The Police Dog That Didn’t Bark For Democracy, But Did Against Medical Marijuana

There is an alliance between the Trump insurrectionists, the police unions, and the Prohibitionist Deep State.

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

One of the most famous Sherlock Holmes mysteries was solved by the fact that a dog didn’t bark. Sometimes silence tells more than we want to know, and that is certainly the case with the January 6 insurrection.

On August 2, two more members of the Capitol Police committed suicide. It is not hard to understand their depression, especially as most of the Republicans in both chambers have defended their attackers and attacked their defenders.

The former President who cheered the mobs that attacked the police even slurred the officers who testified about the insurrection, calling them the vulgar term for the part of the female anatomy that he has bragged about liking to grab.

Storm The Capitol, You Walk — Smoke Weed, Get Arrested

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DC Police Chief’s Bizarre Claims About Marijuana And Violence As Libertarian Billionaire Shows The Way

“I can tell you that marijuana, undoubtedly, is connected to violent crimes that we’re seeing in our community,” said Robert Contee.

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

During a press conference July 23, Washington D. C. Police Chief Robert Contee said that: “I can tell you that marijuana, undoubtedly, is connected to violent crimes that we’re seeing in our community… When you have something where people get high reward—they can make a lot of money by selling illegal marijuana—and the risk is low, the risk for accountability is very low, that creates a very, very, very, very, very bad situation because those individuals get robbed, those individuals that shot at, those individuals get involved in disputes all across our city.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Prohibitionism Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

It may be too late for real justice for the tens of millions of victims of marijuana prohibition, but it certainly is not too late for us to learn from our mistakes.

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

Following the recent unpleasantness in American politics, especially the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, there has been talk about the need for a commission on Truth and Reconciliation, similar to the South African effort following the end of Apartheid.

Unsurprisingly, the losing side seems more interested in “reconciliation” than in the “truth.”

Similarly, the Drug Warriors on the “losing side” in the war on marijuana users would rather pretend that it never happened. Let’s not talk about it.

It may be too late for real “justice” for the tens of millions of victims of marijuana prohibition, but it certainly is not too late for us to learn from our “mistakes.” Today we think of Canada as a pioneer in marijuana legalization, but it wasn’t always that way.

On January 10, 2005, Canada’s National Post and other newspapers, including the Vancouver Sun, both of which were anti-prohibitionist, carried articles by Jack Aubry, with an interesting choice of headlines and emphasis.

SEE: The History Of CBD: A Brief Breakdown of Hemp & Cannabis in America

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Marijuana Prohibition Is The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of The Last Century

Starting with the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report in 1893 ending with the US Drug Czar’s own Institute of Medicine report in 1999, no major study has found any basis for the criminalization of cannabis.   

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast. a website whose motto is “We come from the future” has an article titled, What Is the Biggest Scientific Fraud of the Past 50 Years? It asked some distinguished scientists what they would nominate for that dubious distinction.  

Robert N. Proctor, Professor of the History of Science and Professor by courtesy of Pulmonary Medicine at Stanford University, named the “Council for Tobacco Research, the cigarette industry’s chief instrument for denying that cigarettes cause cancer…   

“Twenty-seven Nobel laureates took money from Big Tobacco, and every major university was showered with cash…”  

Considering that tobacco is still killing millions of people around the globe that certainly makes sense. 

SEE: RIP Lester Grinspoon: The Forbidden Cannabis Professor 

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Did Marijuana Prohibition Cost Trump The Election?

If you see a warm glow in the West, that is just me gloating over the results of the various state marijuana initiatives. They all won handily. Plus Oregon decriminalized possession of small quantities of almost everything. And several major publications actually mentioned the “Drug War.”  

A few months ago I speculated that Trump, having sold out to the prohibitionists like A. G. Bill Barr and Chief  of Staff Mark Meadows and his major donor Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson, would lose votes, and might lose the election.  

SEE: Is Trump Willing To Lose The Election For Marijuana Prohibition? Even Republicans Support Legalization 

AND: The Prohibitionist Deep State: Trump’s New Chief of Staff Even Opposed CBD for Desperately Sick Children And Medical Marijuana for Disabled Vets 

In any close election, there will always be questions about what influenced the outcome. In past elections, the marijuana initiatives have generally earned more votes than the winning candidates, and that was true this year with one exception. 

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A Drug War With No End: How It Will Ultimately End Our Freedom

There are many other factors involved in influencing levels of violence, but clearly the Drug War does not contribute to social peace, and we need to learn from other countries.  

While I am deeply sympathetic with the slogan “No Justice! No Peace!” I’m afraid they have it backwards.   

SEE: Abolish the Police? No, We Need for the “Drug Warriors” to Go Back to Being “Peace Officers”  

The United States, the self-proclaimed “leader of the Free World” has less than 5% of the world population, but almost 25% of the world’s prison population. We are indeed, Number One! USA! USA! We even have more prisoners than China.  

SEE: Countries with the largest number of prisoners, as of June 2020  

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Why Isn’t Cannabis Being Prescribed For COVID Survivors?

There’s an old “medical” joke — although I doubt if many doctors ever told it — “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” However, I would like to suggest a new version that the medical profession should try: “The medicine worked, but the patients suffered and/or died because the medical profession wouldn’t consider it.”  

The good news is that, as scientists learn more about the COVID-19 and how to treat it, the mortality rate seems to be falling. The bad news is that many patients continue to suffer for weeks or months after they have tested negative and have supposedly ”recovered”. 

Forbes reports, Many COVID-19 Survivors Suffer Months Of Post-Viral Symptoms: Tough New Realities — And A Personal Journey

The Forbes article also cites a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at 143 patients from Italy who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and survived. The study found that four in five of them were still reporting symptoms; at that time, two months later. 

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American Progressives Have Ignored Successful Alternatives To The Drug War — Is That About To Change? 

Progressives have sometimes delayed legalization efforts to dole out lucrative licenses to select members of minorities as a form of “reparations.”  

The cannabis communities (note the plural) were disappointed (again) last week when the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives delayed a vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act until after the elections. Although it is obviously frustrating, the short delay may actually ensure greater success in November. 

As an excellent report on pointed out, the bill actually has the support of a majority of the House Republicans, but some moderate House Democrats (an endangered species) were afraid of being mocked by prohibitionists in November.

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Criminal Justice Reform Must Become The Business Of America’s Business

Fifty years ago this month, the late, great economist Milton Friedman, published an essay,  “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits”.  

The title really says it all, but it is important to understand that Friedman always emphasized that his political views (he was a Libertarian) were separate from his economics (Monetarism). He also insisted that he was not exempting business from ethical norms. 

Although Friedman and John Maynard Keynes had very different views on economics, he would have agreed with Keynes famous quote: 

“When the facts change, I change my mind – what do you do, sir?” 

I like to think that Friedman would have a very different view today because America and the world have changed enormously in the last half-century. It is important to recognize that the immediate impetus to social change really had nothing to do with “business”, but was triggered by questionable police violence against African Americans. Not exactly a new problem. 

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

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The Curious Case Of GW Pharmaceuticals

In 2005, GW hired a vociferous medical marijuana opponent to help them distinguish their version of THC from medical cannabis. Here’s why that’s a problem.

Let me make clear that I do not have any problems with the “pharmaceuticalization” of cannabis. If the pharmaceutical companies can manipulate the molecules and/or combine cannabinoids with other substances and thereby help sick and dying people, or just make healthy people feel better and make a profit doing it, everyone wins.  

However, when a company uses marijuana prohibition and the Drug War to lobby for state violence against sick and dying people to try to monopolize medical access to a plant that has been used medically for millennia, I have to object.  

After GW Pharmaceuticals developed “Sativex”, its version of THC, it met with “skepticism” in the U.S. drug war establishment, basically the entire U.S. government, because if it was approved for use in the U.S., that would suggest that “marijuana” might actually have medical use. Heresy!! 

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Should We Legalize Something That Causes 300K ER Visits Every Year?

While marijuana may be a factor in some accident deaths, there is no evidence that it is a significant factor when compared with other substances, such as alcohol … or dog bites.

We often overlook things we don’t want to see, so when we debate public policies, we can be misled by not knowing the context. Consequently, when we hear about the harms associated with something we may want to outlaw it.

For example, there is something that caused 6,323 hospital admissions in 2017 with a mean age of 6.63 years. Almost one third underwent a surgical procedure. Open wounds of the head, neck and trunk were the most common injury and decreased in prevalence with increasing age. Open wounds of the extremities were the second most common and the prevalence increased with increasing age. Children aged 1–4 and 5–10 years were both more than three times more likely to be admitted than those more than age 11. Think of the children!

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We Must End Marijuana Prohibition For Economic Recovery In A Post Pandemic World

Very simply, marijuana legalization is not some wild experiment that has never been done before. And now, of course, we are beginning to see the same experience in some places in the United States.

In the midst of the pandemic, there is much uncertainty about almost everything, but one thing does seem certain: America is going to be much poorer. Or, to put in a global perspective, America and a few other countries will be much less rich and the rest of the world will be much, much poorer, and no wall or welfare program will protect us.

In Los Angeles, the global center of the entertainment industry, the unemployment rate is already around 50%, and many jobs and businesses are gone forever. The sheer scale of the problems will almost certainly lead to social unrest which will be visible to the world. But so will the solutions, because the world really does look to “Hollywood” for imagination. 

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Prosecutorial Misconduct: The Invisible Problem Behind The Police

We must completely reform the criminal justice system from top to bottom, starting with the current U.S. Attorney General, Bill Barr.

While I understand the pain behind the calls to “Abolish the Police” etc., I think that they are simplistic and even counterproductive. Police misconduct is really just the visible part of the problem. We have overloaded the police with problems that would be better handled by trained social workers. We have given them impossible tasks, notably the Drug War, and especially marijuana prohibition, and we have hired people who clearly should not be trusted with the power of life and death.

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Drug Overdoses Kill More People In West Virginia Than COVID-19

Although no one will catch a “drug overdose” by sitting next to someone on a bus or at a bar, the widespread prevalence of drug abuse in a society does resemble an infectious disease epidemic in other ways. 

The origins of the opioid epidemic is more complex, but a difference in policies produces a difference in results. First and foremost, the problem can be prevented by good public health policies and can be made much worse by bad social policies. Take for example the Netherlands, where the COVID-19 case rate soared in March, but had declined sharply by the end of June

RIP Lester Grinspoon: The Forbidden Cannabis Professor

My old friend, Lester Grinspoon, died on June 24, his 92nd birthday, but I have waited over a week to write about it, because I wanted to see if either the New York Times or the Washington Post would print his obituary.  

Finally, on July 2nd, the Times finally did it

The Post still had not followed suit, but it did print an obituary for a famous pastry chef, who popularized creme brûlée, and that did make it easier to get blow torches for dabbing.

I first met Lester at the first NORML conference in 1973, two years after the publication of his book Marihuana Reconsidered

He had decided that he would not smoke marijuana until after the smoke had cleared — to use an appropriate pun. And at that conference, the smoke definitely had not cleared. 

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