FDA APPROVES EXPENSIVE ALZHEIMER’S DRUG AND CONTINUES TO IGNORE CANNABIS

It is easy to understand why everyone is desperate for anything that will help with Alzheimer’s Disease. Patients and their families dread its relentless onslaught. Consequently, there was tremendous pressure for the FDA to approve Aduhelm (aducanumab), by Biogen and Eisai.

However, it’s approval was met with widespread criticism because it is both expensive, with an expected annual price tag of $56,000, but of limited effectiveness.  

Aducanumab is taken as an infusion administered in a doctor’s office for one hour every four weeks. That might be difficult for a patients suffering from agitation who might not understand why they are there.

See “Doctors Shouldn’t Get Rich From an Unproven Alzheimer’s Drug

The high cost of Biogen’s newly approved and controversial treatment will be compounded by a misguided Medicare policy that incentivizes doctors to prescribe the priciest medicines.

And “If the FDA approves Biogen’s Alzheimer’s treatment, I won’t prescribe it

And “3 Experts Have Resigned From An FDA Committee Over Alzheimer’s Drug Approval

Given the level of disagreement among experts, we can only wonder about the process. What is the appropriate role for the FDA?

See “Abolish the FDA. The role of the state is to protect rights and guard against fraud, not to prevent people from making risky choices

Of course the FDA – like every government agency – has been subverted to support the Drug War

See “The FDA and Me: Medical Cannabis and Regulatory Capture

And “SENIORS HAVE EVEN MORE REASON TO DEMAND END TO CANNABIS PROHIBITION

I have been critical of The American Alzheimer’s Association before, see Does The Alzheimer’s Association Hope We Will Just Forget About CBD?

See full here:

Reports: “Scotland’s First Patients Prescribed Legal Cannabis”

A few hundred years ago my Cowan ancestor got on a boat in Scotland and headed west. I have been to Edinburgh in the winter, so I am grateful to him for many reasons.

report from the BBC reminded me of another reason:

Scotland’s first medical cannabis clinic has begun prescribing to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions… The Sapphire Medical Clinic in Stirling was approved by regulators in March and… provides unlicensed cannabis-based medicines for people with conditions that do not meet the criteria for NHS-prescribed cannabis products… Medical cannabis was legalised in the UK in November 2018 and doctors are allowed to prescribe it in certain situations.”

The 2018 law change moved cannabis from schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 – meaning it had no therapeutic value – to schedule 2. It now means doctors can prescribe the drug in certain situations… Many other cannabis products are unlicensed but can still be prescribed privately.

See: “UK Data Show Marijuana Prohibition Is A Racist Counterproductive Fraud

A Healthcare Improvement Scotland spokesperson said unlicensed cannabis-based medical products should be prescribed by specialist clinicians “where there is clear published evidence of benefit” and where there is a “clinical need which cannot be met by licensed medicines and where established medicines have been exhausted.”

In other words, when the patients have suffered enough, they may be allowed to try cannabinoids.

I would cheer, “Scotland Forever!”… if this had not taken forever.

There are millions of Americans like me whose ancestors came from that island and are essentially “bio-identical” to the otherwise free Scottish people who have had to suffer for years before the politicians and bureaucrats decided that they are worthy of a loophole.

The statement added: “Independent clinics must ensure that appropriate consultations take place, that clinicians make informed assessments, that informed patient consent is obtained in accordance with the law and professional guidelines, and that patients understand the risk and benefits of a treatment or medication. Moreover, clinicians should make it clear to patients if there is only limited evidence of the effectiveness of the chosen treatment.”

See full here:

https://www.villagevoice.com/2021/07/19/bbc-reports-scotlands-first-patients-prescribed-legal-cannabis/

THE UNITED NATIONS WANTS TO BAN CANNABIS ADVERTISING

The United Nations serves a number of useful roles, but it is always important to remember that its founding members included Stalin’s Soviet Union, succeeded by Putin’s Russia, which, along with Communist China, holds a permanent seat on it’s “Security Council”. In fact, the UN members include virtually all of the world’s nastiest dictatorships and kleptocracies.

I bring up these unpleasant facts for context because this moral sewer is now telling us that the free countries of the world should ban cannabis advertising. 

Well, they have “evolved”. It still opposes medical cannabis, but right now they are just desperately trying to ban retail advertising. And it still has its American supporters.

See “UN World Drug Report Calls for Global Ban on Marijuana Advertising & THC Potency Caps”.

See “Prohibitionist Propaganda Organization Cons African American Clergy To Keep Marijuana In The Same Market With Crack And Heroin”.

Full here:

Why Was Vice President Harris Greeted With Trump Campaign Signs In Guatemala?


Vice President Kamala Harris’ first international trip to Mexico via Guatemala was delayed for a few hours because her plane was forced to return to Joint Base Andrews due to technical problems about 30 minutes after it took off. Maybe that was an omen…

A little history…

This August 13 will be the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. The Aztecs had conquered central Mexico in the 1300s and had established one of the (literally) bloodiest regimes in human history. Human sacrifice was essentially the state religion.

Nonetheless, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently demanded that Spain and the Vatican apologize for the Conquest. They declined.

See Mexico demands apology from Spain and the Vatican over conquest

Full here:
https://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/why-was-vice-president-harris-greeted-with-trump-campaign-signs-in-guatemala/

WERE THE SICK JUST DYING TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA FOR THE HEALTHY?

The drive to legalize marijuana seems unstoppable. Arrests are falling (but still over 400,000 annually), and the various cannabis industries (plural) are booming. Hooray for our side!

If present trends continue… In a few years, people will have forgotten that marijuana was ever illegal. The memory hole really works. 

So how did a hundred years of maximum government and medical and media industry propaganda fail? Or did it?

We owe it all to medical marijuana. It wasn’t just that cannabis was medically useful. It worked when nothing else did, and so the medical establishment, the American Medical Association, etc, the Quackocracy, simply lied about it, and, outrageously, they continue to do so. 

See The Individual Courage And Collective Cowardice Of The Medical Profession

Then “People With AIDS” got uppity. In San Francisco, my late, great friend, Dennis Peron, a gay rights activist and a remarkably brave human being, took a stand.

“In 1991, Peron organized for the passage of San Francisco’s Proposition P, a resolution calling on the state government to permit medical cannabis, which received 79% of the vote.” 

Five years later, Peron backed Proposition 215 which won 55.6% of the vote and demonstrated that the people could bypass the politicians and the medical establishment… in States that allow the people to vote on issues.

See Pride Month: Celebrating ties between California’s cannabis and LGBTQ movements. Forty years after start of AIDS epidemic triggered fight for medical marijuana access, the LGBTQ community remains at forefront of cannabis activism

Full article here:

Retired New York Prosecutor Doesn’t Mention the Drug War In NY Post Op-Ed On Black Lives

Last September, an NYPOST.com op-od by retired New York Prosecutor Jim Quinn argued that “Crime, not cops, is by far the largest threat to black lives.” (He was the senior executive assistant district attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. He retired in December 2019, after 42 years as a prosecutor.)

Quinn explained:

“In New York City in 2019, 319 people were murdered. Fully 88 percent of them — 280 people — were black or Hispanic. And 93.2 of them were murdered by other people of color.

Almost 96 percent of all shooters and shooting victims in the Big Apple in 2019 were people of color. People of color also accounted for 73.8 percent of rape victims and 81.3 percent of the rape suspects; 69 percent of robbery victims and 93.3 percent of the robbery suspects; and 79.5 percent of felony ­assault victims and 86 percent of the assault suspects.

People of color, in other words, are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violent crime in New York City. That is a cold fact. These proportions have remained remarkably consistent over the past 12 years.

Murders in New York are up 30 percent so far this year (2020)  — 60 more people killed so far than last year. Close to 90 percent of the victims were people of color. There have been 1,095 shooting victims in Gotham so far this year — 514 more than last year. And 95 percent of these additional shooting victims were people of color.” 

It has gotten even worse this year. “In 2021 alone, 299 people have been shot, a 54% increase over the same time last year, and the most the city has seen since 2012.”

See: Why Are Shootings And Murders On The Rise In NYC?

And: Don’t Mention The Drug War. We Must Decriminalize Being Black Because Black Freedom Matters.

See full here:

https://www.villagevoice.com/2021/06/14/retired-new-york-prosecutor-doesnt-mention-the-drug-war-in-ny-post-op-ed-on-black-lives/

IF GUN LAWS WERE ENFORCED LIKE MARIJUANA LAWS…

I am proud to report that the legislature of my home state of Texas has passed the ‘Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act’.

that will penalize professional sports teams if they do not play the national anthem before games. Unfortunately, they could not change lyrics so that they still say something about “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” That could give people the wrong idea. 

For example, the same group just decided that Texans can’t be trusted to possess any quantity of marijuana, although the penalties may be reduced for a small amount. 

A 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found that 60% of Texas voters believe possession of small or large amounts of marijuana should be legal for whatever purpose, but the majority of the legislature don’t trust the voters who voted for them. 

In 2019, there were more than 45,000 arrests in Texas for possession of marijuana, but that was a decrease from the nearly 63,000 reported arrests in 2018, the most in America. (Out of a total of half a million nationally.)

Ironically, in July of 2019, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a memo instructing DPS officers to issue citations, rather than make arrests, for possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana. The Texas police are more enlightened than the legislature! (Faint praise)

Previously, the legislature voted to make it legal for Texans to carry handguns without a license or training. A solid majority of Texas voters don’t think permitless carry should be allowed, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The Texas legislature also passed a number of other laws that restrict voting, supposedly to “protect democracy”. But why bother? 

The contrast between the enforcement of the marijuana laws and gun laws nationally can be seen in an article published by The Trace, a nonprofit “Investigating gun violence in America.”

See “The ATF Catches Thousands of Lawbreaking Gun Dealers Every Year. It Shuts Down Very Few

See full here:

DEA Eases Restrictions On Marijuana Research But What About Research On Marijuana Prohibition?

It seems a bit odd when news about scientific research tells us more about the past than about the future. However, that is certainly the case with the DEA’s announcement that it will finally allow easier access to marijuana for medical research.

See DEA proposes process to expand marijuana research in the United States

The DEA’s press release does not explain the history of the decades of the suppression of scientific research by the agency with the complicity of NIDA and the scientific establishment.

Heretofore, the DEA maintained monopoly on all of the marijuana that could be used for research, allowing only the use of marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi under a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the bureaucracy in charge of subverting science to serve the Drug War.

Full article here:

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER LIFE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH

Alexander Woollcott quipped that “All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.” He died in 1943 so he missed so many other hazards that modern science would discover. 

For example, The Guardian reports that a new study says, “Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain.

A senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford said that a “UK study of 25,000 people finds even moderate drinking is linked to lower grey matter density.”

The Guardian explains, “The associations of wine-drinking with higher educational attainment and socioeconomic status may explain the perceived health benefits, the authors suggested. 

“If you look at who is moderately drinking, at least in this country, they are better educated, wealthier people that would do much better on a memory test … just because of who they are, than people that are less educated,” said lead author, Anya Topiwala, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford.

In other words, smart people, everyone from Jesus to Bill Buckley, have been drinking wine and giving it a good name, but now we know they would have been even smarter, if only…

Of course, there have been countless articles warning about health risks from marijuana use. Last year, an article, “How Casual Marijuana Can Cause Brain Abnormalities”. 

One of the standard arguments against marijuana legalization is based on the view that the human brain isn’t fully developed until we are 25, so cannabis should not be legalized for people who aren’t at least that old. 

Read full here:

How Psychedelic Medicine Followed Medical Marijuana But Don’t Mention the Drug War

It was a total coincidence, but in 1993 two books were published about the same time. One, Listening to Prozac by psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer, got national publicity and was widely reviewed. Kramer graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1970 and an MD in 1976.

The other book, Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine, by James Bakalar, and my old friend, the late great Dr. Lester Grinspoon, was aggressively ignored, even though he “was associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He concurrently served as a senior psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts for 40 years. Grinspoon was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychiatric Association. He was founding editor of The American Psychiatric Association Annual Review and Harvard Mental Health Letter. Grinspoon was editor of Harvard Mental Health Letter for fifteen years.”

The book was actually published by Yale University Press because the quackocracy at Harvard did not have the intellectual integrity to acknowledge its importance. To get some idea of how intellectually and morally corrupt one of the world’s leading medical schools had become, four years later, Harvard Medical School actually gave the U.S. Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, an award named for the deceased Dr. Norman Zinberg, who was a friend and colleague of Grinspoon’s, and who had been on the NORML Board of Directors!

See: Profiles in Prohibition: General Barry McCaffrey’s War on Marijuana Users and see Controversy Follows Drug Czar Invitation.

Full article here:

https://www.villagevoice.com/2021/05/31/how-psychedelic-medicine-followed-medical-marijuana-but-dont-mention-the-drug-war/

WHY THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES IS THE ONLY LAW THAT ALWAYS WORKS

I remember a letter to the editor in a California newspaper circa 1973 during Nixon’s gasoline “shortage” from a man who told of sitting in his car waiting in line at what was ironically called a “filling station.” He said that when he looked in his rearview mirror he saw the driver behind him was smoking a joint. He quipped that we could solve two problems if we just legalized marijuana and outlawed gasoline.

Fifty years later, we have almost solved the marijuana “problem” by almost legalizing it. I say we have almost solved that problem, not just because the Feds and a few states are lagging, but because most of the states have made a mess of it by over-regulating and over-taxing it, so the black market persists. Good intentions are not enough.

I have cited what I call the Iron Law of Prohibition demonstrating how the economics of contraband actually makes “drugs” stronger and more dangerous. Actually, I’m certain that this is not always “unintended.”

Obviously, the frustrated motorist was joking about banning gasoline, but there really wasn’t an actual gas shortage. Nixon had panicked and slammed price controls on it which kept the market from functioning. In a free market, there are never long-term shortages because the prices will rise, angering consumers (voters), but eliminating lines, pleasing voters. Unintended?

See: Trump’s War on Postal Service Harms His Base, Seniors, Rural Communities, Veterans and Small Businesses

Read full here:

Mexico Fails To Legalize Marijuana As Drug War Chaos Grows

If the Mexican military is deeply corrupt and now effectively controls the national government under its incompetent President, we are in a new phase of our Latin American disaster.

Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast.

In 2018, the Mexican Supreme Court found the country’s marijuana laws unconstitutional and ordered Congress to draft new laws. Congress has had to request several extensions, but now it has failed to meet another deadline, just as it seemed close to agreement on new laws.

SEE: Latin America Moves Toward Legalization From Argentina To Mexico, With Some Absurd Exceptions

For Americans, this problem may seem familiar, but in Mexico, the stakes are much higher.

SEE: Don’t Mention The Drug War Or We Might Have To Deal With The Real “Crisis At The Border”

Mexico's Cannabis Legalization Bill Will Boost Business, But There Are Concerns
Photo by Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash

Of course, the pandemic has hit Mexico much harder than the U.S. At one point they reportedly ran out of death certificates. But in a country where thousands of people are killed every year in the Drug War, and thousands more simply disappear, it is just another tragedy.

Read full here:

https://thefreshtoast.com/opinion/mexico-fails-to-legalize-marijuana-as-drug-war-chaos-grows/

They Say The Brain Doesn’t Mature Until We Are 25 But Does Marijuana Help The Brain Mature

Blue Ribbon

Article by Richard Cowan.

It seems to be generally accepted that the human brain does not fully mature until we are at least 25. (85 in my case) That would have the effect of making marijuana legalization unworkable. But that does not stop the medical profession from giving children psychiatric drugs.

In 1998 the Los Angeles Times carried an incredible story, California Caretakers “Routinely Drug Foster Children”

It was as horrible as it sounds.

“Children under state protection in California group and foster homes are being drugged with potent, dangerous psychiatric medications, at times just to keep them obedient and docile for their overburdened caretakers.

A review of hundreds of confidential court files and prescription records, observations at group homes as well as interviews with judges, attorneys, child welfare workers and doctors across the state, revealed that youngsters are being drugged in combinations and dosages that experts in psychiatric medication say are risky–and can cause irreversible harm.

In part because of a lack of oversight, officials responsible for the children’s welfare say they don’t know how many of the state’s 100,000 foster children are being given mood-altering medications, many of which have never been tested for use on children.

In Los Angeles County–which has nearly half the state’s foster children–dependency court judges last year approved requests to medicate about 4,500 kids. That doesn’t include those drugged with parental consent or those drugged with no consent at all, which experts believe is a significant problem. In addition, a county grand jury found in 1997 that nearly half the group home children it examined were drugged without court or parental consent.

Experts from around the state said widespread drugging, both with and without legal approval, occurs in other California counties as well.

“We sometimes don’t know who put kids on drugs and why,” said Nathan Nishimoto, an Orange County Department of Children and Family Services official who, until recently, was in charge of tracking children in the county’s care.

There’s the 5-year-old boy in a Tustin group home who was not only being given an antipsychotic, but massive doses of Ritalin and clonidine–though researchers from UCI and UCLA have published articles reporting that that combination has caused sudden death and heart problems in some children.

There’s the 8-year-old foster child in San Francisco County on Cylert for his hyperactivity, despite warnings from the drug’s manufacturer that its use can lead to liver failure and death in children. The boy did not receive the requisite blood checks to monitor the drug in his system.

At the Orangewood Children’s Home in Orange County, kids as young as 3 skip up to the drug cart several times a day, to take the “meds” that control their “depression” and “rage.” To say nothing of the scores of California teenagers prescribed pills to battle manias and psychoses with little explanation of why or by whom.”

See FBI Investigates Corruption in Marijuana Retail Licensing In California

The problem did not get any better. In 2015, the New York Times reported, “Still in a Crib, Yet Being Given Antipsychotics”.

It begins with an anecdote, that now would have an added layer of irony.

“Andrew Rios’s seizures began when he was 5 months old and only got worse. At 18 months, when an epilepsy medication resulted in violent behavior, he was prescribed the antipsychotic Risperdal, a drug typically used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults, and rarely used for children as young as 5 years.

When Andrew screamed in his sleep and seemed to interact with people and objects that were not there, his frightened mother researched Risperdal and discovered that the drug was not approved, and had never even been studied, in children anywhere near as young as Andrew.”

Today, Andrew would be given CBD, either bought over the counter or as Epiodelex, a prescription drug. Well, maybe.

His situation was not unique. The Times reported that “Almost 20,000 prescriptions for risperidone (commonly known as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and other antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger, a 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before, according to the prescription data company IMS Health. Prescriptions for the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) rose 23 percent in one year for that age group, to about 83,000.”

In 2015 Directscience.com published a study, “Preliminary findings demonstrating latent effects of early adolescent marijuana use onset on cortical architecture”

It was summarized by the Center for Brain Health at the University of Dallas: Starting Age of Marijuana Use May Have Long-Term Effects on Brain Development

“The research team analyzed MRI scans of 42 heavy marijuana users; twenty participants were categorized as early onset users with a mean age of 13.18and 22 were labeled as late onset users with a mean age of 16.9. According to self-reports, all participants, ages 21-50, began using marijuana during adolescence and continued throughout adulthood, using cannabis at least one time per week.”

Findings show study participants who began using marijuana at the age of 16 or younger demonstrated brain variations that indicate arrested brain development in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for judgment, reasoning and complex thinking. Individuals who started using marijuana after age 16 showed the opposite effect and demonstrated signs of accelerated brain aging.”

Of course, this does not necessarily mean that using marijuana at sixteen will make your brain more mature. However, considering that children are being given psychiatric drugs at a very early age by the doctors who are telling us that marijuana is bad for them…

Makes you wonder.

See On 420 California Must Demand That the Federal Government Respect the State’s Laws and the Rights of its People and End Marijuana Prohibition NOW

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Everything You Need to Know About CBD Topicals.

Full here:

DOWN ACAPULCO WAY, CHILDREN ARE NOW SOLDIERS IN OUR DRUG WAR

Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of Effective Ways To Consume CBD Oil.

Starting back in the 1960s, Acapulco was one of the first international resorts for the “Jet Set.” In 1963 Elvis even made a movie Fun In Acapulco. No more.

Unfortunately, Acapulco now is too violent for international tourists (Americans), but on the other side of the coastal mountains, the state of Guerrero is even more violent. 

Recently, El País, the center/right Madrid newspaper carried a horrific story “The child soldiers of Guerrero cry out against the narco armed and with shots in the air” 

(Google translation)

‘The youngest of the firearms-wielding group is six years old

See full here:

https://www.globemagazine.com/content/down-acapulco-way-children-are-now-soldiers-our-drug-war

We Need To Recognize That The War In Afghanistan Is Not Our ‘Longest War’

The comparison between the war in Afghanistan and the Drug War is particularly appropriate. They even overlap.

Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast.

President Biden has announced that the U.S. and our allies will be out of Afghanistan no later than September 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Finally, we are seeing the end of what is being called our “longest war.”

But it is no such thing. Of course, the “Prime Directive” of U.S. public policy, journalism, and politics, religion, and pet care, is “Don’t Mention The Drug War” (seeAmerica’s Longest Ongoing War: The War on Drugs).

Our drug war actually began over 100 years ago with the International Opium Convention.

Does A Football Star Have To Get Killed For Americans To See How Dangerous The Drug War Is
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Ironically, it was signed at The Hague, the Netherlands. on January 23, 1912, during the First International Opium Conference. “It was the first international drug control treaty. The United States was unsuccessful in its attempts to have cannabis included in the 1912 Convention.”

In 1937, the notorious Harry Anslinger got Congress to pass the Marihuana Tax Act (seeHarry Anslinger: The Godfather Of Cannabis Prohibition). It was signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt, and almost every President since has contributed to an escalation in the violence.

The comparison between the war in Afghanistan and the Drug War is particularly appropriate. They even overlap. Afghanistan is still a major source of heroin, but the once famous Afghani hash is impossible to find. Surprise, surprise!

The most important point is that the War on Drugs was never just a figure of speech, like the War on Cancer or the War on Poverty. It was and is real violence by the users and sellers of some drugs against the users and sellers of other drugs.

First, the United States was never officially at war with Afghanistan. In fact, after easily overthrowing the Taliban terrorists who had seized control, the war was very much like the Drug War in the U.S. and Latin America.

Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, and other countries that are barely functioning have been destabilized by both the violence and corruption of the Drug War. It has also spread to Africa to supply Europe with cocaine.

See full here:

https://thefreshtoast.com/opinion/we-need-to-recognize-that-the-war-in-afghanistan-is-not-our-longest-war/

Marijuana Social Clubs Are The Last Major Step For Legalization

Blue Ribbon

Article by Richard Cowan

There are three major steps in the legalization of marijuana.

  1. Stop arresting people for possession of marijuana, even if they are not white.
  2. Take marijuana sales out of the black market with hard drugs.
  3. The establishment of venues where marijuana can be consumed in the presence of other actual human beings to see if the Universe will implode.

On 4/20 the Mayor of Denver signed an ordinance that would legalize places where customers could bring their own weed to smoke, as well as clubs that could sell small amounts of weed to be smoked there. But no one seems certain about when it will go into effect.  Well… As the saying goes, if the people will lead, the leaders will follow. There are already a number of “smoke-easies” where patrons can BYO their weed in Denver.

Similarly, Nevada’s legislature seems likely to authorize “consumption lounges”. New York’s new marijuana law leaves that issue to the local authorities, so New York City can and will almost certainly allow it. In any case, it seems  likely that both cities will have venues where patrons can legally consume their legal cannabis.

See Federal-Level CBD Advertising Laws

Of course, the Dutch did all that in the 1970s, but apparently they live on another planet, because no one in any other country on Earth has even considered copying their model where people can buy small quantities of cannabis and smoke it there or take it home.

But wait until they hear about Barcelona!

Barcelona has taken maximum advantage of a loophole in Spanish law. There are a large number of “Cannabis Social Clubs” that really are “Clubs”, but they are very friendly for strangers. Some of them are really lavish. It remains to be seen how many will survive the pandemic, which has devastated Spanish tourism.

See full here: https://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/marijuana-social-clubs-are-the-last-major-step-for-legalization/

HOW A WATERGATE BURGLAR INADVERTENTLY HELPED FIGHT MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

Article by Richard Cowan.

The death of G. Gordon Liddy, the most famous of the Watergate burglars, brought back some funny memories. 

Liddy and I crossed paths twice, although we didn’t actually meet the first time. I come from a long line of Republicans and I was even briefly the President of the Yale Young Republicans, circa 1960, so even though I didn’t even like Richard Nixon, I somehow ended up in Washington a few days after the Watergate burglary in June of 1972. 

