Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I received the following from Munz regarding yesterday’s post...

Mick: Obviously I share your half-century frustration with the flat-earth war on (some) drugs. I once wrote of the drug warriors that they are "wind-up monkeys who continue to slap the cymbals of stupidity." But yesterday’s decision is not as definitive as it seems. Dig below from Dale Gieringer of California NORML. The Supremes, while denying Raich/Monson's commerce clause argument (which was a shaky legal argument to begin with), also validated medical marijuana. Justice Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion, says a medical necessity defense is 'strong'. People need to read this. It's not the end of the world. In fact, it gives all legit patients who use med-mar a considerable legal leg-up. Unfortunately, in the interim, the 6-3 naysay may embolden those in local and state law enforcement who abhor med-mar laws. Expect more raids and arrests. Raich/Monson should have pursued a medical necessity defense which is based on English common law. The example often given is "you can steal a boat to save a drowning man." Best, Munz (One of your hard-drinking, cab-riding LA friends)

In its majority opinion against Raich and Monson (p. 6), the Supreme Court issued a significant word of warning about the wisdom of current federal laws: The case is made difficult by respondents' strong arguments that hey will suffer irreparable harm because, despite a congressional finding to the contrary, marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes. The question before us, however, is not whether it is wise to enforce the statute in these circumstances; rather, it is whether Congress' power to regulate interstate markets for medicinal substances encompasses the portions of those markets that are supplied with drugs produced and consumed locally." The DEA and federal law enforcement officials would be well advised to heed this caution before rushing to enforce their bankrupt federal law.

For full text of the Supreme Court decision, see

ALSO More on another medmar case from Wired...,1286,67780,00.html

And an NY Times editorial

CRYPTIQUEBaby got barcode

The secret word is Myoclonic

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Yesterday the Supreme Court handed the Federal Government and the DEA overlord powers to nationally control and continue to criminalize all use of marijuana in the USA, despite the fact that ten states have voted in legislation legalizing to some extent the medicinal use of the drug.
An AP report follows that comes courtesy of Mr MR.

Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug. The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various illnesses. Justice John Paul Stevens, writing the 6-3 decision, said that Congress could change the law to allow medical use of marijuana. The closely watched case was an appeal by the Bush administration in a case that it lost in late 2003. At issue was whether the prosecution of medical marijuana users under the federal Controlled Substances Act was constitutional. Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state's economic activity so long as it involves "interstate commerce" that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines. Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress." California's medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 1996, allows people to grow, smoke or obtain marijuana for medical needs with a doctor's recommendation. Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state have laws similar to California. In those states, doctors generally can give written or oral recommendations on marijuana to patients with cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses. In a dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that states should be allowed to set their own rules. "The states' core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens," said O'Connor, who was joined by other states' rights advocates. The legal question presented a dilemma for the court's conservatives, who have pushed to broaden states' rights in recent years, invalidating federal laws dealing with gun possession near schools and violence against women on the grounds the activity was too local to justify federal intrusion. O'Connor said she would have opposed California's medical marijuana law if she was a voter or a legislator. But she said the court was overreaching to endorse "making it a federal crime to grow small amounts of marijuana in one's own home for one's own medicinal use." The case concerned two seriously ill California women, Angel Raich and Diane Monson. The two had sued then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, asking for a court order letting them smoke, grow or obtain marijuana without fear of arrest, home raids or other intrusion by federal authorities.

The War on Drugs has been raging for all my quite extended lifetime, and, in a nutshell, I am heartily fucking sick of the whole feeble-minded fiasco. Billions have spent, and billions upon billions more channeled into global crime syndicates and cartels; hundreds of thousands (if not millions) have been incarcerated, lives have been ruined, a massively corrupt drug enforcement industry has been created, and absolutely nothing positive has been achieved in seventy-some years. Recreational drugs are readily available just about any place, and the current system does nothing to provide regulation or protection where it is needed – as in protecting the young. I personally feel that kids should probably not be getting fucked up on anything until they can read, write, handle basic arithmetic, and have a nodding acquaintance with art, science, history, geography, and literature. The current regulation of alcohol seems to work reasonably well. I don’t want to see any nine year-olds sprawled on my doorstep sucking on a gin bottle, but that’s no reason why I should be prevented from having a martini or a shot of Jack after a hard day. I even advise my hard drinking LA friends to take a cab to the bar. I could go disgustedly on about this for pages, but I won’t. I satisfy myself with just a couple of points.

1) This latest Supreme Court idiocy pushes deep into the vexed question of states rights. For the overseas readers, the question of Fed v local control is a core issue in the USA. The Civil War was fought as much over states right as its over freeing the slaves. (That’s what they tell you in the South, at least.) In this instance, it imposes a uniform legal conformity on an increasing plural culture.

2) The reasons for marijuana being illegal at all are becoming more and more shakily Dadaist with the passage of time. We have gone from Harry Anslinger’s poisonous 1930's disinformation that dope was The Weed of Satan and led to rape, murder, madness, and jazz, to the "gateway drug" theory of the 1960s that reefer was fairly benign in itself but led directly to the horrors of heroin. When it was statistically proved that real gateway drug was actually beer, the story switched to "this ain’t your mom’s pot" – the 1990's contention that modern dope was genetically tailored to be so much more powerful that it had to remain outlawed. Now it seems that those in authority don’t even bother. After the Supreme Court decision, Drug Czar John Walters appeared on TV welcoming the ruling and claiming that it would stop the insidious movement for full legalization, and "save lives." No part of the media questioned what lives might be saved when we still await a single authenticated marijuana death, and it would seem that Waters requires dope to remain illegal simply because he says so. I guess I could get violently angry, but I think I’ll just fire up a blunt.
Here’s a bit more background...

Our pal hipspinster blogs about treason.

The secret word is High

Monday, June 06, 2005

After a plate of Chinese hors d’oeuvres, and inhaling too many paint fumes (don’t ask), I found myself in the grip of a nightmare in which all the humans had vanished, and I was desperately freeing all of the incarcerated, and, in some cases, mutilated animals from confinement in cages, and boxes, and a lot of railroad cars. They were mainly horses and elephants, and the first part of the first phase of the dream was very unpleasant, frantic, and bloody, but later, up on the roof, I was surrounded by a mighty population of the inevitable cats who all wanted to be fed, but I was able to handle that because I had an almost unlimited supply of cat food, brands that my own cat Newton refuses to eat, and all the cats liked and thanked me. Then I woke up, and had to get up and smoke a cigarette, drink a glass of Alker Seltzer, and ask myself what the fuck that was all about.
Later I watched a segment on 60 Minutes about these assholes in Wyoming who want to kill the grizzly bears because they believe they threaten their rural real-estate, neglecting to realize that they built their ranch-style retreats in the middle of bear country, and they’re whining that the bears will eat their wretched children, although it’s a matter of record that grizzlies have not killed a single human in Wyoming in the last hundred years.

I am very tired of belonging to this species.

The secret word is Disgusted

"Between the sensory and intellectual world, sages always have experienced an intermediate realm, one akin to what we call the imaginings of poets. If you are a religious believer, whether normative or heterodox, this middle world is experienced as the presence of the divine in our everyday world. If you are more skeptical, such presence is primarily aesthetic or perhaps a kind of perspectivism." - Harold Bloom, Omens of the Millennium

"There may be some kind of phenomenon - maybe something as materialistic as fluctuations in the earth's gravitational and magnetic fields, as was suggested by Persinger, a behavioral scientist from Canada, who suggested that energy fluctuations cause wave changes which cause hallucinatory or psychedelic states."-Robert Anton Wilson

CRYPTIQUEI may be planning something.