A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘The War on Unpatentable Drugs’ tag

I Bet the Detonations Look Breathtaking

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People who use lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), commonly referred to as acid, usually report that things look more brilliant than normal. I wonder how brilliant a nuclear blast looks when you’re under the influence of acid:

WASHINGTON (AP) — One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, “I absolutely just loved altering my mind.”

Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America’s arsenal. Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman deserted to Mexico.

[…]

None of the airmen was accused of using drugs on duty.

I’m actually comforted by the fact that people tasked with nuclear weapons are using mind expanding substances during their off time. My biggest worry is that people charged with nuclear weapons will act like mindless automatons who blindly follow orders and protocol. Anybody who has read either Command and Control by Eric Schlosser or The Death Hand by David E. Hoffman knows that individuals thinking independently instead of blindly following orders or protocol is the reason large portions of the world’s cities weren’t turned into ash.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 25th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Keep the Jazz Cabbage Illegal or Fido Gets It

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It’s amazing how far agents of the State will go to keep the War on (Some) Drugs going. The latest, and probably most petty, attempt to keep people on the side of continuing the drug war is to threaten dogs:

The training director of a police K-9 academy in Illinois claims that if the state legalizes recreational marijuana, it will have to euthanize all its pot-sniffing dogs, The Pantagraph reports.

Keep the jazz cabbage illegal or the dogs get it!

If cannabis was legalized tomorrow, all of the dogs that have been trained to sniff out the plant would cease to be useful to law enforcers. However, they wouldn’t cease to be useful entirely. This is something so obvious that even the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) understands it. The TSA puts dogs who have failed training up for adoption. While they may not be useful for sniffing out bombs, they can still provide an individual or family with companionship. There is no reason that drug dogs that are no longer useful to law enforcers can’t be put up for adoption as well. But I can see why an organization that makes its money off of training drug dogs to sniff out cannabis would pull out all of the stops to try to keep cannabis illegal.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 8th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Who Knew Punishing the Law Abiding Could Have Consequences

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Everybody will die from opioid addictions if something isn’t done! We must roll over and let legislators and law enforcers do whatever is necessary to stop this threat!

That’s how I’ve been reading the news as of late. Opioids are the current boogeyman for the War on (Some) Drugs. Whenever a chemical becomes the boogeyman in the War on (Some) Drugs new legal restrictions are placed on it. Unlike many previous boogeymen, opioids are legally prescribed and many overdoses have been caused by legally prescribed drugs. In response to this, government busybodies have been putting pressure doctors to prescribe fewer opioids. The result of this pressure was predictable:

A report published yesterday by the health care consulting firm IQVIA shows that the total volume of opioids prescribed in the United States, indicated by the green area below, fell by 29 percent between 2011 and 2017, from 240 billion to 171 billion morphine milligram equivalents. Last year’s 12 percent drop was the largest ever recorded. The number of opioid prescriptions and the number of patients receiving opioids for the first time are also declining. The report notes that “decreases in prescription opioid volume have been driven by changes in clinical usage, which have been influenced by regulatory and reimbursement policies and legislation that have been increasingly restricting prescription opioid use since 2012.”

But as you can see in the graph, the total number of opioid-related deaths counted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicated by the blue line, is not falling along with opioid prescriptions. To the contrary, it has risen sharply in recent years, driven by dramatic increases in deaths involving heroin (orange) and illicit fentanyl (the main component of “other synthetic opioids,” the category represented by the gray line). The CDC has not released final data for 2017 yet, but more increases are expected.

People addicted to opioids aren’t going to suddenly stop being addicted when their doctor refuses to renew their prescription. Instead they’ll seek out other ways to acquire opioids. Enter the black market. However, black market opioids are dangerous. Since opioids are the current boogeyman, people who deal in opioids face greater risks than those who deal in, say, cannabis. These risks necessitate concealment. The best way to conceal a chemical substance is to make it smaller and the best way to make a chemical substance smaller is to make it more potent.

Heroin and especially fentanyl are highly concentrated forms of opioids, which means they generally need to be diluted before use. Failing to dilute fentanyl properly can lead to a deadly overdoes. So the government has created the perfect storm by declaring opioids a prescription only medication and then taking away many of those prescriptions. And like typical government busybodies, instead of admitting that their policies may have been in error, they have doubled down, which is only exacerbating the situation.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 3rd, 2018 at 10:30 am

Regulations Make Medical Tourism a Necessity

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The United States was once a leader in medical technology. However, increases in bureaucracy have pulled back that lead. Many new and experimental medial treatments remain illegal in the United States, which has created a significant medical tourism industry. Every year numerous Americans travel to foreign lands to seek treatment for their ailments. The latest example of this is opioid addicts traveling to Mexico to seek treatment:

As America’s opioid and heroin crisis rages, some struggling with addiction are turning to a drug illegal in the US. Jonathan Levinson went to one clinic offering the treatment in Mexico.

