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  We must be making a small wave at the very least!
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:50 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (141)

Our members have made a total of 3,956 posts
in 336 threads.
We currently have 163 members registered.

Almost 4000 posts ... It ain't no big thang .. But it's getting there ...

I put my email into google and the first thing that came up was a thread from here ... Heavy!

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Thumbs Up Church of Cannabis Prepares for First Service in Indiana
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:40 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

A bid to legally use pot is underway in the name of religious freedom.

On Wednesday, as possession for recreational use becomes legal in Oregon and
Minnesota opens its first medical pot
dispensary, a new marijuana-centric religion will host its inaugural worship service in Indiana.

The First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis
hopes to blaze a new route to de facto
legalization without the reform legislation or
ballot measures seen in more progressive

It's seeking an exemption to anti-pot laws under Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Church of Cannabis leaders believe the state’s religious-freedom law, which takes effect Wednesday, grants them legal protection to enjoy the drug in Indiana, where neither medical or recreational use of marijuana is allowed.

All appeared to be going according to plan until the three-month-old congregation bought a church building around the corner from the
Church of Acts, whose founder and pastor Bill
Jenkins has made it his mission to shut down
the enterprise.

“I don’t believe it’s a religion, I believe it’s a drug house,” Jenkins tells U.S News. He says his church members and even local drug dealers have joined him to rally opposition. He suspects the illicit businessmen fear competition.

The conflict between evangelical Christians and pot evangelists -- religious persecution,
according to Church of Cannabis founder Bill
Levin -- culminated Friday with a press
conference where Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said anyone smoking pot in or near the service would be arrested.

Jenkins says their professed religion is nothing more than “a bogus excuse to get high.” Levin counters his church is all about love and members have begun to craft practices and teachings that resemble a religion.

Still, he's now discouraging his flock from bringing marijuana to smoke Wednesday, as was the original plan.

[READ: Gourmet Pot-Laced Coffee Delights D.C. Party Guests]

Even if a disobedient member lights up, Levin
says he will avoid being arrested himself for
maintaining a common nuisance (“a legal chess move,” he says). Levin agreed to allow an officer to attend the service, and others will be posted outside to direct traffic and corral protesters

[Image: 150512-editorial.jpg]
Indiana's religious freedom law, signed by Gov.
Mike Pence, R-Ind., right, has legalized pot use
for members of the First Church of Cannabis,
says Bill Levin, left.

Church leaders intend to file a civil lawsuit soon to establish their right to use pot
at worship services.

In the meantime, a sometimes ugly struggle has been brewing. Jenkins and Levin recently argued about a sign that appeared in front of the new church that says “cast the first stone,” referring to a biblical story in which Jesus defended an adultress from a crowd intent on stoning her to death.

The church leaders disagreed about whether it’s appropriate to quote Jesus without believing he’s the son of God. Levin says on Monday someone toppled the sign and covered it with stones.

Jenkins, who is leading a protest outside the
first service, denies he or his congregation had anything to do with the vandalism or other issues Levin has reported, such as a church member’s car doors being maliciously opened during a rain storm and an M-80 firecracker being used to damage his own car’s muffler.
[DATA: Fewer Pot Packages Found in Mail As Legalization Takes Hold]

“I ain’t always been a pastor," says Jenkins.
"Unfortunately I do know the difference."

It’s unclear whether the Church of Cannabis can win in court. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told U.S. News earlier this year people elsewhere have failed to convince courts
religious freedom laws protect their use of

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  Who's Most Likely to Get Addicted to Their Narcotic Painkiller?
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:13 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

HealthDay News
A new study looks at which patients prescribed a short course of narcotic painkillers may be most prone to long-term abuse.

The study finds -- perhaps not surprisingly -- that people with prior histories of drug abuse, or current or former smokers, were much more likely to go beyond that short-term prescription.
The drugs in question are "opioid" painkillers
such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone
(Vicodin), codeine and methadone, among

The study was led by Dr. W. Michael Hooten, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, Minn. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 300 patients given a first-time, short-term prescription for one of this class of narcotic painkillers in 2009.

The investigators found that nearly one in every four of the patients continued to take the medication for extended periods of time. Specifically, the study found that 21 percent of
short-term opioid patients end up getting
prescriptions that extend for as much as three
to four months.

Another 6 percent actually continued the medications for longer than four months.

People with a prior history of either smoking
and/or drug abuse appear to be at greatest risk for turning a short-term pain treatment into a long-term drug abuse problem.

Why? Hooten's team believes that addiction to
nicotine or other substances may have the same effect on the brain as using the narcotic

"Many people will suggest [painkiller abuse is]
actually a national epidemic," Hooten said in a
Mayo news release. "More people now are
experiencing fatal overdoses related to opioid
use than compared to heroin and cocaine
combined," he added. Patients must learn "to recognize the potential risks associated with these medications,"

Hooten said. For some patients, "I encourage
use of alternative methods to manage pain,
including non-opioid analgesics or other non-
medication approaches," he said. Avoiding narcotic painkillers "reduces or even
eliminates the risk of these medications
transitioning to another problem that was never intended," Hooten said.

His team published their findings in the July
issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. "The next step in this research is to drill down
and find more detailed information about the
potential role of dose and quantity of medication prescribed," Hooten said. "It is possible that higher dose or greater quantities of the drug with each prescription are important predictors of longer-term use."

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  DONE DEAL: US, world powers seal formal nuclear agreement with Iran!
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 12:31 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Published July 14, 2015

Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners finally reached agreement Tuesday on a deal that would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief -- setting up a looming showdown between President Obama and Congress, where lawmakers could take issue with several provisions, including one giving Iran leverage over inspections.

Speaking from the White House, Obama
claimed the deal meets "every single one of
the bottom lines" from a tentative agreement struck earlier this year.

"Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut
off," Obama said, claiming it provides for
extensive inspections. "This deal is not built
on trust. It is built on verification." Yet that very issue could be the primary sticking point going forward. While some members of Congress had urged comprehensive inspections of Iran's nuclear sites, the deal in hand gives Iran much leverage over that process. The agreement requires international inspectors to ask Iran's permission first, after which Iran has 14 days to decide whether to grant it. If not, the same group of nations that struck the deal would have another 10 days to make their decision about what to do next. While the international group may have final say, the set-up essentially gives Iran 24 days to drag out the process, though officials say this is not enough time to hide all evidence of illicit conduct.

Already, some on Capitol Hill were warning
about the implications of the deal;
lawmakers will have 60 days to review and
vote on the agreement. But Obama said it
would be "irresponsible" to walk away and
vowed to veto any attempt to crush the agreement.

"No deal means a greater chance of more
war in the Middle East," Obama said. Diplomats struck the deal after the latest 18-
day round of intense and often fractious
negotiations in Vienna, Austria blew through
several self-imposed deadlines.

A final meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia was held
Tuesday morning. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the accord as "a historic moment" as he attended the final session. "We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody, but it is what we could accomplish," Zarif continued, "and it is an important achievement for all of us. Today
could have been the end of hope on this
issue. But now we are starting a new chapter of hope." Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief, called it "a sign of hope for the entire world."

The accord is meant to keep Iran from
producing enough material for a nuclear
weapon for at least 10 years and will
impose new provisions for inspections of
Iranian facilities, including military sites. Diplomats said Iran agreed to the
continuation of a United Nations arms
embargo on the country for up to five more
years, though it could end earlier if the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons.

A similar condition was put on U.N. restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran, which could last for up to eight more years. According to officials, Iran also had agreed to a so-called "snapback" provision, under which sanctions could be reinstated if it violates the agreement.

