Tag Archives | Drugs

White House Drug Czar’s Office: Marijuana is the “safest thing in the world”

MarijuanasmallDavid Sirota is a one man marijuana promotion machine. Again writing at Pando Daily:

In my syndicated newspaper column this week, I follow up my recent Pando report about marijuana legalization by firing up the flux capacitor and taking readers back to the front lines of the drug war circa 2006. It is worth taking a moment to go a little deeper in this space, because there is a key “you gotta see/hear it to believe it” revelation that doesn’t fully translate in a written recounting of that era.

Back then, in a precursor of what was to come under President Barack “Choom Gang” Obama, President George W. Bush was intensifying the federal government’s specific crusade against marijuana, a drug Dubya had suggested he personally used. Yet, in their eagerness to demonize cannabis and make it seem uncool, Bush and the hard-core prohibitionists in his drug czar’s office accidentally admitted that marijuana isn’t all that dangerous.

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Colorado Running Out Of Marijuana

Cannabis StationYou know your product is hot when you can’t keep it in stock, and that’s exactly what’s happening at legal marijuana shops in Colorado reports TIME:

A few days into the experiment, the new world of legal-recreational-marijuana sales in Colorado appears to be a big success — so much so that pot shops are finding it impossible to keep up with demand.

According to the Denver Post, at least 37 stores in Colorado were licensed to sell recreational pot to anyone 21 or over as of New Year’s Day. The Associated Press and others reported long lines outside Denver pot shops, with some eager customers forced to wait three to five hours before getting a chance to go inside, step up to the counter and make a purchase.

Prices have been steep — in some cases, stores were charging $50 or even $70 for one-eighth of an ounce of pot that cost medical marijuana users just $25 the day before — and taxes add on an extra 20% or so.

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How Colorado Disrupted The Drug War

Cannabis StationDavid Sirota asks the fundamental questions about marijuana use that the rest of the media hasn’t thought to, at Pando Daily:

Since my home state of Colorado legalized marijuana last week, the primary question I’ve been asked by friends, family and colleagues in emails, text messages and phone calls is some version of: “Are you high yet?”

I laugh along with the tongue-in-cheek queries. Look, I’d probably be ribbing my pals too if the shoe was on the other foot (er, weed was in the other bong?). What’s not such a laughing matter, though, is when the juvenile focus on getting high become the prism through which the national media caricatures our fight to finally disrupt, and ultimately end, the destructive drug war. When that happens, my state’s forward-looking attempt to answer some deadly serious criminal justice questions is flippantly marginalized as nothing more than a punchline for new riffs off “Half Baked” one-liners.

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The High Times Marijuana Private Equity Investment Fund

HT growth fundFor a bunch of stoners the execs at High Times magazine were amazingly quick off the mark to capitalize on the newly legal marijuana business. Aldo Svaldi reports for the Denver Post via the Los Angeles Daily News:

Executives at High Times, a New York magazine that has covered the marijuana scene for four decades, are launching a new private-equity fund expected to boost a burgeoning American marijuana industry.

The HT Growth Fund plans to raise $100 million over the next two years to invest in cannabis-related businesses.

“What we are looking to do is provide capital and credit to companies that are established and have grown and reached their potential as much as they can without access to traditional capital markets,” said Michael Safir, managing director of the new fund and former business manager of High Times.

Investments are expected to be from $2 million to $5 million per company.

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Epilepsy Drug Allows Adults To Learn Perfect Pitch And New Languages As If They Were Children

valproateEarly childhood-style learning abilities as a side effect? Via NPR:

Takao Hensch, professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard, is studying a drug which might allow adults to learn perfect pitch. Hensch says the drug, valprioc acid, allows the brain to absorb new information as easily as it did before age 7.

“It’s a mood-stabilizing drug, but we found that it also restores the plasticity of the brain to a juvenile state,” Hensch says.

Hensch gave the drug to a group of young men who had no musical training as children. They were asked to perform tasks to train their ears, and at the end of a two-week period, tested on their ability to discriminate tone.

The results were that those who took the valproate scored much higher on pitch tests than those who underwent similar training but only took the placebo. In other words, Hensch gave people a pill and then taught them to have perfect pitch.

