Tag: Pot

TBC: Morning Musing 4.20.15 Pass the Blunt Edition

Happy 420! I’ve got a few smoky things for ya! Then maybe go grab the chips!

Jump!  

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Cross-posted from Main Street Insider

The United States is by far the world leader in a dubious category: incarceration of its citizens. As the result of a dramatic rise since 1980, over 1% of the adult population is now behind bars, and the federal “war on drugs” is at least partially to blame. This week, we examine an aggressive proposal by Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul that allows states to set their own marijuana policies by ending federal prohibition of the drug.

Prop 19: AG Holder Issues Shocking Threat Against State’s Rights To Legalize MJ

( If you needed proof that the current “Democratic” administration is throwing support behind getting more Republicans elected this November instead of Democrats, here’s more.)  

censored by facebook

The Obama administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder, fresh off his decision to appeal of Judge Virginia Phillip’s injunction against enforcing DADT because of its unConstitutionality, has written a shocking letter to the former chiefs of the DEA on Oct 13th.   And why did he write them a letter ?  Because they want the Attorney General to sue California if Proposition 19 passes, which would decriminalize marijuana at the state level.  

Holder just sent them a letter in agreement.  


“We will vigorously enforce the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” Holder wrote.  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Control and tax ? Quit wasting money and resources ? More like Drone and Arrest as usual.

The Department of Justice under Holder has not decreased the number of arrests and prosecutions for marijuana possession compared to the previous Bush administration, in spite of  assurances that medical marijuana users in the state of California would not be targeted. https://docudharma.com/diar…  Over a quarter million Californians were arrested last year for drug offenses, with 52% of them being for pot, that’s over 115,000 people getting arrested in CA in 2008 just for possession, per statistics from the FBI.  Make no mistake about it, this is a big cash incentive the Feds are waving at the state when they declare your local LE can only get money this way.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, co chair of the “Public Safety No On 19” committee along with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein,  also said at a news conference that Federal law would over rule state law and therefore any new law would be unenforceable, and that public use of the drug would continue to be targeted, as usual,  whether or not Prop 19 passes.

The “Yes on 19” committee’s former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara issued a response today, saying that:


“Passing Proposition 19 in California will undoubtedly kick start a national conversation about changing our country’s obviously failed marijuana prohibition policies,” he added. “If the federal government wants to keep fighting the nation’s failed ‘war on marijuana’  while we’re in the midst of a sagging economic recovery and two wars, it just proves that the establishment politicians’ priorities are wrongly focused on maintaining the status quo.”

McNamara, now a research fellow in drug policy at Stanford University, has argued that the 60 percent of the cash that supports violent drug cartels comes from the sale of illegal marijuana.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

I’ve written about the Indian Casinos, the beer and wine industry, and the Oil companies backing this continued idiocy. Now let’s talk about the Pharmaceutical companies.

The last time the Obama administration made a drug deal with Big Pharma, er, PhRMA,  before a law was passed was back in March of 2009 when the President met secretly with PhRMA drug lobbyist Billy Tauzin, Pfizer’s Jeff Kindler, AHIP’s Karen Ignani, the Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue and the RW Johnson Foundation’s Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.

http://blog.sunlightfoundation…

Five months later,in August,  Billy Tauzin admitted that the WH had forsworn Medicare drug price bargaining and given up on importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe in the deal to get the health care reform bill passed.  By February of 2010, Tauzin took another golden parachute. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes…

This time, Baca and Feinstein’s committee “Public Safety First No on 19” is getting money from the following Pharmaceutical Companies, thru CalBusPac (California Business PAC) thru PHARMA IEC PAC, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Independent Expenditure Committee. They know how to time the donations so it’s less obvious.   And please remember these drug companies aren’t all based in America.  So this is from some foreign money sources.

