Archive for the "News" Category

Study: Science Confirms Coke is Addictive

May 22nd, 2009 by Russ

Cocaine is addictive, Go Figure!

In a breathtaking and completely novel discovery, ’scientists’ at McGill University have found cocaine use to be both pleasurable and addictive. While they could have reached this conclusion after a few nights of clubbing at Toronto’s Big Easy nightclub, they instead opted for more of scientific method-y approach.

In the study, ten straight-laced Canucks were given cocaine to snort, while ten unluckier blokes were handed placebo powder. In the shocker of all shockers, the cocaine users tended to enjoy their experience a great deal more. So much for the potential of illicit placebo trafficking.

One interesting tidbit did manage to surface in this study, however. It seems that the amount of dopamine (pleasurable endorphin) that the brain secretes when taking cocaine is dependent on how much cocaine the person has used in the past. In other words, cocaine pros might actually receive a greater high than cocaine newbies. This phenomenon also immediately explains why the drug can become so addictive.

Meanwhile, McGill scientists are setting their sights on solving more mysteries of the universe, such as whether water actually quenches thirst, and whether drinking it is in any way related to the process of urination. Good luck, intrepid discoverers.

Pro Pot Group Proposes $5 Fine

May 22nd, 2009 by Rick

Even though Colorado legislature passed a law in 2001 that brought marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a petty offense, one little town named Longmont is apparently still reaping in the rewards of the cash cow system created by the war on drugs.

A group called, Free Marijuana in Longmont, wants the $100 fine and possible jail time for possession of marijuana reduced to $5. They feel community service and a $25 fine, instead of jail time and $100 fine is the way to go for public display or consumption of marijuana. This would just be a change for the adults however, the minors would still have to fork over their drug lunch money and allowance and pay the current fine.

The group plans to bumrush city council members the next time they hold a meeting and basically give them an ultimatum of agreeing to changing the code or they would send out petitions and collect signatures to get the issue on the ballot in November and therefore let the people decide.

Although medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, Paul Tiger, another Longmont resident worries about the chances of people smoking marijuana for recreation and not medication if it’s decriminalized and the penalties are reduced.

Kevin Clowers, leader of the group, uses the logic that if the fine is reduced to something like $5 then the authorities won’t bother in chasing the potheads and thus they save money in the long run with the courts and freeing up police officers to go after the real bad guys.

Cop Reveals Ugly Truths of Drug War

May 21st, 2009 by Russ

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Academics and left-wing activists are well known for their opposition to the war on drugs. It’s less often that one hears the criticism straight from the horse’s mouth. In an interview for Allison Kilkenny’s blog, a former detective lieutenant and narcotics officer offered up some first hand evidence that the war on drugs is little more than a police-orchestrated charade.

The detective, Jack Cole, is now a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.) A 26-year veteran of the New Jersey state police, Cole was well-acquainted with the discrepancy between department objectives and the reality on the ground:

We nor our bosses had any idea of how to fight a war on drugs. Our bosses did know one thing though; they knew how to keep that federal cash-cow being milked in their personal barnyard. To accomplish that they had to make the drug war appear to be an absolute necessity. So early on we were encouraged to lie about most of our statistics and lie we did.

And so the department inflated arrest statistics, seizure statistics, and any other metrics that would make them look successful:

We exaggerated the amount of drugs we seized by adding the weight of any cutting agents we found (lactose, mannitol, starch, or sucrose) to the weight of the illegal drug. So we might seize one ounce of cocaine and four pounds of lactose.

And as the lie steamrolled onward, the department funding poured in. Soon, “cooking” the stats was a mere formality and part of everyday policework. And, as they tend to do, the lie spiraled out of control.

In Cole’s words:

The War On Drugs gives the racists an easy hook to hurt people they don’t like. And they do.

The need for stats bred racial profiling, destroyed minority communities, and locked up hundreds of thousands of non-malicious, non-violent youths.

Former Drug Kingpin Releases Memoirs

May 21st, 2009 by Russ

Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo

As Morgan Freeman noted in The Shawshank Redemption, “Prison time is slow time.”

For one former drug trafficker, time has afforded him the opportunity to share his story with his fellow countrymen. Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, once the most powerful drug boss of his day, has released a 36-page retelling of his reign to the Mexican magazine, Gatorpardo.

Entitled Diaries of the Boss of Bosses, the manifesto covers the 18-years that Gallardo spent in the drug trade, ultimately finding himself at the top of the heap.

From his high vantage, he had a clear view of the corrupting influence of narco-dollars on his own men, and on the police and military officials that he courted.

One close associate of his, Gonzalez Calderoni, was publicly known as a Tango & Cash-like supercop. In reality, Calderoni was nothing more than a corrupt official, living off of tips and intelligence provided by friendly traffickers. When the price was right, Calderoni turned on Gallardo, and ambushed him at a local Guadalajara restaurant.

Gallardo’s story offers up some important reminders for modern drug warriors. One, is that these vast sums of drugs targeted and seized are a hugely corrupting influence on all who come across them. Another, is that regardless of who is removed from the drug trade (even the kingpin himself) it will always perpetuate itself.

