DEA has finally removed some inaccurate information from its website.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

High times is a pro marijuana advocacy group. 

... at worst, the anti-marijuana groups (including DEA, NIDA, SAMHSA, CDC, and many others) have sometimes taken what is known and/or suspected about marijuana harms in general and applied it to medical marijuana as well.

But it's not like there is no relationship between the two!

And I recommend to curious readers to have a look at some of the research out of the Colorado HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area)... I guess it's properly called  Rocky Mountain HIDTA) www.rmhidta.org. Pro-pot groups have rejected the findings of course, but if even half of that stuff is true... 

(It'll be interesting to see what happens to the HIDTAs now.... I think they were part of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, but under Trump, I don't think there is an ONDCP anymore)

Their reports are on this page... at the moment.

http://www.rmhidta.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/687/MenuGroup/RMHIDTAHome...

 

Bert Perry's picture

...that SharperIron is linking to "High Times".  I became aware of this magazine when I lived in Colorado (near Boulder, where else?), and we were delivered a copy that belonged to our neighbor's tenants.  We let our neighbor know, knowing that the police aren't always keen on this.  

Took a look at Aaron's links, and in my view a quick look says "well, yes, a lot of potheads have moved to Colorado since legalization." In my view, though, what they demonstrate is merely that, again as you'd expect, people have moved there to use pot freely.  The question that ought to drive bans, however, is whether it's getting people killed, and whether it's truly a voluntary transaction.  (for example, heroin and prostitution are arguably NOT voluntary transactions because heroin is truly physically addicting, and prostitutes are often forced to participate in the trade)

The closest the reports come is th note a big increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, but when you put it in terms of relative risk--say about 20% of the population uses, and 20% of corpses found at car accidents had THC in their blood--I don't know that you find that it's out of line to what you'd expect.  

Not a pothead myself, and if I learned that someone in my family or church was routinely getting "high" on this stuff, I'd be concerned.  But I don't know that we've clearly got the evidence for a legal ban.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

There's more to marijuana than "smoking a joint" - oils for example

Current news

http://wqad.com/2017/02/23/iowa-house-panel-oks-medical-marijuana-oil-bill/

 An Iowa House subcommittee approved a bill that would legalize medical marijuana oil and create a state-run program to grow and dispense the product.

People affected by epileptic seizures, multiple sclerosis and cancer spoke Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in support of the bill, telling lawmakers cannabis oil helped them. The GOP-led panel unanimously supported the bill, which now moves to the House public safety committee.

 

Bert Perry's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

I guess Christians who oppose consumption of marijuana are "cultural Fundamentalists".

Depends on what you mean by "oppose consumption".  If you mean that you'd cast anyone who ever uses the stuff out of a church, even if it's for chronic back pain or to manage chemo symptoms, and that you'd come out against legalizing it even for medical purposes, I'd dare say that you are clearly a cultural fundamentalist, not to mention being on the wrong side of Proverbs 31:6.  God's Word clearly suggests a God-given role for intoxicants in managing human misery, and if we're really that opposed to intoxicants, we should tell our surgeons to skip the morphine and anesthesia next time we need surgery.  Remembering my pain with gallstones, I'm sure not going there.  Are you?

On the other hand, if you mean that the church ought to reach out to those who get intoxicated (in a Proverbs 23 kind of situation) on whatever substance, and from time to time impose church discipline when needed, then you've got the Scriptures on your side.  If you mean that believers ought to collect good data to establish whether a particular substance has risks that can be managed (e.g. alcohol or tobacco) through laws like DUI law, or whether its risks are so severe that it ought not be allowed at all, then I think that fits Romans 13 pretty well.

The trick is simply to ask the question of whether the arguments hold--in this case, society has caught on that "Reefer Madness" arguments against dope can only charitably be described as diaphonous.  Those of us who have made such arguments have only three choices; continue and become a laughingstock, repent, or finally do the hard work to come up with real arguments that will pass muster.  Just like alcohol, and just like modern music, really. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

I don't get the cultural fundamentalist argument against the medical use of marijuana and can't believe it is still an issue. It makes absolutely no sense when you consider that there are prescription drugs far stronger and more dangerous such as oxycontin. I think the federal government should just step up and settle the issue making it legal in every state for medical use right away. Too many states are being held hostage by conservative lobbyist groups who are willing to get in the way of people getting relief from pain because of a completely ridiculous opposition to marijuana.

Bert Perry's picture

Here is a safe link to this story--High Times is going to be blocked in many places for obvious reasons.  Notice that the Gate makes the claim that historic claims about marijuana--that it contributes to psychosis, lung cancer, and permanent cognitive damage--are actually false.  There's a link to the appeal to the DEA as well that indicates that the DEA was saying contradictory things on its own websites.  At least one set of statements had to be outright false--Heckuva job, DC!

 Here's Mayo on its safety--there is a tremendous amount of "may" in this, to put it mildly.  Now whether it's a lack of testing, or a remaining homage to Reefer Madness, I don't know, but it does suggest our government has been telling us a lot of things that at the very least they cannot prove.

If you go back a couple of links to here, you'll simultaneously see that there is an incredible amount of "may" among the benefits.  So where I am is that I have friends and relatives who say it's helped them a lot, but I can not unequivocally say that we've got large numbers of people for whom pot will be a miracle cure.

But that said, as Greg hints, if we indeed had about 50,000 opioid deaths in 2016, and states that legalize marijuana see a 25% drop in opioid overdoses, there could be a tremendous benefit to full medical legalization, if not outright legalization.  of this drug.  And let's be real here; although opioids are often legally prescribed, their intoxicating effects and addictiveness are far greater than weed.   Just might be worth a try.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WallyMorris's picture

The debate about the medical use of marijuana is a legitimate debate. But to label those who have concerns and doubts about the wisdom of legalizing marijuana for medical use as "cultural fundamentalists" prejudices the debate. Even unbelievers have doubts about this issue.