Baca – DiFi No on 19  list of donors, see CalBusPac

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

California Business Pac (CalBusPac) scroll down to the 5/7/09 filing to see the donation from PHARMA IEC

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

PHARMA IEC pac’s donations for this campaign cycle  – Drug Companies against decriminalization of Marijuana

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…


Pharma For HomeLand Security Money to Fight Against Legalized Pot List, October 2010



Bristol Myers Squibb  gave Barack Obama $43,385 in 2008 http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

Abbott Laboratories  spent a million on candidates in 2008, and has given money to Tauzin’s old Phrma Pac, http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…

Endo Pharmaceuticals

Hoffman La Roche (Switzerland) http://www.whorunsgov.com/Prof… Rick C Wade, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Commerce Dept under Gary Locke, was a senior government affairs advisor for Hoffman La Roche Inc, and also has on his resume state director of S. Carolina Dept of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services,  besides being a director of Business development at Palmetto GBA/Blue Cross Blue Shield of S. Carolina.  Oh, and the senior advisor to the Presidential transition team.  Hoffman La Roche makes Boniva, an osteoporosis treatment drug (bisphosphonate class ) marketed to post menopausal women which has been causing osteonecrosis of the jaw bone and which double the risk of esophageal cancer. http://www.360reports.com/p/bo…

Sigma Tau

Takeda

Amgen  http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…

http://www.campaignmoney.com/p…  on track to match the $1.4 million they gave to candidates in the last cycle

Johnson & Johnson  just lost a lawsuit and owes Louisiana $258 million for misleading doctors about the harmful effects of the anti psychotic drug Risperdal  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10…   spent $3.5 million lobbying this year so far http://www.opensecrets.org/lob…

Eli Lilly – maker of PROZAC anti depressant , spent $3.8 million on lobbying this year with 248 lobbyists, gave $62,782 to Barack Obama in 2008  http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

Novartis(Switzerland) maker of Ritalin for ADD, and antipsychotic med Clozapine http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…  another bisphosphonate manufacturer, drug may be linked to broken leg femur bones in the elderly

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…

Merck, maker of biological immune system suppressants ATNF drugs such as Remicade,  gave money to Blanche “there will be no public option” Lincoln in 2008 and 2010

http://www.opensecrets.org/pac…  Just lost price fixing trial on generics

http://www.businessweek.com/ne…

Glaxosmithkline – 3rd largest pharma co worldwide, United Kingdom, makers of Paxel, (paroxetine)  the antidepressant which is known for difficult withdrawals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

http://www.opensecrets.org/org…  spent $3.4 million in lobbying in 2010

Glaxosmithkline gave Obama $51,909 in 2008

Astellas

Pfizer Inc Ranked #1 in World Sales per Wiki, they make statin cholesterol drugs, neurontin, the antidepressant Zoloft,  and VIAGRA, pled guilty in 2009 to fraud, will spend $25 million in lobbying this year  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

Obama received $155,183 from Pfizer in 2008 http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

Perdue Pharma LP of Roseville  don’t know why this is listed as Roseville when Perdue Pharma is in Canada.  Perdue makes Oxycontin, Dilaudid, and codeine contin.  http://www.purdue.ca/en/produc…


Prozac. Paxel. Risperdal. Ritalin. Oxycontin ?!

I hope you enjoyed the knowledge that you just gained, that indeed our nation’s Attorney General is willing to leave over 51 million Americans without health insurance, while acting as an enforcer for a price fixing pharmaceutical monopoly – including expensive, addictive, and mood altering drugs –  even narcotics –   and intends to keep people from growing a herbal weed that science and research has shown to be NOT a narcotic and not as addictive as many of the drugs listed above.

More “Change” You Cannot Believe In.  So They Say.

Drug Czars,Nip

image of President and Drug Czar, from the “Nip It In the Bud No On Prop 19” Website

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previously in this series:

BP Oil and No on Prop 19, The Smoking Gun

https://docudharma.com/diar…

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Saturday morning update:  FDL shows that one of the ex DEA letter writers to AG Holder, Robert Bonner, has a company which made nearly a half million $$ in Federal Homeland Security “consulting” Contracts concerning the US/ Mexico border.  And he’s been appointed co chair to the Southwest Border Task Force by Janet Napolitano.  

http://justsaynow.firedoglake….

Nice work if you can get it.  

