Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marijuana and the Presidential Candidates

In the past finding out that a candidate or person already holding an office, smoked marijuana was a disaster. Reputable individuals would be harangued by the media, booted out of office, and ostracized by the community. Much of this stems from the faulty perception Americans originally had about marijuana. For many years it was just something the “crazy Mexicans” across the border where smoking.

As racial divides have begun to soften and research has progressed, ideas about marijuana have started to change. Open minded transparent candidates like Barack Obama, now openly admit to smoking marijuana. In fact, in the video above, he admits to “inhaling frequently” going on to say “that was kind of the point (inhaling).” Barack Obama is the only candidate that has proposed the decriminalization of marijuana and supports medical marijuana. Hillary Clinton has said more research needs to be done on medical marijuana and seems to be relatively open minded.

Political stances on marijuana do more than just tell a person about how a candidate feels in relation to marijuana. It can also act as an indicator as to the type of thinker a candidate might be. Any candidate, like McCain, that can look dying patients in the face and tell them he knows better than their own experience with marijuana, should not have a shot at the presidency. We need someone that is going to boot Bush- appointed Michele Leonhart out of the DEA and appoint someone that will tell the American people the truth about marijuana.

Alcohol Lobbyists Fight Marijuana Legalization

In the prior blog I briefly discussed the idea that the DEA and other government agencies have been influenced by special interests in Washington D.C.. As a result, in spite of a preponderance of information and support for the legalization of marijuana, legislation has failed time and time again. Upon further research I found that alcohol-industry lobby groups made “campaign contributions” totaling a whopping 10 million dollars. Logic and research would show that the alcohol companies, especially beer companies, oppose marijuana legalization because it could cut into the profits derived from the sale of its own recreational drug. So I wonder how much of Michelle Leonhart’s marijuana policy has been influenced indirectly by alcohol lobbyists?

The opposition of marijuana legalization isn’t always that well hidden either. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) received 3,000 from Anheuser-Busch, 6,000 from Altria/Phillip Morris, and 10,000 from the National Beer Association in “contributions” in 2005-2006. Interesting that Marilyn Musgrave was, and is, a chief proponent of decriminalization for personal use. In 2006 an amendment was proposed that would prevent the federal government(DEA) from raiding legal marijuana clinics, it falied. Almost half of those that voted against the amendment recieve "contributions" from the alcohol companies on a regular basis.

I'm on to Harder Drugs, like Caffeine

Thus far no drug company has developed a drug to treat dependence upon marijuana. The chief reason for this is that there has been no research to conclusively show that marijuana creates a physical dependence in its users. Withdrawal symptoms associated with ceasing to use marijuana are on par with the irritation that one would get from breaking any basic habit. Symptoms range from slight insomnia to irritability, and are almost always miniscule.

Dr. Jack E. Henningfield Ph.D. (in Psychopharmacology) and formerly of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz MD of the University of San Francisco ranked six common substances in five problem areas. Of all of the substances tested marijuana was found to be the least addictive, less so than caffeine. Alcohol on the other hand was found to be more addictive than heroine and cocaine. The only substance tested that was found to be more addictive than alcohol was nicotine. It is interesting that the two most addictive substances, of those tested, are the only two that can be purchased legally.

The fact of the matter is that Michelle Leonhart and the DEA are under pressure form Washington D.C. to fabricate reasons to continue to fight the war on marijuana. Why you may ask? With so many special interests being represented in Washington D.C., is it any wonder that alcohol companies employ thousands of lobbyists to fight the legislation that would legalize marijuana? If marijuana becomes legal the alcohol companies all take a huge hit, and somehow I think they’d say and do anything to retain their profit margin.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

John McCain Should Learn to Read

John McCain in the video above, basically told the lady questioning him that he wouldn’t support medical marijuana because he had been told by doctors that other pain relievers worked better. Have you actually ever read any of the research McCain? And he trusts those doctors over the physicians that claim the opposite why? And furthermore, firsthand experience counts for nothing? Why would medical marijuana patients take the time to advocate a drug that doesn’t work for them? Many of these people are dying. I really don’t care if you give them black tar heroine, if it helps it helps. Senator McCain seems to be as dimissive with his research, as he is with his body language in this video.

