cannabisnews.com: 40 Years of Reefer Madness










††40 Years of Reefer Madness

Posted by CN Staff on February 19, 2006 at 09:44:28 PT
By Rick Holmes†
Source: Milford Daily News†

Massachusetts -- Save us from politicians sending messages. They were at it again this week, debating a bill that would provide civil fines, instead of criminal records, for those caught possessing small amounts of marijuana. "Thatís the wrong message to send to our kids," Attorney General Tom Reilly said. "We have to keep them out of drugs." State Rep. Karyn Polito, R-Shrewsbury, agreed, saying the bill "sends the wrong message."
Letís get real: Politicians donít send messages, especially to kids, who couldnít name their state representative if their iPods depended on it. For 40 years, politicians have been "sending messages" to kids about the dangers of pot and for 40 years, the kids have been ignoring them.    State legislators and attorneys general donít send messages; they pass laws and prosecute people caught breaking them. The law they have now says they can send you to prison for six months and fine you $500 for possession of a single joint -- on top of your lawyerís fees, of course.    Another law makes anyone convicted of marijuana possession ineligible for federal college loans or grants. Nice message they are sending: Anyone who smokes pot shouldnít be able to go to college.    Reilly is worried about sending messages to kids, but the law he supports applies to adults as well. A federal study released last year found that 12 percent of adults in the greater Boston area had smoked marijuana in the previous month. Twelve percent broke the law by choosing this relatively benign alternative to a cocktail.    What message are the politicians sending to millions of adults? That they canít decide for themselves which mild intoxicant to enjoy. That their government believes they must be treated like children -- or criminals.    The adults arenít listening to the politiciansí message any more than the kids are. Some of them have been laughing at "reefer madness" propaganda for 40 years, and the passage of time hasnít made it any more convincing.    In fact, the aging of the baby boomers has given science its first opportunity to measure the impact of long-term drug use. In a recent review of the research, Time magazine reported that, while cocaine and heroin are as dangerous as originally thought, "the so-called demon weed turned out to be a lot less devilish than advertised.    "The popular image of the goofy, smoky slacker notwithstanding, a 2003 study in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society found that even among regular users, there is no proof that pot causes irreversible cognitive damage," Time writes.    Long-term use can affect memory, but those effects fade if the user stops. Marijuana can be addictive for some, says psychologist Peter Provet, president of Odyssey House. "But a lot of people who use pot donít become addicts."    Forty years doesnít seem to have changed the politics of drug laws. State legislators all seem to have this Nixon-era belief that if they support any marijuana reform bill the voters will decide they are hippies and the narcs will search their sock drawers.    But the voters are way ahead of them. Over the last five years, voters in 26 Massachusetts districts -- including those represented by Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge, Rep. Debby Blumer, D-Framingham and Rep. Jim Vallee, D-Franklin -- have been asked in ballot questions whether they support a reform bill similar to the one now before the Legislature. In every case, voters supported the reforms by a healthy margin.    Moore, Blumer and Vallee all promptly said they would ignore the wishes of the voters in their districts. Something about sending a message, if I recall. Vallee, who was then chairman of the criminal justice committee, said it probably didnít have the votes to pass, so he wouldnít allow his committee to consider it.    But something has changed. Valleeís criminal justice committee was eliminated and a new committee on mental health and substance abuse was created. The new committee is concerned with getting effective treatment to people who are addicted and ill. It approaches substance abuse as an issue of public health, not public morality. Itís more interested in helping people than in sending messages by locking them up.    That committee this week endorsed the decriminalization bill, but given the wimpishness of the other legislators, it may go no further. Asked about the bill, Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, declined to take a position. "Iím not sure the bill will get to the floor," he said hopefully.    Even this bill, which would change the penalty for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana to a $250 fine, is a weak compromise with common sense.    The common sense approach would recognize that, by almost any measure, marijuana is no worse than beer. And the legitimate concerns about pot -- purity, potency and abuse by children -- could most easily be addressed by treating it exactly like beer.    Kids have told me itís easier to get hold of pot than alcohol. Thereís a reason for that: Alcohol is sold by liquor store owners who face heavy fines and lost business if they are caught selling to anyone under 21.    Thereís also a reason why the jump to hard drugs is easier for pot-smokers than drinkers: The man at the liquor store might want to talk you into a finer wine or fancier brew, but he doesnít stock cocaine or crystal meth. Why not let him put some regulated, taxed marijuana in his humidor along with the cigars?    But common sense and sound public policy go out the window when politicians fall under the sway of reefer madness. They are too busy sending messages no one is listening to and locking up otherwise responsible citizens.Rick Holmesí column appears on Sundays. Source: Milford Daily News, The (MA)Author: Rick HolmesPublished: Sunday, February 19, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Milford Daily NewsContact: milford cnc.comWebsite: http://www.milforddailynews.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:DPFMAhttp://www.dpfma.org/MassCannhttp://www.masscann.org/ Bid To Decriminalize Marijuana is Debated http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21606.shtmlPot Bill Lights Up Debatehttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21596.shtmlLegislative Panel Backs Bill To Decriminalize http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21593.shtmlTime for Serious Talk About Pothttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20901.shtml 

