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The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal (Patrick Kennedy and Big Pharma team up to fight legalization)
The Nation ^ | July 8, 2014

Posted on 07/08/2014 3:37:29 PM PDT by Wolfie

The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal

Opponents of marijuana-law reform insist that legalization is dangerous—but the biggest threat is to their own bottom line.

USA -- Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, did several stints in rehab after crashing his car into a barricade on Capitol Hill in 2006, a headline-making event that revealed the then–US congressman for Rhode Island had been abusing prescription drugs, including the painkiller OxyContin. Kennedy went on to make mental health—including substance abuse—a cornerstone of his political agenda, and he is reportedly at work on a memoir about his struggles with addiction and mental illness. In 2013, he also helped found an advocacy group, Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which has barnstormed the country opposing the growing state and federal efforts to legalize pot.

Taking the stage to rousing applause last February, Kennedy joined more than 2,000 opponents of marijuana legalization a few miles south of Washington, DC, at the annual convention of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA), one of the largest such organizations in the country. “Let me tell you, there is nothing more inconsistent with trying to improve mental health and reduce substance-abuse disorders in this country than to legalize a third drug,” Kennedy boomed. The former congressman also praised his fellow speakers for standing up to the “extremist responses” from legalization advocates.

Given that CADCA is dedicated to protecting society from dangerous drugs, the event that day had a curious sponsor: Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxy-Contin, the highly addictive painkiller that nearly ruined Kennedy’s congressional career and has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.

Prescription opioids, a line of pain-relieving medications derived from the opium poppy or produced synthetically, are the most dangerous drugs abused in America, with more than 16,000 deaths annually linked to opioid addiction and overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. The recent uptick in heroin use around the country has been closely linked to the availability of prescription opioids, which give their users a similar high and can trigger a heroin craving in recovering addicts. (Notably, there are no known deaths related to marijuana, although there have been instances of impaired driving.)

People in the United States, a country in which painkillers are routinely overprescribed, now consume more than 84 percent of the entire worldwide supply of oxycodone and almost 100 percent of hydrocodone opioids. In Kentucky, to take just one example, about one in fourteen people is misusing prescription painkillers, and nearly 1,000 Kentucky residents are dying every year.

So it’s more than a little odd that CADCA and the other groups leading the fight against relaxing marijuana laws, including the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America), derive a significant portion of their budget from opioid manufacturers and other pharmaceutical companies. According to critics, this funding has shaped the organization’s policy goals: CADCA takes a softer approach toward prescription-drug abuse, limiting its advocacy to a call for more educational programs, and has failed to join the efforts to change prescription guidelines in order to curb abuse. In contrast, CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids have adopted a hard-line approach to marijuana, opposing even limited legalization and supporting increased police powers.

A close look at the broader political coalition lobbying against marijuana-law reform reveals many such conflicts of interest. In fact, the CADCA event was attended by representatives of a familiar confederation of anti-pot interests, many of whom have a financial stake in the status quo, including law enforcement agencies, pharmaceutical firms, and nonprofits funded by federal drug-prevention grants.

The anti-pot lobby’s efforts run counter to a nationwide tide of liberalization when it comes to marijuana law. In 2012, voters legalized pot in Colorado and Washington State; this year, voters in Alaska appear poised to do likewise. Since 1996, twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana or effectively decriminalized it, and a contentious ballot initiative in Florida may result in the South’s first medical marijuana law. Meanwhile, legislatures across the country are debating a variety of bills that would continue to ease marijuana restrictions or penalties. On the federal level, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has challenged the Drug Enforcement Administration in testy hearings, and many have called for removing marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which puts it in the same class as heroin and LSD.

The opponents of marijuana-law reform argue that such measures pose significant dangers, from increased crime and juvenile delinquency to addiction and death. But legalization’s biggest threat is to the bottom line of these same special interests, which reap significant monetary advantages from pot prohibition that are rarely acknowledged in the public debate.

