Pubdate: Tue, 07 Mar 2006
Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA)
Column: Cannabinotes
Copyright: 2006 Anderson Valley Advertiser
Author: Fred Gardner
Bookmark: (Dr. Philip A. Denney)
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Pro-marijuana activists from the Beltway to Oaksterdam have been 
forwarding, with comments expressing praise and thanks, George 
Melloan's Feb. 21 Wall St. Journal op-ed piece, "Musings About the 
War on Drugs."  Six of seven members of the WSJ editorial board agree 
with Melloan, according to reliable sources. Letters to the paper 
have been heavily supportive of his libertarian and tactical 
arguments, which included:

"The drug war has become costly, with some $50 billion in direct 
outlays by all levels of government, and much higher indirect costs, 
such as the expanded prison system to house half a million drug-law 
offenders and the burdens on the court system. Civil rights sometimes 
are infringed. One sharply rising expense is for efforts to interdict 
illegal drug shipments into the U.S., which is budgeted at $1.4 
billion this fiscal year, up 41% from two years ago.

"A good case can be made that U.S.-sponsored efforts to eradicate 
coca crops in Latin America are winning converts among Latin peasants 
to the anti-American causes of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's 
Hugo Chavez. Their friend Evo Morales was just elected president of 
Bolivia mainly by the peasant following he won by opposing a 
U.S.-backed coca-eradication program... More seriously, Mexico is 
being destabilized by drug gangs warring over access to the lucrative 
U.S. market.

"Milton Friedman saw the problem. To the extent that authorities 
curtail supplies of marijuana, cocaine and heroin coming into the 
rich U.S. market, the retail price of these substances goes up, 
making the trade immensely profitable--tax-free, of course. The more 
the U.S. spends on interdiction, the more incentive it creates for 
taking the risk of running drugs."

The activists' admiration for Melloan was typified in a letter from 
Howard J. Wooldridge of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that the 
Journal published March 7: "As a police officer, I worked the 
trenches of the war on drugs for 18 years. Mr. Melloan's comments 
were right on. I would add that as we chase pot smokers, etc., we 
have less time to arrest DUIs, pedophiles and people who fly 
airplanes into buildings. As a detective, 75% of my case load was 
generated by drug prohibition. Drug gangs now plague medium and even 
small towns. What part of this policy is benefiting America? None of it."

To the right of Wooldridge's letter (and a complementary one from 
Jack Cole, also of LEAP), ran George Melloan's latest op-ed, a 
four-column exercise in speculation contending that Saddam Hussein 
was involved with the bombing of the World Trade Center; that the 
bombers mailed anthrax to recipients in the US (before taking off); 
and that the CIA is preventing the American people from learning the 
relevant facts!

Melloan wants the Administration to make public "captured documents 
that *might* reveal what schemes Saddam Hussein had cooked up to 
retaliate against the U.S. for the indignities thrust upon him during 
and after his 1991 Desert Storm defeat. Those included a UN embargo, 
arms inspections, a no-fly zone and occasional bombing attacks." 
[U.S. doctors estimate that 500,000 Iraqis, most of them children 
deprived of medicines, died as a result of these 
"indignities."]  According to Melloan, "Saddam *may once have* 
offered sanctuary to bin Laden himself," and "CIA denials to the 
contrary, his emissary *may have* met with hijacker in chief Mohammed Atta...

"*If Saddam was complicit in the plot,* what more likely suspect 
could you find than a dictator who had used poison gas against both 
Iran and his own people and who *was suspected by the United Nations* 
of having caches of lethal chemicals? Those truck convoys that set 
out for Syria before the 2003 invasion *easily could have* carried 
the entire supply. *Is it so implausible that* Saddam's envoy Ahmed 
Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, an Iraqi government official who worked 
at the Iraqi embassy in Prague, *might have* slipped terrorist Atta a 
packet of weaponized anthrax at the rendezvous that the CIA claims 
never happened?"

Melloan thinks "a cabal within that dysfunctional bureaucracy [the 
CIA!] is doing all it can to undermine a Republican president... It 
has a lot to do with the political guerrilla warfare that (Valerie 
Plame's) Democrat husband is waging against the administration." 
Melloan's whacko op-ed ends with a revealing reference to "the jackal 
mentality that afflicts the Beltway when a president's poll numbers 
have been beaten down. One of the shillelaghs being used for that 
purpose might become far less effective *if we ever learn that* 
Saddam was part of the 9/11 plot." A shillelagh is a cudgel. The man 
is saying  that the CIA has withheld the truth about Saddam Hussein's 
villainy so that George W. Bush's popularity could be "beaten down," 
presumably by the liberal media.

