Legalize Marijuana

A work in progress

There are MUCH smarter and healthier things to do, then use Marijuana for recreation.
But; when compared to alcohol and tobacco, Marijuana is unequivocally the lesser evil.

The misinformation published about Marijuana is mindboggling.

We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.

Why I changed my mind on weed
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

The Video

Is Marijuana Harmful?

Psychology Today: Is marijuana addictive?

Dale Archer M.D.
Reading Between the (Head)Lines
Is Marijuana Addictive?
The age old question is still being debated today.
Posted May 05, 2012

The vast majority of those who use marijuana do so occasionally and exhibit no addictive symptoms — no increased tolerance, no cravings and no withdrawal. In other words, they can take it or leave it.

We know anything can be abused, even water

The bottom line is this: As with everything, moderation is key. Anything can be abused, and everything should be respected.

Chronic alcohol use causes many known physical problems, clearly defined brain damage, more auto-related fatalities and disrupts more families and careers than marijuana does, by far.

(Marijuana ) users will need to take charge of the amount and frequency of their use of this controversial drug, just like they should do with alcohol, saturated fats and sugar. That’s not such a bad thing — it’s called personal responsibility.

If you look at the addictive properties of popular drugs, Marijuana is going to compare to Caffeine.  Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical stimulant called trimethylxanthine. Its chemical formula is C8H10N4O2 and it is a psychoactive drug, like cocaine.  So if you’re habituated to coffee, you certainly should think long and hard before you start consuming marijuana daily.

Marijuana, has been demonized. Marijuana is classified as a Federal Schedule I drug, i.e. no currently accepted medical use and with a high potential for severe dependence.  Or, in other words, the Federal Government’s policy for Marijuana is inexplicable and repressive, oppressive, authoritarian, despotic, tyrannical, and dictatorial. Also undemocratic.

Go here: and take a look at the drugs classified as Schedule II or III, i.e. less dangerous than Schedule I.

Cocaine and OxyContin are Schedule II.
Anabolic Steroids are Schedule III.
Alcohol, which is dangerous, a poison, can kill you and is addictive, is nowhere to be found.

With around 50% of the country voting to deny climate change, cut social security and affordable care, the chances of this item getting fixed anytime soon is really small.  That’s why the states are taking the initiative.

Keeping marijuana illegal, while alcohol is, undermines the credibility of the legal and medical systems. It breeds contempt for the government.  That’s a pretty good reason to legalize it.

Characterizing marijuana as being as harmful, way out of proportion to its actual risks and dangers, undermines any advice experts give about far more serious, dangerous and life threatening practices. You do not overdose on Marijuana. There is no evidence or indication that Marijuana will destroy your liver, or kidneys or heart. Marijuana smoke is not good for you. Neither is smog. You can choose to eat Marijuana, if you live with smog, good luck.  Marijuana is a drug.  Some people should not use or take it.  It has side effects, like increased appetite.  So if you’re trying to lose weight, using Marijuana is not recommended.  If you are undergoing Chemotherapy, you’re probably using Marijuana regularly.  Most drugs have risks, and benefits. If you regularly take Acetaminophen (in Tylenol and many other drugs), you are flirting with liver damage.  Taking too much Acetaminophen or in combination with alcohol frequently lands people in the hospital.

Literally, HUNDREDS, IF NOT THOUSANDS OF TONS of Marijuana is either grown or smuggled and consumed in the US, every year. If you force people to get it illegally, you are exposing them to an underground black market that can supply Heroin and other really dangerous drugs. In a lot of places, it’s easier for kids to get Heroin and Marijuana, than alcohol. Keeping Marijuana illegal promotes this enormous black market. I am not saying, we should promote its use, or say it’s harmless. I am saying, Marijuana is a lot safer and benign that alcohol and a host of other drugs.

Time: Marijuana as a gateway drug the myth that will not die

One study cited in the article:
Scientists long ago abandoned the idea that marijuana causes users to try other drugs: as far back as 1999, in a report commissioned by Congress to look at the possible dangers of medical marijuana, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences wrote:

Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age.
In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.

There are many more studies that conclude that Marijuana is not a Gateway drug. But, using Marijuana as the scapegoat for a pattern of substance abuse, persists.

There is more evidence to label sugar as a gateway drug than to label marijuana as a gateway drug:

There are serious risks of marijuana abuse:

Psychology Today: Amotivational Syndrome

WEBMD: Marijuana use and its effects

There are serious risks associated with all drug use. OTC Drug Abuse
People often think that prescription and OTC drugs are safer than illicit drugs. But they can be as addictive and dangerous and put users at risk for other adverse health effects, including overdose—especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol.

A different take on aspects of the “drug” problem.

If you define the problem as drug use it’s big. But I don’t define it that way. I define it as problem drug use — people who can’t handle it, people who become dependent. And we’re talking about maybe 4 million people in a country of 319 million people. I am not being flip about this, this is not something to ignore, this is something to manage better than we do precisely because it’s so serious.

look at our alcohol distribution system. We would not call it a total failure because we have some drunk drivers and because some teenagers get a hold of alcohol. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly better than prohibition — none of us wants to go back to that. Problems are hard to solve, they are easier to ameliorate. We could do a better job of living with these dangerous substances if we changed the way we think about them.

Still, in a technocratic, capitalist, and fundamentally free society like the United States, education, counseling, treatment, distribution, regulation, pricing, and taxation all seem to better fit our national skill set than the suppression of immense black markets and the violence and corruption that come with it.

Legalization is on the ballot in Massachusetts


The Report of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana :

Where we are today:

“An estimated 885,000 Massachusetts residents used marijuana in the past year, including almost 400,000 youth and young adults under the age of 25. They consumed an estimated 85 metric tons of marijuana.

The study makes some good points; however, some of the consequences it anticipates can be ameliorated.

The key points from the report:

Public health concerns

• Even with strong safeguards in place, legalization may increase the accessibility
of marijuana for youth and contribute to the growing perception among youth
that marijuana is safe for them to consume.