Those Christians who allow for the consumption of alcoholic beverages, even hard drinks like Brandy and Scotch (such as Carl Trueman) will have a difficult time preventing people from using those same arguments to legalize recreational marijuana. I suspect some of those involved in the debate about alcohol and marijuana are as motivated by Libertarian Political Theory as they are by the Bible.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

GregH's picture

I don't mean to prejudice the debate. When I say cultural fundamentalists or cultural conservatives, I am merely referring to those who want to conserve the culture of the 1950s. To me, the issue of medical use of marijuana should not be a debatable issue at least not among those of us who are not trained in drugs. The ONLY reason it is an issue is because of baggage associated with the name and its history of abuse (as if there are not numerous more dangerous and addictive legal drugs that are abused). If not for that, we would not hear a peep about it from the cultural fundamentalists.

I am all for the rigorous screening that any other medical drug would go through. If it is proven effective and safe, it should be legal regardless of the howls of those that who merely object because of its name and do not know anything about medicine in the first place. (I know nothing about it myself by the way.)

Bert Perry's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

The debate about the medical use of marijuana is a legitimate debate. But to label those who have concerns and doubts about the wisdom of legalizing marijuana for medical use as "cultural fundamentalists" prejudices the debate. Even unbelievers have doubts about this issue.

Those Christians who allow for the consumption of alcoholic beverages, even hard drinks like Brandy and Scotch (such as Carl Trueman) will have a difficult time preventing people from using those same arguments to legalize recreational marijuana. I suspect some of those involved in the debate about alcohol and marijuana are as motivated by Libertarian Political Theory as they are by the Bible.

Count me as one who actually has some doubts about how wise legalization would be--I've got anecdotal evidence, the testimony of friends and relatives, and the "maybes" from Mayo, but statistical evidence that addresses both benefits and risks...not so much.  I draw the line for "cultural fundamentalism" where the arguments being made are not even plausibly Biblical--not just that I disagree with the arguments, but rather that they're completely implausible.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

Keep in mind that there are different kinds of libertarians.  You've got classical laissez-faire liberals, Republicans who want to smoke dope and patronize hookers (a caricature but a real part of the movement), anarcho-capitalists, and others.  Anarcho-capitalists can be dealt with simply Biblically by pointing to passages like Genesis 9 and Romans 13--if government is not necessary, why do the pages of Scripture tell us about a God- appointed king?  It also comes against the doctrines of human depravity and the like.  

With other varieties of libertarianism that acknowledge a lawful purpose to government, the question is then the exact same one that any other person who sees the need for government; are the harms of "substance X" serious enough to justify banning it?  So I'm not convinced that "it's libertarians" is that big of a deal.  They simply have a low view on the effectiveness of government, which is probably exactly the conclusion we ought to draw from the Biblical books of history, no?

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

I am not so sure that this works:
"Anarcho-capitalists can be dealt with simply Biblically by pointing to passages like Genesis 9 and Romans 13--if government is not necessary, why do the pages of Scripture tell us about a God- appointed king? It also comes against the doctrines of human depravity and the like."
Many anarcho-capitalists do see a place for government that is privately and voluntarily funded. As far as the depravity argument, see above. The general argument would be that those that break the Non-aggression principle are guilty of criminality and would be dealt with by a voluntarily organized and funded government. Even some minarchist/libertarians would hold this view.

I'm not sure that I am quite an anarcho-libertarian but I am not convinced that what we have now is anywhere near as just a government as what they might propose. Of course, as you point out, we have a biblical duty to submit and pray for our leaders no matter how just.

Bert Perry's picture

Josh, I'll concede the possibility that some anarcho-capitalists concede the need for goverment, but since the "anarcho" part means literally "no ruler", it's somewhat counter-intuitive.  :^)  Which was, of course, what I was responding to--your description would then fit into the other categories of libertarians who would process the question of whether marijuana ought to be banned exactly the same as would Democrats or Republicans, just with a lower esteem of the powers of government.  Sound about right?

One other thing Wally noted was the question of how, say, a Scotch drinker could deal with issues with marijuana smokers in the church.  The answer is the same as with wine, beer, heroin, morphine, or crack, really--are they indulging to get drunk or stoned, or ending up there unintentionally?  If either, they're on the wrong side of Scripture.  So while it's easier to get drunk on Scotch than it is on beer due to sheer volume, or easier to get stoned on heroin than it is on marijuana, the basic question is really the same.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WallyMorris's picture

Bert, I'm curious:

Are you saying that it's OK to use heroin or cocaine as long as a person doesn't get "stoned"?

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Bert Perry's picture

Wally, it's possible, but not likely.  Since heroin is physically addictive, and both heroin and cocaine require tiny doses to get a man intoxicated, and apart from medical uses I'm aware of no other appealing uses for the stuff, I'd be surprised to meet a man who used either without getting stoned.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but the burden of proof would certainly be on the user.

To draw a picture, for me (215 lbs today) an intoxicating dose of beer is about half a gallon.  For wine, it's about 750ml, and for Scotch, about a cup.   Obviously more concern with hard liquor than with wine, but it's possible to use it responsibly.  In contrast, it appears to be 330 mg for marijuana, 75mg for cocaine, and probably 20mg or less for heroin.  You would need a chem lab in your house to use some of these things without getting stoned or worse.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

I think your basically right but I think that those AC who see the only rightful government being a voluntary one would do so based on the NAP. For the same reason they would likely be against drug prohibition (unless they are inconsistent which is also extremely common). But, as you say, there is an enormous variety of folks under the libertarian label.