Thursday, June 4, 2009

Drugs -r- Bad, mKay?

Apparently, one of the worst and dimmest apparently was hired by the Rapid City Police Department to "instruct" our best and brightest.

(RCJ story: Retired patrolman: Parents key to drug abuse prevention, June 1.)

Isn't it time we dealt with the issue of substance abuse with bit more truth and a bit less misdirected passion? Any professional in the field will tell you the DARE program is a joke and our drug policies are causing more suffering than benefit to those that struggle with addiction.

It's time for our cops to be given compassionate and effective laws instead of the insane system we live under in a misdirected effort to be "tough on crime." And people that need medicine can't get it (unless of course, they are govt' sponsored-- cf. today's NY Times story, Slump Pushing Cost of [Big Pharma's synthetic] Drugs Out of Reach).

Bob Newland, a fellow reality-based voice, and tireless advocate for a responsible policy on medical cannabis (which is likely to become legal by referendum in South Dakota any year now), sent us this report on the event at Surbeck last Tuesday night. I'm sharing it here with Bob's permission.

This is truly amazing. Are learning NOTHING?

Last night (June 2), former Missouri undercover narc Ed Moses presented a program at the School of Mines in Rapid City (SD). He said he was in town to conduct a training session for local law enforcement, and had accepted an invitation from a group called ASAP (Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention).

The program had been billed as dealing with medical marijuana, but Moses presented a powerpoint-illustrated explication of the dangers of all common psychotropic and recreational substances, including tobacco and alcohol.

Moses’ program lasted about an hour and a half. The first hour actually contained fairly accurate information, but the last 30 minutes consisted of a series of slides and vocal accompaniment that strained the imagination in its nearly universal inaccuracy about the effects and dangers of cannabis.

“Marijuana is the cause of 16 percent of highway fatalities,” Moses said. What he meant, of course, was that THC has been found in the systems of 16 per cent of those killed in car wrecks. No causality has been established.

“Scientists would study marijuana to determine its medical efficacy but for the efforts of ‘legalizers,’” Moses claimed. “Real scientists don’t want to be associated with pot smokers, and if the ‘legalizers’ would simply shut up, universities and medical schools would study the therapeutic effects of marijuana.”

When an audience member suggested that the DEA blocks all attempts of scientists like Lyle Craker of the University of Massachusetts to obtain waivers so they can study cannabis under controlled conditions, Moses replied that no scientist or medical school had ever submitted a proper application. That assertion is ludicrous on its face.

I mentioned to him that I had in hand a list of some 200 professional medical organizations that had endorsed either use or at least the study of the use of cannabis for therapy in various medical conditions. Moses replied that all of these groups, including the College of Physicians, the Academy of Family Physicians, the Institutes of Medicine and about 25 state nurses’ associations, had been duped by the legalizers.

Right. Tens of thousands of trained medical professionals have put their reputations on the line based on their actual experiences with cannabis and patients to endorse an herb that works for their patients. They were duped. Moses, on the other hand, having seen people in the line of his work take a hit off a joint and say, “oh, wow,” (an actual illustration in his words of why cannabis is harmful) has seen through the “smoke screen” (his words again, clever) to the fact that these professionals have been duped.

Less than 5% of those in prison are there for marijuana offenses, Moses claims. “Anything less than 500 lb. of marijuana in possession doesn’t interest the feds,” Moses claims. That might come as a surprise to a few dozen folks who have appeared in federal court in Rapid City during the last year alone for possession of five pounds.

I asked, “Even if what you say were true, and about half of it isn’t, does that justify putting people in jail for attempting to alleviate their own suffering?”

He replied, “Do you think it’s a good idea for “High Times” magazine to advertise marijuana “Jollypops” for kids?” Twice more I asked the question. Twice more he answered irrelevantly. The man is slipperier than a greased bong.

The event attracted about 60 people. About four to six of them were connected with ASAP. There were two groups of two adults each with three or four children and adolescents. The balance were about 25 18-to-twenty-somethings and others ranging to age 60 or so.

As Moses became more and more outrageous, catcalls and challenges from the audience made it plain that the majority by a significant margin were opposed to his mischaracterizations of the dangers of marijuana, “THE most dangerous drug of all” (as he said).

When it became plain near the end of his presentation that most of the dialogue with the audience was going to deal with Moses’ lies about cannabis, the groups with the younger folks left, apparently not wanting the children to be exposed to facts in opposition to their chaperones’ worldview.

That left an audience at least 3-to-1 opposed to Moses--a lone ranger, willing to stand on the hilltop in the wind and fight evil, even though the city in which he came to fight it apparently doesn’t apprehend the evil in even a large enough measure to send more than 20 representatives to learn how to fight it with him.

Did “we” win? Well, I doubt any minds were changed. What we “legalizers” saw was just one more illustration that we already have won, but the folks with the guns and the power of the courts will keep on shooting us until they are mowed down by ballot. Like Japanese soldiers in Indonesian caves, the Ed Moseses will still be there twenty years after the war is over.

Sleep well, Rapid City, for Ed Moses is training your local cops tonight.

1 comment: