Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Musings: Best and Worst

Lazing in that luxurious place between sleep and wakefulness, after a pleasant dream, the dog next door barks, which causes Koko to bark, which causes my eyes to fly open to pink light streaming through the window. Preparing to walk, a shower arrives and we return to the prone and wait, emerging to find an orange sphere rising from a smoldering bed of dusky scarlet.

Gray fringe drifts toward the mountains, carrying rainbow fragments, drops drip from trees, sparkling like jewels, sunlight reaches out and touches the dark slopes of Makaleha, bringing them to life in a sheen of green-gold.

Yes, morning is always the best part of the day.

I’m not sure which is worse, that the Kauai cops are force-feeding people propaganda about marijuana, or that The Garden Island, via KPD lapdog Paul Curtis, is dutifully and unquestioningly reprinting it.

I’m talking about today’s article, which has Officer Mark Ozaki claiming that people “hooked on the ‘new,’ more-potent, quick-growing strains of Kaua‘i marijuana are breaking into homes and vacation rentals seeking money to fund their habits.”

Since Paul obviously didn’t ask, I will: Hey, Ofc. Ozaki and Chief Perry, could you please provide some hard data to back up that wild claim? And while we’re at it, if so many people are getting hooked on Kauai-grown weed, which grows from seed to maturity in 28 days, no less, uh huh, yeah right, what does that say about the effectiveness of Green Harvest?

Meanwhile, the real story, which Paul buries, and then minimizes with a DEA website comment about how “drug legalizers use ‘medical marijuana’ as a red herring to advocate broader legalization of drug use,” is that the cops stole a man’s registered medical marijuana during Green Harvest.

Ironically, the article ends with this:

“I’m not trying to scare you guys but I guess it’s good if I do,” said Ozaki, adding a simple but powerful message: “Don’t be an easy victim.”

Yeah, Paul, don’t be an easy victim. Cuz ya know, there’s a sucker born every minute. And Ofc. Ozaki, you might wanna stop popping the pain pills (how come you consider them legit, but not doctor-prescribed medical mj?) and quit lying to the kids.

In other real news, KIUC has agreed to buy biodiesel from Kauai Farm Fuel. Now this is true alternative energy that’s locally produced from used cooking oil. The oil used to be illegally dumped or shipped to Oahu until Adam Asquith started picking it up from restaurants and turning it into a better grade of diesel fuel than petroleum, with the help of his wife, Bonnie.

What’s good about this story, which I reported a while back for the now defunct and archiveless Kauai People, is not just the way Adam turns trash into treasure, but how he turned his concerns about peak oil and the need for alternative fuel into both positive action and a successful small business. Way to go, Adam.

And way to go, southsiders who are ripping out naupaka taking over Poipu Beach, with very good results.

Now, if Caren Diamond tried that on the North Shore, she’d be arrested. Perhaps the southside oceanfront landowners are less rabid. Or maybe it’s because the clearing there is being done by a retired county worker, who is also a local boy, with the assistance of current county workers.

At any rate, since the state has passed legislation that prohibits landowners from deliberately planting vegetation that prevents beach access, it would be great to see this clearing effort extend all around the island. The highest wash of the waves determines the public corridor, so vegetation in that corridor needs to be removed.

Hey, I just got an idea. Why not put the cops to work on that version of Green Harvest? They'd be doing something useful, and they wouldn't have to annoy us with their low-flying helicopters.


Unknown said...

Great to hear that the state is strengthening public access. I wonder, though, how do you know if plantings are deliberate? Also, the article had this comment:

"Sagum said one of those Waimea homes has a bunch of coconut trees planted, but those are to avoid further erosion."

Does the new legislation define what is necessary for erosion protection? And is it possible that north shore naupaka not fit that definition, but west side coconut trees do?

Anonymous said...