The CADCA convention featured a roster of federal officials and members of Congress as well as a guest appearance by R&B singer Mario. The speakers talked with energy about the coming showdown over marijuana-law reform.

“We need to apply what Hank Aaron said about baseball to our movement today,” asserted Sue Thau, a CADCA consultant. “We need to always keep swinging!”

Buses were scheduled to ferry the participants to Congress for meetings, and Thau coached the assembled activists to emphasize the potential risks for young people, something that “everybody on Capitol Hill can agree on.” In addition to lobbying against marijuana-law reform, she encouraged everyone to preserve key federal funding streams, to “make sure all the programs that fund our field, every one of them,” are protected in the appropriations process for the coming fiscal year.

Ironically, both CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids are heavily reliant on a combination of federal drug-prevention education grants and funding from pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 1992, CADCA has lobbied aggressively for a range of federal grants for groups dedicated to the “war on drugs.” The Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, a program directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, was created through CADCA’s advocacy. That law now allocates over $90 million a year to community organizations dedicated to reducing drug abuse. Records show that CADCA has received more than $2.5 million in annual federal funding in recent years. The former Partnership for a Drug-Free America, founded in 1985 and best known for its dramatic “This is your brain on drugs” public service announcements, has received similarly hefty taxpayer support while advocating for increased anti-drug grant programs.

The Nation obtained a confidential financial disclosure from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids showing that the group’s largest donors include Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and Abbott Laboratories, maker of the opioid Vicodin. CADCA also counts Purdue Pharma as a major supporter, as well as Alkermes, the maker of a powerful and extremely controversial new painkiller called Zohydrol. The drug, which was released to the public in March, has sparked a nationwide protest, since Zohydrol is reportedly ten times stronger than OxyContin. Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that produces the painkiller Nucynta, and Pfizer, which manufactures several opioid products, are also CADCA sponsors. For corporate donors, CADCA offers a raft of partnership opportunities, including authorized use of the “CADCA logo for your company’s marketing, website, and advertising materials, etc.”

The groups’ approach to marijuana contrasts sharply with their attitude toward prescription-drug abuse. In March of this year, the heads of CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and other government officials urging them to keep marijuana listed as Schedule I, a designation indicating that it has no recognized medical use and is among society’s most dangerous drugs. “We are aware of a small chorus in the United States Congress (copied on this letter) who are calling for the rescheduling of marijuana,” wrote Arthur Dean, a retired general and the president of CADCA, and Stephen Pasierb, head of the Partnership. “[O]ur groups agree with the most recent Health and Human Services (HHS) determination that marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug.”

CADCA’s website makes it clear that the organization—dedicated to a “world of safe, healthy and drug-free communities”—has adopted marijuana as its primary concern. The group’s stated policy priorities are to preserve and expand two federal drug-prevention grant programs and to oppose marijuana-law reform. CADCA has hosted training seminars to instruct community organizations in the best tactics for opposing efforts to legalize even medical marijuana. The group also offers template letters to the editor, sample opinion columns, talking points and other tips for pushing back against reform efforts.

Prescription drugs are another story. In this realm, both CADCA and the Partnership favor educational campaigns and limited pill-monitoring programs—measures that experts on painkiller addiction say are insufficient to deal with the burgeoning problem. CADCA’s site mentions prescription-drug abuse primarily in the context of expanding outreach programs funded through the Drug-Free Communities Act.

In February, the same month that CADCA held its convention, forty-two leading drug-prevention groups sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration to protest the recent approval of Zohydro. Notably absent from the signatories: CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. A policy paper posted by CADCA regarding prescription drugs doesn’t call for a shift in how the FDA regulates painkillers, arguing instead that federal drug-prevention grant programs should be expanded.

