Because nothing is more compassionate and caring than half-nekkid chicks

November 28, 2011

From the Sacramento Bee:

At the “Kush Expo Medical Marijuana Show” in Anaheim this month, the 420 Nurses were joined by the Ganja Juice girls and a bikini troupe for an Orange County dispensary sponsoring the Expo’s “Hot Kush Girl” contest. A whooping, largely male throng cheered as 21 women competed for signature edition bongs and cash prizes.

“The marijuana industry is male-dominated, and dudes love to look at hot chicks,” said Ngaio Bealum, Sacramento publisher of a marijuana lifestyle magazine called West Coast Cannabis.

And this, my friends, is yet more evidence that medical marijuana and compassionate care nonsense is 10% about legitimate treatment for health problems and 90% about schmokin’ some weed.

In more ridiculousness, you too can try to be a “420 Nurse“. Aka, Pot Pinup.
h/t: @Dirk57

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No Responses Yet to “Because nothing is more compassionate and caring than half-nekkid chicks”

  1. AnyEdge Says:

    I think 10% is a WAY generous estimate.

    Like

  2. becca Says:

    So I actually agree with your conclusion, but this incident doesn’t actually tell us jack diddly.

    If misogyny told you about the seriousness of priorities then #womenspace would tell us that science is 10% about legitimate pursuit of truth and 90% about intellectual masturbation about what Important Scientists we are*? Would the assaults at occupy wall street PROVE that the movement was 10% about inequalities and 90% about hanging out in the park having fun?

    misogyny within a movement proves… fairly little about the seriousness or lack thereof of the movement. Misogyny is endemic in our messed up society.

    *full disclaimer- this might be true. Also, I’m pretty sure NPG is 10% about science and 90% about the Glamour/attention/newswhore stuff

    Like

  3. Isabel Says:

    There is no justification on earth for holding cannabis to a dramatically different standard. You can’t justify it, DM. You just can’t. It makes no medical or moral sense and you can’t logically defend it.

    It has lead to corruption that continues to shock. I understand that at some level you are like casual pepper spray guy, just a tool, and your livelihood apparently depends on it, but really, DM. Cannabis prohibition drives the drug war. Read all about it here.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/21/drug-war-incentives-police-violent-crime_n_1105701.html

    Regarding the OP:

    https://www.facebook.com/normlwomen

    From http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/163854/newt-gingrich-medical-marijuana-is-a-convenience-that-must-be-stopped/
    “[My supporters] were prepared to say as a matter of value that it was better to send a clear signal on no drug use at the risk of inconveniencing some people, than it was to be compassionate toward a small group at the risk of telling a much larger group that it was okay to use the drug,” Gingrich explained. “Within a year of my original support of that bill I withdrew it.”

    As for the drug war as a whole, Gingrich believes the government should thrust itself into people’s private lives and start requiring testing for anyone who gets federal benefits like food stamps.

    “I think that we need to consider taking more explicit steps to make it expensive to be a drug user. It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid. Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it.”

    “Acceptable behavior”? So anything we don’t consider to be acceptable behavior for kids should be illegal. Again with the weird double standard. And the relief to patients going through chemo is a “convenience”?

    Like

  4. drugmonkey Says:

    “double standard” ? I’m pretty sure I’d object to FDA approved meds being marketed with Teh Sexxah too, Isabel. There are dissociable issues. Here, the actions of the business as a whole belie the nice talk about therapeutic applications. It places the illogic, cherry picking and harm denial in context. If you expect a serious position on med MJ to be taken seriously, it would help to have serious advocates.

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  5. drugmonkey Says:

    Oh and while pain and nausea relief is more than a convenience, drug addiction is one hell of an inconvenience, Isabel.

    Like


  6. Dude, hotte sexxay is used to promote *everyfuckenthing*. The fact that some subset of medical marijuana advocates does so is irrelevant to the question of the medical efficacy of marijuana, as is the fact that some medical marijuana advocates just want to blow some hitters.

    Like

  7. Janet D. Stemwedel Says:

    What Becca said.

    And, methinks DM and commentariat could do some interesting deconstruction of the advertising campaigns for a variety of legal, prescription drugs (including those some might be inclined to describe as “lifestyle” drugs).

    Please?

    Like

  8. Isabel Says:

    Just by having this conversation rather than saying WTF DRUG WAR?!?! loud and clear, you are applying a double standard. And really, you are worried about chemo patients becoming addicted? Did you read the Huffington post article? Either you are incredibly ignorant or – I don’t know what!

    And unlike the others I think your conclusion is ignorant also.

    Like

  9. Alex Says:

    I’ll support cannabis prohibition if DM will join me in calling for Jameson prohibition. Deal?

    Like

  10. Snarkyxanf Says:

    The medical marijuana thing does seem mostly silly to me. Both because most pot users are not doing it for medical reasons, and because there’s a strong enough case that it might as well be put on par with alcohol and tobacco. Why bother pretending?

    Like

  11. Isabel Says:

    And yet these same ignoramuses will soon be complaining about the religious right and the republicans and the Patriot Act.

    Like

  12. drugmonkey Says:

    I am totally down with a ban on Jameson. It tastes crappy and the Irish are on the shitlist this week over racist behavior.

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  13. drugmonkey Says:

    CPP, when that “some subset” is nearing 90%, well, that differs from the prescription drug adverts. And coincidently enough takes it closer to the alcohol advertising. Huh.

    Janet, the Viagra commercial I am subjected to during the Sunday Footballs does not feature any half nekkid women *despite* the fact it is on a sailing boat. All it has is some dude thinking he gets to spend the day sailing his obsession, wander home smelling vaguely of bait and get some sweet, sweet, pharmaceutically permitted lovin from his off-camera partner. That strains credulity past the breaking point, true, but no half-nekkid, possibly underaged young women were involved.