One of the first major studies to debunk the gateway theory was commissioned by New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1938. The six year study, conducted by a team of scientists from the New York Academy of Medicine, was the most comprehensive, extensive marijuana fact-finding mission since the Indian Hemp Drug Commission released its monumental approximately 50 years earlier. Released in 1944 as "The LaGuardia Report," the study found that:

"The use of marijuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction. ...The instances are extremely rare where the habit of marihuana (sic) smoking is associated with addiction to these narcotics."[2][3]

In 1972, President Richard Nixon appointed a panel of politicians and leading addiction scholars to examine federal policy regarding marijuana. The commission, headed by former Pennsylvania governor Raymond P. Schafer, contracted a study of 105 middle class California marijuana smokers to investigate marijuana's alleged gateway potential. According to the commision's findings,

"With the exception of marihuana (sic) and hashish, no drug was used by more than 25 percent of this population and this use was almost exclusively experimental."

This led the commission to conclude that,

"incidence of other drug use was relatively low, [even among] frequent marihuana users."

Regarding the patterns of use among adolescent marijuana users, the commission stated that,

"a majority of [high school marijuana users] have used no other illicit drug, and they tend to be experimental or intermittent users of marihuana (sic)."[4]

The issue of marijuana's purported gateway effect was explored yet again several years later in a federally contracted study for the Center for Studies of Narcotics and Drug Abuse of the National Institute of Mental Health. Directed by Drs. Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas of the Research Institute for the Study of Man and conducted in Jamaica, the study was hailed as "the first intensive multidiscplinary study of marijuana use to be published."[5] Summarizing the findings of the study in the July 4, 1975 issue of Science Magazine, Dr. Erich Goode of the State university of New York at Stony Brook wrote:

"One of the more interesting findings to emerge from this study relates to the 'stepping-stone' hypothesis. ... Nothing like that occurs among heavy, chronic ganja smokers of Jamaica. No other drugs were used, aside from aspirin, tea, alcohol, and tobacco. The only hard drug use known on the island is indulged by North American tourists."[6]
Further support for this theory is provided by the Netherlands where marijuana is allowed to be purchased openly in government-regulated "coffee shops" designed specifically to separate young marijuana users from illegal markets where harder drugs are sold. As a result, just 1.8 percent of Dutch youth report having tried cocaine and 75 percent of adult cannabis users do not report other drug use.[14][15] Consequently, it seems that when the cannabis markets are effectively separated from the harder drugs, marijuana is clearly a "terminus" rather than a gateway drug.

Although the gateway theory still remains a staple in prohibitionist rhetoric, the facts indicate it to be a blatant falsehood.

Anonymous said...

From TGI "Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the U.S., and may cause lung cancer, according to a video shown Sunday night."

False Propaganda.

The truth is: In 2006, a government funded study at UCLA concluded that marijuana was not connected to lung cancer, and instead showed some signs of reducing cancer. This wasn’t what the National Institute of Health was expecting to hear from their friends in lab-coats over at UCLA. Other universities have also weighed in on the topic. Researchers from Brown University, Boston University, Louisiana State University and the University of Minnesota teamed up this year to publish their findings in the August issue of Cancer Prevention Research, explaining the linkage between consistent marijuana use and reduced risk of head and neck cancer.

Writing in the August issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, investigators from Rhode Island's Brown University, along with researchers at Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota reported that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a "significantly reduced risk" of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Sure wish the government would stop feeding us crap - and tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Casey said --how do you know if plantings are deliberate?

Try look for the drip line irrigation.

As for Sagum, probably its his relative's house.

Anonymous said...

"And 98 percent of drug-overdose deaths involve people who started down the drug road by smoking marijuana, states the video."

And 98 percent of drug-overdose deaths involve people who started down the drug road by drinking cow milk.

Anonymous said...

You guys aren't kidding anybody. All my (perfectly healthy) pothead friends are getting their medical marijuana cards. More power to em I say, but just don't feed me your moralistic bullshit about medical marijuana.

Anonymous said...

"All my (perfectly healthy) pothead friends are getting their medical marijuana cards."

Unless you are their doctor how do you know they are "perfectly healthy"? Evidently a real doctor must disagree with your diagnosis!