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Meet Washington's New Drug Czar: Mark Kleiman

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    Meet Washington's New Drug Czar: Mark Kleiman

    Veteran cannabis rights warrior Russ Belville highlighted Washington's new cannabis czar, UCLA professor Mark Kleiman. (If you're not regularly listening to Russ' show, I recommend checking him out.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qMnniBQWxI

    Belville quotes Kleiman on a number of statements that suggest Kleiman is an establishment choice, a quasi-"Reefer Madness" believer and firm upholder of the status quo. Kleiman often takes the "third way" approach of the kinder, gentler prohibitionists at Project Sam, wherein one appears to be reasonable and centrist while being firmly against cannabis.

    So I did a little research on Kleiman, and found an interview with CNN's Wall Street insider, Erin Burnett.

    This clip opens with Burnett, like most MSM asshats, unable to contain the hilarity of discussing marijuana on TV with a professor. She immediately wants to confirm that he has tested it out. After hearing his quotes on Belville's show I can assure you he hasn't.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUANMADEWLs

    "The only way to make money [for the state via marijuana sales] is to sell it to people who use a lot of it, and that's not a good thing."

    He did mention that it doesn't make sense to criminalize the behavior of so many average citizens, and he is actually an adult, unlike Erin Burnett. But Kleiman is by no means a friend to the cannabis community.

    From Belville's coverage:

    Kleiman said in 2010 "There's one problem with legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis at the state level -- it can't be done. It's going to have to be done at the federal level. Any other approach is a pipe dream." (Because we with the pipes are the delusional ones here -- legalization is impossible, 'mkay?)

    Most readers of IC Mag will immediately see the fail in this position. Bottom-up change is always more solid and lasting than top-down. Here, Kleiman is spreading the propaganda of the powers that be. Kleiman would seem an odd choice to spearhead a project that he does not believe is possible.

    Now that the magical unicorn of legalization has crapped in his corn flakes, Kleiman claims legalization at the state level would cut the price of marijuana by about 90%. The man is a professor of public policy at UCLA, which may lead people to (incorrectly) believe that there's some sort of reality behind his calculations.

    Kleiman claims that an ounce currently selling for $300 at a California dispensary would cost $40-$50 in a fully legal state. As Belville said, "If you're going to pick the over/under on that, I'd pick the over." What the hell does Belville know about it? He only smokes marijuana every day. Washington State is apparently relying on Kleiman's financial projections.

    Kleiman disagreed with Belville that better marijuana at lower prices would be a good thing. Kleiman referenced an ad for some premium scotch, saying that if the difference in price between the top shelf and the ordinary scotch matters to you, you're drinking too much.

    He then goes on to show how deeply into his own ass he has to reach to get his numbers. Belville, again, smokes cannabis every single day, has done so for years, knows lots of people who also have done so for years. In other words, Belville has information from the reality-based community. (This is ironic, since Kleiman has a column on http://www.samefacts.com/, the reality-based community.)

    Kleiman: If paying -- what's a joint cost these days, of good-quality pot? Maybe --

    Belville: 7, 10 bucks.

    Kleiman: $4.

    Belville: Sure.

    Kleiman: Yeah, alright, and it'll keep two people stoned for four hours roughly. So they're paying 50 cents an hour to get stoned. The candy bar that they eat because they got the munchies cost more than the pot did.

    For me, you can pretty much stop right there. Kleiman makes up numbers and scenarios out of whole cloth. Please let me know where I can get a $4 joint that will last two people four hours. I will run there.

    References to "the munchies" put you at the Erin Burnett level of credibility, reminiscent of Gov. Hickenlooper's regrettable statement urging us to not reach for the goldfish crackers.

    He goes on:

    Kleiman: If the price of the pot matters, you're smoking too much pot.

    Belville: Apparently there's some magical level at which you've had too much, and Mark Kleiman knows what it is.

    Kleiman details a strategy of acknowledging that some people will always use "too much", and the state would be best served by making it legal but as expensive as possible, and try to limit the marketing. That is Kleiman's policy statement. The fact that the state chose him speaks volumes.

    Then again, it's by no means a winning position, and they won't hold it long anyway, so (at least as someone who doesn't live in Washington) it's easy enough for me to shrug off. He will do nothing but help us get the drawbridge open -- not speaking of the citizens of Washington, now, but the entire cannabis community. Looking back from history we'll be grateful for him.

    Belville covers one last moronic Kleiman quote, Kleiman's comparison of cannabis to tobacco in terms of deaths. According to Kleiman, claiming that nobody ever died of smoking marijuana is silly, because by those terms nobody's ever died of smoking tobacco, either.

    Belville unfortunately accepts Kleiman's wrongful assertion that there is no death from nicotine overdose. Not faulting Belville here -- he does extensive research and is usually very well informed, but he's not from a tobacco farming part of the country.

    Here in the south, everyone knows how toxic tobacco is. When it's cut and hung up to dry, the leaves drip onto the workers below. People (often children working on family farms) often become sick as hell from the nicotine contact during harvest, and have to be hosed down like they would with any other contact poison.

    It's entirely possible to die from ingesting nicotine concentrates.