Asked about CADCA’s efforts to combat prescription-drug abuse, Thau replied that the group supports educational programs and drug-monitoring efforts, and also recently signed on to a bill—sponsored by Senator Ed Markey—that offers a civil-liability exemption to those who provide preventative medications to individuals experiencing an overdose. CADCA has also promoted voluntary drug “take-back” events that encourage people to bring their unused pharmaceuticals to a central location for disposal.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that industry groups haven’t opposed any of these measures. But they do oppose those restrictions that could eat into the industry’s profits. In 2012, for example, a group of doctors and drug-prevention advocates petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to change the prescription labeling of opioids so that they could be prescribed only for “severe pain,” rather than the “moderate to severe pain” stipulated under the current guidelines. Purdue Pharma opposed the plan, calling on the FDA to “maintain that the current indications for long-acting opioids are appropriate.” According to advocates who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity, the Partnership refused to join the push for new prescription guidelines. CADCA didn’t sign on either.

CADCA and the Partnership have also failed to call for action on current bills in Congress to crack down aggressively on painkillers, including the Stop Oxy Abuse Act, which would—in keeping with the suggestion of the doctors’ advocates who petitioned the FDA—allow OxyContin to be prescribed only for severe pain. The two anti-drug groups have not signed on to support the Safe Prescribing Act, which would move hydrocodone products like Vicodin and Lortab from Schedule III to Schedule II, making the product more difficult to prescribe. Nor, for that matter, have they endorsed any of the bills introduced by Representative Hal Rogers or Senator Joe Manchin to block the approval of new, stronger pain-killer drugs such as Zohydro.

“I think it’s hypocritical to remain silent with regard to the scheduling of hydrocodone products, while investing energy in maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I drug,” says Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a New York psychiatrist who heads Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. Kolodny notes that there are legitimate concerns regarding marijuana legalization, particularly how the drug may be marketed and its effect on adolescents, so “I don’t think it’s inappropriate for them to be advocating on marijuana.

“But,” he adds, “when we have a severe epidemic in America—one the CDC says is the worst drug epidemic in US history—it makes you wonder whether or not they’ve been influenced by their funding.”

In some cases, both CADCA and the Partnership have directly promoted certain opioids. In 2010, Marcia Lee Taylor, the Partnership’s chief lobbyist, signed on to a letter with Will Rowe of the American Pain Foundation asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to continue Medicaid reimbursements for so-called “tamper-proof” opioids, which cannot be crushed or snorted but can still be abused to deadly effect. (The American Pain Foundation has since shut down, following an investigation by ProPublica showing that the group relied heavily on money from opioid manufacturers and played “down the risks associated with…painkillers while exaggerating the benefits.”) In 2012, CADCA joined with Purdue Pharma and other opioid makers in signing a similar letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Prescription-drug manufacturers like Purdue Pharma, which made more than $27 billion in revenues from OxyContin alone since 1996, have faced ethical problems in the past. In 2007, Purdue Pharma and its top executives paid $634.5 million in fines for deceptive marketing that played down the addictive properties of OxyContin. Also that same year, the company agreed to pay $19.5 million to twenty-six states and the District of Columbia to settle claims that it illegally encouraged doctors to overprescribe the drug. But the company’s influence over anti-drug advocacy is less known.

Erik Altieri, a spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, argues that marijuana can provide a “great alternative for treating chronic pain and other types of ailments.” Pharmaceutical companies “don’t want to see another vendor on the market.”

In a written response to queries, retired general Arthur Dean, CADCA’s chair and CEO, said: “The funding CADCA receives in no way impacts CADCA’s policy efforts or strategic direction. Prescription drugs are legal medicines that serve a legitimate and often life-saving purpose in our society. CADCA has utilized some discretionary grants from industry sources, such as Purdue Pharma and several other companies, to develop programs and tools to help community coalitions prevent and reduce youth prescription drug abuse and the abuse of over-the-counter cough medicine.” Asked about current proposals in Congress to rein in the way painkillers are prescribed, Dean replied: “CADCA has not taken a position on the proposed legislations.”