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Comment #34 posted by Hope on February 22, 2006 at 09:53:48 PT
Cell phones and Do Not Call List
They took our cellphone number. Whether they actually put it on the list, I don't know. Nothing was said about not doing it.
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on February 22, 2006 at 08:48:01 PT
LTE from TownOnline
Letter: Legalization is Best Policy***Wednesday, February 22, 2006 
Rep. Brian Wallace opposes reforming the state's marijuana possession law. He thunders "the use of alcohol and marijuana often leads to the use of more harmful and addictive drugs, and for that reason, believes the penalties should remain tough."
   It is true that "marijuana use precedes hard drug use" RAND researchers reported in a 2002 article, "Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect." They found this is "simply because opportunities to use marijuana come earlier in life than opportunities to use hard drugs."
 
  It is clear that current criminal penalties for possessing marijuana reduce neither supply nor demand. Anyone who wants it can get it. Close to 50 percent of Massachusetts voters over the age of 18 have tried it at least once in their lifetime. Most never tried any other illicit drug, almost all are good people and some are politicians.
   By substantial margins voters in 3 senate and 23 representative districts supported making marijuana possession a civil violation and not a crime in Massachusetts elections since 2000. The voters recognize the criminal justice system is not the place to express disapproval. They understand that parents are the best anti-drug. Parent-imposed punishments and voluntary counseling are more likely to rehabilitate the child than state-imposed punishments. When they do not, the police or parents of a child below the age of 17 may petition the Juvenile Court that the child is in need of services. The Court can then use the coercive power of the state to help the parents and child. 
  Legalizing, taxing and regulating this agricultural commodity used in the past month by about a tenth of Massachusetts' adult population, while prohibiting it to children as we do tobacco and alcohol, is the best policy consistent with securing the Constitution's promised blessings of liberty. Until the federal prohibition is relaxed, the decriminalization proposed is fiscally responsible, humane and sensible.
   Steven S. Epstein, Esq. West Street 
  Georgetownhttp://www2.townonline.com/newton/opinion/view.bg?articleid=434470
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Comment #32 posted by Max Flowers on February 20, 2006 at 09:27:57 PT
Here's further info about the cell phone thing
From http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/business/a/cell_directory.htmDescription: Email flierCirculating since: September 2004Status: Partly trueSummary: Message warns that a directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published and urges users to enter their cell phone numbers on a federal 'Do Not Call' list to prevent unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers.Comments: While it's true that the major wireless phone providers (Verizon excepted) have announced their intention to establish a 411 directory of customers' cell phone numbers beginning in 2006, it is not true that they plan to "publish" said directory for any and all to read. Participating companies say the numbers will be made available only with customer consent, and only via telephone to users who dial directory assistance and pay a fee.The companies swear the numbers will never be accessible to telemarketers. In fact, per FCC regulations, telemarketers are already prohibited from calling cell phone numbers using automated dialers, which are standard in the industry.Not everyone is convinced that consumers' privacy will be adequately shielded, however, as evidenced by a privacy protection bill already introduced in Congress which would modify the plan to allow 411 callers to be directly connected to requested parties without the latter's phone numbers being given out. Lawmakers have yet to act on the legislation.In any case, the Federal Trade Commission does allow cell phone users to add their numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry ó the same one already in force for landlines ó either on the Web or by calling 1-888-382-1222.Contrary to what some variants of the email rumor claim, there is no 31-day or December 15 deadline for adding cell phone numbers to the Do Not Call list ó indeed, there is no deadline whatsoever. 
