Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hypocrite's Guide to Forgetting

1. Wear a poppy for Remembrance Day.
2. Be silent for two minutes.
3. Carry on as before.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

In Search of the Golden Proof

With the current cannabinoid evil being psychosis (having lost its claim to murder, rape and insanity), I've been anticipating that hordes of thirsty researchers will have been digging for the golden proof, and then finding fame and fortune.

I've checked daily over the past year and found no new proofs reported.

Well, they're still digging. Though at a different angle this time.

The Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology has published the findings of researchers seeking to prove that cannabis use is a gateway to subsequent use of other drugs such as heroin.

What they actually claim their research proves is: "Adolescent Cannabis Exposure Alters Opiate Intake and Opioid Limbic Neuronal Populations in Adult Rats".

This is how it's done:
Adolescent Cannabis Exposure
"The rats were exposed to THC... In order to mimic the intermittent use seen in teenagers, the drug was given once every third day; this resulted in a total of eight injections. One week after the last injection, heroin self-administration (outlined below) was initiated in one set of animals and brains were taken in another group of rats for post-mortem studies."

Intravenous Heroin Self-Administration
"The animals were first trained to self-administer intravenous infusions of 15 g/kg heroin. After 6 days, the dose of heroin was increased to 30 g/kg/infusion and the rats received one priming infusion at the start of the following 1–4 sessions, until they started to press on their own."

"None of the rats acquired self-administration at the heroin dose of 15 g/kg/infusion during the time period studied. When the dose was increased to 30 g/kg/infusion and in combination with modest autoshaping (one drug prime and food restriction), all animals acquired self-administration behavior."
I think the key phrase here is 'modest autoshaping'.
(ie, if at first you don't succeed, then modestly autoshape)

These researchers do have a way with words. It reminds me of the New Zealand study on cannabis use and psychosis (sited as reference by the rat students above) where they measure psychosis in the tidiest way imaginable:
"Confirmatory factor analysis of the item set has shown previously that the items formed a unidimensional scale reflecting the extent of psychotic symptomatology."
Meaning, as I wrote in a previous post, that they'd already proven that all the psychotic symptoms they'd listed are equal in weight, and together make up the full range of symptoms. Nice work if you can get it.

Where is the proof that is so eagerly sought? The proof that will allow so many desperate 'decent' citizens to relieve their frustration with: "I knew it! I was right all the time about those lazy, good-for-nuthin' layabout hippie types. A spell in the army would sort them out."

Pass me a rat and a scalpel, please.

Monday, July 10, 2006

In Charge of the Pain Button

The numb and fusty husks who run this world will have things their way. We put them in charge but the power gets to them and they inflate to become as grand as their title.

In Germany

In May last year the German Federal Administrative Court ruled that certificates of exemption can be issued for the therapeutic use of cannabis.

On 5 July this year the Federal Institute for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products sent identical letters to applicants seeking permission to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. In the time-honoured manner of state officials they are being as awkward as possible. For example, they demand the storage of cannabis in a safe or in rooms made of reinforced concrete, and a certificate documenting the patient’s experience in the handling of narcotics.

In America

In the USA, the saga grinds on (giving, at the same time, another lesson in the strange contrary mechanics of today's abstract and perhaps non-existent ideal - our battlecry - 'democracy').

On 28 June, The House of Representatives voted to continue to allow federal prosecution of patients who use cannabis for medical purposes in states with laws that permit it. By a 259-163 vote, the House again turned down an amendment that would have blocked the Justice Department from prosecuting people in the 11 states with such medical marijuana laws.

The arrogance (and ignorance, too, I strongly declare) of these, our public servants, trying with all their wimpish might to hold back the forces of change and enlightenment, is laughable - if you're not in pain.

Source: IACM-Bulletin of 9 July 2006