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Inside the Incredible Booming Subterranean Marijuana Railroad

In a lengthy article for GQ Jason Kersten reports that “The Feds can’t see them. Or hear the digging. They don’t know how many there are or where they are headed. They know only that the tunnels are coming. And when they cross our border, when the soil gives way and the drugs start flowing, it’s already too late”:

On a quiet night along the Tijuana border, you can almost hear them coming: the faint scraping of metal on dirt, falling clumps of earth, muted voices in the depths. At any given moment, there are men underground here, chipping their way toward the United States with antlike determination.

Flickr - DVIDSHUB - Otay Mesa Drug Tunnel (Image 4 of 4)

Many of the drug tunnels will be discovered and shut down before they’re operational, but it doesn’t matter; more will come. The economics are unassailable. A good tunnel can take nine months or more to build and cost up to $2 million, but if it can stay open for only a few hours, the cartels can move enough marijuana through it to satisfy entire time zones—making enough money to pay for twenty more tunnels.

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Medical Marijuana Becoming Legal In New York

Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow croppedThose New Yorkers who remember the Rockefeller drug laws may be amazed to learn that Governor Andrew Cuomo is about to sign an executive order that will permit medical marijuana in New York State. The New York Times has the details:

Joining a growing group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans this week to announce an executive action that would allow limited use of the drug by those with serious illnesses, state officials say.

The turnabout by Mr. Cuomo, who had long resisted legalizing medical marijuana, comes as other states are taking increasingly liberal positions on it — most notably Colorado, where thousands have flocked to buy the drug for recreational use since it became legal on Jan. 1.

Mr. Cuomo’s plan will be far more restrictive than the laws in Colorado or California, where medical marijuana is available to people with conditions as mild as backaches.

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Colorado’s Two Dozen Marijuana Shops Made Over $1 Million On The First Day Of Legalization

marijuana shop

Breaking: Coloradans have legal weed, soon to be very rich. Colorado’s 9NEWS reports:

Long lines and blustery winter weather greeted Colorado marijuana shoppers testing the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops Wednesday. Pot shop owners across Colorado believe they collectively made more than $1 million statewide.

The world was watching as Colorado unveiled the modern world’s first fully legal marijuana industry – no doctor’s note required (as in 18 states and Washington, D.C.) and no unregulated production of the drug (as in the Netherlands). Uruguay has fully legalized pot but hasn’t yet set up its system.

Colorado had 24 shops open Wednesday, most of them in Denver, and aside from long lines and sporadic reports of shoppers cited for smoking pot in public, there were few problems.

Marijuana skeptics, of course, watched in alarm. They warned that the celebratory vibe in Colorado masked dangerous consequences.

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Psychoactive Soundscapes: The Trippiest Albums of 2013

sacredsigilservitor2A lot of the problem with viewing the universe as being comprised of matter comes with the idea that it’s devoid of conscious experience somehow. More and more, little by little, we’re starting to wake up to the insane limitations of this philosophy. Renders people humorless if you ask me. Nothing adds up, which creates profound existential desperation resonating throughout the collective psi-grid of humanity. There is no explanation for why anything happens, so we instead focus on how things go down in obsessive detail. Not to knock this approach, as it creates order by combining with the mystical chaos of internal infinity. Too much mystic psychic sizzle and you’ll get torn to shreds, but when you look at only shared perceptual experience, you’re editing out the vast majority of reality. It’s all dark matter through those eyes. Endless blacked out pages on a declassified UFO report.

What I’ve found is that by shifting models of reality interpretation just slightly from conceiving the world as being made of matter to one comprised from conscious experience, coherent macro concepts of conjoined narratives learning lessons throughout cycles of shifting lifetimes starts to take shape (which I talk about all the time on Facebook; friend me).… Read the rest

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Government Settlement With Banking Giant HSBC Clear Evidence Drug War Is a Joke

300px-HSBC.svgMuckraking reporter Matt Taibbi’s recent article on the government’s sweet-heart settlement with banking giant HSBC shows just how ridiculous the drug war is, and how selectively it is enforced.

If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

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