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The Steve Kubby Fiasco

I just stumbled across this story about marijuana activist Steve Kubby being arrested on drug charges in California after returning to the U.S. from Canada to turn himself in. He had appealed to the Candian government for permission to remain in that country, but his appeals were denied.

Apparently this is quite a bit of controversy surrounding Mr. Kubby. His name is currently the top search on Technorati. A lot of people are angry about his arrest. You see, Kubby is not just a marijuana activist (and Libertarian politician). He also suffers from a form of adrenal cancer, which is currently in remission. Marijuana, or a medical derivative of the drug, is part of his treatment for that. Currently Kubby is in jail and, according to the reporting I've found on the story, isn't receiving this medication.

Not can't speak to the validity of Kubby's claims about the medicinal properties of the drug, but I can tell you that his situation doesn't do much to raise my opinion of this silly "war" we're fighting against marijuana.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not one of these people who advocate for the legalization of all drugs. I would vigourously oppose any attempt to make substances like meth or crack cocaine legal, but when it comes to the relatively benign marijuana I just don't see the point in opposing it any more. We are spending billions every year opposing this drug, and for what? To keep Americans from experiencing a high that is, for all practical purposes, not all that much different from the buzz they can legally obtain from alcohol?

Every year we put hundreds of thousands of people in jail on marijuana charges, the vast majority of them simply for possessing the drug. Yet simultaneously we let thousands of high-risk sex offenders, captured illegal aliens and other types of criminals back out into our communities every year, all because our prisons are overcrowded. Is anyone else thinking that we have our priorities backwards here? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd rather put the potheads back on the street and keep the sex perverts in jail.

Does marijuana have medical properties? I don't know. But I can tell you that our "war" on the drug seems like a losing battle to this observer. I say we cut our losses, stop harrassing people like Mr. Kubby, and focus on some of the more important threats which are facing this country.


Comments (33)

Meth is already legal. It ... (Below threshold)
George:

Meth is already legal. It goes under the brand name Desoxyn.

Any drug taken in excess can have dangerous consequences. IMO, the consequences of marijuana do not include any obvious physical effects but rather subtle behavioral effects which tend to get overlooked.

Be careful what you wish for. And be wary of self-proclaimed medical experts.

The previous post illustrat... (Below threshold)
La Mano:

The previous post illustrates the consequences of drug abuse.

La Mano should get the awar... (Below threshold)
Dwight P:

La Mano should get the award for post of the day.

If post #2 (Mr. Ho) indica... (Below threshold)
KC:

If post #2 (Mr. Ho) indicates the results of drug abuse I have to wonder what drug are we talking about? I have witnessed LSD users who made more sense. Anyway, the “war against drugs” is a bipartisan disgrace. One could reasonably say that the Democratic Party is the party more likely to be reasonable when it comes to drug laws, especially our marijuana laws; due to what seems like an apparently larger likelihood of reasonable experimentation. That opinion would prove to be a mistake if one looked at the drug laws passed under President Clinton and the Democratic Congress of 1994. The ’94 drug bill included the possible implementation of the death penalty for large marijuana growers. It also included the authorization of “sneak & peak” surveillance activities against marijuana sellers. The “sneak & peak” surveillance method as allowed in the Patriot Act is a procedure that the Democrats are currently up in arms over. One could easily make the argument that the far left members of the Democratic Party are much more fearful of the kid down the street selling pot out of his parent’s basement than they are of militant fundamentalist religious fanatics who are sworn to end the liberal democracy that is America. I also believe that the “gateway drug” aspect of marijuana is closely tied to the fact that one must usually buy marijuana from a person who may have good reason to get his or her customers to start using a more profitable drug.

I studied this issue for a ... (Below threshold)
srl:

I studied this issue for a semester in college, which doesn't make me an expert by any means, but I do know some of the bigger issues. Marijuana DOES have effective medical properties. The most often cited is pain relief, but this is actually the least of its benefits. The real benefit of marijuana is with cancer patients because it is the most effective appetite stimulant we have. One of the worst effects of cancer and cancer treatment is vomiting and inability to eat, which leads to severe malnutrition and often times the advancement of the cancer in addition to other effects. Marijuana will very noticeably relieve nausea and make the patient hungry again, which is not unrelated to their chances for survival in many cases.

