Inside Holland's 'Half Baked' Pot Policy

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  Inside Holland's 'Half Baked' Pot Policy

Posted by CN Staff on July 14, 2009 at 04:10:29 PT
By Brian Montopoli 
Source: CBS News  

CBS --  When it comes to the debate over legalizing marijuana, even the president of the United States has a hard time keeping a straight face.After legalization questions got high ratings in an online town hall in March, Mr. Obama couldn't suppress a grin and a joke about what the popularity of the topic "says about the online audience." To the disappointment, if not the surprise, of marijuana advocates, he went on to say that he doesn't think legalizing and taxing marijuana "is a good strategy to grow our economy."
Yet there are many Americans - and public officials - who are taking the issue more seriously. In a CBS News poll released Monday, 41 percent of Americans said they favor marijuana legalization. Other polls put that figure as high as 52 percent.Meanwhile, Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul co-authored a bill to end federal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot. Sen. Jim Webb has put forth legislation to create a commission examining drug policy and problems in the criminal justice system.In California, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced a bill to legalize recreational use of the drug in order to generate desperately-needed tax revenue - and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he is open to a debate over doing just that.These are significant steps for American politicians, who have long been loath to take on drug legalization for fear of being labeled soft on crime. But they mark little more than an early effort to prompt discussion around the issue.For a more substantive look at how politicians are grappling with decriminalization, one must cross the Atlantic and take a look at Holland, where casual marijuana use has been de facto legal since 1976. Where Pot Is Both Legal And Illegal:Despite what the typical backpack-toting college student might think, pot exists in something of a legal netherworld even in Amsterdam. While coffee shops in some areas of the country can sell marijuana without risk of punishment, proprietors cannot legally obtain the product for sale. And possession and production are technically misdemeanors that can prompt a fine."The Dutch model is a little half baked," quips Tim Boekhout van Solinge, a drug policy expert at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. "The supply side is still illegal, the production is illegal."Experts on both sides of the issue lament the ambiguity of marijuana policy not just in Holland but also in places like California, where there are not clear rules about the distribution of medical marijuana.Dutch drug policy is grounded in the separation of soft drugs like marijuana from harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. "The policy has evolved slowly over time," said Craig Reinerman, a sociology professor and drug policy expect at the University of California Santa Cruz. "At first they had a national commission, much like the Nixon administration had. And their national commission said, 'look, all drugs have risks, even legal ones. Some are acceptable, and some are just too high.'"Because history suggested people would use marijuana regardless of the limits imposed by the government, the Dutch tried to manage use as part of an attempt to keep transactions as safe as possible. (They have a similar philosophy when it comes to prostitution).Dutch law enforcement will not go after coffee shops that sell small amounts of marijuana (up to five grams) to people over the age of 18, though the coffee shops can only operate if the local municipality allows it. The coffee shops can only keep 500 grams of marijuana onsite at any one time, can't advertize, can't sell alcohol or hard drugs and can be shut down if they become a nuisance to the neighborhood. Customers are permitted to consume the drug on the premises or at their home.WATCH: Dutch Doctor Frederick Polak talks to about the relationship between repression and use.URL: An American cannabis tour guide talks to about drug tourism in Amsterdam.URL: addition, if not for international treaties designed to restrict supply, the Dutch may well have crafted a policy in which the supply side is (at the very least) de facto legal as well, according to Boekhout van Solinge. In the current system the state can only generate tax revenue indirectly, via the incomes of those who run the coffee shops. And many proprietors have little choice but to engage in somewhat shadowy transactions in order to secure the product."The fact that production and supply are still left in the underground certainly creates some problems," said Bruce Mirken at the Marijuana Policy Project.Over the years, Dutch policy has prompted serious grousing from neighbors. In the 1990s, French president Jacques Chirac suggested the country's position was weakening Europe-wide efforts to combat drug use. One of his allies in the legislature went so far as to dub Holland a "narco-state." Holland has long fought illegal drug trafficking, yet remains a significant producer of a number of drugs and a key entry point for narcotics into Europe.Yet as defenders of the Dutch policy are all too happy to point out, the Dutch actually smoke less pot than many of their neighbors - the French included. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 22.6 percent of Dutch citizens between ages 15 and 64 reported having used cannabis in their lifetime. In France, the percentage in that age group who reported using the drug was nearly four points higher - 26.2 percent.Among Spaniards the lifetime usage rate for this age group is even higher - 28.6 percent - while among Italians it sits at a relatively robust 29.3 percent. In the United Kingdom, where the sample included 16 through 59 year olds, the percentage who said they had used cannabis was above 30 percent.For the record, the country with the most liberal drug policy in Europe is actually Portugal - which happens to have the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in the entire European Union. (But that's a different story.)In the United States, meanwhile, more than 40 percent of people 18 and older have used marijuana or hashish. America boasts one of the highest pot usage rates in the world."If you look at the data, it really dispels any notion that allowing adults to possess marijuana creates a nation of potheads," Mirken said. Lessons From The Dutch: Dutch public opinion over the nation's drug policy has long been split, with polls usually suggesting that a slim majority favor the coffee shop-based system. In recent years, however, the country has moved to become more restrictive, thanks in large part to resentment over the impact of so-called "drug tourists," whose partying has long angered locals.In 2007, the Netherlands banned the use of psychedelic mushrooms (which had essentially been treated as soft drugs) after a drug-related suicide, and several municipalities have moved to close coffee shops to discourage crime and drug tourism. The U.S. Department Of Justice says that 81 percent of the country's municipalities did not allow coffee shops as far back as 2000. One Dutch professor predicts there will be no more coffee shops in Holland by 2010, thanks in large part to anger over drug tourists.One of the key debates around pot policy in Holland, the U.S. and elsewhere centers on the question of destigmatization - whether or not giving the drug the imprimatur of legality will drive up usage rates. Joel W. Hay, a Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy at the University Of Southern California and an opponent of marijuana legalization, says yes."A lot of people are now getting the clear social signal that pot is not that great because it is illegal" in the United States, he said. "It certainly doesn't deter use, but it probably deters a substantial amount, and that's for the good."But Reinerman argues that destigmatization is a "tricky question.""I interviewed a Dutch parent once and asked about this, and he told me, 'my son will smoke a little pot now and then, but mostly it doesn't occur to him to do that. There's no allure of the forbidden fruit,'" he said.Reinerman allows that "in the first six months or a year or two [after legalization] there might be an increase" in marijuana use, but says the destigmitization that would come with legalization ultimately works both ways. "Availability is not destiny," he argues.Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland professor of criminology, believes that any increase in usage rates if marijuana were decriminalized would be modest. He points to the fact that Dutch marijuana users tend to give up the drug at the same time as Americans do - in their 20s."I'm reasonably confident that if we followed the Dutch model we would not see a big uptick in usage," he said.That could depend, however, on whether the United States could successfully follow one aspect of the Dutch policy that both legalization advocates and opponents laud: its ban on advertising. Hay notes that under a legalization policy business interests would be incentivized to try to drive up demand.In the United States, he argues, a policy that bans advertising on legal marijuana would raise questions of Constitutionality. (Congress and the Obama administration did recently pass legislation more strictly limiting tobacco advertising.)"I think it would be tightly contested whether restrictions could be put on it, because the adverse health effects are not that great," said Reuter. "Potential producers could bring suit."These sorts of complex questions are being seriously considered in some American circles for the first time since the 1970s. The federal government, however, is not exactly joining the conversation. Though new drug czar Gil Kerlikowske has been lauded for his emphasis of treatment over incarceration - and for abandoning the phrase "war on drugs" - he recently told Rolling Stone that legalization is not something worth considering "under any circumstances."Hay believes there is simply no good reason to abandon the status quo and emulate the Dutch policy, let alone move to full legalization."We have a philosophical question if potheads should be able to [use marijuana], and they sort of already can," he said. "It's not really that illegal right now. And I think having society saying this is something you shouldn't do, but we don't throw the book at you when you do it, is sort of a socially optimal policy."But while medical marijuana use has been decriminalized in some areas of the country, police still arrest between 750,000 and 900,000 people per year on marijuana-related charges, the vast majority for possession."It just should be accepted that cannabis is consumed by hundreds of millions of people around the world," said Boekhout van Solinge. "When governments arrest people, it hasn't stopped people from consuming cannabis."Special Report: Marijuana Nation: The New War Over Weed: CBS News (US Web)Author: Brian MontopoliPublished: July 14, 2009Copyright: 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.Website: Articles: America's Love-Hate History with Pot Stakes: A Call To Legalize Marijuana

