Category Archives: cannabis
I watched a movie today called A/K/A Tommy Chong. Its a documentary about the fuckwitted federal prosecution of Thomas “Tommy” B. Kin Chong for selling water pipes under the Operation Pipe Dream program that jackass John Ashcroft set up in 2003. From the wiki on Op Pipe Dream:
Operation Pipe Dreams was the code-name for a U.S. nationwide investigation in 2003 targeting businesses selling drug paraphernalia, mostly marijuana pipes and bongs, under a little-used statute (Title 21, Chapter 13, Subchapter 1, Part D, Section 863(a)) of the U.S. Code.
The outcome of Operation Pipe Dreams was hundreds of businesses and homes being raided and 55 people being named in indictments, charged with trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. While 54 of the 55 individuals charged as a result of the operations were sentenced to fines and home detentions, actor Tommy Chong was sentenced on 11 September 2003 to 9 months in a federal prison, forfeiture of $103,000, and a year of probation. The Federal Prosecution admitted being intentionally harsher on Chong in retaliation, citing Chong’s movies as trivializing “law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking and use.”
Yes, those water pipes, the ones used to consume cannabis. The ones you can buy in any head shop or tobacco store in the U.S. They didn’t go after heroin, crack or meth sellers…they went after pot paraphenalia sellers.
Mr. Chong did nine months right down the road from Bakersfield, at the Taft Correctional Facility. He entered into a plea bargain so as to protect his wife and son from prosecution. He was fined over $100k as well.
Operation Pipe Dream cost American taxpayers over $12 Million bucks. It netted 55 individuals. Of the 55 people targeted in the investigation, Chong was the only one without previous convictions who received jail time. When asked why Mr. Chong received jail time, the prosecuting fucktard, US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan stated:
“He (Tommy Chong) wasn’t the biggest supplier. He was a relatively new player, but he had the ability to market products like no other.”
So basically he was treated harsher than any of the other 54 individuals because of who he was, not what he had done.
Our government spent roughly $218,181.00 per individual arrested. At least what we know they spent…you know how BushCo is about providing the truth about anything…From the films website:
a/k/a Tommy Chong chronicles the entrapment and incarceration of comedy icon Tommy Chong of the legendary comedy duo, Cheech and Chong. Josh Gilbert takes on the event in his documentary, and offers a sometimes frightening, often hilarious account of Operation Pipe Dreams, a nationwide drug paraphernalia sting spearheaded by a federal prosecutor named Mary Beth Buchanan, appointed by George Bush three short days after the attacks of 9/11.
After fully armed SWAT teams raided the comedian’s home and his business, Chong Glass, Chong was sentenced to 9 months in federal prison for “conspiracy to manufacture and distribute drug paraphernalia through his family business, specializing in handmade glass water pipes, or “bongs”. Of the 55 defendants prosecuted, Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong was the only one with no prior convictions to receive jail time. Justifying the sentence, George Bush’s appointee, Mary Beth Buchanan cited the classic Cheech and Chong comedy Up In Smoke as evidence that Tommy Chong had become wealthy “trivializing law enforcement efforts to combat marijuana trafficking and use.” As Roger Ebert said after viewing the film, “You do not have to approve of drugs to be offended.”
The film provides a charming portrait of a counter culture icon set against the backdrop of a War on Drugs gone horribly awry.
It makes me very, very angry that people will buy into bullshit based on fear alone. Common sense is tossed aside and fear rules the day and the brain. Tommy is now an activist, he is on the board of NORML, and talks to groups about the persecution of cannibis smokers. He has stated that the bust and jail time did something no one else could…make him an activist against the bullshit laws used to incarcerate cannabis smokers and sellers.
See the movie on Showtime, buy it…but don’t think for one minute that people aren’t rotting in jail’s all over America for bullshit such as this…because they are people….they surely are.
Fun facts on cannabis, from NORML:
According to recent statistics provided by the federal government, nearly 80 million Americans admit having smoked marijuana. Of these, twenty million Americans smoked marijuana during the past year. The vast majority of marijuana smokers, like most other Americans, are good citizens who work hard, raise families, pay taxes and contribute in a positive way to their communities. They are certainly not part of the crime problem in this country, and it is terribly unfair to continue to treat them as criminals.
Many successful business and professional leaders, including many state and elected federal officials, admit they have smoked marijuana. We must reflect this reality in our state and federal laws, and put to rest the myth that marijuana smoking is a fringe or deviant activity engaged in only by those on the margins of American society. Marijuana smokers are no different from their non-smoking peers, except for their marijuana use.
Why should we decriminalize or legalize marijuana?
As President Jimmy Carter acknowledged: “Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”
Marijuana prohibition needlessly destroys the lives and careers of literally hundreds of thousands of good, hard-working, productive citizens each year in this country. More than 700,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges last year, and more than 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the past decade. Almost 90 percent of these arrests are for simple possession, not trafficking or sale. This is a misapplication of the criminal sanction that invites government into areas of our private lives that are inappropriate and wastes valuable law enforcement resources that should be focused on serious and violent crime.
In jail for simple possession? It’s wrong…on every level…especially financial ones if that is the only way rightwingers will be able to justify prosecuting cannabis smokers.
