Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary bust

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113 Responses to “Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary bust”

  1. jonathan_v says:

    @zuzu 24

    I don’t think it has to do with monopoly pricing, though it might in part.

    Alcohol and Tobacco are easily regulated because:
    1- It’s not easy to make consumable quantities of alcohol. Fermentation and distillation equipment is large and expensive. I’ve met few home brewers able to satisfy even their own home demand.

    2- Alcohol generally needs some form of quality control – if you screw up you make methanol not ethanol. You don’t want to drink that.

    3- Tobacco is a tempermental crop. Aside from the environmental concerns, its a bit massive to handle — if we remember correctly, it was an impetus to scale slavery in north america.

    Legalizing marijuana for ‘taxation’ and regulation just won’t work. Anyone can grow it in consumable quantities extremely easily indoors or out – in fact, many people do.

    I think the best argument against legalization is this simple fact: go into any college or high school, where kids are too young to buy regulated alcohol or cigarettes – you’ll probably find a small number of kids who drink or smoke… and a really large number of kids that smoke pot.

  2. zuzu says:

    If this is fascism, then what do you call the city of San Francisco’s proposed legislation that would allow city employees to go through my trash and assess me with a fine if I didn’t put my garbage, recyclables, and compost into their correct bins?

    What I want to know is what special permits, privileges, and zoning waste management companies are granted by government agencies that they can externalize the costs of not caring what toxic crap people dump into their land. I’m really often surprised at how the garbage truck will accept air conditioners, old CRT computer monitors, used motor oil, fluorescent lamp bulbs, etc. for no additional cost.

  3. zuzu says:

    They lost…because of the impact of their medical marijuana use on interstate commerce.

    Ah, the oft abused Commerce Clause

    Wickard v. Filburn:

    Filburn argued that since the excess wheat he produced was intended solely for home consumption it could not be regulated through the interstate commerce clause. The Supreme Court rejected this argument reasoning that if Filburn had not used home-grown wheat, he would have had to buy wheat on the open market. This effect on interstate commerce, the Court reasoned, may not be substantial from the actions of Filburn alone but through the cumulative actions of thousands of other farmers just like Filburn its effect would certainly become substantial. Therefore Congress could regulate wholly intrastate, non-commercial activity if such activity, viewed in the aggregate, would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if the individual effects are trivial.

    Wickard has often been seen as marking the end to any limits on Congress’s commerce clause powers. One commentator has written: “In the wake of Jones & Laughlin and Wickard [v. Filburn], it has become clear that… Congress has authority to regulate virtually all private economic activity.”

    and yet people still insist that FDR wasn’t a fascist

  4. Takuan says:

    I tried my best to stop them, yes, I tried to make them wait
    And I appealed to their decency show mercy on this day
    I issued them strong orders on pain of death and disarray
    But in the end they would not listen and raised their lances anyway

    Men of no account they were, their breeding crude and low
    With not a trace of wisdom, Grace or virtue in their souls
    Yet trained them long and hard I did to bend them to the crown
    To act as tools of justice, follow edict handed down

    You see these were not militia men, a-fighting for their homes
    Nor fathers, sons nor husbands, sire, but foreigners on loan
    Mercenary killers, career soldiers to a man
    Lashing out with vengeance one cannot accept or understand

    I could not instill the discipline ’twas duty to inspire
    And they responded in the end to instincts of the basest kind
    Now on my knee before you here, I drop my eyes in shame
    Albeit little consolation take my head for I’m to blame

    O, so spoke the leader on losing control

    Corb Lund

  5. Aloisius says:

    Further, the taxation of pot and the subsequent increase in its usage probably wouldn’t make up for the productivity losses caused a whole new group of lazy stoners.

    I think the laziness is the underlying reason why we don’t legalize it. Laziness is downright unamerican. Sure there are some lazy bums living on their couches, but by and large, the American workforce works more days and longer hours than the Japanese (by 3.5 weeks/year), the British (6.5 weeks/year) and the Germans (12.5 weeks/year).

  6. Anonymous says:

    DEA Accepts Petition To Consider Removing Marijuana From Schedule I

    http://druglaw.typepad.com/drug_law_blog/2008/07/dea-accepts-pet.html

    In his Cease and Desist Order, Rev. Carl Olsen shows (with support from legal argument) that now that 12 States have medical cannabis laws (thus defining the “accepted medical use of cannabis in the United States” and removing the ability to define that term from the DEA), the DEA must follow the Controlled Substance Act as written by Congress and RESCHEDULE cannabis into a lower schedule (or off the Schedules completely), by following the actual rules for scheduling as outlined in the CSA. They are required to respond within an appropriate ammount of time.

    Any current court cases involving cannabis should consider presenting this notice, as it directly affects and interferes with sentencing procedure, and the charges against the accused. Also, as _all_ State CSA laws are mirrored from the federal CSA, once the DEA acts upon this Petition, ALL STATES are required to revise their schedules.

