Knee Jerk Reactions

Looks like that ol’ drug pusher (tobacco) Jeff Sessions has enlisted an ally in his efforts to assuage both big pharma and the liquor industry’s insecurities…

WASHINGTON – Two days after downplaying the role of marijuana in the nation’s drug war, Department of Homeland Security John Kelly changed course on Tuesday, calling it a “potentially dangerous gateway drug” and saying his agency would continue to arrest and investigate those who traded in it in violation of federal law.

“Let me be clear about marijuana: It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs,” he said in his first major speech since being sworn in. “Its use and possession is against federal law and until that law is changed by the United States Congress, we at DHS, along with the rest of the federal government, are sworn to uphold all the laws that are on the books.”

Sooo…what? DHS now suddenly has police powers? Uh, methinks not. In fact the department is in legal hot water exactly because they’ve been masquerading as police. Moreover, none of what DHS is tasked with gives them any place in big pharma’s never ending, farcical “war on drugs.” 1

And that old canard about marijuana being a “gateway drug”? Bitch, please! You know what gateway drugs are? Pharmaceutical grade “diet” pills, mood elevators/inhibitors and, oh yeah, don’t forget hydrocodone and OxyContin – those ARE gateway drugs for, yep, you guessed it, heroin. 2

Marijuana advocates, who are watching closely to determine whether the Trump administration will deal a blow to state-level legalization efforts, decried the comments, saying Kelly was defying science in taking a hard line on pot. Eight states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington – and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana in some form and another 20 permit the sale of pot for medical purposes.

“DHS should stick to security and leave the science to the scientists,” Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Denver-based Marijuana Policy Project, told McClatchy. “This is a knee-jerk reaction among a certain generation of people that still think of marijuana as this vile, horrific substance and have yet to accept the fact that it is actually less harmful than alcohol.”

Indeed, but tiny Jeff Sessions 3 needs an ally since many in Congress are ready to admit the marijuana stupidity has gone too far.

It bears repeating over and over and over again that the ONLY reason marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug is because that black hearted asshole Nixon, along with his dolt of idiots of a staff, needed it for political reasons.

Knee Jerk Reactions

The difference between a policy and a crusade is that a policy is judged by its results, while a crusade is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.

— Thomas Sowell

Knee Jerk Reactions

It’s hard not to see Lilliputian Sessions’ efforts as a crusade when he refuses to let science stand in the way of incarceration by excluding the National Commission on Forensic Science 4:

“The reliance of law enforcement on questionable science and the overstatement of the reliability of that science has been a leading cause of the wrongful conviction of innocent people,” said National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) president Barry Pollack on Monday. “The reason the National Commission on Forensic Science has been so important is that it includes leading independent scientists, allowing an unbiased expert evaluation of which techniques are scientifically valid and which are not. NACDL is terribly disappointed that even while acknowledging the crucial role played by the National Commission on Forensic Science, the Attorney General has chosen to disband it.”

Stone them, burn them at the stake, throw them in ponds and see if they float…

Knee Jerk Reactions

Meanwhile, just north of us, in a civilized country

Knee Jerk Reactions

Show 4 footnotes

  1. With the possible exceptions of the Coast Guard, in an interdiction mode, though more and more that’s a “coals to Newcastle” idiocy; why bother when you can legally buy weed in one of 8 states and drive it home?
  2. Though, frankly? Opioids, per se, aren’t the problem, Chris Christie’s irrelevancies aside: thorough education as to the dangers of drug mixing, yanking crusading pols out of the doctor-patient relationship and supporting the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, while permitting legal access to heroin and other drugs would save more lives than ANY drug prohibition.
  3. Sessions’ height is listed at 5′ 7″, exactly the same as Tom Cruise. However no one believes Cruise, since he’s given to wearing “lifts.” A more realistic figure is would be 5′ 5″ in both cases. What IS it with little men and their need to project authority, ludicrous though it may be?
  4. NCFS is funded specifically to enable independent scientists to investigate/counter forensic laboratory methods or other issues that might lead to false criminal convictions.

DEA & Marijuana Redux

As we mentioned the other day, the DEA has a pink-elephant-playing-tuba-really-fucking-loud-in-the-room vested interest in keeping marijuana listed in Schedule 1 (with the FDA, of all freaking agencies, chiming in.) And that’s not going to change; bureaucracies never willingly shed duties/people/authority, they only accumulate more and more. Especially when they have lots of guns.

