Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter to Patrick Kennedy regarding conversation at Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Regarding our conversation at the SAM conference this summer: I was lucky to have qualified my statements with illegal and decriminalized marijuana in relation to my research. I did indicate that further results from fully legalized areas and places of further research were being waited on. Since the conversation, the confounding factor of the toxoplasmosis gondii being extant in many marijuana smokers in places with home grow operations has forced a reconsideration of the numbers and statistics available. This parasite is responsible for the perceived negative impact of marijuana in countries that fail to complete proper legal research in keeping with UN treaties in effect currently. In Canadian and other studies have conclusively shown with virtually no room for error that marijuana use is associated with a 5 point increase in IQ in current smokers and 3.5 points in former smokers. This translates to literally trillions of dollars in lost intellectual property as can be seen in Germany where marijuana use among 18-24 year olds has quadrupled to nearly 28% while the economy has ballooned to nearly the same size as the United States while alcohol use has dropped dramatically. In MRI and SPECT scans the positive effect of marijuana when disambiguated from those infected with the common parasite, along with pesticides or other factors including income, has been concretely shown in Dallas and other university academic studies. There is some research to indicate that a compound from marijuana may mitigate the effects of alcohol, but this research is still in its infancy, at this time in the 45% of America that drinks, it can be associated with a drop in IQ of several points in comparison to a non-user, and many points in comparison with marijuana users. For the time being, this is a national security crisis in which every year 150,000 people are needlessly dying from alcohol related deaths. To put this in perspective, this is more than all military deaths in all American wars since the Korean war combined, every year. Furthermore we are unable to compete on a global scale as other nations, including Germany, with smaller populations are able to perform on a higher level than the United States. An increase of 5 points in IQ translates to 100's of % more geniuses and double the number of highly gifted in the population. We have made significant progress with industrial hemp legalization, which increases CO2 consumption by 4X that of other plants and can potentially offset global warming while increasing our energy independence. It is time to take these gains to other fields as well.
Legally, prosecution of marijuana is unconstitutional and the way it is currently implemented it is in violation of multiple UN treaties. According to our constitution, the supremacy clause in article 6 section ii only takes effect under certain circumstances. The most significant example of this was in the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln was forced to issue an executive order freeing the slaves before legislation from the federal government could make slavery illegal. Unless it could be argued that marijuana prohibition is more important to national security than 600,000 legal racially defined slaves, this clause should not override pre-existing and later passed state laws in this matter. This has been defended and ratified in multiple state supreme courts in the case of marijuana. Furthermore, in the federal statutes there is a contradiction in the case of marijuana, making prosecution unfeasible and illegal by federal organizations until resolved by a Federal court in an appeal to repeal. The charter of the FDA in the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1938 specifically addresses marijuana and retains classification from the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 which classifies marijuana and alcohol together as dangerous drugs with a high potential for poisoning and to be regulated by the FDA. This process was ironically pressed by conservatives in the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid long ago, and it is probable that with a federal court's review of such an appeal that the older law would be amended with the exception of marijuana, in any case until this happens government agencies would be very amiss to fail to follow medical advise.
Finally, marijuana has been proven to stop cancer. This is the leading cause of death in the United States and research has shown that molecules in marijuana directly harm cancerous human cells while avoiding healthy ones. My own grandfather passed away last summer after living what the AMA has recommended as a healthy lifestyle for most of his life. It is time for the United States to embrace marijuana and tell the alcohol industry to take some time on the back burner until that 200 billion dollar sore on the American economy has been developed into a beneficial product.
Paul Andreas Fischer

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letter to Sven Andreasson on his longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts and confounding data