  7. JG says:

    The most dangerous thing about marijuana use isn’t the drug itself but what will happen to your life, career, property, family if you are caught using/growing.

    The ‘LAW’ has superseded the reality of the product in this instance.

    Land of the Brave, Home of the Not so Free…..

    ###

  8. Takuan says:

    start counting

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

  9. zuzu says:

    I think the laziness is the underlying reason why we don’t legalize it. Laziness is downright unamerican.

    No way, laziness is what used to make the people living in the United States great — it made them inventive.

    Instead of saying, “whew, that’s alot of hard work, better get started”, they’d say, “whew, that’s alot of work, there has to be an easier way to do it!

    “I’d rather write programs to write programs than write programs.” — D. Sites

  10. Aloisius says:

    No way, laziness is what used to make the people living in the United States great — it made them inventive.

    We Americans spend an amazing amount of time inventing things to allow us to be lazy. And wouldn’t you know it, the second we automate something some other menial task comes that needs automating. :)

  11. brinna says:

    Personally, I think a more disturbing aspect of this story is that the L.A. Times removed the photo of the Blackwater operative from its story photo bank, the very next day. The story is still there, but not the photo. I posted the photo on DIG just to make sure that it wouldn’t be lost.
    http://digg.com/politics/Photo_of_Blackwater_paramilitary_used_in_California_DEA_raid

    I am glad to see that it is making it’s way around the net.

    We are living in difficult times.

  12. zuzu says:

    We Americans spend an amazing amount of time inventing things to allow us to be lazy. And wouldn’t you know it, the second we automate something some other menial task comes that needs automating. :)

    The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots. Thank you.

  13. Anonyman says:

    I don’t get why everyone calls it “marijuana” when it should properly be referred to as cannabis. You wouldn’t see a federal law referring to corn as “maize” or alcohol as “fire water”.

  14. zuzu says:

    Or ask Dennis Leary. Marijuana doesn’t lead to harder drugs, it leads to carpentry.

  15. zuzu says:

    I don’t get why everyone calls it “marijuana” when it should properly be referred to as cannabis. You wouldn’t see a federal law referring to corn as “maize” or alcohol as “fire water”.

    “Marijuana” sounds vaguely foreign, and therefore wrong. Duh.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hey, guys, Blackwater’s entrypoint into armed government consulting was “tactical training.”

    That DEA agent probably got the shirt as swag from a Blackwater training or conference. That’s much more plausible than the DEA employing mercs for this task.

  17. Ed Brock says:

    The great Bill Hicks had it right when he said….

    “Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit… unnatural? You know what I mean? It’s nature. How do you make nature against the fucking law?”

    And since this administration claims to be following God’s Will (though previous administrations are not much better), Mr. Hicks was right on target with this little quote as well…

    “I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?”

    That means the government is saying “God made a mistake” when they make marijuana illegal. Hmm?

  18. Aloisius says:

    I don’t get why everyone calls it “marijuana” when it should properly be referred to as cannabis. You wouldn’t see a federal law referring to corn as “maize” or alcohol as “fire water”.

    Because marijuana is the flowering tops of the plants while Cannabis sativa is the botanical name for whole thing. If you want to go right to the beginning, the oldest name probably is ganjika from Sanskrit (which is where ganja comes from).

    Furthermore, by your choice of using botanically names, maize would be more accurate than corn as the plant is botanically Zea mays and called maize everywhere outside of the US.

  19. Takuan says:

    Pot. Saves work.

  20. Christovir says:

    I don’t get why everyone calls it “marijuana” when it should properly be referred to as cannabis. You wouldn’t see a federal law referring to corn as “maize” or alcohol as “fire water”.

    Marijuana refers to psychoactive cannabis, and elements revolving around its psychoactive usage. Cannabis, on the other hand, is a genus of plants and includes many non-psychoactive meanings. For example, the word canvas comes from the word cannabis, because canvas was traditionally made of hemp fiber. When speaking of drugs, marijuana is probably the clearest descriptor. And FYI, in the UK at least, “maize” is used in legal documents much more than “corn.” In the US, “spirits” is probably used more than “liquor” though “fire-water” is just silly.

  21. codswallower says:

    Hey paranoid San Franciscan. Household trash generally contains stuff that would be considered toxic waste if an industry tried to throw it away. There are laws requiring businesses to carefully and often expensively dispose of such dangerous substances.
    No such laws cover the huge mountains of stuff we throw away at home. Kudos to San Francisco for being in the vanguard on this.
    Oh, plus fascists don’t levy fines. They arrest, detain, torture and kill you.

  22. craniac says:

    The image of the blackwater hipster-mercenary has been removed from the L.A. times.

  23. buddy66 says:

    Hey, I finally recognize that guy in the Blackwater shirt.

    That’s Max Cady!

  24. ill lich says:

    If the DEA is hiring Blackwater thugs to do their bidding. . . can’t the dispensaries hire their own private thugs to protect them?

    Let’s see, Pinkerton, the mafia, MS-13. . . I’m sure they would all be interested in this lucrative business.

    Democracy is great, innit?

  25. loraksus says:

    #32 posted by jonathan_v , August 1, 2008 5:45 PM

    1- It’s not easy to make consumable quantities of alcohol. Fermentation and distillation equipment is large and expensive.

    EPIC FAIL.

  26. Takuan says:

    quislings

  27. buddy66 says:

    Marijuana is illegal because all it takes is a nickel’s worth of water and five cents’ worth of sunshine, and any poor person can grow it. That’s the ONLY reason it’s illegal. And I’ve been studying on it for fifty years.

  28. JayeRandom says:

    It appears that the censored photo is still on their servers: http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-07/41360065.jpg
    (BTW, the pistol he’s carrying is a Glock, most likely chambered in 9mm. Not really a “giant pistol”. It just looks big because of the holster.)

  29. cha0tic says:

    He’s not a hipster. He’s a wanker that’s watched too many episodes of “Dog The Bounty Hunter”.

  30. Doc Tourneau says:

    If the guy in the picture is a real DEA agent, simply sporting a Blackwater T-shirt, what the hell kind of supervisors does he have in his unit? Exactly what kind of good would they expect to come out of having one of their agents wear such a thing — in public! — while in the commission of his duties?

    If he is indeed a Blackwater employee, then I guess the United States Drug Enforcement Agency is employing for-profit mercenaries for domestic police actions. Mercenaries who might or might not be American citizens (I wonder if a Belgian or South African national, when joining Blackwater, takes an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. I kind of doubt it.), but certainly owe their primary allegiance to their corporation. What a sickening notion.

    Meanwhile, the McCain campaign is distracting the media and the public with imagery of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. And it’s working. Right now, I’d say the odds are 50-50 we wind up with another Republican administration; one that would hugely relish this kind of continuing assault on science, common sense, and human decency.

    I think this is a harbinger of things to come.

  31. eustace says:

    Ah, this story has inspired an epic fanboy fantasy – wouldn’t you like to be in the dispensary where RIVER TAM is buying her ganj, when the DEA show up?
    Drool.

  32. geno cult says:

    Fascist State…this is what Democracy looks like!!!

  33. cans says:

    @ #82

    “the only reason pot isn’t already legal is that Big Alcohol,Big Pharm and Big Tobacco (still) have not cut the deals with the power elite to split the profits and squeeze the control.”

    It has been posed to me that Big Mob/(and others involved at higher levels in distribution) is also opposed to legalization. It seems somewhat logical—at least from the standpoint that Phillip Morris could (probably) produce a very potent pot product that would undercut street prices.

    Assuming this is true, it seems that the only people that legalization would benefit would be the people. And any fool can tell you that “the people’s” voice tends to be unheard when wanting for sufficient monetary and organizational clout.

  34. Takuan says:

    I include the Mafia, the cocaine barons, the Mexican mobs all in the “power elite”. That CIA plane full of coke that crashed recently makes all that clear.

  35. holtt says:

    What were 25 people doing inside a locked building? Is it like a speakeasy where you have to say the magic word (or have a big ram) to get in?

  36. Takuan says:

    pot theives

  37. dragonfrog says:

    @86

    I think the best argument against legalization is this simple fact: go into any college or high school, where kids are too young to buy regulated alcohol or cigarettes – you’ll probably find a small number of kids who drink or smoke… and a really large number of kids that smoke pot.

    Actually, that’s the best argument FOR legalization. Alcohol and tobacco are taxed and regulated. This makes them more difficult for people to get hold of. Cannabis is not taxed or regulated, therefore it’s much easier to get hold of.

    You’re the one who misses the point.

    He’s saying that our culture has three major intoxicants: alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Under the present system, the two most harmful ones are put out of the reach of youth, only the least harmful one, cannabis, is readily available to them.

    If cannabis were legalized, the three would be put on an equal footing; this would probably lead to fewer teens using cannabis as their drug of choice – some would find ways around the age limits and drink to drunkenness, others would move on to other illegal drugs. Since pretty much all available drugs, legal, illegal, and prescription, are more harmful than cannabis, both of these outcomes would increase the harm to the kids.

    A counter-ad hominem: Your stupid attack on Jonathan is especially poignant in light of the fact that you are in fact the clueless one. Discuss.

  38. dragonfrog says:

    @91

    Actually talking on a cell phone is worse than being drunk (at 0.08 – obviously you can get much drunker, but not much talking-on-a-phone-er)

    Study here http://www.hfes.org/Web/Pubpages/celldrunk.pdf

  39. doggo says:

    That’s not a “big” gun. It’s a normal-sized gun. A crappy polymer Glock, or Glock-looking one, but normal-sized nevertheless.

    *********

    I don’t know about classifying marijuana in the same category as cigarettes & alcohol. Well, alcohol, but it seems like as a society we’re pushing cigarettes more and more into prohibitionary status. Hell, you can’t even smoke cigarettes in the privacy of your own home in some places if you rent.

  40. Takuan says:

    call that a gun? Need a much BIGGER gun to shoot a hippie cancer patient. (Especially if it’s a kid!)

    Re: T-shirts; maybe they were right. Black shirt, black helicopters, UN one world conspiracy, Blackwater as a front….

  41. grimc says:

    “What were 25 people doing inside a locked building? Is it like a speakeasy where you have to say the magic word (or have a big ram) to get in?”

    Yep. All dispensaries have controlled entrances.

  42. matia says:

    Just read this on Wikipedia:

    “Blackwater is one of five companies picked by the Department of Defense Counter-Narcotics Technology Program Office in a five-year contract for equipment, material and services in support of counter-narcotics activities. The contract is worth up to $15 billion. The other companies picked are Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Arinc Inc..”

  43. cycle23 says:

    Good god I love smoking pot.

  44. SimeonW says:

    If anyone has a perverse desire to get one of those Blackwater t-shirts, they are $13 at the Blackwater Pro Shop. http://proshop.blackwaterusa.com/
    I would love to see a few hundred activists protesting in/getting arrested in Blackwater “uniforms”, maybe someone should print up a few hundred knockoffs.

  45. minTphresh says:

    ‘marijuana’ is a basically made-up word to try to con the american public into linking that plant with mexicans who made the mistake of staying too long in the usa after ww2 ended. hearst’s newspaper headlines would scream about the marijuana crazed mexican men ogling and attacking white women! oddly enough this was right around the time when a machine was invented to separate the fibers from the cellulose of the hemp plant, easily and cheaply. hearst and crew (h.j.anslinger, the dow family, the large pharmacutical co.’s) needed a word that would fool the populace into believing that something that had been a staple for american farmers since before the inception of the usa ( geo washingtom said it was ‘unpatriotic’ NOT to grow it!) was in fact ‘the devil’s weed’. anslinger and hearst knew that hearst could become extremely wealthy using pulp from his lumber interests to make paper if he got rid of the competition. anslinger then would be hansomely rewarded for his efforts. win-win! the plant is called cannabis, and is the root for our word canvas. it’s also mentioned in the bible as khaneb. cannabis hemp is the plant used mostly for it’s fiber. cannabis comes in two varieties: sativa and indica. all strains, be they purple nurple, or some kansas roadside ditchweed, come from one, the other, or a mixture of both. as far as laziness goes, in college i worked on a construction crew that RAN on the stuff. we were seldom if ever off schedule. we sweat our asses off, but we didn’t care! i’m just happy to see that our gov’t is still looking out for us helpless and idiotic citizens by keeping this obviously evil ‘plant’ under lock and key. who cares that they aint gots no dough…im sure those wonderful folk at the dea and blackwater ( i wouldn’t be in least bit surprised, they used ‘em in n’orleans) have our best at heart and are doing it for free outta love. sniff, sniff.

  46. Takuan says:

    imagine that

    Canadian soldier dies in firefight in Afghanistan
    Military investigates reports he may have been accidentally shot
    Last Updated: Saturday, August 9, 2008 | 12:16 PM ET Comments113Recommend57
    CBC News

    A Canadian soldier has died of injuries sustained in a firefight with insurgents in Zhari district of Kandahar province, military officials said Saturday.
    Master Cpl. Josh Roberts was based in Shilo, Man., and was promoted to master corporal two weeks ago.Master Cpl. Josh Roberts was based in Shilo, Man., and was promoted to master corporal two weeks ago. (DND)

    The soldier has been identified as Master Cpl. Josh Roberts of the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of Shilo, Man.

    The Saskatchewan native died as a result of a gunshot wound, officials said.

    He was involved in a joint operation aimed at disrupting insurgent activity in a rugged farming area when the incident occurred.

    There is speculation that a private security company passing by in a convoy may have accidentally opened fire on Canadian troops.

  47. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    @78 Those Motherfucking Prince Georges County, Maryland cops are a threat to society. That county is not safe to travel through or live in.

    I guess after their buddy cops killed an inmate they all think they are above the law!

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/07/01/custody.death/

    I don’t go to PG County unless it is really necessary.

  48. Takuan says:

    Thugs. As usual.

  49. zuzu says:

    My favorite is the one of a hipster-looking agent with a healthy soul-patch on his chin and a giant pistol on his belt.

    “Agent”? His shirt says “Blackwater“.

  50. cooter says:

    Was going to point out the Blackwater shirt myself. Is the DEA outsourcing their gestapo work?

  51. buddy66 says:

    Master Corporal?

    Boy that’s rubbing your nose in it!

  52. joshhaglund says:

    That picture is not of a DEA agent — that’s a blackwater mercenary.

  53. Bevatron Repairman says:

    A hipster with a soul patch, a big gun on his hip, and a Blackwater t-shirt.

  54. Beryllium says:

    The blackwater shirt might just be SWAG from a conference of some kind … :)

  55. dragonfrog says:

    @32

    2- Alcohol generally needs some form of quality control – if you screw up you make methanol not ethanol.

    Epic fail the second.

  56. Garbanzo says:

    What’s with the Blackwater shirt? Was he really a DEA agent, or a goddamn mercenary? I find the idea of private paramilitary organizations enforcing federal laws without regard for the sovereignty of individual states to be very disturbing. There is much more at stake here than some pot for cancer patients.

  57. Takuan says:

    The shirt shows where his mind is. Or where he would like to be: in Baghdad shooting hajis.

  58. joshhaglund says:

    As you are about to see, i’m not a lawyer….

    If a corporation, licensed to operate by the state, operates contrary to the laws of the state. Doesn’t the state have the right to revoke the corporate charter?

  59. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    Blackwater is scary, and the fact that they are given the right to use lethal force against American citizens “if [they] deem it necessary” is even scarier: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/scahill

  60. zuzu says:

    The blackwater shirt might just be SWAG from a conference of some kind

    The Flamingo Welcomes the National DA’s Conference on Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs

  61. Lucifer says:

    The bust was orchestrated to generate a lawsuit designed to make its way through the appelate system in order to set precedent in common law regarding the standing of these establishments and the sale and distribution of marijuana. It will contribute to further resolving constitutional issues of federalism (state law v. federal law) need to be clarified in the judiciary because the legislative can only go so far without the power of common law stare decisis.

  62. jere7my says:

    N.B.: A soul patch is the little patch of hair just under the lower lip, between the mouth and the goatee. The hippy-merc might have one, but you won’t find it growing on his chin.

  63. LeavingHalfway says:

    @JonathanV #32:

    I think the best argument against legalization is this simple fact: go into any college or high school, where kids are too young to buy regulated alcohol or cigarettes – you’ll probably find a small number of kids who drink or smoke… and a really large number of kids that smoke pot.

    Nope. They do all three with impunity. Many, many kids I knew in high school regularly got wasted. And stoned. The law has essentially no effect in preventing kids from doing any of those. They’ll always find a way.

  64. Gregory Bloom says:

    @#32 Jonathan V:

    Alcohol and Tobacco are easily regulated because:
    1- It’s not easy to make consumable quantities of alcohol. Fermentation and distillation equipment is large and expensive. I’ve met few home brewers able to satisfy even their own home demand.

    As a home distiller, I can assure you it is very easy to produce far more alcohol than even the most dedicated alcoholic can drink. If one isn’t particular about the taste, there are turbo yeasts that can generate 6.5 gallons of 14% sugar wine in 24 hours. (Sugar wine doesn’t taste all that bad, actually, making it possible for a frugal alcoholic to have around a gallon of wine per day for a cost of maybe $12/week if you shop around for cheaper turbos and sugar).

    2- Alcohol generally needs some form of quality control – if you screw up you make methanol not ethanol. You don’t want to drink that.

    Completely incorrect. Legends about methanol in moonshine arose from criminals who would add much cheaper methanol to their moonshine so as to have more product to sell. Orange juice contains 10-50 times the methanol found in a sugar wine used for distilling. Also, methanol has a much lower boiling point, so it comes over the still first. Home distillers usually just throw away the first 50ml that comes out of their stills, eliminating all the methanol.

    The main reason people buy alcohol rather than make their own is cost and laziness. You can buy fully taxed, crappy-tasting vodka at $10 for 1.75 liters. The same may hold true for legalized and taxed weed.

  65. TJBlackwell says:

    He seems kinda reminiscent of a hairier version of 24′s agent Tony Almeida…

  66. zootboing says:

    My personal motto is: “Vengeance May Belong to the Lord, but that doesn’t stop me from submitting a strongly-worded list of suggestions”.
    So as soon as the Superior Court ruling against medical cannabis came out, I heartily wished upon Clarence Thomas (who voted for the ban) a ROUSING case of colon or prostate cancer and to be forced to live by his ruling all through a painful and lengthy chemo.
    I don’t smoke anything. But I have friends who know where to get the best stuff, and I did offer to buy it once for a much beloved teacher who was dyng of cancer. The above comments are right- it’s Big Pharma who’s peevishly causing thousands of people pain because Pharma can’t profit from it. Curse them all to painful maladies that go unrelieved due to lack of legal weed.

  67. danimal says:

    The pic of the blackwater clad hipster is no longer in the LA Times photo set (was it ever?). Anyone know where that photo came from? or where it went?

    And lucifer, i think the bust was orchestrated to scare the beejesus out of medical marijuana users and providers – the law is already settled that the feds can arrest and prosecute medical marijuana users even in states that have authorized use.

