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Dea Laments That “Media Attention” Is Making It Tough To Put People In Jail For Pot

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DEA laments that “media attention” is making it tough to put people in jail for pot
 
 
By Christopher Ingraham December 8

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

In the Drug Enforcement Administration's annual survey of the nation's law enforcement agencies, heroin remained the top concern in 2016 — head-and-shoulders above all other illicit drugs — while marijuana was a drug of negligible concern. Only 4.9 percent of law enforcement respondents named it their most worrisome drug, down slightly from 6 percent last year.

Concern or not, marijuana remains illegal for all purposes under federal law, a policy the DEA emphatically reiterated this past summer. To that end, the DEA devoted 22 pages of its Drug Threat Assessment to pot — considerably more real estate than it devoted to, say, prescription painkillers (16 pages), which kill more than 14,000 people per year.

Many of those 22 pages on the idiosyncrasies of state-level medical and recreational marijuana laws, as well as marijuana use trends in legalization states and nationwide. Most of that information will be familiar to anyone who has been following the legalization story closely.

[Marijuana wins big on election night]

However, the DEA makes the interesting claim, not present in last year's Threat Assessment, that “media attention” to marijuana issues is making it more difficult to enforce marijuana laws and prosecute people who violate them. The agency also appears to blame the media for spreading inaccurate information about the legality and effects of marijuana use.

The report says:

Many states have passed laws allowing the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana within their respective states. Due to these varying state laws, as well as an abundance of media attention surrounding claims of possible medical benefits, the general public has been introduced to contradictory and often inaccurate information regarding the legality and benefits of marijuana use. This has made enforcement and prosecution for marijuana-related offenses more difficult, especially in states that have approved marijuana legalization.

Certainly, there's a fair amount of misinformation about marijuana circulating online. Some overzealous advocates mistakenly believe that marijuana is “safe,” full-stop, or that marijuana is not addictive. The messier reality is that, like any other drug, the use of marijuana comes with a certain number of risks, including the risk of addiction and dependency — even if those risks are generally less severe than the risks associated with, say, alcohol.

But it's unclear exactly what media reports the DEA is referring to in its Drug Threat Assessment, or what concrete effect those reports may be having on enforcement. The DEA did not respond to a request for clarification from The Washington Post.

To the extent that the public is misinformed on the risks and benefits of marijuana use, some of that misinformation originated with the DEA. The previous administrator of the agency, Michele Leonhart, famously refused in 2012 to admit that crack and heroin are more harmful than marijuana (the agency didn't officially reverse this position until 2015).

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In recent years, the DEA has attempted to convince lawmakers that non-psychoactive hemp plants could get people high (they can't) and also seized shipments of industrial hemp seeds, prompting a lawsuit from the state of Kentucky.

The DEA has also repeatedly promoted the notion that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder substances. But that's not the position of the National Institute on Drug Abusethe attorney general, whose purview includes the DEA; or of most researchers who study the drug.

In opposing various recreational and medical marijuana bills, DEA agents have testified before state legislatures, sometimes making outlandish claims. In one case, a DEA agent in Utah warned that wild rabbits might develop a taste for marijuana if medical use of the plant were approved there.

The DEA also has a lengthy history of casting aspersions on the idea of “medical” marijuana. Most recently, the acting administrator of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, called medical marijuana “a joke.” This statement overlooks an ample body of research suggesting that smoked marijuana is an effective treatment for ailments such as chronic pain and muscle stiffness. Researchers also say smoked marijuana holds promise for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in troops, and studies have shown that medical marijuana availability reduces the reliance on deadly opioid painkillers.

Such misconceptions have driven the federal government's 40-year war on marijuana, which has resulted in the drug's classification in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act for that time period, alongside heroin.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/08/dea-laments-that-media-attention-is-making-it-tough-to-put-people-in-jail-for-pot/?utm_term=.c2143f2aa74f

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Inside Putin's Campaign Of Social Media Trolling And Faked Ukrainian Crimes
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Vladimir Putin uses an invisible army of social media propagandists, in addition to conventional media, to support his narrative of an out-of-control Ukraine, to spread fabrications of atrocities by Ukrainian extremists, and to unleash destabilizing rumors on east Ukraine. If Ukraine unmasks the myths of Russia’s disinformation war, Putin’s target audiences, at home and abroad, must eventually reject his whole narrative.

Vladimir Putin secretly handed out awards to 300 journalists for their “objective coverage” of events in Ukraine (See: Irish Times, "Pro-Kremlin journalists secretly given awards by Putin"). The Orders of Service to the Fatherland they received were not disclosed until a respected newspaper, Vedemosti, published the details. Mr. Putin does not particularly want to advertise the vital role of propaganda in what analyst, Yulia Latynina, calls his New Type of War against Ukraine–hence the understated awards ceremony.