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Comment #31 posted by BGreen on February 20, 2006 at 08:14:36 PT
I went ahead and signed ours up
I figured it would give us 5 years of protection from whatever those bozo's decide to do (sorry to the real Bozo.)The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #30 posted by ekim on February 20, 2006 at 07:43:29 PT
more info
Doing some further research, which I should have done *before* sharing this, I've discovered the following: Putting your land line fone numbers in to the "Do Not Call" registry will eliminate you getting unwanted sales calls on THOSE lines, but it will apparently have NO impact with respect to your cell fone numbers, but it won't do any harm if you DO register those numbers.To make a long story short, the cell fone companies have, or plan to, establish a cell fone "411 Directory". But they claim that ONLY those with a cell fone number who have opted in will have their numbers listed. Whether or not they will keep their promise I have no idea. However If anyone has not already registered their land line fone numbers, it would be in their best interests to do so. I hope this clears that up. Thank you for your kind attention. 
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on February 20, 2006 at 06:06:57 PT
cell phone thing
Been meaning to get my phones on the do not call list for ages anyway...that got it done. I'm glad they won't be calling cell phones but I'm glad we got our other number in there anyway. Thirty one days and no more "Rick" and "Colleen" recordings!It seems like those "ain't gonna do it" politicians mentioned in the article should be pulled out of office immediately. They are saying they won't do what the voters want. That sounds like mutiny or something. The people are supposed to be the Captains of this ship. A good keel hauling might do them good. It might help get the tar and feathers off them, anyway.If they weren't so arrogant and out there they would realize that they are hurting people who don't deserve to have them hurting them. Steve Kubby and Jerry Sisson come to mind.
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Comment #28 posted by BGreen on February 20, 2006 at 04:35:38 PT
More misinformation about the Do Not Call List
This is from http://www.ftc.gov/donotcall/You may have received an email telling you that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database; however, that is not the case. Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers.The 31-days is the amount of time after registration that it becomes illegal for telemarketers to call ANY newly registered phone, land line or cell.It's a great idea to join, but this email has been around for months.Celling Your SoulClaim:  Cell phone users must register their numbers with the national "Do Not Call" directory to prevent their cell phone numbers from being released to telemarketers.Status:  False.http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/cell411.asp*******************************************************The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #27 posted by mayan on February 20, 2006 at 03:40:12 PT
EXPOSE THEM
Moore, Blumer and Vallee all promptly said they would ignore the wishes of the voters in their districts.When the mainstream media starts telling it like it is the war on the weed will be over in a hurry! Watch the prohibitionists scramble like rats as they become exposed by the very media that they have manipulated for so long in order to oppress us. The tables are turning!THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...New York Gubernatorial Candidate on 9/11: 
http://www.hicksforgovernor.com/on911.htmlHow Did The WTC Towers Drop So Easily?
http://www.newsfocus.org/wtc_fire.htmA Half-Dozen Questions About 9/11 They Don't Want You to Ask:
http://www.counterpunch.com/werther02182006.htmlScientific Evidence that Official 9/11 Story is a Lie:
http://www.ditrianum.org/Artikelen/artikel33en.htm9/11 Podcasts:
http://visibility911.libsyn.com/
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Comment #26 posted by sam Adams on February 19, 2006 at 20:52:11 PT
Time magazine
What a great article! I found it interesting that Time magazine has only recently concluded that MJ is safe. What a brilliant piece of journalistic analysis! And it only took them 90 years since the Navy's Panama study came out. Or 50 years since the Laguardia study. Need I go on? 