  68. Daemon says:

    I just had am amusing thought… what if California made it illegal for anyone to arrest people in the dispensories for things which are legal, under California law. Extend it out to include conspiracy-to-commit charges, and anyone associated with the US drug policy would basicly be subject to arrest in Cali.

    I think that’s fair.

  69. JG says:

    This is the USA 2008:

    No medical marijuana, no gay marriage, no health care, no photos of war dead, wiretaps and random searches, tax cuts for corporations, oil companies posting record profits as the country slides into steep decline….

    I guess this makes us;

    “Home of the Brave, Land of the NOT-So-Free.”

    Without irony President Bush mentioned recently that one of the main reasons that Iran needs regime change is that the government ignores the voice of it’s populace.

    Is it any wonder that we have lost all credibility in the world and that the USA is now the ‘Appalachia’ of first world countries?

    ###

  70. Takuan says:

    people will buy commercialized, taxed pot for convenience and safety. Competition among producers will ensure quality.

    No,the only reason pot isn’t already legal is that Big Alcohol,Big Pharm and Big Tobacco (still) have not cut the deals with the power elite to split the profits and squeeze the control.

  71. Cowicide says:

    I hope that shithead from Blackwater gets hit by a drunk driver soon.

    I think it’s time for CA to secede from the USA.

  72. krayyy says:

    outsourcing pot busts to BLACKWATER. ridiculous. at least they found something for them to do other than kill innocent Iraqis.

    what a waste of taxpayer money.

  73. minTphresh says:

    Takuan, add for profit prison system to that list.

  74. Rebecca Saltzman says:

    The DEA is claiming that the agent was a DEA agent and not employed by Blackwater.

  75. mrfitz says:

    yay police state

  76. Phikus says:

    #82 & 83: Quite correct. “Tell them what they win, Bob…”

  77. kilranian says:

    You’re the one who misses the point.

    He’s saying that our culture has three major intoxicants: alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. Under the present system, the two most harmful ones are put out of the reach of youth, only the least harmful one, cannabis, is readily available to them.

    If cannabis were legalized, the three would be put on an equal footing; this would probably lead to fewer teens using cannabis as their drug of choice – some would find ways around the age limits and drink to drunkenness, others would move on to other illegal drugs. Since pretty much all available drugs, legal, illegal, and prescription, are more harmful than cannabis, both of these outcomes would increase the harm to the kids.

    Wait, first the argument is that making cannabis legal will increase the usage. Now, the argument is that making cannabis legal will decrease usage, because it’s regulated? This is bad, because then people will use other things they’re told they can’t. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion: Decriminalize all drugs.

  78. TackyParker says:

    Just finished reading A Cop In The Hood and he makes the point that two big supporters of drug prohibition are prison guard unions and police who get overtime pay for court appearances.

  79. Joe MommaSan says:

    I’m willing to bet he’s DEA. Blackwater probably wouldn’t hire someone who looked that scuzzy, but DEA agents frequently look like dirtbags. Would YOU sell dope to someone who looked like a federal agent?

  80. korrontean says:

    Klaus Pierre finally found a job as an action hero!

  81. acx99 says:

    Choose your shirt: black or brown.

    Blackater is the Republican party’s private militia. There’s only one country that I fear, and that’s the

  82. acx99 says:

    Choose your shirt: black or brown.

    Blackater is the Republican party’s private militia. There’s only one country that I fear, and that’s the US.

    (think something hooky happened to my browser. may be a dupe)

  83. zuzu says:

    Would YOU sell dope to someone who looked like a federal agent?

    Well…

  84. Alkwerte says:

    Blackwater is also a wonderful river in South Ireland…

    (ok, maybe they’re not irish)

  85. Phikus says:

    DANIMAL@14: That law is unconstitutional, as it conflicts with the 9th & 10th amendments of the Bill of Rights.

    JOEMAMMASAN@23: Good points!

    ZUZU@24, 26 & elsewhere: Compelling statements & nice links!

    ALOISIUS@35: If you were serious, you should know there has never been a medical study successfully linking laziness with marijuana use. I know plenty of workaholic professionals at the top of their fields who have been daily smokers for decades.

    ED BROCK@43: “Oh my Me… Now I’m going to have to make Republicans!”

    CODSWALLOWER@47: Very good point!

    BUDDY66@51: I’ve been studying on it too. It really improves my reading comprehension… =D

    MATIA@57 & SLOP@61: Scary indeed! Only a matter of time ’til they had to start outsourcing their jack-bootery.

    LEAVINGHALFWAY@62: Expert rebuttal! Nice BS catch.