There is a lot of evidence that marijuana is not as harmful as alcohol or tobacco. Keeping it illegal undermines the credibility of the legal and medical systems. In a lot of places, its easier for kids to get marijuana and heroin than alcohol. See an estimated 85 metric tons…  

• Marijuana-infused edibles are the fastest growing segment of the market and
present particularly challenging issues for public health and safety.

You do not overdose on marijuana. A few rules may be needed on the potency of edibles and other derivatives. There is a lot of hype about problems with edibles. Colorado worked out the majority of the problems and objections in its first year of legalization. The Governor of Vermont is pretty upset about edibles. See He says it caused a lot of problems in Colorado. Colorado passed House Bill 1366 and House Bill 1361, which required stronger packaging and labeling, dosages restrictions and restrictions on bulk purchases. We should do the same. I am not sure the governor consulted with medical marijuana users, especially those undergoing chemotherapy, before deciding a ban is the right approach to the issues with edibles.

• The risk of harmful health consequences and addiction may be greater than in
the past due to the high potency of many products on the market today.

You do not overdose on marijuana. See the first parts of this page. Drug use is not the problem, Drug abuse and problem drug are the problem.

• Even with tight restrictions on advertising and marketing, legalization would
likely encourage commercialization and market expansion as marijuana
businesses seek to grow their revenues and profits by gaining new customers
and increasing the consumption of their existing customers.

Do not allow advertising or soliciting or recommending or … Enforce it. Capitalism has its problems. We could require the companies involved to be non-profits and require a giveback to the community.

I am all for warnings and advertising bans and caveats.

Tobacco: Smoking kills.  Stop, that means YOU!

Alcohol: The excessive consumption of alcohol restricts your capacity to drive and operate machinery and will cause damage to your health.  Dear alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer… I saw the video… we need to talk.

Marijuana: The excessive consumption of Marijuana is stupid.  If you do it every day, you’re cheating yourself of a life.

Public safety concerns

• There is no well-accepted standard for determining driver impairment from
marijuana intoxication and no equivalent test to an alcohol breathalyzer, making
it difficult for law enforcement to identify and arrest offenders and gain
convictions in court.

From what we have learned about the efficacy of the Drunk Driving Standards, maybe it’s time for some new procedures. When the defendant’s counsel does everything in his power to discredit an arrest, you can anticipate some of the problems. Video does make a powerful statement. Who is against that?

• Although some banks have been willing to assume the risk and considerable
expense involved in providing banking services to marijuana businesses, the
industry still relies heavily on cash for many transactions and is unable to obtain
bank loans or lines of credit, raising security concerns.

Handling the money needs a creative solution. I am pretty sure I could figure out a couple of approaches that would work.

• Even with legalization and reasonable tax rates, the black market is likely to
persist due to the significant profits to be gained from meeting demand (of adults
and youth) across New England, as well as the ease of growing marijuana and
the difficulty that law enforcement would face in enforcing home growing limits.

Hard to stop something that is easily grown. Marijuana is decriminalized in Massachusetts, but that does not mean that people who use marijuana aren’t criminals. They are just not subject to harsh penalties. Let’s separate the criminals from the many who could be law abiding citizens. Let’s not encourage black markets and smuggling. Let’s have some common sense controls.

Economic and fiscal concerns

• Since marijuana remains illegal under federal law, state agencies would have to
assume the difficult and costly responsibilities for ensuring public health and
safety, environmental protection, and agricultural safeguards that would
ordinarily be undertaken by federal agencies such as the FDA and EPA.

• There is considerable uncertainty regarding federal policy toward marijuana,
particularly with the impending change in administration after the presidential
election, as well as growing conflict among states with different policies toward

Did we wait for them to take steps on gun control?
We are not alone in having laws different than the Federal Government:

Marijuana Legalization in 4 states. On the ballot in at least 2 states in 2016.
Marijuana Decriminalization in 16 states.
Medical Marijuana Legalization in 23 states.

• Tax revenues and fees that would be generated from legal sales may fall short of
even covering the full public and social costs (including regulation, enforcement,
public health and safety, and substance abuse treatment), and should not be
expected to provide a significant new funding source for other public needs such
as education or transportation.

There is little basis for this comment.

Massachusetts lawmakers are abdicating any responsibility for passing workable legalization legislation.

If there’s one thing that Massachusetts public officials — Democrat and Republican, urban and suburban, local and state — seem to agree on lately, it’s that the voters should not legalize marijuana at the polls this November.

But while they are vocal about the shortcomings of the proposal, they appear less willing to take on the challenge of crafting a policy that both reacts to apparent voter wishes, avoids the ballot question, and addresses the complexities of the issue. Instead, it looks like elected officials will make their disapproval known, and then pass both the question and the buck on to the voters in November.

Politicians for legalizing  marijuana for recreational use.

Boston City Council President Michelle Wu
Councilor Tito Jackson
Mayor of Holyoke Alex Morse

Law enforcement and Marijuana

I would like to see the Police not have to try an enforce an ineffective and highly unpopular and unjust law. The laws against marijuana, undermine the credibility of the legal system and take the focus from real problems.

The laws also gives them another excuse to harass and search. Article on Police searches – the Rutherford Institute

I would bet that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement people do a fantastic job under stressful circumstances. But, they carry guns and have the power to arrest, and sometimes, that power is abused.

See The most important movies of 2015 were not in any theaters; a collection of videos showing police misconduct.

The police have enough to to deal with, with drug abusers of dangerous drugs. These people can be a menace to themselves and the public. I think its really hard to substantiate a case that Marijuana users are a policing problem. Maybe you get a loud music complaint, maybe a “whats that awful smell” complaint.

Forbes: On 4/20, It’s High Time To Think About Taxes, Revenues & Marijuana

Each year, the “war on drugs” costs U.S. taxpayers $51,000,000,000.