When I found out there was something called Marinol that used the relevant elements of marijuana to treat the same symptoms, I thought it was a dead issue where the marijuana advocates were being dishonest. Unfortunately, I also learned that Marinol does not work very well when compared to Marijuana. That's just the simple fact of it. In such a case I would want the most effective relief, not the drug-lite just so people could feel better about their ethical principles.

To make things more complicated, there are good reasons why marijuana should not be fully legalized that many people do not know much about. One is the practical matter that at least with alcohol we can pull someone over and test them to see if they're intoxicated and then punish them for the abuse. With marijuana, driving is impaired, but there is no roadside test you can administer that would be useful in a court. Also something less known that George hinted at is marijuana has some very negative long term effects. For one, people are *8* times more likely to commit suicide after they start smoking marijuana; and the rate of depression is likewise strikingly high. People often say that those who would smoke marijuana are often depressed anyway and the drug is not the causal factor. That's a load of crap. You can't just ignore these numbers. The drug also kills your motivation. Another effect, perhaps in some way linked to this, is that some people (uncommon but not quite rare) are particularly susceptible to an odd side effect of the drug. Specifically, some people, after just their first time using the drug, will undergo a permanent schizophrenic break. My advisor in college was also a cognitive therapist and told me about a 19 year old patient of his who had this happen and the kid can no longer form coherent sentences. While I don't like the idea of prohibiting things, I don't know that legalizing a substance with such unpredictable and potentially dangerous side effects is a good idea when you consider the peer pressure that takes place in youth culture. With cigarettes the worst thing that happens is its unhealthy. With marijuana, the consequences of a younger person using the drug with little knowledge of its dangers and the likely impairment it would have on their intellectual development make it a different beast altogether. Sorry for the rant guys, but I think having the most information available helps everyone.

I think that legalization i... (Below threshold)
elvis:

I think that legalization is the way to go, because it can be more easily kept out of the hands of youngsters. Of equal importance legalization would eliminate the black market which is responsible for the post-modern street gang culture of violence.

SRL Even if one were to tak... (Below threshold)
KJ:

SRL Even if one were to take all of your info as bible truth (though there's lots of info out there that refutes some things you mentioned) the majority of the "cons" you list are personal health issues involving personal choices that the government has no business trying to control. The bit about driving is true though however many pot smokers will tell you (and I've seen it for myself) that they drive just a well or better when they're stoned. There needs to be a distinction made here for people who are "functionally" high and "fall-down a flight of stairs while laughing hysterically" high. Just like there is a distinction made for being legally too drunk to drive and just have a few beers.

Any roadside MJ sobriety test should work just like the alchohol sobriety test and measure whether you've RECENTLY had TOO MUCH and not just check for any old trace of MJ in a person's system. But in the end, even this isn't a huge deal as I can garauntee that a hundred different companies would battle it out to the death to be the first to market with a roadside MJ test if cannabis was ever legalized with a DUI provision.

Also talking about juvenile dangers should be irrelevant and banned from discussion in this whole MJ legalization debate. If legalized MJ would obviously only be legally sold to adults. There's nothing the government can do to stop or even curb mj consumption by minors while cannabis is still illegal. Drug dealers don't card people. Store-owners and other legal vendors however do. Growers should be licensed and regulated with regards to quality control and safety and then only allowed to sell ordonate their crops to medical facilities, licensed (and regulated) resellers (coffee shops for instance), and adults with valid ID (while obeying all applicable tax regulations pertaining to the sale). No minors, no advertising allowed, no open solicitations allowed, no public smoking except in cetain zones, no driving under the influence, no roudy public intoxication, etc...

The black market for MJ would crumble in a matter of months after the ball got rolling on an intiative like that. Pot heads would be in the shops, at home or somewhere else comfortable and unharassed and the legal types would have tons of cash, jail cells, and manpower freed up to use on real criminals. On top of that tax cash would be pouring in to the government from legal MJ sales and license fees for growing and selling cannabis. Horticulture and Botany would become huge majors on college campuses, the hemp industry would flourish creating tons of jobs, services, and goods and spurring ecconomic growth in our currently destitute famlands.

In any event thsi Kubby trial is a fiasco and one can only hope that the judge is sensible and returns Steve to his family in Canada.