I even had an appointment at the Republican National Committee and when I arrived they were changing the locks on the front door. I was told that it was a precaution because there had been a minor burglary at the DNC… Yep. One cannot be too cautious.

I had actually been smoking what we called “Grass” for almost five years, so when I found out that NORML was located a few blocks away I went by to give them a few dollars. But then found out what was really going on, and, as I like to put it, I went to work for a better class of criminals.

Full here:

https://www.globemagazine.com/content/how-watergate-burglar-inadvertently-helped-fight-marijuana-prohibition

ISRAEL ABOUT TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS AS THE NEXT PHASE OF THE CANNABINOID REVOLUTION KICKED OFF BY THE SCIENTIST WHO STARTED IT ALL

Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of Is CBD Oil Good For Your Hair?

Last year, The Times of Israel reported that the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, voted to “legalize” cannabis in 2021. It still seems on course to act soon.

The Times said, “According to the new law being promoted, people age 21 and up will be allowed to purchase cannabis at specialized stores. They will be required to show identification.

The drug will not be allowed to be taken into or out of the country. The stores will be allowed to make deliveries but will be barred from selling cannabis edibles that resemble candy.

The state will “ensure the prices are reasonable” to avoid encouraging customers to go to the black market, according to the interministerial team’s recommendations.

However, the law will likely include a blanket ban on smoking cannabis in public spaces. It will not allow home growing of the plant without a license, though the team recommended that the matter be weighed at a later stage.

See Can CBD Cure THC Addiction? What is THC Addiction Again?

See full here:

https://www.globemagazine.com/content/israel-about-legalize-cannabis-next-phase-cannabinoid-revolution-kicked-scientist-who

LET ARTISANAL MARIJUANA GROWERS REPLACE THE BLACK MARKET WITH HOME GROWN

An excellent article in Forbes about the pending legalization of marijuana in New York points out a common failing in various state legalization laws:

See: Why New York Legalizing Recreational Cannabis Won’t Kill The Illicit Market

I have been very critical of most state legalization policies because of their excessive taxes and “regulations” that raise costs and barriers to entry, making legal products more expensive than black market products.

See: Why The U.S. Has Made A Complete Mess Of Partial Marijuana Legalization (So Far)

After real decriminalization that stops arresting marijuana users, even if they aren’t white, the primary objective of legalization should be to take marijuana out of the black market with hard drugs. The Dutch call this the “Separation of the Markets.” If someone in The Netherlands wants cannabis, they don’t have to go to a poly-drug street dealer. They just go to the nearest “Coffeeshop.”

Unfortunately, as the Forbes article points out, the new laws that legalize marijuana growing and sales leave small growers in the black market. That is great for them, until it is a disaster.

Aside from the fact that I have lots of friends who are growers, it is counterproductive to leave these good people behind in the black market. First and foremost, these people are not a social or public health and safety problem. On the contrary.

Of course, small growers cannot supply the mass market, just as homebrewers cannot replace the other Bud. The solution is to create a category for “small” growers who would pay a small licensing fee and comply with reasonable standards for public health and safety. They could create grower cooperatives with their own “brands” that could be sold at “farmers markets.” They might then be able to broaden their markets. They would be subject to the same income taxes as lettuce growers.

These people have played an important role in the cannabis world, especially as an alternative to the Mexican gangs, and they have useful skills… and sometimes excellent genetics. They would be the perfect “bespoke” providers for the luxury market.

See full here:

JOE BIDEN ISN’T SENILE – HE’S JUST HARD OF LEARNING

President Biden has suffered two avoidable embarrassments. First, he somehow managed to fall three times trying to run up the ramp stairs for Airforce One. I’m even older than he is, so I’m sympathetic. Oops. It happens.

Don’t worry if you missed it. It will run forever on the Trump cult networks to demonstrate how inferior he is to the godlike athleticism of the Apollo of Mar-a-Swampo.

The second embarrassment was deliberate. The Biden White House fired five staffers who honestly admitted to having used marijuana.

Someone immediately pointed out that this would have kept former President Barack (“Lock My People Up”) Obama from being appointed to anything. To which I say, Hooray.

See: Obama’s War on Pot. In a shocking about-face, the administration has launched a government-wide crackdown on medical marijuana

On the other hand, it is utterly inconsistent with his claims that his advisers will lead with “science and truth.

To the contrary, this places a penalty on both, and arguably creates security risks.

More substantially, it will pointlessly exclude some truly great minds. Two of the greatest geniuses of the last century were cannabis users:

The late Carl Sagan, “American astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and science communicator.”

Read full here:

Profiles In Prohibitionism: Harry Anslinger- The Godfather of Reefer Madness


Any history of the Drug War, and especially Marijuana Prohibition, must begin with Harry Anslinger.

It is surprising how much harm an obscure bureaucrat can do. We all know about Hitler and Stalin and their henchmen like Himmler and Beria, but Harry Anslinger was instrumental in starting the ongoing global Drug War, and especially marijuana prohibition. It has resulted in tens of millions of arrests in the US alone, and countless deaths from the global suppression of the medical use of cannabis. He even managed to outlaw hemp (in the US) which had been an agricultural staple for millennia, grown by America’s “Founding Fathers”. 

See:

He is a perfect manifestation of Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase: The Banality of Evil.

President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have denied that there is “systemic racism” in American law enforcement. However, the racist origins of marijuana prohibition are explicit in Anslinger’s work.

See

And America’s War on Drugs Has Treated People Unequally Since Its Beginning

Actually, Anslinger was a vicious racist. The Wikipedia article offers a few quotes:

“Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy.”

“Two Negros took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of hemp. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis.”

“Reefer makes d…. think they’re as good as white men.”

If you are offended by these quotes, complain to the DEA.

And don’t think this was simply a bureaucratic game. 

See The Hunting of Billie Holiday: How Lady Day was in the middle of a Federal Bureau of Narcotics fight for survival

His crowning achievement was the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which locked the U.S. into the Drug War, especially marijuana prohibition, by a treaty, which is still being used to justify banning cannabis around the world.

See Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

This year there will be over 600,000 arrests for marijuana possession just in the US. More than for all the violent crimes combined, and African Americans will be arrested in numbers that are far out of proportion to their percentage of the population.

“Specifically, a 2020 analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, concluded, “Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, notwithstanding comparable usage rates.” Authors reported, “In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010.”

See

Racial Disparity In Marijuana Arrests

Don’t Mention The Drug War Or We Might Have To Deal With The Real “Crisis At The Border”

Apr 12, 2021 @ 18:46PM

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You may have heard THERE’S A CRISIS AT THE BORDER!!! OMG! OMG!!

Well, yes there is, but it didn’t start with Biden, and he is not going to be able to stop it.

See Illegal border crossings rise for sixth straight month

During Trump’s first Presidential campaign he claimed that he was going to save America by building a “big beautiful wall” and that Mexico would pay for. He knew that that was a lie, but that meant he could continue to talk about it as an “issue.” After he was elected, the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress, but he did not push for Federal funding for it. It was too useful as an issue.

And it still is, and he is still lying about it, but so is the Biden Administration, because- to paraphrase one of Jack Nicholson’s great lines, neither of them can handle the truth.

See Reefer, Romanism, and Prohibition As Church Support For Drug War Violates Catholic Teachings

Read full here: https://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/dont-mention-the-drug-war-or-we-might-have-to-deal-with-the-real-crisis-at-the-border/

I Was Wondering If I Really Needed To Write About Violence Against Asians In America. Turns Out, I Do.

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Article by Richard Cowan

It all seemed so absurd. Could this really be happening? Surely it was just a part of the general craziness of the pandemic. Deranged people of all races were attacking people of all races. However, the statistics are astonishing. According to NBCNews.com, “There were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, in past year.”

It is a real thing, but I simply could not and still cannot imagine that anyone who might read anything that I might write would be inclined even to be rude, much less violent towards Asians.

Besides I am writing this from one of the safest cities in America, Irvine, California, and it is not entirely coincidental that its population is over 40% “Asian.” The “quotes” around Asian remind us how wide a net that really is.

Full here:

Reefer Madness Crowd Discovers CBD With Predictable Results

The National Consumers League is America’s original consumer advocacy organization. Here are their 4 suggested solutions to their perceived problems with CBD.

Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast.