At the end of a dead end street in a town near the US-Mexico border, Emily Albert is in the basement of a drug treatment clinic, hallucinating about her son as a heroin addict. She imagines him going through rehab and desperately trying to get clean.

But Albert is the one with the addiction. She’s in the middle of a psychedelic treatment for opioid addiction.

[…]

The drug is illegal in the US, but several studies have suggested it is effective in alleviating opioid withdrawals and curbing addiction.

[…]

Ibogaine, along with other hallucinogenics, such as LSD and psilocybin (magic mushrooms), are schedule I substances in the US – drugs which have no medical application and are not safe for use, even under medical supervision.

The medical potential of psychedelics has been known for decades. Timothy Leary performed research on their psychological benefits in the ’50’s and ’60’s. His research discovered that psychedelics did have a lot of positive aspects. Modern research has shown that psychedelics offer a lot of potential for people suffering from depression. And now clinics in Mexico are using psychedelics to help people kick their opioid addiction.

But even with all of this information at hand, the United States government continues to claim that psychedelics have no medial application whatsoever. So long as they maintain that attitude, it is mostly illegal to experiment with psychedelics for medical purposes in the United States, which creates an impasse. A researcher can’t experiment with psychedelics to determine if they can be used in medical applications so they continue to have no medial applications, which prevents researchers from determining if they can have medical applications.

Because of this impasse, the only way to gain access to psychedelics for medical use is to travel to a country less burdened by such regulations.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 12th, 2018 at 11:00 am

If Violence Isn’t Solving Your Problem, You’re Not Using Enough of It

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The United States government has been waging a war against drugs since 1914 when it passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. In 1970 it greatly stepped up its efforts after passing the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. For the entirety of its war against drugs, drugs have been winning by a landslide. I would think after unsuccessfully waging a war as rigorously as the United States has been waging its war against drugs since the 1970s, most sane people would realize the futility of the war and stop. But the United States prefers to live by the mantra of if violence isn’t solving your problem, you’re not using enough of it:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will unveil a plan on Monday to combat the opioid addiction crisis that includes seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging Congress to toughen sentencing laws for drug traffickers, White House officials said on Sunday.

The White House plan will also seek to cut opioid prescriptions by a third over the next three years by promoting practices that reduce overprescription of opioids in federal healthcare programs, officials told a news briefing.

As Anatoly Rybakov wrote, “Death solves all problems — no man, no problem.”

What will this likely accomplish? Nothing positive. People who suffer from chronic pain will have to resort to taking an aspirin and toughing it out, which will likely lead a few sufferers choose suicide over living a life of constant agony. But, hey, at least if they’re dead they won’t be addicted to opioids! Drug traffickers will continue to traffic drugs because they’re already subject to summary execution by law enforcers so the possibility of being sentenced to death is nothing new. I guess it will provide a little dog and pony show for the masses who want to see a drug trafficker executed after a trial instead of before.

Unfortunately, the war on drugs isn’t going anywhere. The profits of the government, especially its law enforcers, are too dependent on the wealth confiscated from drug manufacturers, sellers, and users.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 21st, 2018 at 10:30 am

Chipping Away at the Drug War

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The public sale of cannabis has been legal in Colorado since January 1, 2014. Three years later and none of the doom and gloom predictions of the prohibitionists have come to pass. Now Colorado is planning to step up its game of chipping away at the drug war by considering lowering the severity of psilocybin possession:

The group calls itself Colorado for Psilocybin after the fungi’s scientific name. Their proposed measure would do away with felony charges for people caught with mushrooms, and make them the lowest enforcement priority for Denver police.

Anyone caught with more than two ounces of dried mushrooms, or two pounds of uncured “wet” mushrooms, would be subject to a citation: less than $99 for the first offense, increased by increments of $100 for subsequent offenses, and never more than $999 per citation.

If this is passed, the prohibitionists will once again predict doom and gloom and their predictions will once again fail to manifest. Despite what prohibitions believe, consuming psilocybin doesn’t turn an individual into a killing machine. What is can do though is help those suffering from depression and, of course, offer those looking for a good psychedelic trip what they want.