I have done some research in nuclear medicine on this subject and there are a number of confounding factors that I believe you have left criminally unaccounted for in your research. To begin with, in states with legal marijuana, such as Canada, use of 5 grams and less per day is associated with an increase in IQ of 5 points. My own research in nuclear medicine looking at the blood flow of the brain supports this, after half a pack of marijuana cigarettes over 6 months most of my brain was normal, with one area with increased activity. According to MRI studies there has been little change in the brain observed, though conclusive evidence exists that the size of the amygdala increases and some indication that the part of the brain associated with addictive behaviour becomes less prominent, here a benefit, though this was not substantial enough to say for certain. Ultimately, biologically what is claimed about marijuana in this longitudinal study is in conflict with studies in Canada that had a high level of accuracy that followed users from 12-17 to 25 and later points in life as well as the most recent SPECT and MRI imaging studies.
The most important confounding piece of evidence does not rely on new technology, or different methodology, however, and it is quite sad that this was not accounted for in this expensive research costing the Swedish government severely. According to the CDC the majority (between 65% and 86%) of schizophrenia can be attributed to the parasite toxoplasmosis gondii. To suggest that something without a logical biological explanation is responsible when it is quite simple how the microbe targets brain and muscle tissue to lay its eggs and the body's protective cysts disrupt bloodflow is quite unethical. The explanation for how it goes in uneven amounts in marijuana users is quite simple, a cat defecating into a potted marijuana plant will contaminate the product for up to a year later.
I do not know the statistics in Sweden off the top of my head, but in the United States 22.5% of people are infected in their lifetime with t. gondii. Of these 25% (5-6% of the general population) get flu-like fatigue and fever, other psychotic symptoms for one week to as long as a month or three months. 6% will have latent symptoms, lasting longer than 6 months and will be diagnosed as schizophrenic. This is the majority of the 1.2% diagnosed with schizophrenia in the USA. It is dose dependant, and getting exposed to the parasite later in life or going thru a period of immunosuppression will cause a recurrence of behaviour.
Please provide an addendum to your research as I have done mine (this came up only as I was publishing, at first I thought to say there were some mild changes, nothing significant from marijuana, luckily I had prefaced my research by emphasizing that marijuana was decriminalized or illegal and the results may be different in a legal setting, as they indeed turned out to be) providing for these confounding factors.
Thank you,
Paul Fischer

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Societal Impacts of Alcohol and Marijuana, Revisited: the German Model.

    In Germany, over the last 25 years the consumption of alcohol has fallen by a third. Legal marijuana use rates (in the Netherlands or abroad, or in decriminalized settings at home) have increased in 18-24 year olds from 7% to 28% during this time period. The economic growth has been enormous, suggesting a link between the two, in order to confirm it would be advantageous to compare the numbers with those outlined in the data from my previous paper on societal impacts of alcohol with a low to moderate impact on the national IQ. In this paper it was demonstrated that while the first 5-10 points of IQ decrease would remove 80% of the geniuses or highly gifted workers from a community, more than this had limited effects until the damage reaches 20 or 30 points. This is because the population begins to move along a straight line on the bell curve, where the initial damage from lead, or once the pollutants in the environment are removed, from illegal or decriminalized marijuana (it should be noted that in a legalized setting, marijuana has been associated with a societal increase of 5 points in IQ, while contaminants or parasites in illegal or decriminalized pot have been connected to a decrease) or alcohol, moves along a steep exponentially defined curve.
    Lead was removed around the same time as this trend in drinking occurred. According to the DAX, the Deutsch (German) stock market, the value has risen by over 4 or 5 times since then, as seen in this graph (1989-2014) from under 2000 points to over 9000 points. The GDP, which is predicted by the DAX, a list of around 30 of the heavyweights in the German economy, to a great extent, also has increased in this period from under 1500 to nearly 4000. These are both in keeping with the increase indicated by an increase in geniuses of 500% in an intellectual property dominant economy (such as Germany or America) as found in most of the modern world.
DAX index of German listed companies:
German GDP from 1970-2014

     While this can seen initially as true and true and unrelated, the fact that previous research in SPECT scan imaging has made the connection between responsible drinking and low cognitive functioning concrete in the last few years seems to indicate that this link is more causal than correlative. This can be seen in previous research into light and moderate alcohol or marijuana use this year. That the hypothetical model outlined in the research into societal impacts of these substances fits exactly to the statistics gathered in the real world is encouraging as well, and demonstrates that this is a legitimate and probably accurate method and application of the scientific information available.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New research suggests that nicotine creates cellular drills, targeting and perforating smooth muscles over a period of six hours.