The "problem" if you will, ... (Below threshold)
Synova:

The "problem" if you will, when it comes to legalizing any drugs, is that the legalization might be seen as endorsement or at the least a declaration that the dug is not *harmful.*

Legalizing marijuana because it's "not so bad" would make this an inevitable reaction.

Legalizing the "bad" drugs as well, the obviously stupidly destructive substances, at the least would counter this notion that anything legal must be safe... or at least safe enough.

The "war" on illegal drugs and the stupidity of classifying marijuana in such a way that it can not even be legally perscribed (for Pete's sake!) really is not working. The social cost of addicts and domestic violence (think alcohol) caused by drug addiction, child neglect and endangerment, etc., is as much of a problem as we could expect it to be if the drugs themselves were legal except that we add the criminal gangs, mafia, violence, cost of law enforcement and danger to police and innocent bystanders.

But people don't want to send the message to their kids that "drugs" are okay by making them legal.

They aren't okay... not even the relatively mild weed. But they *should* be legal. And we (and our kids) should get over the assumption that the government has the role of a parent to keep us from doing ourselves injury. That *is* the role of a parent, but we expect our kids to grow up, eventually.

Everybody has an opinion ab... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

Everybody has an opinion about the medical benefits of marijuana, I for one am a designated grower of medical marijana, for an MS patient. It helps her spasms diminish, as it does for Montel Williams. AIDS patients have no appetite, a highly Sativa dominant strain helps them get their appetite back, so they can eat, as it does for chemo patients, etc. Certain types of glaucoma are benefitted by cannabis, the list is long and endless. But the crux of this situation is Steve Kubby (have the ranters forgot the subject matter of this thread so quickly?), without the cannaboids found in cannabis, his adrenalin gland goes into overdrive, pumping potentially lethal amounts of adrenalin into his body. He's lived with this cancer for over 20 years, when initially diagnosed, he was given a 6 month life expectancy. To date, he is the longest surviving person to have aquired this disease, while not "scientific" enough for some, it speaks volumes to me.

For those who beride the downside of this herb, for recreational useage, citing lack of motivation, gateway drug, etc., what of the numerous people who are addicted to alchohol, pain killers, other pharamecuticals? These are all "Legal" in the context that they are allowed to be consumed, some with, some without a doctor's subscription. What of the countless artists, musicians, etc., who daily light up a joint? Are they not motivated enough to create masterpieces? This is just one of numerous examples of the falsehood of these falaciesl

It is the religious right, and the pharmaceuticals, the alcohol lobby, the cotton lobby, the DuPonts, the Pulp and Paper industry, the Oil lobby etc., that want this plant erradicated, some for personal fear and bias, most for fear of competetion from a wonderful plant. Nobody has ever died from over indulging in cannabis, yet 6,000 Americans die each year from allergic reactions to common place Aspirin.

In countries, such as the Netherlands, where cannabis was "legalized", it was found that hard core useage of such drugs as meth, cocaine, heroin, etc., went down substantially and actual consumption of cannabis actually decreased. The reason for this is the "risk" or "thrill" factor was removed

One of the areas that is the most vocal, in it's opposition to legalization of cannabis, is the police departments and the prison industry (yes, it is indeed an industry), without cannabis to search out and destroy, and the perpetrators then incarcerated, these folks would be far fewer in numbers. I agree with a Rob Port, the intial poster, who is still anti-hard drugs, and for the fact that hard line crimianl sex offenders, etc. are being released early, so some innoncent cannabis user can take his/her place. Does incarercation work for pot? No, yet the US has the highest ratio of prisoner to population in the world, costing the taxpayers billions, what dismal FAILURE.

Tobacco and Alcohol are both "regulated" products, I know because I grew up on a 200 acre tobacco farm, but can still grow 100 plants, for my own personal useage, and can brew beer and make wine, all perfectly legal. But, the vast number of people would prefer to purchase ready made cigarettes, cigars, beer, wine, etc., than go through the hassle of growing or making their own. The tax base income to the government is HUGE in these products, so could the tax base for recreational useage of cannabis be gained, instead of the burden to the taxpayers.