    • Annual deaths from aspirin in the US: 16,500
    • Annual deaths from cancer caused by improperly ordered MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, etc.: 29,000
    • Total proven cannabis-only deaths, recorded history to date: 0

    Washington State has chosen someone with no personal knowledge or insight into marijuana use or culture, whose position is basically passive prohibition (it can't work, make it prohibitively expensive) with occasional concern trolling.

    Before we get upset about this latest attempt to silence our community, let's consider martial arts. The fact is our opponents are taking a very hard stance on something they know nothing about. We've taken their stick away, and they're not happy about having to walk more softly.

    Kleiman won't say whether or not he's personally familiar with cannabis, and explains why to Burnett -- he either gets discredited (or prosecuted) as a "stoner" or is outed not knowing what he's talking about. It's quite clear to this writer that Kleiman has no personal knowledge of cannabis. If he does interact with people in our community, it's obviously limited by his own biases and agenda.

    I say let them try to make it as expensive as humanly possible. In order to do that, they'll have to set up an entire legal framework in which it exists. At that point the genie is out of the bottle. Actually the genie is already out of the bottle. This is what winning looks like.

    Consider Gandhi's famous quote on activism:

    First they ignore you
    Then they mock you
    Then they fight you
    Then you win

    Kleiman's hiring looks like Washington State standing in position 4, clinging desperately to position 3.


    #2
    Nicotine is a toxin, while THC/CBD is a cure. LOL Russia got rid of it's "Czars" way back in 1917, almost 100 years ago. PERMANENTLY!

    Here's who you are complaining about:
    Some love the plants & some like the gadgets, me personally I love the plants & the gadgets!

    Organic hydro? Yes: surfactants, emulsifiers, pest control & micronutrients + chelation/absorption aids. Bennies in hydro? No.

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      #3
      The whole 'bid' process for that position was a farce, a requirement they had to go through the motions. Liq control board had its own short list of establishment goons... they had this guy picked before the bid was even announced. I could be wrong, but it always felt that wa had a govt vs people mentality, where people (citizens of the state) just fucked up the govt. Should be interesting to watch.

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        #4
        Am I allowed to call him a ****???? I don't want to violate TOU, but if the shoe fits????? He is ushering BIG PHARMA through the door....THEY want to control OUR meds........fuck that, I GROW, and my meds are better than his...nanananabooboo, stick your head in doo doo, my meds are green, and yours are obscene!!!!!!! OVERGROW that prick.......and GOVT!!!!!!! They can't get us all!!!!!

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          #5
          new approach?

          there is nothing new under the sun

          my concern is for homogenizing and standardizing the "product" ~the same as has been done w/ our food/pasteurize, process &, preserve so it can packaged, shipped &, handled

          a deleterious effect on the medicinal quality/maybe even poisoning it so it can finally be said the people are dying from pot

          spin? maybe

          but this is our food we are talking about {food is our medicine and our medicine is food}

          and that is what has been done w/ our food

          and look, i have given you every herb bearing seed as food ~homogenized and standardized? and they want to make sure there's none of those icky micro living things in it ~living food makes living people/dead food?

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            #6
            ^^^^ but the nice thing is i can grow ALL my own food and raise all my meat as an option to the chemical laden foods sold at stores.

            let big business maximize profit by using harmful stuff in the growing/harvesting process or by genetically modifying it and the bigger dollar market will be dominated by the micro-brewer mentality of grower where quality is top priority.

            how long will they be willing to sustain low profit due to low sales volume and leave the Canna-Industry..........they will grow hemp where their business model will work.

            jmo
            “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.

            [DEA Administrative Law Judge - 1988]”


            Francis Young



            Time to kill the spasms

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              #7
              i hope for the best too

              and here i really think the best is for way numerous small growers to have the opportunity and big bz/corporates to just stay rich on the obscene wealth they already have

              of course if the fed gets 50% that means the small growers will be getting 75 cents a gram ~kinda seems like its structured to the benefit of the massive farm

              maybe they should just leave us alone?

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                #8
                Originally posted by xmobotx View Post
                maybe they should just leave us alone?

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                  #9
                  Mark is an insulting asshole, I threatened to punch him onstage at SF Norml 2009

                  This guy called the entire audience zonkheads at SF Norml during his speech so during the q/a sees I told him I didn't appreciate the condescension or name calling and if he did it again I'd punch him. I got a round of applause.
                  It was a big mistake to hire him considering his hostility to our cause.

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                    #10
                    He confirmed he was a smoke partner of the Norml board of directors, recreational not even medical.

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                      #11
                      The citizens of WA did NOT choose this guy.
                      "If you ever come across another Cannabis consultant who talks more about genetics and yield rather than cleaning protocols you're in trouble." - Fresh Start

                      "Twisting glistening
                      Through steel blades the branches slip
                      Snip turns into stick" - JackCough

                      My summer 2017 greenhouse

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                        #12
                        New Czar is the same as the old czar. Big surprise there.
                        “Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.” – Thomas Jefferson

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                          #13
                          the guys a dick.
                          tptb don't want us using something that won't make us sick.
                          "when i run outta weed, i smoke match sticks...
                          that first hit is FIRE!!!"


                          "I'm not always a dick...but when I am, I drink cheap beer".

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