As part of those efforts, current drug laws target users, peddlers, and hardcore dealers. In 2014, there were 1,561,231 arrests for drug violations in the U.S.: 1,297,384 (83%) were for possession of drugs, not dealing or distribution. Roughly half of those arrested (619,809) for possession of drugs were arrested for possession of marijuana. What does that mean to you? Tax dollars. The number of Americans incarcerated in 2014 in federal, state and local prisons and jails was 2,224,400 (1 in every 111 adults), making it the highest incarceration rate in the world. Those prison stays are funded by tax dollars. In 2012, data indicated that a $200 transaction can cost society $100,000 for a three-year sentence.

Marijuana with high THC

There are a lot of articles about the danger of strong Marijuana. Whole Foods sells Chocolate Covered Espresso beans. They can kill you. Is anyone saying Chocolate Covered Espresso beans are a killer drug?

How many chocolate covered espresso beans to kill me

According to Wikipedia, the LD50 (median lethal dose, i.e. the dose at which 50% of subjects die) in humans is estimated to be around 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass.

Opposition to Legalizing Marijuana

You can be confident that the Alcoholic Beverage Industry, which sells over 200 billion dollars of product, a year, is not supporting the legalization of Marijuana. That includes bars, restaurants, liquor stores and distributors. The number of people with a vested interest in the Alcoholic Beverage industry is enormous.

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. – Machiavelli”

I would not underestimate the subtle (and not so subtle) influence of those with a vested interest in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry on our legislators. It’s a new system that will upset the status quo. It’s easy for them to take a stand against something that is controversial. But I say, what is not controversial is, unwinding with marijuana is a lot better for your health than using alcohol. It’s time to remind them that legalization is a positive step.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Marijuana

Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions. Their is a core culture and belief system in AA. One of the core tenets is abstinence from drugs.

Excerpted from:

The AA member medications and other drugs pamphlet
Copyright © 1984, 2011
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115

From the earliest days of Alcoholics Anonymous it has been clear that many alcoholics have a tendency to become dependent on drugs other than alcohol. There have been tragic incidents of alcoholics who have struggled to achieve sobriety only to develop a serious problem with a different drug. Time and time again,A.A. members have described frightening and sobriety-threatening episodes that could be related to the misuse of medication or other drugs.

Because of the difficulties that many alcoholics have with drugs, some members have taken the position that no one in A.A. should take any medication.

Some A.A. members who have required medication share their experience:

“Each time I abruptly stopped taking my medication my symptoms got worse and my suicidal depressions came back.” I came into A.A. not only with an alcohol problem,but also with depression. Originally I started drinking to remedy my depression, but when drinking stopped working I went to a psychiatrist who treated me with an antidepressant and a tranquilizer. With my depression under control, I was totally shocked at my first A.A. meeting when one of the first questions I was asked was, “Are you taking any pills?” Because people in the A.A. program now knew I was taking pills, there was constant harassment from that day on to “stop using a crutch,” to “get honest” with myself, and to “get away from the shrink — A.A. is all you need.”
I vacillated for three years, until one afternoon I just stopped taking all pills. Within 24 hours I went on a trip from which I wasn’t sure I would ever return— a trip of hallucinations, paranoia, fear, and obsessions. When this happened, I went into a rehab.
In the months that followed, I was hospitalized many times. Doctors disagreed among themselves about my diagnosis, and my problems in my A.A. group resumed because of all the “medical advice” I was receiving from some A.A. members. I had to choose between my doctors and A.A., and I chose A.A. time after time. Each time I abruptly stopped taking my medication my symptoms got worse and my suicidal depressions came back.
Following a suicide attempt and another hospitalization, I contacted yet another physician, who diagnosed me as manic depressive and prescribed
lithium. Even though I had known something was wrong with me since I was a teenager, manic depression was a total shock. I now understand,
however, that it’s just another disease and there are meetings for manic depression in my community.
Today I have an entirely different attitude about taking medication. I have only one judge, my Higher Power, and it really doesn’t matter who knows that I take lithium for my disease. I am aware that some people still talk about my being “on something,” but that’s okay.
I stay sober today with the help of a home group, with Step and discussion meeting

AA and Tobacco

It is projected 724,153 members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous will die from tobacco 499,410 of them in the USA and Canada.

Attempts at encouraging these highly successful addiction recovery societies to address tobacco as an inside issue have been unsuccessful. Both societies have traditions that discourage them from dealing with what they describe as “outside issues.”  Their traditions state that AA and NA have no opinion on outside issues; hence their names ought never be drawn into public controversy.

It appears these societies are blind to the challenge of death by tobacco. One explanation is that as many as 60% of them are addicted to nicotine while in recovery from other addictions. They do not consider nicotine addiction to be an issue as important as recovery from the other addictions they joined AA and NA to recover from.

The emphasis on tobacco and the psychoactive drug it contains, nicotine, should not be diminished given the reality that more persons—including persons with alcohol addiction—die from nicotine addiction than from any other addiction. The U.S. Public Health Service 2008 publication, Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, encourages all physicians to use the 5 A’s of SBI (Ask, Advise, Assess Motivational Level, Assist, Arrange Follow-up) to intervene for tobacco use and addiction, employing techniques of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) to address nicotine addiction in patients they see in their regular workday. The 2008 Practice Guideline also encourages the use of pharmacotherapies to assist patients who desire to stop smoking.

AA, the official organization has only one requirement, a desire to stay sober. AA members, on the other hand often project their narrow interpretation of the program onto others. There are many AA members who are vocal opponents of legalization, for example, The Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh. Marijuana or any other drug is not the problem. The problem is people with an addictive personality.

Marijuana and “The Children”

There is plenty of scholarly research that concludes Marijuana is not the threat people make it out to be. Your teen has seen what the Federal government says about Marijuana: a Federal Schedule I drug, i.e. no currently accepted medical use and with a high potential for severe dependence. Your teen has also seen that around half the states have legalized Marijuana for medical use. What kind of message do you think this sends them?

Do you think about the amount of hypocrisy your teen sees?

Do as I say, not as I do.

If you’re against the legalization of marijuana and you:

Have drunk more than 3 drinks (2 for women) on any day, in any recent year, or keep liquor, beer or wine in your house for regular use, preaching abstinence from drugs or alcohol could be construed as hypocrisy by your teen.

