Jerry Bear's Blog

fuckyeahdrugpolicy:

Penn Jillette uncorked one hell of a righteous rant about our pot-smoking president and his life-destroying Drug War hypocrisy

(via Reason)

Penn Jillette and I agree on this. We do not use marijuana or cocaine, or advocate their use, but we do not believe they should be illegal.

Marijuana and Obamacare

surgerycenterofoklahoma:

Whatever your views are on drug legalization, I would encourage you to see the recent votes to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington state as not so much about drug legalization but about state nullification of federal laws.  We have seen this before with the National ID Act of Bush the lessor.  States pushed back and the federal juggernaut crumbled…at least for a while.  

Whenever you hear some legislator (state or national) say “..the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land” or some other boot-licking comment, or hear another say, “..now we must set up the health exchanges required by the law,” the equivalent of building your own gallows, think about the message Colorado and Washington state have sent to D.C.  Basically they are saying, “we don’t care what the federal law says, we are going to do something different.”  ”Federal law has no authority here.”  

Eighteen states allow for medical marijuana, a violation of federal law.  Two now have made it legal for recreational use, seriously in violation of federal law.  Why can’t this concept of state nullification apply to the Unaffordable Care Act?  Sam Brownback, governor of Kansas has basically said their state wouldn’t participate in an exchange, federal or otherwise.  Without the exchanges, the Unaffordable Care Act is gone…dead. How many state governors would it take to send this law to the trash heap, joining the National ID Act, Prohibition and others?  

Mises said that authoritarian governments rely on their perceived legitimacy (not his exact quote).  This push back on drug laws should be seen for what it is:  a message of the illegitimacy of this over-reaching federal gunvernment.  

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

socialuprooting:

A government-sponsored study published recently in The Open Neurology Journal concludes that marijuana provides much-needed relief to some chronic pain sufferers and that more clinical trials are desperately needed, utterly destroying the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) classification of the drug as having no medical uses.

While numerous prior studies have shown marijuana’s usefulness for a host of medical conditions, none have ever gone directly at the DEA’s placement of marijuana atop the schedule of controlled substances. This study, sponsored by the State of California and conducted at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, does precisely that, driving a stake into the heart of America’s continued war on marijuana users by calling the Schedule I placement simply “not accurate” and “not tenable.”

Reacting to the study, Paul Armentano, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Raw Story that the study clearly proves U.S. drug policy “is neither based upon nor guided by science.”

Bold by Jerry Bear.

"Obama’s Guide to Smoking Pot…"

communismkills:

Lovely.

What a hypocrite. He used to smoke pot, openly and regularly, yet believes in cracking down pot smokers.

That’s completely normal behavior for liberals and communists. Do as we say, not as we do. Remember George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Be sure to follow the “Lovely” link quoted above.

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.

William F. Buckley

What an evil conservative who hates freedom and wants to control your life! Oh wait.

(via communismkills)

Teddy bears are better than marijuana.


Cannabis has the effect of slightly increasing alpha-wave activity in the brain, and increasing blood flow into the right hemisphere, which is associated with holistic, nonlinear thought. Alpha waves, and right-brain thinking, are generally associated with meditative and relaxed states of consciousness, which are, in turn, often associated with creativity.  
Does Cannabis Boost Creativity? | Santa Cruz Patch

From Charles Baudelaire to George Carlin, Shakespeare to Carl Sagan, Louis Armstrong to Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer to Jack Nicholson, the list of accomplished creative people who have claimed a positive influence from their use of cannabis is truly impressive.
I’ve personally spoken with many accomplished people who made claims about how essential cannabis was for their creative process. For example, when I interviewed the late comedian George Carlin, he told me:
“Pot…changed my thinking. It fostered offbeat thinking…Then it changed my comedy….I became more myself. The comedy became more personal, therefore more political, and therefore more successful…So, suddenly, I also became materially successful. People started buying albums. I had four Gold albums in a row.”
[…] Anecdotes about cannabis and creativity abound, but what does the scientific research say?
The Beckley Foundation—a nonprofit organization in England that supports pioneering, multidisciplinary research with cannabis and psychedelic drugs—is presently funding a two-part study on cannabis and creativity, that is being conducted by neuroscience researchers Valerie Curran and Celia Morgan at the University College London.
Curran and Morgan are currently testing the effects of cannabis use on creativity in 400 subjects, and are then using neuroimaging technology to observe the neurobiological changes in the participants that are associated with creativity, while they are under the influence of cannabis. 
full article 




Please recall that I am 100% in favor of legalization, but in my experience, marijuana just makes you stupid.  Perhaps it affects a few individuals in a different way.