Washington had sought to maintain the ban
on Iran importing and exporting weapons,
concerned that an Islamic theocracy flush
with cash from the nuclear deal would
expand its military assistance for Syrian
President Bashar Assad's government, Yemen's Houthi rebels, the Lebanese
militant group Hezbollah and other forces
opposing America's Mideast allies such as
Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iranian leaders insisted the embargo had to
end as their forces combat regional scourges such as ISIS. And they got some support from China and particularly Russia, which wants to expand military cooperation and arms sales to Tehran, including the long-delayed transfer of S-300 advanced air defense systems -- a move long opposed by the United States.

The last major sticking point -- which could
still cause problems on Capitol Hill --
appeared to be whether international
weapons inspectors would be given access
to Iranian nuclear sites.

The deal includes a compromise between Washington and Tehran that would allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties. However, access at will to any site would not
necessarily be granted and even if so, could
be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving
Tehran time to cover any sign of non-
compliance with its commitments.

Under the deal, Tehran would have the
right to challenge the U.N. request and an
arbitration board composed of Iran and the
six world powers that negotiated with it
would have to decide on the issue. Such an
arrangement would still be a notable departure from assertions by top Iranian officials, including supreme leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, that their country would never
allow the IAEA into such sites.

Iran has argued that such visits by the IAEA would be a cover for spying on its military secrets. The IAEA also wants the access to
complete its long-stymied investigation of
past weapons work by Iran, and the U.S.
says Iranian cooperation is needed for all
economic sanctions to be lifted. IAEA chief
Yukiya Amano said Tuesday his agency and Iran had signed a "roadmap" to resolve
outstanding concerns.

"This is a significant step forward towards
clarifying outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program," Amano said in a statement released Tuesday.

The economic benefits for Iran are potentially massive. It stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas, and an end to a European oil embargo and various financial restrictions on Iranian banks.

The overall nuclear deal comes after nearly
a decade of international, intercontinental
diplomacy that until recently was defined by
failure. Breaks in the talks sometimes lasted
for months, and Iran's nascent nuclear
program expanded into one that Western intelligence agencies saw as only a couple
of months away from weapons capacity.

The U.S. and Israel both threatened
possible military responses. The United States joined the negotiations in 2008, and U.S. and Iranian officials met together secretly four years later in Oman to see if diplomatic progress was possible.

But the process remained essentially
stalemated until summer 2013, when Hassan Rouhani was elected president and declared his country ready for serious compromise. More secret U.S.-Iranian discussions
followed, culminating in a face-to-face
meeting between Secretary of State John
Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United
Nations in September 2013 and a telephone conversation between Rouhani and Obama.

That conversation marked the two countries' highest diplomatic exchange since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and the ensuing hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran.

Kerry and Zarif took the lead in the
negotiations. Two months later, in Geneva,
Iran and the six powers announced an
interim agreement that temporarily curbed
Tehran's nuclear program and unfroze
some Iranian assets while setting the stage for Tuesday's comprehensive accord.

Protracted negotiations still lie ahead to put
the agreement into practice and deep
suspicion reigns on all sides about
violations that could unravel the accord.

And spoilers abound. In the United States, Congress has a 60- day review period during which Obama cannot make good on any concessions to the Iranians. U.S. lawmakers could hold a vote of disapproval and take further action.

Iranian hardliners oppose dismantling a
nuclear program the country has spent
hundreds of billions of dollars developing.

Khamenei, while supportive of his negotiators thus far, has issued a series of defiant red lines that may be impossible to reconcile in a deal with the West.

And further afield, Israel will strongly oppose the outcome. It sees the acceptance of extensive Iranian nuclear infrastructure and continued nuclear activity as a mortal threat, and has warned that it could take military action on its own, if necessary.

The deal is a "bad mistake of historic proportions," Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, adding
that it would enable Iran to "continue to
pursue its aggression and terror in the

Sunni Arab rivals of Shiite Iran are none too
happy, either, with Saudi Arabia in particularly issuing veiled threats to develop its own nuclear program.

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  Obama's 46 Commutations Barely Scratch the Surface!
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:52 AM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Thousands more may die in prison for nonviolent crimes.

President Barack Obama is allowing the early release of 46 people jailed for nonviolent drug crimes, but reform advocates say much more
needs to be done.

"Their punishments didn't fit the crime," Obama
said in a video message Monday. “I’m determined to do my part wherever I can,” he
said, to ensure "smarter" prison sentencing.

Advocates of sentencing reform – many excited about pending legislation that would lower some penalties – say it's important to remember many others will remain behind bars.

“We're thrilled to see that more folks serving
excessively long sentences for non-violent drug offenses are going home,” said Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “But they're leaving behind many equally deserving people, so let’s keep these commutations coming."

The commutations take effect Nov. 10 and
mostly benefit people whose convictions involve crack cocaine, the punishment for which has since been reduced. Two exclusively involve marijuana.

READ: Lawmakers Outline Path Forward on Criminal Justice Reform

Obama said 14 of the people he’s granting
freedom would have otherwise died behind bars.

Precise numbers are unclear, but in 2013 the
American Civil Liberties Union reported at least 3,278 people were serving life without the possibility of parole for nonviolent crimes. More than 2,500 of those cases involved drug crimes.

"There still remain thousands of Americans
languishing in prisons serving sentences that
have been repudiated by both Congress and the president," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., a leading supporter of drug law reform. "I hope the president continues this push for justice for all of them.”

Beth Curtis profiles 14 other people on her
website LifeforPot.com who are serving life sentences for nonviolent marijuana convictions, none of whom received clemency Monday. She vetted each to ensure they had no previous convictions involving violence or other drugs.

REPORT: Thousands Serving Life Sentences for Nonviolent Crimes

Other sources have higher estimates for
marijuana-specific life sentences.

The Clemency Report says there were 54 sentences of life without parole between 1996 and 2014.

“Frankly, my belief is that there is no place for
life without parole for any nonviolent drug
offender,” says Curtis, whose brother John
Knock is serving life in prison for a marijuana
dealing conviction.

“It's not fiscally responsible and the sentence doesn't fit the crime.” Michael Collins, policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, echoed other reformers, saying he welcomes the new commutations, but “we need much more action."

Obama long has been characterized as stingy
compared to his predecessors in exercising his constitutional pardon power. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pushed back on that perception Monday, saying the 46 commutations were the most in a single day “dating back to at least the Johnson administration.”

Obama ordered the early release of eight
people in December and 22 people in March
who were convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

Stewart of Families Against Mandatory
Minimums said clemency will remain necessary
so long as mandatory minimum laws tie the
hands of judges.

FAMM profiles on its website prisoners sentenced under such laws, including Weldon Angelos, given 55 years for selling marijuana while owning a gun.

Like other reform supporters, activist Anthony
Papa says more should be done, but he’s upbeat about what Obama did on Monday.

[Image: 150713-editorial.jpg]
Anthony Papa's prison self-portrait is featured on the cover of his book - 15 Years to Life

Papa was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison in the 1980s after he was arrested with about $500 worth of powder cocaine.

He won clemency after 12 years in 1997, after painting a widely circulated self portrait.

Papa now works to help others facing long
sentences for nonviolent offenses. Last year he posted an ad in Prison Legal News, which is circulated to inmates, asking for horror stories.

And he got them. A New Yorker wrote he
received 12 years for $10 worth of crack cocaine.

A man in the West wrote he got 145
years for five pills.

"You read all these horror stories, it's
unbelievable how the system puts away these
people," says Papa, who now works at the Drug Policy Alliance. "As an activist who's been trying to fix this broken system for many years, it's a big big step in the right direction," he says of Obama's commutations. “Hopefully other politicians will follow the lead of President Obama."

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  U.S. FDA Approves New Drug for Schizophrenia, Major Depression
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:23 AM - Forum: World News - No Replies

HealthDay News --
A new drug to treat schizophrenia and depression has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Rexulti (brexpiprazole) tablets can be used to
treat adults with schizophrenia. The new drug
can also be used as an add-on therapy to
antidepressant drugs for adults with major

"Schizophrenia and major depressive disorder
can be disabling and can greatly disrupt day-to-day activities," Dr. Mitchell Mathis, director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "Medications affect everyone differently so it is important to have a variety of treatment options available for patients with mental illnesses," he added.