Steve Kubby will die in jail, in my opinion he's as good as dead, probably in a fortnight. He was convicted of a misdemeanor possession of extremely small quantities of peyote cactus and magic mushroom, the original charges of growing and trafficking were dismissed, by a 11-1 jury, but convicted of the misdemeanor. His initial sentence was for 120 days home arrest, where he could still self-medicate. Then he was advised that the prosecution was appealing the sentence, to have it bumped up to a felony conviction, which then would mandate actual incarceration, that was when he took his family and fled to Canada. SO HE COULD CONTINUE TO LIVE.

Don F.

Has it occured to you that ... (Below threshold)

Has it occured to you that you sound just like John Murtha?

I agree that there needs to be some sanity and perspective brought to jailtime for this kind of thing, but we also need to keep up the fight.

I agree that there needs... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

I agree that there needs to be some sanity and perspective brought to jailtime for this kind of thing, but we also need to keep up the fight.

Pray tell, what fight? The fight against a benign plant, that has been degragated for no reason other than greed or unwarranted fear?

Don F.

Sinner;Were you sp... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

Sinner;

Were you speaking of John Murtha, the Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania (who is a right winger in my books) or his son John Murtha, who is pro-cannabis, in spite of his father's feelings?

Don F.

KJ:Honestly I don'... (Below threshold)
srl:

KJ:

Honestly I don't care what pot smokers think of their driving abilities. There are people who tell me they drive fine when they've been drinking. Whether that's true or not has nothing to do with the fact that a majority of traffic deaths involve alcohol consumption. Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not affect reaction time, at least not significantly enough to matter, but marijuana greatly impairs your tracking ability and attention span. Early studies on the impact of marijuana consumption and driving ability seemed to demonstrate that the effects were easily overcome by experienced drivers. Unfortunately, these tests were done in simple controlled conditions. Since then tests have moved to more complex and realistic driving conditions with varied doses of THC and study after study has shown that driving ability is significantly impaired after two marijuana cigarettes with an avg. THC content of 3.6 percent.

More importantly, you are wrong when you imply that the lack of a test is simply due to the fact that's it's not legal to use anyway. THC is not anything like alcohol and there is no known way to easily detect it in the body and certainly not to determine the amount consumed, when it was consumed, and correlate the amount consumed to a level of impairment. They could some day figure this out, but at this point it's not an issue of marketplace motivation, but one of science. They didn't even know how cannabinoids worked in the human body until the early 90's. There are simply too many interacting physiological factors at play to develop some kind of breathalyzer device in the near future.

As to the issue of minors: Obviously under any system marijuana would be legally restricted to adults, but when a drug gains main stream legality its cultural acceptance becomes an issue. There are many many minors that use marijuana today, but it is not only illegal for them, it is illegal for everyone, which is a big deterrent for those who do not use it. If a kid gets caught smoking a cigarette it's not a very big deal. Marijuana is different. If it is legalized, however, it could gain much more acceptance among youths in the same way that cigarettes and alcohol have, and they are NOT in a position to know everything about it. This especially relevant when you consider the culture that has sprung up in defense of marijuana and to remove those forces that counter such perception could turn marijuana into a socially dominant chic. Likewise, if it becomes a tool to discriminate among students in the inevitable social hierarchies that dominate the worries of our teens in schools, and thus a peer pressure device, that is a major issue for our society. This is probably a drug where we do not need to remove the taboos associated with it.

I would like to add that ev... (Below threshold)
srl:

I would like to add that everything I have studied on this topic leads me to believe that marijuana should be allowed for medical use with no exceptional restrictions whatsoever; and the Kubby case is absolutely criminal. I feel for the man, it's horrible. Total legalization is a more complex matter though and is being mischaracterized by a lot of people. I don't think it is substantially different from alcohol except for the driving and testing issue, and in a perfect world I would be in favor of making it legal for adults, but in reality, to do so would be trivilizing the effects this would have on the country as it exists right now. Citing the Netherlands has nothing to do with US culture. Also I'm not concerned with 30 year olds making art, I'm concerned with 14 year olds that are still learning, going to a school that is in reality dominated by social influence, learning to associate marijuana with acceptance, and subsequently consuming a drug that has shown to decrease motivation and attention. Were this culture not to exist or the marijuana chic, then it really wouldn't be a big deal to make it legal, but as it is that's a big barrier for me.