Cannabis has the effect of slightly increasing alpha-wave activity in the brain, and increasing blood flow into the right hemisphere, which is associated with holistic, nonlinear thought. Alpha waves, and right-brain thinking, are generally associated with meditative and relaxed states of consciousness, which are, in turn, often associated with creativity. 

Does Cannabis Boost Creativity? | Santa Cruz Patch

From Charles Baudelaire to George Carlin, Shakespeare to Carl Sagan, Louis Armstrong to Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer to Jack Nicholson, the list of accomplished creative people who have claimed a positive influence from their use of cannabis is truly impressive.

I’ve personally spoken with many accomplished people who made claims about how essential cannabis was for their creative process. For example, when I interviewed the late comedian George Carlin, he told me:

“Pot…changed my thinking. It fostered offbeat thinking…Then it changed my comedy….I became more myself. The comedy became more personal, therefore more political, and therefore more successful…So, suddenly, I also became materially successful. People started buying albums. I had four Gold albums in a row.”

[…] Anecdotes about cannabis and creativity abound, but what does the scientific research say?

The Beckley Foundation—a nonprofit organization in England that supports pioneering, multidisciplinary research with cannabis and psychedelic drugs—is presently funding a two-part study on cannabis and creativity, that is being conducted by neuroscience researchers Valerie Curran and Celia Morgan at the University College London.

Curran and Morgan are currently testing the effects of cannabis use on creativity in 400 subjects, and are then using neuroimaging technology to observe the neurobiological changes in the participants that are associated with creativity, while they are under the influence of cannabis. 

full article 

Please recall that I am 100% in favor of legalization, but in my experience, marijuana just makes you stupid. Perhaps it affects a few individuals in a different way.


How a Far-Right Icon Came to Embrace Marijuana Legalization | TIME

On a cable-news show seen by millions, a white-haired host declared that although the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, it detains a quarter of the world’s prisoners. “I just think it’s shocking to see how many of these young people wind up in prison,” he said. “And then they get turned into hard-core criminals because they have possession of a small amount of a controlled substance. The whole thing is crazy.”
It’s a sensible position. Strikingly, it came from the host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” — right-wing icon Pat Robertson. He went on to say that mere possession of pot should be decriminalized.
“If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?” Robertson asked a New York Times reporter recently. He went on to say that imprisoning people made it more it more difficult to reach their hearts with a Christian message.

Robertson’s previous drug warrior mentality is drastically different from his current position on marijuana policy. From Christianity Today:

While this is not the first time Robertson has taken this stance, he ran for president as a hard-liner on drug enforcement. After losing his bid to be the Republican presidential candidate in 1988, Robertson said at the Republican National Convention that the U.S. should be “a city set on a hill … where the plague of drugs is no more and those who would destroy and debase our children with illegal drugs are given life sentences in prison with no chance for parole.”


How a Far-Right Icon Came to Embrace Marijuana Legalization | TIME

On a cable-news show seen by millions, a white-haired host declared that although the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, it detains a quarter of the world’s prisoners. “I just think it’s shocking to see how many of these young people wind up in prison,” he said. “And then they get turned into hard-core criminals because they have possession of a small amount of a controlled substance. The whole thing is crazy.”

It’s a sensible position. Strikingly, it came from the host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” — right-wing icon Pat Robertson. He went on to say that mere possession of pot should be decriminalized.

“If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?” Robertson asked a New York Times reporter recently. He went on to say that imprisoning people made it more it more difficult to reach their hearts with a Christian message.

Robertson’s previous drug warrior mentality is drastically different from his current position on marijuana policy. From Christianity Today:

While this is not the first time Robertson has taken this stance, he ran for president as a hard-liner on drug enforcement. After losing his bid to be the Republican presidential candidate in 1988, Robertson said at the Republican National Convention that the U.S. should be “a city set on a hill … where the plague of drugs is no more and those who would destroy and debase our children with illegal drugs are given life sentences in prison with no chance for parole.”

Daisy on Big Pharma

daisysnotebook:

People of faith have attempted to offer health savings pools. They’re not allowed to call it insurance, though some have been shut down for being too close to “insurance.” All they do is collect voluntary dues and pay medical bills.

The government is shutting these down?

