Friday, August 08, 2003


I live two blocks away from the 8th Annual Taste of (lovely downtown) Northampton. This is a small town and there's been bit of grumbling from the non-restaurant merchants this year. Parking is the problem here even when there's not an event. The locals that support the other businesses don't come into town on those three days.

Nonetheless, and some consider this a minus, I get to hear the music from the stoop without having to battle the crowds. I can sit there, enjoy the sound (the acoustics are better on this side) and watch the tourists passing on Pleasant Street from a safe distance. The last act on Sunday however, is always a really hot salsa band. For that set, I usually get up there and dance.


Back on the battlefront, I found David Teetzel's drivel []* lurking in the inbox today. I'm getting really tired of these prohibitionists spewing misinformation as if it were true.

Now the ERA Banner is a little newspaper. They have a 350 character limit for their LTEs and rarely print letters from outsiders. This guy is whining about a little breath of out of town energy into his readership and all he can say in response to the actual facts is:

They are obviously a clever and well-organized bunch, monitoring the Internet for stories about their pet issue and expressing their point of view en masse every chance they get.

Too bad such astute political strategists are so determined to obliterate their own brain cells.

* Curiously, the site does not seem to allow linking tonight.

I could not let that go unremarked, so in my 347 characters (including spaces), I said

If David Teetzel objects to receiving mail from outsiders he should stop taking cheap shots at marijuana smokers. Speaking as a long-term daily consumer, I can attest that the responsible ingestion of marijuana doesn’t destroy but rather enhances thought processes. How do you think we became such astute well-organized political strategists?


Tami Halpern brought up an interesting point on the list today in that the prohibitionists just spew empty rhetoric and our side backs up their talk with citations to scientific studies, many of them government sponsored. With that in mind, last word goes to one of my greatest anti-prohibition heroes, Richard Lake of the Media Awareness Project.

I have a few words in rebuttal to this column by David Teetzel. I happen to be the writer from Brick, New Jersey, whom he quoted anonymously.

Mr. Teetzel sums up his column with these bigoted words, "Too bad such astute political strategists are so determined to obliterate their own brain cells." Those are fighting words, but I suspect Mr. Teetzel would never dare to step up and debate a learned scholar on drug policy matters.

Number one, there is no scientific evidence cannabinoids obliterate your brain cells. I quote the Canadian Senate Report on Marijuana Policy, Volume One, circa 2002, page 165, "In total, based on all the data from the research and the testimony heard regarding the effects and consequences of cannabis use, the Committee concludes that the state of knowledge supports the belief that, for the vast majority of recreational users, cannabis use presents no harmful consequences for physical, psychological or social well-being in either the short or the long term." David Teetzel must be confusing marijuana with the martinis I suspect he drinks with his lunches each day, given his inane writing on this topic.

Number two, my motives do not matter. My arguments matter. Perhaps Mr. Teetzel would like to attempt this character assassination against William F. Buckley Jr., an acquaintance of mine:

US: Web: The Pot War Boiling

"As often as not, democracy sucks. But on the question of marijuana laws, the good sense of the people is doing yeoman work... it is teaching that however ill-advised it may be to take the drug, it is less well-advised to continue to arrest ten thousand people every week for a practice or indulgence of such exiguous social consequence."

Whether or not it is wise to use a drug, and how we can best regulate that drug for the good of all, are two different questions. Of course, Mr. Teetzel cannot win this debate on the merits of the scholarly evidence, hence why he attacks my character which he happens to be completely ignorant of.

Number three, every single major drug policy work ever done has recommended decriminalization. All of them. No one can deny our government has made it official policy to lie about marijuana. It started in 1937, and continues to today. Any who disagree will need to point to what point in time they started to tell the truth.

The La Guardia Report recommended legalization in 1944:

The Canadian Le Dain Reportrecommended legalization in 1970:

The Schaffer Commission recommended legalization in 1972:

The Committee on Substance Abuse and Habitual Behavior, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, National Academy of Science recommended legalization in 1982:

DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young heard two years of testimony from both sides of the issue and accumulated fifteen volumes of research from 1986 to 1988 and concluded medical marijuana should be legalized, that marijuana was one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man, that it had never caused a single human death, and that the Federal Government's policy toward medical marijuana is "unconscionable."

The Research Advisory Panel for the State of California recommended legalization of personal cultivation and personal possession of marijuana in 1989:

A Report of the Special Committee on Drugs and the Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York recommended legalization in 1994:

For the sake of space, I will conclude with the aforementioned Senate of Canada: 37th Parliament, 1st Session Final Report: Cannabis: Our Position For A Canadian Public Policy, which recommended legalization in 2002:

See a pattern yet, my compatriot journalists who facilitate a wicked policy of lying to the people and to children?

I suggest Mr. Teetzel give the martinis a rest, he does not appear to have many brain cells to spare and alcohol does kill brain cells on the order of 3000 per average unit of consumption. One of the interesting conclusions of the drug policy report Drug Use in America: Problem in Perspective, US National Commission on Marihuan and Drug Abuse circa 1973, was that the real drug problem was not heroin, cocaine, or marijuana, but the ignorance of our public officials who have never bothered to read the most basic research on the subject. Now it should be obvious why I stated police often pretend to know what they are talking about on drug policy matters, because most often they do not. I doubt Mr. Teetzel has ever read one major work on drug policy matters.

Step on up, Mr. Teetzel, you intellectual fraud. I will debate you any time, any place, any audience, any rules as concerns drug policy matters... just try to show up. And, before you start in with violence or smoking marijuana causing cancer, read the scholarly evidence and weep at the sight of your substantial ignorance:WebMD - Marijuana Unlikely to Cause Head, Neck, or Lung Cancer

Psychoactive Substances and Violence - DOJ Report - Feb, 1994

This Department of Justice report was a search and summary of all of the existing evidence on the relationship between drugs and violence. The report found that alcohol was the only drug which had any real connection to drug-induced violence. Nearly all of the violence associated with illegal drugs was a result of the fact that the drugs are illegal, not as a result of pharmacological effects. Credit for this summary to Clifford A. Schaffer.

Step on up, if you are man enough to take the intellectual beating you deserve. I do not take kindly to being invalidated and having my character attacked while my arguments are ignored. I eat wimps like you for lunch daily, wimps who cannot be bothered to study a topic yet think they have the best answers, even though those answers defy a century's worth of scholarly advice. Bigot.



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