MAKE MARIJUANA LEGAL... (Below threshold)

MAKE MARIJUANA LEGAL
HTTP://MAKEMARIJUANALEGAL.COM
http://makemarijuanalegal.com

Cris if you want to be take... (Below threshold)
srl:

Cris if you want to be taken seriously by anyone other than hard core marijuana advocates you should probably not be under the influence of marijuana when publishing your campaign web site. I laughed out loud when I tried to read through that. Things like organization, consistency, flowing logically from one idea to the next, informing versus ranting, not repeating yourself, and not arbitrarily hitting enter in the middle of every sentence of every paragraph and then capping it off with 3 exclamation points are all minor things that could serve your message well.

"Since then tests have move... (Below threshold)
Anon:

"Since then tests have moved to more complex and realistic driving conditions with varied doses of THC and study after study has shown that driving ability is significantly impaired after two marijuana cigarettes with an avg. THC content of 3.6 percent."

Dude, no crap. Two whole MJ smokes is a heavy load. Its like saying 'studies have shown that if you drink a 12 pack of beer you are not going to be able to drive.' Have you ever actually used MJ? I haven't used any in 15+ years, but I can tell you it's not 'normal use' to go around bogarting 2 whole blunts in a short period of time.

As to the 'we need a law because kids might think it's ok to use this stuff' well what the heck happened to parents? Since when is it the governments job to be mom and dad? When are we going to understand that laws don't make people be nice, and that character and proper teaching does?

Now before you go off thinking I'm some dope head libertarian hippy or something, I'd remark that I'm a 'bible thumping' Southern Baptist and I consider myself extremely conservative in a lot of ways. Stupid laws against matters of personal responsibility is not one of those ways (or actually it is, as I think real conservatives believe in actual personal responsibility, not government nannies)

The majority of posts on th... (Below threshold)
epador:

The majority of posts on this topic are full of more horse shit that Kos publishes in a year. I recommend deleting this entire post unless you like promulgating unscientific nonsense and propaganda.

Yes, I have smoked it and y... (Below threshold)
srl:

Yes, I have smoked it and yes, two is usually a heavy load...but not at an avg. of 3.6 percent THC. The point was that it does negatively affect driving ability and its effects are dose related. So unless things have changed in the past year, there isn't an effective way to deal with that aspect of it.

Also, I won't stereotype you if you don't stereotype me as a conservative bible-thumper, because I'm actually an agnostic, idealistic person with tendencies towards social permissiveness, although I wouldn't call myself a libertarian or a liberal, but there are issues that have to be sorted out here. Like I said, in principle I am for the legalization of marijuana, but in reality I don't think it's a good idea at this point when all things are considered.

"As to the 'we need a law because kids might think it's ok to use this stuff' well what the heck happened to parents? Since when is it the governments job to be mom and dad? When are we going to understand that laws don't make people be nice, and that character and proper teaching does?"

Good question, where ARE the parents? Better question, where are the teachers? I don't know how old you are but if you haven't smoked any in 15+ years and unless you're a teacher then you haven't been in many schools and might not have the best idea of what they're like these days. I went to three different high schools and legalizing marijuana just never struck me as being a good idea in that context. I'm all for personal responsibility, but young teenagers are not old enough to have developed the capacity for proper judgement, although there are plenty of exceptions. Making mistakes is a valuable part of experience, but there are enough vices out there without needing to throw one more out there, especially one with the popularity and media acceptance of marijuana. It is just not a good social environment in the public education system as it is, and making marijuana that much easier to get is going to throw one more pressure into the equation for minors who shouldn't have to be bombarded with this crap. Parents, by and large, are just not as effective at monitoring and teaching their children anymore for a variety of reasons. Parents are working longer, children are spending more time in extracurricular activities with other children because of increased competition for college admissions, there are more single parent homes, and more distractions during leisure time. I just feel like my generation was raised more by television than parents and I think that trend is getting worse. In the end I can honestly see it from both sides and most of the time I lean towards social permissiveness because I DONT like government intruding, but I really think with the cultural dynamics that I perceive (I admit I could be wrong about all this) that legalizing marijuana would be bad for the country to the extent that it trumps my dislike for government regulation.

In spite of the opinions on... (Below threshold)
Jim Price:

In spite of the opinions on both camps of the legalization issue, it's really a dead issue if you think it through.

