch the campaign, and that anyone interested should call him at his DEA office.Asked to explain why a federal law enforcement agency was involving itself in the lawmaking process of a state, Jeff Sweetin, the special agent in charge of the DEA's Denver office, said “my mantra has been, if Americans use the democratic process to make change, we're in favor of that. We're in favor of the democratic process. But as a caveat, we're in favor of it working on based on all the facts.”Huh?The Drug Enforcement Administration is the last place on earth that anyone should turn to for accurate information on marijuana. The DEA and its predecessor agencies like the Bureau of Narcotics have a 70-year record of brazenly lying about marijuana.Here are a few of the lies the agency and its predecessors have told since 1937:Marijuana causes people generally and Blacks and Hispanics in particular to become violent. In 1937, Harry Anslinger, the Director of the Bureau of Narcotics, testified before Congress that Marijuana “is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” The truth is that marijuana is one of the least violence-causing drugs in the history of mankind and there is no known difference as to how different races or ethnic groups respond to it. When it comes to inducing violence, alcohol is drug of choice.Marijuana is an addictive drug. Today the DEA has stopped claiming marijuana is physically addictive, but continues to claim it is psychologically addictive - whatever that means. The truth is marijuana is among the least addictive drugs known to man. Legal alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine are all more addictive. Moreover, marijuana is probably the single easiest recreational drug to stop using - far easier than alcohol or tobacco.Marijuana causes cancer. Marijuana smoke contains more cancer-causing tars than tobacco and users keep it in their lungs longer. Therefore the DEA surmised that marijuana use causes cancer. Bad surmise. The most recent study, conducted by Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA, who has spent a lifetime trying to prove that marijuana causes cancer but who is an honest scientist, found no link between marijuana use and cancer.Marijuana is a “gateway drug” that leads to harder drug use. No it isn't. The gateway drugs are alcohol and tobacco. However - and this is important - illegal marijuana use is the principal gateway to illegal drug use. The way to close that particular gate is to make pot use lawful.Today's marijuana is much stronger than the marijuana of the 1960s. It isn't, but even if it was so what? If it was, all it would mean is that people would smoke less of it to get stoned. Arguing that that the appearance of stronger pot is a reason that marijuana should be illegal is like arguing that the invention of scotch is a reason all alcohol beverages should be illegal.Legalizing marijuana would send the “wrong message” to our kids. This may be the most self-serving lie of all. Kids aren't stupid. They can tell when adults are lying and being hypocritical, and they quickly tune out the liars and hypocrites. It's no secret that most drug education programs in the schools are at best limited successes. What do you suppose that has something to do with the fact that the instructors have to say a lot of things about pot that they know aren't true - and that contaminates the rest of their message.Keeping pot illegal when it's clearly less harmful than the legal recreational drugs is the wrong message. And the chronic liars at the DEA are clearly the wrong messengers. The only role the agency should play in the Colorado marijuana initiative should be running corrective advertising for its past lies.Paul Danish is a former Boulder City Councilman, Boulder County Commissioner and the former editor of the Colorado Daily. “Danish Plan” covers issues of local, state, national and international government and politics. The views expressed are Danish's alone, and not necessarily those of the Colorado Daily management or staff.Source: Colorado Daily (UC Edu, CO)Author: Paul DanishPublished: September 29, 2006Copyright: 2006 Colorado DailyContact: letters coloradodaily.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choice Colorado Adults Should Be Allowed To Choose DEA: Pot Law Would Strain Cops Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep Off Grass
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on October 04, 2006 at 01:13:09 PT
The Other Senseless War (in Canada)
Russell Barth on Conservative Cuts to medical marijuana
Russell Barth, an advocate of medical cannabis and Medical Marijuana Access Regulation exemptee (Canadian license holder), reacts to Conservative government funding cuts to medical cannabis research on CTV's Focus (September 26, 2006), posted on YouTube on October 3, 2006, 4:13 minutes. 
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Comment #19 posted by BGreen on October 03, 2006 at 22:09:47 PT
History is speaking quite loudly right now
By the time you've waged a senseless war for three generations there's already a historical perspective to examine.The problem is not with the history but with those who choose not to see the obvious.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 21:37:02 PT
That makes sense. It's all very sad. Someday history will show that this war against marijuana was a total failure. Heaven knows when that might happen but I believe it will.
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Comment #17 posted by BGreen on October 03, 2006 at 21:28:37 PT
Where do they get the money?
