CHANGE IN '09: The changes you want to see

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | 12:21 p.m. CST; updated 2:54 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Missourian reporters asked folks around Columbia what changes they would like to see in 2009. Here are their responses:

“I look forward to the stock market going up.”

— Alan Bohr, 64

“I want to see the Police Department change. Just 'cause we’re homeless doesn’t mean we’re bad people. We’re homeless people, not mean people. We just want to be loved.”

— George Nickles, 50

“I hope the new year brings more money and places for people to work.”

— Jackie Harris

“Better resources for autism, that's what I hope this year brings.”

— Trevor Howard

"Change in general. I'm just anxious to see what happens with our new president, whether it be good or bad."

— Lindsey Arrington

"I'm hoping for a better economy. I just hope that it turns around with the new president. Everyone has been affected by it."

— Brenda Woods

“Where I work at, I’ve been there 21 years. Two years ago we had 360 people; we’re down to 158. Tell you the truth, this year we need to keep all of our jobs in the United States instead of sending them overseas.”

— Tom Masters, 59

“We all worry about the economy and our own finances. Hopefully, we will all pay more attention, we all need to do our part this year. “

— Anna Cross of Yates, 38

“Well, I’m hoping that the new presidency will bring change in the economy, because there are so many people suffering. In my own life, well, I hope that we all stay healthy, the whole family.”

— Georgia Morehouse, 75

"I want to see marijuana legalized this year because I don't really think it's a 'drug' drug."

— Ashley Winemiller

"I'm looking forward to a different president. We need something new."

— Bill Crocker

“I went home for Christmas and my family was talking about Obama's presidency and how it really doesn't matter what president we have. I think people should give hope a shot and be optimistic for a change."

— Tony Layson  


“I’d like to see more recycling and recycling laws.  I know too many people who don’t recycle. There should also be more student involvement and activities in Columbia for students.”

— Konstantin Makarov, 16  

“I’m thrilled Obama is the next president. It gives us hope for the future. Again, I’m going to lose weight.

— Roy Robinson, 71

“One by one I’d like to see the leaders and nations regain their sanity and arrive at the conclusion that they’re better off helping people rather than killing people. Those are the thoughts that fill my prayers.”

— John Rice of Jackson, 59

“I’d love to see people respect people everywhere. I know it’s cliché, but it’s better than just saying world peace.”

— Lynn Jaxon

“I’d like to see young people have more respect for each other. Men used to open doors for women.”

— Elaine Bruno

"In 2009 I'd like to see the power of the executive branch more in balance with legislative and judicial branches. And I want to lose weight."

— Martin Pope, 39

“I hope things will change when Obama comes in. I'm kind of in the middle between middle class and poverty. I have a terminally ill child, so it's hard for me to work and take care for him.

— Bea Wall

“I would like to see gay marriage legalized. It just seems unjust in a just country. I want this for myself and everyone in general. I also am hoping to get a teaching job, so I can make money.”

— Lisa Miller of Kirksville, 25

“I think we (the United States) could spend money on alternative energy development and alternative transportation. We can solve many of the world's problems with bicycles."

— Kevin Blake of Wisconsin, 38


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Ayn Rand January 7, 2009 | 8:08 a.m.

"I want to see marijuana legalized this year because I don't really think it's a 'drug' drug."

Ashley, if you really believe that, then you need to spend some time listening to group sessions at a treatment facility such as Pathways, on Dysart Street. Or go talk to some of the counselors at Hickman. Then you'll realize that pot's toll on individuals and society is huge.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 8:36 a.m.

I don't think anyone at a "treatment facility" is there because of marijuana...

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 7, 2009 | 8:43 a.m.

Many are, Art. I've sat in on enough of those groups over the years and seen it first-hand. They go around the room in counseling sessions: "Why are you here?" A frequent answer is, "I like to smoke pot." Many do other drugs, too, but for just as many, they do only pot. But they're in treatment nonetheless because smoking five times a day caused them to skip school almost daily and get into trouble.

If you still don't believe me, ask people who work with teen-agers at these and other facilities.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 8:47 a.m.

How do you know these people wouldn't have been like that (skipping school and whatnot) even if they didn't have access to pot?

Regardless, for every person you can find me that says pot ruined their life, I could find you 10 that have had no problems from it and use it safely, maturely, and in proper amounts (unlike all the alcoholics and prescription drug addicts in our country, as well as the parents forcing their kids to take adderall)

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 8:54 a.m.

If you think marijuana should stay illegal because some people have had their lives ruined from it (which I highly doubt, still), then I assume you have no problem with alcohol being illegal then, Ayn?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 7, 2009 | 10:02 a.m.

No, alcohol is fine, as long as the drinking age remains 21. We need to keep penalties for underage consumption of alcohol just as we do pot because of how both can and often do put them on the wrong path in life. After 21, I don't care if you smoke pot or drink, but I think we should eliminate publicly funded treatment programs for anyone 21 or older. You made those choices; you pay the price -- literally.

"How do you know these people wouldn't have been like that (skipping school and whatnot) even if they didn't have access to pot?"

Experience. My niece and her friend got into pot and wound up skipping school and getting into trouble as a result. I've asked several counselors whether that's common, and they said yes.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 10:09 a.m.

Must be true then!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 7, 2009 | 11:19 a.m.

Pot is the gateway drug no matter how much people want to protest it. If you really want to get more in depth Alcohol is a primary gateway drug that is often given to children by their very own parents,grandparents,older brothers or sisters and even aunts and uncles on occasions at family parties.

If a child or young adult is susceptible to the feelings either of these gateway type drugs give them and they find they really like those feelings there could often times more than not be future problems in that child's life unless intervention is practiced.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 11:38 a.m.

Can you please explain to be how pot is a gateway drug "no matter how much people want to protest it"? As in, some sort of scientific data.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 7, 2009 | 12:09 p.m.

Don't really need any scientific presentations as it is really simple to follow the path these things take.

Young kid is out hanging with friends and they are drinking alcohol. Over time this becomes their common activity. One day one of the bunch says "Hey got a couple of joints I stole from my sister and let's try them it smells like really good stuff". So they try that and after sometime this also gets added into their patterns of hanging out. Then one day they are all really buzzed up on Alcohol and Pot and nobody has any energy to do anything when one of them says "Hey guys I can get some Meth(or it could be Cocaine) and anybody wanna try it so we can all be really buzzed and doing lots of weird stuff?" which leads to some of them trying it out and finding that the combination of the Alcohol,Pot and the Meth(or Cocaine) are one hell of a dam good high so those that choose to do them are really liking those feelings they are getting alot and it becomes their thing they love to do in getting high.

The above is one of the perfect examples of how kids get hooked on drugs over time and it can be a long period of time or a very very short period of time depending upon the chemical make up and susceptibility of the individual ingesting the substances.

Common sense 101 if you know how it is with any bunch of kids who are hanging on the streets from very young ages looking to be accepted,respected and to be apart of what they think is the in crowd due to possible problems at home that the parents might be lax in properly addressing.

Yes this all goes right back to the parents I assure you 100%.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 12:13 p.m.

Uhuh, seems like you know exactly what you're talking about.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 12:18 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 12:52 p.m.

Art Dandelion:
Go smoke banana peels.
They're healthier for you and will help keep your bowels regular.
Of course, too much will make you constipated and then you'll have to snort some prune dust.
But at least you'll be getting plenty of pot-ass-ium.
Then, your body will be ready for the harder stuff.
However, I don't recommend it.
If you really want the "poop" on MaryJane, I suggest you sample the following:
Or go for two dimes and buy the book.
And pass that book around instead of a joint.
Then get back to me and we'll talk.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 7, 2009 | 12:59 p.m.

^^ Hilarious!

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 1:01 p.m.

I know of that book. It's a sham.

RATHER: Does the program work? Do the kids get off drugs and stay off? Meehan and his colleagues have repeatedly said that they are 75 to 80 percent successful-but when they are pressed, they day that those figures refer only to the percentage of kids who stay straight for 30 days and get their monkey fist. And when Meehan is pressed further, even that doesn't hold up too well.

MEEHAN: What is success? What are we going to use as a definition for success?

To me, it's one who has become a dues-paying member of society, has returned to school, no longer has a chemical problem-okay?-is moving on to enjoy life to its fullest, and being part of what you and I consider society. In that area, we are more successful than anybody I know of. What about the bottom line dry statistics? Fine. Mr. Rather, 60 MINUTES, if you care to give me $75,000 to do that kind of study and hire the statisticians necessary to do it, I will.

RATHER: Are you saying to me that you don't have any data to back up your claim that you're 75 to 80 percent successful?

MEEHAN: We have- the data we have is quite different from data anybody else has. And see, we don't keep records on people. You- if- if your children came to us, they don't have to give us their right name. They want help, they stay. They don't, they leave.

RATHER: But- pardon me for interrupting-but that- that's part of the problem.

MEEHAN: No stats, yes. We-

RATHER: Again, you see, I find that an absolutely astonishing thing, that you would say, "Mr. Rather, I don't even know the names of most people who come into our place."

MEEHAN: That's right. We're not here for names. We're here to show people a better way to live.

RATHER: Okay, but-

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 7, 2009 | 1:01 p.m.

MEEHAN: If you want it, stay. You don't, leave.

RATHER: You can't give me a figure: these are the numbers of people that we had come through our doors nationwide?

MEEHAN: No, we don't have time. We get 400 calls a day from all over the world.

RATHER: Okay. But you don't know how many are coming through the door.


RATHER: So, how can you day you're 75 to 80 percent successful?

MEEHAN: Because of the times that I ran groups, I knew, when I knew the kids in the group, when I saw how many came in-when I was running a group myself-I saw how many came in, and I knew what it was.

RATHER: Mr. Meehan, I don't doubt for a moment that you did that. But when you boil it down, what you've got is a guess.

MEEHAN: Oh, definitely. Oh, you're right. Definitely, a guess.

RATHER: Okay, so when you say you're 75 to 80 percent effective, you're guessing.

MEEHAN: I'd like to say 70.

RATHER: All right, let's say 70. Let's- let's take a conservative figure. Do you consider that to be conservative?

MEEHAN: No. Conservative, 65 to 70.

RATHER: All right, 65 to 70.


RATHER: I note that we're already down from 75 to 80 percent down to 65 to 70.

MEEHAN: I- do- you haven't talked to me.

RATHER: All right, you- you say 65 to 70. But I say, is that your guess as to how effective you are?

MEEHAN: That's my guess.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 1:37 p.m.