The FDA's approval of Rexulti for treatment of
schizophrenia is based on two six-week clinical
trials with more than 1,300 people. People taking the drug had fewer symptoms of schizophrenia than those who took a placebo, the studies found.

Rexulti was also tested as an add-on therapy for major depression. For this treatment,
researchers conducted two six-week clinical

The trials included more than 1,000 patients whose symptoms were not adequately treated by taking an antidepressant alone. Those who took Rexulti and an antidepressant had fewer symptoms of depression than those who took a placebo and an antidepressant, the FDA said.

Weight gain and a sense of restlessness were
the most common side effects reported by
patients taking Rexulti.

The drug is made by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. in Japan. Like other schizophrenia drugs, Rexulti has a boxed warning about an increased risk of death
associated with unapproved use of the drugs to treat behavioral problems in people with
dementia-related psychosis.

The boxed warning also cautions about an
increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, teens and young adults taking antidepressants. People taking the drug should be monitored for the start or worsening of suicidal thoughts and behavior, the FDA said.

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Shocked Y'all wanna see something crazy DHS/ICE/CBP does?
Posted by: jimtje - 07-14-2015, 09:51 AM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (1)

As a civilian agency, they can conduct raids without warrants or probable cause with ruses. So we FOIAed them as to what and when and how (we knew they pretended to be Mormon missionaries to get entry to a house for a raid). Surprise surprise, they responded.... with this:

Just want everyone to be careful, somehow the relevant agencies can do almost anything they like to come to your house to check it outl

Attached Files
.pdf   3.8 ICE-DRO Guidance Use of Ruses During Arrests.pdf (Size: 1.02 MB / Downloads: 5)
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  So, what do you watch on tv?
Posted by: Charon - 07-14-2015, 12:47 AM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (76)

(uhm, a few of us have been talking in private area. so gonna share a tad here.)

my choice? Investigation Discovery. aka Autopsy Central. Crime, police work, the trial. the family. i love forensics.

his choice? car shows. every kind but for those awful fast talking auctions cuz they made me seize. too fast for my head.

cuba chrome starts tonite. oh good.

i know kitty understands. (when a man has the remote, u r doomed.)

hope u r feeling better, kitty, btw.

but, now? street outlaws. street racers. this, i like. a lot. farmtruck and azn in particular.

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  Marijuana Prohibition and the War on Drugs Have Utterly Failed
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-13-2015, 08:45 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Not worth throwing people in jail over.

July 13, 2015 | 12:00 p.m. EDT

In March, a bill was introduced in the Senate which, if passed, would legalize state medical
marijuana programs at the federal level, and
take marijuana off the Drug Enforcement
Agency's Schedule I drug list. Schedule I is
reserved for drugs so dangerous that neither
cocaine nor "meth" makes the list. The new law would move marijuana down a level of severity to join those substances, which the DEA classifies as having "less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs" like pot. Lest this sound like an arcane matter of federal drug classifications, let us be clear: Drug crime is the leading path into the federal prison system, and Americans put more people in federal prison for crimes related to marijuana than any other drug.