They steal it from all of the people after they arrest them for cannabis.Most cannabis users are employed and are cash cows for the drug warriors to milk.Most hard drug users and full-blown alcoholics have nothing left to take so they don't make attractive targets.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 21:20:27 PT
Where do they get all this money to chase marijuana? I thought Republicans were suppose to be conservative about spending money but it isn't that way at all.
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Comment #15 posted by BGreen on October 03, 2006 at 21:03:19 PT
One mouth tells two stories
They tell us that they don't make cannabis a top priority and therefore there's no need to remove the laws from the books, then we find out that arrests and seizures are at a record high.Hmmm, we have the hyperbole of the drug warriors vs. the documented facts. We have the words of the drug warriors vs. their documented actions ... which should we believe?When the words of the public employees are crafted in order to cover up their documented actions, then it's time to do some house cleaning and throw out the lying rubbish.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 20:11:56 PT
Reason Behind Record Pot Seizures A Mystery
October 3, 2006(CBS 5) More marijuana has been seized in raids around the state so far this year than all of last year combined. And it's not over yet."We're expecting to be looking for growers and eradicating them all the way through November and possibly into December," said Serg Palanov of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.Video and Article:
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 19:02:52 PT
Feds Raid Eight Medical Marijuana Locations
October 3, 2006SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -- Federal authorities raided eight different Bay Area locations today associated with growing, prescribing and dispensing medical marijuana, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Drug enforcement agents and federal police seized 12,743 plants, more than $125,000 in cash, cars, computers and manicured marijuana from at least eight locations, five in San Francisco and three in Oakland, all associated with New Remedies Cooperative and Potent Employment Solutions. Sparky Rose, the executive director of the organizations, was one of 15 people arrested. All are expected to be arraigned Wednesday in federal court. The raids were a collaborated effort by at least three different federal agencies. The sheriff's offices of both Mendocino and Santa Clara counties also helped in the investigation, which culminated in the raid of dispensaries, grow sites, at least one personal residence, administrative offices and a storage area. At 1760 Mission St., federal police and drug enforcement agents boxed up marijuana and hashish inside a medical-marijuana dispensary that also served as a grow site. The raid started at noon and went on for an hour as federal agents used a sledgehammer to pound open two automated teller machines inside the front office. U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan was at the scene but left around 12:30 p.m. DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier Pena said at the time that the raid was part of a "large-scale trafficking" operation and part of an ongoing investigation. Outside, at least 20 protesters marched with colorful signs and chanted, "DEA, go away" and "patients rights." Shona Gochenaur, executive director of Axis of Love San Francisco, said several of the people arrested were patients. "This is despicable and atrocious," Gochenaur said. "I saw them take out an elderly man who was shaking." Three San Francisco police officers and a sergeant were at the scene of the Mission Street raid to provide a "safety zone" for the federal agents. Several blocks away in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, another operation was also underway at 790 Tennessee St. Federal agents were inside the warehouse until at least 2 p.m. Also in Oakland at least two people were taken away in handcuffs from an administrative office located at 1710 Franklin, According to Dolphin, who also said all three locations were affiliated with New Remedies, which was formerly known as Compassionate Caregivers. DEA spokeswoman Casey McEnry said she did not know of any patients under arrest. She also said the search warrants are sealed and she could not release any more information on specific locations targeted. Javier Pena, who directed the raid, said the people arrested today are nothing but drug dealers, in the business to make money. "Federal drug laws prohibit the cultivation and sale of marijuana." Pena said in a statement. "Anyone who breaks these laws to run a lucrative drug trade, buy fancy cars, boost their bank accounts, and exploit vulnerable citizens is not compassionate, they're criminal."Copyright: MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 16:42:57 PT
SFC: 6 Arrested in S.F. Pot Club Crackdown
By Demian Bulwa, Jaxon Van Derbeken and Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff WritersTuesday, October 3, 2006 
 SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal drug agents raided three Bay Area buildings connected to the same medical marijuana club today and arrested at least six people, advocates for the clubs said. Drug Enforcement Administration officials would not confirm details of the raids or arrests, citing a sealed search warrant. A marijuana club in San Francisco's Mission District was raided by federal drug enforcement officials around 10:30 a.m., according to protesters outside the building this afternoon. The building, at 1760 Mission St., is listed as a business called New Remedies, but there is no sign on the single-story brick building. Federal agents also searched a warehouse about 2 1/2 miles away and arrested at least four people there. Medical marijuana advocate William Dolphin said the warehouse, located at 790 Tennessee St., was a growing facility for New Remedies, which also has been known as Mission Compassionate Caregivers. Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #11 posted by global_warming on October 03, 2006 at 15:56:23 PT
re: I Didn't Know
Thats Ok, "we are here and today is "our" tomorrows,We can "change" toward a "Safer" and Better way,
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 15:47:53 PT
charmed quark 
I didn't know there was activity outside of California with issues like this. I believe that WAMM would be an excellent model for other cities. It's non profit and it seems to be working or at least I think it is.
