Odds and Ends

bullet image Thanks to Allan for pointing out this interesting article that serves as an important reminder: Strange reason to legalize marijuana

Apparently an underlying assumption of legal pot opponents is that human consciousness is some sort of pristine, pure pool of unsullied awareness which shouldn’t be contaminated by chemical substances like THC, the major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Here’s another science news flash: the brain produces conscious awareness, and it is filled with over 100 chemical neurotransmitters.

They make us happy, horny, hungry, and so much more. Including, high.

I’m writing these words buzzed on a chemical my brain adores: caffeine. Is this wrong? Should caffeine be illegal because it alters my consciousness, increasing alertness and improving my mood?

Of course not. It’s beautiful, really, how humans can bring parts of the world into their brains, then those substances enable them to view the world differently.

We are the world. The world is us. There is no immaterial self standing apart from materiality.

Nice.


bullet image Radley Balko also gives us an update that serves as another important reminder of something we’ve discussed here in the past…

Surprise! Controversial Patriot Act power now overwhelmingly used in drug investigations

So since the Patriot Act passed, the number of of sneak-and-peeks each year has grown from about 16 per year to over 11,000 in 2013. Meanwhile, not only have the number of sneak-and-peek investigations unrelated to terrorism increased on a massive scale, the percentage of sneak-and-peeks that have anything to do with terrorism continues to drop. In other words, sneak-and-peek is increasingly ubiquitous while the justification for granting the government this power in the first place — terrorism — is not only irrelevant to the tactic’s increasing pervasiveness, it gets more irrelevant every year.

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