    Like


  14. “some subset” is nearing 90%

    Source for this number? Lemme guess: your asse!

    Like

  15. becca Says:

    In fairness, most ads for medical marijuana may have nothing to do with the sexxay. I google image searched it- on the first page of results, there were two hotte sexxay ads. In contrast, I lost count of the hotte sexxay ads when google imaging for “beer ads” after a couple of dozen.
    Conclusion: >90% of beer ads use hotte sexxay, significantly < 90% of medical marijuana ads use hotte sexxay.
    Thus, it's obvious the only sane feminist conclusion is to smoke pot in preference to drinking beer.

    (entertainingly enough, Jameson appears to be hotte sexxay ad free, but other results for "Jameson" may confuse someone giving the google image search a cursory glance).

    Like

  16. AnyEdge Says:

    Marijuana should be (and, if you look at all the funded research out there, is) held to the same standard as other plants which suggest utility as a medicine. After all, there’s medicinal cocaine in many pharmacies. Study it, isolate the beneficial effects, produce a medicine, and employ that to relieve or assuage disease. I doubt you’ll find much objection from DrugMonkey or other scientists on that account.

    The problem is, the medical marijuana community doesn’t want that. They don’t want a pill that allows chemotherapy recipients to eat. They want carte blanche to smoke marijuana leaves to get high. And they accuse anyone of standing in the way of that of being opposed to the use of marijuana as a medicine. It’s absurd.

    If marijuana activists were honest (with themselves and others) about their intentions, I think they’d be more successful. But I don’t particularly give a shit about the protestations of addicts who cloak themselves in piety about “relieving suffering” when what they really want is an excuse to get stoned.

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  17. #OccupyBong, leave the 90% alone. Goddamn 10%ers!

    Like

  18. drugmonkey Says:

    Hahah, not falling for that one, becca!

    Like

  19. Isabel Says:

    “If marijuana activists were honest (with themselves and others) about their intentions, I think they’d be more successful. ”

    Physioprof, DM is not the only one pulling shit out of their asses here.

    Hey everyone, let’s try reason and logic and before you know it cannabis will be legal! Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before??

    And the mind-reading that goes on – unbelievable! Mind reading and made up statistics are perfectly acceptable when we are talking about drugs- especially the evil weed. Science goes right out the window. Along with morals and ethics- sorry Janet.

    Untie your minds from your behinds, people!

    Like


  20. Sure; the number of people who want to get high is probably greater than the number of people who would benefit from cannabis therapy. Do we deny the latter because of the former? Cos there are a lot of opiates on sale via prescription, despite the same situation.

    Like

  21. Grumble Says:

    Let me see. We have a *tremendous* and growing problem with abuse of prescription drugs that are really addictive. We have a *tremendous* problem with big pharma doing everything they can to get both addictive and non-addictive drugs prescribed more my physicians, whether their patients need them or not.

    Why, exactly, should we care that sex us used to sell a relatively harmless, relatively non-addictive product that makes a lot of people happy?

    Non. Issue.

    Like

  22. Janet D. Stemwedel Says:

    Why, exactly, should we care that sex us used to sell a relatively harmless, relatively non-addictive product that makes a lot of people happy?

    Speaking for myself, it’s more the use of sex — or more specifically, the commodification of female bodies — to sell X (for any value of X) that’s the problem. That’ll mess up people’s brains at least as well as any combustible plant matter, and the effects can be pretty long term.

    And DM, I was not specifically requesting a deconstruction of sexay ads for drugs; the sailboat one you synopsized above provides plenty of conversational fodder.

    Like

  23. drugmonkey Says:

    Do we deny the latter because of the former? Cos there are a lot of opiates on sale via prescription, despite the same situation.

    It’ll come to you in a minute….if not, Grumble will help:

    We have a *tremendous* and growing problem with abuse of prescription drugs that are really addictive.

    so we should bypass the existing protections and go totally unregulated on an as-yet-unproven medication that is really addictive?

    Like

  24. becca Says:

    aww, come on, DM. What’s wrong with falling for data?

    Ads in general exist on a continuum of evil- they can be evil for:
    *encouraging use of a product that is unwise (e.g. cigarette ads; arguably, alcohol ads),
    *encouraging more use of a product than is actually wise (e.g. most alcohol ads, despite BS disclaimers about ‘enjoying responsibly’; arguably, infant formula; some/many/most pharmaceutical ads- I put the sailboat ad into this category [no one is going to convince me that that bit about 4 hour erections serves *only* as a negative warning and not as a feature advertisement]; the type of medical marijuana ad you pointed out)
    *targeting a vulnerable population (e.g. sugar cereal ads in kids’ tv programs; lotto ads in tv programs watched by people in the lowest SES categories)
    *perpetuating evil cultural memes in our society (e.g. any of a zillion ads perpetuating the ‘women are here for the hotte sexxay funtimes’ BS)
    *actually involving evil in the production of the ad (e.g. ads of clips of Tosh.O where people are actually hurt in the making of the ad, and if not for the suffering depicted there would be no actual product to sell; arguably, the medical marijuana advertising campaign and all those zillions of other ads, for their direct exploitation of women)
    *probably some other things I am forgetting here

    A small handful of these tactics (or combinations of tactics- e.g. cig ads to kids) are actually illegal, but they are all pretty questionable ethically.
    I find the advertising approach for the medical marijuana pretty unethical, but not worse than advertising for many products I support in some context (e.g. infant formula).

    Like

  25. AnyEdge Says:

    At least Grumble admits that the reason he wants marijuana legal is to “make people happy”, as opposed to be used as a medicine. There’s some integrity there. And at least conceding that marijuana can be addicitive. Bravo. People who come out and admit their agenda have my respect, if not my agreement (and my mind isn’t made up).