Let me begin by acknowledging that I have “conflicts of interest” on this topic (explained below). But did you know that cannabis is a “substance in marijuana”?? Yep. There it is on the first line of a new report How Safe Is CBD? from the National Center for Health Research.

I am desperately trying to find out if cannabis is also present in ganja, weed, or grass. Pardon the sarcasm, but here we go again.

person holding amber glass bottle
Photo by Christin Hume via Unsplash

There is a new group, Consumers for Safe CBD, which is “a program of the National Consumers League. The National Consumers League (NCL) is America’s original consumer advocacy organization.”

That means they have been around long enough to know better.

Here are their 4 Suggested Solutions to their perceived problems with CBD:

Read full here:

https://thefreshtoast.com/opinion/reefer-madness-crowd-discovers-cbd-with-predictable-results/

PROHIBITIONISTS RECYCLE “POTENT POT” MEME TO PROTECT THE BLACK MARKET

Article by Richard Cowan

In order to understand how the politics of marijuana prohibition actually works, remember that anti-prohibitionist websites almost always have links to prohibitionist propaganda sites, but prohibitionists almost never link to our sites.

See Prohibitionism Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

This is a real advantage for us in a live debate, because the prohibitionists often seem surprised. The reason for this difference is fairly simple. We want you to know and understand the lies they are telling, but they don’t want you to know the truth we are telling. As I liked to say, freedom has nothing to fear from the truth. 

See HOW THE PROHIBITIONIST IDEOLOGY HAS WRECKED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND UNDERMINED DEMOCRACY EVERYWHERE

See full here:

https://www.globemagazine.com/content/prohibitionists-recycle-%E2%80%9Cpotent-pot%E2%80%9D-meme-protect-black-market

IS VAPING CANNABIS REALLY WORSE THAN VAPING TOBACCO FOR TEENS’ LUNGS?

Whenever I critique a study that purports to show some danger related to marijuana, I always make it clear that the arguments against marijuana prohibition are not based on the assumption that marijuana is harmless. Nothing is harmless for everyone under all circumstances, and harmlessness cannot be a criterion for anything to be legal.

Nonetheless, here we go again.

This U.S. News & World Report headline was typical: “Vaping Pot Worse Than Vaping Tobacco for Teens’ Lungs: Study.”

The first problem is simply that the teens were not vaping “pot.” They were vaping some unknown liquids that supposedly contained THC and perhaps other cannabinoids.

Second, the sample for the study was based on national data, which would normally be a good thing, but in much of the country, marijuana was, and still is, illegal, so the vaping devices and their content may well have been contraband.

Third, the data was based on sampling from “between December 2016 and January 2018 – prior to the wave of lung injuries among young people that occurred in 2019. It was given the name EVALI, or e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury.”

See more here:

WILL PROHIBITIONISTS TIE THE NEW CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT TO TRUMP


I like to think that Trump’s failure to support marijuana legalization cost him the election.

See: Did Marijuana Prohibition Cost Trump The Election?

But now I have the same questions about the conservative movement going forward, and America always needs a healthy opposition, so it should be of concern for everyone, whatever their politics.

See: Why Conservatives Should Support Marijuana Legalization

Unfortunately, it would seem that leading conservative think tanks have already been captured by the Drug Warriors. The Heritage Foundation, one of the oldest voices on the right, is actually headed by a former Associate Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, under President George H. W. Bush, Kay C. James.

However, Heritage has been lying about marijuana, and about little old me, for a long time.

See: How The Heritage Foundation Used Newsweek to Recycle Lies About My “Medical Marijuana Scam”

Not to be outdone, the Hudson Institute, one of Heritage’s leading competitors, is actually headed by James’ former boss, John Walters, who was the Czar himself under Bush. And Walters was certainly one of the worst.

Walters actually said, “(Marijuana) is by far the single largest factor in illegal drug addiction in the country. … The conventional view out there today is that marijuana is a soft drug, that marijuana is harmless and that it is not addictive, and there is no withdrawal. It’s not just a gateway drug. … If you are not talking about marijuana, you are not talking about the central part of the problem.” Yep. He really said that.

See: PROFILES IN PROHIBITION: DRUG CZAR JOHN WALTERS- THE MADDEST OF REEFER MADNESS

Another major conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, is more moderate, relying primarily on Sally Satel. She is what I would call a “moderate prohibitionist,” but unlike her counterparts, she is intellectually honest. Nonetheless, AEI is really out of touch with the American people on this issue.

In real-world politics these think tanks exist to give cover to politicians, and there are a few politicians who actually care about ideas. For those who do, the Cato Institute, Washington’s leading Libertarian think tank, and Reason in California are excellent.

Then there is Fox News and Tucker Carlson and … Wow!

See: Tucker Carlson Guest Worried Humanity Might Go Extinct From Smoking Weed (Video)  And Tucker Carlson Tries To Blame Marijuana For Mass Shootings

See full here:

YES THERE IS MARIJUANA ANGLE TO THE PRINCE HARRY SAGA

Article by Richard Cowan

It’s difficult to worry too much about Royalty in the midst of a pandemic, but Prince Harry has had a bit of experience with a Commoner’s problems.

As a matter of principle, I am strongly opposed to censorship and capital punishment, but I might make an exception for the vile UK tabloids. (Of course, the “quality broadsheets” like the Telegraph weren’t much better.)

Their coverage of Prince Harry has been typically awful, but their coverage of the cannabis issue has been evil. The two combined in 2002 when the then 16-year-old prince got caught with a little weed.

The Daily Mail, the most popular trash sheet, reported “Prince Harry: I took drugs” 

Let’s go back a moment. Harry was 16. He was not arrested, so the Daily Mail had no business printing that story. But the Daily Mail is a sewer of reefer madness.

See full here:

https://www.globemagazine.com/content/yes-there-marijuana-angle-prince-harry-saga

Maybe We Really Do Need A “White History Month” After All

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Article by Richard Cowan

February is Black History Month. Every year.

Inevitably, every year someone will complain that we should have a “White History Month.” Of course, every month is “White History”, so we just ignore that as ignorant and racist.

However, I think a lot of white “racism” is actually the result of ignorance. For example, white racists feed the fear of whites who think that non-whites are going to “take over.”

(Declaration: I am really, really white. An Aryan Delight)

Recently, Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz) “skipped key votes in the House of Representatives, citing the “ongoing public health emergency,” to instead attend a conference hosted by white supremacists in Orlando, Florida.

See Black Lives Matter Is Absolutely Necessary But Absolutely Not Sufficient

Full here:

https://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/maybe-we-really-do-need-a-white-history-month-after-all/

BIDEN’S CHOICE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL OFFERS CONSERVATIVE ARGUMENT FOR FEDERAL DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA

There are a number of reasons for legalizing marijuana, but in the current American debate, the most prominent argument is based on the fact that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by law enforcement. That is entirely understandable in the era of Black Lives Matter.

See: BLACK LIVES MATTER IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY BUT ABSOLUTELY NOT SUFFICIENT

However, in his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s choice for Attorney General, also pointed out that interfering with state marijuana laws is “not a useful use of limited resources.”

See: Get Ready for a Pot-Friendly DOJ

It is astonishing that even today we are still arresting half a million Americans annually for simple possession of marijuana. That is more than for all violent crimes combined. Is that the best use of finite criminal justice resources? Is that a Conservative value?

See: Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem

See: BLACK LIVES MATTER IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY BUT ABSOLUTELY NOT SUFFICIENT

However, in his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s choice for Attorney General, also pointed out that interfering with state marijuana laws is “not a useful use of limited resources.”

See: Get Ready for a Pot-Friendly DOJ

It is astonishing that even today we are still arresting half a million Americans annually for simple possession of marijuana. That is more than for all violent crimes combined. Is that the best use of finite criminal justice resources? Is that a Conservative value?

See: Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem

Full here:

Biden’s Choice for Attorney General Offers Conservative Argument for Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana

By Richard Cowan

There are a number of reasons for legalizing marijuana, but in the current American debate, the most prominent argument is based on the fact that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by law enforcement. That is entirely understandable in the era of Black Lives Matter.

See BLACK LIVES MATTER IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY BUT ABSOLUTELY NOT SUFFICIENT

However, in his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s choice for Attorney General, also pointed out that interfering with state marijuana laws is “not a useful use of limited resources.” 