Prescription Abuse is Priority, Says Drug Czar

May 21st, 2009 by Rick

Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske

In an interview with USA Today on Wednesday, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, commented that one of his priorities within the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will be to crack down on prescription abuse.

We get overly concerned about drugs coming in, but the pharmaceuticals are here already.

Under his plans Kerlikowske wants doctors and pharmacists to be able to log prescriptions, particularly to the addictive drugs, so that law enforcement can track them. Some states already have a database of such, known as prescription-monitoring programs.

We’re going to shout that from the rooftops. We have a national effort to combat swine flu. In the same way, we can bring all forces to bear on the drug problem.

Although Kerlikowske takes a step back from previous administrations with the view on the war on drugs, he hasn’t completely escaped the dark side — at least not in front of over 300 police, federal agents and other law enforcement:

Legalization isn’t in the president’s vocabulary, and it certainly isn’t in mine.

Two things come to mind about the prescription monitoring programs:

  1. What rights would we as citizens and patients have for our records to be private and confidential, as the Hippocratic oath assures? Does this mean any local yokel sheriff’s department will have access to the database on a mere whim, or will the information be protected and they would have to have a warrant to access it?
  2. If more states begin to participate in these programs, what are they doing to safeguard our information from the computer intrusion specialists? After all, we reported a few weeks ago that a prescription monitoring program in VA was hacked. If the script kiddies can get through, what about infiltration by government trained hackers from other countries?

Although the new Drug Czar and his viewpoints are considered by some to be a breath of fresh air, we still need to be vigilant about the stale stench that could easily engulf him.

Photography: TIME’s Cannabis Culture

May 21st, 2009 by Rick

Photograph By David Walter Banks - Crowd at University of Colorado

No doubt the cannabis movement to overgrow the government has progressed tenfold to the point where legalizing weed has become a national topic. However the news, never really captures the imagery needed to show the beauty of the plant. Steering away from typical photos depicting marijuana as a “dangerous drug”, Photographer, David Walter Banks delves into the medical marijuana community and captures the raw essence of what the plant and the culture surrounding it, is all about.

At a medical marijuana grow op in Georgia there are no labs, no beakers, no solvents needed to cut the finalized product… a simple clothesline is needed to dry the plant.

The plant is then taken to a medical marijuana dispensary and displayed for patients to purchase, like at this Cannabis Therapeutics dispensary in Colorado Springs.

This plant then helps medical marijuana patients like A.I.D.S. patient, Damien Lagoy — saying the plant helps him keep his food and medication down.

This “drug” can even be put into food, via THC, the main ingredient that gives users a high. tFS’ Cooking with Cannabis is perfect for those medical marijuana patients that can’t inhale the smoke.

These photos by Banks, are a welcome change from the imagery that is usually associated with the world of marijuana.

Digg Users Get Chance to Ask Arnie Anything

May 20th, 2009 by Rick

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Digg is currently hosting a forum (aptly named Dialogg) until Tuesday May 26, where registered Digg members can submit a question that will be voted upon, the most popular to be asked to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger when they interview him from the Capital Building in Sacramento, CA.

A few of the popular subjects (aside from the legalization of marijuana) address the fact that he can’t run for president of the United States and infer what his political plans are after his term ends in California. Some comments ask questions that apparently he hasn’t been able to answer as his stint as Governor.

One of the ones I’m now curious to know now was submitted by zwendkos:

what were you thinking right here?

No doubt, the Digg community will do a great job when it comes to providing sound questions for the interview and I for one am looking forward to delving into the mind of Arnold Schwarzenegger once more.

Canada Reports Drug Use High, Crime Low

May 20th, 2009 by Russ

Ohhhhhhh Canada!

Something is rotten in the state of Canada. The country’s national statistics agency, Statistics Canada, recently reported that while the overall crime rate is at a 30-year low, drug arrests are at a 30-year high. Befuddled Canadian officials could only speculate as to any causes for the huge discrepancy.

Several possibilities could explain this phenomenon:

  1. Some sort of Brave New World-esque ‘Soma’ drug has pacified all of the canucks simultaneously. Good old burglary and assault just can’t compete with the vast psychotropic pleasures offered by this new substance.
  2. Someone at the provincial police department thought they might try only enforcing drug crimes for a decade or three. After all, why go through all of the legwork of investigating and pursuing actual violent criminals when you can simply hit up your local street corner and do some drug rips? Easy in, easy out, arrest rates stay up, and no homework for the cops.
  3. Every single Canadian criminal is now safely behind bars.

To be fair, #3 can’t be the case. As it turns out, Statistics Canada reports that almost half of all drug charges in 2007 were stayed, withdrawn, or dismissed. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 of all of the record-tallying drug arrests were for marijuana.

It would seem that the nation of Canada has proved that there is little to no association between drug use and crime (as the heightened drug use has corresponded with the lowest crime rate in memory.) Also, it appears that due to the remarkably low crime rate, there is virtually nothing for the Canadian police to do with their time other than harass weed smokers (who inevitably are released without charge.)

There are few things more dangerous than hicks who are both bored and heavily armed. Perhaps the National Curling and/or Hockey League should expand their recruitment — for all our sakes.

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