Is it pure coincidence that Melloan is musing about an end to the War 
on Drugs as Bush's approval rating slips to 30%?  Or do he and his 
friends on the Wall St. Journal editorial board sense it's time to 
place a libertarian fig-leaf over the capitalist marauder's weaponry 
to conceal his true nature and ultimate objectives? In the instant 
that drug-legalization advocates praise George Melloan for supporting 
their agenda, they confer credibility on his, which is global control 
by capital enforced by the U.S. military. Credibility cuts both ways.

Denney's Law

Previous columns have quoted detailed reports on the investigation of 
Dr. Philip A. Denney's practice by undercover law enforcement 
operatives, and the rationale provided to the Redding 
Record-Searchlight by the perps. Because the investigation was 
focused on a local dispensary, said the police chief and the district 
attorney, Denney wasn't investigated at all.

Denney says that the small spate of publicity has resulted in 
numerous calls to his Redding office from patients concerned about 
the sanctity of their records. "One patient drove all the way from 
Truckee to request that we return his files, which he then drove away 
with."  It made Denney rethink his original decision to publicize the 
intrusion of law enforcement into his practice. He'd been put in a 
bind, he realized: "either risk raising the fear level of my 
patients, or ignore the abuse of my rights -and theirs."

Denney says that the number of patients calling to make appointments 
did not decline in the week after his situation was written up. "In 
general, the circle of patients keeps widening. Prop 215 was like a 
rock thrown into a lake and the ripples keep expanding as a result of 
face-to-face, person-to-person conversations. With every passing day, 
more people hear from somebody they know and trust -somebody they're 
prepared to believe-that cannabis really does have medicinal effect, 
that it worked for them, that the side effects are relatively mild. 
Law enforcement cannot stop this ever-widening circle of 
understanding. That's where the new patients keep coming from."

Denney's observation should have meaning for all political activists. 
In any movement that profoundly challenges the status quo, adherents 
are organized one-on-one. In the medical marijuana movement, ever 
since the passage of Prop 215, the core organizers have been the 
doctors themselves, confirming for some 200,000 patients that there 
is a physiological basis for the relief they've attributed to 
cannabis. The patients become organizers as they explain to friends, 
loved ones and acquaintances that their cannabis use really is 
medicinal and proving by their own example that getting a doctor's 
approvable is do-able.

Some influential activists would have us believe that the perfect 
soundbite, broadcast in the right markets, direct-mailed to the right 
addresses, delivered by pre-recorded message to the right phone 
numbers, will transform America. This is an illusion advanced -not 
coincidentally-by those who claim special expertise in "media 
messaging,"  "controlling the spin," et cetera. The truth is, the way 
to bring new adherents to a movement is one-on-one conversation.

If any young folks out there are thinking about building a party to 
change our society from greed-based to egalitarian, bear in mind 
Denney's Law: Real movements get built person-to-person.

Kubby's Out of Jail

Steve Kubby was let out of Placer County jail Monday after serving 40 
days of a four-month sentence. Good behavior and overcrowding at the 
jail were the ostensible reasons for releasing him; the fact that 
he'd lost 25 pounds in custody may have factored into the decision.

Kubby has a rare form of adrenal cancer that has been in remission 
for some 30 years thanks to cannabis use, he and his doctors are 
convinced.  After Kubby and his wife and two daughters left for 
Vancouver after his conviction in 2000 for possession of a peyote 
button and a psychedelic mushroom. The Kubbys, who lived in South 
Lake tahoe, had been busted for growing 256 plants in their basement; 
a Placer County jury voted not to convict on cultivation-for-sale charges.

Kubby's prescription for Marinol was honored during his recent stint 
in jail, and his blood pressure, which had spiked sharply at first, 
was brought under control.  He left singing the praises of Sheriff Ed 
Bonner and the jail staff who, according to Kubby, were much less 
cynical about medical marijuana than their counterparts had been in 
1999, when he first served time.

In a letter to his jailers seeking to distance himself from the 
negative publicity his incarceration had generated, Kubby wrote that 
he had "developed a profound respect for the professional and highly 
dedicated staff and officers here."  He still faces charges in 
connection with failing to appear at his sentencing in 2001, but as 
of this writing, Steve Kubby is free man, and full of hope for the future.
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