If you or your friends or relatives deny climate change or smoke or do drugs or have problems with alcohol, you might have already lost your credibility on many issues.

If you demonize marijuana, do you think that helps put your concerns into perspective when teens often have real issues with?

Teen sex and pregnancy and HIV
Teen suicides

If you demonize marijuana, what do you think your kids are going to think about any advice you give them about other using:

Over the counter drugs
Prescription drugs
Physically addictive drugs – Heroin, OxyContin
Life threatening drugs like PCP

Apparently, honesty and credibility are not important priorities for Charlie Baker: the governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey: the state attorney general and Martin J. Walsh: the mayor of Boston.

They started this:
“Wrong for kids. Wrong for Massachusetts.”

Teens are not going to believe “”fear the evil weed”. Any attempt at demonizing it is going to backfire. Telling the truth might work.

The 4 Traits That Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

They focus on four risky traits: sensation-seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness. Importantly, most at-risk kids can be spotted early.


50 children a day: Head Injuries Reported for Babies in Stroller Accidents

An average of 50 children a day end up in hospital emergency rooms because of stroller or baby carrier accidents, and it appears far more of them are suffering brain injuries than previously believed.

The finding is based on data collected through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance system, which revealed that an estimated 361,000 children 5 or younger had injuries serious enough to land them in a hospital emergency room between 1990 and 2010.

Every day, thousands of teens attempt suicide in the U.S. — the most extreme outcome for the millions of children in this country who struggle with mental health issues.

You might call it a silent epidemic.

Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.

So in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse.

On May 16, 2013 a CDC report was released that describes, for the first time, federal activities that track U.S. children’s mental disorders. Find out about children’s mental health and what we have learned.

The term childhood mental disorder means all mental disorders that can be diagnosed and begin in childhood (for example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome, behavior disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, substance use disorders, etc.). Mental disorders among children are described as serious changes in the ways children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions. Symptoms usually start in early childhood, although some of the disorders may develop throughout the teenage years. The diagnosis is often made in the school years and sometimes earlier. However, some children with a mental disorder may not be recognized or diagnosed as having one.

Why do people smoke marijuana

Quora – Why do people smoke marijuana

So “why” do people smoke it? Because cannabis modifies how the brain perceives, retrieves, organizes and stores sensory information, whether that information is a jazz melody, an association stored in memory, or a pain signal from a pinched nerve. The novelty and functionality of this modification in how the brain works is often considered of value to the cannabis user.

THC increases appetite and reduces nausea. The FDA-approved THC-based medications are used for these purposes. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.

The use of Marijuana has been associated with some rather silly behavior.  In the 1970s it was common for college students to stand in line, outside, in winter, in Somerville (a suburb of Boston) for Steve’s Ice Cream.   But in my opinion, the munchies are preferable to the far more harmful effects of alcohol consumption.


Yes on 4 ad

Notes for Updates

A few links

Bay State Repeal

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Telling Teenagers the Truth about Smoking Pot

Cannabis Reform with Rep. Earl Blumenauer Washington State

International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines

The movement to legalize pot gains speed in the Americas

Does Addiction Treatment Require A Higher Power?

Tikun Olam Tikun Olam is the first, largest and foremost supplier of medical Cannabis in Israel and the flag bearer for the medical use of Cannabis..

Kalytera – Next-Generation Cannabinoid Medicines

A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer.

When did parents get so scared?

Addiction has a mental health component.

In some cases, people who are nominally for reforming marijuana laws are against the legalization effort.

Steve Epstein, a longtime marijuana activist and attorney, says he absolutely will not vote in favor of Question 4 — even though he has been among the leading voices for legalization in Massachusetts for decades.

Epstein’s political beliefs are staunchly libertarian, and he thinks the proposed law would add too much bureaucracy, taxation, and government oversight. Last year, he led a separate effort to get pot on the ballot, proposing a very different question from the one Massachusetts voters will see in two months. His proposal essentially treated marijuana as an agricultural product that, unlike the current ballot initiative, would have let practically any retailer sell it, did not impose any new taxes or create a new body to oversee the industry, and set no limits on the number of plants that could be grown at home.

Despite problems, legal recreational pot “can work” says Colorado governor who once opposed it.  The fact that its an all cash business is a problem.  That needs a creative solution.

“Addiction” means physical addiction and is the degree and extent to which the body physically reacts after a person has become physically accustomed to a given substance and that substance is then withdrawn. Clearly, opiates are very addictive, tobacco addictive but much less so, and coffee addictive but lightly so.  Marijuana is NOT addictive.

Any substance can be “habituating”.

One of the cases the anti legalization people make is that, since it’s decriminalized, nothing really bad happens to the people who smoke it.

Here is a case where a man, Paul Jackson, has helped a number of people with the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, with a marijuana infused tea. He never sold it, he gave it away, he never tried to hide what he did. In fact, what he did was written up in the NY times.

But, this year, the state police decided that it’s a good time to cut down all the marijuana plants on Martha’s Vineyard.

A snippet about the story from the Globe:

When her son-in-law was diagnosed with cancer almost 40 years ago, Mary took care of him. He had to go to the mainland for his chemo, and when he came back on the ferry, Mary would tend to him while Paul was busy in the garden.

“Mary had to keep changing the sheets because he was sweating so much,” Paul Jackson recalled, sitting on his couch. “All those chemicals swimming around in him, it wasn’t good.”

Paul Jackson doesn’t like chemicals. He’s an organic farmer, and when his son-in-law got sick from chemicals, they decided to try something more natural. Mary gave their son-in-law marijuana, and his sweats, his nausea, his overall miserable existence disappeared.

Ever since then, Paul has kept a small number of marijuana plants on his land, just in case.

Paul Jackson will turn 82 next month, but as long as he lives, he will never understand what was accomplished by cutting down his four marijuana plants.

