by Lee, 12/31/2009, 9:17 AM

A few drug war items of note:

- Yesterday, KUOW’s The Conversation took on the topic of marijuana legalization. State Representative Roger Goodman was a guest, as well as State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Ethan Nadelmann from the Drug Policy Alliance, and Dave Rodriguez of the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas office. As for Goodman’s bill to legalize marijuana in Washington state, Jamie Pederson has also signed on as a co-sponsor.

- Steve Elliott looks into how willing media outlets are to distort scientific studies in order to paint a picture that marijuana is far more dangerous than it really is.

- I finished up indexing the second document dump from the Department of Corrections regarding their attempts to nullify the medical marijuana law for people on probation. I put together a thorough timeline from the roughly 1300 pages of released documents of what was being discussed and acted on within the DOC with regards to medical marijuana patients under their supervision and posted it here. I’ll likely be writing more about this again later, but this controversial court decision out of California really emphasizes how heated a battle this has become throughout every state where medical marijuana is now legal, and how frustrated many people within the criminal justice system are becoming when dealing with this shift away from the “tough on drugs” mentality. It’s forcing them to rethink the role they play in keeping us safe and to rethink the relationship between drugs and crime, which we’ve been getting wrong for as long as I’ve been alive.

- The Wall Street Journal writes about how ending prohibition is the only way to stop the violence in Mexico.

6 Responses to “Having the Conversation”

1. SJ spews:

An SJ thumb up for Lee

- Steve Elliott looks into how willing media outlets are to distort scientific studies in order to paint a picture that marijuana is far more dangerous than it really is.

If anybody cares, I would encourage them to read mr. Elliott’s piece.

He does a good job of showing how scientific research on marijuana can be misrepresented in the press. What the research actually shows is that marijuana does have effects. err ahhh?

There is already a LOT of evidence that this is true. Of course that is also true for coffee, Nyquil, sex and even exercise. Showing that you can measure an effect does not prove harm.

Of course Elliott does make misleading statements of his own. For example, he argues that the study is not relevant because it was in rats, because the drug used was a pure chemical rather than marijuana itself etc. That sort of hype .. by either side, weakens his case against the media.

Bottom line, it is nice to be on the same side as Lee for once.

2. Alki Postings spews:

LOL!

Of COURSE marijuana has ‘effects’. It’s not magical. It’s not ‘evil’ or perfect. ANY chemical substance you intact from salt to arsenic has an ‘effect’. Just saying you can dose it higher and higher and show SOME impact isn’t relevant.

The ONLY relevant scientific point is the
RELATIVE danger. Is marijuana significantly more (or less) dangerous than all other current legal drugs…whether over the counter like Tylenol and aspirin, or prescription like Rush Limbaugh “back pain” medication.

All scientific evidence points to the fact that marijuana is LESS dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, without ANY question. Can SOME level of marijuana cause cancer? Not proven, but even the MOST critical opponents would admit it’s not 1/1000 the cancer causing agent that tobacco is, and doesn’t have a fraction of the body/mind damage of alcohol. PLUS on top of that a bar full of pot smokers is going to be far less violent and dangerous to the public than ‘drinkers’. Imagine how few domestic violence calls you’d get if the folks weren’t “liquored up” but stoned. You’d still get some, but LESS violent.

Marijuana. Perfect? No. Better? Yes.

Whether it’s evolution, cosmology, homosexuality, or drugs, I’m REALLY sick of having to “argue” with folks who’s views are based on magic and superstition not reality.

3. Broadway Joe spews:

A few questions about MM, becauase the missus and I are moving home, quite possibly as soon as next weekend:

I remember it being posted a while back that the Border Patrol was setting up roadblocks, and actually arrested an MM patient from Port Townsend. Are they still pulling that shit? We’re bound for Port Angeles, so that’d be the last thing I need to worry about.

And does anyone know a doctor on the Olympic Peninsula who’d be willing to help the missus get on MM? Her old naturopath in Olympia might be able to, but that’s a bit of a drive, even by my standards – I’ll still be commuting back to Nevada for gigs.

4. Lee spews:

@3
I haven’t heard anything more about the Border Patrol nonsense, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve stopped.

5. SJ, as Kreskin spews:

@2 Alki

You and I agree mostly, but the uynfortunate truthg is that Lee and other pot fanatics also invoke magic.

Marijuana is noy comparable to alcohol, tylenol, aspirin, etc.beccause .. like tobaccfo, it is an upurified substance.

THC, or other cannabinoid agonist5s loikely ARE a LOT safer than alcohol or caffeine or benadryl or lots of other stuff we deal with fairly well.

Inhaling benzpyrene loaded smoke, whether from burning tobacco or pot, is worrisome. There is a lot of reasonj to worry that smoiking plant material can do a lot of harm. Whileee obsessessivgley cites one study that suggests marijuan smoke may not be harmfulo, given te difficulty of proving that tobnacoo smoke was harmful caution seems wise.

OTOH, if the pot fans and the anti pot nuts would get rid of magic, itr seems to we could all enjoy a nuice cuppamj tee, a bottle of THC enhanced juice,or even some luscious ephemeres from the Dillettate.

6. X spews:

The only way “ending prohibition” will help the situation in Mexico is if we end COCAINE prohibition. That sort of “legalize all drugs” view is held by the 10%-fringe of Americans polled, compared with the 66%-centrist idea of “legalize marijuana.”

The reason legalizing all drugs, such as cocaine, polls favorably in such low numbers is that legalizing drugs other than marijuana is not obviously harmless, but legalizing marijuana does seem like a good and harmless idea.