Dear Buds Vandeley:
Yea, I know. It's a sham like all the other well meaning books about helping addicts and understanding our teenagers. A scam jut like every other 12-step recovery progaram such as A.A. (Which, like the Crossroads program, has also been called by "users/addicts" as a cult, just to defame a group which can help them.)
And besides, reefer boy, I wasn't talking about the program's statistics. I was talking about how "wonderful" cannabis is for your soul and future life.
However, being that you brought up some old obscure Rather/Meehan interviw about some drug program, let me add the following.
This is a fantastic "enthusiastic sobriety program" in Columbia which gives parents and teenagers the opportunity to learn from each other and discover a life without drugs.
This program, in Columbia, is based from the early concepts written in the book you refer to as a "scam" and is working for many of our local teens and families.
Not every program works for every person at any given time, however, don't push pot or defend it as "your drug of choice" when there are susceptible, pre disposed non-users who you may entice to experiment, get "hooked" and then ruin their life. (Afterall, it is also about peer pressure and the money that can be made off of addicts, isn't it?) Do it in the privacy of your home and suffer your own consequences.
(Put that in your pipe and smoke it, potsy!)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 7, 2009 | 1:43 p.m.

Stay classy Chuck and Ray...

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock January 7, 2009 | 1:54 p.m.

Before this conversation devolves any further into personal attacks, let me throw this question out there:

In the original statement that sparked this debate about marijuana, Ashley says that it's not a "drug drug." When it comes to punishing drug offenders, should someone busted for cocaine, meth or heroin face the same penalties as someone busted for marijuana?

Let's discuss without harshing each other's mellows, please.

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 7, 2009 | 2:03 p.m.

Jake a drug is a drug is a drug as if you go into any recognized Narcotics Anonymous meeting and ask they will tell you as such.

If it is illegal then yes the penalties IMHO should be the same to set examples of just how bad it can get when allowed to get out of control.

Too many times and in too many cases Pot has lead to other harder drugs,ruined families,ruined careers,ruined lives and more. Just ask any guidance councilor or drug and alcohol treatment councilor.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 2:08 p.m.

John Shultz, Libertarian Party Chairman:
I hope your kids are still young enough not to be in middle school.
I highly suggest you read all you can about today's drug culture and how it is effecting America's children, in 2009...
Or, you can choose to toke and watch this edumacational film...

(Report Comment)
Matt Y January 7, 2009 | 2:41 p.m.

Technically, food is a drug as well.

Leave the hysteria at home and take a look at the facts. Marijuana is largely harmless and does have admitted health benefits. Chuck's claim that "too many times...pot has ruined families, lives..." etc, is backed by absolutely no evidence, and there is far more proof of successful and productive pot smokers than he would care to admit. Carl Sagan was a brilliant scientific mind at the forefront of his field, and was a smoker himself. That's not to name the American Presidents, CEOs, business owners, athletes, etc. who smoke or who have smoked. The gateway hypothesis is laughable, and few psychologists or pharmacologists ever purport that it is remotely plausible.

We'll never agree on the "moral" issue of weed, so lets look at it practically. Billions of our tax dollars go to locking up marijuana smokers every year - largely on possession crimes. Not only that, but we live in the United States, where you are legally entitled to get plastered drunk every night of the week. Alcohol is extremely harmful and has very, very few health applications. Why should marijuana be treated any differently?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 2:44 p.m.

Ashley Winemaker:
Pot is not a drug-drug?
What a downer!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 7, 2009 | 2:50 p.m.

Sorry Ray, I've got more important things to do (such as make up a funny name for you if that's what this topic has devolved to with you and Chuck) than click on your YouTube links. I'll raise my kids to stay away from drugs and you can go browse YouTube if it makes you feel like you are accomplishing something.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 7, 2009 | 3:26 p.m.

Good post.
Bad argument.
The story of the very intelligent Sherlock Holmes added to a culture where very smart people began using cocaine.
Did this make cocaine not a drug-drug?
Hedonistic behavior, such as freedom to do whatever you want, just because it "feels good," has been promoted by the "drug culture" forever. Granted that Richard Nixon over did the way our government handles "this problem", however, I'd be careful about the agenda of NORML as it's propaganda which is affecting people, like yourself, to spew words like, "pot is healthy, harmless and makes for good brain food." It... is... a... drug.
I would like to see legal reform, but not in the way our young, and those who would financially/politicaly benefit, currently propose. The medical community could and should be our first line regarding drugs for medicinal purposes. Substance abusers will not agree. So be it.
All I ask is that you don't confuse marijuana with healthy foods like Coca-Cola and Mallowmars...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 7, 2009 | 5:20 p.m.

>>> Chuck's claim that "too many times...pot has ruined families, lives..." etc, is backed by absolutely no evidence. <<<

Well I do not know where you have lived all of your life but obviously it might have been quite sheltered. If you need proof go into any prison,drug rehab center,court room,county jail,half way house or group home for troubled kids and ask those people which was the first drug they picked up that contributed to them being where they are at right now.

The number one usually will be Pot,with Alcohol,Cocaine and Meth dam close seconds.

If all of those people of lost families and stories of broken homes and lives is not enough then you seriously need to rethink how you look at the world.

Even criminal prosecutors,judges,psychiatrists,councilors,probation officers,jailers and others in courts across this nation will tell you the same thing. They should know being they see this day in and day out.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich January 9, 2009 | 3:06 p.m.

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. Every piece of bread you eat brings you nearer to death.