Right now, supply is relatively scarce compared to what it would be like if it were legal- that makes for high prices and a lucrative market that makes it worth being caught to manufacture and distribute. The end result: There is a steady supply.

If it were legal, prices would fall because supply would increase, although I believe you'd see more or less of a bloodbath ensue as the minority at the top fight to keep their businesses intact. The end result: There would still be a steady supply.

History taught us a lesson in the days of prohibition, then no prohibition. What people want, people will get.

This war on drugs is nothing more than an illusion- because it really doesn't change the core outcome of the drug market, which is, it still produces and distributes just fine.

You have to draw the line s... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

You have to draw the line somewhere.

Would you rather draw the line at meth. Have that be the drug that gets debated whether or not it should be legalized? Whichever is the lightest drug that is illegal, pro-drug use advocates will rally around it as they do now with marijuana.

I am a resident of the coun... (Below threshold)
JD:

I am a resident of the county in question. Placer County, California, is a very law-and-order county - except for one area, and that is the Tahoe district. It's sort of our own little Marin County, but it is also the district in which Kubby was convicted of felony charges. Convicted. As in 12-0. Not for pot, but for possession of hallucinogenics.

So when we ask about drawing lines, how about drawing the line at enforcing existing law. How about drawing the line at tossing Kubby in the klink because he ducked out on his sentence instead of facing up to the consequences of his actions?

The guy was convicted (to you pot-heads out there, that means found guilty by a 12-0 vote) on felony charges, but decided that his chronic was far more important to him than taking responsibility for his actions, and he ducked out to Canada.

Admit it, guys - when Canada tosses you back into the States, you know you don't have a legal leg to stand on, either here or on the other side of the border.

Those that wish to legalize MJ, coke, heroin, or whatever the hell else have a very direct means of doing so - petition your congresscritters to update 23 U.S. Code Section 841, which contains the schedule of narcotic and addictive drugs.

That, of course, would mean that politicians would have to make a stand on this issue.

Short of that, those who distribute MJ for sale are breaking the law! No amount of sob-storying or bellyaching about the unseen costs and problems of the "Futile War On Drugs" will alter that fact.

I would also invite those on the pro-pot side to take a look at what's been going on down in El Paso and San Diego at the border crossingss, and see if that is truly a situation you would like to continue - because all legalization will do is make those situations worse instead of better.

JD;Believe everythin... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

JD;
Believe everything the right wing press prints? Here's the other side of the argument. Steve was charged with traffickingk, because they received an "anonymous" tip he was selling to compassion clubs. Steve is (was) an influential guy, and as such, had visitors on a regular basis. When the police arrived with a search warrant, they were invited into the house, and shown the grow room, the particulars of Prop. 215, and their doctor's recommendation, totally state legal. Said police were baffled, called back to the DA's office, said these folks appear to be legal, out comes the asst. DA, has a look around, and orders the police to bust them anyway. The search wqarrant was to find a grow op of marijuana. But, in a guest bedroom, they found a small fingernail sized piece of peyote, and similar size piece of magic mushroom, Kubby swears it must have been left from one of their guests. So, after a lengthy trial, Steve was exonerated on the pot charges, 11-1, by a jury of his peers, but they did find him guilty of a MISDEAMEANOR charge on the peyote and mushroom. For that, he was sentenced to 120 days of house arrest, not jail. He was willing to serve that time, and fight the illegal search and seizure order later. But, oh no, old blood'n'guts law and order type Asst DA was pissed because they didn't get any jail time, so he appealed the sentence, and had it bumped up to a felony. The jury did not find him guilty of a felony, that came later, because of the attitude of the Asst DA. 120 days in the lockup, without his meds, would have been a death sentence, that's why he went to Canada. Get your facts straight.

Don F.

I looked at the website for... (Below threshold)
Sarah H.:

I looked at the website for Mr. Kubby and looked at the other reports. The guy was growing huge amountsof pot and invited the police to arrest him so they did. Then he ran away instead of doing 120 days at home. I for one am tired of people trying to makeheroes and martyrs out of people who break the law by growing or selling drugs.Its amazing to me with all the truly innocent suffering people and all the deaths of our soldier in Iraq and all the hardships everywhere that peoples' hearts are bleeding for this guy? He will last out his time in jail if he wants to and then he can have fun smoking dope for the rest of his life!!