There are people undergoing treatment for cancer who are nauseous and miserable. Their doctors will not prescribe marijuana for them. There are multi million dollar illegal marijuana growing operations and the police are going around rounding up a few plants.

Does this make sense?


The dangers of marijuana, according to the DEA

Agency cites “getting arrested,” “gum disease” and “disobedience” as evidence of the drug’s clear harm
Written by JPat Brown

New York’s medical marijuana program should double in size and see a broader range of authorized health providers, according to recommendations by the New York State Department of Health.

The recommendations came as part of a new report “Medical Use of Marijuana Under the Compassionate Care Act” posted by the DOH this week, two years after the medical marijuana law was signed into effect by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Since the program began operations in January, more than 5,000 patients have been certified with the program while more than 600 physicians were registered across the state.

Marijuana legalization proponents in Massachusetts can count Jonathan Bush, the CEO of Watertown-based healthcare company Athenahealth and a cousin of former President George W. Bush, in their corner.

The campaign’s principal backer is New Approach Political Action Committee, based in Washington, D.C., which has donated $2.1 million.

I knew someone going through radiation therapy.  Her kids told her to try pot.  Because of all the negative press, she refused.  Because she went to MGH, and MGH does not want to risk its Federal Money, marijuana was not recommended .

Somedays, she could not get out of bed, was throwing up constantly and in agony.

This was a comment in the Globe:

If weed works for your pain then by all means use it!! Far less dangerous and far less debilitating than opioids. If you’ve “never used” then shut up because by your own admission you actually do not know what you are talking about. Go ahead, try it and then comment!! I am a 55 year old cancer survivor and do not use any drugs now. But I’ve had the opiates prescriptions and have used weed when I was in radiation therapy and without a doubt weed is much better at relieving pain, improving mood, improving appetite, no constipation, no addictive risk…. It just works. The opiates were too much.

The reality is marijuana as an extremely effective antidote for the ravages of cancer therapy.  Why does the medical community let people suffer?

A very sad realization

The current state of politics in America is not about issues.

Its the TeaParty telling Democrats, “Stick it where the sun don’t shine”

The man who said this, was a leader:


The man who said this:

“I am embracing the issue, and I’m proud of the issue. I think somebody has to embrace it because, frankly, the people that are – and I don’t like the name ‘birther,’ because I think it’s very unfair and I think it’s very derogatory to a lot of very good people that happen to think that there’s a possibility that this man was not born in this country, and by the way, if that were true, you know it’s very interesting, if that were true, it’d be the greatest scam in the history of this country.” – “The Donald”

is an insult to thinking people everywhere.

A reason to be afraid of the Boston Police Department

Cops investigating cops.  It’s time for a real Citizens Review Board.

The initial story: video shows boston police officer roughing up a civilian

The following appeared on
Evans defends officer in Back Bay pedestrian incident –

The Boston Globe Date: Sep 21, 2016

A comment by a person with the tag of Oceanlover617.

Imagine you are Mr. Gurin, an unassuming, 64-year-old law-abiding man who has just put in a hard day’s work. Like the rest of us, you are a kind and loving man who supports your family, are loyal to your friends, and love the city in which you live and pay taxes. Sure, you’ve gotten a speeding ticket or two, and there was that parking violation when the parking meter was broken, but those are pretty much the only smudges on your citizenship record. You’re fatigued and walking home and, whether it’s your fault or not, you’re nearly hit by a car in an intersection; “fight or flight” kicks in and, in a nanosecond, you lose your temper and tap on the car’s window with your umbrella. Suddenly, a furious, brawny man in a Red Sox jersey jumps out of his car (which, by the way, is NOT a cop car, so you have no way of knowing he’s a cop) and starts screaming at you. Realizing this man’s fury dwarfs yours after being cut off by his car and, realizing he’s approximately half your age, twice your size and screaming angrily, you run for your life, zigzagging your way through pedestrians on a busy Boston street. You trip and fall, injuring yourself. Instead of rendering aid, this man’s knee is in your back and you are being held down to the ground. “How dare you challenge my power by tapping on my window with an umbrella, don’t you know who I am?” Is this what the officer (or in the eyes of Chief Evans, presumably “soldier,” as you are later referred to as a “civilian”) was thinking? Infuriated and emboldened by the fact that he wears a badge to work, the man starts humiliating you by dragging you down the street by your shirt collar in a makeshift “perp walk” witnessed by dozens, hundreds of people (including one of your co-workers) on one of the busiest streets in Boston. As is proven on cell phone video, you remain calm and respectful the entire time, even when dozens of BPD officers converge on the scene as if you’ve just committed armed robbery. The officers take the cop’s side of the story, not yours, and the cop realizes the window of the personal car he drives as a “civilian” is smudged, not broken or even scratched. You consider this a major event but proceed with caution, filing a complaint against a public servant who behaved inappropriately. You discover this is not the first complaint filed against this officer. One day, the boss of the police department you have trusted to defend and protect you calls a press conference to discuss the “exhaustive investigation” that has occurred. The chief figuratively throws you under the bus (perhaps in the same intersection where the incident began), sullying your name and reputation in order to protect a man who obviously is prone to these types of incidents and outbursts. Remarkably, he produces video to counteract the video shot and posted by a “civilian” who witnessed the incident (perhaps because the “civilian’s” video was viewed more than a million times on social media). You can’t believe your eyes or ears as the leader of your police force almost totally exonerates the actions of a man who clearly is a hothead, not a hero. The chief impugns the integrity of the “civilian” who shot the cell phone video and implies you are somehow to blame for not acting as quickly and impulsively as the off-duty officer did in that intersection. Sadly, when it dawns on you that this “exhaustive search,” that included interviews with other “civilians” who witnessed the event, would never have been conducted if this cell phone video had never surfaced. In that moment, what emotions would you feel? Anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Mistrust? Yesterday afternoon, human empathy transported us into the mind of Mr. Gurin; amazingly, we were let down by the very people we have idolized, trusted and paid to protect us. The chief called a press conference because he could, and local media carried it live because that’s what they do, and an entire region watched as the chief implied this was all your fault. You were hardly the Marathon bomber, yet you were feted with a BPD press conference. Boy, the BPD must have been livid that you would have the nerve to consult an ACLU lawyer and yes, you know they must have felt an extra sense of urgency to defend their own given recent officer-involved incidents around the country.

