INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

This is a good place. There's lots to see and do. It's apolitical while providing non-partisan news about politics, which we can't escape.

Check out my aquarium and feed the fish; check out my post(s), my favorite media list and the many links to websites that promote what I feel is important.

Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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My blog is dedicated to my family, friends, mentors, and all others whom I am grateful to, and love(d).

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NOTE: Nothing included in my Blog is intended to advocate behavior illicit in nature, or in violation of man-made laws where harm to a living person, animal or the environment is involved. Person's under 17 probably shouldn't be here, though there is far worse out there. Just saying.


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April 27, 2014

REEFER WARNINGS: BRAIN ABNORMALITIES, DEATHS AND DANGERS ATTRIBUTED TO LEGAL MARIJUANA

Edited to clarify the intent, add essential content, April 29, 2014, 8:45 EST

I was going to write an educational, upbeat article about car repair or whether to upgrade that old computer of yours with the now unsupported Window's XP operating system on it. But I can't in good conscience ignore the events surrounding this year's 420 celebrations and media reports of deaths by marijuana and studies suggesting that marijuana causes brain abnormalities. With a government run amok as we have, with multiple infringements on human rights and privacy, along with deceit, it's time for "Truth And Consequences".

Law enforcement and criminologists have long sought a way to positively identify psychopaths and sociopaths, without much success. Perhaps that will change as scientists discover more about how to read our minds and see our thoughts. It's a noble, righteous cause. A goal to make the world a safer place, which brings us closer to being civilized.

However such studies and research are poorly funded. The government teeters on bankruptcy. Our infrastructure is in serious need of repair and upgrades. Our schools are often in crisis, burdened with Bush Era "No Child Left Behind" mandates; without much funding. The reason for these problems is simple. Since 1971 our federal government has been waging a war; a war against millions of our own citizens. It's called the War on Drugs, enacted by President Richard Nixon and he created the DEA as the overseers. He orchestrated the Scheduled Drug policy, making sure marijuana was Schedule One, and making marijuana the Number One Criminal Offense in this country. Trillions of tax-payer dollars have been spent on this war.

A war it appears that may soon be lost, if it wasn't when it started? But is there hope???  

A study released a week prior to celebrations of marijuana called "420" was conducted by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine appearing in multiple news-outlets and will appear in the Journal of Neuroscience. The results of the study suggest, or rather attempt to prove that marijuana causes abnormalities to two parts of the brain, parts that affect memory, learning, good judgement, and motivation. The following is a quote and a link to the news article as reported by Fox News, April 15, 2014, 5 days prior to 420:

"For the first time, researchers at Northwestern University have analyzed the relationship between casual use of marijuana and brain changes – and found that young adults who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two important brain structures".

For the first time...

I don't think so... the federal government has been conducting research on the very same thing since before 1971.

For the first time... maybe this study suggests the human brain is not as static (unchanging) as has been assumed. At the very least if this study has any redeeming qualities, it's that what we take in can cause a change to our brains... not just cannabis, but other things like alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea or milk, to name but a few substances.

An article on Alternet does an excellent job analyzing the study: "Why the Media's Fearmongering on Marijuana Effects on the Brain Is Faulty."

More than likely the study was flawed or simply a joke, like this article about 37 people dying from marijuana in Colorado on the "first day it was legalized":

The Daily Currant, Jan 02, 2014"Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization."


Debunked on FakeNews.Com

That's not to say there haven't been deaths associated with marijuana use this year, as there have been allegedly two such deaths.

One was a man apparently had too much of a marijuana cookie too soon. He didn't take the recommended dose of 1/6th of a cookie and wait 45 minutes to an hour. He became impatient after so many minutes and ate the whole cookie. He went mad and jumped out a window to his death.

The other was death involved a spouse, Whose husband had ingested a marijuana infused edible,  and went crazy several hours later, killing his wife who was on the phone with 911.

You can read about them here:

ByCrimesider StaffAP April 18, 2014, 11:04 AM "Two Denver deaths tied to recreational marijuana use..."