So it appears we will have to rely, crazy as it seems, on Congress. 1 I know, I know; but there are members in that normally venal and corrupt institution who also believe this needs be changed:

“There are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows, and choosing to ignore the medical value of marijuana defies common sense and the scientific evidence.” – Sen. Cory Booker

“Bad news: @DEAHQ refused to reschedule marijuana. This has wide implications for med research, law enforcement & business. … I’ll keep pushing our federal agencies to reschedule marijuana as part of crafting a rational research & public health strategy.” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren

“Time for #DEA to remove marijuana from Sched 1 to expand #medicalmarijuana research & ensure families in need get legal access to treatment.” – Sen. Kirsten Gellibrand

“It’s well past time for us to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs. …Keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin is absurd. The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. … If we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. – Sen. Bernie Sanders

“Disappointed by @DEAHQ. We must act to allow access to banking for marijuana biz in states with legalized marijuana” – Sen. Jeff Merkley

“The @DEAHQ is keeping federal law on marijuana behind the times. Will continue to press for rescheduling.” – Sen. Ron Wyden

No time like the present. You can easily write your Senator right here..

DEA & Marijuana Redux

Show 1 footnote

  1. Jelani Cobb @ The New Yorker believes it would also help if President Obama formally declared an end to The War on Drugs; don’t have any idea how likely that is other than “you’re kidding, right?”, so go ahead and write your Senator. You know, just in case…

DEA Marijuana Ruling Protects DEA

It seems Federal legalization of marijuana will come about only after we pry it from the cold, dead hands of the DEA:

On August 12, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), despite much speculation to the contrary, published in the Federal Register its long-anticipated decision rejecting two petitions, pending since 2009 and 2011, seeking to reclassify marijuana from its current Schedule I position to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). With input from the US Food and Drug Administration 1 and the National Institute on Drug Abuse 2 (both within the US Department of Health and Human Services), the DEA concluded in a lengthy decision that “marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “at this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.” By maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I drug, it continues to be classified as a drug with “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” thus making its use—even in states that have legalized medical and/or recreational use of marijuana—still illegal under federal law. But the DEA did loosen restrictions on the supply of marijuana for medical research, which could have a longer-term effect on the public policy debate regarding marijuana’s medical benefits and continued criminalization.

The DEA’s refusal to re-schedule marijuana is an obvious ploy (à la Prohibition) 3: they’re afraid of losing their budgets, toys and jobs.

Those running the DEA know full well that marijuana should have never been under schedule 1; it’s addition was one of the most cynical things the Nixon White House ever did. In addition the DEA is fully aware a majority of Americans would rather see Congress criminalized rather than pot. And those of you who have followed WNBTv’s reporting on marijuana and the war on drugs know for a fact the DEA is lying through its clenched teeth. However, in this generations’ take on Forrest Gump’s famous uttering (“Shit happens”), it is what it is.

Though drug decriminalization has been shown to work in other nations, America has always been willing to cut off its nose to spite its own face. Or, to update that expression a little, America has always been willing to allow the massacre of it’s children to keep its “right” to bear military assault weapons.

Guess the sensible among us will continue to do what we’ve always done: ignore the government.

DEA Marijuana Ruling Protects DEA

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Who just allowed food makers the right to decide for themselves which additives are safe. Because…teh stoopid. In fact, food makers aren’t even required to inform the FDA of GRAS changes. And we’re supposed to take their views on marijuana seriously why?
  2. Which lately has been pooh-poohing research –this time by the John Hopkins School of Medicine— that shows psychedelics can curb addictive behaviors, something one would presume to be a desirable outcome by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But, there we go thinking again.
  3. A quick aside: prohibition was the primary catalyst of the development of organized crime in this country; anyone see any parallels to the narco cartels? Anyone…anyone?


The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a lawsuit filed by two of Colorado’s neighboring states over its legalization of marijuana.

Nebraska and Oklahoma said Colorado’s decriminalization has “increased the flow of marijuana over their borders,” forcing them to expend greater “law enforcement, judicial system, and penal system resources,” thereby harming the welfare of their residents…

The court turned the case away in an unsigned opinion. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. Writing for them both, Thomas said court should have taken the case because “the plaintiff states have made a reasonable case.”

There were no lower court decisions, because disputes between the states come directly to the Supreme Court.

Good news: perhaps mostly at the behest of the DoJ –which had urged the Supreme Court not to take the case– the Supreme Court denied cert in a case filed by two states challenging the legalization of marijuana in neighboring Colorado, saying that legalization increased the flow of pot into their own states and required them to expend more resources to fight it.

The case was brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma, whose citizens were apparently receiving more contact highs than those legislators could countenance.