I really hope that this is the beginning of the next chapter of an individual state telling the feds where to stick their drug war.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 9th, 2018 at 10:30 am

The States has Decided to Keep Its Political Prisoner

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Anybody who paid attention to the trial of Ross Ulbricht knows that he was railroaded. The judge ruled his defense inadmissible. Then when several officers involved with hunting down Ulbricht were found to have been corrupt, thus bringing the validity of any claims they made during the trial into question, but new trial was called. Ulbricht’s lawyer has continued to push for a new trial despite these setbacks. Unfortunately, it looks like the State will keep its political prisoner:

The federal judge overseeing the trial of Ross Ulbricht, the man convicted of creating the underground Silk Road drug website, has denied the Ulbricht legal team’s attempt to extend the normal three-year window for “post-conviction relief.” In essence, the move stifles Ulbricht’s new attorney’s extraordinary effort to re-open the case with new exculpatory evidence, on the off-chance that it exists.

Don’t forget that all of this was done because of a fucking website. Ulbricht was never charged with manufacturing, selling, or distributing any illegal substances. The only thing he was guilty of was running a website. But the State needed to make an example out of somebody and Ulbricht was the person it could get.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 20th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Take That, Chronic Pain Sufferers!

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Opioids are fantastic painkillers but have the unfortunately side effect of also being highly addictive. This has may opioids an attractive crisis of the moment. Since politicians never let a crisis go to waste, a lot of them have been wasting a lot of our time decrying opioids and explaining their plan to do something. Some politicians want to restrict opioids even harder (because doing the same thing that hasn’t been working even harder is a recipe for success). Other politicians, such as Mark Dayton, realize that crises can be lucrative:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a “penny-a-pill” paid for by drug companies to fund an opioid stewardship program for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in Minnesota. The governor estimates the program would raise $20 million each year.

It should be noted that paid by drug companies is a euphemism for paid by consumers since all expenses incurred by producers are reflected in the prices consumers pay. However, telling the public that chronic pain sufferers will be footing the bill probably won’t be as well received as telling them that multibillion dollar corporations will be footing the bill.

Dayton’s proposal isn’t surprising in the least. The government loves to punish people who are following the current law. Who buys opioids from the legal drug manufacturers who will be paying this proposed tax? People who have received prescriptions from licensed medical professionals. Who buys opioids from black market actors who won’t have to pay Day’s proposed tax? Everybody else. So the moral of the story is that following the law is foolish because you’ll likely get fucked over at some point in the future.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 15th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Jeff Sessions Is a Saturday Morning Cartoon Villain

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What should you do if you suffer from chronic pain? According to Jess Sessions, you should just toughen the fuck up:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week said that the solution for many people who suffer from chronic pain should be to “take aspirin and tough it out.”

Jeff Sessions reminds me of a villain from an old Saturday morning cartoon. If you remember such shows, the villains are often pure evil. Since they have no redeeming characteristics, the concept of moral grey area can be safely avoided by the show runners.

Jeff Sessions has no redeeming characteristics. He seems to be evil just for the sake of being evil. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wipes his ass with a puppy after taking a dump just because doing so would be evil. On the upside, since he reflects a Saturday morning cartoon villain, there’s a good chance that his evil schemes will be continuously thwarted by a group of mutated turtles with martial arts skills or giant robots that can transform into trucks.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 13th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Drugs are Bad, M’kay

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What would happen to you if law enforcers discovered that you were distributing a lot of opioids in your area? The most likely outcome would involve a SWAT team storming into your home at oh dark thirty, shooting your dog, and holding your family at gunpoint until they become bored with tossing your joint and decide to kidnap you so they can go home. You would receive this treatment because of a combination of two factors. First, the government had decided that there is an opioid epidemic that it needs to fight. Second, you’re not a sanctioned opioid dealer.

But things are different for sanctioned opioid dealers:

Drug companies hosed tiny towns in West Virginia with a deluge of addictive and deadly opioid pills over the last decade, according to an ongoing investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

For instance, drug companies collectively poured 20.8 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills into the small city of Williamson, West Virginia, between 2006 and 2016, according to a set of letters the committee released Tuesday. Williamson’s population was just 3,191 in 2010, according to US Census data.

When you’ve received a government sanction to deal drugs you don’t end up looking down the barrel of a SWAT team gun in the middle of the night. Instead some letters of inquiry are sent to you and various oversight boards. You might be dragged in front of Congress to testify on C-SPAN so the country can see that their politicians are doing something. After being grilled by two or three members of Congress you will be allowed to return home and that’s where your hardship will likely end.

Situations like this really illustrate that the war on drugs isn’t about safety, it’s about the government ensuring it and its cronies get a cut. After all, if the government was actually concerned about the opioid epidemic that it claims to be fighting, opioids wouldn’t be legally available at all or, at the very least, situations like this would result in immediate arrests.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 31st, 2018 at 10:30 am