Contrary to popular belief, that carbon dioxide level exposure had to be extreme in order to deposit enough tar to permanently damage the lungs, it is now becoming clear that the cause of lung cancer and other smoking related problems is in fact nicotine. It was an old wives' tale or counterargument from smokers that because people living in big cities inhaled half of a pack to a pack of cigarette in smoke from smog each day, but did not have high lung cancer rates like second hand smokers, there must be something wrong with the tobacco studies that were done. Living in a city with hundreds of thousands of cars cars was equivalent to "two packs of cigarettes a day" while any smoker will have a 24-35 in 100 chance of lung cancer (500-1000 times higher than simply being a city dweller). In Bejing today, this rate is 42 in 100,000. People who use candles or incense frequently only have 7 or 8, slightly more than regular marijuana smokers. This perhaps indicated that in fact smoking cessation products cause lung cancer; that it is not smoke, but nicotine that causes the lung cancer has only been proved this last year. Possible explanations at the time included contaminants to tobacco or asbestos, hence natural brands such as American Spirit advertised as such to me as a teenager.
However, in 2013, a new paper delivered at the American Society for Cell Biology managed to watch the molecules of nicotine fold into drills after being present in the blood stream for a continuous six hours. These target smooth muscles, such as those found in the heart, epidermis, lungs, and reproductive system as well as throughout the body. This helps to explain why a secondhand smoker in a house with a heavy smoker has a greater chance of lung cancer than a light smoker. It is conceivable that users of e-cigs or nicotine substitution products such as the patch or gum living in a big city could give themselves lung cancer as well by pollutant exposure as the body becomes unable to naturally clean itself.
Much credit is deserved for Brown professor Ching-Ming Hai, who discovered these cellular drills called podosome rosettes. By establishing the link between heart disease such as atherosclerosis and nicotine, the way has been opened to investigate the role of nicotine on other organs such as the lungs. Being able to observe this phenomenon suggests a veritable hypothesis that other smooth muscles in the body will and do respond in a similar way, eventually tearing and folding under continued nicotine exposure.
Some research has existed which supports this hypothesis that lung cancer is caused by nicotine, including studies which suggest that lung cancer is sped up by nicotine exposure (Dasgupta). For the first time, it can be assuredly said that in fact the cause is in nicotine. This supports the population data. In all of Mexico, for example the lung cancer rate is 5 in 100,000 (Lazcano). Introducing smoke increases this eight times, to as much as and over 40 in 100,000 with smog and air pollution (Wang). With nicotine exposure, this jumps to the 30,000 in 100,000 or thirty percent that indicates lung cancer is caused by tobacco.
This is affirmed by research using populations in Sweden and in California in which smokers of marijuana were not found to have increased cancer rates, or only slight and suggested links to cancer. Research along these lines were released in the 1990s and 2000s, though did not have at this time any scientific rationale for the phenomenon, which can now be attributed to nicotine. Continuing research along these lines should provide alternatives and safe products, once again, to combat use of sweets and bubblegum which were originally the targets of tobacco advertising.


Dasgupta, Piyali, et al. "Nicotine induces cell proliferation by β-arrestin–mediated activation of Src and Rb–Raf-1 pathways." The Journal of clinical investigation 116.8 (2006): 2208-2217.

Lazcano, Ponce EC, et al. "Trends of lung cancer mortality in Mexico."Archives of medical research 28.4 (1996): 565-570.

Wang, Q. "[An analysis of incidence mortality and survival rates of lung cancer in Beijing]." Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi= Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi12.4 (1991): 205-207.

Addendum: It should be noted that this does not indicate that nicotine or tobacco is responsible for cancer. Since the US cracked down on tobacco use, with success in white males, the overall cancer mortality rate has increased from 184 per 100,000 in 1950-69 to 209 per 100,000 from 1970-1994. Today that rate holds steady at 203 per 100,000. In white females and in other demographics cancer rates have been steady or changed in negligible amounts, but these demographics have had increasing tobacco use rates. Cancer is a painful and unnatural death that can often involve long battles with the disease and should be combated with all resources available, in treatment and in prevention. While lung cancer rates have fallen, technological advances have allowed earlier detection of lung cancer, which at stage 0 and 1 is among the least deadly forms of cancer, but at later stages is among the most deadly. Without adjustments for technological advances in medical care, no positive statement can be made in regards to success or negative results from anti-smoking campaigns. Meta-data from overall cancer mortality does show that the resources in the war on cancer have been squandered and had an overall detrimental effect on the national health of the country, and some policy change is necessitated, although it must be noted there is no current biological explanation for the lower cancer rates in countries and places with higher tobacco use, these have been correlative not causal links. See following for more:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Marijuana is legal under the 1938 amendments to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, we do need to regulate it.

Marijuana is legal under the 1938 amendments to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which remains the standard for prescription and non-prescription drugs (making in the case of marijuana, the controlled substances act out of line and unconstitutional and infringement of the duties and obligations of the FDA)

"Goods found in violation of the law were subject to seizure and destruction at the expense of the manufacturer. That, combined with a legal requirement that all convictions be published (Notices of Judgment), proved to be important tools in the enforcement of the statute and had a deterrent effect upon would-be violators. "
"The enactment of the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act tightened controls over drugs and food, included new consumer protection against unlawful cosmetics and medical devices, and enhanced the government’s ability to enforce the law. This law, as amended, is still in force today."
And of course, as we all know, the FDA has not made marijuana an FDA approved prescription in any state, mostly because it is available as a "dangerous" but legal drug, in the same wording as surrounds the alcohol industry.
We need better regulation  of these substances. The prohibition is ineffective and morally unjustifiable.
The house has already voted to end Department of Justice funding for marijuana prosecution.

The effect of potent unregulated or decriminalized marijuana and alcohol versus legalized and properly regulated marijuana and alcohol (with proper FDA regulations full brain blood-flow should be possible regardless of which substance is consumed, though it would appear to be quite low, .5% in the case of alcohol, over half a dozen strains of marijuana are already identified that are purported to be safe some that may even contain moderate amounts of THC):

In addition, while the Controlled Substances Act of 1976 (the version in 1970 was still diagnostic in effect) gave federal agencies jurisdiction to act in the case of many drugs, including marijuana, this was in spite of a decriminalization law passed in 1973, still legally and enforced in the state of North Carolina. It was not out of error that the legislation in North Carolina passed this bill, they simply were regulating a dangerous industry concluding indemnifying research that showed alcohol and tobacco to be far worse than cannabis, legally according to the FDA regulations on the product and in keeping with importation laws from nations where it was legal to possess or produce (at the time 1/2 ounce in North Carolina, the substance was legal in many parts of the world notably the Netherlands and Morocco, where multiple brutal civil wars have been fought over the legalization of the product and the monarchy's succession). Under the same legal logic that made the emancipation proclamation necessary before the constitution was amended to or acts passed to outlaw slavery, it is a de facto violation of states' rights to pass the Controlled Substances Act, at least as it applies to marijuana. These sorts of mistakes are not unheard of, and happen frequently in the budget, as federal and state governments overlap. The only legal option is to encourage or federally mandate amendment of state laws before changing federal law in this matter. In this case, it is clear that the federal government already has a department, the FDA, responsible for this product and stifling research into this promising if dangerous drug is paramount to extortion, incarceration under false pretenses, embezzlement, and treason on a massive scale. Denying this reality and failing to prosecute organizations responsible for the suppression of research and development of this industry as such, would so fundamentally change the mechanisms of this country that entire peoples could be thrown into chains, dispossessed, or in other ways robbed of their fundamental liberties that the government exists to protect under the veil of enhancing freedom and pursuing happiness.

As for constitutionality:
"The embattled Fourth Amendment[117]is probably the leading exam­ple of a “War on Drugs” casualty.[118] As has been erstwhile noted in an apropos reference to George Orwell’s, 1984, a date that we have passed in more than one sense, the “War on Drugs” has led to “[a] gradual but perceptive rise in Big Brotherism against the public at large in the form of eavesdropping, surveillance, monitor­ing, informing, and other intrusive enforcement methods.”[119] Among the inroads that have been sanctioned are those that have permitted intrusions into our homes by the use of aerial surveil­lance,[120] a practice that has led to the practical abandonment in other drug-related contexts of the privacy test announced in Katz v. United States.[121] These relaxations of the restrictions of the Fourth Amendment have allowed the expansion of police authority to carry out warrantless searches for drugs on individuals and automo­biles under circumstances beyond the original intention of Terry’s rationale,[122] which was based on police officer safety, not as a subterfuge, for a search for criminal evidence without meeting the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. The creation of the so-called “good faith” exception to the Fourth Amendment require­ment of probable cause established in United States v. León,[123] which in practice we see stretched beyond “good faith,” is another example of the courts’ permissive attitude towards the government in drug cases. Equally troubling is the upholding of the validity of a warrant issued on the basis of a partially uncorroborated anony­mous tip,[124] leading to cases in which it was allowed to corroborate the anonymous tip by the post facto discovery of illegal evi­dence.[125]"

PLEASE NOTE: Marijuana was re-legalized in the spending bill of 2014. This was seen as a national security issue and does activate the superiority clause in the Constitution, regardless of state laws. Marijuana is currently legally available for sale and manufacture across the USA on Native American reservations. It is highly probable that state or federal governments will take more responsible steps in the future towards regulating this substance. Also in September leading anti-marijuana academics were caught accepting money from corporate interests, which has changed the field of research in this field significantly.

In regards to state laws and international treaties: Does legal marijuana violate international treaties? The answer is no.
"Even if treaties could override federalism, the agreements that the INCB cites do not purport to do so. The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs says compliance is subject to "constitutional limitations" and undertaken with "due regard to [signatories'] constitutional, legal and administrative systems." The 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances contain similar provisions."
Representing these treaties in this manner as the INCB has done is criminal, it makes light of legitimate and extremely important resolutions and work the UN has done and made. Now that we can prove that marijuana provides a benefit to public health, we have the right to use and provide it.

"Current marijuana use was significantly correlated (p < 0.05) in a dose- related fashion with a decline in IQ over the ages studied. The comparison of the IQ difference scores showed an average decrease of 4.1 points in current heavy users (p < 0.05) compared to gains in IQ points for light current users (5.8), former users (3.5) and non-users (2.6)."

So use of 5-10 grams (5 joints) of marijuana per week should increase the user's IQ

 Caffeine, recent:

Marijuana can be seen to have in normal doses, less of an effect on the bloodflow of the brain than caffeine.
Cannabis use, long term:

In studies, THC has been found to selectively target cancer cells while leaving healthy ones unharmed.

Most of the problem with marijuana today lies in the fact that it is not regulated. Parasites such as toxoplasmosis gondii end up present in the vast majority of users, and all people with negative side effects from marijuana. A legal industry would clear up the air. Also, unlike alcohol which is associated with a significant drop in national IQ, costing the United States almost 80% of its potential earnings, marijuana and THC is not associated with a decrease in mental functioning for healthy individuals. In Germany, where alcohol consumption dropped by 30% in the last 35 years, marijuana use increased 4 times over from 7% to almost 28% in 18-24 year olds from 1980 to 2015. In the same time period, the economy increased 5 times over from under a trillion dollars GDP to almost the same size as the US economy.

Kraus et al., 2013

Kraus, L., Pabst, A., Piontek, D., and Gomes de Matos, E. Substanzkonsum und substanzbezogene Störungen: Trends in Deutschland 1980–2012 (Substance use and substance use disorders: Trends in Germany 1980–2012) . Substance use and substance use disorders: Trends in Germany 1980–2012Sucht. 2013;59: 333–345

 The IRS is recommending that tax professionals who help state-recognized, legal marijuana businesses "not be considered unethical."

Habit-Forming Substances. The old Act required label disclosure of the quantity or proportion in any drug of twelve listed ingredients or their derivatives.' 99 The list comprised alcohol, several opiates and other narcotic drugs, and acetanilid, a heart depressant used in pain-killers. The Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act in effect supplanted the provision as to most of the listed drugs, but meanwhile public consumption of a number of coal-tar products, more accurately classified as hypnotics than narcotics, had grown to alarming proportions. There is a tendency for the use of these drugs to become habitual, and excessive use produces serious physiological effects. In S. 1944, therefore, the list was broadened, and, to avoid its obsolescence, power was given to the Secretary to add to it.200 Moreover, since the mere statement of the presence of the drug, although of value to the physician, seldom gave warning to the user, a requirement was added that products containing any of the listed ingredients be labeled "Warning-May be Habit-Forming."

Most of these substances include the possibility of an overdose, and so the FDA’s regulations on poison control apply to these substances. This is not the case with marijuana, however, and there are no mortalities associated with the substance. As such, this is a conflict in Federal Statutes which must be resolved in a Federal Court of Law, before prosecution can occur.

Poisonous or toxic materials shall be:

1.     (A) Used according to: 

1.     (1) Law and this Code,

2.     (2) Manufacturer's use directions included in labeling, and, for a pesticide, manufacturer's label instructions that state that use is allowed in a food establishmentP

3.     (3) The conditions of certification, if certification is required, for use of the pest control materials, P and

4.     (4) Additional conditions that may be established by the regulatory authority; and

2.     (B) Applied so that: 

1.     (1) A hazard to employees or other persons is not constituted, P and

2.     (2) Contamination including toxic residues due to drip, drain, fog, splash or spray on foodequipment,utensilslinens, and single-service and single-use articles is prevented, and for a restricted use pesticide, this is achieved by: P 

1.     (a) Removing the items, P

2.     (b) Covering the items with impermeable covers, P or

3.     (c) Taking other appropriate preventive actions, P and

4.     (d) Cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils after the application. P

3.     (C) A restricted use pesticide shall be applied only by an applicator certified as defined in 7 USC 136 Definitions, (e) Certified Applicator, of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or a personunder the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Pf

For these materials used according to Law and this code, includes most drugs, however alcohol marijuana and tobacco cannot be prosecuted under later laws until FDA statutes are amended because they are neither poisonous or toxic, as defined by the US Federal Government. Cannabis is SPECIFICALLY mentioned in this law, and this remains on the books.

  • 4) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(D) of this subsection, any person who violates subsection (a) of this section by distributing a small amount of marihuana for no remuneration shall be treated as provided in section 844 of this title and section 3607 of title 18.

  • (a) In general
Any individual who knowingly possesses a controlled substance that is listed in section 841(b)(1)(A) of this title in violation of section 844 of this title in an amount that, as specified by regulation of the Attorney General, is a personal use amount shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each such violation.”

“Part D — Offenses And Penalties
§844. Penalties for simple possession
(a) Unlawful acts; penalties
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess a controlled substance unless such substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess any list I chemical obtained pursuant to or under authority of a registration issued to that person under section 823 of this title or section 958 of this title if that registration has been revoked or suspended, if that registration has expired, or if the registrant has ceased to do business in the manner contemplated by his registration. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally purchase at retail during a 30 day period more than 9 grams of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base in a scheduled listed chemical product, except that, of such 9 grams, not more than 7.5 grams may be imported by means of shipping through any private or commercial carrier or the Postal Service. Any person who violates this subsection may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 1 year, and shall be fined a minimum of $1,000, or both, except that if he commits such offense after a prior conviction under this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter, or a prior conviction for any drug, narcotic, or chemical offense chargeable under the law of any State, has become final, he shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for not less than 15 days but not more than 2 years, and shall be fined a minimum of $2,500, except, further, that if he commits such offense after two or more prior convictions under this subchapter or subchapter II of this chapter, or two or more prior convictions for any drug, narcotic, or chemical offense chargeable under the law of any State, or a combination of two or more such offenses have become final, he shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for not less than 90 days but not more than 3 years, and shall be fined a minimum of $5,000. Notwithstanding any penalty provided in this subsection, any person convicted under this subsection for the possession of flunitrazepam shall be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, shall be fined as otherwise provided in this section, or both. The imposition or execution of a minimum sentence required to be imposed under this subsection shall not be suspended or deferred. Further, upon conviction, a person who violates this subsection shall be fined the reasonable costs of the investigation and prosecution of the offense, including the costs of prosecution of an offense as defined in sections 1918 and 1920 of title 28, except that this sentence shall not apply and a fine under this section need not be imposed if the court determines under the provision of title 18 that the defendant lacks the ability to pay.”
Part D — Offenses And Penalties
§844a. Civil penalty for possession of small amounts of certain controlled substances
(a) In general
Any individual who knowingly possesses a controlled substance that is listed in section 841(b)(1)(A) of this title in violation of section 844 of this title in an amount that, as specified by regulation of the Attorney General, is a personal use amount shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for each such violation.
(b) Income and net assets
The income and net assets of an individual shall not be relevant to the determination whether to assess a civil penalty under this section or to prosecute the individual criminally. However, in determining the amount of a penalty under this section, the income and net assets of an individual shall be considered.
(c) Prior conviction
A civil penalty may not be assessed under this section if the individual previously was convicted of a Federal or State offense relating to a controlled substance.
(d) Limitation on number of assessments
A civil penalty may not be assessed on an individual under this section on more than two separate occasions.
(e) Assessment
A civil penalty under this section may be assessed by the Attorney General only by an order made on the record after opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 554 of title 5. The Attorney General shall provide written notice to the individual who is the subject of the proposed order informing the individual of the opportunity to receive such a hearing with respect to the proposed order. The hearing may be held only if the individual makes a request for the hearing before the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date such notice is issued.
(f) Compromise
The Attorney General may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty imposed under this section.
(g) Judicial review
If the Attorney General issues an order pursuant to subsection (e) of this section after a hearing described in such subsection, the individual who is the subject of the order may, before the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date the order is issued, bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States. In such action, the law and the facts of the violation and the assessment of the civil penalty shall be determined de novo, and shall include the right of a trial by jury, the right to counsel, and the right to confront witnesses. The facts of the violation shall be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(h) Civil action
If an individual does not request a hearing pursuant to subsection (e) of this section and the Attorney General issues an order pursuant to such subsection, or if an individual does not under subsection (g) of this section seek judicial review of such an order, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate district court of the United States for the purpose of recovering the amount assessed and an amount representing interest at a rate computed in accordance with section 1961 of title 28. Such interest shall accrue from the expiration of the 30-day period described in subsection (g) of this section. In such an action, the decision of the Attorney General to issue the order, and the amount of the penalty assessed by the Attorney General, shall not be subject to review.
(i) Limitation
The Attorney General may not under this subsection \1\ commence proceeding against an individual after the expiration of the 5-year period beginning on the date on which the individual allegedly violated subsection (a) of this section.
\1\ So in original. Probably should be "section".
(j) Expungement procedures
The Attorney General shall dismiss the proceedings under this section against an individual upon application of such individual at any time after the expiration of 3 years if—
(1) the individual has not previously been assessed a civil penalty under this section;
(2) the individual has paid the assessment;
(3) the individual has complied with any conditions imposed by the Attorney General;
(4) the individual has not been convicted of a Federal or State offense relating to a controlled substance; and
(5) the individual agrees to submit to a drug test, and such test shows the individual to be drug free.

A nonpublic record of a disposition under this subsection shall be retained by the Department of Justice solely for the purpose of determining in any subsequent proceeding whether the person qualified for a civil penalty or expungement under this section. If a record is expunged under this subsection, an individual concerning whom such an expungement has been made shall not be held thereafter under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury, false swearing, or making a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge a proceeding under this section or the results thereof in response to an inquiry made of him for any purpose.

THIS MEANS THE Controlled Substances Act is literally screwing over big corporations and the IRS, a fine of $10,000 on 50 kg of marijuana is LESS than taxes in states where marijuana is "legal"
Except where control is required by United States obligations under an international treaty, convention, or protocol, in effect on October 27, 1970, and except in the case of an immediate precursor, a drug or other substance may not be placed in any schedule unless the findings required for such schedule are made with respect to such drug or other substance. The findings required for each of the schedules are as follows:
^^^^ Marijuana has been legal under UN protocols for research purposes, if a student is working with marijuana or any drug for research purposes, they are exempt according to the Controlled Substances Act, this is something that could perhaps be tightened up with academic procedures which in the case of marijuana are not difficult to acquire (previously necessitating a flight to Morocco or an "Indian" reservation, now only to Colorado or Washington, and a growing number of states), but currently this is status quo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Letter from a Birmingham Jail and the Birmingham Campaign

Paul Fischer
Dr. Felicia Kornbluh
US History: the 60's

"I am in Birmingham because injustice is here."
Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham expanded the movement or Birmingham Campaign beyond the stuffy intellectual laws, decrying the "analysis" that had ineffectively left his people persecuted and poor, while standing up in a tangible and legitimate fashion for what he believed in. Nearly a generation after Gandhi, King shows that unguided protest invites brutality and effectively, if not for his own lifetime then for posterity, provides the case and leadership to fight back against the oppression, segregation, and disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the United States at the time.
At the time of the letter, the movement was the victim of a "broken promise" and Martin Luther King Jr. was facing a withdrawal and retreat from Birmingham. A key part, and he was told by supporters to not do this from lack of popular protest, was the involvement of children in his protest. By moving beyond the conventional means of protest including restaurant sit-ins and bus boycotts to involving the children immediately and directly affected by protest or inaction, Martin Luther King Jr. showed the full involvement and mobilization of these communities towards impacting the dire policies in place.
There are four basic steps to nonviolent campaign, which are outlined in the letter from jail. Then proof is provided that this has occurred in the campaign. The irony of Martin Luther King Jr. writing on whether “you are able to endure the ordeal of jail?” while in jail himself is not lost on the rhetorical power, repition and reinforcement make the letter itself, as a description of a campaign, an example of nonviolent maneuvers in a conflict. This is contracted in a sort of give and take contemporary discussion in the letter which takes multiple viewpoints into consideration while retaining the understanding that there is a common goal for those who will read his letter; it is for the doubting Thomases, the fellow supporters, and the soldiers of equality who marched with him themselves.
The intended audience is important as there is nothing in this letter that could infuriurate one of the oppositional persuasion, in fact it might even bring them around. That is a sign of nonviolent demonstration in itself. The mere point that in this campaign, outlined as a battle without violence, in the publicity of this letter the reverend invites his opponents and friends to the drawing board alike and still retains the moral rectitude and personal control to help them see the moral light as well as the opportunity to give his allies the tools to make progress.  The definition of just and unjust proves a pivotal point in this letter as it is explained that “an unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself” and in defining the parameters of action, there has been a philosophical or moral boundary that is crossed over which cannot be retreated.
Though there was ultimately a retreat from Birmingham, it was a retreat of victory. The letter was written, four young school girls had been killed in a church bombing and America began to see the power status quo as barbaric and brutal, reactionary in a silently murderous manner. By appealing beyond those at the planning table or drawing board, the most radical of his compatriots, and appealing to the country’s greater fear of communism, this letter may be written from a jail of defeat but it represents the call to action, like the Gettysburg Address for Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War that will give the Civil Rights movement the authority and power to dwarf and vigorously redefine the opposition as well as their own boundaries and goals.
In the end of the letter, a tribute is paid to those who are the most directly and abundantly targeted with this appeal. His fellow demonstrators, the “demo” teams that blew up American politics in the mid 1960’s, ones who may at the time have felt discouraged or afraid. They may have felt that the battle was uphill or steep, but as he quotes, “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest” which is not a quote from Gollum of Lord of the Rings but an indication of the undying loyalty of those around him, and of the incipient and pervasive damage on the African-American population of under-education, health-care, and lower standards of living. It shows the willingness of his movement to carry out the battle until it is finished, and to do it on the terms which have been shown to work and are outlined by Martin Luther King Jr. in this letter.