Cannabis News Stop the Drug War!
  As Pot Gets Stronger, US Officials Change Policy
Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2004 at 07:21:47 PT
By Reuter 
Source: Reuters  

cannabis Washington -- Alarmed by reports that marijuana is becoming more potent than ever and that children are trying it at younger and younger ages, U.S. officials are changing their drug policies.

Pot is no longer the gentle weed of the 1960s and may pose a greater threat than cocaine or even heroin because so many more people use it. So officials at the National Institutes of Health and at the White House are hoping to shift some of the focus in research and enforcement from "hard" drugs such as cocaine and heroin to marijuana.

While drug use overall is falling among children and teens, the officials worry that the children who are trying pot are doing so at ever-younger ages, when their brains and bodies are vulnerable to dangerous side effects.

"Most people have been led to believe that marijuana is a soft drug, not a drug that causes serious problems," John Walters, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in an interview.

"(But) marijuana today is a much more serious problem than the vast majority of Americans understand. If you told people that one in five of 12- to 17-year-olds who ever used marijuana in their lives need treatment, I don't think people would remotely understand it.

The number of children and teen-agers in treatment for marijuana dependence and abuse has jumped 142 percent since 1992, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in April.

According to the report, children and teens are three times more likely to be in treatment for marijuana abuse than for alcohol, and six times likelier to be in treatment for marijuana than for all other illegal drugs combined.

And it found the age of youths using marijuana is falling. The teens aged 12 to 17 said on average they started trying marijuana at 13-1/2. The same survey found that adults aged 18 to 25 had first tried it at 16.

For National Institute on Drug Abuse director Dr. Nora Volkow the final straw was a report her institute published in May in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing the steady growth in the potency of cannabis seized in raids.

According to the University of Mississippi's Marijuana Potency Project, average levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, rose steadily from 3.5 percent in 1988 to more than 7 percent in 2003.

Volkow said many studies have shown the brain has its own so-called endogenous cannabinoids. These molecules are similar in structure to the active ingredients in marijuana and are involved in a range of activities and emotions ranging from eye function to pain regulation and anxiety.

GETTING INTO THE BRAIN

Brain cells have receptors -- molecular doorways -- designed specifically to interact with these cannabinoids.

The cannabinoids in marijuana may use these ready-made doorways into brain cells and this is why they cause a high and reduce pain sensations. But Volkow believes the effects may go beyond the general feeling of well-being that most marijuana users seek.

"I would predict that stronger pot makes the brain less likely to respond to endogenous cannabinoids," Volkow said in an interview. The effects could be especially marked in young brains still growing and learning how to respond to stimuli, she said.

While the research so far is inconclusive, Volkow believes that cannabinoids affect the developing brain and that stronger pot, combined with earlier use, could make children and teens anxious, unmotivated or perhaps even psychotic.

As an analogy, Volkow said opiate addicts are more sensitive to pain, as their overuse of drugs have raised the threshold at which the body responds and their own bodies produce fewer natural opiates.

NIDA is seeking proposals from researchers who want to investigate such possibilities for cannabis, she said.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana disagree with the official line. Krissy Oechslin of the Marijuana Policy Project disputes the finding that cannabis products are stronger.

"They make it sound like the THC levels in marijuana were almost nonexistent, but no one would have smoked it then if that was true," she said.

"And there's evidence that the stronger the THC, the less of it a person smokes. I don't want to say it's good for you, but I'll say (more potent marijuana) is less bad for you."

While Walters stresses that drug abusers are patients and not criminals, he hopes to crack down more on producers. And he says, there is a way to go in getting cooperation from local law enforcement officials. "For many in enforcement, marijuana is still 'kiddie dope'," Walters said.

Walters is quick to stress he does not want to overreact.

"We shouldn't be victims of reefer madness," he said, referring to the 1930s propaganda film "Reefer Madness" that became a 1970s cult classic for its over-the-top scenes of marijuana turning teens into homicidal maniacs.

Complete Title: As Pot Gets Stronger, US Officials Change Drug Policies

Source: Reuters
Published: July 19, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Reuters

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Comment #21 posted by FoM on July 21, 2004 at 09:56:36 PT
escapegoat
Thank you! I will check it out!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #20 posted by escapegoat on July 21, 2004 at 09:38:22 PT
John Walters interview - CKNW 980 Vancouver
July 19, 2004: Peter Warren interviews John Walters, the US drug czar. Afterward, a call-in segment where listeners disagree with his arguments.