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Purdue Pharma and other opioid makers, including Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer and Alkermes. A spokesperson with Janssen told The Nation that the company funds CADCA to support “educational programs about the safe and responsible use of pain medicines.”

In May, CADCA sent out an action alert to its members, asking them to contact Congress and oppose an amendment in the House of Representatives that would block the DEA from targeting medical marijuana operations that are legal under state law. The measure passed later that month with bipartisan support.

Patrick Kennedy’s Project Sam is arguably the most visible group opposing marijuana-law reform, with the former congressman making the rounds on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, among other cable and news programs. And yet this group, too, is rife with potential conflicts of interest.

Some legalization advocates have criticized Kennedy’s crusade against pot. Though the former congressman received many second chances in his struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs, he has opposed any move toward marijuana decriminalization that would afford similar leniency to others. After Project SAM began organizing opposition to Alaska’s legalization initiative this year, demonstrators in Anchorage paraded a giant check with the figure $9,015—the amount in campaign money that Kennedy received from the liquor and beer lobby while in office. Critics have also pointed out that Project SAM’s board and partners represent many of the interest groups that stand to profit from marijuana’s continued prohibition.

“Some of the folks active with Project SAM appear to have a financial interest in keeping marijuana illegal and promoting mandatory treatment for adult consumers,” says Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project in Colorado. For example, Ben Cort, Project SAM’s spokesman, leads a drug-treatment program in Aurora, Colorado.

Tvert points out that marijuana convictions often result in court-ordered rehab, which can provide an obvious incentive for treatment centers to oppose reform. In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Geo Group—a company that manages several for-profit treatment and detention centers—states that “any changes with respect to the decriminalization of drugs and controlled substances could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.” In short, marijuana-law reform can cut into revenues.

Dr. Stuart Gitlow, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, sits on Project SAM’s board of directors and frequently speaks out against medical marijuana. In comments to USA Today in January, Gitlow disputed President Obama’s comment that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. “There’s no benefit to marijuana,” he said. “It’s simply that people want the freedom to be stoned. That’s all it is. And there’s a great deal of risk.”

What the USA Today piece didn’t mention—and what Gitlow hasn’t disclosed during his appearances on HLN TV, Southern California Public Radio and other local media—is that he serves as the medical director for Orexo, a pharmaceutical company that recently produced a new drug called Zubsolv. The product is an opioid substitute along the lines of Suboxone that, while designed to treat opioid addiction, is often abused for recreational purposes. As The New York Times reported, Suboxone has been linked to more than 400 deaths in the United States since 2003.

Last December, Dr. Mark Willenbring, former director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, raised concerns about Gitlow’s leadership of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, given his relationship with Orexo. “My concern is with the increasing public perception, especially in psychiatry and addiction treatment, that financial interests taint and discredit professional opinions,” Willenbring told the Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

Peter Bensinger, a former DEA administrator, and Robert DuPont, a former White House drug czar, now manage a consulting firm that specializes in workplace drug testing. The two work closely with Project SAM and have spoken at events with its leaders. Last year, for example, Bensinger and DuPont signed on to a Project SAM letter pressing the Justice Department to reconsider its decision to defer the enforcement of federal drug laws in states that have legalized marijuana. For that stance, they’ve come under fire from marijuana-law reformers like Howard Wooldridge of Citizens Opposing Prohibition for promoting “policies that line their pocketbook.”

Marijuana-law reform has created deep divisions within police agencies. A recent poll of officers found that nearly two-thirds believed marijuana laws should be reformed—with 36 percent agreeing that marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed; 14 percent supporting relaxed penalties; 11 percent supporting legalized medical marijuana; and 4 percent supporting decriminalization.