BP Oil & No on Prop 19- The Smoking Gun

In my past diaries on Yes on Proposition 19,    Control and Tax Cannabis, aka marijuana decriminalization in California, I’ve shown that right wing conservatives funded by their usual business interests, are behind the continued attempt to let the Federal government waste money on continued harassment of pot users.  I agree with the former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, who says that:


most bad things about marijuana – especially the violence made inevitable by an obscenely profitable black market – are caused by the prohibition, not by the plant.

An “obscenely profitable”  black market cannot exist with out high level cynicism and corruption in our Federal, state, and even sometimes, county governments.  The state of CA has been severely cutting back maintenance, employees, hours, access to public parks and recreational areas and facilities for outdoor sports and recreational users under their self inflicted “budget austerity,” and the Federal government has been socking us with increased, draconian “user fees,” for groups,  yet they continue to have plenty of loot to fight against personal growing of a weedy herb, which would deflate the market for it.  Priorities are misplaced.  The war on pot has been an expensive failure.

Pot Prop 19-Placer County Sheriff Dept Donates $ Against It

– Another in the series of where’s the money coming from to keep marijuana possession a felony because it’s good for getting cash from the Federal Homeland Security Paranoia State. –

The “Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association PAC,” based in Loomis, CA,  has donated $1000 on Sept 2nd to the Public Safety First No On Prop 19 Committee, the unfortunate love child creation of “Democratic” Senator Dianne Feinstein and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

DiFi,Lee Baca

The Happy Prohibitionist Couple- CA Sen. Feinstein and LA County Sheriff Baca.  

       People Who Don’t Quite Get That Really Simple Econ Idea That Flooding the Market With An Easily to Produce, Legal Commodity Drops the Price and Removes the Crime Incentive.  

Holder’s DOJ Setting Record Marijuana Busts

http://thehill.com/blogs/congr…

Change You Can’t Believe In-

Eric Holder’s Department of Justice Setting Pot Bust Records  
   censored by facebook

FBI stats say 858,408 people were arrested for marijuana in 2009, under US Atty General Holder’s DOJ,  the 2nd highest total ever, and it was an increase of + 1.3% from under the Bush administration’s last year in office, 2008.  (the record was 872,721 in 2007)

per NORML, arrests for marijuana are more than one half of all drug arrests in the United States, up from 44% 10 years ago.

758,593 were charged with possession only , the remaining 99,815 were charged with sale or manufacture, which includes cultivation.  

It Would Also Make California a Laughingstock

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/op…

By Arnold Schwarzenegger

September 24, 2010

Los Angeles Times

It would also make California a laughing stock.

Governor Smokenator,Just Say Now,Yes on 19

But you already did that.

Republican Governor of CA, Arnold Schwarzenegger Smoking Pot

Blatant Promotion: JUST SAY NOW … Updated

You can help California legalize pot (Proposition 19 on the November ballot) and get a groovy T-shirt or other cool stuff in the process.  I told you this was blatant.

California’s “Just Say Now” campaign:

We just launched the new Just Say Now online store – and Facebook already banned it.

One of the best ways to show your support for legalizing marijuana is with our Just Say Now gear. All proceeds from our store go to support our efforts to pass marijuana initiatives in 2010.

You’ll spread the word about our campaign, and support our organizing at the same time. It’s a win-win for legalizing marijuana – even if Facebook won’t let us show you our store.

Pick up your gear now at the Just Say Now store – and stick it to Facebook’s censorship.

…snip…

[To see] what we have in our brand new store, go to firedoglake.

Hey!  This is cool!

Update 9/23/10: Latest poll results on Cal Prop 19 to legalize marijuana:

California is ready to control and tax cannabis rather than prohibit it.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) has Prop 19 up 9 points, 47-38. Survey USA has us up 5 points, 47-42.

Of particular note, voters under the age of 45 are expected to turn out in higher numbers in California than other states. This is likely because of the excitement throughout the state over Prop 19. According to PPP, among these younger voters, we’re up 20 points, 54-34.

Way Cool!