    There is no sane or valid argument (at least that I have heard) for keeping this essential medicine criminalized. There is no sane or valid reason why Blackwater and mercenary outfits like it should be legally able to operate on American Soil; against the American citizenry. This is tyranny. This is fascism. Welcome to the New American Century…

  86. dragonfrog says:

    Wait, first the argument is that making cannabis legal will increase the usage. Now, the argument is that making cannabis legal will decrease usage, because it’s regulated? This is bad, because then people will use other things they’re told they can’t. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion: Decriminalize all drugs.

    Aaaand we have a winner. Please collect your prize at the coat check.

    Well, not really. Jonathan never addresses the likely effect of legalization on usage in the general population. He’s only saying that it will decrease usage among adolescents, without the majority of them choosing sobriety as the alternative.

    Anyway, I’m not saying it’s my argument, I’m saying it’s Jonathan’s argument, which you were failing to understand. I’m not in favour of decriminalization myself – legal and regulated is the way to go, mere decriminalization is a cop-out.

    Really the problem is that we in North America insist on keeping adolescents in a state of pathological childishness, refusing to trust them to learn like adults. If we had the collective courage to both legalize pot and leave it within reach of young people, we wouldn’t have this problem, but anyone can predict that’s not how it would be handled. Of course, we’d also have to treat young adults like adults in a hundred other ways, so they would be equipped to handle all adult decisions, including what to put in their bodies.

  87. sicklecell says:

    this was just down the street from my house.

  88. Joe MommaSan says:

    BTW, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten any requests to take down that pic. That’s probably why they pulled it from the newspaper’s site – the DEA doesn’t like pictures of their covert agents published, for obvious reasons.

  89. burmesekush says:

    Let’s hope Obama’s appointment helps resolve this mess. Legalize, tax and profit for CA! http://weedmaps.com seems to provide the most updated list of dispensaries and sometimes the raids are posted on their blog http://legalmarijuanadispensary.com/blog/ …and he’s most likely not a blackwater mercenary

  90. kilranian says:

    I think the best argument against legalization is this simple fact: go into any college or high school, where kids are too young to buy regulated alcohol or cigarettes – you’ll probably find a small number of kids who drink or smoke… and a really large number of kids that smoke pot.

    Actually, that’s the best argument FOR legalization. Alcohol and tobacco are taxed and regulated. This makes them more difficult for people to get hold of. Cannabis is not taxed or regulated, therefore it’s much easier to get hold of.

    A little ad hominem here: Your entire post hurts my brain, and you obviously have zero real-world or even anecdotal experience with any of the subjects being discussed. Discuss.

  91. Phikus says:

    Oh Blackwater, keep on rollin…
    Rollin’ good shit ’cause it came from the dispensary…
    Oh Blackwater, keep on rollin…
    You can tell from my drip that I’m a hipster mercenary…

  92. Foolster41 says:

    Kind of too late now. Also, the operation didn’t sound too “covert”.

    Man, the state and the feds need to get their act together and make up their darn mind. I don’t quite get why Marauina can be treated as a controlled medicine everywhere.

  93. Anonymous says:

    This may simply be a case of him having trained at Blackwater camps.. most of the DEA agents here look like hipsters and I think facial hair is a requirement for the job. They wear golf-hats and sport soul patches and other creative facial dressing in the DEA’s regional task force here.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to Germany and Russia in the thirties and forties.

  95. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    I think a great idea is to get a bunch of your biggest, baddest, friends to “raid” a medical marijuana dispensary and then par-tay!

    Please don’t “unpublish” the picture.

  96. buddy66 says:

    I’ve been studying on it too. It really improves my reading comprehension…

    I concentrate too much. Back when I tried to write poems, I would often make the mistake of getting loaded. I’d get so deep into the meaning that lines would get tighter and tighter and so deeply significant that I’d end up with a two- or three-word poem.

    There’s not much of a market for those.

  97. ill lich says:

    RE: the arguments around legalization.

    Here’s another monkey-wrench in the gears of “dangerous marijuana”– I have met several full-time truck drivers over the years who smoke weed all day long on the job. It seems insane, and counterintuitive, but these guys had found ways to get through their drug testing, keep their jobs, and remarkably have a very low accident rate.

    It used to scare me to think of these guys driving 18-wheelers for 12 hours straight while high, but I recalled what a friend in high school said about driving while high: “you know, when I’ve been drinking I always want to drive too fast, but if I’m high, I always think I’m driving too fast, and then look down at the speedometer and I’m 5 miles under them limit.”

    I think at any given moment there are probably millions of Americans driving while high on weed. I’m not saying it’s completely safe, but it’s certainly safer than drunk driving, and I’m willing to bet it’s safer than driving whilst talking on a cell phone. (It seems counterintuitive that a cell phone would be more of a distraction than talking to a passenger, but I think it is– something about talking on the phone divides your attention more than talking to someone actually in your presence.)

  98. zeroy says:

    > A hipster with a soul patch, a big gun on his hip, > and a Blackwater t-shirt.

    Dammit! That’s my Burning Man Costume.

  99. Joe MommaSan says:

    I don’t quite get why Marauina can be treated as a controlled medicine everywhere.