See Get Ready for a Pot-Friendly DOJ

It is astonishing that even today we are still arresting half a million Americans annually for simple possession of marijuana. That is more than for all violent crimes combined. Is that the best use of finite criminal justice resources? Is that a Conservative value? 

See Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem

Full here:

https://www.kabc.com/2021/03/11/bidens-choice-for-attorney-general-offers-conservative-argument-for-federal-decriminalization-of-marijuana/

HOW THE PROHIBITIONIST IDEOLOGY HAS WRECKED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND UNDERMINED DEMOCRACY EVERYWHERE (OPINION)

The Republican Party is badly split and it did not start with Donald Trump. However, when ideology trumps reality, the result is stupidity.

“It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”- Albert Einstein

In recent elections, Republicans considered marijuana prohibition to be a peripheral issue at best. It is not something that “serious” candidates want to spend any time discussing, or they will cease to be considered “serious.”

See: Did Marijuana Prohibition Cost Trump The Election?

In fact, as long as a candidate supports prohibition, it is better that they appear as ignorant as possible on the subject. This protects them from any suspicion of having any latent “tendencies” or secret subversive ideas. In this regard, the prohibitionist ideology resembles the AIDS virus in that it shuts down the immune system by which the democratic process protects itself against anti-democratic nonsense.

See full here:

Two Really Improbable Marijuana Stories From The UK

Article by Richard Cowan

When the history of the Drug War in the UK is finally written, I would suggest that it begin with “Yes, this really happened.”

See  UK Data Show Marijuana Prohibition Is A Racist Counterproductive Fraud And WHY DO THE BRITISH INSIST ON CONFUSING CANNABIS WITH TOBACCO?

Today’s news offers up two reasons why.

The excellent anti-prohibitionist, Transform Drug Policy Foundation reports that the new head of the UK Labor Party, Sir Keir Starmer “gave an interview which briefly covered drug policy. To many reformers his comments were dispiriting: asked for his views on decriminalisation of cannabis possession, he apparently rejected the idea – arguing instead that current drug policy was ‘roughly right’. Such a view was surprising not only given the momentum for reform globally, but also the growing support for change within his own party.”

See full here:

Best CBD Brands To Try: Blue Ribbon Hemp – A Real Tested CBD Feature

When it comes to the CBD market these days there are countless options available, especially when you are shopping online. But just because the options are abundant, does not mean all of the brands or products are as good a choice as the next. Finding a high-quality product that is safe, affordable and reliable can be made easy when you turn to Real Tested CBD. We conduct independent lab tests to fact check label claims, purity, potency and overall quality, taking the guess work out of your CBD purchase.

Based on our tests and expert reviews, we have a brands that stick out from the rest. When it comes to the best CBD products available on the market today, we have got you covered. Today we bring you a feature brand that is by far one of our favorites, not only for the quality and care put into each and every one of their products, but also the unique CBD products they offer. Not to mention they have crafted products catered to aging populations, a demographic often overlooked in the CBD market. If you are in the market for a high quality CBD brand that delivers on all fronts, we highly recommend Blue Ribbon Hemp; and here is why:

“Our products were formulated by Dr. Igor Bussel and Richard Cowan specific to the needs of the senior citizen community. As such, our products contain only Broad Spectrum or Isolate Hemp Extract and have ZERO THC. That’s the Blue Ribbon Hemp difference. Our products are made with hemp oil which has all the THC strictly rendered out through a chemical process. This process adds time and cost, which is why many companies don’t do it.” – Blue Ribbon Hemp

Blue Ribbon Hemp Broad Spectrum Tincture 5000mg – Max Strength – Grapefruit Flavor

Full here:

WHY CONSERVATIVES SHOULD SUPPORT MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

As we used to say, back when we could still go to the movies: This is where I came in.

In 1972, the first thing I ever wrote for publication was in the late William F. Buckley Jr’s National Review on why conservatives should support the legalization of marijuana. It caused quite a stir. There it was on the cover: THE TIME HAS COME: ABOLISH THE POT LAWS

The New York Times even wrote about it: BUCKLEY SHIFTS MARIJUANA STAND and even Time Magazine wrote about it then and again in 2015: The Conservative Case for Legalizing Marijuana.

And I was down the rabbit hole. So now, 49 years later, when I saw “There’s a Responsible Way to End the Federal Marijuana Ban. The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it” by Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor for National Review, I just had to respond with Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem.

Even though he led with, “The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it,” and that is not something one often sees in either Bloomberg or National Review, he explains that he only wants the government to control retail sales to prevent excessive commercialization that would encourage excessive use.

Now he has responded in National Review with Marijuana and Black Markets.

See full here:

WILL WE FINALLY HAVE FREE TRADE FOR MARIJUANA AFTER LEGALIZATION?

The reason that our Constitution begins by saying that We, the people are creating “a More Perfect Union” is that we had a very imperfect union under the Articles of Confederation, which followed the success of the Revolution.

See: Marijuana Prohibition, The Constitutional Crisis And The Assault On Democracy

One of those imperfections was the problem of trade wars between the states. Under the Confederation, a state could impose restrictions and/or tariffs on imports from another state.

It just so happened that the other important thing that happened in 1776 was the publication of Adam Smith’s classic on economics, The Wealth of Nations, which argued that free trade was preferable to imposing tariffs on imports. Free trade serves the public, while tariffs and other restrictions serve special interests. (And politicians who get to decide what the tariffs should be.)

Because of that, the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government exclusive power to regulate trade between the states, not just precluding tariffs, but also any restrictions that may serve as a restraint of trade.

Ironically, this has immediate relevance to marijuana prohibition: “The Commerce Clause is the source of federal drug prohibition laws under the Controlled Substances Act.

“In a 2005 medical marijuana case, Gonzales v. Raichthe U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument that the ban on growing medical marijuana for personal use exceeded the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause.”

More recently, I have written about the mess that several states are making as politicians who were ardent prohibitionists yesterday, now are experts on regulating a new industry.

See: Why The US Has Made A Complete Mess Of Partial Marijuana Legalization (So Far)

See full here:

The Acquisition Of GW Pharmaceuticals Raises Many Interesting Questions

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Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of A Comparison Between Cannabidiol And Kava.

The biggest news this week in the medical cannabis world has to be the acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals by JAZZ, the Irish pharmaceutical company at a significant premium.

See Jazz Pharmaceuticals to acquire GW Pharma for $7.2 billion in cash and stock, GW soars 46% premarket

I have long had serious concerns about GW Pharmaceuticals, not because they are trying to “pharmaceuticalize” cannabis (Hooray for that, if they can), but rather because they seem to have had marijuana prohibition built into their business model.

See Does the FDA Regulate CBD? Could they be doing a better job? (Hint: F&*# Yes)

They even employed a former staffer from the Drug Czar’s office to lobby against state medical marijuana laws. I think if you have to threaten sick and dying people with arrest if they use a plant instead of your product, you must not have much confidence in your products.

See The Curious Case Of GW Pharmaceuticals

See full article here:

Why Conservatives Should Support Marijuana Legalization

By Richard Cowan

As we used to say, back when we could still go to the movies: This is where I came in. 

In 1972, the first thing I ever wrote for publication was in the late William F. Buckley Jr’s National Review on why Conservatives should support the legalization of marijuana. It caused quite a stir. There it was on the cover: THE TIME HAS COME: ABOLISH THE POT LAWS

(Archive not online)

The New York Times even wrote about it: BUCKLEY SHIFTS MARIJUANA STAND and even Time Magazine wrote about it then and again in 2015: The Conservative Case for Legalizing Marijuana.

And I was down the rabbit hole. So now, 49 years later, when I saw “There’s a Responsible Way to End the Federal Marijuana Ban. The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it” by Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor for National Review, I just had to respond with Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem.

Even though he led with “The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it”, and that is not something one often sees in either Bloomberg or National Review, he explains that he only wants the government to control retail sales to prevent excessive commercialization that would encourage excessive use. 

Now he has responded in National Review with Marijuana and Black Markets

See full here:

https://www.kabc.com/2021/02/26/why-conservatives-should-support-marijuana-legalization/

Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem

Blue ribbon

Article by Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of What Are The Regulatory Challenges Faced By CBD Medicines?

Ramesh Ponnuru writes for Bloomberg, and he is he is also a senior editor for National Review magazine.

He also writes for The  American Enterprise Institute www.AEI.org , the “conservative” think tank.