If they did, it would be all because of big pharmaceuticals. These are the beneficiaries. The government does a lot of things to benefit “Big Pharma,” like passing laws against practicing alternative medicine, putting restrictions on medicinal marijuana, and shutting down these charitable causes. 

Disgusting.

I can’t back your opinion on alternative medicine, Daisy. From what I’ve seen, those people are at best misguided, and at worst, crooks preying on the ill. Same thing for homeopathic products.

Big pharma may be part of the reason that the government puts so much effort into preventing medical marijuana, but I believe that there is also corruption. I believe that US federal government officials are taking money from the Mexican drug cartels to obstruct legal marijuana, thus keeping the price high.

Daisy’s professor said,

daisysnotebook:

“You ever heard anybody try’na say that cannabis is as harmful as PCP and crack?”

Class said yes.

“BULLSHIT. Even doctors at Geffen said the guv’mint and their cronies are full of shit. Now on with the lesson, eh?”

I have seen in my own studies that cannabis is less toxic than most pharmaceutical drugs in current use, and is certainly helpful for some patients, including those with wasting syndrome, chronic muscle spasticity and tractable nausea. As a physician, I am frustrated that I cannot prescribe marijuana for patients who might benefit from it. At the very least I would like to be able to refer them to a safe, reliable, quality-controlled source.
  Dr. Andrew Weill M.D. (via daisysnotebook)
Daisy’s Professor on Medical Marijuana

daisysnotebook:

Dr. D: How many want to become doctors?
Class: *some people raise hands*
Dr. D: You’ll be allowed to write prescriptions for drugs that can kill people, but thanks to your government, many of you won’t be able to write prescriptions for one of the world’s oldest medications— a drug that has little to no side effects.
Class: Weed?
Dr. D: Cannabis! Anyone political? Fight the government. Get ‘em out of medicine, or fear for your patients’ lives.

And let’s not forget the government’s increasing regulation of painkillers.

Now, patients with chronic pain can’t fill a prescription until the current one is nearly gone. Doctors can’t postdate their prescriptions. Get to the pharmacy after closing time, lose your pills, have them stolen, forget them, and you’re in deep trouble. Try to stockpile a little for safety and you’re breaking the law.

And lets not forgot about Vicodin/Lortab/etc. Those are the most frequently prescribed prescription pain medication. They are hydrocodone (strong prescription pain medicine) blended with a heavy dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol, over the counter weak pain medicine) They are blended and prescribed such that if a patient takes more than prescribed, the acetaminophen damages their liver. The government thought that would prevent abuse. Instead, it caused an epidemic of liver damage among chronic pain patients who needed a little more for relief.

The government harasses doctors so much about prescribing pain medications that many doctors refuse to do so, instead sending their patients to a pain specialist at greater expense.

I used to have kidney stones. Women who have had kidney stones and children say that the pain of the stones is worse than the pain of childbirth. They are now very easy to cure, but it took years to diagnose mine.

Normally, when the pain came, I could call my doctor and he would immediately call in a Lortab prescription for me. One Saturday, the pain came. I called the doctor’s office to page him, but the phone system was broken and wouldn’t forward the page. On the weekends, he traveled in his RV. I had no other way to reach him. I called every urgent care center and told them what I needed. None of them would prescribe Lortabs on the first visit, just acetaminophen, which I could get without a prescription, and which would do no good. I couldn’t find any doctor open on Saturday.

I ended up in an emergency room. They couldn’t prescribe the Lortabs until they did lots of tests, and they misdiagnosed the problem, but they did give me a shot which made everything all right. At least until I got the $2000.00 uninsured ER bill because I couldn’t get two $1.00 pain pills.

In the ER waiting room, I literally scared people. They all moved to the opposite end of the room from me. A mother clutched her children to protect them. I guess they thought I was on drugs. I WISH! I had to keep moving because of the pain. It was never best to sit in the chair. Sometimes, laying on the floor was best. Sometimes in the fetal position, sometimes straight. On my side, on my back, on my stomach. Sometimes kneeling in the chair. Sometimes standing. Sometimes laying on the floor with my legs in the chair.

The cashier told me to stop kneeling and standing. She said that she was afraid I would pass out. IF ONLY!

The triage nurse asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the worst it could possibly be. How the hell do I know? This hurts, but who knows what it’s like to be burned alive or have something amputated? I told him 5. He wrote down 9.