5. Bread is associated with all the major diseases of the body. For example, nearly all sick people have eaten bread. The effects are obviously cumulative:

99.9% of all people who die from cancer have eaten bread.
100% of all soldiers have eaten bread.
96.9% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten bread.
99.7% of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate bread within 6 months preceding the accident.
93.1% of juvenile delinquents came from homes where bread is served frequently.
6. Evidence points to the long-term effects of bread eating: Of all people born before 1839 who later dined on bread, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
7. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as a teaspoon of dough can be used to suffocate a lab rat. The average American eats more bread than that in one day!

8. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

9. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and being fed only water begged for bread after as little as two days.

10. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

11. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

12. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

13. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

14. Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:

1. No sale of bread to minors.
2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 10, 2009 | 12:16 a.m.

Dear Arthur Onederlay:
Your grass must be laced with acid for you to come up with this cockamamie bread story.
Here's a story that's backed up by the medical community.
And I'll tell you what.
You promise to lay off the weed and I'll promise to lay off the bread.
New ground-breaking research shows long-term, heavy cannabis use causes significant brain abnormalities resulting in psychotic symptoms and memory loss equivalent to that of patients with a mild traumatic brain injury.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Wollongong, is the first to show that long-term cannabis use can adversely affect all users, not just those in the high-risk categories such as the young, or those susceptible to mental illness, as previously thought.

Researchers used brain imaging to demonstrate for the first time that the hippocampus and the amygdala, brain regions thought to regulate memory and emotional processing, were significantly reduced in cannabis users compared to non-users by an average of 12 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

According to lead researchers the new evidence plays an important role in further understanding the effects of cannabis and its impact on brain functioning.

“The study shows that long-term cannabis users were more prone to a range of psychotic experiences, such as persecutory beliefs (paranoia) and social withdrawal,”
“It also demonstrates that these long-term users had progressed the loss of memory by around 15 years. With an average age of 39, the trial group had the memory capabilities of a 55 year-old. This loss of memory could be likened to the damage suffered by patients with mild traumatic brain injury”.

“Although growing literature suggests that long-term cannabis use is associated with a wide range of adverse health consequences, many people in the community, as well as cannabis users themselves, believe that it is relatively harmless and should be legally available. Given that cannabis is the most prevalent illicit drug in our community, there is a clear need to conduct robust investigations that highlight the possible long-term dangers.”

The more cannabis used, the more these individuals were likely to show reduced brain volume, particularly of the hippocampus, as well as sub-threshold psychotic symptoms and significant memory loss.

“These findings challenge the widespread perception of cannabis as having limited or no harmful effects on brain and behaviour.”
“Young people in particular, need to be aware of the strong relationship between cannabis and mental health problems. That is why, in partnership with the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, we are currently developing guidelines and resources for young people, teachers and their parents to help address this issue.”

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 10, 2009 | 3:02 a.m.

I guess the point that need to be made here is to compare the adverse effects of marijuana with those of other legal recreational drugs (alcohol and tobacco). Alcohol is well known to affect the brain, as well as other organs, and tobacco as well. Is pot any worse than those? No.

Adults should be able to choose what substances they put into their bodies, as long as it affects only them. If their behavior becomes a problem for those around them, deal with the behavior, not the drug. Millions of people use marijuana (BTW, I do not, just so you know) every day without adversely affecting anyone around them. It's the few that use it to excess that cause the problems. The same can be said for a lot of recreational activities.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 10, 2009 | 3:04 a.m.

They have known results like this for a very very long time. There was also another study that was done that proved that in some adolescents that once they started doing drugs at a very young age that mental development did stop on some levels of maturity.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich February 2, 2009 | 1:36 p.m.

Looks like someone can smoke pot and still win the most Olympic gold medals in history. Incredible!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 2, 2009 | 1:57 p.m.

He did that after the games not before and there is no proof he ever did it before.

If you remember they have strict drug testing.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 2, 2009 | 2:23 p.m.

They also don't test all year long, only when there are competitions for the most part.

I couldn't care less if Michael Phelps smoked pot, Marion Barry smoked crack, or Barack Obama used cocaine as long as they harmed no one while under the influence.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 2, 2009 | 2:32 p.m.

That can be one way to look at it but those people are supposed to be role models to youth too.

I can understand if they might have done it in the past and changed their ways but if they continue to do it and desire to be a role model or in the lime light as a role model I have a problem with that.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich February 2, 2009 | 6:07 p.m.

""Acting on a mistaken drug trafficking suspicion, a SWAT team broke down the door of the town mayor and his wife, shot beloved pets and shattered a happy home."

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 2, 2009 | 7:33 p.m.

Bart Undaware:
What does your reference to a potential script for the movie, "Legal Search Leaves Mayor's Dogs Dead" have to do with the above article?
It was a SWAT response. They swatted. It could have been handled better. The article could have also been summarized in one page. I hope there was some apologies, cash compensation and counseling for all.
What's the big deal?
OOPS, embarrassed. On to the next drug bust.
Columbia and the FBI just got a gang of 16.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 2, 2009 | 8:14 p.m.

Ray, your crass renaming of people you disagree with is really pissing me off, makes me think Chuck is the more mature of your gang. Knock it off if you want anyway to pay attention to, that would be my advice.

So you think the police were justified in busting into the freaking mayor's house and shooting the dogs, including one that was running away? That's an example of the kind of shoddy police work I'm glad we don't appear to have here in Columbia.