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Comment #9 posted by global_warming on October 03, 2006 at 15:35:47 PT
They are sure busy in SF
The war on terrorism is not enough, the government has to be busy closing down dispensaries of the finest natural medicine that can heal this planet.I wonder how the rich and powerful live, knowing that with each breath they steal from this planet, there is some joe-blow that is denied a college education, denied a chance to contribute to our society, the time is coming, even the those un-godly will come to the table, and the Eternal Night demands, your answer.
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Comment #8 posted by charmed quark on October 03, 2006 at 15:20:47 PT
Gray areas
FoM - these raids do matter outside of California. Many states are looking at medical marijuana. Every time the DEA does a raid like this, I hear my local politicians says we shouldn't set up a compassion system because it will bring the Feds down on us. I'm pretty sure this is exactly why the DEA is doing these raids - to remind other states not to follow California's example.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 14:40:35 PT
Feds Raid San Francisco Marijuana Dispensary
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 14:20:35 PT
News Article from Bay City News Service
Computers, Boxes Labeled `MJ' Seized in S.F. Pot Clinic Raid***Bay City News ServiceOctober 3, 2006San Francisco, CA -- Federal police and drug enforcement agents loaded into a van computers, printers and boxes labeled ``MJ & Hash'' around 1 p.m. today after raiding a medical cannabis dispensary in San Francisco's Mission District.According to a federal agent who did not give his name, but who drove away with U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan, the raid was part of a ``large-scale trafficking'' operation and also part of an ongoing investigation.Kevin Reed, the owner of the now-defunct Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary and who was at the raid, said that several patients were lined up and taken away in handcuffs.``At least half of the dispensaries in San Francisco are closing down because of (this) raid,'' he said.At least 20 protesters and members of the community stood outside and chanted ``DEA, go away!'' and ``Patients rights!'' on the street outside Mission Caregivers, at 1756 Mission St.San Francisco police officers stood outside the door to the dispensary to create a ``safety zone'' for the federal agents.Copyright: 2006 by Bay City News, Inc.
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on October 03, 2006 at 13:00:27 PT
darn keyboard
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on October 03, 2006 at 12:58:36 PT
presciption medications, the real killers
Haldol, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft are dangerous mind-altering substances. They just happen to be 'legal.' The FDA has approved them all.Andrea Yates was using them all. Vioxx, Celebrex are proven killers.Smoke cannabis. Its efficacy and safety are proof positive that it does provide real relief. Thousands of years of history of use prove its legitimacy. We don't need no stinking lies.
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Comment #3 posted by lombar on October 03, 2006 at 12:10:27 PT
No such thing, a prohibian contrivance
"Marijuana is a “gateway drug” that leads to harder drug use. No it isn't. The gateway drugs are alcohol and tobacco. However - and this is important - illegal marijuana use is the principal gateway to illegal drug use. The way to close that particular gate is to make pot use lawful."
Mothers milk is the gateway to all manner of criminal behavior. There is no 'gateway' but there is a cell door. Drug laws are the 'gateway' to prison, lying authorities, loss of civil rights... the notion of a 'gateway' is a poor attempt at trying to create a causal relationship where none exists. It creates the image that one passes thru a portal, presumably to hell in their minds.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 03, 2006 at 11:47:12 PT
Welcome to CNews. I personally don't read about the busts anymore. That really is a gray area for most people outside California.
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Comment #1 posted by petes_couch on October 03, 2006 at 11:42:41 PT
Yet ANOTHER dispensary bites the dust
Heres a story people should read about, yet ANOTHER DEA romp. I'm surprised it hasn't been covered, the central valley is a red spot in a blue state is probably why. Funny how you don't read about this kind of crap going on in the Bay Area (SF, Oakland, etc). 
'Good people who…need it' protest Rx pot arrests
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