Listen in mp3 format:

http://www.salvagingelectrons.com/drugradio/cknw-warren-20040719-walters.mp3

Contact Peter Warren: pwarren@cknw.com

Web: http://www.peterwarren.ca

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #19 posted by Hope on July 19, 2004 at 18:46:25 PT
must be the money spent on 'treatment'
"The number of children and teen-agers in treatment for marijuana dependence and abuse has jumped 142 percent since 1992, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in April."



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #18 posted by hope on July 19, 2004 at 18:33:35 PT
Virgil, Comment #6
"No. Accept your life as batteries in the machine and get over that unalienable rights crap."

I've always felt "they" wanted to treat us like worker bees.

People worker bees. Nothing more. Nothing less. Expendable worker bees.

Grrrr.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #17 posted by Hope on July 19, 2004 at 17:26:55 PT
Comment #14 posted by warhater
Well spoken and true.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #16 posted by cloud7 on July 19, 2004 at 17:00:54 PT
Railroaded in Texas
- show on CourtTV about the 40 falsely accused black people in Tulia at 8 EST

Thanks Hope, I was trying to list them all and forgot that one.

Thanks warhater, I appreciate your comments.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by Hope on July 19, 2004 at 16:52:25 PT
Comment #7 posted by observer
Thank you, observer. You know I love your propaganda revealed posts. Thanks. Haven't seen one in too long.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #14 posted by warhater on July 19, 2004 at 16:45:42 PT:

Volkow's Science Class
"Brain cells have receptors -- molecular doorways -- designed specifically to interact with these cannabinoids."

Wow!! What a revelation. This can be said of cannabis and many other drugs, including opiates, cocaine, mescaline, and LSD. This is not anything new. We have known about these types of receptor drug interactions for decades. We have known that THC mimics the brain chemical anandamide for at least a decade. Many psychoactive drugs work by mimicking brain chemicals that normally interact with receptors. The fact that cannabinoids do this is no big surprise.

"I would predict that stronger pot makes the brain less likely to respond to endogenous cannabinoids,"

In my opinion, this kind of speculation requires some evidence to be called a prediction. It may or may not be true, but it is irresponsible to state it as a prediction without any evidence or explaination.

"While the research so far is inconclusive, Volkow believes that cannabinoids affect the developing brain and that stronger pot, combined with earlier use, could make children and teens anxious, unmotivated or perhaps even psychotic."

No good scientist officially believes anything based on inconclusive research. Once again this is irresponsible. Perhaps Dr. Volkow would be more believable if she spent more time in the laboratory and less time speculating to the press from her ivory tower.

If the President and his underlings really wanted to keep MJ away from children they would legalize it and set a legal age to smoke it. This would make it more difficult for children to get. It works for booze and tobacco.

"While Walters stresses that drug abusers are patients and not criminals, he hopes to crack down more on producers."

"For many in enforcement, marijuana is still 'kiddie dope',"

Cloud7 does a wonderful job pointing out the lies of John Walters. Attacking the producers(farmers who grow weed) will do nothing to help the "problem". For every farmer they bust other farmers will take up the slack. This pseudo-scientific tripe will not cause increased enforcement. Cops were never looking the other way while people grew pot. Increased penalities for growing will lead to more profit for those willing to take the risk. They will have more customers as those smokers who grow their own give up for fear of going to jail. It's the same old stupid drug war. Walters has already overreacted, and we are all victims of reefer madness.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by Hope on July 19, 2004 at 16:43:44 PT
cloud7, comment #4
"Holy cow! Did I read this correctly? Is this from the same SOB who helped to air the commercials with little girls being run over on bikes, friends shooting friends, and marijuana inseminating teenage daughters? Walters is the definition of reefer madness."

You forgot toddlers drowning.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #12 posted by global_warming on July 19, 2004 at 15:54:16 PT
Faust and the Devil
"We shouldn't be victims of reefer madness," he said (John Walters), referring to the 1930s propaganda film "Reefer Madness" that became a 1970s cult classic for its over-the-top scenes of marijuana turning teens into homicidal maniacs."

But rather we should be victims in the "Modern" day witch hunt, yes John, you will look under every stone, to root out this horrible evil, you will spend our last dollar to find and prosecute every last soul that does not conform to your world view, or rather a world view that sits high on the blood of the innocent souls that you have enslaved.

Your colors are clear, for the measure of your mercy is as shallow as your lies.

It baffles me how this man, John Walters can continue to go around the country, on our dime, spreading all this nonsense. Does it ever occur to him, how can so many physicians, judges, lawyers and law enforcemnt people be willing to jeopradize their lives and carreers to defy the governments hysterical and dated fear of the herbal plant called Cannabis? Are these doctors and judges fools, have they recieved their educations so that they may be simply dismissed?

If there is a God, than there is a Devil, and some people have sold their souls to the Devil. The pleasure that may be had in the short time we have to live in this world, may be bought, but the price is an eternal corruption that will cover your souls with a blight that will eclipse the Light of God...Forever...

-gw

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by CorvallisEric on July 19, 2004 at 15:51:21 PT
Re: DA seeks public input (comment 3)
They posted the rest of the story on the web. The DA's drug-possession concern is all about meth and "drug addicts" who cause "$100,000 in property crime annually." No mention of marijuana. I guess everyone with sense leaves that to John Walters. Maybe Eugene is a troubled city. I'm sometimes glad it's 40 miles away from me.

http://www.registerguard.com/news/2004/07/19/1a.dasurvey.0719.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 19, 2004 at 14:30:30 PT
billos
That's so funny. I can relate!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #9 posted by billos on July 19, 2004 at 14:26:25 PT
I want to live long enough to see.........
Walters become tulip fodder. Then, I can rest.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by ron on July 19, 2004 at 13:39:10 PT
Media Treason Every Season Since Anslinger
I listened closely to our local CBC announcer, Rick Clough, toss Walters soft questions. He caught them deftly and wove eloquent, illogical, idiotic notions of caring about us and our children and addicts. Compassion, in Walters view, is drug court diversion of cannabis addicts into special treatment programs.

Rick came to Vancouver from the sports side of CBC and asks probing questions about food matters too, but political issues? C'mon CBC, you can do better.

Besides, Rick takes almost as many holidays as George Bush, and this was his first morning back after his most recent R&R, sixteen days in a row without having to report to HQ. Rick might break W's record yet. (Unless W gets a second unelected term.)

CBC did get an opposing point of view though. The main man behind the four pillars approach. He was excellent in his rebuttal of Walters inanities about coca ond opiate treatment policies in Vancouver.

But left untouched was the main thrust of Walters' slick style of propaganda, the continued persecution of cannabis friendly people.

They say truth goes out the window when rumour turns into innuendo. Walters contorted, spun and distorted this process like a snake oil salesman.

Rick did say Walters was in Vancouver for a conference. Just like Himmler visiting camps on the eastern front, he's here to shore up morale among the persecutors. It's hard to keep it high when people keep calling their high shameful.

I guess Rick didn't name these persecutionists as a favour to Walters. Last time he was here his slithery, setpiece speech was interrupted with cries of "liar".

That left him speechless. I was proud of the criers' words. A person who continues to justify expensive persecution policies without ever facing critics in an open forum, is a liar.

Maybe Rick was just being friendly. After all, if people found out Walters was here again, his smooth delivery might be interrupted again.

Speechless Drug Tsars are not cost effective for Drug War Inc., a consortium of DEAlers, gulag guards, armed forces (external and internal) and testing companys. Walters wants to keep earning his salary. You have to be a millionaire to stay in W's cabinet.

Media complicity in the War on Some People who use Some Drugs is complete and shameful and sycophantic, even if it may not be treason.

Techniques for bamboozling the press in the recent War of Mass Distraction were pioneered by Hearst and Anslinger before World War II. Like Goebbels and Hitler, they drew on the work of Edward Bernays, Freud's nephew, and the father of Psyops.