    Isabel, on the other hand, has yet to make any argument, much less a reasonable or convincing one. Can you offer any reason that marijuana should be legalized, instead of used to produce medicines available by prescription for specific purposes and regulated like other drugs with abuse-potential, other than that you like getting high (or at least, think people who do should be allowed to)?

    Like

  26. AnyEdge Says:

    Re reading, I missed an important clause in Grumble’s comment.

    Like


  27. *facepalm* who said anything about unregulated? I’m not going to pretend I’m up on the literature in terms of clinical efficacy and safety – and sure, there are anecdotal cases urging caution – but you can’t deny that research has been greatly hampered by politics in this case.

    My point was: we allow people to use potential drugs of abuse, with prescription and in some cases monitoring, for treatment of disease and/or symptoms; ones that have much greater addictive potential. Why not weed?

    Like

  28. drugmonkey Says:

    you can’t deny that research has been greatly hampered by politics in this case.

    of course I can. this is a silly canard of the Trojan leegalize eet mon perspective on medical marijuana. The actual reason being….

    Why not weed?

    because it hasn’t been proven through the established process for regulating drug products. Its medical application is in doubt. Just like any of a zillion compounds sitting in the libraries of Big and Small Pharma companies. There have been a few decent research studies (in humans, yes) and the results are generally unimpressive. But they trickle along.

    For example see http://www.gwpharm.com/Sativex.aspx for a company which is trying to do it straight up and *succeeding* in surpassing regulatory hurdles.

    Like


  29. Of course there needs to be proven benefit, that should go without saying (although of course it doesn’t, so my bad). I was under the impression that there was. Maybe I’ll actually check one day 🙂

    And as far as advertising goes, I don’t think there should be any direct advertising of pharmaceuticals to the public, sexxay or not. But then I’m a Brit.

    Like

  30. drugmonkey Says:

    I was under the impression that there was.

    Of course you were. That is because of a constant drumbeat from people like Isabel and Nurses 420 and whatnot shouting loudly about conspiracies against medical marijuana. And shouting even louder with anecdotal evidence for health benefits. If you are interested in making cannabis live up to the same standard of proof, review and approval as is met by current prescription medications (controlled, blinded trials) then the evidence in favor is far from convincing.

    As I make clear with the GW pharma example, it is not impossible for a medicine based on the psychoactive constituents in cannabis to surmount the same process as is required for any other medication and come out with approved status. This tends to put a fine point on the fact that the most vocal US advocates either cannot or will not do the same for all of the other indications with some preferred formulation (including strain selection).

    Like

  31. Isabel Says:

    “There’s some integrity there.”

    Unbelievable! HERE is where your concern for integrity shows itself.

    Did you read the Huffington Post article I linked to? Did you, Janet?

    There is nothing new in the article btw – it just details one of the horrible facets of the anti-cannabis war that long predates the Patriot Act. In this case: total corruption of law enforcement. No biggie, right?

    A similarly shocking article could be written on any one of the drug (read cannabis) war’s evil facets. Its attack on young people, especially students (no student loan for a drug (usually pot) conviction – student loans to rapists are no problem btw). That the classism and racism are through the roof. Note Gingrich’s words: “I think that we need to consider taking more explicit steps to make it expensive to be a drug user. It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid. Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it.” The destruction of the environment. The unspeakably brutal drug cartel killings.

    All because it offends you that someone else wants to get high (as if you don’t).

    And your sudden concern is that some ads are using sex to sell a product, and some activists are being less than truthful about their motivations (as if you aren’t half the time also).

    THAT’s what you find to be concerned about.

    Like

  32. Isabel Says:

    “I was under the impression that there was. ”

    You are correct. There is proven benefit in treating the side effects of chemotherapy, and for wasting syndrome and other conditions, and a strong preference for smoked delivery for good reasons.

    Cannabis is held to a much higher, completely bizzarre standard than other substances for no logical reason. I am basing this opinion on the endless stream of governmental commissions whose members have thoroughly investigated the matter, and the documented results of the wise use of the plant through all of human recorded history.

    Like

  33. Isabel Says:

    “Of course you were. That is because of a constant drumbeat from people like Isabel and Nurses 420 and whatnot shouting loudly about conspiracies against medical marijuana. ‘

    I never once said anything about any “conspiracies”. What drumbeat? Your the one constantly promoting your narrow, twisted view that I usually just react to!

    YOU want to limit my freedom, on a very flimsy premise!

    Like

  34. Isabel Says:

    Haha I meant to write “wide use of the plant” but wise works also! 🙂

    Like

  35. Isabel Says:

    And “you’re” the one.

    Like

  36. Janet D. Stemwedel Says:

    Isabel, one can think it’s a bad thing that law enforcement works the way it does (both in general and in its particular War-on-Drugs mode), *and* think it’s a bad thing to commodify women’s body’s to sell something.

    Indeed, one can hold both of those views while also feeling that the evidentiary base for medical marijuana claims is weak.

    AND AT THE SAME TIME hold the view that decriminalizing marijuana use may not cause our society to go up in smoke!

    Just because I’m not prioritizing which thing to do in the order you’d prioritize them doesn’t mean I’m ignorant of the facts. I just get worked up about the things I get worked up about.

    As one does.

    Like

  37. drugmonkey Says:

    The only thing that offends me in this part of the discussion, Isabel, is the willful ignorance and denial of the available evidence. As someone said up thread, I’d have vastly less problem with leegalizeeetmon types if their approach was to acknowledge and incorporate the risks in their arguments. Instead of pretending cannabis was harmless for all. That’s patently untrue.

    In other news..what Janet said.

    Like

  38. Janet D. Stemwedel Says:

    See, even a Drugmonkey has facets!

    Like

  39. becca Says:

    Drugmonkeys will, however, pretend to be mono-dimensional fanaticals if it facilitates #FWDAOTI

    Like

  40. Isabel Says:

    “Instead of pretending cannabis was harmless for all. That’s patently untrue. ”

    You keep imagining that people are saying this. I, for one, have never once said that.

    YOU and janet, and becca, are the ones denying the evidence and refusing to incorporate it into your arguments, not me. Somehow you think we need to talk about it. What’s to talk about except ending the **cannabis prohibition** fueled drug war as soon as possible? And stop worrying about what other people are doing, especially when it doesn’t affect you! People have been using cannabis for thousands of years. Suddenly preventing people from doing so is worth destroying our society over.

    You are holding cannabis to a vastly higher standard than alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, and a million other things. You are demonizing people for enjoying altered states, even though you secretly enjoy them too. You even seem to think pot prohibition is a great source for witty banter amongst your internet friends.

    Like

  41. DrugMonkey Says:

    You are demonizing people for enjoying altered states,

    No, I am making fun of those that misrepresent 1) their true motivations for claiming to back medical marijuana and 2) the available scientific knowledge. And, you know, correcting the record. A public, internet record that is dominated by said asinine perspectives.

    even though you secretly enjoy them too.

    “secretly”? I am hardly secret about the sources of my preferred altered states since they are both currently legal. That would be caffeine (although ‘altered’ may be less accurate than ‘habitual’) and alcohol. Did you have something else in mind? Do tell……

    You even seem to think pot prohibition is a great source for witty banter amongst your internet friends.

    It is. Although if you paused for just a moment in your paranoid antagonism you would notice that many of my most frequent commenters around these parts in fact seem to share your views on pot prohibition, not mine.

    Like

  42. Isabel Says:

    Okay so we now have:

    worsened racism & classism
    dreams of college destroyed
    jail and worse, families torn apart
    drug cartel murders
    environmental destruction
    billions of tax dollars wasted every year
    people forced to turn their bodily fluids over to strangers for inspection on a routine basis
    total corruption of law enforcement

    but it’s all worth it to you if even one kid doesn’t get the idea that pot is not totally evil.

    Like

  43. DrugMonkey Says:

    but it’s all worth it to you if even one kid doesn’t get the idea that pot is not totally evil.

    When did you invent this notion? Any evidence for it? Here’s a hint, go upthread and read what Janet had to say.

    Like

  44. DrugMonkey Says:

    You are correct. There is proven benefit in treating the side effects of chemotherapy, and for wasting syndrome and other conditions, and a strong preference for smoked delivery for good reasons.

    by all means, lead us to the studies that prove the good reason for smoking the natural product over delta9 pills or that delta9/cannabidiol product of GWpharma linked above.

    And while you are at it, the “proven benefit” was what? if i recall correctly the big splash of late was the 2010 report of a UCSD consortium of studies funded by the state of CA to look into medical marijuana. pain and MS spasticity were confirmed but cancer/chemo was not. vapor was studied and comparable plasma levels of delta9 produced, also see the history on the mucosal spray of GWPharma. The read to date suggests that if there IS any benefit of cannabis it is all down to delta9 with *maybe* some role of cannabidiol (there is a very good chance all the cannabidiol does is permit higher delta9 levels via minimizing “adverse events”. like anxiety and the more florid, shall we say, symptoms of high dose delta9. my read is that there is no reason that the potential benefits of medical marijuana are not caused by a sharply limited number of the constituents. limited enough to be turned into a regulated, consistent medication.

    Like

  45. Isabel Says:

    I refuse to waste my time arguing specifics with you- the time for that is long past.

    “When did you invent this notion? Any evidence for it? Here’s a hint, go upthread and read what Janet had to say.”

    Here’s my evidence: you have never exhibited the slightest concern for the effects of the drug war that I listed (a partial list only) and neither has Janet. Instead, she is “prioritizing” concern over someone using sex to sell something over concern about that long list of horrors, as if there was any comparison. She justifies this by claiming that she simply prioritizes different things than I do. I hardly know how to respond to this absurdity.
    As for you, you completely ignore the effects of the drug war here on your blog; but you regularly cast aspersions on people who are fighting it. You also seem to enjoy making light of the situation.
    To me, that says a lot right there.

    Like

  46. Anonymous Coward Says:

    As a person who smokes because I have fibromyalgia and tried the whole range of pharmaceuticals typically(and sometimes not so typically) to treat it and found either a lack of effect at all or intolerable side effects. The only real addiction I have developed with mmj so far is that of not hurting. I managed a 6 day trip to AZ, going cold turkey before I left from CA, with no noticeable ill effects aside from fibro pain.

    On to the matter at hand, having some personal experience with this subject I will offer this up. I have found only one or two places (out of >15) that actually were about supplying safe/quality “product” to their “patients” instead of supplying to a target audience of +18y/o kids/young adults with far too much money to burn and a desire to get high.

    The actual percentage of places targeted towards “legitimate” needs is probably in the range of 1-5%, nowhere near 10%. Even so, any “legitimate” dispensary will have throngs of people coming to them, people such as myself and those just wanting to get high. The people just wanting to get high often get their CA doctor recs with reasons that others do benefit from having it available… it is impossible for dispensaries to tell.

    Bit late to the party here but oh well.

    Like

  47. Grumble Says:

    DM: “so we should bypass the existing protections and go totally unregulated on an as-yet-unproven medication that is really addictive?”

    No, we should just admit that millions of people, past present and future, enjoy using weed, and that compared with other drugs, weed is pretty harmless. If other countries can use the philosophy of harm mitigation to provide free needles and even free opiates to addicts, why can’t we finally admit that pretty near everyone likes pot and stop throwing people in jail because of it?

    This isn’t “bypassing the existing protections”. It’s plain old common sense. You see, I, for one, am perfectly happy if “legitimate” “medical” MJ is only a tiny fraction of all MJ use. MJ is not a pharmaceutical any more than caffeine is, and it should be regulated in exactly the same way that caffeine is.