Here's another story about a young man with a little pot, an informant who broke into his house to make up a story to feed the police, the raid they made on this guy while he was asleep (three days after his house had been broken into mind you), the cop who is dead because of the poor investigation, and the truly unforgivable coverup by the prosecuting attorney. Let me know how that one grabs ya,. or if Detective Shivers was just "swatted" as you callously put it.

Wiki on the case with links to various news stories:

Turns out one of the prosecution witnesses alleging that Ryan showed no remorse in jail is so unreliable that another prosecuting attorney from Virginia presented evidence of his evidence fabrication to the defense team!

Radley Balko has been following this case, and other cases of police militarization when it comes to raids, at his blog below. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there is an easy way to sort out the posts just about Ryan (but look to see what happened to Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland when he underwent a drug raid):

A young man has had his life potentially ruined, a wife has lost her husband, and children have lost their father all over a small amount of marijuana and an unreliable informant (who is believed to have burgled Ryan days before the raid).

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 2, 2009 | 9:33 p.m.

John Schultz, Chairman of the Boone County Libertarian Party:
I don't belong to any "gang."
Is the Libertarian Party a gang?
(Also, if Art Vandelay ever conveyed to me that he didn't appreciate my variations, I'd apologize and cease in a heartbeat.)
Finally, I read the 5 page story Art referred me to and then read the commentaries which followed, before composing the response I posted.
When was the last time you viewed one of my You-Tubes?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 3, 2009 | 12:40 a.m.

John Schultz, Chairman of the Boone County Libertarian Party I do not belong to any gang either so I have no idea where you pulled that B.S. out from. You really need to take that chill pill man. You are making your local party look bad with all of your incessant ranting and stalking of ray and myself not only here but on Trib Board as well.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 3, 2009 | 4:27 a.m.

Where to start with you jokers?

If you want to keep identifying me as the county chair, I have no problems with it. Do you want me to paint all Obama supporters with the same wide brushes you two use?

Chuck, you're the one who needs to take some chill pills. Where did I say you and Ray belonged to a gang? That's more of his oddball humor I guess that you read as a fact. If you call people following up to your posts in a manner you don't like stalking, then find a lawyer and get to suing. Can't stand the heat, get out of the cyber-kitchen.

Ray, as for your "What's the big deal?" about the story Art posted, what would have happened if the mayor had a gun upstairs and came rushing down thinking his family's home was being invaded by criminals. Then instead of "just" two dead dogs (that were just like children to this family), a ransacked house, and a life thrown into turmoil, the mayor's wife would have been a widow. Just a "big deal" in your book I guess. Are you justifying the shoddy police work in that case? Go read about the Corey Maye case next and let me know if what happened to him is no "big deal" either.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 3, 2009 | 5:29 a.m.

>>> John Schultz February 3, 2009 | 4:27 a.m. Where did I say you and Ray belonged to a gang? <<<

>>> John Schultz February 2, 2009 | 8:14 p.m.
Ray, your crass renaming of people you disagree with is really pissing me off, makes me think Chuck is the more mature of your gang. <<<

Case made and point set. Maybe you should review before your post next time.

You really do much better sitting behind Gary during his show than trying to run your public campaign of intimidation through the local media. There we only barely hear your little snippets just like when somebody has to put the muzzle on a over zealous yapping Chihuahua.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 3, 2009 | 8:54 a.m.

Chuck, so sorry that I forgot about my little bit of humor, doesn't seem to be such a problem with your and Ray's YouTube links that I don't click. As for your public intimidation claims, glad I didn't have a mouthful of OJ at the time. Get a grip, please!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 3, 2009 | 10:53 a.m.

John Schultz if you would have had a mouth full of O.J. I would really have cause for concern then.

Especially if you spit O.J. out instead of swallowing and it went down the wrong pipe.

(Report Comment)
Shannon Hale February 13, 2009 | 4:33 p.m.

I believe teenagers start smoking cigarettes first, and then they move on to alcohol. And then if they are hanging out with someone who has access to pot they will most likely try it, if offered. So in essence cigarettes are the beginning and “Gateway” to other items, legal or not. But you can’t base your argument on teenagers being led astray because of pot, most teenagers have only one thing on their brains and that’s having fun and hanging out with friends. Skipping school will happen regardless, lord knows I skipped school plenty of times and it wasn’t because of drugs. All I can say is legalize it, tax it, it will create jobs and it is a renewable resource. I also think the fact that we lock up nonviolent offenders because they smoke pot in the privacy of their homes is a total waste of tax dollars and in such a trying economy we need to look at all options available. Hemp could be our ticket to revitalizing the economy in Missouri. Paper, Lube for automobiles, robe, textiles, energy, we have not even begun to realize the money that could be made off of this plant.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 13, 2009 | 9:12 p.m.