Yet strong institutional forces have kept nearly every law enforcement professional association opposed to reform. Starting with the Reagan administration, police departments were encouraged to seize and sell property associated with drug busts, which significantly augmented their revenue. Between 2002 and 2012, law enforcement agencies collected about $1 billion from marijuana arrests, according to Justice Department data.

It was also during the 1980s that federal grant programs requiring police to engage in drug enforcement were expanded, including the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Program, which funds multijurisdictional drug task forces. The Byrne grants, which cover a range of drug enforcement actions including marijuana, provided over $2.4 billion for law enforcement agencies this fiscal year.

“It’s money,” says retired Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Stephen Downing, when asked why so many police organizations are lobbying against marijuana-law reform. “In many states, the city government expects police to make seizures, and they expect these seizures to supplement their budgets.” According to The Wall Street Journal, drug task forces in Washington State have predicted that asset-forfeiture revenues will decrease as a result of marijuana legalization.

Others dispute the notion. Bob Cooke, a former president of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association, asserts that “losing money from asset forfeiture is not why we believe [pot] should be regulated.” Instead, he argues, law enforcement agencies oppose legalizing marijuana because its use is inherently dangerous: “One try and it can ruin your life.”

But the fiscal impact on law enforcement has become part of the debate. Earlier this year, when Minnesota State Representative Carly Melin proposed a medical marijuana bill, she faced a backlash from police lobbyists. “There was a concern about losing federal grants tied to drug enforcement laws,” Melin says. “Asset forfeiture was briefly discussed as well.” She adds that law enforcement agencies approached her bill with “absolute opposition” but changed their position after widespread public pressure. Melin’s bill passed in May once patients and the parents of sick children began contacting lawmakers.

“It’s not hard to figure out that there’s a lot of money attached to enforcing marijuana laws,” Melin says. “Marijuana arrests still account for over 60 percent of drug arrests in Minnesota, so it’s still big business for law enforcement.” Minnesota’s numbers reflect the data compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union, which show that marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests nationwide.

Similar dynamics have played out elsewhere. When Californians debated a legalization initiative in 2010—which was ultimately unsuccessful—the lead organizer of the opposition was John Lovell, a longtime police lobbyist in Sacramento. Lovell has made a career of channeling federal “drug war” grants to law enforcement agencies in the state—including millions of dollars for the California Marijuana Suppression Program, grants for overtime pay for police, and money for additional officers dedicated to marijuana eradication.

In Florida, the state sheriffs’ association, led by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, has become the public face of opposition to a medical marijuana referendum on the ballot this fall. Judd has deployed a number of arguments against the referendum, from the dangers of driving while high to increased workers’ compensation claims, to teenage addiction and increased respiratory illnesses.

But the annual strategic plan submitted to the Polk County Board of Commissioners by Judd’s office suggests another major concern. In it, Judd says that his force is “doing more with fewer resources” and that he’s had to cut seventeen deputy sheriff positions due to a lack of funds. Judd describes seizures from marijuana grow houses as a key revenue source for his department: seizing such property helps to “meet eligible equipment or other non-recurring needs that could not be met by local funding, thereby putting forfeited and unclaimed funds to work in crime prevention, for the taxpayer,” according to the document. Plus a Florida law enforcement newsletter describes the state’s marijuana eradication program—which brought in nearly $900,000 last year in forfeitures, and more than $1 million in previous years—as “an excellent return on investment.”

Downing, the retired LAPD deputy chief, notes: “The only difference now compared to the times of alcohol prohibition is that, in the times of alcohol prohibition, law enforcement—the police and judges—got their money in brown paper bags. Today, they get their money through legitimate, systematic programs run by the federal government. That’s why they’re using their lobbying organizations to fight every reform.”