    As a society, we seem to have a lot of trouble with decisions based on long-term costs and benefits. Even just limiting the discussion to medical costs, the long-term costs of cocaine and heroin addiction are high (lots of dead people from overdoses), whereas those of marijuana… well, how many times do you see mj overdose victims in the ER? Somewhere close to zero.

    Caffeine is probably more habit-forming than marijuana. Caffeine also has its long-term health costs. I would hazard that they are on the order of the costs of MJ use (although I freely admit to pulling this speculation right out of my ass).

    Hopefully we can at least agree that the costs of MJ use are low compared to drugs that routinely land people in the ER (psychostimulants, opiates and alcohol). So, why the hell is it still illegal to get yer jollies with MJ?

    Like

  48. drugmonkey Says:

    You are incorrectly conflating a civil liberties issue (recreational use) with a medicine-approval issue. I do not object one bit to arguments on the former that stay away from misrepresenting the health risks.

    If you troll PubMed a bit you’ll find a literature on the health benefits of caffeine, btw. Of clearer interpretive value than the medical MJ corpus, in my reading.

    Your cost analysis is flawed because it focuses on the dramatic. More people in the US meet criteria for MJ dependence than have ever tried heroin- I think I blogged that paper before. There are *costs* to productivity, personal well being and family relationships. Perhaps subtle costs, but real. Multiplying by the base rate makes them loom larger than, for example, the tiny minority of the US population that ODs on heroin.

    Like

  49. drugmonkey Says:

    Here’s a thought for you Isabel

    What will have a greater ultimate political effect on both medical marijuana and the way we treat recreational users:

    1) convincing a majority of legislators (and by that we start with voters) that addiction is biological, not mere moral infirmity, and that recreational drugs like pot are indeed addictive.

    2) continuing to use Trojan Horse arguments, snickering “industry” shenanigans, defense of “dispensaries” which are mere fronts for illicit recreational supply, fighting illogically against regulartion/legitimization of even *recreational* use (see Cali), etc…

    3) the regulate and tax economic argument

    4) civil liberties, straight up sans discussion of any effects

    Like

  50. Isabel Says:

    “On to the matter at hand, having some personal experience with this subject I will offer this up. I have found only one or two places (out of >15) that actually were about supplying safe/quality “product” to their “patients” instead of supplying to a target audience of +18y/o kids/young adults with far too much money to burn and a desire to get high.

    The actual percentage of places targeted towards “legitimate” needs is probably in the range of 1-5%, nowhere near 10%. ”

    Again with the made up statistics! incredible, on a science blog. Like I said before, it is the most common approach to this issue, to make shit up and offer vague opinions. Meanwhile, the prison industrial complex is booming.

    “. There are *costs* to productivity, personal well being and family relationships. ”

    here let me pull a statistic out of *my* ass:

    Those costs are probably .ooo1% of the costs to society of cannabis prohibition.

    And for everyone: it is unbelievably naive to be surprised that 18 year olds are taking advantage of the availability of medical marijuana, and to suggest that something can be done about that situation. And I support them, because I want them to be able to go the college.

    “What will have a greater ultimate political effect on both medical marijuana and the way we treat recreational users:”

    Fuck people who use the term “recreational”. How’s your recreational drinking going? How’s the recreational coffee consumption?

    “continuing to use Trojan Horse arguments, snickering “industry” shenanigans, ”

    Your assholeness knows no bounds!! Yes, completely ignore all the studies and governmental commissions through the ages that have ALL come down against criminalization. ALL. And the results? Their recommendations are tossed in the garbage. So what is going on? That is the only thing worth discussing, and we need to discuss it now.

    It has nothing to do with the things you are blaming.

    The drug war on the American people may be the worst crisis the country has ever experienced. Alcohol prohibition was nothing in comparison. This is a whole different, major crisis. Every one here including you who is indulging in lazy, off the cuff armchair speculation is an immoral idiot.

    Like

  51. Grumble Says:

    OK, Isabel, I agree with you totally, but “immoral idiot”? DM? Why, he’s just a sweet old monkey. I respect him for putting forth provocative opinions, even though I disagree with these particular ones.

    Anyway, DM: “There are *costs* to productivity, personal well being and family relationships. Perhaps subtle costs, but real. Multiplying by the base rate makes them loom larger than, for example, the tiny minority of the US population that ODs on heroin.”

    Yeah, some people like to spend their time getting high and not working. Just like some people like to get drunk instead of work. Banning alcohol didn’t help, just like banning pot isn’t helping. Guess what? If the drug is available, some people will use it. Period. Full stop. Whether the consequence of that use is catastrophic for society or no big deal is up to society and its policies.

    If the only costs of MJ use you can think of are along these lines, then I’d have to conclude that pot really is as harmless as caffeine, and keeping it banned really is as illogical as banning coffee. Or as banning Peruvians from chewing coca leaves. Or as banning the sale of hemp T-shirts.

    Like


  52. I take it DM is not arguing that the risk assessment in evaluating legalizing/decriminalizing marijuana use for non-medical purposes should reject such legalization/decriminalization because of the potential costs to personal productivity, personal well-being, and family relationships.

    Rather, he is arguing that risk assessment be done in such a way that we work from the best available data on these potential costs.

    I can’t find anywhere that he says that we should not also take account of the best available data on the costs of the war on drugs, etc. Nor can I find anywhere that he denies the existence of data on the costs of alcohol use, tobacco use, caffeine use, etc.

    In other words, I’m reading him as calling on people to support their preferred policy arguments with relevant empirical evidence rather than hunches. If I’m misreading him, I trust he’ll correct me on this.

    Like

  53. drugmonkey Says:

    In other words, I’m reading him as calling on people to support their preferred policy arguments with relevant empirical evidence rather than hunches. If I’m misreading him, I trust he’ll correct me on this.

    well, I suppose I don’t want them to support their policy arguments with my line of favored evidence, exactly.