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Comment #25 posted by ekim on February 19, 2006 at 18:50:50 PT
"Drug Policy for the Union Worker"
good--- hopeif anyone is near this event and can film it -- the unions should have a copy for all its members. some of the people that are running for office could be invited too.we here in mi have a case where a activest that is a school counsler was targeted no warrent -vacumed the truck three times said they found a toopick stem of god knows what charged with four years first off now are backing down but still caused such a uproar the poor soul lost the job. 
trial in june.
another great human that is and has raised a good family and paid taxes with hard work. i know all of us have someone that is being ground up, ____how long will this be goen on.Mar 29 06 Local 375 District Council 37: "Drug Policy for the Union Worker" 06:00 PM Jeff Kaufman New York New York USA 
 LEAP Speaker Jeff Kaufman, with members of the Drug Policy Alliance, ReconsiDer and the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation will be presenting "Drug Policy for the Union Worker" for members of the Local 375 District Council 37. The presentation will cover numerous issues, possibly including drug testing laws and rights, the cost and politics of current drug policy and a host of other issues. 
http://www.ReconsiDer.org
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on February 19, 2006 at 18:37:14 PT
Bout those phones!
If you have a cell phone, you'd better call right now.They told my husband it would go into effect in 31 days!
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on February 19, 2006 at 18:29:17 PT
Thanks, Ekim
I read your message to my husband and he hopped right to it and called. Thanks.
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Comment #22 posted by ekim on February 19, 2006 at 18:19:04 PT
anyone hear if this is right
This just received from a friend:JUST A REMINDER....31 days from today, all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS...To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years.You can also go to www.donotcall.gov and register up to 3 phone numbers at a time. 
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on February 19, 2006 at 17:58:54 PT
Ekim Thanks Got It Now!
http://www.wnyc.org/stream/ram.py?file=studio/studio021706e.mp3
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Comment #20 posted by ekim on February 19, 2006 at 17:54:02 PT
Studio 360
was the name of the show. 
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on February 19, 2006 at 17:51:09 PT
Ekim
Thank you. I'll try to get it. I don't have good luck with NPR sometimes.
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Comment #18 posted by ekim on February 19, 2006 at 17:42:08 PT
Neil Young on NPR now
talking about the filming of Priee Wind 
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Comment #17 posted by Christen-Mitchell on February 19, 2006 at 17:32:52 PT:
What Message does this Send?
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
By Lawrence Britt1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Distain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate is Protected
10.Labor Power is Suppressed
11.Distain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12.Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13.Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14.Fraudulent ElectionsSpring 2003 by studying Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet. Free Inquiry magazine 
Hemptopia
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Comment #16 posted by lombar on February 19, 2006 at 15:44:12 PT
the message is: OBEY SHEEP!
What message do you thin the RCMP sent these teenagers?"LMA ó The sitting-duck suspects were too shocked to move Friday when the Mounties swooped in on an alleged drug-dealing site in rural Pictou County.Ten officers, a police dog, several police cruisers and a helicopter were used to arrest 13 high school students at a popular lunchtime hangout near Northumberland Regional High School in Alma."clipped
Students busted at school hangout
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 19, 2006 at 14:27:43 PT
Hope
Yes it is a cool invention. I find that you and others understand me better then friends that I have. That really is something when I think about it.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on February 19, 2006 at 14:23:53 PT