One might want to do some research at the very last place we'd consider looking, the CDC. Fact is, "there are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States".

So how much is too much? Where does the mudslinging end? When do we get real and realize Nixon's "War On Drugs" was wrong?

TODAY:

21 states have laws permitting medical use of marijuana, 18 states have decriminalized marijuana to a fine for certain amounts, 2 states allow both medical and recreational use and one city in Maine has outright legalized possession of two ounces.

I began this post with the observation we as a society are suffering. The great benefit of the War on Drugs is our penal system is bursting at the seams. I'm not proud of being a part of that while paying my taxes. Let's be frank, legalizing marijuana is bad for law enforcement. It is the central hub of the wheel of drugs, for money, per popular misconception.

I'm referring to murders, kidnappings, armed robberies, rape, assaults...and why these aren't as important anymore.

Well the following article may help explain that mindset:

It turns out "science" takes third after religion and politics.

Fox News: "AP-GfK Poll: Most agree with scientists on smoking, fewer buy Big Bang, evolution or warming". WASHINGTON –  "Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found."

President Obama promised an administration that placed science first. It's questionable how successful he's been. Part of the answer might reside in what we take to believe is truth.

Imagine you've never had a cup of coffee, or your first experience drinking a double espresso recommended by a friend? Or you're a good girl, over 21 and you've never been to a bar. Your friends take you out. You have a good time - you get drunk and ...

The science doesn't matter. Now imagine you're 19 and very anti-drug and your best friend offers you some marijuana? Everything you've always been told via politics and religion is it will make me mad and insane and it is illegal! But I try it anyways, fearful and cynical...and I discover it not only feels very good to me, but it has a most profound and extraordinarily beneficial effect on my life and my future. It changed my life for the better, without a doubt!. .

Obviously I care about science. You don't have to use cannabis to be aware the science is out there and that it's at least as safe as alcohol, if not safer. Life is a risk period. Why are we prohibited to take a risk with far fewer dangers than what is already out there? I took a risk in 1973 using cannabis and it changed my life for the better a hundred fold. It also made me a criminal. That's politics. Wrong politics. It's time for a change and it's time to accept the flower children, before we all die off.

April 12, 2014

MENTAL ILLNESS IN AMERICA, GUN CONTROL AND THE MARIJUANA MYTHOS...

According to the National Institute of Health - NIH, over one quarter of the American population has a mental illness of some kind. LINK: NIH -MENTAL ILLNESS IN AMERICA.

Often, mental health issues are linked with substance abuse issues. Although one might expect that illegal drugs would be most closely tracked and publicized, the truth is strange as the NIH and other foundations actually compares mental illness rates to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal or legit drug use.

The KIM FOUNDATION is another useful website that looks at the actual statistics for mental health and categorizes the conditions.

My feeling is the number of Americans with a mental health illness is double the number suggested. Too many people go through life ignoring the obvious. Too many families are dysfunctional. There is very little out there educationally with regards to being a family, being parents, being the child.

I'm opposed to government intervention into the life of a family, however, going blindly into being a family seems somewhat antiquated to me. Where are the family colleges? Perhaps I should start one.

We do have laws... we have a child protective services division in most states... the trouble is, too many mistakes happen. The criteria for intervention is either outdated or insufficient. We take children away from parents when it's discovered one or both parents use, or did use marijuana. When one or both parents are arrested for marijuana. Contrast that to use of alcohol or tobacco, child abuse or child neglect.... often hard to prove or make a case for.

Having a beer is like smoking a bowl of pot. It's a question and the answer is difficult to ascertain. Why? Because they are different substances. A truck is different than a car, a trip to China is different than a trip to the Grand Canyon in AZ. We live in a world of diversity. Also a dying world.

In the near 60 years I've been alive on the planet in the United States I have witnessed a surreal idyllic world growing up as a child to a world that is endangered by consequences of what humankind has created in the past 200 years. Global warming, destruction of natural habitat, disregard for nature. As a child the world had none of these destructive concerns...  we only worried over the "Cold War" with the Soviet Union.