    More that I don’t want them to belittle and deny that empirical evidence in the course of making their arguments.

    When the smarter of the legalize it types are faced with my points, they eventually try to dodge and weave and say “hey, I’m not denying pot is addictive. in some people. with that, addictive personality. who could be addicted to anything. like that ridiculous sex and gambling addiction stuff. hey, did I mention sugar? oh and it is only psychological, not physiological addiction so it doesn’t even count. LOOK Squirrcoholciggiefeine!!!” etc. “so see, you are tilting at straw men!”

    but they go right back to their “pot is totes harmless” line the next time. and presumably in any context where I’m not there to hold their arguments to the fire.

    And you are quite right that I have not ever suggested that the legal issues surrounding pot criminalization are harmless. What I suggest is that in making public policy decisions the best way to go is by grappling honestly with the evidence. all of it. My end happens to be the medical and health consequences of acute and chronic exposure. this doesn’t mean that other folks, ethicists or poli sci types perhaps, can’t have other angles of focus.

    Like


  54. I suddenly find myself with a craving for Squirrcoholciggiefeine.

    Any idea where I can score some?

    Like

  55. Isabel Says:

    “I can’t find anywhere that he says that we should not also take account of the best available data on the costs of the war on drugs, etc”

    But can you find anywhere where he says we should?

    And I can think of multiple examples where he ignores appeals to consider those costs.

    And by his actions we can see that he *does* ignore those costs. Repeatedly.

    “I suddenly find myself with a craving for Squirrcoholciggiefeine.”

    How many people here were cracking jokes about the last child abuse scandal? I honestly find the lighthearted joking on this subject to be increasingly off-putting.

    “What I suggest is that in making public policy decisions the best way to go is by grappling honestly will the evidence. all of it.”

    Except that when all the numerous panels and commissions have done so over the years- we just throw out their conclusions!!!! So it makes perfect sense to suggest over and over that we start from scratch. Eventually it will work! We are just not pure enough in our intentions yet, according to DM.

    you fucking hypocrite is all I can say. When have you EVER considered ALL of the evidence?

    “My end happens to be the medical and health consequences of acute and chronic exposure.”

    and here on your blog, in criticizing advertising, “legaleeze types”, reading minds, and making up statistics, inventing people who say pot is harmless….

    “doesn’t mean that other folks, ethicists or poli sci types perhaps,”

    Right you have no interest in the tragic effects of the decades-long militarized drug war on American citizens.

    Maybe as a human being perhaps? Who is supposedly interested in health, ethics…..

    Like

  56. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Isabel, Sorry I offended you so with my comment. Please try going here and visiting a random selection of any 10 locations: http://legalmarijuanadispensary.com/

    You have me wondering if you are related to casually pepper spray everything cop…but you lack his composure. I was careful to qualify my statistics with a “probably”, guess you missed that in your rush to argue with everybody everywhere. Im on your side, really, I am. I was just stating what I have observed, perhaps the areas I have experienced are not typical…but my experience spans 4 counties and all were the same. It seemed relevant to the topic so please do not try to jump down my throat about having a voice.

    Your posting style here has been very counterproductive to any sort of reasoned discussion and cannot result in anything but shouting at people until they grow bored of reading your posts full of misdirected rage. I am on your side, really, I do not agree with the current legal status of the plant or our prison population issues…but that doesnt change the facts of the matter.

    DM’s post above reminded me of something significant I forgot in my post. I probably should have qualified my statement about addiction to include that it is my personal experience: while I do not appear to suffer from addiction to cannabis I do know people who are very addicted to it.

    Like

  57. Isabel Says:

    First of all, if kids can get away with it, I say good for them. Why should they be risking their futures over something that shouldn’t even be illegal, as everyone agrees? Something that will not affect someone’s chances to be a police officer, however; in fact a police officer can have a record of *dealing* pot, no problem there. They can get a well-paid position where they can arrest citizens for the same things that they did, they just can’t get a loan to go to college.

    Why should a totally unjustifiable, inconsistent and ineffective law be allowed to ruin these kids futures and turn 1/3 of Americans into criminals hiding their actions from the law for decades on end? What right do employers have to demand hair and urine samples from potential employees anyway? Why do we act like all this is somehow normal??? Or a minor inconvenience?

    People who think that the thing we need to do at this stage is to sit down and have a nice, reasoned discussion about whether pot is harmful or not are in serious denial. And no, they do not agree with me. My opinion is that the time is passed to have that discussion. It’s been discussed to death and we know what we need to do.

    Why does everyone here doubt all the commissions and special panels that have investigated this question? Even Nixon’s hand-picked conservative cronies looked at the matter in great detail and were forced to recommend decriminalization. He tossed their recommendations in the wastebasket.

    40 years later, you still think that somehow some great harm has been potentially overlooked, and that DM or one of his buddies over at the NIDA is going to make some discovery that will make the whole depressing transition to a police state worthwhile. Is that it? Or at least that people who believe in that possibility even if you don’t should be respected? I think all people engaging in this sort of armchair debating and criticizing at this point in time are nuts.

    Like

  58. drugmonkey Says:

    Maybe because your commissions and special reports consist of asking people “do you think it’s a problem? No? Ok then”. I’ve deconstructed your examples in the past including the laughable India Hemp Commission thing from what, 150 yrs ago? Consisting of asking selected GreatLearnedMen what they thought about hemp smoking. It is pure crapola and if the finding of such a report disagreed with you, you would find it methodologically ludicrous yourself. Moving forward to the Nixonion era- people barely believed cigarettes were addictive at that point! Our understanding is much greater now, for those of us that care to see.