Walters showed Rick the success of this Psyop propaganda seventy years later. It's just repeating the same old reason every season or two and pretending it's new.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by observer on July 19, 2004 at 11:58:34 PT
drugwar_propaganda
Even a robot can see this is a load of drug war propaganda --

Alarmed by reports that marijuana is becoming more potent than ever and that children are trying it at younger and younger ages, U.S. officials are changing their drug policies.

re: "children" - Prohibitionists play on parental fears by exaggerating the dangers to children of drugs. Adults must be jailed (reason prohibitionists), because kids might be corrupted with drugs. (Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5) )

While drug use overall is falling among children and teens, the officials worry that the children who are trying pot are doing so at ever-younger ages, when their brains and bodies are vulnerable to dangerous side effects.

re: "drug use" - Prohibitionist propagandists repeatedly assert that "use is abuse." Details about "using" as opposed to "abusing" drugs are ignored. (Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4) ) re: "children", "teens" - Prohibitionists forever claim that children are corrupted by drugs, and this is why adult users must be punished harshly. (Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5) )

"(But) marijuana today is a much more serious problem than the vast majority of Americans understand.

re: "Americans" - The survival of society is assured, -- says the propaganda of prohibition -- as long as drug users are punished (jailed). (Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3) )

The number of children and teen-agers in treatment for marijuana dependence and abuse has jumped 142 percent since 1992, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in April.

re: "Addiction" - The rhetoric of prohibition asserts that insanity, crime, and violence are caused by drugs, or are controlled by prohibition. (Madness,Crime,Violence,Illness (propaganda theme 2) ) re: "Substance Abuse" - Prohibition propaganda claims that all use of any "drug" is abuse. (Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4) ) re: "children", "teen-agers" - Prohibitionists are champions of "the child", "kids", "children", etc. Only continued or increased punishments of all adults caught using "drugs" will send the correct "message" to children. (Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5) )

According to the report, children and teens are three times more likely to be in treatment for marijuana abuse than for alcohol, and six times likelier to be in treatment for marijuana than for all other illegal drugs combined.

re: "marijuana abuse" - The rhetoric of prohibition will assume that "use" and "abuse" are identical. (Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4) ) re: "children", "teens" - Prohibitionist propaganda continually whips up parental fear, invoking lurid images of children corrupted by drugs. (Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5) )

And it found the age of youths using marijuana is falling.

re: "youths" - Prohibitionists forever claim that children are corrupted by drugs, and this is why adult users must be punished harshly. (Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5) )

The teens aged 12 to 17 said on average they started trying marijuana at 13-1/2.

re: "teens" - Prohibitionists are champions of "the child", "kids", "children", etc. Only continued or increased punishments of all adults caught using "drugs" will send the correct "message" to children. (Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5) )

themes: http://drugpolicycentral.com/bot/pg/propaganda/index.htm#toc

---

asserted: $drugwar_propaganda at 100% ($propaganda_theme2 $propaganda_theme3 $propaganda_theme5 $propaganda_theme4)

asserted: $propaganda_theme2 at 100% ("Addiction" "dangerous" "Cancer" "problems" "problem" "Reefer Madness" "Suicide"), 8 hits

asserted: $propaganda_theme3 at 50% ("Americans" "American"), 2 hits

asserted: $use_is_abuse at 100% ("Substance Abuse" "Drug Abuse" "drug use" "marijuana abuse"), 4 hits

asserted: $propaganda_theme4 at 100% ($use_is_abuse)

asserted: $propaganda_theme5 at 100% ("children" "teens" "teen-agers" "youths"), 11 hits

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by Virgil on July 19, 2004 at 11:18:50 PT
Don't play pretend over a fictional compassion
What we want is the truth about the treason that rules us. Walters is involved in a conspiracy that now rules with treason. Can't we get a special prosecutor? "No. Accept your life as batteries in the machine and get over that unalienable rights crap."

"Marijuana is a dangerous drug" comes from the same treasonous government that says "Depeleted Uranium isn't harmful."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 19, 2004 at 10:19:22 PT
News Article from Snipped Source
UPDATE: Black Hawk Air Assault on Marijuana Crop

Monday, July 19, 2004

The pre-dawn assault, designed to shake apart suspects in a fortified marijuana garden, pulls nearly 10,000 plants Monday worth an estimated value of $20 million.

A UH-60 Black Hawk hovers above the mountainous terrain along the border of Riverside and San Diego counties. It is equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), which enables the helicopter crew to become the eyes of the federal officers on the ground. While the copter circles above, the March Air Reserve crew gives agents on the ground direction. The suspects should look like moving white spots from the air.

Groups involving San Bernardino Co. Sheriffs department, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Land Management, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, split into two. The agents, wearing camouflage and bulletproof vests, look similar to American soldiers in the Middle East.