Indeed, alcohol prohibition was ended partly through ethics reform. During Prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment was enforced through a law called the Volstead Act, which exempted federal liquor enforcement agents from Progressive-era civil service exams. Without these exams, the Prohibition Unit became a vehicle for awarding patronage jobs to political allies. Almost immediately, these 18,000 federal jobs were marked by scandal and corruption. According to one Treasury agent, the “most extraordinary collection of political hacks, hangers-on, and passing highwaymen got appointed as prohibition agents.” They set up illegal roadblocks, killed innocent civilians, and extorted money from bootleggers rather than arresting them. The wet lobby successfully pushed to re-establish civil service exams for the Prohibition Unit in the late 1920s—a shift that embarrassed dry-lobby supporters, because nearly two-thirds of all agents couldn’t pass the entrance exam. Further weakening support for Prohibition, the Supreme Court declared it illegal in 1927 for local judges to pay themselves with a share of the fines collected from Volstead Act cases.

While not a perfect analogy, some marijuana advocates see the fight against Prohibition as a guide, since so many interest groups working to maintain the status quo today are tied to cash flows—whether federal grants or forfeiture revenues—that depend on keeping the drug illegal.

Prohibition provides “an incentive for these interest groups to keep seeking federal money to continue the ‘war on drugs’ [and] their own salaries,” says Representative Steve Cohen, one of the most outspoken proponents of legalization in Congress. Cohen adds that some of the most vociferous opponents of reform appear to be influenced by the money flowing from pot prohibition. “It’s a vicious cycle.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: cannabis; marijuana; pot; wod; wodlist

1 posted on 07/08/2014 3:37:29 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie

My, my. A radical liberal publication slamming a Kennedy as a corporate tool. How far we’ve come from the halcyon days of Camelot.


2 posted on 07/08/2014 3:40:14 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Wolfie

Everything is not about “Big ________”(fill-in-the-blank) guys.


3 posted on 07/08/2014 3:42:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This time it is:

The Nation obtained a confidential financial disclosure from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids showing that the group’s largest donors include Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and Abbott Laboratories, maker of the opioid Vicodin. CADCA also counts Purdue Pharma as a major supporter, as well as Alkermes, the maker of a powerful and extremely controversial new painkiller called Zohydrol. The drug, which was released to the public in March, has sparked a nationwide protest, since Zohydrol is reportedly ten times stronger than OxyContin. Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that produces the painkiller Nucynta, and Pfizer, which manufactures several opioid products, are also CADCA sponsors. For corporate donors, CADCA offers a raft of partnership opportunities, including authorized use of the “CADCA logo for your company’s marketing, website, and advertising materials, etc.”

4 posted on 07/08/2014 3:48:46 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
Without these exams, the Prohibition Unit became a vehicle for awarding patronage jobs to political allies.

Like affirmative action today.

5 posted on 07/08/2014 3:49:58 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: Wolfie

If Patty was still in congress he’d be all for legalizing it.


6 posted on 07/08/2014 3:51:15 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (Liberals were raised by women or wimps.)
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To: Wolfie

Big pharma (aka: the largest heroin and opiate distributors) vs. big marijuana and cocaine (aka: the mexican drug cartels) fighting over turf. Both sides are being subsidized by the federal government (aka: the world’s largest drug trafficker and dealer). Plenty of money to spread around to all parties involved. Nothing will change until the money dries up.


7 posted on 07/08/2014 3:54:31 PM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Wolfie

Is it not interesting;

When Teddy is screwing a subordinate and is caught when he lets her die in the backseat of his car, (a classic feminist example of the powerful male vs. helpless woman),
He deflects criticism by becoming feminism’s greatest protector.

When Pat gets caught driving while stoned out of his mind, he becomes a champion of the War On Drugs.

Wonder what Bobby was doing to blacks when he decided to champion the civil rights movement.


8 posted on 07/08/2014 4:00:17 PM PDT by M.K. Borders (All I require of my government is the liberty my Grandfathers were born to.)
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To: Wolfie

Hmmmmm! I can take Codiene, but I get an allergic reaction to Hydrocodiene.


9 posted on 07/08/2014 4:00:30 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Wolfie
People in the United States, a country in which painkillers are routinely overprescribed, now consume more than 84 percent of the entire worldwide supply of oxycodone and almost 100 percent of hydrocodone opioids. In Kentucky, to take just one example, about one in fourteen people is misusing prescription painkillers, and nearly 1,000 Kentucky residents are dying every year.

Throw in antidepressants, and then do a political survey of all of the users - liberals versus conservatives.

Guess what?

10 posted on 07/08/2014 4:14:36 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; albertp; Alexander Rubin; Allosaurs_r_us; amchugh; ...
In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Geo Group—a company that manages several for-profit treatment and detention centers—states that “any changes with respect to the decriminalization of drugs and controlled substances could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.” In short, marijuana-law reform can cut into revenues.



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!

11 posted on 07/08/2014 4:16:07 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead

What?!??

No? They speak the truth?

What next?


12 posted on 07/08/2014 4:17:03 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Wolfie
Regarding rehab & treatment centers, here is a true story:

My friend's wife Jane, a mother with 2 kids, fell from a ladder while trying to get a kitten out of a tree. She broke her ankle badly, resulting in months of severe pain. She became addicted to a prescription opiate.

For a while she bought drugs off the street when her doctors would no longer prescribe the opiates. Then, she joined a daily methadone program.

For years she went daily to the clinic to get her dose. That became the only important thing in her life. She neglected her family such that they divorced her.

She went on this way for years until her bad health put her in the hospital. The doctors told her the Methadone was killing her, eating her liver. She quit the methadone for a while, but I understand she continued to abuse.

In all those years of methadone “treatment” the “doctors” never attempted to help Jane get off drugs. With all those daily doses they could have cut the dosage by a minuscule amount, substituting some placebo, such that in a time she would be drug free.

Note that these clinics receive Federal dollars, the amount determined by how many patients they treat.

Actually helping patients get off the methadone would be bad for the business. Duh.

13 posted on 07/08/2014 4:37:32 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Wolfie
Pot has just been allowed to be sold in the state of Washington. That is after lots of regulatory problems, some which are yet to be solved.

The problem for the producers, sellers and the State is this. After the regulations are met, the price that will need to be charged will allow a cheaper industry of 'black market' pot on the market to really explode.

14 posted on 07/08/2014 4:38:38 PM PDT by Parmy
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To: Wolfie
It's puzzling to me that something natural like cannabis is illegal but distilling spirits, something you have to make is legal. Wine is natural. That gray stuff on grapes is yeast. Squish it all together let it sit for a bit and you have wine. Legal. So why is it that cannabis is illegal? Doesn't make sense.
15 posted on 07/08/2014 4:45:30 PM PDT by SkyDancer (If you don't read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers you are misinformed)
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To: Parmy
The problem for the producers, sellers and the State is this. After the regulations are met, the price that will need to be charged will allow a cheaper industry of 'black market' pot on the market to really explode.

Just like there is a "black market" for back yard grown tomatoes despite grocery stores. (or unpasteurized milk)

The whole problem is still government regulation, without which there is no such thing as a black market, nor should there be.
16 posted on 07/08/2014 5:00:12 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE! --- ISLAM DELENDA EST)
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To: SkyDancer

As a bought politician, it makes perfect sense if cannabis threatens alcohol, tobacco and opiate sales.


17 posted on 07/08/2014 5:08:01 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: Wolfie

The prison industrial complex at work.


18 posted on 07/08/2014 5:25:34 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Be a part of the American freedom migration: freestateproject.org)
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To: M.K. Borders
Wonder what Bobby was doing to blacks when he decided to champion the civil rights movement.

LOL. Approving wire taps of Martin Luther King and then spreading around the salacious information he got by listening to them.

19 posted on 07/08/2014 5:27:06 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Wolfie

Report from the front lines where “medicinal” pot is legal.