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It's the year 2014... 

Marijuana is still a Schedule One drug at a federal level, however two states along with Portland ME have legalized recreational use of cannabis, and 21 other states allow medical use for cannabis.

You can't however own a gun, if, you're a marijuana user, whether state legal or not. You can own a gun no-matter how much alcohol you consume, and tobacco use is not an issue. 

Although many people in a state where marijuana is legal possess a gun, technically, the federal ATF controls the right to ownership, and since marijuana is a Schedule One drug, it's illegal to possess a gun. 

There are also those on the Right who feel anyone with a mental health condition should be denied access or right to possessing a firearm. As I previously pointed out, that's at least a quarter of society, if not more. I say if not more as I personally know about individuals with mental health issues completely off the grid that own guns. They stay off the grid to secure their 2nd amendment rights. 

They may suffer from any of several mental illnesses as previously discussed. To say outright they shouldn't possess a firearm is ludicrous. How often is it that the non-substance abuse, non-drug anything individual is the one to create chaos? 

It's convenient to be able to say those 24% + person's cannot possess a gun. But of those 24% who seeks therapy and assistance in coping with life? The majority I'd say as that is probably where the statistics come from  and not the actual percentage, which as I suggested is more like 50 - 60% of the population. If so, two scenarios... prevent a marijuana user from possessing a gun, a useless proposal, but there goes 25% of the population, and then those with a mental health disorder, I say 50%... requires mental health evaluations to own a gun. 

But is that realistic? No, it's not.

Marijuana use does not contribute to gun violence and as such should be removed from restrictions. Alcohol use does lend to gun violence and should therefore be considered. 

Of those people I know who claim they are free from mental health issues, I can only say good luck. I can also say among those who seek mental health treatment the evidence of gun violence will decrease. Those who refuse treatment are most prone to commit gun violence, something generally ignored in society.

It seems rather twisted that those we respect that show no evidence of a mental health issue more often than the reverse become a threat to society. But it is true. 

As long as we convince ourselves as a society that only "mentally sick" people need to seek help, we will be bound by a syndrome that essentially says if you don't admit it it's not true. 

To clarify:

Marijuana is not a prerequisite to violent behavior.

20 - 26% of the population are considered to be suffering a mental health illness.

The federal government wants to keep guns from those with mental health issues. 

The number is likely higher, more like 60%. 

There's a difference between those who seek treatment and those who don't.

Prohibiting gun ownership among those with a mental illness, something as simple as general depression, anxiety, ptsd or users of marijuana is not practical, let alone Constitutional. It is not practical as it doesn't take into account the whole story. Those who seek help and those who don't.

Your average serial killer or violent offender is not likely to have sought therapy! There are exceptions... but the majority don't seek assistance. The majority don't use marijuana.

The majority of violent offenders don't seek therapy and don't use marijuana.

Still it's fun to believe the majority of violent persons are in prison, under psychiatric observation, or use marijuana daily.   It simplifies who we should avoid. It simplifies drug testing in the work-place where marijuana is the drug most often in flagged.

But it does nothing to make America safer.  To do that we need to revisit science. But to revisit science means changing the way we do things, and what we have been led to believe is true.



April 05, 2014

CANNABIS IS ALREADY LEGAL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE - THE GOVENOR AND OTHER POLITICIANS SIMPLY DON'T UNDERSTAND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW!

I'm not going to beat around the bush... marijuana is Constitutionally already legal in New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state! The only hurdle as I see it is a clause that questions "sobriety" in Article 83 of the NH Constitution.