 

Legal Pot on CA Ballot this Fall, if LA Comes Thru, Cops Not Happy

Today is the deadline for Los Angeles County, CA to turn in their lists of valid signatures for the November elections, and the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult personal use is expected to qualify.  It’s the “Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.”  pdf here of proposed law: http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachmen…

Huffpo here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Look at the statistics quoted here in this Stephen Gutwillig story, and tell me that the continued persecution of marijuana use, isn’t authoritarian right wing make work, waste money, government scheming done because law enforcement needs something to do –  because pot is so easy to grow, nobody would have to go without if it were not illegal:


Unthinkable carnage in Mexico has claimed 15,000 lives since the Calderon government declared war on drug cartels three years ago. Our government estimates the cartels generate at least 60% of their profits from marijuana alone. Following the murders of several U.S. consular workers, Secretary of State Clinton returned to Mexico this week, acknowledging that demand in the U.S. dominates these markets. But she didn’t acknowledge that rampant violence is not a byproduct of the cannabis plant itself but of the prohibition that creates a profit motive people are willing to kill for.

/snip

With this cultural transition underway, you might think enforcement of our marijuana laws would reflect their unpopularity. Sadly, quite the opposite is the case. Arrests for marijuana offenses have actually tripled nationwide since 1991. In California, which decriminalized low-level possession in 1975, arrests have jumped 127 percent in the same two decades the arrest rate for crime in general fell by 40 percent. Police made nearly 850,000 marijuana arrests across the country last year, half of all drug arrests and more than all violent crime arrests combined. No law in the United States is enforced so widely yet deemed so unnecessary.

Worse still, marijuana laws are enforced selectively with racist results. In California, African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for a marijuana offense despite comparable or even lower rates of consumption. An expose by the Pasadena Weekly found that blacks, who represent 14 percent of that city’s population, accounted for more than half all marijuana arrests in the last five years.

The LA Times yesterday, if the issue makes it to the ballot:


http://www.latimes.com/news/lo…

That will once again make California the focal point of the long-stewing argument over marijuana legalization, a debate likely to be a high-dollar brawl between adversaries who believe it could launch or stifle another national trend.

The campaign will air issues that have changed little over the years. Proponents will cite the financial and social cost of enforcing pot prohibition and argue that marijuana is not as dangerous and addictive as tobacco or alcohol. Opponents will highlight marijuana-linked crimes, rising teenage use and the harm the weed causes some smokers.

But the debate also will play out against a cultural landscape that has changed substantially, with marijuana moving from dark street corners to neon-lit suburban boutiques. In the months since the Obama administration ordered drug agents to lay off dispensaries, hundreds have opened, putting pot within easy reach of most Californians. Whether voters view this de facto legalization with trepidation or equanimity could shape the outcome.

The measure’s supporters hope that this dynamic will shift the debate, allowing them to persuade voters to replace prohibition with controlled sales that could be taxed to help California’s cities and counties.

“They already accept that it’s out there. They want to see a smart strategy,” said Chris Lehane, a top strategist for the initiative.

What suburban boutiques?  We had a faux – Libertarian Republican Neocon run here in CA 04 supposedly in favor of legalizing pot, McClintock, and instead post election all the local Republicans are fighting tooth and nail against siting any medical marijuana dispensaries in the local counties in the district.  Oh, wait, he doesn’t live in the district.  My county just spent 4 million on a surveillance helicopter. nevermind.


But John Lovell, a Sacramento lobbyist for law enforcement groups, said he believes that voters will reject that argument.

“Why on Earth would you want to add yet another mind-altering substance to the legal array?” he asked.

Because, it’s cheaper, it works, it doesn’t have harmful side effects, and people can grow it themselves without having to pay for insurance, co pays, and prescriptions, which is going to cost them $10,000 a year or more.  In 2004, California voters legalized medical marijuana.  Since then, a majority of voters (at least 56%)  have come around to supporting further freedoms.  Because pot is also a multi billion dollar crop, the thought of collecting tax revenues on it if it were legal, when the state is dead broke and throwing college students out of schools for lack of funds, instead of wasting money busting people, during a severe economic recession, is becoming more appealing.