    Part of a “nice reasoned discussion” is having reasonable participants. As far as I can recall you have never embraced certain facts and this gets in the way of reasoned discourse. Pot smoking is addictive, full stop. It reaches DSM type criteria in some 8-9% of users, this will of course move a bit depending on your denominator, but is a good comparator to other usual estimates for other drugs. The public health impact is driven by the magnitude of the base rate- the number of people using. Legalization will drive this number up, thereby driving up the number of addicted individuals. These individuals in many cases find that they wish to discontinue and cannot- this for me is sufficient reason to conclude there is a “problem” in the colloquial, real world sense beyond formal diagnostic criteria.

    I fail to see where your acknowledgement of such facts interferes with your concerns on the legal front but clearly you feel that it would. I find such denialism on the part of one who is supposedly a scientist to be odd.

    Like

  59. becca Says:

    DM, with all due respects to your #FWDAOTI, I’ve always found consulting GreatLearnedMen from hundreds of years ago very effective… For example, when people tell me “no one could have known tobacco was harmful before the 1960s!” I want to smack them over the head.
    In 1604 James I of England described tobacco as “loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs”
    Really, some forms of harm are self-evident.

    My intense hatred of tobacco aside, I really think it’s useful- from a public-health assessment perspective and certainly for individuals- to distinguish ‘functional’ addicts from addicts that are having trouble functioning in certain ways. I would say one should be assumed to be functional as long as one maintains acceptable relationships with people, and/or holds a job. What percentage of those 8-9% of people addicted to marijuana would meet this type of criteria?
    I can see how the DSM criteria may be useful, but truthfully they can lead to many people being classified as addicted that I really don’t see any problems with.
    Simplifying the criteria down to “wanting to stop and having a problem doing so” makes the assessment more simplistic and misleading, not more “real world”. It’s just not a good criteria by which to judge a substance- think of antidepressants (which in fact, are problematic for that reason, but still worthwhile on balance).

    Like

  60. drugmonkey Says:

    Any set of criteria are just that. A set of criteria. They can help to operationalize and categorize in ways that are useful in many contexts. They may come up short in other applications. Your highly personal approach is another set of criteria. Is your individual insight better than professional consensus represented by the DSM criteria (which are often supported by published studies)? Not in my view.

    Like

  61. Grumble Says:

    1. I’m with becca on this: even if we buy that pot is addictive by the highly fluid and subjective and (some would argue, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of worms) unscientific DSM criteria, it makes no sense to prevent everyone from free access to pot, if that 8-9% who do get addicted have only minor problems functioning in society. Again, I can’t help comparing pot to caffeine: caffeine is far more addictive (well, habit-forming), and some coffee drinkers want to stop, but drinking it is a social non-issue.

    2. I think it’s open to question whether legalization will drive up the number of pot smokers. Did this happen in the Netherlands when pot was effectively legalized? Also, cigarette smoking is on the wane because of the intensive campaign against it and the high taxes on cigarettes — not because it’s illegal. If pot is really a health problem (and if it is, I’m still not convinced it’s a major one), then the way to deal with it is to discourage people from using it, not banning it outright.

    Like

  62. drugmonkey Says:

    Seems to me that last time we addressed the Netherlands epidemiology it emerged that there was an upturn in teen use across time that paralleled the decriminalization efforts. Current rates compared across countries were not particularly or glaringly different. But there are large differences in use rates across Euro countries (for example Portugal, beloved of the advocares has a low base rate). So it depends on whether you look at change within population or differences across populations.

    One thing that will be informative is when the epidemiological stats on the quasi-legal epoch of K2/Spice products emerge. Especially the “ever tried” rates b/c it doesn’t sound like those products’ effects have the broad appeal that pot seems to enjoy.

    Like

  63. becca Says:

    “Is your individual insight better than professional consensus represented by the DSM criteria (which are often supported by published studies)? Not in my view.”
    The DSM are designed for doctors diagnosing individuals.
    Type I errors are very risky in this context, and the standards doctors do (and should) use reflect that.

    A simple analogy- you have a pregnant woman come to a clinic in Thailand. You have $7 to diagnose and treat her. Do you
    A) test whether she has a fever (free) and use the $7 to give her chloroquine, which is safe for pregnant women and effective against some kinds of malaria (that are present in Thailand). This course of action has a 25% chance of preventing a miscarriage and a 5% chance of preventing her death (and a 30% chance of not helping her at all since she didn’t really have malaria, as well as a 1% chance of giving her hallucinations).
    B) spend the $7 running a PCR test to identify the specific strain and drug sensitivity of the parasite, and have $0 to treat her. This course of action has a 70% chance of getting good information about the bug, and a 30% chance of finding she didn’t have one at all (and of course a 0% chance of preventing a death or giving side effects)

    Every reasonable guide for doctors would obviously suggest A). At the same time, it’s a terrible idea to then use the doctor’s diagnosis for monitoring the epidemiology of malaria! Only approach B) is at all useful in understanding the epidemiology.

    That is the type of problem I see with using with the DSM.
    My criteria may not be ideal, but they are much more “common sense” than “does this person have difficulty stopping the drug” (because the later has a very very high rate of type I errors, and I’m not sure does any better at type II errors than my criteria). You are free to suggest alternative ways to classify “problematic addiction”. But using the DSM and just looking at “addiction” ensures that you will classify some people as addicted who do not represent any sort of problem.

    Something can be Useful and still be Inaccurate. Thus with the DSM (at least, it’s inaccurate inasmuch as people view “addiction” as necessarily implying “bad”, which is probably a pretty strong mental association in most people)

    Like

  64. Grumble Says:

    Hm, so, if you have tolerance, withdrawal, and want to reduce your pot consumption, you’re addicted — even if you don’t meet any of the other 4 DSM criteria (difficulty controlling intake, negative social/family/job consequences, neglecting your responsibilities and your other pleasurable pursuits, and spending too much time involved with drug-related activities).