Update: Seems NORML is on the same track, worrying and wondering what Obama will do regarding the relaxing of federal prosecutions of cannabis smokers…it doesn’t look good according to Allen St. Pierre and his latest article on the site regarding AG nominee Eric Holder:
“NORML has serious concerns about the choice of Eric Holder as the next Attorney General because he has a long history of opposing drug policy reforms, perceiving cannabis smoking by adults as a public nuisance worthy of constant harrassment, promoting violent governmental intervention into the private lives of citizens who consume cannabis, supporting mandatory minimum sentencing and so-called civil forfeiture laws.
His attraction to the myth of ‘fixing broken windows’ and using law enforcement to crack down on petty crimes will swell an already overburdened, bloated, expensive and failed government prohibition against otherwise law-abiding citizens who choose to consume cannabis.”“NORML has serious concerns about the choice of Eric Holder as the next Attorney General because he has a long history of opposing drug policy reforms, perceiving cannabis smoking by adults as a public nuisance worthy of constant harrassment, promoting violent governmental intervention into the private lives of citizens who consume cannabis, supporting mandatory minimum sentencing and so-called civil forfeiture laws.
His attraction to the myth of ‘fixing broken windows’ and using law enforcement to crack down on petty crimes will swell an already overburdened, bloated, expensive and failed government prohibition against otherwise law-abiding citizens who choose to consume cannabis.”
This just shows candidates will say anything to get elected. Its so damn fucked up.
Irv Rosenfeld, one of only five Federal cannabis patients talks about medical mj.
Cannabis does relieve pain-UCSD study says
The website Science Daily has an article dated Oct 25, 2007 up about a recent study conducted at UC San Diego. This study specifically centered on neuropathic pain:
In the placebo controlled study of 15 subjects, a low dose of cannabis showed no effect, a medium dose provided moderate pain relief, and a high dose increased the pain response. The results suggest a “therapeutic window” for cannabis analgesia, according to lead researcher Mark Wallace, M.D., professor of anesthesiology at UCSD School of Medicine and Program Director for the UCSD Center for Pain Medicine.
The study used capsaicin, an alkaloid derived from hot chili peppers that is an irritant to the skin, to mimic the type of neuropathic pain experienced by patients with HIV/AIDS, diabetes or shingles — brief, intense pain following by a longer-lasting secondary pain. The subjects were healthy volunteers who inhaled either medical cannabis or a placebo after pain was induced. The marijuana cigarettes were formulated under NIH supervision to contain either zero, two, four or eight percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC.)
Not to bore you with the details, but plenty of studies from Europe and Canada echo this same result; that cannabis can and should be used as an analgesic/pain reliever when it comes to different types of pain and the affects of other illnesses and diseases. This should not be something that needs to be studied ad-nauseum any longer my dear reader. Cannabis has virtually no long-lasting side effects nor will its constant use cause harm to other organs of the body, unlike many of the traditional medications prescribed to people with chronic pain such as myself. Cannabis has also been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. As for the ‘old wives tale’ that cannabis smoke is as dangerous to the lungs as tobacco smoke..bullshit my dear reader. There are also reports out there that blow that one right out of the water…not to mention there are numerous ways to ingest cannabis..but I digress. For HIV/AIDS sufferers, this news that cannabis helps neuropathic pain is welcome since their pain has a different methodology attached to it.
I suffer from a degenerative condition that so far has taken three of my lumbar discs from me, and is slowly destroying the three discs above those. It is bone against bone in my lower back; the discs are gone my dear reader. This creates a problem with the nerve root in my spinal column..just think about trying to shove 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag…it doesn’t work well when constricted and my sciatic nerve causes me constant, debilitating pain as well down my left leg.
Plenty of chronic pain sufferers can no longer tolerate the traditional drugs prescribed for back and nerve pain. The known side effects of just one of the drugs I take daily are so lethal that I have to take additional drugs to counteract the anti-inflammatory medication not to mention the constant rotating of my pain medications to insure I do not become addicted to them. Pain medications like opioids and their derivatives have side effects that affect my body’s ability to metabolize my food correctly among other things. My liver has one hell of a time breaking down all the bullshit in man-made medications to boot.
Which brings me back to the pain-relieving properties of cannabis. It’s a natural occurring plant, and the human brain actually has receptors that interact with it to provide its pain-relieving properties ‘naturally’.
Yet we, as American’s, are forced to deal with a ridiculous set of federal laws that rate cannabis in the same class as morphine and it’s derivatives. We allow our federal government to do this without so much as a hearing. Our federal fuckwits at the helm will hold hearings on anything and everything..but not the classification of cannabis, a drug that has been shown to alleviate the suffering of patients with multiple sclerosis, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease and insomnia to name just a few in studies conducted in Canada and Europe.
Its wrong on every level..every stinking level. And when states such as my home state of California attempt to right the wrong..we get our dispensaries raided weekly by the DEA, just to remind us that THEY hold all the cards in spite of how California voters demanded an end to this bullshit over a decade ago.
Watch Irv Rosenfeld’s Medical Marijuana Testimony at the top of my post. Listen to his common sense approach to the demonization of medical cannabis by our federal government. Another blogger is also blogging on the subject of cannabis, Robert Rouse at Left of Centrist. Please visit his blog for more on this subject.