Later, in the ER, they had a chart with the 1 - 10 pain scale defined. I was a 10. “That’s only as high as the scale goes?,” I thought. “Wimps! What about burning alive and amputation? What about flaying? Medieval torture by an expert?”

At home, sometimes the Lortabs were not strong enough to control the pain, but the doctor didn’t want to prescribe stronger ones. I would keep a log, to the minute, of when I took each pill, tracking the acetaminophen dose to prevent liver damage. I would lay in pain on the floor with a clock, waiting for the minute that I could take the next pill. I couldn’t do anything else because of the pain.

I used to tell myself that if the pain got too bad, I could kill myself. I strongly don’t advocate suicide, but the thought got me through the pain because I knew that I had a last resort if needed.

I also used to curse the government in the most obscene ways because it was the government that made it so hard to get the pills that would take away my pain. So what if someone takes a few pain pills to get high instead of treating a pain? How bad is that? Who does it hurt? No one is hurt. But instead, we have a government War on Drugs that leaves so many of us with acute and chronic pain in terrible suffering!

I’m fine now. I have been since I was diagnosed and had the stones treated. I take huge doses of big expensive pills to prevent it, but the odds are that they are growing right now. Sometimes they give me little aches to remind me that the pain is working on rebuilding itself.

A member of Montana’s state legislature says the Drug Enforcement Agency began investigating her over support for medical marijuana laws.

State House Democrat Diane Sands tells the Missoulian she was contacted by a defense attorney with some unusual news: The attorney had been approached by the DEA who wanted to know whether Sands might be connected to one of the attorney’s clients who had been charged with distributing marijuana.

"So now, if you’re a state legislator who has been working on medical marijuana laws, you are somehow part of a conspiracy," said Sands. "It’s ridiculous, of course, but it’s also threatening to think that the federal government is willing to use its influence and try to chill discussion about this subject."

Medical marijuana is legal in Montana, but the practice is still illegal under federal drug laws. The ATF recently stepped into Montana’s medical marijuana laws as well, banning firearm sales and ownership from anyone with a medical pot card.

The ACLU has stepped in to defend Sands, though both say they don’t expect any actual charges from the DEA. “When you hear this sort of thing, there’s a part of you that just gets irritated, but there’s a part of you that knows you have to, as an organization, make sure you’ve dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s,” the ACLU’s executive director, Scott Crichton, told the Missoulian.

"It’s chilling, and it dredges up darker days from the ’50s and ’60s," said Crichton.

Neither the DEA nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office have said why Sands’ name came up in the investigation.

Why is the US government trying so hard to prevent inexpensive medical marijuana in the states where it has been approved by law? This particular case is from Montana, but go Google the things that they have been doing in California as well.

I believe I know.

Illegal drug sales create huge profits for the Mexican drug cartels. When illegal drugs are made legal, those profits disappear. It would be a wise investment by the cartels to bribe US government officials to prevent legal marijuana sales from happening.

You may say that I’m a conspiracy nut for saying that, but would you have believed a year ago that the US government was helping the cartels to illegally buy firearms in the US and take them into Mexico without even keeping track of them? That in some cases, the US government ordered the gun smugglers to be released with the weapons when they were caught by law enforcement? That the US government helped the cartels launder money? That US government officials are now pleading the 5th Amendment in Congressional hearings about this case? I just described Operation Fast and Furious. Go Google it for yourself.

Operation Fast and Furious is another situation where it certainly looks like one or more people in the US government were on the drug cartels’ payroll.

When I wrote the material above, I felt like I was on a nutty conspiracy theory web site, but go do your own research. It’s real. It’s incredible, but it’s real.

For the rest of the world: If someone “pleads the 5th,” they are saying that by answering the question, they would be providing information which could be used to help convict them of a crime. Basically, the person is saying that they broke the law, but they have the right not to talk about it. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that a defendant in a criminal trial may not be compelled to testify against himself.

a-petro-manifesto:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wants to prohibit patients from protecting themselves.

by Brian Doherty

If you are a medical marijuana patient in one of the 16 states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow for it, you’ve got reason to believe lately that the government has it in for you.

You’ve got federal raids on the places where you can conveniently buy your medicine, the governor of Arizona trying to overturn in court her citizens’ choice to institute a medical marijuana system, and Michigan’s attorney general trying to make life as hard as he can for those using the system his state’s voters approved by 63 percent in 2008. And while it isn’t directly the government’s fault, doctors are taking people off liver transplant waiting lists for using medical pot.