    In other words, according to “objective” DSM criteria you can be addicted even if there are zero negative consequences to your drug use. I’d like to know what fraction of the 7-8% of pot users that are supposedly addicted actually meet the other 4 criteria, and more importantly, how severe those negative consequences really are.

    I’m just plain skeptical that the personal and social costs of pot addiction, even when aggregated across addicts, are anything close to those of other drugs: meth addicts going crazy, cocaine and heroin addicts overdosing, and alcoholics becoming abusive and/or killing people with their cars.

    Like

  65. Isabel Says:

    “Maybe because your commissions and special reports consist of asking people “do you think it’s a problem? No? Ok then”.”

    This is so wrong and ignorant that I am speechless. You are basing this out of the first such report that goes back over 100 yrs.

    “I’ve deconstructed your examples in the past including the laughable India Hemp Commission thing from what, 150 yrs ago? ”

    “Consisting of asking selected GreatLearnedMen what they thought about hemp smoking. ”

    They spoke to hundreds of medical practitioners all over the country, where the drug was widely used. Why are you spreading lies again?

    The numerous commissions, special panels and other health dept and other governmental studies and reviews have continued to form, look at the evidence, and recommend legalization until the present day all over the world. Every one of them has come to the same conclusion.

    As Drugmonkey well knows. Surely he keeps up with the literature? I wonder how he and his buddies at the treasonous NIDA sleep at night??

    “Legalization will drive this number up, thereby driving up the number of addicted individuals.”

    Who manage to go about their lives and have you to help them recover. Meanwhile imagine the positives that would result!!!

    “I find such denialism on the part of one who is supposedly a scientist to be odd.”

    hear hear.

    I challenge DM to dedicate a post to actually comparing the harm of prohibition to the potential harm of a few more potential users of cannabis. What do you say, Drugmonkey.

    Like

  66. DrugMonkey Says:

    Surely he keeps up with the literature?

    I keep up with some literature, sure. Especially the peer reviewed, science-y kind. Not so much the “reports” of advocacy groups though, if that’s what you mean.

    I wonder why you never seem to want to post the link to that silly India Hemp thing? Afraid people might read it for themselves and come to the conclusion my description is, if anything, generous?

    What do you say, Drugmonkey.

    let me get right on that.

    Like

  67. Grumble Says:

    The Silly India Hemp Thing says “Price: Rs 3”.

    I’d pay that much for it!

    Like

  68. Isabel Says:

    You fucking liar. I posted the link ages ago! That’s how you learned about it i the first place. You are the one who is fixated on it. Out of all the reports and commissions, right up until 2005, you pick the oldest one and constantly obsess over it, and claim I am the one who is doing so. Fucker. You don’t care if we are living in a police state do you? You like it don’t you, control freak?

    So you are not up to my challenge. Big surprise. Now everyone knows that you DON’T want to consider all the costs. You want to live in a police state, and control what I do in my free time. You are a lying hypocrite. Exactly what are your connections to the NIDA anyway?

    Like

  69. DrugMonkey Says:

    control what I do in my free time.

    Exactly. I use my mind rays to get you spend all your time ranting and raving on my weblog….

    Like

  70. Isabel Says:

    Your “mind rays”? I am talking about the NIDA (and by association YOU) being ultimately responsible for the very real arrests of millions of people, record levels of imprisonment, denials of college loans, the steady eroding of our civil liberties, the total corruption of our police forces, and the branding of over a third of Americans as criminals who must hide their activities from the law.

    Like

  71. Isabel Says:

    “That is why the President’s National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. ”

    Hahahahahahaha. You say I am the deluded, crazy one?

    from:

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/response/what-we-have-say-about-legalizing-marijuana

    Like

  72. BikeMonkey Says:

    So “by association” are you (sorry, YOU) responsible for these morons http://scientopia.org/blogs/drugmonkey/2011/11/30/arent-christians-supposed-to-be-christian/ Isabel?

    Like


  73. Loonabel: TITRATE!

    Like

  74. Isabel Says:

    And how does that work, Bikemonkey? I am neither a Christian nor a Southerner. And couldn’t

    It is naive to view the NIDA as simply a collection of scientists. It is a government agency. Have you seen their biased websites? Read the words of their director?

    I am 100% right on this issue. The drug war doesn’t just suck, it is completely evil. When have either of you ever even written a single post about it? This is one place I have to give Ed Brayton credit; but who else???? Yes, those who do the government’s (i.e. the lobbyists who run the government these days) bidding DO have blood (and ruined lives) on their hands. There is no excuse for playing innocent in 2011.

    I am curious to know if any of you have ever even had to take a drug test, like most Americans have, living in your protected academic bubbles?

    Bikemonkey writes about an isolated incident, ignoring the drug “war” that has sent equality back to pre-civil rights era levels.

    Like

  75. Isabel Says:

    Sorry about the sentence fragment; I haven’t had any caffeine yet, after being up all night working on a paper.

    But since I am here, I’ll add that I am not going to give up this time around; I’m going to hang around and insist that Drugmonkey do what he keeps saying he is doing, and that I am supposedly (in his estimation) not doing.

    Write a post that weighs **all** the costs.

    I don’t believe that anyone bothered to read the Huffington Post article I linked to, or that any here has taken the time to look into the other costs of the drug war I keep alluding to.

    The last cannabis-related activism I was involved in, back in the late 90’s, was a group advocating for women who were separated from their children because of the drug laws. Case after case involved women who had answered the phone for their drug dealing boyfriends, or some other minor thing. They knew no one and had no information to trade in order to get a reduced sentence. Their boyfriends did, and often received lighter sentences or got off. The women, on the other hand, were separated from their children, often for decades.

    Like

  76. Isabel Says:

    And if that wasn’t clear, I am not referring to child protective services putting the kids in foster care; I am talking about putting the mothers in prison, often hundreds of miles away from their children.

    Because they answered the phone.

    Like


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