There are state laws on the books that specify
prison sentences of five years for the possession of an ounce of marijuana. In Florida, the growing of 25 marijuana plants constitutes a second-degree felony. This is insane. To lock a man or a woman in a cell for anything to do with this plant ought to be something out of a dystopian novel. Yet we've gotten used to it, and on a grand scale. From 1980 to 2008 the U.S. prison population more than quadrupled, to 2.3 million. With about 5 percent of the world's population, the United States of America today is home to almost 25 percent of the world's prisoners. This makes us the world leader in incarceration, in raw numbers, and second only to the Republic of Seychelles, population 90,024, when it comes to the rate at which we lock up our people. The so-called "war on drugs" has played a major part in this unprecedented shift: there are about 10 times as many people in our prisons today for drug offenses as there were in 1980.
Still, we should take comfort in the fact that
these are mostly violent criminals and hardened drug kingpins, right? Not so. About half the inmates in the federal prison system are there for nonviolent drug crime – up from 16 percent in 1970 – and the leading drug involved is marijuana. Of course, none of this seems to have made marijuana remotely difficult to procure for those who want it. If once our federal prisons might have functioned to keep violent criminals off the streets, today they serve chiefly to lock away economic offenders, disproportionately members of ethnic minorities historically excluded from the mainstream economy. After drug offenses, the next most prevalent way to become an inmate in the federal prison system is through undocumented immigration, that other nonviolent "crime" I discuss in these pages. If the situation at the federal level is out of control, how does it look at the state level?
Variations in policy from state to state can make the picture seem complex, but the following image shows, at a glance, where things stand.
The words in the map summarize the laws in each state. In the states shown in red, it remains a crime to sell or possess marijuana. In the states shown in green, marijuana is legal. The other colors represent the spectrum of laws in between, as indicated in the key at the top:

[Image: 150713-weed-graphic.png]


Notwithstanding variation across states, year
after year, possession of marijuana is the leading charge in drug arrests nationwide. This represents a precipitous rise. Arrests for
marijuana possession, as a portion of all arrests, have tripled since 1991. When it comes to arrests for sale and manufacture, marijuana runs neck and neck with hard drugs nationwide. Only a portion of these arrests leads to jail time, but to take comfort in this would be a bit like pouring liquid into a funnel and, reasoning that the spout is small, taking one's eye off of the overflowing container beneath the spout. The war on drugs,
with its heavy use of mandatory sentencing, has grown a prison population of nonviolent
offenders (nonviolent, at least, when they enter). I will never forget, while observing counseling sessions at a nonprofit program, hearing a woman speak of half a lifetime spent in prison for being caught holding drugs during a bust. Imagine trying to get a job in the lawful economy after years in prison. Even if you have never known someone who has "done time," try to put yourself for a moment in the shoes of one who has over a nonviolent offense related to drugs.

As a group of my undergraduates dramatized in a video they created last year, if the drug is
marijuana, this is comparable to being locked in a cell for being caught with a bag of coffee.
Move over Pablo Escobar – meet Howard
Schultz, head of the notorious Starbucks cartel.
It sounds ridiculous, but is our war on drugs any less so?

To be sure, the U.S. has problems with addictive drugs. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, our country is the world's largest consumer of cocaine and the leading consumer of Colombian and Mexican heroin. This represents a severe problem with enormous human costs, but it is a problem the drug war has utterly failed to solve. Contrast our experience with that of Portugal, which in the 90s had high levels of drug addiction. A little over a decade after the country decriminalized drugs, taking the funds it had been spending on its version of the drug war and investing them in treatment and public health, addiction had dropped by half. Yet when it comes to marijuana, the effects of
the drug itself pale in comparison to those of the mass incarceration its prohibition has fed.
Marijuana speeds heart rate and produces intoxication, yet it is virtually impossible to overdose on pot, and the health risks
associated with it are notoriously mild compared to those of legal drugs like cigarettes, alcohol and the pharmaceuticals to which so many turn for chemically-induced relief.

Still, some may ask, won't decriminalization send the wrong message to vulnerable teens?
Leaving aside the question of why our
policymakers are not at least as worried about
the binge drinking culture on campus or the
widespread abuse of pharmaceuticals, let us focus on the question that understandably
concerns many parents. Has the repeal of
prohibition in key states sent a pro-marijuana
message to kids? The answer, at least for now, appears to be "no." Early evidence suggests that as the repeal of prohibition has gained steam in those states, teen marijuana use has gone down. As the Washington Post's Chris Ingraham pointed out, teen use actually appears to have risen with the expansion of the drug war, and
then leveled off as medical marijuana programs picked up speed. It is tempting to wonder whether the cadre of stiff, frowning authority vfigures imposing taboos around marijuana might not have given it greater adolescent allure. Whichever factors are responsible for the correlation Ingraham observed, what seems clear is that the feared Rise of the Slackers has failed to come with legalization. According to Forbes, since Colorado's dispensaries took off, there has been a slight decline in marijuana use
there while, nationally, overall use has been on
the rise. Colorado's governor, who opposed his state's legalization amendment before it went through, suggested that it is mainly the people who were smoking illegally before legalization who are smoking legally now.