[Art.] 83. [Encouragement of Literature, etc.; Control of Corporations, Monopolies, etc.] Knowledge and learning, generally diffused through a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; and spreading the opportunities and advantages of education through the various parts of the country, being highly conducive to promote this end; it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools, to encourage private and public institutions, rewards, and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and economy, honesty and punctuality, sincerity, sobriety, and all social affections, and generous sentiments, among the people: Provided, nevertheless, that no money raised by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for the use of the schools of institutions of any religious sect or denomination.Free and fair competition in the trades and industries is an inherent and essential right of t he pe ople and should be protected against all monopolies and conspiracies which tend to hinder or destroy it. The size and functions of all corporations should be so limited and regulated as to prohibit fictitious capitalization and provision should be made for the supervision and government thereof. Therefore, all just power possessed by the state is hereby granted to the general court to enact laws to prevent the operations within the state of all persons and associations, and all trusts and corporations, foreign or domestic, and the officers thereof, who endeavor to raise the price of any article of commerce or to destroy free and fair competition in the trades and industries through combination, conspiracy, monopoly, or any other unfair means; to control and regulate the acts of all such persons, associations, corporations, trusts, and officials doing business within the state; to prevent fictitious capitalization; and to authorize civil and criminal proceedings in respect to all the wrongs herein declared against.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1877 prohibiting tax money from being applied to schools of religious denominations.
Amended 1903 per
mitting the general court to regulate trusts and monopolies restraining free trade.


So what does this look like to you?:

Is this the image of a murderer, a child rapist, a kidnapper?

How is this picture different?:

A field of tobacco. A plant and commodity.

Or this?:
A field of cannabis. A plant, a commodity and medicine.

I'll repeat:

"[Art] 83: Therefore, all just power possessed by the state is hereby granted to the general court to enact laws to prevent the operations within the state of all persons and associations, and all trusts and corporations, foreign or domestic, and the officers thereof, who endeavor to raise the price of any article of commerce or to destroy free and fair competition in the trades and industries through combination, conspiracy, monopoly, or any other unfair means; to control and regulate the acts of all such persons, associations, corporations, trusts, and officials doing business within the state; to prevent fictitious capitalization; and to authorize civil and criminal proceedings in respect to all the wrongs herein declared against."

In relationship to the unfair prohibition of one agricultural commodity against another, unless there is a clear and imminent danger of death or a verified terrorist threat to society, an agricultural commodity cannot be prohibited in the State of NH.

"[Art.] 83. [Encouragement of Literature, etc.; Control of Corporations, Monopolies, etc.] Knowledge and learning, generally diffused through a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; and spreading the opportunities and advantages of education through the various parts of the country, being highly conducive to promote this end; it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools, to encourage private and public institutions, rewards, and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and natural history of the country..."

"Natural History of this Country?"

The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.
- Thomas Jefferson

Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.
- Thomas Jefferson

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,
- Genesis 1:29

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man:
- Psalm 104:14

We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.
- John Adams

It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to understand that it is legal under the NH Constitution to use hemp/cannabis as long as no one is hurt in the process... or just as sobriety is determined in cases of alcohol use, that marijuana is treated equally and fairly under the laws that protect society.

That it becomes apparent that what happens is, law enforcement is intimidated into violating NH Constitutional law by conducting raids on individuals and families whose sole purpose is in growing, selling or using hemp/cannabis as in an agricultural commodity under peaceful and benevolent terms; as a result of police actions people are hurt, families torn apart, people are killed or the action of illegality creates a back-side composed of cartels that exhibit reative types of control, death and destruction. All is unfair, as it is far less common that law enforcement will enact a similar action involving commodities like alcohol or tobacco.


Am I advocating "breaking the law in New Hampshire"?

No. Absolutely not! What I'm suggesting are the laws in place regarding cannabis/hemp/marijuana are currently Unconstitutional. I'm suggesting it is the right of the people to demand and acquire redress for violations of their Constitutional Rights. I'm saying, marijuana laws in New Hampshire are a violation of the People's Constitutional Rights.

Am I suggesting that the Governor of NH is ignoring and violating the rights of NH Citizens by what I call looking the other way when it comes to cannabis? Absolutely! The governor should be able to recognize the legitimacy of cannabis as an agricultural, scientific, medicinal commodity within the state and immediately take measures to bring marijuana laws into compliance with Constitutional law. Or prove why she can't or won't!