    I want to see it treated like alcohol and cigarettes – taxed, vendors licensed, sold to adults only. The idea that the government has the right to tell you what you can put in your own body is as ludicrous as the idea they can outlaw abortions. Prohibition was tried back in the 1920s and all it accomplished was the same thing the drug war has accomplished: a sky-high crime rate.

    Besides, we could balance the budget in five years or less with all that extra revenue. (not to mention what we’d save by being able to cut the prison-industrial complex in half) Marijuana is not expensive to produce – they call it “weed” for a reason. You could tax it to death and still be able to sell it for less than it costs now.

    The only people who would suffer from marijuana being legalized would be people who work at prisons, and I’m sure we could find something worthwhile for them to do in place of tasering hapless convicts. I keep hearing about all this infrastructure that needs repairing . . .

  100. zuzu says:

    I don’t quite get why Marauina can be treated as a controlled medicine everywhere.

    Medicine that people could grow in their own homes for little cost?! No no no no no… you see, the FDA and the USPTO exist so that entrenched pharmaceutical companies can exercise monopoly pricing through patents and the FDA approval process.

    If people could design and synthesize their own drugs at home and at moderate cost — the same way people can write their own software — there’d be no way to gouge the injured and sick people!

  101. garys says:

    My first thought when I saw the Blackwater shirt was “Wow, some guys pretended to be DEA and stole all that marijuana. Does not seem too likely, though.

    Lucifer’s comment got me thinking: There is no public policy argument against allowing California to permit a terminally ill adult with less than a month to live to use medical marijuana on advice of a physician. All of the “its a gateway drug”, “it is medically dangerous” and other bogus arguments the Bush administration uses to overrule decisions made within the confines of the doctor patient relationship just fall apart when the patient will die anyways, and very soon. So just like staging a bust to establish precedent, wouldn’t it be interesting if somebody established a medical marijuana club limited to those with a terminal illness that will claim their lives within a month. To assure a bust, they would operate the thing right across from the Federal Courthouse. You would not find a better fact set for a ruling that California gets to regulate the relationship between doctors and their patients without interference from Bush. That said, it is better to win this fight by getting a President in the White House who understands it isn’t the job of the federal government to force the sick to suffer more.

  102. zuzu says:

    The idea that the government has the right to tell you what you can put in your own body is as ludicrous as the idea they can outlaw abortions.

    * morphological freedom

    * cognitive liberty

    Prohibition was tried back in the 1920s and all it accomplished was the same thing the drug war has accomplished: a sky-high crime rate.

    Also known as competition for the “monopoly on violence“.

  103. bobscofield says:

    The Blackwater shirt can be explained in 3 simple words: “Iraq needs weed.”

  104. starbreiz says:

    Wait, based on what you said about the court ruling being a win… can they DO that? the raid i mean. I’m confused…

  105. Aloisius says:

    I find the idea of private paramilitary organizations enforcing federal laws without regard for the sovereignty of individual states to be very disturbing.

    Yeah. It’s not like there is any mention of militias in the constitution or history of using militias to enforce laws or anything!

  106. LightningCrash says:

    @61:

    Blackwater was delegated law enforcement abilities by the state of Louisiana. It’s a valid procedure as that right is specifically granted to each state. It’s Constitutionally correct in any sense.

    Louisiana has Open Carry anyway, so it’s not like they needed a permit of any kind to walk around carrying arms. Class III (full auto) carry may very well be restricted to LEO, but I’m not a laywer.

    I’m personally more worried about Operation FALCON style dragnets than a deputized group of contractors helping buff up a skeleton crew of police.

  107. stratojoe says:

    If this is fascism, then what do you call the city of San Francisco’s proposed legislation that would allow city employees to go through my trash and assess me with a fine if I didn’t put my garbage, recyclables, and compost into their correct bins?

    Just askin.. . cuz.. you know..

  108. danimal says:

    Garys, that was the fact set that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in Raich v. Gonzales. Two seriously ill women wanting to use marijuana on advice from their physicians and in full compliance with state law. They lost…because of the impact of their medical marijuana use on interstate commerce.

    And the feds no longer raid the medical marijuana cooperatives that are made up of primarily terminally ill individuals – too bad for PR. California, and all the other states, remain free to regulate medical marijuana as they see fit, but the feds remain free to use federal resources/agents to arrest anyone in violation of federal law.

    An interesting test will be when New Mexico gets their medical marijuana program off the ground, under which the State itself will be tasked with the regulation/provision of the medicine.

  109. Takuan says:

    very significant news there Anonymous #105.
    Rest assured though, The Waronsomedrugs Industry is very big business indeed. The have killed to keep their monopoly and they are quite capable of bribing and blackmailing Congress to have the basic law rewritten rather than they conform to it.

  110. Takuan says:

    California could afford to pay its civil servants from the legal pot tax

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