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Comment #37 posted by Hope on July 18, 2009 at 14:51:14 PT
C-News, my dear Bud Green...
Spirits and hearts and minds of humans conversing and connecting.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on July 18, 2009 at 14:25:17 PT
Patch Adams movie...
I played the whole thing. The first movie length thing I ever watched on the Internet. I hope I don't get FAPPED or something.An absolutely astoundingly amazing man. Still... and I feel a little guilty about this, I don't like clowns... even wonderful, benevolent clowns. As a clown... he was still sometimes pretty scary and me. Obviously it's powerfully helpful though. "A merry heart is good medicine". If I'd never seen It or any other macabre clown movies...Thanks Steven King!But Patch Adams is no doubt a very extraordinary man. How blessed you are to have known him, Museman. And thanks again for your story about him.I'm enjoying your posts from Hempfest, too. Have fun! Be refreshed and renewed!
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on July 18, 2009 at 13:12:07 PT
You aren't alone. We do care. 
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Comment #34 posted by BGreen on July 18, 2009 at 12:07:20 PT
Thanks everyone!
I've been really busy so I haven't taken the time to respond, but I appreciate the stories and sympathy. One of the best things ever about CNews is that I NEVER feel alone. I have some true kindred spirits here.Bless all of you!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on July 18, 2009 at 11:17:24 PT
You're welcome. I watched about 20 minutes of the video I posted. He helped a girl in a wheel chair and it was really something.
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Comment #32 posted by museman on July 18, 2009 at 10:15:21 PT
Thanks for the links.I went there, and realized that that 'enclave' I was talking about was, and still is "The Gesundheidt Institute."In one of those pictures there is a buildng in the background. It doesn't seem to have changed much in all these years, that was the kitchen in 1980, and my camp was about 20 feet to the right off the picture.I was glad to see that Patches kept going. I had to consider the possibility that perhaps our little incident with the original members of the enclave, might have done something to change their attitudes, and perhaps they grew some for it.I'm going to call my friend (the one who was with me) when I get home, and we're going to look him up.FREE CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE
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Comment #31 posted by FoM on July 17, 2009 at 15:06:05 PT
I'm sorry how they treated your Mother. I wish we had medical coverage like you mentioned in Brazil. I find it hard to believe the amount of complaining about health care we are seeing from the right. I see such money oriented people upset. Someday everyone will see some one abused and or neglected by our system and I hope we in America wake up and start to feel instead of think of everything in money terms.
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on July 17, 2009 at 14:50:27 PT
Thank you. I went and found a video and a couple links about Patch Adams. Conferenza con Patch Adams
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on July 17, 2009 at 14:28:41 PT
Your story is even worse, except the part about your good doctor, but I'm glad you shared your experience with us. People need to know, or be reminded sometimes, we have to look out after each other... especially our more helpless young and the elderly, and the sick or injured.I hope your mother is recovering well.
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on July 17, 2009 at 14:22:59 PT
Wow... Museman...
That's such a cool story!Thank you for sharing that with us. I could just see it happening. That so sounds like the stories of Patch Adams that he "fined" them. I'm sorry you guys had to go through that and the hateful arrogance and sheer stupidity of some people... but I'm glad to have heard that story... well parts of it. It's a sad story, really... but I'm glad to have heard it. Thank you.
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Comment #27 posted by duzt on July 17, 2009 at 11:33:22 PT
American doctors
I am fortunate to have an absolutely amazing doctor, was the head of the largest hospital in Reno, a great cardiologist and decided to get out because he couldn't stand the beaurocracy and decide to study all forms of homeopathic medicine. He will use conventional medicine if needed but prefers homeopathic. He charges $65 to see him and always spends at least 30 minutes with you. On the other hand, my mom got out of her car a couple of months ago and didn't put it in park and ended up running herself over. She broke her shoulder and collar bone and was pretty beat up. I left for the hospital 10 minutes after the ambulance left and was at the hospital 15 minutes before it got there somehow and drove normal. At the hospital the first doctor to see her (they put her in a hall next to a reception desk with people everywhere and she was clearly in shock) was very rude and seemed annoyed. She had some tape in her hair where they had braced her neck and the doctor grabbed it and just started angrily pulling and chunks of hair came out. I ended up shoving the doctor away and getting the tape out myself, I let them know that if anybody in that hospital treated her again with that type of disregard they had better plan on calling the police, because I they would need the hospital more than my mom. It's amazing how hospital emergency rooms treat people. Nobody is there because they want to be and they seem so angry every time I am in one. Our hospitals and medical care is horrible here, Brazil was great as far as medical care was concerned, this country really could learn from quite a few other countries examples, but being America, not much will change (for the better anyway).
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Comment #26 posted by museman on July 17, 2009 at 10:54:00 PT
I'd like to tell a story
about one of those 4 real doctors I met.His name, or as we all knew him, was 'Patch Adams' or affectionately known as 'Patches.'In the early days of the Rainbow, he was our Doctor. He helped set up the M.A.S.H. (later changed to C.A.L.M.) medical facility that helped deal with the many governmental attempts to contaminate our water and give us various diseases like salmonella and several forms of dysentery, as well as normal injuries, and even some on site minor surgeries. A baby or two might have been delivered as well.It was in 1980, in West Virginia that I and a good friend of mine crossed paths with Patches, and got to know him a bit, because we had been involved with MASH. After the gathering we were invited to his enclave (a kind of 'alternative medical commune') to rest up, hang out, and gather our resources for the long trek back across the country. They had several acres in Virginia, on the Shenandoa River, where a dozen or so young doctors and medical students lived, grew gardens (smoked pot) and had many sessions and an ongoing research and application of alternative medicine.We weren't the only ones to be invited, there were also some members of a hippy religious cult known as 'The Love Family,' notably 'Love Isreal' himself who, as elitists go, was the epitomy of decadence. (The Love Family disappeared because Love snorted up all their resources).Love got there first. The first thing that happened when we pulled in with our colorful 'hippy-van' was we were met by the security team who threatened to call the local authorities if we didn't leave. I was severely let down, having been excited to meet these 'new age' doctors that Patches had envited us to 'come see,' and i was all for turning around right here and getting on my way. My bro and best friend, however wasn't having it and he convinced us to camp outside the gate and wait for Patches to show up and clear things up.The next morning, security came back and threatened us some more, whereupon my adamant friend let them know that Patch had invited us, and they better get him on the phone. A few hours later they managed to contact Patches, and he told them to treat us like honored guests, so they begrudgingly opened the gate and let us in.So we got in, found a place to camp, and tried to socialize with the medical folks (Love was just 'too good' for us, so we didn't even bother with him and his slavering entourage, though the 'doctors' showed them much courtesy).From the moment we got in the gate, the individual 'in charge' began looking for excuses to kick us out. They shunned us, gave us many looks of disgust and condescention, and some went out of their way to make us as uncomfortable as possible. It was several days before Patches finally made it, and just in time. They had a council to decide 'what to do with' us, and they'd decided that we were just too ragged and poor for their liking, and managed to accuse us several times of thievery, intent to thieve, and any other character assasinations they could come up with. All of it of course unfounded, and untrue. They marched up to us in force -all of them- and threatened to forcebly throw us and 'all our shit' out on the road.We were packing up (while my friend was demonstraring his uncanny knack for making the pretentious uncomfortable with the truth) and they were all standing around 'making sure we didn't steal anything' when Patches arrived.My friends, if you ever wished to see arrogance and egotism cut down to its slithering components with wit, wisdom, intelligence, and just the right amount of righteous anger, Patch Adams demonstrated how it was done.He told us we could stay as long as we liked, and if the doctors didn't like it, they could leave. He 'fined' them for their bad behavior, and made them give the money to us as a gift for our services, and to help us on our journey. They begrudgingly apologized, and echoed his words.We stayed one more day, but even though Patch had cleared things up, they still would not let go of their 'better than thow' attitude, and before we got out of there we were accused one more time of stealing by the one I mentioned before.All this had absolutely nonthing to do with medicine perse, but everything to do with the nature and character of the kind of 'doctors' that the medical schools were turning out, which is a glaring example of what we are dealing with today. Those doctors had been personally recruited by one of the most real doctors of the age, to further such things as free clinics, and study alternative forms of medicine, and not one of them coulod get down from their elitist attitudes and just be human. That is no doubt why Patch eventually gave up and what could have been the beginnings of true holistic healthcare was destroyed by doctors with attitudes.That was the last time we heard from Patch, and he never showed up at a Gathering again (at least the ones I was at) and it wasn't until Robin Williams portrayed him in the movie by the same name "Patch Adams" that we knew what had happened to him.Its all true.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #25 posted by museman on July 17, 2009 at 09:37:03 PT
