Archive for the 'drugs' Category


Great Moments in Black History: #11

Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No

During my senior year at Wake, I totally aced an American Rhetorical Movements exam while I was still drunk from the night before. I’m just saying.


If they were all on acid, I’d watch more baseball

In addition to making kick-ass apparel and artwork, the folks at No Mas have apparently gotten into the kick-ass animated short business.  Enjoy.


Bravo, Marijuana Policy Project


Yes we can


A response from Boxy Lady

My ongoing correspondence with my employees in Washington continues.  Back in October, I wrote to Rep. Henry Waxman and Senators Feinstein and Boxer regarding the report issued by the Global Cannabis Commission in particular, and this country’s backwards, illogical marijuana laws in general.  Yesterday, Senator Boxer’s office sent this reply:

Dear Mr. Adams:

Thank you for contacting me about the legalization of marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you.

Although I do not support the legalization of drugs for recreational use, I do believe that medical doctors should be allowed to use their best judgment, consistent with federal law, in deciding on the most effective treatment for their patients, especially those with terminal illnesses.

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please feel free to contact me again about this or any other issue of concern to you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Polite, curt and completely dismissive towards the substance of my letter.  I hold onto my naive idea that those who are elected to represent my interest should at least pay me the courtesy of actually addressing my concerns.  As such…

Senator Barbara Boxer

I appreciate your office taking the time to respond to my letter.  What I do not appreciate is the fact that you did not even bother addressing the specific issues that the letter addressed.  I’ll cut to the chase and ask you two specific questions.

When all the scientific, medical and criminal evidence tells us that marijuana poses significantly less harm to the individual user and to society as a whole than legal substances like alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs, why do you and your colleagues insist on maintaining the illogical stance of complete prohibition?

Further, when our state is facing a financial crisis, why would you and your colleagues continue to ignore the potential tax revenue from a cash crop with an estimated worth of up to $14 billion?

As always, thanks for your time.


Nick Adams


Another email to Wax Man, D Fine, and Boxy Lady

Rep. Henry Waxman

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Barbara Boxer


It’s me, Nick Adams, again. I’m sure you guys are well aware of the report issued by the Global Cannabis Commission. You know, the international group of scientists who studied the issue of global cannabis policy and then released their findings in a 226-page paper, Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate? Just in case you haven’t gotten around to reading all about it, I thought I’d point out some of the highlights of their report.

The enforcement effort has not had much success in deterring use.

Translation: With regards to marijuana, the drug war has been a failure.

The probability and scale of harm among heavy cannabis users is modest

compared with that caused by many other psychoactive substances, both

legal and illegal, in common use, namely, alcohol, tobacco, amphetamines,

cocaine and heroin.

Translation: It’s less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

The rationale for severe penalties for possession offenses is weak on both

normative and practical grounds. In many developed countries a majority of

adults born in the past half-century have used cannabis. Control regimes that

criminalize users are intrusive on privacy, socially divisive and expensive.

Thus it is worth considering alternatives.

Translation: Our current marijuana laws are costly and infringe on our civil liberties.

In countries where data are available, arrest rates are sharply higher for many

minority and socially disadvantaged groups.

Translation: The war on marijuana disproportionately effects minorities and poor people.

Given this data, I’m sure that you will all immediately reconsider your illogical and counter-productive stance on the continued criminalization of marijuana.


So, California needs $7 billion?

Image via Flickr Thomas Hawk

At least, that’s what The Governator thinks.  The LA Times has the scoop:

In a letter obtained by The Times, the governor warns that tight credit has dried up funds California routinely relies on and it may have to seek emergency aid within weeks.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks.

Where in the world could California possibly get $7 billion from?  If only there was a substance that could be grown easily across the entire state, that we could then tax and export around the country at a premium price.  Something that could easily bring in billions of dollars to the state’s economy.  Also, it would be great if it didn’t do as much harm to society as alcohol and tobacco, and there was already a demonstrated demand for it.  Wouldn’t that be great?  I’m gonna go smoke a joint and think about this some more.


A reply from Henry Waxman

I contacted Rep. Waxman and urged him to support HR 5843.   This is his reply. 

May 13, 2008

Mr. Nick Adams
8335 1/4 Blackburn Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90048-4217

Dear Mr. Adams:

       Thank you for contacting me to express your support for
the legalization of recreational drug use.  I appreciate your taking
the time to get in touch.

       As you know, studies show that illegal drugs damage the
human brain, and many of these drugs have addictive properties
and take a huge toll on drug users, their families, and communities.
While I do not support the legalization of recreational drug use, I
believe that individuals suffering from terminal diseases such as
cancer and AIDS should receive compassionate pain relief through
drugs and therapies, including medicinal marijuana.  I have also
long advocated the use of needle exchange programs as an
effective public health measure.

       For decades, federal and state governments have pursued
anti-drug policies that stress punishment over prevention and
treatment.  As a result, first-time nonviolent drug offenders have
overwhelmed prison systems.  I believe we must bring balance to
our policy and have consistently supported significant increases in
funding for prevention and treatment programs.  I have also
strongly opposed mandatory sentencing laws for first-time
nonviolent offenders.

       Although we have a different perspective on this issue, I
appreciate your taking the time to contact me, and hope you will
stay in touch on issues of concern.

        To learn more about my work in Congress or sign up for periodic
e-mail updates, please visit and

       With kind regards, I am


Henry A. Waxman
Member of Congress.


My reply:

The Honorable Henry Waxman
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Rep. Waxman,

Thank you for your reply. In your letter you state the following:

As you know, studies show that illegal drugs damage the
human brain, and many of these drugs have addictive properties
and take a huge toll on drug users, their families, and communities.

First of all, we must keep this conversation specific to marijuana.  By using phrases like "illegal drugs" and "these drugs" you’re attempting to lump marijuana in with significantly more dangerous and physically addictive drugs like cocaine, heroin and meth.  That’s the same tactic used by the DEA, Partnership for a Drug Free America, etc.  You and I both know that this is a  scientifically and medically unsound comparison to make.  We know this, of course, because of the findings of doctors and scientists.  I pointed you toward some of those findings in my initial letter. As one of the many individuals whom you are charged with serving, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from using such transparent tactics in the future. Frankly, it’s an insult. 

I contacted you specifically about HR 5843.  This is a bill that would decriminalize possession of a substance that we know to be less harmful to the user and to society than alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs.  Ironically all those substances can "damage the human brain…have addictive properties and take a huge toll on drug users, their families, and communities." 

I eagerly await a more logical and fact-based response. 



Nick Adams






A giant cop out by the LA Times

When I clicked on the link to read Sandy Banks’ recent Los Angeles Times column, “What it’s like to buy medical marijuana,” I was excited about our city’s main newspaper giving some major ink to the medical marijuana issue. Early in the piece, I got a glimpse of the kind of writing I was going to be subjected to.

I’d dismissed the claim as a marketing gimmick. But it left me wondering: Could you really just walk in off the street and get marijuana?

Yes, Sandy. And it’s been that way for years now. Did she think that the 1996 Compassionate Use Act–which she says she voted for–was some sort of ruse to lure pot smokers out into the open only to round them up and cart them off to jail?

Banks then details her visit to a clinic in West Hollywood were she got to visit and actual real live doctor who told her that marijuana could help ease the pain from her arthritis. Shocking!!! After visiting a dispensary and making a purchase, she takes her weed home. That’s where the wheels fall off entirely.

At home, I couldn’t get the bottle open. My fingers weren’t strong enough to pop the top. Which is just as well.

I’m not going to smoke it. The feds don’t recognize California’s medical marijuana law. The DEA has been raiding dispensaries here; I don’t want federal agents knocking on my door.

So, on Friday, I brought the bottle into my office and my editor watched me flush it down the toilet.

The experience left me with so much to think about, it’s best I’m clear-headed while I work through it.

Just like that, what could have been an actual honest examination into the medicinal effects of marijuana on someone with a real condition that millions of people can relate to is immediately turned into a toothless piece of pablum that might be remotely titillating to the Readers Digest crowd. This kind of cowardly writing is one of the main reasons that newspapers are giant, lumbering dinosaurs destined to be rendered obsolete by the present media age. Who the fuck wants to read some middle-aged mother giggling over the shocking–SHOCKING!–revelation that it’s legal to by grass, man!!! Only to discover that she doesn’t even have the guts to smoke it.

Ignoring the fact that the DEA doesn’t arrest patients or dispensary owners in the raids, Blanks cites fear of prosecution for the reason she flushes the marijuana down the toilet. Which is exactly what they should have done with this column.

Sandy, do yourself a favor. Go back to that dispensary, get an 1/8 of the kindest shit they have, take it home and get really fucking high. And then tell your readers about that.


A letter to Henry Waxman regarding HR 5843

Monday, April 21, 2008


The Honorable Henry Waxman
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative Waxman,

Last Thursday, Rep. Barney Frank introduced HR 5843.  As you are no doubt aware, this legislation would do away with all federal penalties for the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana.  I am writing to strongly urge you to support this long-overdue, common sense policy change.  Your political science degree and years of civil service mean that you’ve likely forgotten more about the history and inner workings of this great nation than I’ve ever known.  However, I would like to remind you of two key moments in the history of our drug policy.

In 1944, the LaGuardia Committee concluded that:

The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word

The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking.

Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes. 

Almost 30 years later, in 1972, President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse issued their report titled, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.  Their findings:

The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective.

Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would de-emphasize marihuana as a problem.
The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.

And yet, here we are.  36 more years have passed and our elected officials have flatly refused to do what they are charged to do; craft legislation that is in the best interest of their constituents. I hope that you keep these points in mind when considering whether or not to support this legislation, and are not swayed by the campaign of willful ignorance, racism and corporate interference that has long been waged against both the plant and the citizens who choose to use it.  Right now, thousands of your constituents in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are partaking of marijuana in the comfort and safety of their own homes, harming no one.

Why continue to treat them like criminals?




Nick Adams


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