When a person takes a pain pill it can take up to 45 minutes for the subject to get relief. If a person is in more pain than usual they might take two pills instead of one, their pain might be fully relieved but they are half asleep, groggy and can’t function. When a pain reliever like marijuana is smoked however, because the effects are almost instantaneous the user can regulate exactly how they feel. Marijuana allows them to function, it gives them their life back.

Oh and Senator McCain you atated that you, nor anyone you know, had heard of the government arresting sick and dying people, I have a name for you, Robin Prosser. Prosser could not use traditional pain medication due to a deadly autoimmune disease that gave her allergic and dangerous reactions to most pharmaceutical painkillers; as a result she was prescribed marijuana. Prosser was arrested by the DEA in 2004 for possession of marijuana that she used to treat her horrible pain, even though it was legal in her state. After the DEA raided marijuana clinics in her home state she was forced to search for weed elsewhere. When, as a respectable and dying woman, she was unable to get the medicine she needed she took her own life.

Michelle Leonhart- Acting Administrator of the DEA

Dear Michelle Leonhart,

This April 20th was a sunny one here in beautiful southern California. Like so many 4-20’s of the past, hundreds of thousands of avid pot loving individuals have used this Sunday to communally partake in the use and celebration of marijuana.

Whatever the true story is about the relation between the time and date of 4-20 and marijuana, one thing that is for sure is in the drug subculture of marijuana 4-20 is taken pretty damn seriously. Activities from one group of smokers to the next will vary, but one thing is definitely a constant, an exuberant amount of sticky greens will be smoked or eaten.

So my question is if these people do not get behind the wheel of a car what harm are they doing? Even if I am to concede that all of the health related information that your website publishes about marijuana is true, isn’t it their body? And if health is your concern what is the DEA’s stance on nicotine? What about alcohol? Surely these are both dangerous drugs too.

No doubt law enforcement was out in full force today in hopes of catching as many pot- heads as they possibly could. It’s interesting to me that in this country that the underground holiday of 4-20 is revered by many parents and law enforcement an appalling practice that should be stopped. What exactly is St. Patrick’s Day again?

DEA Website

Saturday, April 19, 2008


The DEA is an organization that does its job based on the idea that they are an agent of change for the better in this country. They believe that drugs pose a threat to the well- being of the citizens here in the U.S. and therefore they endeavor to eradicate these threats. Truly this makes them a very valuable organization as many of us have seen the detrimental effect that drugs can have on friends, family and people in general throughout the nation. The problem becomes when the organization loses sight of their mission, which in this case is to help.

Hemp, like marijuana, is a form of cannabis. It is a crop that has been grown for centuries around the world and has been called one of the most versatile crops ever grown. Hemp has served thousands of purposes including as clothing, paper, for plastics, food ect. Unfortunately the DEA makes no distinction between hemp and marijuana because they are both part of the cannabis family making it a schedule I controlled substance, such as cocaine. The kicker is hemp cannot be used to produce a high.

Hemp has been called integral to cutting our dependence upon oils, as well as other forms of un-renewable resources. As Canada and most other industrialized nations have begun to grow the crop, the United States remains without. In 1996 the American Farm Bureau voted to support reintroducing the crop into the U.S. Of course it was then blocked by the DEA and has met strict opposition from them since then.

If the DEA is supposed to help, why block a crop that is simply a family member to marijuana? Why block attempts to improve the economy and reliance on foreign goods?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Problem with Prohibition

Earlier in my blog we discussed many of the myths that are associated with marijuana. Whether marijuana is detrimental to an individual’s health I must confess is not my chief concern. I feel that this fact is merely one more reason that marijuana should be legal in this country.

The fact is that what makes marijuana dangerous is its illegality. The government regulates the alcohol industry because alcohol can be dangerous. Basically they figure that the risks associated with a person making moonshine in their basement are greater than if they step in and regulate the market. During prohibition they realized that people where going to drink no matter what. They learned this lesson at the expense of their own law enforcement agents and innocent people that got caught in the crossfire of prohibition.

Similarly the prohibition of marijuana creates a market that answers to no one. It is essentially the wild- west. Yet instead of bringing law and order to a market that will never be eradicated, they leave it in the hands of dangerous drug cartels and gangs that have little interest in whether or not young Billy gets some bad weed. In an age where terrorists are a local threat, can we waste the time, energy and manpower on marijuana? The DEA has nothing but band- aids for bullet holes and its time for a long-term solution

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Murderers, Rapists, and uhhh Marijuana Users?