You are so right. There's no point in trying to find redeeming qualities in modern western medicine, except perhaps for surgeons, and even there there's a bit of gambling on the competency of the knife wielder.The fact that one only needs to have sufficient bank accounts, or social influence to obtain their 'doctorate' (and show up occasionally for their class, -the 'internship' is like the final breakdown in their humanity to get them ready for the job)- ought to be a flag going off in anyones consciousness that is truly concerned with health and real medicine.They are absolutely, at this point nothing more than salespersons and exclusive dispensories for big pharma.In all my life, I have known only 4 real doctors, and two of them couldn't practice legally because they questioned the AMAs basic philosophies.There are some good doctors out there, but heres a clue;If the doctor walks in with a calculator in his hand along with the chart, you can bet he/she is getting kick backs from pharma for prescribing and recommending certain 'drugs.'Like the 'compromise and capitulation' omnipresent in the political and economic processes that have so recently failed to almost biblical proportion, the 'practice' of western medicine is all about treating the symptom, scratching the surface, temporarily relieiving whatever pain and discomfort the symptoms have caused, but very little to no focus on the root causes that caused the symptoms.America has been dumbed down, in our schools, religions, and every other institution that recieves funding from the various agencies of the Status Quo. We are taught to seek outside of ourselves for the solutions to every problem, thereby setting up the system of 'authority' that is hand picked by the elite controllers of the status quo. So we have contrived sets of elite classes of people -like doctors and lawyers- who only have to uphold a modicum of appearance of doing their 'job.' They have the rules of play which only allows them to go so far in the real aspects of their so-called 'professions.' The motivations behind all of these social-economic classes, are all about materialism, and not about service, humanitarianism, or any kind of real effort ot make the world a better place then it was when we got to it. These motiviations, and the class seperations, create the fale sense of superiority, which in turn breeds contempt for all that is not of that same 'class', and in the case of the many medically needy, and especially our elders, leads to gross negligence and maltreatment.As the boomers age, they are going to overwhelm the current system, because there simply are not enough real doctors out there to actually treat them propery. They will be treated like welfare cases- (low class, undeserving, 'inferior') and many of us will simply pass before our time because of the need for the 'doctor's' golf, as a higher priority than our health and well being.Like all aspects of true liberty and freedom, one must first and foremost find the internal resource for their health, safety, and welfare, exhausting all natural, inherent faculties for obtaining them, before giving that power and authority to anyone else.All but the 4 doctors I met, had similar symptoms of the class disease; believing that they, by 'virtue' of their time spent in whatever medical 'learning' facility they obtain their wallpaper from, knew more about my body, and how it realy feels, than me. Because of that, several conditions that I went to the quacks looking for help, but was not even given credibility enough for them to actually investigate ("it's all in your head") have left me partially crippled for the rest of my life. And it wasn't until I found a REAL doctor who listened to me instead of their overinflated ego that I actually got any beneficial treatment.They (the active members of the Status Quo) do not want anyone to take initiative of any kind, it must all be 'controlled and regulated.' Wealth has served quite well to seperate the opportunities for liberty, health, and the pursuit of happiness -if you got money, you can afford to make the doctor actually work for you instead of their personal finances, -and of course if you have money, then you are worthy of their lofty attention, but if you don't, well get out your pen to sign the compromises, and state your 'agreement' to allow them to continue to rule our lives for the sake of their opulence and power.People better start realizing that no one in this world has any power or authority, fake or real, unless they give it to them, and in the case of health, which in my mind is also absolutely related to liberty, when one abnegates their own healing powers to some quack who just wants to suck your life force for their own benefit, they can hardly expect to be healed.If your doctor is a quack, and you can't find the means to heal yourself, the only solution is to find another doctor. You may have to look very hard, travel many miles, but with a modicum of faith, many minor and major miracles happen on a daily basis.There are many healers out there, constantly being berated and pooh-poohed by the medical establishment, because they don't want to lose business, why else would someone be busted for 'practicing medicine without a license'? Its really not about protecting the patient, its about protecting the 'docotors.' If the doctor is a quack, and every where you look in the 'accredited' places the quacking presides, a healer is all thats left.A docotor prescribes drugs, a healer shows you how to heal yourself.Good luck and good health to you and your mom Bgreen.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on July 17, 2009 at 07:33:59 PT