Shannon Hale:
The only hemp product I have a problem with is the one that "NORML" advocates for you to smoke.
Saying that tobacco smoking is the gateway drug, is like saying your mother's milk is the gateway beverage to Mickey Dee's shakes which then leads the rich to partake in Steak and Shake.
It's not that tobacco is a gateway to other things, it has more to do with peer presure, bad choices, and the thrill of committing a "crime." It also has to do with hedonism and addiction.
I am also amazed at how "potheads" will try to make an argument that reefer is healthier than alcohol or tobacco.
They are just blowing smoke and trying to cloud the issue.
To me, it doesn't even matter if whacky weed is healthier than booze or tobacco or not. All that matters to me is that smoking maryjane or consuming hash brownies is less healthy than eating iceberg lettuce and that you are breaking the law!
I do agree with you that our laws need to be adjusted as I believe that good old President Nixon missed his mark. Today, I think the American Medical Association and its lawyers may be best suited to handle the "pot dilemma," as long as they don't include the lawyers and physicians who are addicts, themselves.
Yea, it's a bummer that some non-violent potheads who toke in the privacy of their home gets busted. Hoewver, you used the word "offender" and that could explain why this happens. There are many "nonviolent" crimes which people wind up in jail for. (Martha Stewart comes to mind.)
Marijuana is classified as a drug and as such should be regulated by the FDA.
(By the way, the ATF now stands for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Go figure.)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 13, 2009 | 10:10 p.m.

All well and good Ray, but my understanding is that the federal government has essentially put the kibosh on marijuana research so the AMA can't really do much investigation. The DEA and ONDCP have too much invested in their version of the story to even allow medicinal trials.

Yes, there is a contingent among medical marijuana activists that are only in it to legalize their smoking, but I think the onus should be on the government to prove that marijuana is more harmful than it is helpful. It's ironic to me that the FDA approves drugs such as Vioxx and Phen-Fen, yet won't investigate the possible benefits of medical marijuana.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 13, 2009 | 10:58 p.m.

I thought they did and that's how they came up with... Dronabinol
Dronabinol is used to treat loss of appetite in people with AIDS. It is also used to treat ...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 14, 2009 | 12:08 a.m.

I wonder if medical marijuana has some of the side effects/precautions listed at the URL you posted:

Before taking dronabinol, tell your doctor if you have a seizure disorder, high blood pressure, heart disease, a history of mental illness or drug addiction, or if you are also using other medicines that can affect your central nervous system, such as a tranquilizer, sleep medicine, or anti-psychotic medications.

If not, seems like it would be a better option than the man-made stuff.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 12:27 a.m.

You might find your answer here, or you could always ask one of the drug pushers who just might be hanging around on Wilkes, just behind Hickman High. (I'm certain that he'll give you full disclosure, for insurance liablity purposes.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 1:39 a.m.

Just found something your local drug pusher might just not want to share with you....

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 14, 2009 | 1:52 a.m.

Just a pharmacological note. Dronabinol is natural delta-8 THC. Nabilone is the "man-made stuff" Both drugs seem to have the same effects and "addiction" liability.

"Addiction" is a term that people throw around loosely. Physical addiction is a very different thing from "mental and emotional" addiction. Marijuana does not addict like cigarettes and heroin do. If it weren't for the smoke, marijuana is a relatively harmless substance, certainly less physically damaging than alcohol. Anti-drug organizations have whipped up a lot of fear in order to make an issue, and also to reap contributions. Millions of people use marijuana every day and few have problems with it (I do not, BTW).


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 2:41 a.m.

Marijuana addiction causes many problems. Marijuana addiction does much damage in the life of the person addicted to marijuana, along with the people who care about the person. The main reason that marijuana addiction is damaging is due to the mental effects that it has on its abuser. The person suffering from marijuana addiction may not even know they are addicted. They might think that their marijuana addiction is just a bad habit or not even that strong. They might think that they are using marijuana recreationally when the disease of marijuana addiction is slowly taking over the person's life.
Marijuana is not physically addicting. But this does not let users off the hook. Just because a drug is not physically addicting doesn't mean that it is not addicting in any capacity. It is by far one of the most addicting drugs on the market when thought about as emotionally and mentally addicting.

There are two ways of being addicted to marijuana, and they are almost inseparable. They are the emotional marijuana addiction and mental marijuana addiction. These are practically impossible to be found separately in one marijuana addict.

Emotional marijuana addiction is the more powerful of the two. The reason for its power lies within the addict's emotional well-being. What occurs when an addict inhales the marijuana is they are placed in a euphoric state. Once they are placed in this state their marijuana now controls their emotions. If they are "happy it is because of the marijuana". Is something they might think to themselves. What this begins is the cycle of getting high to become happy and when they come down and begin to feel less than happy they might use again. They will continue this cycle until their emotions are completely ruled by marijuana. This is emotional marijuana addiction. And what makes this form stronger is that when the addict tries to get sober they will feel very depressed. This depression might drive them to use again.

Mental marijuana addiction is simpler and less powerful. What happens is a logical progression that marijuana enhances their life. It is a lie that they tell themselves. This lie becomes stronger until they no longer can tell reality from their own perception. When this happens the addict is in trouble.

Marijuana kills large amounts of brain cells. It renders the person lethargic and lazy and their life may begin to fall apart. Don't let this happen to you or someone you love.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 14, 2009 | 3:05 a.m.

Ray, these recovery centers are selling something. They are selling expensive, largely ineffective treatment. Drugs users that honestly wish to stop using often do it on their own. It's like any other life change - they have to know deep down that they want to change.

A lot of people that used marijuana as youngsters simply got tired of it. They put it down and never went back. Addictive personalities will find some other addiction to substitute for a drug addiction - one of the most common is they'll become addicted to religion.


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 3:16 a.m.

