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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dangerous Drugs

Keeping me sane, originally uploaded by xysmas (Aaron).

Drug dependency takes many forms.

HT: Consumerist Photo Pool

WASHINGTON (AP) ― Depression, teens and marijuana are a dangerous mix that can lead to dependency, mental illness or suicidal thoughts, according to a White House report being released Friday."
While I believe that cannabis affects teens and adults differently I don't believe moderate use could actually cause depression. In fact, this study apparently does not show causality, only a "link", whatever that means.

Could it be that there is a "link" between cannabis and depression is because depressed kids tend to self-medicate with the substance that helps them the most? Legal prescription anti-depressants frequently come with FDA "black box" warnings that the use can contribute to suicidal and homicidal ideation, so those drugs aren't without risk either.

In fact, according this 2004 report, in a University of Washington study:
Medical professionals have theorized that depression is the cause of marijuana use, rather than the result. That is, people who are depressed use marijuana to relieve or “escape from” their symptoms of depression. Some studies have demonstrated that marijuana improves mood and that people who are depressed during the initial stages of an experiment are more inclined to begin, continue or increase their marijuana use by the time of follow-up.
HT: DrugRoar

prison bunk, originally uploaded by egg on stilts.

Memphians set your DVR for Sunday 8:30 AM CDT on WKNO TV Channel 10. PBS is airing a special on the private prison business. There is a dangerous move afoot to corporatize the prison industry.

Prisons for Profit . NOW on PBS: "Corporations are running many Americans prisons, but will they put profits before prisoners?

A grim new statistic: One in every hundred Americans is now locked behind bars. As the prison population grows faster than the government can build prisons, private companies see an opportunity for profit."

This week, NOW on PBS investigates the government's trend to outsource prisons and prisoners to the private sector. Critics accuse private prisons of standing in the way of sentencing reform and sacrificing public safety to maximize profits.

For a great expose on the private prison industry driving the war on drugs checkout American Drug War, which I've mentioned previously.

HT: Texas Prison Bidness

Memphis With a Spine

From The Gates of Memphis: Opera and Go Go in Memphis:

25 years ago today, Memphis strippers and their supporters executed one of the strangest and greatest protests in Memphis' history. During the performance of the Metropolitan Opera's Macbeth at the late Dixon-Myers Hall, they stripped.
So some of us used to stand up in the face of tyranny in Memphis. Even as late as the 80's. It's not surprising that the women held out longer than the men. It's like the "Christian" Coalition road in and converted the city. If the conversion doesn't take you end up at 201 Poplar. Kinda sad, no one knows the address of their jail in any of the other cities I've been to.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Colbert remembers Albert Hoffman. Thanks Albert.

Someone very close to me was killed by a drunk driver years ago. I know how dangerous alcohol can be, but alcohol laws have gone too far.

Jeff Brown of Columbus, Ohio was arrested for DWI, spent four days in jail, and had his license suspended for six months when he refused to take a breath test after an officer confronted him on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Brown was walking his bicycle across his own front yard. Brown has since made a YouTube video detailing his ordeal.

via The Agitator via

The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law.

For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.

It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in the United States is closely connected with this.

- Albert Einstein
an octopus's garden of news, thought & vibe via Neon D Surfer

No word on if charges are pending in this case. As of now the feds have just confiscated his associates' property. Full Story

Chong says agents seized 10,000 DVDs of his documentary. Federal prosecutors may be targeting Chong for trying to profit off his prosecution. "I'm not profiting off the story of my first amendment violation at all," said Chong.

HT: Prison Planet

From KNBC via Stop the Drug War:

In Los Angeles, a former Long Beach police officer was sentenced Monday to eight years and one month in federal prison for participating in a series of home invasion robberies staged to look like legitimate drug raids. Joseph Ferguson, 33, was convicted of three counts in January, including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Ferguson was part of a ring of Los Angeles and Long Beach police officers who committed more than 30 home invasion robberies, using stolen LAPD vehicles to rob homes where they thought drugs or cash were stored. Of the 19 members of the ring, 15 have pleaded guilty, two are fugitives, and two, Ferguson and his brother, another Long Beach cop, were found guilty at trial.
So when people like Cory Maye or Ryan Fredrick are raided before the crack of dawn, they're not only supposed know that its the cops at their door and not thieves, they must also be able to ascertain that the police are there under legitimate pretenses. has Frayser's own Kia Shine's new single The New Style featuring samples from the Beastie Boys. His newest album is called K.U.S.H. or Krispy Underrated Southern Hustler. Kush is some fancy weed, but they know weed in Frayser.

Rocko's (ATL) latest is Tomorrow. I like the life message, its one of my faves right now.

My hat is off to the students of SDSU. After draconian efforts to rid a California college of a few drugs, the students sprang into action, using their persecution as a platform for their message of harm reduction. The group is called Student's for Sensible Drug policy and they're underwritten by the stand-up guys at the MPP.

On Tuesday, May 6th, the Drug Enforcement Administration swept into San Diego State University and arrested 75 students accused of selling drugs on campus. The news media swarmed on the story, eager to declare victory in San Diego's War on Drugs, but the SDSU chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy wouldn't let that happen. Within 24 hours, SSDP had organized a demonstration and reframed the issue for nearly all the local and national media outlets covering the story, pointing out the futility of drug prohibition, while calling for the school to enact a life-saving Good Samaritan Policy. Click here for SSDP's press release and SDSU SSDP founder Randy Hencken's speech to the press.
Watch the news coverage:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I fired up Google Reader with my new Memphis OPML file import. The first post I opened from my new Memphis feeds was the one in the screenshot below. At that instant I had exactly 666 unread messages. The devil is messing with me.
The blog post was apparently intended for someone else. Unless she had a premonition that I was coming. I checked my email. Not me.

In other news: Notice the cool commenting featur
e they've added to shared items. I might start using it more often. Check the sidebar to the right. I share all the cannabis news I read but don't have time to comment on.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I blogged a few days ago about Brittany Zimmermann, the young lady who was murdered after a 911 operator failed to follow up on her distress call. Unfortunately, she fell victim to the misconception that government is here to help you. I regret not mentioning Brittany's name in my first post. Victims of tyranny and incompetence need to be remembered as individuals.

The Reason Magazine blog has now mentioned the tragedy. I wonder if the story will get any traction.

The 6th Amendment gives you a right to a fair trial by a jury of your peers. But does it? The legal system does a great job of disenfranchising cannabis users to dilute the pool of activists and advocates that can participate in the system. This way the system can mitigate the risk of jury nullification. Thus, a person brought up on drug charges its only going to face drug warriors on a jury.

In today's news:

Judge Sherman Ross tried to assemble a jury of peers for a woman accused of possession of a marijuana on trial Tuesday.

But authorities say prospective juror Cornelia Mayo might have taken that concept a bit too far after she was caught smoking a joint outside the courthouse during a break.
My question for the Houston Chronicle reporter, "How can you take fundamental rights 'too far'? Would you place such restrictions on the freedom of the press?" Remember, you can't spell Chronicle without "Chronic."

For my Tennessee Readers:
The TN State Constitution Declaration of Rights thought impartial jury trials be so crucial to individual rights that the concept is discussed in Sections 6, 8, and 9.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

San Diego's Finest

Today, 96 students got arrested at San Diego State University on drug warrants. The DEA and campus police infiltrated a network of students after a student died of a cocaine overdose last year. What doesn't surprise me is that these weren't a bunch of thugs:

"A sad commentary is that when one of these individuals was arrested, they inquired as to whether or not his arrest and incarceration would have an effect on his becoming a federal law enfocement [sic] officer," Partridge said.

Officials said one of the students arrested on suspicion of selling cocaine was a month away from getting his master's degree in homeland security and another worked as a student community service officer and reported to campus police.

Today 96 young lives ruined because one woman decided voluntarily to put herself in a very dangerous situation.

American Drug War is a documentary film produced by Joe Rogan, of Fear Factor fame, and directed by Kevin Booth. I'll post a full review later, but for now someone has posted the full movie on Google Video. I'm not sure if its authorized so get it while it lasts.

American Drug War - The Last White Hope via Google Video.

You can watch the trailer here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Congrats to Texas NORML for a fantastic job in organizing this event. It got some great media coverage locally in Austin. The story below from KEYE TV has two news telecasts included if you click the link.

Austin, TX - Hundreds protested for pot on the steps of the capitol today. A "cannabis crusade" came calling on Texas lawmakers Saturday, calling for the legalization of marijuana.

So maybe there's hope for Texas after all.

Update! I just realized I could embed video from the KEYE TV web site.