BGreen, Paint with light
It's hard. Very hard. I can certainly understand what's happening and happened in your situations.I've been sitting with my mother in the emergency room and doctor's offices more than usual recently.At eighty... mine's going to have to ease off the running and stuff. She bolted out of the house, running, early, early one morning, half awake and barefooted after her runaway chihuahua, stumbled and fell and hit her head and shoulder on the concrete drive. A huge goose egg on her forehead, two black eyes and a messed up shoulder were very frightening. She's in pain and looks like she's been on the losing end of a vicious bar fight... but, Im so thankful, she's alive and recovering.The doctor in the emergency room said about a quarter of the people he sees in the emergency room are suffering from injuries involving chasing after their pets.It does matter that we care so much, and rightly so,for them and about everything that happens to them. It matters hugely in the scheme of things.Your mothers are, and were, lucky and blessed to have such caring and attentive sons.
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Comment #23 posted by rchandar on July 17, 2009 at 06:02:39 PT:
Re post #19: I meant to say it's extremely UNlikely that the Dutch would change their policy either way. Sorry about that, guys.--rchandar
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Comment #22 posted by Paint with light on July 16, 2009 at 23:36:54 PT
My thoughts are with you and your mom.I looked after my mom from the time my dad died in 1990 until this January when she lost her battles with aging.She was very independent for all that time until the last five years, when she lost her ability to drive.I have sat there many times and watched rep after rep paying their visits.Sometimes it seems like they outnumber the patients.Luckily my mom got pretty good care from most people she came in contact with.Of course any time she was in the hospital I was there with her most of the time. In our case, I think that helped get her better care.A lot of times nurses are so overworked they simply give attention to those who most request it rather than those who most need it.Unlike your mom, my mom was only in severe pain when she developed shingles on the way home from having to spend 28 days to clear up an infection after an aoral biphemeral bypass.I wish her much comfort.I wish you all the best.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on July 16, 2009 at 11:27:22 PT
Who is the person to contact if your Mom has an emergency? I ask because sometimes children need to ask for test results etc. Stepping in and helping as our parents get older is a good thing to do.
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Comment #20 posted by BGreen on July 16, 2009 at 11:10:36 PT
Liver test
I don't know, FoM. Even when she has tests done she can't get anybody to call her back with the results. It really pisses me off but she keeps going back.I took her to the same doctor clinic today and this time three drug reps came and went before my mom even got called to go sit in a room to wait for the doctor and two more came and went before mom was finished.Her leg is just sprained and swollen so that is great news but FIVE drug reps in less than an hour and a half?Western medicine SUCKS! Those people are pill pushers and nothing more.My mom is limping and walking with a four-legged cane because of her injury, so when the nurse called her to go back to the room, I asked how far it was (down the hall) and then asked if they could get her a wheelchair."No, she'll be fine," was the terse reply given by the nurse.I was livid!That woman had NO CLUE as to the extent of mom's injury and she could have been doing damage with every step she took.How in the hell could she have known what was wrong even before my mom was examined?The doctor was at least smart enough to have her wheeled down to the x-ray. The nurse was a dumb ass.I went out and walked at least two miles trying to calm down.Four of the five drug reps were women. None were older than their thirties, none were even the slightest bit overweight and none of them had any difficulties getting in before the patients. I'm certain that prescriptions for whatever poisons they were hawking are already being written by the quacks calling themselves "doctors."I don't mind if that's what people want. If they want to go to quacks and take a lot of the newest and most expensive drugs then be my freakin' guest, but leave me and everybody else alone who doesn't want to play that game.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #19 posted by rchandar on July 16, 2009 at 08:40:17 PT:
Coffee Shops Will Always Be Open
In this article, some statements were about how they're having trouble with their policy, and how they're going to close the C-shops "by 2010."This won't happen. It won't happen, and it's not going to happen, and it just won't happen. Here's why:First off, gimme a god damn break. Just because Holland has coffeeshops doesn't mean the other countries don't grow and sell weed--illegally of course, but some of these government watchdogs could provide a more accurate sense by publishing reports on pot cultivation in France, UK, and Germany. I guarantee that their numbers will equal or succeed any large-scale growing in NL.Second, related to the first: they have weed, and the prices and quality aren't different. Why would they even bother going to Holland? Unless these are really Third Reich-type states (which they aren't), there won't be any great motivation for most of the burners to take the rail into Amsterdam. Most of the "drug tourists" are from the US, Canada, Latin America--NOT Europe.Third, the most recent recommendation was to "restrict sales to locals" and "provide legal means to produce local weed." The first statement has been tried; the second WILL NEVER HAPPEN. It is UNTHINKABLE that the current government woudl EVER go with a motion to legalize cultivation of cannabis. In other words, they have a back-door, gedoogbeleid policy, and it's extremely likely that they would change it, either in our favor or against it. This is the system we have, we won't change it because basically we're against change.Finally, don't read too much into the recent EP elections. True, the conservatives gained in most countries. HOWEVER, Obama is our president. Unless he completely fails to engineer recovery in the US, when the citizens go back to the polls to elect governments they will follow us, they will vote liberal in an attempt to duplicate whatever's happening here. If there's a good recovery here by next year, all the Europeans will want to sign on to it and make it happen for them.In any case--hell, even if they give Jan Pieter Balkenende a third term (I hope not!), the coffeeshops will stay, and remain open to all over 18s. Fly by, get high...--rchandar
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on July 16, 2009 at 07:02:31 PT
I just thought of something. Do they do a Liver test on your Mom?
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 16, 2009 at 06:59:04 PT
I don't understand why people have so much pain that are taking Vicodin. It seems to be that way.
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Comment #16 posted by BGreen on July 16, 2009 at 06:58:15 PT
Also, thanks for your concern, FoM
I forgot to say that.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #15 posted by BGreen on July 16, 2009 at 06:56:31 PT
I don't know either, FoM
She takes Vicodin because of her pain yet she's still always in pain.Go figure.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 16, 2009 at 06:32:53 PT
I'm really sorry about your Mom. I don't know what is so special about Vicodin but I have a couple family members that have really serious issues with that drug. 
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on July 16, 2009 at 06:21:18 PT
My mom on Vicodin
"Joel W. Hay, a Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy at the University Of Southern California and an opponent of marijuana legalization."In another article Mr. Hay is quoted as saying "Marijuana is a drug that clouds people's judgment ..."Well, Mr. Hay, I'd like you to meet my mom, a legal Vicodin addict.My mom is on a constant supply of this nasty, nasty drug. Not only is she poisoning herself with the acetaminophen, she's gone from a sharp, intelligent, functioning lady into an addled, scatterbrained, confused and unsteady invalid who is so f'd up on this narcotic sh!t that she routinely falls down and hurts herself.She fell yesterday morning and hurt her leg. I have to take her to the doctor about it today. The last time I took her to the doctor I sat there for an hour and a half with my poor drug-addled and yet still pain-ridden mom struggling to fill out the paperwork, trying to remember every illness and surgery she's ever had, in chronological order, with extreme frustration, while THREE pharmaceutical reps managing to see the doctor before my mom got to.My mom had neural pain problems due to a botched back surgery and damage to her neural sheaths. The surgeon was a QUACK, even to the point of denying my mom's pain, with the son of a bitch actually saying his surgery didn't cause any of her pain, he couldn't see any reason for her to be in pain and that he believed it was in her head.We know that Montel Williams uses medical cannabis for his neural sheath pain and I'm certain it could help my mom, too, but we'll never know because my mom will not break the law, even if it means turning stupid on copious amounts of Vicodin.The reason I posted this was not to disparage my mom. I'm really scared and worried about her.My posting this personal story is meant solely to discredit quacks like Joel W. Hay.Mr. Hay, cannabis may cloud my mind, but I can still see through the hypocritical smoke-screen presented by pharmaceutical cheerleaders and prison proponents like yourself and call you for what you are.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #12 posted by Paint with light on July 16, 2009 at 01:08:45 PT
I think this is the first time I've seen this word applied in this concept.Isn't destigmitization just another word for the truth?Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #11 posted by tintala on July 14, 2009 at 11:15:49 PT:

This is getting so old
What's only a little bit illegal? Something is either illegal or legal .. perhaps if cannabis is somewhat illegal we should allow passengers on flights to embibe before flying and have designated rooms for it, like alcohol and tobacco, seems like these substances are catered to.
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Comment #10 posted by HempWorld on July 14, 2009 at 10:38:37 PT

What the Hay!
This is one of the better articles I've read in a long time. No lies, and real statistics, Holland does have the lowest usage rate and the most liberal policy, coincidence? I don't think so. Yeah, bar Portugal, but I'm not buying their statistics.So the US has about double the usage rate of the Netherlands and still this does not convince Kerlikowske that the Dutch have a better policy. How sad! But then with his job description; paid to lie, what can you expect?The US under Obama will not/never legalize or decriminalize that much is now clear to me. The only legal use we have in the US of marijuana is medicinal. Not bad as long as the DEA butts out.
Legalize And Regulate All Drugs!
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on July 14, 2009 at 10:29:06 PT

Googled Hay
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on July 14, 2009 at 10:26:56 PT

I so agree Dongenero...
But someone... big pharm helped maybe?... has elevated him to some sort of "Expert" status.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on July 14, 2009 at 10:24:49 PT

Hay dude.
"Joel W. Hay, a Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy at the University Of Southern California and an opponent of marijuana legalization, says yes."Hay is mentioned in an article in March. is all about "ethics" and big pharmaceuticals... quote from above article. Hay is all about 'bringing the fruits of the pharmaceutical industry to the broadest spectrum possible of the world's citizens'...Ethically, of course.
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Comment #6 posted by museman on July 14, 2009 at 08:41:15 PT

well actually it is 'Hay' 
I thought it was a typo for "He""Hay believes there is simply no good reason to abandon the status" quo and emulate the Dutch policy, let alone move to full legalization.ABANDON THE STATUS QUOFREE CANNABIS FOR EVERYONELEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #5 posted by museman on July 14, 2009 at 08:36:48 PT

thanks G K
I got a new slogan;ABANDON THE STATUS QUO!I'll repeat that;ABANDON THE STATUS QUO!
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on July 14, 2009 at 08:29:08 PT

Joel W. Hay? His opinion is worth what?
Where did they find this fool?A group of masked men should take Joel, after kicking his door down, shooting his dog and roughing him up, then throw him in jail, let him contract an expensive attorney for the next year or two, seize his personal property and put it up for sale, take his job and damage his income earning potential, and then let him talk about what an optimal social policy we have.
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Comment #3 posted by RevRayGreen on July 14, 2009 at 07:18:24 PT

Half-Baked enough to close 8 Prisons in Holland
sounds like their policy is working to me.Here is a video from the MPP/Iowa with moi saying a few words from our recent conference in Bettendorf Iowa...
Medical Marijuana Forum Bettendorf IA 6/20/09
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Comment #2 posted by anunlikelyally on July 14, 2009 at 06:52:23 PT:

Copenhagen might be next!
They're kicking around a proposal in the city council right now to set up a similar system. 5 grams or less will be legal to carry, and coffee shops might enter the picture. It comes on the heels of increase violence over the hash trade that until recently was centralized in the "free city" of Christiana. If it proves to be a model that works, and we know it will, they will recommend that all of Denmark adopt the system. 
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on July 14, 2009 at 06:33:05 PT

Half MT, half full?
It is so that 50% of Americans have a "half baked" view of freedom!
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