Don - "Right Wing Press"? ... (Below threshold)
JD:

Don - "Right Wing Press"? The Sacramento Bee? Talk about needing to get facts straight! Or would you consider the county clerk to be "right wing press" as well?

Your defense of Kubby is admirable. However, your passion for your cause is blinding you to some basic facts:

1) Kubby was in possession of hallucinogenics. The law is very clear on that - whether someone left it behind, or the gardener tracked it in on his boot, does not matter. If it's in your house, it's in your possession. Period.

2) Possession of hallucinogenics in California is a felony. Period.

3) Steve Kubby ran out on his sentence BEFORE the completion of the sentencing phase. Period.

4) If 120 days in the lockup was to be a "death sentence," then he shouldn't have been inviting over people who had the tendency for dropping peyote and shrooms in visible places. Furthermore, he should not have been growing pot for distribution. Because make no mistake, that is what he was doing. And we can bleat and cry about 215, but no one who has read the facts of the case can realistically say he was acting within the guidelines of "personal use." That the jury chose to nullify on that charge is on the jury, not on the DA.

The guy got busted, he got convicted, and he ran out on his sentence because he couldn't, or wouldn't, stand up to the consequences of his actions. In some respects, that makes him the perfect pothead.

Choices have consequences in the real world. Kubby could have done the buck-twenty and been clear of this, but now he's probably going to go up for about four months and then be put on double-secret probation for several years because he has proven he's a flight risk.

While you may believe that makes him a martyr, to me he's an escaped felon and a flight risk, and the sooner he's in the jug the better.

I have spoken of the evils ... (Below threshold)

I have spoken of the evils of the war on Marijuana a number of times on my blog. Most recently here.

I haven't enough informatio... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

I haven't enough information to make an informed opinion about whether marijuana has valid medical uses or not, but I have a challenge that no marijuana advocate has been able to answer: Please name one other prescribed drug that must be smoked and/or is administer with other, more toxic, chemicals known to cause cancer.

That leads to my opinion on the valid uses of marijuana: If marijuana, or THC, was a great drug with many or even a few important medical uses, then I would expect pharmaceutical companies to come up with a viable method for synthesizing the chemicals responsible for the desirable effects of marijuana and a method to administer it that does not include smoking and/or inhaling the drub with other chemicals that have detrimental side effects. Therefore, I see no valid reason that marijuana should be legalized.

kbiel;Smoking cann... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

kbiel;

Smoking cannabis is an easy, and very fast, way to get the numerous products, released by heat, into the body's bloodstream. For those who are concerned about the possibility of consuming potentially cancer causing elements, there are another ways to consume it. The products stored in the glands of the plant's surface must be heated to release them. By using a vaporizer to heat the product above the necessary temperature, these beneficial elements are released, but, as the plant is not burnt, those other elements are not released.

This vaporizing gives just as fast a benefit as actual burning, and another way is also beneficial, to those whose liver is fully functional (as compared to Hepatitis C patients whose liver is malfunctioning). If you grind the buds and/or upper leaves, where the highest concentration of the glands are to be found, into a fine product, and mix this with small amounts of olive oil, you can then heat this mixture in a double boiler (to keep from overheating) for 10-15 minutes time. Once the mixture cools, it can be put into gel caps, the medium size makes for a reasonable amount, and is relatively easy to swallow. Once ingested, and the benefits are now going into the bloodstream, the effect is longer lasting. For those with headaches, immense pain, etc., the logical avenue would be to use either a pipe (burn it) or a vaporizer (don't burn it) for the quicker response time, and take a gel cap or two, every 3-4 hours or so, and you have the best of both methods.

Obviously placing ground buds in cooky dough, brownie mix, etc. has the same effect as the gel caps, it is the heat of baking that releases the necessary benefits.

In Steve Kubby's case, the jails have a no smoking polcy, but if marijuana gel caps were supplied to him, then it would follow that his potential demise would be greatly lessened. Like it or not, it is the cannaboid profile, not the THC in cannabis, that has the medical benefit that he requires.

Don F.

Don,Nice try, but ... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

Don,

Nice try, but you avoided my challenge. Notice that I put an "and/or" junction in the sentence so that it wasn't limited to smoking. While telling me about alternative methods of taking the drug, you failed to explain how these methods filter out the harmful chemicals also present in marijuana.

