Monday, September 30, 2013

Marijuana versus Alcohol (radio)

Alcoholic Homer Simpson tries a new "medicine." The moral of the story? Avoid booze, avoid pot, and learning to cope with stress is a beneficial habit to develop.
Arrest photo: I'm not an alcoholic!
(Sept. 30, 2013) Uprising radio host Sonali Kolhatkar speaks to the lead author of a new book called Marijuana is Safer: So Why are We Driving People to Drink? If alcohol is worse, why are people pushed to resort to it and pressured to avoid a safer and more medicinal alternative? In the past year two states have legalized its recreational use. The financial infrastructure of legalization is in its infant stages with investors pouring in money and big banks agreeing to accept profits. Such steps were unthinkable a few years ago. Pot was thought far more dangerous as a vice than booze. The US is now closer than ever to legalizing cannabis. Even CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently changed his position on weed. Trying to overturn the legal ban on marijuana, activists and advocates have hit upon a winning formula: point out the fact that alcohol leads to far more public violence and that having the option to use marijuana instead could lead to a safer, less criminal society. Guest Steve Fox is Director of Government Relations at Marijuana Policy Project. AUDIO

Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, Mason Tvert
( A book explains how we are steering people away from cannabis and toward the use of a very harmful and deadly substance: alcohol. The following is an excerpt from the book: It’s Super Bowl Sunday and throughout the nation millions of Americans have stocked their shelves and refrigerators with alcohol for the big game. In living rooms across the country, guests will enjoy the libations and gawk at the humorous beer commercials sprinkled liberally throughout the telecast. Like the Fourth of July and fireworks, the Super Bowl and booze are an American tradition. There is no societal stigma associated with this excessive drinking. It is all part of the celebration. Like the old saying goes: “We don’t have a drinking problem. We drink. We get drunk. No problem.” More (Sept. 30, 2013)
Cubicle criminality at the offices of the NSA
When I first met Reverend Rick Hoyt he said, “You don’t have to call me Reverend; just Rick is fine.” The First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles has taken a stand against the NSA surveillance program. The bespectacled and youthful pastor, sporting a salt-and-pepper beard, certainly didn’t look like a conventional “man-of-God.” In fact, the Unitarian Universalist church to which Rick belongs is known for defying Christian theological convention. Rick’s home at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles also has a history of defying political convention. The church, according to Hoyt, has been a “fierce advocate for personal liberties.” Even before Edward Snowden became a household name, the First Unitarian Church of LA became a plaintiff named in a major lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) over privacy violations. Nineteen organizations have joined Hoyt’s church in an unusual coalition that includes the Marijuana legalization group, NORML, and gun rights groups like the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.

Fire Dog Lake: How Obama punishes Medical Marijuana patients
Troops swoop in on illegal growers (
(Aug. 22, 2013) Despite overwhelming support from the general public, significant backing from medical doctors, and even several prominent Republicans publicly acknowledging that cannabis has a legitimate medical use, the Obama administration officially insists it does not have one.The administration’s dodge when asked to explain this unpopular and scientifically unjustifiable position is to act as if it is a non-issue because they are not arresting medical marijuana patients. When Jessica Yellin asked why the administration refused to use its power to reschedule marijuana to make it legal for medical use, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded: “the President and the administration believe that targeting individual marijuana users, especially those with serious illnesses and their caregivers, is not the best allocation of federal law enforcement resources.”

Cannabis is a safer plant? (
The administration pretends that since they are not arresting patients, rescheduling marijuana does not matter. The possibility of arrest, however, is only a small part of how legitimate medical marijuana patients are significantly punished because the Obama administration refuses to use its power to remove marijuana from Schedule I (an assignment shared by the worst drugs of abuse with no redeeming quality whatsoever). Over the years the legal tentacles of the so-called "War on Drugs" have been allowed to touch all parts of federal policy, from gun rights to education. According to Hoyt, some of these groups are not ones his church normally works with and “aren’t necessarily politically sympathetic with.” But the right to personal privacy is a Libertarian position deeply held by both ends of the political spectrum. Complete interview:

Why are we really fighting a war in Afghanistan, DRUGS? (
  • VIDEO: "Herman's House" - 42 years in solitary
  • (Sept. 30, 2013) Cancer-stricken "Angola 3" prisoner Herman Wallace has been given just days to live after being in solitary confinement for 42 years His crime? Robbery then being falsely accused of participating in the killing of a Louisiana ("the incarceration capital of the world") prison guard. His actual crime was forming one of the first Black Panther chapters in prison, making him a political prisoner, which the US claims not to have. More
  • Amys_column_default
    Host Amy Goodman
    Last week, far out in the Arctic Ocean, the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise approached a Russian oil-drilling platform and launched a nonviolent protest, with several protesters scaling the platform. They wanted to draw attention to a dangerous precedent being set. The platform, the Prirazlomnaya, owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, is the first to begin oil production in the dangerous, delicate, ice-filled waters of the Arctic.

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