Putin’s Orders of Service reward his visible army of TV, print and on-line journalists. Left out are the equally importantinvisible cogs of his propaganda machine; namely, the social networkers, rumor-mongerers, and the armies of trolls, poised to attack any unfavorable media. This invisible, clandestine army, toiling away in obscurity, is an indispensable weapon in peddling the Russian narrative of “neo-Nazi extremists” backed by the U. S. state department and NATO, who usurped control from the “democratically-elected” Ukrainian president. We know Putin’s visible media and can evaluate it as such. We cannot say the same for Putin’s social media warriors, who operate behind a veil of secrecy, anonymity, and assumed identities.

As a personal example: within a few minutes of my posting of just about any Russia or Ukraine article on Forbes.com, the trolls flood the comments section with insulting, cajoling, combatative, and ad hominem attacks, overwhelming the possibility of any meaningful dialog. I am not alone. TheGuardian readers' editor reports 40,000 comments a day by an “orchestrated pro-Kremlin campaign” of pro-Russia trolling on Ukraine stories.

 

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Inside Putin's Campaign Of Social Media Trolling And Faked Ukrainian Crimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vladimir Putin uses an invisible army of social media propagandists, in addition to conventional media, to support his narrative of an out-of-control Ukraine, to spread fabrications of atrocities by Ukrainian extremists, and to unleash destabilizing rumors on east Ukraine. If Ukraine unmasks the myths of Russia’s disinformation war, Putin’s target audiences, at home and abroad, must eventually reject his whole narrative.

Vladimir Putin secretly handed out awards to 300 journalists for their “objective coverage” of events in Ukraine (See: Irish Times, "Pro-Kremlin journalists secretly given awards by Putin"). The Orders of Service to the Fatherland they received were not disclosed until a respected newspaper, Vedemosti, published the details. Mr. Putin does not particularly want to advertise the vital role of propaganda in what analyst, Yulia Latynina, calls his New Type of War against Ukraine–hence the understated awards ceremony.

Putin’s Orders of Service reward his visible army of TV, print and on-line journalists. Left out are the equally importantinvisible cogs of his propaganda machine; namely, the social networkers, rumor-mongerers, and the armies of trolls, poised to attack any unfavorable media. This invisible, clandestine army, toiling away in obscurity, is an indispensable weapon in peddling the Russian narrative of “neo-Nazi extremists” backed by the U. S. state department and NATO, who usurped control from the “democratically-elected” Ukrainian president. We know Putin’s visible media and can evaluate it as such. We cannot say the same for Putin’s social media warriors, who operate behind a veil of secrecy, anonymity, and assumed identities.

As a personal example: within a few minutes of my posting of just about any Russia or Ukraine article on Forbes.com, the trolls flood the comments section with insulting, cajoling, combatative, and ad hominem attacks, overwhelming the possibility of any meaningful dialog. I am not alone. TheGuardian readers' editor reports 40,000 comments a day by an “orchestrated pro-Kremlin campaign” of pro-Russia trolling on Ukraine stories.

 

 

What really disturbs me is the idea that Donald Trump and his minions practically idolize these communist oligarchs. WTF is happening to the USA?

 

Wait, wait don't tell me. It's a bad case of stupid that has swept the country, right?

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What really disturbs me is the idea that Donald Trump and his minions practically idolize these communist oligarchs. WTF is happening to the USA?

 

Wait, wait don't tell me. It's a bad case of stupid that has swept the country, right?

You are correct 100%

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What is that law that requires that DEA employees must work against legalization? They don't want to see it because interdicton is a huge cash cow. They are butthurt.

Edited by GregS

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Seems to me that the USA (and maybe the world for that matter) is splitting down two sides - pro pot and anti pot.

 

Pro pot people are, well, (insert cliche) we all know how pro pot people are.

 

Anti pot people are like Vladimir Putin. They all feel that pot proliferation is a threat to their world - and they are probably right.

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What really disturbs me is the idea that Donald Trump and his minions practically idolize these communist oligarchs. WTF is happening to the USA?

 

Wait, wait don't tell me. It's a bad case of stupid that has swept the country, right?

Stupid? look in the mirror 

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This reminds me of a police officer a few years ago in one of the cities in Michigan that legalized MJ possession or maybe made MJ enforcement LEO's lowest priority - I don't recall - who said something like, "Since when did the people get to tell us what laws to enforce."

 

Citizens sure are inconvenient, aren't they?

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If he's a con man, then don't people have to be a little bit stupid to be taken in by his game?

Yup. But no one likes to be called stupid. When Michigan is a red state now you can offend a lot of stupid people really quickly. lol

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If he's a con man, then don't people have to be a little bit stupid to be taken in by his game?

 

No. Con artists succeed by playing on basic human frailties like greed, fear, insecurity etc. They tell you they have what it takes to fix your particular problem and when you play along they clean you out.

 

Like Trump University or ACN as examples. Just a common grifter but more successful than most.

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