        Off Topic
Everyday that passes, it seems, I never cease to be amazed and awed at the Internet. Here we are...people all over the world...able to contact one another instantly in a few keystrokes or mouse clicks. Not to mention all the information available to us in a matter of minutes. It is amazing.I feel so lucky to have been born at a time to be able to participate.Cool invention. Really cool.

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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 19, 2006 at 14:22:16 PT

What Politicians Are To Me
Politicians have way too many issues to try to figure out. Having knowledge about many things means they can't be a master of anything I believe. They don't have any depth in issues whether it's our issue or any issue. They always have to think about who not to offend or they might not give them any money to further their political careers. That's why I don't believe politicians. 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on February 19, 2006 at 14:13:18 PT

Ooops....
I may be getting "mean" again.I'm not saying they should be physically harmed or locked up ...just get them out of American government. They don't belong in it. They are exactly the types this country was formed to be a refuge from.Nobody in their right minds would ever vote for these guys again after reading that statement. Prohibitionists would of course, but I said, "right mind" and I've never met a prohibitionist that was in that "right mind" place. They like dictating to others and tyranizing those they dislike. That's not a "right mind".
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on February 19, 2006 at 14:08:06 PT

Tar and Feathers?
"Moore, Blumer and Vallee all promptly said they would ignore the wishes of the voters in their districts".What's it going to take for these guys to recall that we are supposed to be a "government by the people.....".Personally...I think they should be investigated for criminality because of betraying their pledges to serve the people, and kicked out and kept out of government because they forgot the initial tenant....they are working for the people. Who are they working for when they say they "...will ignore the wishes of the voters...".Fire 'em!Fire 'em fast and fire 'em hard and don't let them back in the public buildings they are profaning with their little dictatorships. Creeps.
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Comment #10 posted by global_warming on February 19, 2006 at 13:26:15 PT

there is a forgiveness
that can rock you into this 'world,stand before, become a 'witness,
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Comment #9 posted by global_warming on February 19, 2006 at 13:21:41 PT

Shame
Why do I have shame?
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Comment #8 posted by global_warming on February 19, 2006 at 13:09:49 PT

how close do you want to get?
this portal is open for business,
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Comment #7 posted by global_warming on February 19, 2006 at 12:55:22 PT

government by the people
" Moore, Blumer and Vallee all promptly said they would ignore the wishes of the voters in their districts..."Seems to me, that it is time to get that sharp guillotine ready, these people who stand above 'law and in this time and very day oppose the 'will of the people, shall easily be forgotten, on the trail, that Glory Trail.
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on February 19, 2006 at 12:09:22 PT

what is it?
" But something has changed. Valleeís criminal justice committee was eliminated and a new committee on mental health and substance abuse was created. The new committee is concerned with getting effective treatment to people who are addicted and ill. It approaches substance abuse as an issue of public health, not public morality. Itís more interested in helping people than in sending messages by locking them up."It was always the public health, that was never respected, by putting a human being into some prison system, who? is served?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 19, 2006 at 12:01:53 PT

Massachusetts 
Massachusetts is a really pretty state. It's very congested but a number of years ago I saw college kids up there when they were getting out of classes and I had to smile. They look like they will be the ones to help bring change to the current way things are. Some of the best activist type musicians came from that area of the USA. http://www.caroleking.com/http://www.carlysimon.com/http://www.jamestaylor.com/http://www.arlo.net/
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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on February 19, 2006 at 11:55:08 PT

i second that crap
can we have a motion to ratify?
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on February 19, 2006 at 11:40:22 PT

Museman
Beautiful "Message". The blessed ones will hear it , no doubt.
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Comment #2 posted by museman on February 19, 2006 at 11:07:01 PT

'messages'
CRAP on their 'messages.'Here's a message for all you power mongers;"You are all a bunch of liars, thieves, war criminals, the REAL 'terrorists,' and in general sorry excuses for human beings. Stop what you are doing now while you still have a chance to ask forgiveness of all the people you harm, and have harmed. Get off your thrones, and come join the rest of us in making life a sweet thing instead of the imposed terror you inflict on the entire world every day."Hows that for a 'message?'
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 19, 2006 at 10:19:10 PT

I Agree 
What message are the politicians sending to millions of adults? That they canít decide for themselves which mild intoxicant to enjoy. That their government believes they must be treated like children -- or criminals. The adults arenít listening to the politiciansí message any more than the kids are. Some of them have been laughing at "reefer madness" propaganda for 40 years, and the passage of time hasnít made it any more convincing. In fact, the aging of the baby boomers has given science its first opportunity to measure the impact of long-term drug use. In a recent review of the research, Time magazine reported that, while cocaine and heroin are as dangerous as originally thought, "the so-called demon weed turned out to be a lot less devilish than advertised. 

[ Post Comment ]






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