Marijuana, testicular cancer link is found
Young male users seem to be more likely to get an aggressive form of the disease.
Young men who began using marijuana as adolescents or who smoke pot at least once a week appear to be twice as likely to develop testicular cancer as those who never used the drug.
Prominent Male Breasts
Most Common Causes of Gynecomastia:
Puberty (hormonal growth and changes during adolescence)
Estrogen exposure (female hormone present in the body and the environment)
Androgen exposure (body-building hormones)
Marijuana use
... the active ingredients in marijuana are doing something to sperm, and the numbers are in the direction toward infertility," said Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D., lead author on the study.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 14, 2009 | 4:09 a.m.

Mark Foecking wrong those recovery centers are selling and freely giving away tool so that the addict/alcoholic who does truly want to quit can and have those tools to access as needed.

Yes there are those who cannot quit and those end up in jails,institutions or in death. That is the harsh reality of recovery.

From the preamble of most all related recovery programs:

How it works

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 4:26 a.m.

Why a separate program for marijuana?
Marijuana Anonymous
It is very difficult to go to a meeting and be called a "lightweight" by the other addicts when you are absolutely despondent about what is happening to your life and are trying frantically to get clean. Being told to "Come back when you get a real addiction" doesn't help either. Marijuana addicts already have a real addiction.

Members of MA range from addicts who did nothing but marijuana, to addicts who did everything possible and could get off everything else but not pot. They needed special meetings aimed at coping with marijuana addiction. Now they have a refuge among people who know that pot addiction is nothing to joke about.
Has smoking marijuana stopped being fun?
Do you ever get high alone?
Is it hard for you to imagine a life without marijuana?
Do you find that your friends are determined by your marijuana use?
Do you smoke marijuana to avoid dealing with your problems?
Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?
Does your marijuana use let you live in a privately defined world?
Have you ever failed to keep promises you made about cutting down or controlling your cannabis smoking?
Has your use of marijuana caused problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
Do you plan your life around your marijuana use?
Have friends or relatives ever complained that your pot smoking is damaging your relationship with them?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 14, 2009 | 12:44 p.m.

A drug is a drug is a drug unless you really want to get into the depth and mechanics of all of these drugs and how they effect people differently then I can agree on different organized groups handling the various aspects of the recovery issues.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 14, 2009 | 12:48 p.m.

Ray, I understand the position you're arguing from, but I feel that what you describe is a problem with the nature of addiction in general, and is not unique to marijuana, which has no unique addictive properties that makes it more inherently dangerous or liable for long-term abuse than anything else.

No one will disagree with you that addiction to anything is unhealthy, whether it be infatuation with another person, playing video games, or food. The questions that you pose could be applied to ANY of those addictions. The only difference (and problem) is the legal status of marijuana. I think that the greatest dangers of marijuana involve this draconian, paramilitary-style enforcement of laws which had no business being put on the books in the first place. Laws which grew out of racism in the American southwest, not science or debate. We both know prohibition didn't work. Why are we going down the same old road with marijuana laws? How does that improve our society? Does it help anyone to put pot smokers in prison? If you're worried about the fragmentation of families, I think that may be where you need to look. Is this where we should focus our efforts?

Try proving this to yourself - ask yourself the same questions you posed with another form of addiction. You will find that the answers, while troublesome, are the same across the board for all addictions. Whether that be a 42% of American adults admit (publicly - quite a few more probably chose not to admit it) to smoking pot at one point or another, and I don't know that you would be able to point out that any significant amount of those people has become dangerous to those around them due to weed 'addiction' - and if they have, its because their addictive behavior is destructive, not the leaf itself. Believe it or not, normal, healthy, productive folks smoke, on occasion, marijuana for fun or for relaxation. The same reasons that people drink socially. Our President is a fine example of one of those people. As long as they don't commit crimes or allow it to dominate their lives, then I fail to see why it should be demonized and outlawed. This is the same logic that governs why other dangerous activities are not outlawed. Driving a car is inherently and exponentially more dangerous than taking a puff off a joint, but we don't criminalize it UNTIL it endangers others. Reckless driving, DUI, speeding, etc.

(to be continued)

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 14, 2009 | 12:49 p.m.

(continued from above)
On a side note, and I keep coming back to this, but it's important to reiterate. The government still, no matter what the health problems studies associates with a plant, has no business mandating what goes in and out of a person's body whatsoever unless it without question harms others. Never should have been able to, never should be able to. Period. That's what freedom is about.

I know ultimately, Ray, that your argument against marijuana comes no doubt from your religious convictions and belief that the 'body is a temple', and thus, it's going to be hard to convince you to change those beliefs. But reason and reality dictate that we take a different view on marijuana laws - not only for the principle of freedom, but also to help prevent the horrendous tragedies that come from the drug wars. If you haven't already, I suggest you read up on Kathryn Johnston and Cheye Calvo. Two shining examples of how misguided our efforts are.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 14, 2009 | 1:12 p.m.

"The government still, no matter what the health problems studies associates with a plant, has no business mandating what goes in and out of a person's body whatsoever unless it without question harms others. Never should have been able to, never should be able to. Period. That's what freedom is about."

Fine by me. Just don't expect me to chip in for detox or if the person becomes disabled.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 14, 2009 | 1:15 p.m.

I would heartily agree with that position, Ayn.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 14, 2009 | 1:54 p.m.

What about the crime these illegal drugs produce and would/could still produce if they were legalized?

Who pays for all of those crime related incidents and the citizens damaged due to those crimes committed?

This issue is so much bigger than those demanding legalization can contemplate actually.