“Bong politics” he called it.  Here’s John Lovell. http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Lo…     And here’s the groups he lobbies for:   http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Lo…

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS 01/01/2009  start date

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH UNDERWRITERS 01/01/2009

CALIFORNIA CORRECTIONAL SUPERVISORS ORGANIZATION INC. 01/01/2009

CALIFORNIA NARCOTIC OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION 01/01/2009

CALIFORNIA PEACE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION 01/01/2009

CALIFORNIA POLICE CHIEFS’ ASSOCIATION 01/01/2009

CHARITY FIRST FOR CALIFORNIA, INC. 01/01/2009

EMS CONSULTING 01/01/2009

LOS ANGELES COUNTY POLICE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION  01/01/2009

About those law enforcement clients of Lobbyist Lovell’s …..


http://www.ucimc.org/content/p…

Any vote would take place in a state where attitudes toward marijuana border on the schizophrenic. Last year, the state made some 78,500 arrests on felony and misdemeanors related to the drug, up from about 74,000 in 2007, according to the California attorney general.

Seizures of illegal marijuana plants, often grown by Mexican gangs on public lands in forests and parks, hit an all-time high in 2009, and last week, federal authorities announced a series of arrests in the state’s Central Valley, where homes have been converted into “indoor grows.”

Even if each arrest and subsequent legal action only cost $1000 per incident, that’s $78,500,000 or over $78 million the state of CA is throwing away per year. The true number surely must be over a billion dollars, if each arrest and legal fallout cost in total about $12,000.   20% of all prison incarcerations are for drug offenses and the CA average cost per year to keep them there is going over $40,000 per year.  http://www.mercurynews.com/bre…    No, it won’t fix the $21 billion dollar plus CA budget deficit to legalize pot, but at least it wouldn’t be adding further to the insanity.

As a recreational user of the California State and public forests and parks, why should we be seeing park rangers and maintenance personal hour’s cut, layoffs, hiring freezes, parks shortening their hours, cutting back vital services like restrooms, or even being closed, and the Governor of the state threatening to SELL SOME OF THEM, all to “save money during a budget crisis”  just so these law enforcement types can run around playing Horticulture Police State ?

You want to get pot plantings out of public lands ?  LEGALIZE IT.  

Let’s take a closer look at one of the other groups Lovell lobbies for, Charity First for CA.  pdf filing with state   http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/PD…  Do you know what they do? They lobby for Bingo Parlors.

We can’t have pot and bingo in this state at the same time ?

What is CAHU, the CA Association of Health Underwriters up to, lately ?  They are supporting another ballot initiative for non partisan primaries.    http://cahucapitolrap.blogspot…

This was written by John Lovell, who says this trade association for the health insurance industry supports screwing up primaries by making them totally open.


With an open primary, party won’t matter. Everyone gets to vote and the top two candidates face off against each other in the Fall. That means that in a safe Democratic district, Republican voters will be the decisive factor in determining what type of Democrat goes to Sacramento. In a safe Republican district, Democratic voters will have a similar influence.

And what this means is that the entire Legislature will move to the center. CAHU does very well when we can speak with centrist Legislators – be they Democrat or Republican.  

Earth to Lovell –  it’s not all about your clients.

 

Michael Phelps’ Missed Opportunity

Michael Phelps missed a stellar chance to be a real hero and move the country forward from our far too long-abiding Puritan legacy and rotting livers.  If Michael had had the guts to stand up for what’s right, for moving the planet forward, he would have been worth another 8 gold medals for a total of 16.

But no, he copped to the “prevailing” lack of wisdom.  He said he had been ‘wrong’ to smoke pot, that he’d made a ‘stupid,’ immature  mistake.  Oh Michael!  You could have said how much kinder pot is to the body than alcohol, what an immensely better high it is, with far fewer damaging effects, including healthier livers.  

But no.  The prevailing lack of wisdom prevailed.  You spoke the trite platitudes of established conformity.  Too bad.  Better luck next time.

Congratulations on your swimming accomplishments however.