It isn’t just that the government on both the federal and state level doesn’t want you to be able to legally and conveniently obtain your medicine, if that medicine is pot. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) insists you inherently lose a key constitutional right merely by letting your state know you might want to take pot medicinally.

Merely having a state medical marijuana card, BATFE insists, means that you fall afoul of Sect. 922(g) of the federal criminal code (from the 1968 federal Gun Control Act), which says that anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is basically barred from possessing or receiving guns or ammo (with the bogus assertion that such possession implicates interstate commerce, which courts will pretty much always claim it does).

Nevada licenses medical pot users. Rowan Wilson, a Carson City-area woman who works as a medical technician in residential care homes, believes pot might be useful for her painful menstrual cramps. After going through a seven-month process to obtain a medical marijuana card, she attempted in October to purchase a gun from a gun dealer, Fred Hauseur, who was also a personal acquaintance.

The Form 4473 that the BATFE requires every gun purchaser to fill out asks, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana…or any other controlled substance?” Wilson, not considering herself an unlawful user or addict but aware, as she says in a deposition in the case, that BATFE “has set down a policy whereby it is presumed that any person holding a medical marijuana registry card is automatically considered an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana ” left that line blank.

Hauseur, the dealer from whom Wilson was trying to buy a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum, knew Wilson, and knew she was a card holder. He also knew about the contents of a September 2011 memosent out by BATFE to federally licensed gun dealers.

The memo says that “there are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law…any person who uses…regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user…and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms of ammunition…..if you are aware that the potential transferee is in possession of a card authorizing the possession and use of marijuana under State law, then you…may not transfer firearms or ammunition to the person.” And indeed, Hauseur did not.

Wilson thinks that this BATFE policy violates her Second Amendment rights. With the help of Nevada lawyer Chaz Rainey of Rainey Devine, she filed suit in October in federal district court in Nevada against Department of Justice chief Eric Holder, the BATFE, and its acting director and assistant director.

As the suit says, “Ms. Wilson has never been charged with or convicted of any drug-related offense, or any criminal offense….Indeed, no evidence exists that Ms. Wilson has ever been ‘an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana….’ Ms. Wilson maintains that she is not an unlawful user of or addiction to marijuana….Nonetheless, Ms. Wilson was denied her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms based solely on her possession of a valid State of Nevada medical marijuana registry card.” The suit argues the BATFE policy also violated her Fifth Amendment right to due process since it presumes she is a prohibited drug user arbitrarily.

The federal government is expected to file a reply before the end of the year, and Wilson’s lawyer Rainey says he hopes the Feds “don’t engage in long drawn-out lengthy discovery process, deposing everyone involved.” Rainey notes a case intersecting guns and drugs could roll either way—a pro-Second Amendment judge could be uncomfortable with the marijuana part, and a pro-medical marijuana judge uncomfortable with the gun part.

Rainey doesn’t have experience in the gun law field, but he has some civil rights experience and has found other lawyers and activists in the Second Amendment field helpful in thinking the case through (although most of the bigger gun rights organizations don’t like touching this pot-related case). Wilson had trouble finding a lawyer excited about the case—“some lawyers didn’t want to touch a cannabis case, period.” She finds the existence of any state registry of marijuana users troublesome on general medical privacy grounds. One of her reasons for shouldering the burden of plaintiff is that patients she encounters in her elderly care field are afraid to get a medical card and use pot because of the extra problems that arise—like losing gun possession rights.

While the BATFE has not yet announced any concerted program to go after people who may have had legally purchased weapons before getting a marijuana card, Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says that it’s common practice in medical marijuana-related busts that “if weapons are present, there will be gun charges added on as well.”

Rainey expects the results of the initial trial to be appealed whoever wins, and is prepared to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. (Montana’s Attorney General Steve Bullock has informed the BATFE that he thinks the policy oversteps federal bounds.)

As Independence Institute gun rights scholar David Kopel explains, some lower courts have decided that while the legal prohibition on felons owning handguns is not inherently unreasonable or unconstitutional, the application of that law to felons of certain types—say, nonviolent ones in the distant past—isn’t always reasonable. While the Wilson case as filed is challenging the very constitutionality of classifying drug users as outside the pale of the Second Amendment, Rainey is also prepared, he says, to argue more narrowly that it is unreasonable to apply that category specifically to Wilson merely on the basis of her possessing the marijuana card.