But what about driving under the influence of
marijuana? Should not this, at least, be a cause
for grave concern? I once had a cab driver tell
me, while I was paying the bill, that he felt he did his best driving when high, because he could really feel the flow of the traffic. What I felt was happy to be home in one piece. Still, I would have felt the same way had he made the identical claim about good Scotch whiskey. Actually, had he been drinking, I should probably have felt much greater concern. Research suggests that the impairment effects of marijuana on drivers may be significantly less severe than those of alcohol. In controlled studies, marijuana appears to impair peripheral vision and reduce the driver's capacity to manage distractions, but unless used along with alcohol, it fails to impair performance in many of the most severe ways in which alcohol has been shown to. To operate a high-powered vehicle in anything but the clearest state of mind is a highly serious matter, of course. Yet this can be addressed through appropriate laws the way drunk driving is today, as opposed to through penalizing possession, manufacture and sale. What exactly have we, as a nation, been smoking, to sustain this second failed national experiment with prohibition and allow it to fuel mass incarceration? In the 1920s, alcohol prohibition proved to be a boon to organized crime; over the last 30 years, the drug war has been a wrapped present to the international drug cartels. While states across our land continue to imprison nonviolent users and low- level growers and dealers, such cartels depend for a non-trivial portion of their revenues on the false premium supplied by prohibition. Since prohibition has been repealed in key states, the prison population appears finally to have begun to decline, and cartels face falling prices for marijuana.

The rollback of prohibition throughout the states in the union must be a priority for those of us who care about public safety and economic sanity in America. In the face of Colorado's experience, we can put to bed exaggerated fears of marijuana-fueled degeneration. What we do need to be afraid of is the fact that the U.S. now imprisons more people than any country on earth. With Russia and China we account for half of the world's people behind bars. Meanwhile we continue to make marijuana a funnel to the prison system and pour our people into it like there's no tomorrow. In my home state of New York, a pioneer in mass incarceration for nonviolent crimes, through its so-called Rockefeller drug laws, one out of every eight arrests is still for marijuana possession alone. In the trailer for the 1930's film "Reefer Madness," the voiceover warns of "debauchery, violence, murder, suicide, and the ultimate end of
the marijuana addict – hopeless insanity."
Hopeless insanity is about right as a description for those who seduce us into arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning people over pot. To have metastasized our prison system and militarized drug interdiction in supplier countries – making drugs attractive and giving drug producers the boon of a lucrative black market – is insane. This isn't merely bad governance, bad health policy and bad economics. It is madness, and it must be stopped. It is time to repeal prohibition throughout the United States.

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  Letterman comes out of retirement with a Trump-themed top ten list
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-13-2015, 03:36 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (1)

10. That thing on his head was the gopher in

9. During sex, Donald Trump calls out his own name.

8. Donald Trump looks like the guy in the lifeboat with the women and children.

7. He wants to build a wall? How about building a wall around that thing on his head?

6. Trump walked away from a moderately
successful television show for a delusional, bull
… Oh, no, wait, that’s me.

5. Donald Trump weighs 240lbs – 250 with

4. Trump would like all Americans to know that
that thing on his head is free-range.

3. (tie) If president, instead of pardoning a
turkey on Thanksgiving, he plans to evict a
family on Thanksgiving.
3. (tie) That’s not a hairdo – it’s a wind advisory.

2. Donald Trump has pissed off so many
Mexicans, he’s starring in a new movie entitled
No Amigos (a reference to the 1986 comedy
Three Amigos, which starred Short and Martin).

And the #1 Donald Trump slam is::

1. Thanks to Donald Trump, the Republican
mascot is also an ass.

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