Archive for the ‘ Taxation ’ Category
|“||Currently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a monopoly on the supply of research-grade marijuana, but no other Schedule I drug, that can be used in FDA-approved research. NIDA uses its monopoly power to obstruct research that conflicts with its vested interests. MAPS had two of its FDA-approved medical marijuana protocols rejected by NIDA, preventing the studies from taking place. MAPS has also been trying without success for almost four years to purchase 10 grams of marijuana from NIDA for research into the constituents of the vapor from marijuana vaporizers, a non-smoking drug delivery method that has already been used in one FDA-approved human study.||”|
NIDA has a government granted monopoly on the production of medical marijuana for research purposes. In the past, the institute has refused to supply marijuana to researchers who had obtained all other necessary federal permits. Medical marijuana researchers and activists claim that NIDA, which is not supposed to be a regulatory organization, does not have the authority to effectively regulate who does and doesn’t get to do research with medical marijuana. Jag Davies of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) writes in MAPS Bulletin:
NIDA administers a contract with the University of Mississippi to grow the nation’s only legal cannabis crop for medical and research purposes, including the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program. A Fast Company magazine article pointed out, “Based on the photographic evidence, NIDA’s concoction of seeds, stems, and leaves more closely resembles dried cat brier than cannabis”. An article in Mother Jones magazine describes their crop as “brown, stems-and-seeds-laden, low-potency pot—what’s known on the streets as “schwag””aka “Bobby Brown” United States federal law currently registers cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Medical marijuana researchers typically prefer to use high-potency marijuana, but NIDA’s National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse has been reluctant to provide cannabis with high THC levels, citing safety concerns:
|“||Most clinical studies have been conducted using cannabis cigarettes with a potency of 2-4% THC. However, it is anticipated that there will be requests for cannabis cigarettes with a higher potency or with other mixes of cannabinoids. For example, NIDA has received a request for cigarettes with an 8% potency. The subcommittee notes that very little is known about the clinical pharmacology of this higher potency. Thus, while NIDA research has provided a large body of literature related to the clinical pharmacology of cannabis, research is still needed to establish the safety of new dosage forms and new formulations.||”|
Speaking before the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project criticized NIDA for refusing to provide researcher Donald Abrams with marijuana for his studies, stating that “after nine months of delay, Dr. Leshner rejected Dr. Abrams’ request for marijuana, on what we believe are political grounds that the FDA-approved protocol is inadequate.”
In May 2006, the Boston Globe reported that:
Then again, it’s not in NIDA’s job description-or even, perhaps, in NIDA’s interests-to grow a world-class marijuana crop. The institute’s director, Nora Volkow, has stressed that it’s “not NIDA’s mission to study the medicinal use of marijuana or to advocate for the establishment of facilities to support this research.” Since NIDA’s stated mission “is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction,” federally supported marijuana research will logically tilt toward the potential harms, not benefits, of cannabis.
NIDA has drawn criticism for continuing to provide funding to George Ricaurte, who in 2002 conducted a study that was widely touted as proving that MDMA causeddopaminergic neurotoxicity in monkeys. His paper “Severe Dopaminergic Neurotoxicity in Primates After a Common Recreational Dose Regimen of MDMA (‘Ecstasy’)” inScience was later retracted after it became clear that the monkeys had in fact been injected not with MDMA, but with extremely high doses of methamphetamine. A FOIArequest was subsequently filed by MAPS to find out more about the research and NIDA’s involvement in it.
Alan Leshner, publisher of Science and former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has come under fire for endorsing the botched study at its time of publication… Leshner did help NIDA bring home the bacon: NIDA’s budget for Ecstasy research has more than quadrupled over the past five years, from $3.4 million to $15.8 million; the agency funds 85 percent of the world’s drug-abuse research. In 2001, Leshner testified before a Senate subcommittee on “Ecstasy Abuse and Control”; critics say Leshner manipulated brain scans from a 2000 study by Dr. Linda Chang showing no difference between Ecstasy users and control subjects. But NIDA insists it’s independent from political pressures. “We don’t set policy; we don’t create laws,” says Beverly Jackson, the agency’s spokesperson.
In February 2005, Westat, a research company hired by NIDA and funded by The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, reported on its five-year study of the government ad campaigns aimed at dissuading teens from using marijuana, campaigns that cost more than $1 billion between 1998 and 2004. The study found that the ads did not work: “greater exposure to the campaign was associated with weaker anti-drug norms and increases in the perceptions that others use marijuana.” NIDA leaders and the White House drug office did not release the Westat report for a year and a half. NIDA dated Westat’s report as “delivered” in June 2006. In fact, it was delivered in February 2005, according to the Government Accountability Office, the federal watchdog agency charged with reviewing the study.
If Pot were Legal
Law Enforcement – There are a lot of people who make a living fighting Pot who would have to go get a real job if Pot were legalized. Police departments get a lot of funding to fight Marijuana and those funds could be returned to the taxpayer if Pot were made legal. Cops would have to chase robbers, rapists, and murderers.
Government Agencies – Using unconstitutional civil forfeiture laws the government has been able to use the presence of Pot to steal billions of dollars of private property from the People. Drug laws have been an excuse to circumvent our constitutional right and justify wire tap laws, the erosion of protection from illegal searches, key recovery encryption, and domestic spying. If you take a politically unpopular position like this one I’m taking now, the government can plant drugs on you and put you away.
Pot Dealers – If Pot were legalized then people making money off of selling Pot illegally would be out of business. Pot prices would drop to $10 a bale. Crime relating to illegal Pot money would vanish.
Wood Industry – Hemp would become the primary source of fiber for paper products as well as a new source for building materials. We wouldn’t have to cut down every big tree in the world.
Private Prisons – If Pot were legalized the private prison industry would be hurt. They would no longer jail Pot smokers. It could free up space for violent criminals.
Trial Lawyers – Normal people caught with a joint spend billions each year on lawyers to get them off of criminal charges after getting caught with a joint. Lawyers get rich off of the Marijuana laws. If Marijuana were legal this money could be spent sending your kids to college.
Mental Hospitals – There’s a big industry treating people for problems they don’t have. If you have insurance, you’re crazy until the insurance coverage runs out. If you smoke Pot then you have mental problems. If Pot were legal some of these people would have to get real jobs.
We should start treating people who are addicted to 12 step programs. Republicans – Pot helps you see reality the way it really is.
It’s harder to con a Pot smoker on political issues. Once you get stoned it’s harder to want to hate Liberals, Queers, Blacks, Pregnant Teens, Draft Dodgers, President Clinton,Obama, Feminists, Lesbians, Pot Smokers, and other people the Republicans want you to hate.
When you’re stoned it’s harder to like Newt Gingrich, John Ashcroft, the KKK, the Christian Coalition, Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, People who beat Gay’s to Death, People who blow up Abortion Clinics, and the morally superior in general.Obama
Political Cowards – Politicians like to pose with police as somebody who is “against drugs” promising to lock up all the pot smokers and throw away the key. These people need an artificial issue to be against so they don’t have to face real issues like how to protect the public from crooked lawyers and crooked judges. Political cowards cross all party lines when it comes to pot and includes President Clinton.And Obama
Others – These groups could also be hurt by legalizing Pot. Car body shops would get less alcohol related wrecks to fix. Hospitals would get less alcohol related business as would alcohol treatment centers and funeral homes. It could hurt cemeteries and tombstone makers as well.
If Pot were legal