You were not fooled, and neither were we. This press conference was a classic “CYA” stunt, and this morning, we have a little less respect for Chief Evans and a little more mistrust for the people who report to him. It is sad and disappointing, but it is true. In this case, in this city in which we take so much pride, a city that was a beacon to the world for strength in adversity, the tables have been turned. Boston Wrong.

Thank you Oceanlover617, for taking the time to put this incident into the proper perspective.  IMHO, the BPD does not care what the people of Boston think about them.

To all the officers who work really hard to keep us safe, I thank you.  But, the “Blue Wall” has to come down.  It is not you versus us.  We are all in this together.

Caligula for President

I have bionic Rottweilers that piss nerve gas and have three rows of titanium shark teeth.

I have a dead-loyal bunch of absolutely ruthless, buck naked Liberian ex-child soldiers from Charlie Taylor’s “Boy Brigade”, armed to the tits with TDI KRISS Super V Machine guns, flamethrowers, MP7A1s, 50-cal Barett sniper rifles, silenced  High-Standard .22 assassination pistols and MP-5s, quite a handful of grenade launchers and all the meth they can smoke.

Excerpt from Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny, Cintra Wilson

In this inventive and biting satire, acclaimed novelist and cultural critic Cintra Wilson reimagines America’s Manifest Destiny as helmed by Caligula, the only leader in world history capable of turning our floundering democracy into a fully functioning-and totally fun-tyranny, both here and abroad. With Caligula running the show, America will finally be able to achieve what the founding fathers really wanted, but never had the nerve to admit.

Smoke Detector Battery Rage

We have 7 smoke detectors, 2 carbon monoxide detectors, in hallways.  The acoustics in the hallways are such that it is difficult to determine which smoke detector is beeping.  Standing on a ladder with your ear next to the detector can take up to 3 attempts before locating the ringing detector.  Not the world’s most pressing problem, but aggravating enough.  The common workaround is to replace all batteries once a year (daylight savings start is an oft suggested time).  I do not like to throw about stuff before it is used up, so I wait for the alarms to beep.

First, a little background.  If you want to skip to the idea for making this easier, scroll down past the horizontal line.

Why do smoke detectors beep so infrequently when their batteries are low, making the sound impossible to localize?

Here a take on solving the problem, in the case where you have a mix of hardwired and battery operated alarms:

Code in our area requires hard-wired smoke detectors with battery backup for multi unit dwellings.  You can’t just turn these off like the above article does for battery only alarms.

This article hints at another problem.

Alarm Battery Chirps Aren’t Pre-Programmed to Interrupt Sleep.  (Really??)

When one of the 7 starts beeping in the middle of the night, it is really annoying.

I could replace the 9 volt battery ones I have with a new one that has a sealed 10 year battery.  But, they are not cheap to replace.

Worry Free Hardwired Inter Connectable 120-Volt Smoke Alarm with 10-Year Lithium Battery Back Up (3-Pack) $79.99

In addition, to the cost of an electrician time to swap out the old with the new.

So I had the brilliant idea of using my android phones sound meter app to help me detect which one is going off .  Sound Meter (as well as a lot of other tools) by Android boy is available on Google Play.

There is a disclaimer about the accuracy of the meter:

If the measured value of a quiet room is between 35-45db, it should be accurate.  For more accuracy, you have to compare the value with a REAL sound meter. By the way, do you have a REAL one?🙂  Just use this app as an auxiliary tool.

Nevertheless, for measuring relative loudness, it should work just fine.

The sound meter has a very convenient logging function that tracks the decibels it records over time.

You do have a problem with background noises, so you might need to track the external none beeping noises against the every 30 second or so beeps.

Of course, I thought of this, right after I spent 15 minutes sitting in the hallway determining which smoke detectors battery I had to replace.

I will use the sound meter to locate the one going off, next time.







House of Blues – Bait and Switch

House of Blues – LiveNation



Dear Michael Rapino
President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment

When I bought my ticket, You showed that I had seats. When I get to the venue, I see that its standing room only.
That is bait and switch. I want my money back. If you give me my money back, I will take this down. If you don’t, I will see how many other folks do not like this practice.

A Little Charlestown History

Between 1975 and 1992, the small Boston community of Charlestown experienced 49 murders, 33 of them unsolved. Police were frustrated by the unspoken “Code of Silence” that the citizens of Charlestown adopted. Whether fear of retaliation by the criminals, anti-police sentiment, or vigilante justice motivated the town’s citizens, no one would talk to police.

Charlestown was a main distribution center for PCP and cocaine, with several career criminals, known as the “Irish Mob,” in charge of the drug trade. Because drugs were a large part of Charlestown’s crime problem, DEA got involved, joining forces with the Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, and Boston Housing Police Department. A task force was formed to tackle Charlestown’s crime.

DEA agents and local officers worked together to establish a comprehensive case against the criminals. By bringing federal drug laws to bear, the task force was able to develop solid cases. Information was developed that would lead to prosecution on charges of murder to further the drug trade. In addition, special agents of the Department of Housing and Urban Development were able to take action against tenants living illegally in Charlestown housing.

As a result, 40 defendants were indicted on charges that included racketeering, murder, attempted murder, murder for hire, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, armed robberies, and carrying firearms during the commission of crime of violence. Several of the defendants were subsequently convicted of murder.

Once the violent criminals were taken from the community, the threat of retaliation was removed, and the code of silence was broken. A hot line set up by DEA yielded hundreds of calls from community residents that developed into valuable leads and significant arrests. The seriousness of the federal charges reassured the residents that they no longer had to live in fear.

Published: March 26, 1995

BOSTON, March 25— For decades in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood, witnesses to crimes never breathed a word, either out of loyalty or out of fear.