He is a graduate of Princeton University and he managed to maintain his intellectual integrity during the Trump cult. In short he was smart enough to know better when he wrote his latest column for Bloomberg, calling for decriminalizing marijuana possession, but leaving the supply side to the black market:

“There’s a Responsible Way to End the Federal Marijuana Ban. The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it.”

Yes, there is something more than  a little strange about someone with such impeccable Conservative credentials opposing the free market because it works too well.

Full article here: https://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/conservative-intellectual-wants-to-keep-marijuana-in-the-black-market-so-problem-users-wont-be-such-a-problem/

Marijuana Abuse By Youth Linked To Bad Journalism

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Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of 5 Important Things To Consider Before Buying CBD.

Last month CNN carried a report, “Marijuana abuse by youth with mood disorders linked to suicide attempts, self-harm and death, study finds”

The arguments for the legalization of marijuana are not based on the assumption that marijuana is harmless, so I have never felt it necessary to defend the plant, but I do think we need to understand the relationship between science, journalism and freedom.

Let’s start with the word “Linked”. My headline that “Marijuana Abuse By Youth Linked to Bad Journalism” was making an ironic point, but obviously I did not mean that marijuana abuse by youth was caused by bad journalism, but maybe it is.

Read full here:

THE “SLIPPERY SLOPE” FROM MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION; THE LOGICAL FALLACIES OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Everything You Want To Know About CBD Bath Salts.

As I have written about the logical fallacies of marijuana prohibition, the so-called “Gateway Effect” is a classic. “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” or “After this therefore because of this” is that marijuana use “leads to” hard drugs, etc.

See We Need to Educate Children And Adults About “Drug Education”

The political equivalent of that is the “Slippery Slope” that marijuana legalization will lead to the legalization of hard drugs and Lordy knows what else. Of course, the Drug Warriors accused even medical marijuana advocates of “really wanting” to legalize crack, etc. 

Read full here:

https://www.globemagazine.com/content/%E2%80%9Cslippery-slope%E2%80%9D-marijuana-legalization-logical-fallacies-marijuana-prohibition

Is ‘Hempworx’ CBD Legit? – A Real Tested CBD Brand Spotlight Review

CBD has made its mark on the health and wellness worlds, and it is here to stay. With the massive growth of the market and the boom in CBD brands, finding a high-quality product may not mean just picking at random. Buying CBD online can be effortless, if you know the right places to look and who to trust.

CBD is one of many naturally occurring compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants. It can interact directly with the human body’s endocannabinoid system to help restore balance. Utilizing a high-quality CBD product is key to reaping the potential therapeutic benefits.

To make sure you are getting the best products on the market, fact-checking with third-party lab test results is the only way to ensure a legitimate CBD purchase. Real Tested CBD is a leading name in the world of CBD product reviews and independent lab testing. We give you everything you need to know before buying CBD online, from pesticide and solvent test results to potency and label claim fact-checking. 

Read full here:

Is ‘Avon’s CBD Beaty Line’ Legit? – A Real Tested CBD Brand Spotlight Review

The popularity of CBD in health, wellness, beauty fields, and beyond is ever on the rise. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of many compounds naturally derived from hemp and cannabis plants. It has been found to contain vital antioxidants and strong anti-inflammatory properties that show beneficial for things from anxiety and stress relief to pain management and more. CBD produced within the United States must come from cannabis or hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound commonly associated with cannabis), allowing CBD to be legally sold and distributed.

There are countless products to choose from when it comes to CBD on the market these days, especially when looking to buy CBD online. When it comes to finding quality CBD products, fact-checking with third-party lab test results is the best way to ensure a legitimate CBD purchase. Real Tested CBD is a household name in the world of CBD product reviews and independent lab testing. We give you everything you need to know before buying CBD online, from pesticide and solvent test results to potency and label claim fact-checking. 

See full here:

5 Important Things To Consider Before Buying CBD

5 Important Things To Consider Before Buying CBD

5 Important Things To Consider Before Buying CBD

Posted by Richard Cowan on Jan 31, 2021

CBD is just about everywhere you look these days. As the buzz around cannabidiol continues to grow, so does the product market. From oils to edibles, to bath bombs and topicals, there are countless ways to experience the potentially therapeutic benefits of CBD.

With the amount of options available, it can become tricky to navigate a market, especially if CBD is new to you. So what are the best ways to make sure you are getting the best product and bang for your buck? Here are five important things to consider when making your CBD purchase.

The Source of Hemp

CBD is sourced from hemp and cannabis plants. These plants, just like anything that is grown from seed, can be influenced by the factors around them. Plants can absorb anything they are exposed to, whether its pesticides, fertilizer or anything in the air This is why it is important to always look for a high-quality hemp source. Similarly, both the US and Canada have regulations in place for quality control and standards on the type of seeds available and legal limits of THC. In accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill, all industrial hemp grown in the US must maintain a THC threshold of less than 0.3%.

Extraction Method

There are numerous extraction methods for CBD. The most common method, and the safest, is through CO2 extraction, a process that uses supercritical carbon dioxide (at a temperature where it functions as a gas and a liquid) to extract the cannabidiol through a series of chambers. The carbon dioxide evaporates in the final stage of chambers as soon as it hits the air, leaving behind pure plant extract that can be turned into a variety of products. The final stage of extraction and processing is to remove unwanted compounds, leaving an isolate or desired potency.

Full here:

https://blueribbonhemp.com/blog/5-important-things-to-consider-before-buying-cbd/

The Individual Courage And Collective Cowardice Of The Medical Profession

The American people have not been voting on medical science, but on criminal law and individual freedom. For that, we don’t need the approval of the cowardly quacks who’ve ignored the suffering of their patients for decades.

There are some phone calls you just never forget. It was Good Friday morning in 1995. This woman called the NORML office in Washington, wanting information about medical marijuana. Her elderly father was undergoing chemotherapy and the pharmaceutical antiemetics had stopped working, as often happens, and he was vomiting uncontrollably.

One of the nurses pulled her aside and whispered to her, “This happened to my father and marijuana really helped.” My caller said she was astonished, so she asked another nurse who said, “It works for some people.”

So she naturally asked the oncologist. He snapped, “It’s illegal and I don’t want to discuss it.” And he walked away.

SEE: Does A Football Star Have To Get Killed For Americans To See how Dangerous The Drug War Really Is?

However, her father was suffering so much that she had to do something, so she asked around and found that marijuana was really easy to get. She gave some to her father and he stopped vomiting and could sleep.

See full here:

https://thefreshtoast.com/opinion/the-individual-courage-and-collective-cowardice-of-the-medical-profession/

Marijuana Abuse By Youth Linked To Bad Journalism

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Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of 5 Important Things To Consider Before Buying CBD.

Last month CNN carried a report, “Marijuana abuse by youth with mood disorders linked to suicide attempts, self-harm and death, study finds”

The arguments for the legalization of marijuana are not based on the assumption that marijuana is harmless, so I have never felt it necessary to defend the plant, but I do think we need to understand the relationship between science, journalism and freedom.

Let’s start with the word “Linked”. My headline that “Marijuana Abuse By Youth Linked to Bad Journalism” was making an ironic point, but obviously I did not mean that marijuana abuse by youth was caused by bad journalism, but maybe it is.

See full here:

Marijuana Prohibition, The Constitutional Crisis And The Assault On Democracy

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Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of CBD For Baby Boomers! What You Need To Know!

In the midst of a Constitutional crisis resulting from the President’s efforts to annul an election that he lost, why should anyone be concerned about marijuana prohibition? Because it is all a part of the same problem. The suppression of democracy.

Of course, Marijuana was the big winner in the November election, which Trump lost by a “landslide.”

See Did Marijuana Prohibition Cost Trump The Election?

Absurdly, even before the people of Nebraska could get a chance to vote on a medical marijuana initiative, the state’s Governor joined forces with a sheriff and blocked it from the ballot.

See Who paid to bring down the medical marijuana ballot petition hidden from public

See full here:

Reefer, Romanism, and Prohibition As Church Support For Drug War Violates Catholic Teachings

From National Review Magazine / March 24, 1997 page 6 – “CORRECTION: In “For the Record” (Feb. 24) NR reported that Pope John Paul II wanted the Italian government to ban tobacco as a hard drug. In fact he was talking about marijuana. So the Pope is right about tobacco, though wrong about pot.” 