“From an aviation standpoint, we can’t do our job effectively without the crew in the Black Hawk,” said BLM agent Mark Thomas. “The people working the garden have been here for months, and they have pre-determined escape routes.”

It would be hard to catch them without the infrared.

“We didn’t see any white spots, any suspects on the ground,” said pilot Chris Thorton.

Agents cleared it in the sky, so agents on the ground could walk in from two different directions.

“Even though it was cleared, we never let our guard down, even while pulling the crops from the ground,” said Mark Thomas.

Contrary to popular belief, the federal numbers show there is more marijuana grown in Riverside, San Diego and Orange counties than in the so-called Emerald Triangle, i.e., Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino counties in northern California.

“This is the only product in the country that you can loose nine-tenths of a product in a bust and still make a profit,” said Thomas. Agents said the garden along the border is a Mexican National Grow. “Cartels have found it more cost effective to grow it in the rugged terrain of the southland, it’s easier than risking a bust at a border crossing,” said Thomas.

Snipped:

Complete Article: http://www.pe.com/breakingnews/local/stories/PE_UPDATE_2004_0719_raid.536be27.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by cloud7 on July 19, 2004 at 10:13:56 PT
GRRRR!
"Pot is no longer the gentle weed of the 1960s"

Im so sick of these lying, sleazeballs I can hardly take it. If marijuana was a gentle weed in the 60's, why the F*** was it made a schedule 1 drug and why did eliminating its use become the number 1 priority in America? Answer: The same reason they are going after it with a vengeance now, to persecute minorities and marginalize an entire segment of society by branding them as the cause of every evil. Im sick of being a scapegoat for every bureaucrat with an agenda. Leave me the hell alone and quit lying. Also, is it a requirement that you skipped Logic 101 in college to be a federal drug agent, becuase anyone with any sense could make the connection that marijuana is becoming more potent because it makes it easier to smuggle and more valuable.

"We shouldn't be victims of reefer madness,"

Holy cow! Did I read this correctly? Is this from the same SOB who helped to air the commercials with little girls being run over on bikes, friends shooting friends, and marijuana inseminating teenage daughters? Walters is the definition of reefer madness.

"And he says, there is a way to go in getting cooperation from local law enforcement officials. "For many in enforcement, marijuana is still 'kiddie dope'," Walters said."

Hahahaha! As though these jackboots usually just look the other way when the demon weed is present. Watch a couple of episodes of COPS and see how "uncooperative" LEO's are in ruining anyone's life if they are caught with herb. Viewing it as "kiddie dope" is definitely not the response Im used to seeing.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by CorvallisEric on July 19, 2004 at 10:00:55 PT
Off-topic: DA seeks public input
From today's Eugene (Oregon) Register-Guard:

Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner has asked Register-Guard readers to help him decide which types of crime to prosecute less vigorously as his budget tightens. If you'd like to participate, please rank the categories of crime below and return your coupon to The Register-Guard by 5 p.m. Friday, July 23.

Please rank the following crime categories by order of importance for prosecution, with "1" being the most important and "4" being the least important.

____ Drug possession

____ Vandalism / criminal mischief

____ Theft of property

____ Vice and public disorder

http://www.registerguard.com/news/2004/07/19/images/rgfront20040719.pdf

Any bets on last place?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by ron on July 19, 2004 at 08:32:12 PT
Presstitutes work in radio too
I just listened to him being interviewed on a Vancouver radio station. He's a skilful spinner of selective statistics and has a smooth delivery. The following threads were seamlessly woven into his screed:

--- marijuana is now so powerful it's become addictive (the Dutch are now considering reclassifying it as a hard drug)

--- we're not going after kids with a few baggies, but the criminal gangs that are trying to destroy youth

--- 90% of BC bud is smuggled into the states

--- people who pedal addictive drugs like cannabis, are not compassionate

--- The ONDCP, DEA and SWAT teams are only involved because they care for the children

The local PTA chairperson could have asked sharper questions than our interviewer.

This article and his interview suggest that drug war propaganda will feature lots of anecdotal stories about 6 and 7 year olds smoking the highly addictive BC bud.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 19, 2004 at 07:37:41 PT
John Walters Again!
When is he ever going to stop!

[ Post Comment ]

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