But on Wednesday, two leaders of a drug ring and their enforcer were convicted in Federal District Court on charges of racketeering, cocaine trafficking, murder and attempted murder, with the help of testimony from about a dozen witnesses.

The two leaders, Michael Fitzgerald and John Houlihan, were charged with running a drug ring, using Joseph Nardone as their enforcer, out of Kerrigan’s Flower Shop in Charlestown, a one-mile-square neighborhood on Boston Harbor that is also the home of Old Ironsides, the frigate Constitution.

The three are to be sentenced on May 18. Prosecutors are recommending that they get life in prison without parole.

Before the convictions, the Irish, working-class neighborhood of 15,000 was well known for its residents’ habit of not talking to the police, its code of silence. The situation left many police officers frustrated.

“Most of the crime committed over there, we know who did it,” said Capt. Edward McNelley of the police homicide unit. “But our knowing doesn’t mean anything. We need a person to come forward and say, ‘I was there and I will testify.’ ”

The authorities managed to crack the code of silence with a three-year investigation in which the Government spent more than $1 million to protect witnesses, including a half-dozen residents who asked to be moved out of the neighborhood for fear of retribution.

About a dozen thieves and drug dealers were granted immunity from prosecution and received new identities under the Federal witness protection program.

“This has been a long time coming, and it has given families some belief in the system again, that the system can work and we don’t have to accept the way things were in the past,” said Sandy King, whose two sons were shot in front of witnesses who would not talk.

Five years ago, she helped found the Charlestown After Murder Program, an organization of women who meet every Sunday in a Catholic church to talk about unsolved homicides that have affected their lives. The police say that of the 50 homicides the group has tracked since 1975, arrests have been made in only about half.

Ms. King said the code of silence was started long ago by Irish immigrants who distrusted authority. A longshoreman, for example, might steal a case of tuna from the docks but give a little of the fish to his neighbors so that when the police inquired about the theft, no one knew anything.

Over time, the silence allowed criminals to thrive.

Charlestown became known by law-enforcement officials nationwide for its small-time hoodlums, thieves, drug dealers and murderers. Crime became so commonplace that arguments normally settled in a fistfight often ended in murder.

Today, the Bunker Hill Monument divides a small group of young professionals who live in renovated brownstones from a far greater number of “townies,” longtime residents who live in row houses and a sprawling housing project. Ninety-six percent of Charlestown is white.

During the trial, one witness told of driving the getaway car for Mr. Nardone and hearing the squat, bull-necked hit man laugh about killing an informer. The witness said he and Mr. Nardone had split a $5,000 fee.

But not everyone is sure that things have changed.

“I got nothing to say about nothing,” said a clerk in a coin-operated laundry who would give her name only as Patty.

The owner of the laundry, who refused to give his name, said he doubted that the code of silence had really been broken.

“You talk about things you’re not supposed to talk about, you get killed,” he said.

Posted Dec. 23, 1997 at 12:01 AM
Updated Jan 11, 2011 at 1:34 AM

CONCORD, N.H. — Before yesterday, ratting to police on your neighbors was a good way to get killed in the tough, blue-collar section of Boston known as Charlestown.

But the testimony of their neighbors helped convict five members of a Charlestown-based bank robbery gang yesterday, and the lead prosecutor said the town’s “silent majority” was all for it.

“I don’t think Charlestown is going to be the same. If the code of silence isn’t dead, it’s definitely moribund,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Vicinanzo.

“We have received a tremendous outpouring of support from the citizens,” he said. “The silent majority was rooting for us to get rid of these thugs who have been intimidating their town for some time.”

A U.S. District Court jury delivered guilty verdicts on 54 of 55 counts, including ones charging the five in the Aug. 25, 1994, robbery in Hudson in which two armored car guards were shot to death. One defendant, Patrick McGonagle, was found innocent of a carjacking count.

The jury deliberated for 32 hours over seven days. The trial began in September.

Convicted with McGonagle, 58, were Michael O’Halloran, 40, Anthony Shea, 34, Stephen Burke, 41, and Matthew McDonald, 35.

None was indicted for murder because witnesses could not clearly identify the masked robbers in the holdups, which began in 1990 and lasted into 1995.

When the five were charged last year, Charlestown was notorious for its code of silence. But the intensive investigation and a change of heart in the community broke the code, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Connolly said Charlestown residents and criminals alike decided to come forward following the Hudson deaths.

“Numerous career bank robbers threw in the towel and testified in this trial,” Connolly said at a news conference following the verdict. “So many broke the code, shattered the code. Many of them testified that they had grown tired of a life of stealing, of drugs, of broken relationships.”

In one sign that fear of retribution remained, Judge Steven McAuliffe sealed the list of jurors’ names.

Connolly called the verdict a victory for the armored car guards’ families and “a total victory for justice.”

“These men were highly professional, violent and ruthless criminals who took every step not to be identified. Today they were identified,” he said.

Vicinanzo described the men as part of a close group of career criminals, many of whom grew up together.

“There has been a culture in Charlestown that fostered that,” he said. “(But now) the people are changing. I don’t think they’re going to let it happen again.”

Most of the holdups were in Massachusetts, including two in Fall River. The Hudson robbery was one of two in New Hampshire; the others were in Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1991. The indictment also included a 1995 armored car holdup in West Palm Beach, Fla.

A sixth defendant, John Burke, pleaded guilty in October, partway through the trial, and testified against the others, including his brother Stephen. He is to be sentenced next month.

Prosecutors estimated that the gang committed more than 100 armed robberies and made off with millions of dollars during more than 30 years.

Lawyers for the men promised appeals.

“I really thought … there would be more, perhaps different results, rather than just blanket ‘guilties,”‘ said Peter Anderson, Stephen Burke’s lawyer. He said he planned to appeal on the admission of DNA and fingerprint evidence during the trial.

The men will be sentenced April 2. Prosecutors said they will ask for life sentences without parole, prescribed in federal sentencing guidelines, on two of the Hudson robbery counts.