If you have a street analogous to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, you’ll see no change at all. Pot stores can’t afford the rent. So the deleterious affects don’t bother rich people and rich politicians at all.

But in your middle-class to lower-middle-class parts of town? Get ready for nice business districts to be destroyed. Because decent people won’t patronize businesses in the same strip malls or next door to pot collectives. Because jobless dirtbag “patients” hang out all day in the parking spaces, shoving microwave burritos in their gobs from the 7/11 that manages to hang on.

Get ready for the crime rate within a ten-mile radius of any pot store to skyrocket. And yeah, I’m talking about people stealing anything, including bikes off your front porch. Oh, I’m sure pot users aren’t to blame. They’re so non-violent.

Pot isn’t a gateway drug — it’s the gate. To loserville. Ever work with a pot smoker? They suck at their job because they’re slow of thought. And they stink, literally. Pot is evil, evil, evil, and any city that legalizes it, like mine did, will Rue. The. Day. Like my city is doing now.

Hooray. We all get to live in Amsterdam.


20 posted on 07/08/2014 5:38:13 PM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: bamahead

“a company that manages several for-profit treatment and detention centers”

Usual gratuitous swat at profit.

All profit is evil, don’t ya’know.


21 posted on 07/08/2014 5:47:21 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: Wolfie

The real reason is that not all people are potheads.


22 posted on 07/08/2014 5:48:36 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: Blue Ink
According to government data, the Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 42.1% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame encompassing Jan. 1 through May 31.

Violent crime in general is down almost 2%, and major property crimes are down 11.5% compared to the same period in 2013.

http://mic.com/articles/92449/six-months-after-legalizing-marijuana-two-big-things-have-happened-in-colorado

23 posted on 07/08/2014 6:01:16 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Hulka
All profit is evil, don’t ya’know.

It damn sure is when you are conscripted into spending the money with said company while being forced by the state at the point of a gun to do so.

At the same time, that firm profiting from your coerced patronage is feeding your politician campaign dollars, to ensure he piles on more ridiculous laws to make sure you a return customer to that 'company'.

Coerced Corporatism. Same principle as the Obamacare insurance mandate, only in this case, the state WILL put you in prison for not complying. No mere fine...
24 posted on 07/08/2014 6:06:21 PM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: Ken H

I don’t believe those stats. They can be cooked and amortized to give you any result you want.

They macro it up and release the same sort of massaged numbers here in Los Angeles, but on the MICRO level, observable to everyone who lives within three miles of one of these drug dens in Los Angeles, legal pot sales have been a disaster.

What happened in MY neighborhood was legit businesses run off, empty storefronts now stand next to pot stores, and you can’t leave a sweatshirt or ipod in your car because it will be stolen.

It’s ruining everyone’s lives and businesses.


25 posted on 07/08/2014 10:44:06 PM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: bamahead

Interesting but has nothing to do with my post.


26 posted on 07/09/2014 6:46:20 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Wolfie
Good article, thanks for posting.

The Carrie Nation keg smashers of the Temperance Movement will be by shortly with their bibles and little hatchets to have a word with you. They want to help you get your mind *right*.

http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carrie_Nation,_1910.jpg">

http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carrie_Nation,_1910.jpg

27 posted on 07/09/2014 7:56:57 AM PDT by FBD
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To: Hulka
“Usual gratuitous swat at profit. All profit is evil, don’t ya’know.”

When someone is profiting in the incarceration of people for a nonviolent, victimless activity such as indulging in drugs in their own homes, then yes. That would be evil. But Communist China has been doing this for years, haven't they.


The prison industry in the United States
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-prison-industry-in-the-united-states-big-business-or-a-new-form-of-slavery/8289

Re-Education through forced labor
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Re-education_through_labor

28 posted on 07/09/2014 8:27:16 AM PDT by FBD
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To: Hulka

Comparing communist Chins with the US?


29 posted on 07/09/2014 9:53:35 AM PDT by Hulka
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