And you didn't even talk to me about why pharmaceutical companies are not developing drugs based upon the supposed beneficial substances in marijuana. If these substances were truly beneficial with as few harmful side effects as advocates claim, then there is profit to be made in producing a legal form in which dosing can be controlled and other harmful substances are not present.

kbiel:Because its ... (Below threshold)
Buddy:

kbiel:

Because its ILLEGAL. MJ is a Schedule 1 drug which means the DEA has declared it has no "accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," and there are severe restrictions on even studying the substance because of the scheduling.

Marinol is Schedule III, but advocates argue it doesn't contain the full round of items necessary for the supposed medical benifits, and it is synthetic. It is a 'legal' drug but alot of people find it evidently doesn't work as well as 'the real thing'.

Because of the stigma attached to MJ under the current scheduling, the drug Co's aren't going to push it (or maybe they are lobbying for rescheduling, who knows) although I suspect they aren't really interested, because making it legal would cut into their profits in other 'high tech' medications, I'd guess. After all, who in their right mind would pay for $50/pill for 'Cannibus' extract when they know it costs nowhere near that to manufacture.

kbiel;FWIW, cannab... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

kbiel;

FWIW, cannabis has been shown to REDUCE cancerous tumours in mice, in numerous European trials. GW Pharmaceutical has come out with a spray, SATIVEX, which is derived from cannabis, and is intended to be used by MS patients. It is quite expensive to buy, vs. growing one's one meds for a lot less money, and field trials have indicated it is not as effective as consuming (smoking, vaporizing, ingesting) cannabis.

If you go to Canadian Medical Marijuana sites (which can operate because medical useage in Canada is legal), you can find numerous ill people who regularly consume cannabis, and it does help them, even cancer patients. For whatever reason, it appears that while there are trace elements of known harmful substances in cannabis, the benefits gleaned from the cannabinoid profile keeps the bad effects at bay.

I agree with you, the pharmaceutical companies would love to extract the beneficial properties from cannabis, but they are having a great deal of difficulty in doing so. Believe me, they are trying, right now, only SATIVEX is on the market, and, as mentioned, is still not as effective as the real meal deal. BTW, SATIVEX is manufactured in England, yet is not licensed to sell there, only in Canada.

Also, as Buddy pointed out,... (Below threshold)
Don F.:

Also, as Buddy pointed out, cannabis sativa, and including the commercial hemp, with virtually no THC in it, is illegal in the States. There are NO medical trials in the States because of this illegalality (sp?). It is only in countries that have a more liberal attitude to cannabis (Canada, Netherlands, Spain, England, etc.) where trials are being conducted, and most of these are not by the respective governments, but by private companies or compassion clubs and some universities.

You seem stuck on the "smoking" of cannabis, because of the harmful elements known to exist in it. Alcohol and tobacco are both legal to consume, yet both have "harmful" elements, and still an adult may purchase them, and use them, knowing full well the potential risk that there may be detrimental effects to the person.

At one time, heroin was touted to be the cure-all for many ailments, was regularly prescribed, until it was found that one usually became addicted to it, now it's a Schedule I drug. Morphine is a derivative of Heroin, and is widely prescribed for pain relief, it too is addictive, and has really bad side effect.

You seem to put a lot of faith in the pharmaceuticals, to be able to create a new "pill" to cure or alleviate the symptoms of an ailment. How many unproperly tested creations does it take, that have been pulled off the market, because they are more damaging than helpful will it take before you realize that they are not the end-all.

NOBODY has ever died from over consuming cannabis, tough to commit suicide by overdosing, like you can with sleeping pills, all that happens is you just go to sleep. Over indulge in alcohol, and you do severe damage to your body, or even die. 6,000 Americans a year die from common aspirin, doesn't that just make one run right down to the drug store and buy a buch of bottles.

I appreciate your asking for any other medication that has to be smoked to be effective, I'm not a medical person, I hardly ever get sick, so I can't answer your question, other than to say, again, that there are ways of consuming cannabis that does NOT require it to be smoked.

The real debate should be w... (Below threshold)
Wayne Cox:

The real debate should be whether it is right to put a human being in a cage for a victimless crime. This is the 21st century. How can anyone believe that they have the right to lock someone up for doing no harm to anyone but themselves.





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