Maybe if they came out of the drug induced haze they might see that.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 14, 2009 | 2:10 p.m.

You didn't see too many Al Capones after they lifted prohibition, did you? When you legalize something, you bring it out of the alleyways and ghettos. You remove the black market, which removes all of those undesirable side-effects of a black market - including the money and territorial battles which cause violence.

This is exactly my point. Most of the 'crime' associated with marijuana are a result of its legal status - not the drug itself. Pot does not CAUSE the kind of crimes we should be worried about - people make decisions to commit those crimes. The only crimes that are a cause of smoking the drug are those which violate the existing marijuana laws. Do you see the circular logic here?

(Report Comment)
Matt Y February 14, 2009 | 2:11 p.m.

^ that should say

The only crimes that are caused by smoking the drug*

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 14, 2009 | 2:36 p.m.

Matt Y, good points. Other victims of the War on Some Drugs that Ray and Chuck likely don't care about: (skimpy on details for some reason, read some of the cited links)

I also read today that sheriff deputies committed armed no-knock raids seeking information on the Michael Phelps case in South Carolina.

Money quotes below, since that seems to be Ray's way of arguing this issue:

“He’s sitting there on Saturday, and 12 cops kick in the door with guns drawn, search the house, and find 5, maybe 6 grams of pot,” Harpootlian said about his client, who was arrested in the first raid at the Wells Point Drive home near Ballentine.

“They never asked him, ‘Who sold you the pot?’” Harpootlian continued. “They were asking, ‘Were you at the party with Michael Phelps? Did you see him using marijuana?’ It was all about Michael Phelps.”

The charges resulted from Saturday’s raids and are not connected to the November party that Phelps attended.

Harpootlian, the former top prosecutor for Richland and Kershaw counties, and McCulloch contend Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is conducting an overzealous investigation of their clients to try to get evidence against Phelps.

“The sheriff’s department is deploying resources they are normally reserving for major drug dealers and major criminals,” said McCulloch, also a former prosecutor.

This also the same sheriff who bragged about his department's acquisition of an M113A1 armored personnel carrier complete with .50 caliber machine gun, the same type of armored vehicle that Columbia is requesting via federal stimulus money:

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 3:02 p.m.

Like I've said before, Nixon missed his mark. I hope Obama helps all of us by adjusting some aspects regarding government policies. But, please don't minimize how it affects people's lives or advocate that others smoke it.
I am of the mind set to follow Doctors' orders other than that of weed smokers.
It was the Surgeon General who placed the warnings on cigarette packs.
And, don't forget that Obama is a very good politician and his career depends on how popular he will be to his voters, come next Presidential election. He's still looking after number one.
I have nothing to lose by being unpopular or warning folks not to mess with pot.
Many people would rather remain silent as NORML takes over the masses.
Things may not get better, just different.
We've legalized gambling and are beginning to feel the effects of that.
Legalize prostitution, destroy the concept of marriage being between a man and a woman, take away our border restrictions and grant illegals amnesty, reward bad behavior. Suddenly, vice is nice! Doesn't make it right.
What idea are you clinging to?
Personally, I don't want "contact highs" to become legal.
Your kind would not have the decency to keep the smoke away from my nose.
I have left many a party when the weed comes out. Even "forced" to have a "contact high" at Madison Square Garden concerts, Camp Zoe and right here at Columbia's Blue Note. Should I be advocating for the right to carry a bucket of water and spill it over the head of any pot smoker or cigarette smoker when I can see and smell the smoke? Do I not have the right to breathe fresh air? Don't I have the right to enjoy live music without potheads ruining my experience?
I might be more inclined for over-the-counter pill form pot before I'd ever be for legal smoke.
No one gives a rat's butt about those who don't want it around them..

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 14, 2009 | 3:14 p.m.

If you see pot come out at the Blue Note and don't like, go talk Richard King or someone else in charge. If you don't like their response, don't patronize their business and tell them why. But then most of Columbia's city council couldn't get that simple argument during the smoking ban discussion either.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 14, 2009 | 3:33 p.m.

I know Richard King and I'll handle it the way I choose.
I'm not complaining about the Blue Note's security.
I could get these stoners arrested, if I wanted to.
I'm sharing with you the attitude and behavior of potheads and the disrespect they have for others.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 14, 2009 | 5:07 p.m.

Is that all potheads Ray, or just a few that you encountered once upon a time? Seems to be I could draw various generalizations based on people who post here, the soon-to-be-gone Tribune forum, or Mike's new place.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 14, 2009 | 5:09 p.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County I am talking about little children who's mothers,fathers,sisters,brothers and even grandparents are doing nothing but the drugs and those children who suffer because of it.

Those are the most hideous of crimes you do not hear much about in the news today.

Those are the crimes that if these illegal drugs were to be fully legalized would run even more rampant in our society.

Cops screw up every day on drug busts because of lack of communication but little innocent children are mentally,physically and forever damaged due to alot of these drugs people say they only use socially.

No offense here but,if you can live with the thoughts after legalizing these now illegal drugs and the hardships that befall those children in the group(s) I mentioned above I do not even know or can imagine how hard or dark your heart might be.

Myself I will never vote for legalization of these now illegal drugs because I have seen the very extreme dark side of this issue up front and all to personal to dam many times.

The final cost is just not worth the the risk nor should ever be when it comes to the long term mental and physical health of our children growing up in a already harsh environment of today.

(Report Comment)

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