There are 69 million individuals over the age of 12 that are criminals in this country. They didn’t commit murder, or fraud, or rape, or even steal. So what did they do? Well they used marijuana. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse this is the figure for Americans that have tried weed. Over 10 million Americans had taken the drug within the last month before the survey.

As a result of the "war on drugs" introduced by President George H. W. Bush in the 1980s the U.S. has jailed over 500, 000 non-violent “criminals.” While the U.S. possesses only 5% of the worlds population , the U.S. feeds, houses, and is ultimately responsible for 25% of the worlds prisoners.

The criminalization and illegality of marijuana is a major contributing factor in the overcrowding of our prisons. Marijuana offenders do not deserve to be lumped in with dangerous and violent criminals as result of their refusal to abide by antiquated laws similar to those introduced during the prohibition of alcohol. If marijuana users suffer from an addiction, which is something the government defines as a disease. Then why are their punitive damages associated with using marijuana? Many times users are sentenced to rehab and jail time, or just jail time. We don’t give other sick people jail time do we? Could it be that the idea that marijuana should be illegal stems from the idea that its use is immoral? Much like drinking is viewed by many religious sects?

Regulating Rather than Disrupting the Marijuana Market

As the deficit in this country grows we collectively spend over 10 billion dollars a year in taxes combating the use of marijuana. We arrest 730, 000 people annually on marijuana charges and send them to the same overcrowded prisons that we send rapists and murderers as if they are remotely comparable. The heaviest jail sentences are of course reserved for those that grow and sell marijuana. Depending on the amount, and circumstances surrounding the arrest, the punishment can range from 2 to 10 years in prison.

However, possession in California is misdemeanor that carries a $100 fine and no jail time. So it is not a big deal to possess a little weed, but don’t grow it or sell it? If the true concern of the government is who is growing and selling marijuana then they should regulate the market themselves, rather than just disrupt it. Take the 10 billion that we pay in taxes every year and put it into growing and selling the safest, carcinogenic pesticide free, mary- jane the U.S. has ever seen. Not only will the government curb the many health problems associated with the many illegal pesticides growers use, but they will actually turn a profit. Can you imagine such a world? A world where the government acts as a good steward of our hard- earned dollars?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Irma Perez

Something I find particularly deplorable is using the misery of an individual and her family for the furthering of a irrelevant cause. Yet the DEA, our governments answer to the many problems that certain drugs have caused in this country has done just that. Recently I found an article on the DEA website that recounts the story of a 14 yr old girl named Irma Perez. Irma had taken a bad ecstacy pill that had caused her to experience a host of symptoms, such as vomiting and writhing in pain, that should been a major indicators that she needed immediate medical attention. However, being surrounded by other 14 yr olds she did not immediately get this medical attention, instead they gave her marijuana.

Now granted this is a tragic story of the dangers of ecstacy that needs to be shared for two reasons. The first is that kids and adults need to know the risks associated with ecstacy. It can kill you the first time you try it, it can cause brain damage, as well as lead to an array of other medical problems. The second is that if you are going to take ecstacy and you experience vomiting or pain, seek immediate medical attention as these are signs of a bad hit.

The kicker and point is this, I did not find this under the dangers of ecstacy. I found this article while following the DEA websites answer to why they object to medical marijuana. Irma’s friends gave her the weed to treat her symptoms, vomiting and pain. They gave her the weed and when she was still sick in the morning they figured it was time to take her to the hospital. The DEA saw this as a major factor to Irma’s death. Basically, their faulty assumption that weed has magical healing powers prevented her from getting medical treatment.

Now, I’m not going to say much because I think the flaw in logic here is rather apparent. The whole story is about ecstacy, why even mention weed? Could it be the DEA would like a dead girl associated with marijuana? The DEA took a recipe involving ecstacy, ignorant 14 yr olds, 24 hours with no medical treatment and marijuana, and they found the marijuana to be worth mentioning in this tragedy. It seems your grasping at straws here Michele Leonhart. If they hadn’t had the weed, God knows what they would have given poor Irma. Has anyone considered that if we could come together on the factual realities that concern marijuana they might have known better?