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Fri Jun 28, 2013, 04:47 PM

The anti-legalization crew among Democrats

There are Democrats who oppose legalization of marijuana. Unfortunately, the reasons for their opposition are grounded in the same lies that have been passed off as fact by the DEA and the Drug Czar office for years.

The face of this backward stance is Patrick Kennedy.


No stranger to substance abuse, Kennedy long ago made public his battle with depression and alcohol and drug abuse, including an addiction to the pain reliever OxyContin. In 2006, he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car into a barrier near the U.S. Capitol. His problems forced him to retire from the House of Representatives.

“In spite of the fact that I’m also an asthmatic, I did try and experiment with marijuana, but I quickly migrated to other drugs and alcohol,” he said.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, called Kennedy a hypocrite.

“His family made millions off the sale of alcohol, and we hope that he and his organization recognize that marijuana is far less harmful and that adults should not face penalties just for using it,” said Tvert, adding that Kennedy wants to force marijuana users into “education camps.”

Kennedy claims SAM is a truth-telling organization. That's a lie.

One of many.

But here, I also have to point out Kennedy's basic ignorance.

Although they do not qualify as a scientific study, many marijuana users have found that cannabis actually helps rather than hurts their asthmatic symptoms. You can find statements to this effect online. I know about this from the personal experience of a friend with asthma. I would say to that person...why do you smoke cannabis when you have asthma? And he would say... strangely, my lungs function better than when I don't. At the time of these conversations, I would just think... well, he's just telling himself that because he likes to smoke marijuana.

But, it seems, there is medical proof to back up his and others' claims, as published in The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.

...airway resistance, measured in a body plethysmograph, fell 38 per cent; the functional residual capacity remained unchanged (± 50 ml) throughout, and specific airway conductance increased 44 per cent. Flow-volume loops showed a 45 per cent increase in flow rate at 25 per cent of vital capacity. The low-dose group showed no increase in heart rate but significant, if lesser changes, in airways dynamics. Carbon dioxide sensitivity, measured by rebreathing remained unchanged in both groups.

Marihuana smoke, unlike cigarette smoke, causes bronchodilatation rather than bronchoconstriction and, unlike opiates, does not cause central respiratory depression. (N Engl J Med 28885–989, 1973)


Steroid inhalers accomplish the same function, which is bronchodilatation.

Dr. Donald Tashkin has also addressed the counterintuitive but well-grounded scientific research that indicates marijuana inhalation actually results in fewer respiratory problems among subjects than those who have never used cannabis at all. Additional research, published last year, validates Dr. Tashkin's decades-long research into this issue.

Marijuana does not impair lung function—at least not in the doses inhaled by the majority of users, according to the largest and longest study ever to consider the issue, which was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers working on a long-term study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study) tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years, starting in 1985 when they were aged 18 to 30.

They found that marijuana use was almost as common as cigarette smoking in the sample, which was designed to reflect the U.S. population. Among participants, the average marijuana user toked 2-3 times a month, while the average tobacco user smoked eight cigarettes a day. Those who smoked both tended to do so slightly more frequently than those who smoked only cigarettes or only marijuana.

The study was “well conducted” and is “essentially confirmatory of the findings from several previous studies that have examined the association between marijuana smoking and lung function,” says Dr. Donald Tashkin, professor of medicine at UCLA and a leading scientist in the area. He was not associated with the new research.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/10/study-smoking-marijuana-not-linked-with-lung-damage/#ixzz2XXpVAolY

Marmar posted about Tashkin's work here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101645856

That thread includes video, in replies, featuring Tashkin speaking about his work.

Sadly, there are shills whose names are associated with Democratic Party politics who are working to uphold one of the most racist laws in this nation.

Because - here's the truth about Patrick Kennedy. He not only opposes legalization, he also opposes decriminalization - and, contrary to evidence, he also opposes medical marijuana.


"Medical marijuana has been a Trojan horse, really, for decriminalization and legalization. It’s the slippery slope toward legalization,” said Patrick Kennedy, a former congressman who’s the chairman of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a national group that opposes legalization.

Kennedy said he regretted ever supporting medical marijuana and that he feared it would lead to more drug abuse among children.

So, in effect, Patrick Kennedy supports the racist application of the law in the U.S. that has resulted in 800,000 arrests, every year, for possession. He supports the anti-science, anti-civil rights action that is prohibition. He denies the thousands of studies that have indicated that marijuana has actual health benefits. He denies that a company, GW Pharma, is trying to market a product in the U.S. (it's already available in at least four nations) that is nothing but whole-plant cannabis in solvent that is inhaled and used to treat symptoms of MS. He denies that marijuana has been shown, in phase II clinical trials, to shrink gliomas (brain tumors.) He denies what epileptics have known, that cannabutter, taken at night, has stopped their seizures. He denies what HIV/AIDS patients found out, in the 1980s, that medical marijuana SAVED THEIR LIVES by allowing them to keep down their medicines and to not die from wasting away.

That's who Patrick Kennedy is - a person in denial.

On the other hand, various state party platforms have supported legalization as part of their campaign platforms - including Texas - and we have legislators at the state and federal level who are working to overcome the stupidity and backward thinking of other Democrats, like Patrick Kennedy.

This issue is a line in the sand.

Democrats should think long and hard before they start cozying up to Bush appointees like David Frum, as Patrick Kennedy has done. You will find yourselves on the wrong side of history. And, if you're Patrick Kennedy, you will find yourself lying about medical research in order to pay your salary. Pitiful.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 04:55 PM

1. I saw him on Real Time with Maher

Patrck Kennedy is an idiot,and a liar. Mind your own business a hole

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Response to mitchtv (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 04:57 PM

2. I think the generous view is that he's an idiot

at least on this issue.

he reminds me of Robert Kennedy and this anti-vax nonsense, another stance that is truly harmful to people in this nation.

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Response to mitchtv (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 06:49 PM

11. I think the Anti-anydrug stance comes from battling his own addictions

Sort of like an alcoholic who jumps on the wagon and then wants everyone else to stop drinking, even those without a problem.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #11)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 09:25 PM

12. very well could be

alcoholics have a hard time understanding that others can drink socially and occasionally and alcohol has little or no impact on their lives.

...which makes them poor judges of such issues, since they seem to lack the capacity to empathize with those whose lives are not like theirs.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:02 PM

13. or so it appears

ex abuser wants everyone to go without cause he can't control himself

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 04:58 PM

3. See: Mayor's Committee on Marihuana, by the New York Academy of Medicine


commissioned by Fiorello La Guardia, 1944:


Suppress, suppress, supress!!!

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Response to HiddenAgenda63 (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 05:05 PM

5. A great moment in history - LaGuardia called out the liars on both mj and alcohol prohibition

There's also a link to this study in the Drug Policy Forum here.


LaGuardia Report from 1941 Indicates U.S. Waged Propaganda Campaign Against Cannabis

Back in the 1940s, Frank LaGuardia, mayor of NYC, wanted to test the scare claims made by the anti-drug warriors that created prohibition in the 1930s because he was skeptical. (Many of these same claims are continually recycled.)

His large-scale study and report debunked the claims made by the prohibitionists. Nevertheless, LaGuardia was attacked. It turns out his report was one of a few done at the time (others were in Canada and Great Britain and in the U.S. Army) that indicated there was no danger of physical addiction or physical or mental deterioration for those who smoked over a period of years. You can read LaGuardia's study and conclusion here:


Since the LaGuardia Commission Report, published in 1944, our govt has known that marijuana is nothing like the claims they have made against it to justify prohibition. In spite of this reality, the Boggs Act of 1951 created harsher penalties for possession than this nation had for serial killers and rapists. The reason for this was that marijuana use was considered something done by African and Latin -Americans...and movie stars and musicians.

When a sociology professor published research in the 1950s that debunked misinformation spread by our govt., his phone was tapped, the federal govt (FBN - federal bureau of narcotics) tried to suppress his work and they also tried to get the FBI to find a way to associate this professor with the communist scare of the time. When Canada created a public service documentary that indicated the FBN stereotypes of addicts and drug fiends were lies, this govt. org. sought to ban the film. This professor (of sociology at Indiana University, fwiw) spoke out about this abuse of govt power that sought to interfere with the medical treatment of people with addictions. Finally, the ACLU, the AMA (American Medical Asso.) and the American Bar Asso. spoke out in defense of this professor and this film - and against the govt. lies.

(Out of this experience, an independent org. began that was dedicated to issues of public heath and science, rather than scare campaigns and propaganda. That group eventually merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to create the current Drug Policy Alliance - a group that still works to provide information based upon research and science.)

On its website, the Drug Policy Alliance notes that: Numerous published studies suggest that marijuana has medical value in treating patients with serious illnesses such as AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and chronic pain.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 05:04 PM

4. I can't believe we're still arresting people for possession.

It serves no purpose except to supply the prisons with free labor. As a policy, it is worthless. As a practice, it is 100% corrupt.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 05:09 PM

6. Kennedy opposes even medical marijuana

I was shocked to read his statement.

But he's on record, and, again, he's lying.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 05:15 PM

7. That is pretty shocking to find out.

I didn't even know he was against it. It is sad that he's using his fame this way.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 06:47 PM

10. I agree.

What's even worse is that he promotes the idea of marijuana as major problem for physiological abuse, which is, again, another lie.

He wants to FORCE people who are arrested for possession into drug treatment programs.

What research on this issue has shown, however, is that the majority of people who plead down their possession arrests and get drug treatment programs instead test negative for marijuana when their treatment starts.

There's a lag between arrest and sentencing, iow, and, during that lag, people simple stop using.

This is not the profile of an addict.

So, there's another LIE he choses to tell to the public, about the issue of physiological abuse. Our own govt. states that marijuana is as addictive as caffeine... and that means it is not a danger as an addictive substance.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 05:24 PM

8. He's got his wires crossed to think this stuff is comparable to that shit he was hooked on


Maybe he was forced into some type of anti-drug deal to avoid a long sentence or something. His stance seems too ridiculous

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 05:28 PM

9. All I know is that he's participating in another propaganda war

just like LaGuardia wrote about decades ago.

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