The Robberies

Robberies in the indictment, approximate amount stolen, if known; and the defendants named in each robbery July 28, 1995 Fall River Five-Cent Savings Bank, Fall River, Mass.; Shea, Burke. May 11, 1995 Brinks armored car, West Palm Beach, Fla.; $122,000; Shea, Burke. Aug. 25, 1994 Northeast Armored Transport Inc. armored car, Hudson, N.H.; $500,000; Shea, McDonald, O’Halloran, Burke, McGonagle. March 1994 Wells Fargo armored car, Chestnut Hill, Mass.; Shea, O’Halloran, McDonald, Burke. Jan. 25, 1994 Wells Fargo armored car, Charlestown, Mass.; Shea, O’Halloran, McDonald, Burke. May 4, 1993 Manchester Security Services armored car, Seabrook, N.H.; $280,000; Shea, O’Halloran, Burke. Dec. 22, 1992 Transit Systems Inc. armored car, Lynn, Mass.; $500,000-$600,000; Shea, O’Halloran, Burke. Feb. 27, 1992 Bank of Boston, Newton, Mass.; Shea, McDonald. Late 1991 Banks and armored cars in Fall River, Mass; Shea, McDonald, Burke. Dec. 5, 1991 Pioneer Finance Cooperative Bank, Malden, Mass.; $95,000; Shea, McDonald. 1991 Banks and armored cars in Connecticut and Rhode Island; Shea, McDonald. March 15, 1990 Bank of New England, Charlestown, Mass.; Shea, McDonald.

The gang was headed by the McLaughlin brothers (Bernie, Georgie, and Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin) and their associates, brothers Stevie and Connie Hughes from Charlestown. Some of its notorious associates included Will Delaney, Spike O’Toole, Harry Hannon, William Bennett, Edward Bennett, John Shackelford, Frank Murray, Leo Lowry, Ron Dermody and Joe “Rockball” O’Rourke.

Townieism accepts that criminal activity exists in Charlestown’s past and present, most notably in the form of bank and pharmacy robberies by Townies as well as narcotic sales and use, and does not pass judgement on this behavior. Townies refer to serving a federal prison sentence as “going to college” and the area experiences a rate of drug-related hospitalizations and deaths 50% higher than the rest of Boston.[3],_Boston

Throughout the 1960s until the mid-1990s, Charlestown was infamous for its Irish Mob presence. Charlestown’s McLaughlin Brothers were involved in a gang war with neighboring Somerville’s Winter Hill Gang, during the Irish Mob Wars of the 1960s. I


The green square mile : story of the Charlestown Irish

Windows 10

A work in progress

Windows Anniversary Update

More integration with the Microsoft world.  I accepted the express settings and set my default location.  I will write here if I find anything egregious in the access. Given Google tracks so much, and if you have a smartphone, your tracked already, I am not overly concerned.  If you are concerned about your privacy, run Ubuntu or the Tails os If you think you can run windows and/or chrome and stop Mickeysoft or THEGOOGLE, and every website you visit from tracking you, you may be delusional.

They changed the left start menu by adding and breaking out a few more things.  NBD.

Windows Defender is no more visible.  I see it on my status bar

Windows Dark Theme: Settings app. Go to Start > Settings > Personalization > Colors. In the main part of the Settings screen, scroll down to the bottom and under “Choose your app mode” select the Dark radio button.

I am running the dark theme with a black background. Windows settings and Control Panel items are still confusing. For example, right click on the desktop and hit personalization and Control Panel personalization are different. CP has themes, which is different than the theme stuff mentioned above.

Right Click on the Windows Icon, bottom left corner, it shows you a context menu of the most frequently used systems stuff, like Control Panel, Event Viewer, Device Manager, File Explorer, Cmd prompt etc

Security Essentials is now Windows Defender

Disk Cleanup is now in Windows Administrative Tools

Windows Store – get Windows DVD Player or another app that plays DVDs. Provided your PC has an optical disc drive, Windows DVD Player will play DVD movies (but not Blu‑ray Discs).

Auto Play and  DVD Playback is different

Insert CD
Open File Explorer
Right Click on your CD drive
Choose Auto Play
Chose Play DVD

or select Windows Dvd player from all programs

Solitaire is different

Play Solitaire in Your Browser

or Search for “Chrome Web Store”
(in Chrome)
Search For Solitaire, Choose one to install in your Chrome Browser

A collection of a lot of versions of Solitaire

If you do not want to use a microsoft account to log in, Got to All Settings – Accounts and change how you log in. As of Jul 2016, I use a pin to logon inot my machine.  I still have my microsoft accunt associated with the machine.

Windows after version 8 have a different screen layout design to accommodate mobile and tablet devices.  Sometimes (especially in settings) you find you have to scroll down to find everything that’s part of a section.

File History replaced Windows Backup in Windows 8, and Windows 10 makes one of its better features—version histories for files you’ve altered—even more accessible.

Add a disk or leave a usb drive connected.



Control Panel -> Programs may have a different list of installed programs than Action Center -> Right Click -> All Settings -> System -> Apps and features.  Some things you get from the Store, (what you get to when you click on store from the apps list ) are called apps, not programs.  So if you looking for a program or app, sometimes you have to check both places

Run the troubleshooter for Windows apps


Of interest

Windows 10’s Game DVR tool is designed to capture your PC gaming glories, but you can actually use it to save videos from any open Windows app or desktop program.

Links for your browser.  The online file sharing offered by microsoft, Google and Dropbox is awesome.  I keep onedrive and google drive in status area.  I often have to share and change settings for these services.  The following links allow you to change your settings, and in dropbox’s case, add files by dragging and dropping onto the browser window.

Online Data

Google Photos


Ghosts and Gremlins

On Jul 26, I started getting “cannot log in to group policy master” error message.  I rebooted a couple of times, same thing.   Before this, I had deleted a few old usb devices from device manager and had run my powercfg.bat routine.  It was 85 ° in the house.  Okay, I boot up Jul 27, problem gone.   I had searched around saw people doing a registry fix to get around this. I did nothing to fix this, it fixed itself, of the gremlin moved on.

Your Computer is Haunted – xkcd