I have always insisted that the cannabis legalization movement should never cede the moral high ground to the prohibitionists, and we should always tell the truth and denounce the lies and violence of the Drug War, whatever its source. 

Freedom has nothing to fear from the truth.

In the US, the state violence (22 million arrests for marijuana possession), promoted by “compassionate conservatism” and supported by the hustlers in the “family values” religious rackets, is generally associated with Protestant commercial Christianity. However, most of them are ready to get in bed with Catholic hierarchy politically, right after denouncing the Church as the “Whore of Babylon”.

Although, as a Quaker, I am about as Protestant as one can get, I have always had great respect for the intellectual quality of Catholic theology, even when I disagree with it. Moreover, liberal (in the 19th Century sense) Catholics like Lord Acton and the late Wm. F.  Buckley Jr., have made major contributions to the cause of freedom. Consequently,  this little essay is not motivated by any anti-Catholic animus.  

However, while everyone is entitled to their own theology, when they politicize it, there is a Commandment that says that they are not entitled to lie to advance their cause. Rome has for over a millennium (ever since it gained power), involved itself in politics, beyond its capacity for knowledge, it has often become an instrument of evil. Sadly, it is still doing so today. 

In 2008, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano asked Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican office, not a prison, to list seven new “mortal sins.”

 The New Mortal Sins 

1.) genetic modification  (Gregor Mendel was a Roman Catholic Abbot, whose Augustinian Abbey now hosts the Mendel Museum of Genetics.)

2.) carrying out experiments on humans (like locking them up to see if that “cures” them?)

3.) polluting the environment  (Like the suppression of hemp?)

4.) causing social injustice (Like arresting far more people of color than whites based on population?)

5.) causing poverty (Like wrecking people’s lives for having a plant?)  

6.) becoming obscenely wealthy. (“Obscene wealth” is in the eye of the beholder, but what about political power?

When Lord Acton wrote that “Power tends to corrupt; and absolute power corrupts absolutely” he was talking about the Church.

7.) taking drugs that “weaken the mind and cloud intelligence”. (I’ll drink to that!)

From Economic Impact of Alcohol Abuse in the US

“Alcohol abuse and dependence claim an estimated 100,000 lives each year in the United States, but the cost to society doesn’t stop there. Heavy drinking takes its toll on society as a whole, costing industry, the government, and the U.S. taxpayer an estimated at $249 billion each year, according to a report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Nothing, including marijuana, is harmless for everyone, at all doses, and in all circumstances. But there is simply no data on marijuana comparable to those for alcohol.

As the 1997 quote from National Review at the top of the page indicates, this is not a new revelation. Moreover, “The Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry addressed the question of drugs in a pastoral handbook titled “Church: Drugs and Drug Addiction,” published in 2001. 

From a moral point of view the Church cannot approve drug use, the text explained, because it involves an unjustified renunciation of thinking, willing and acting as free persons (No. 43).  

The council said individuals have no “right” to abdicate their personal dignity or to harm themselves. 

But do we have the right to harm others and violate their personal dignity? (To arrest and imprison them? That is simply the process of the “criminal justice system.)

“Liberalization of drug laws, the council warned, runs the risk of bringing into existence an inferior class of underdeveloped human beings, who depend on drugs to live. This would be a dereliction of the state’s duty to promote the common good (No. 51).”

Certainly, there are drugs like alcohol and other substances, the misuse of which can involve “an unjustified renunciation of thinking, willing and acting as free persons.” However, simply calling something a “drug” and making it illegal does not mean that it actually does what the Council says it does, anymore than not calling alcohol a drug, and making it legal means that it does not cause harm.  

Ironically, one reason that alcohol prohibition was politically successful in the US was that it was associated with Catholicism. (“Rum, Romanism and Rebellion”).

My point is simply to demonstrate that the Vatican may have committed what it calls a “mortal sin.” 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a mortal sin as follows: 

(edited for brevity) 

“Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law…. Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us – that is, charity -… 

For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must exist at the same time. 

1. It must be of a grave matter; (22 million arrests just in the U.S. and empowering violent contraband smuggling operations. Is the Vatican familiar with the word “Mafia”?)

2. It must be committed with full knowledge that it is a mortal sin;  (Buckley’s funeral was at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.)

3. It must be committed with full consent.  (And a Papal blessing?)

Grave matter” is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: 

‘Do not kill,

Do not commit adultery,

Do not steal 

Do not bear false witness….”

In short, the Vatican and its spokespersons are violating the Commandment against bearing false witness.  And the Drug War they support involves violating most of the other nine. It kills. It steals. It wrecks families and divides children from their parents. And when supported by “religious leaders” it drives people away from God.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free'(John 8:31–32). 

Fortunately, Reefer Madness is not subject to the doctrine of “Papal Infallibility

So I’ll end with one more quote, from the cover of National Review in 1961

Mater si, magistra no.”

In Loving Memory of Willam F. Buckley, an Obituary by Longtime Friend Richard Cowan

Originally Posted February 27, 2008 on MarijuanaNews.com

In Loving Memory, by Richard Cowan  

I cannot begin to express my sorrow at the passing of Bill Buckley. We met about 49 years ago. I was 18, a freshman at Yale, and drunk. He was 33, editor of some little magazine that I had never heard of, and amused.  

Because I was very active in Conservative undergraduate politics at his alma mater, we became friends, but Bill had countless friends across the political spectrum. He was a genuinely kind human being, and would never wallow in the rudeness that mars politics today. 

Bill was also Christian gentleman, and although I could never join him in the Catholic Church, I was greatly influenced by him to respect Christianity, and was moved to the Holy Spirit by my memory of his saying that he would not want to be “only a libertarian.” He also had friends of every faith, and none. And many who are gay. 

See 

Should Marijuana Users Come Out Of The Closet?    

Someday, I may reminisce more about my memories of him, but for now let me just say that if he had not published an article that I sent him in 1972 on why Conservatives should support the legalization of marijuana, it is most unlikely that I would ever started writing, and even less likely that I would have started MarijuanaNews.com. (I cannot find the article anywhere online, but it was really not very good.) 

Sometimes I am given credit for convincing Bill about marijuana, but I think he was already convinced, and my little article was just the opportunity he was waiting for.  

See

Exclusive To MarijuanaNews: Interview With William F. Buckley, Jr. By Noah Pollak and Dan Mindus  

Almost exactly fourteen years later, National Review would also publish another article, How The Narcs Created Crack, that I think was much better, but far less controversial. He had done much to move the public discourse in our direction. 

Subsequently, he was responsible for my meeting the late Peter McWilliams, and was very outspoken about the injustice of his case as well as Steve Kubby’s. 

See

Buckley Writes On McWilliams And Kubby Cases; Great Ending, If I May Say So.

and 

Buckley Denounces Prosecution of McCormick and McWilliams In Strongest Terms Yet.”On the eve of the trial Judge King decided, so to speak, to eliminate the Bill of Rights.”  

Bill was 82 and in poor health and his wife Pat, a great lady and the only woman who I could imagine being Mrs. William F. Buckley, died last year. I was time for him to join her. I suspect he is playing the harpsichord with Bach about now.  

God bless you, Bill, and thanks for everything. And I do mean everything of value. 

The Washington Post has a full obituary about his long and astonishingly productive life with some great pictures.

5 Important Things To Consider Before Buying CBD

This article was originally published on Blue Ribbon Hemp. To view the original article, click here.

CBD is just about everywhere you look these days. As the buzz around cannabidiol continues to grow, so does the product market. From oils to edibles, to bath bombs and topicals, there are countless ways to experience the potentially therapeutic benefits of CBD.

With the amount of options available, it can become tricky to navigate a market, especially if CBD is new to you. So what are the best ways to make sure you are getting the best product and bang for your buck? Here are five important things to consider when making your CBD purchase.

The Source of Hemp

CBD is sourced from hemp and cannabis plants. These plants, just like anything that is grown from seed, can be influenced by the factors around them. Plants can absorb anything they are exposed to, whether its pesticides, fertilizer or anything in the air This is why it is important to always look for a high-quality hemp source. Similarly, both the US and Canada have regulations in place for quality control and standards on the type of seeds available and legal limits of THC. In accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill, all industrial hemp grown in the US must maintain a THC threshold of less than 0.3%.

More here: