Andrew Wakefield Sues BMJ and Brian Deer: Time To Test Out the New Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute

Law

If you've followed the public discussion over the purported connection between vaccines and autism, you know the name Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield's 1998 article in Lancet purported to find a connection and has long been a battle-standard of anti-vaxxers. Wakefield's purported findings were later widely discredited, and Lancet retracted the original article.

This week Andrew Wakefield sued some of his critics in state court in Texas. Specifically, he sued the British Medical Journal, or "BMJ," and writer Brian Deer. The lawsuit accuses BMJ and Deer of defamation for their vigorous criticism of Wakefield, his publications, his studies, and his claims.

My purpose in this post is not to review what, at the risk of using the term loosely, I will call the "scientific dispute"; others far better qualified than I have discussed Wakefield's record exhaustively. Rather, I have two other purposes: to discuss an attribute of the modern "alternative" medicine movement, and to discuss the significance of Texas' new anti-SLAPP statute to this lawsuit.

First, the "alternative medicine" movement. I use that term to refer both to purveyors of treatments not generally accepted by Western medicine — naturopathy, homeopathy, etc. — and to refer to conspiracy-minded groups that believe that the FDA and "Big Pharma" and the Medical-Industrial Complex are concealing grave truths about Western medicine (like, for instance, the notion that vaccines cause autism).

At the risk of sounding unscientific, the alternative medicine movement strikes me as having a serious taste for censorship and an ingrained intolerance for dissent and criticism. I've written about it here: anti-vax lawyer Clifford Shoemaker's legal harassment of Neurodiversity blogger Kathleen Seidel, the British Chiropractic Association's failed crusade against Simon Singh, naturopath Christopher Maloney's feckless SLAPP threat against blogger Michael Hawkins, and even Marc Stephens lawyer-posing against critics of the Burzynski Clinic.

I realize that is a limited sample from which to draw conclusions, and that nobody has tested my thesis. But if purveyors of tinfoil-hat science have taught me anything, it is that (1) peer review is a hoax, and (2) all alternative medicine practitioners everywhere carry the diluted memory of these particular examples.

Second, the Texas suit by Wakefield will be an excellent opportunity to test Texas' new anti-SLAPP law. Anti-SLAPP laws, for those not familiar with them, are statutes allowing defendants who have been sued based on their speech to force the plaintiffs to establish they have a valid basis for their suit before going forward, and to collect attorney fees if the plaintiff fails. I am rather fond of them.

Anti-SLAPP laws vary from broad and useful to weak and nearly useless. Texas' statute appears to be one of the broadly written and strong ones. If BMJ and Deer decide to use it, here's how it will work:

1. BMJ and Deer have the initial burden of showing that the lawsuit is "based on, relates to, or is in response to" their exercise of their rights to free speech, petition, or association. Those terms are defined pleasingly broadly:

(2) ”Exercise of the right of association” means a communication between individuals who join together to collectively express, promote, pursue, or defend common interests.

(3) ”Exercise of the right of free speech” means a communication made in connection with a matter of public concern.

(4) ”Exercise of the right to petition” means any of the following:

(A) a communication in or pertaining to:

(i) a judicial proceeding;

(ii) an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to administer the law;

(iii) an executive or other proceeding before a department of the state or federal government or a subdivision of the state or federal government;

(iv) a legislative proceeding, including a proceeding of a legislative committee;

(v) a proceeding before an entity that requires by rule that public notice be given before proceedings of that entity;

(vi) a proceeding in or before a managing board of an educational or eleemosynary institution supported directly or indirectly from public revenue;

(vii) a proceeding of the governing body of any political subdivision of this state;

(viii) a report of or debate and statements made in a proceeding described by Subparagraph (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii); or

(ix) a public meeting dealing with a public purpose, including statements and discussions at the meeting or other matters of public concern occurring at the meeting;

(B) a communication in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;

(C) a communication that is reasonably likely to encourage consideration or review of an issue by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding;

(D) a communication reasonably likely to enlist public participation in an effort to effect consideration of an issue by a legislative, executive, judicial, or other governmental body or in another governmental or official proceeding; and

(E) any other communication that falls within the protection of the right to petition government under the Constitution of the United States or the constitution of this state.

2. BMJ and Deer should have no trouble whatsoever meeting that definition — the complaint targets speech about a classic matter of public concern. (Note that the statute does not say "protected by the First Amendment," meaning that Wakefield can't claim that their communications don't qualify because they were uttered in the United Kingdom.) Therefore, the statute requires the judge to dismiss the case unless Wakefield "establishes by clear and specific evidence a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim in question." What does that mean? Following California's model, it probably means that Wakefield must offer specific and admissible evidence that, if believed, would show he is entitled to relief and that the First Amendment or other legal doctrines do not protect the speech complained of. (Note that the First Amendment would protect the BMJ and Deer for these purposes because Wakefield is attempting to use a court — an instrumentality of state government — to punish speech.)

There are subtle differences between an anti-SLAPP motion and a motion to dismiss, sometimes called a demurrer. Generally a motion to dismiss must be based only on the four corners of the complaint — evidence is irrelevant, with a few narrow exceptions. By contrast, good anti-SLAPP statutes — like Texas' — allow the defendant to offer evidence. For instance, BMJ and Deer can submit the full text of the writings complained of so that the judge can evaluate them rather than the complaint's summary or characterization of them. This is particularly important when a defense is based, for instance, on asserting that a complained-of statement is a protected opinion, not a false statement of fact, when viewed in context. Submitting evidence can make it dramatically more difficult for a plaintiff to carry his burden. For instance, a defendant accused of a false statement against a public figure might submit a declaration explaining that he was repeating something heard from a reliable source, thus making it almost impossible to make a showing of malice.

3. If Wakefield can't carry that burden, the court must dismiss the complaint and award legal fees and costs to the defense.

I see one gateway legal issue complicating application of the new anti-SLAPP statute: personal jurisdiction. As The Skeptical Lawyer points out, it is questionable whether the Texas court has personal jurisdiction over Brits BMJ and Deer. This is a hot topic: by merely writing something published worldwide, do you subject yourself to jurisdiction wherever that thing is read, or wherever the subject lives? Hell, I sure hope not; that would be a ludicrous result. (Shame on you, Florida.)

Here's the complication: BMJ and Deer may not be able to file a SLAPP motion without subjecting themselves to the jurisdiction of the Texas court. I'm not a Texas lawyer, but in most jurisdictions, when you are contesting personal jurisdiction, you can only make a special appearance for purposes of filing a motion seeking to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. If you make a broader appearance, courts often deem you to have consented to jurisdiction. Does that mean BMJ and Deer must first file a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, and then file a SLAPP motion if they lose? Maybe. Perhaps a Texas practitioner could chime in. For myself, I'd be inclined to remove the case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction and litigate the issues there. I have nothing against Texas state courts, other than not particularly trusting Texas state courts. I'd rather address an issue like this in federal court, where judges have more manageable dockets, have more support from law clerks and staff, are more accustomed to resolving legally complex motion practice, and (in my opinion) tend on average to have a higher level of professionalism. Federal courts sitting in diversity apply state anti-SLAPP laws, so the defendants could still pursue that motion after they worked out the jurisdictional issue.

The Texas suit poses many other legal issues; The Skeptical Lawyer discusses some of them. It's one to watch. Stay tuned.

Edit: Orac on the science of it.

Edit 2: I completely forgot to give Liz a hat tip for pointing me to this; she's keeping a list of posts about it.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

103 Comments

102 Comments

  1. Timothy Watson  •  Jan 4, 2012 @10:58 pm

    "Second, the Texas suit against Wakefield…"

    I think you mean "suit by Wakefield".

  2. Ken  •  Jan 4, 2012 @11:00 pm

    Thanks, fixed.

  3. Neuroskeptic  •  Jan 5, 2012 @4:02 am

    It'll fail but it will serve its purpose – keeping Wakefield in the public eye.

    What you must remember is that he is like a washed up popstar who hasn't had a hit in years and now faces the possibility of not being on TV any more.

    Publicity is not just a bonus for a popstar, it's the essence of their career, likewise for Wakefield – he needs publicity to get supporters and donations and work. Any normal medical career is out of the question now.

    So he needs to be in the news and this will keep him there for a few weeks anyway.

    After that it's Celebrity Big Brother.

  4. SPQR  •  Jan 5, 2012 @8:45 am

    Suing in Texas seems like a desperation move. Or just plain insane. Between the personal jurisdiction issue, the more favorable defamation law in general and the SLAPP in particular.

    Unless he wants to lose early and be able to claim that "only a technicality allowed BMJ to escape …"

  5. Matthew Cline  •  Jan 5, 2012 @8:53 am

    I object to the term "Western medicine", since medicine is medicine regardless of where it was developed or where it's practiced (for example, the precursor to vaccination was developed in Asia). And there's plenty of alternative medicine which was developed in the West (like homeopathy, which was invented in Germany).

  6. Ken  •  Jan 5, 2012 @9:16 am

    Matthew, that's a very fair point. I'm casting about for effective shorthand here.

  7. Anthony  •  Jan 5, 2012 @9:23 am

    There's a very good shorthand term you can use – "Medicine", with a nod to Tim Minchin "Do you know what we call Alternative Medicine that's been proved to work? Medicine"

  8. tom  •  Jan 5, 2012 @9:24 am

    Ken, I think "science-based medicine" is a good replacement for "Western medicine".

  9. daedalus2u  •  Jan 5, 2012 @9:55 am

    I see in the complaint that Wakefield calls himself DR and Dr Wakefield. It is my understanding that Wakefield has no education that would grant him the honorific of Dr, and since he does not have an MD, and is not licensed to practice any kind of medicine anywhere, isn't using the honorific title of "Dr" misleading (at best)?

  10. Squillo  •  Jan 5, 2012 @10:19 am

    If you haven't seen the complaint, it's here. There is some discussion of jurisdiction.

  11. Slapp Happy  •  Jan 5, 2012 @10:28 am

    Darn, I was hoping to see this was filed by Attorney Marc Stevens.

    Instead, a firm that sues the corporate world on behalf that actually uses technology by some who claim to have invented stuff that no one built? I wonder how they're getting paid?

  12. John David Galt  •  Jan 5, 2012 @10:41 am

    If Wakefield had brought this libel claim in Britain, it certainly would not fly; defendants would simply introduce into evidence the transcript of the hearing at which his license to practice medicine was revoked.

    Which makes me wonder how he could possibly think it will fly in the US. (If he has any reason to think that, then something is wrong in Texas.)

  13. Liz Ditz  •  Jan 5, 2012 @12:30 pm

    Hi Ken thanks for the legal education. I'm keeping a list of responses at
    Wakefield's Latest Legal Action: Roundup.

    It is curious that the Wakefield loyalists have been silent. Surely some of them knew that the suit was in the works.

  14. Ken  •  Jan 5, 2012 @12:33 pm

    Liz, I completely forgot to hat tip you on this — fixed now.

  15. Matt Carey  •  Jan 5, 2012 @3:59 pm

    A few thoughts on this, from someone who has followed Andrew Wakefield's actions rather closely for the past few years.

    1) If the BMJ didn't feel as though they could defend their pieces in UK courts, they wouldn't have gone forward. They must have had legal input before going to press.

    2) UK laws are much more difficult for defendants than US laws.

    3) The BMJ likely has insurance and certainly must have attorneys on retainer who understand libel.

    4) Mr. Wakefield's legal team is (a) spearheaded by a neighbor and (b) has expertise in intellectual property law, not libel.

    5) Brian Deer must have a lot more information than was published in the relatively short BMJ articles.

    My guess is that Mr. Wakefield (and his attorneys) are hoping for the cheap option whereby the BMJ and Mr. Deer argue that they are not bound by Texas jurisdiction. They could then claim that the BMJ ran rather than defend their position.

    I would not take on Brian Deer unless I was 100% certain I would win. One can easily underestimate Mr. Deer. He can be mercurial (a term I believe he has used to describe himself). However, he is also very thorough and has had six years to build this case. He has the full transcripts of the GMC hearing to back him up in addition to his own thorough research.

    Mr. Wakefield is a very interesting character. If Hollywood central casting had put him in the role of the put-upon British doctor, only out to serve the disabled, people would think they went over the top. The problem is he makes statements which are clearly and demonstrably false. Watch his interview with Matt Lauer where he states that his patent had nothing to do with an alternative vaccine. Claim 2 and other language in the patent clearly contradict this statement. His business plans, parts of which Brian Deer made public, show that not only was Mr. Wakefield aware of the fact that his invention would (at least in his mind) be a potential vaccine, he was trying to get funding to help in the development of it as a vaccine.

    Andrew Wakefield's supporters tried to defend him on my blog for a while. Unfortunately the transcripts of the GMC hearings were available to reference. Just as Mr. Wakefield will use partial truths to make his case, his supporters cherry picked statements from the transcripts. When the full statements were brought to light it was clear that they showed exactly the opposite of what they were claiming–they showed that Mr. Wakefield's presentation of the children in his study was inaccurate and that he had the information available at the time of writing the paper.

    If I were an attorney I would probably consider Mr. Wakefield to be a nightmare of a client. On first interview he would come across as absolutely believable. But as you check his statements one by one you find that the truth is not behind him.

  16. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 5, 2012 @4:46 pm

    How Libelous could the statements have been, if he waited 6 years before filing?

  17. Max Kennerly  •  Jan 5, 2012 @6:14 pm

    "I sued for libel in Britain and lost. I know! They have better more plaintiff-friendly libel laws in the US, and I'll sue in the most plaintiff-friendly venue in the US: Texas."

    LOL, fail.

  18. Dustin  •  Jan 5, 2012 @10:25 pm

    Max, it makes you wonder. Since they probably realize they aren't going to win, what's the point? Is it as claimed above: just to stay in the headlines? Is it to hassle the hell out of people, regardless of the outcome of the case? They can get fees back, but some folks have a hard time funding the case up to that point.

    SLAPP penalties need to be heavy.

  19. JSinAZ  •  Jan 6, 2012 @6:09 am

    "all alternative medicine practitioners everywhere carry the diluted memory of these particular examples."

    Best laugh in days. Thanks.

  20. A Critic  •  Jan 6, 2012 @7:35 am

    and to refer to conspiracy-minded groups that believe that the FDA and "Big Pharma" and the Medical-Industrial Complex are concealing grave truths about Western medicine

    Um, aren't they? Such as the grave truth that the "cure"/treatment is worse than the ailment? Haven't you seen the TV commercials?

  21. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 6, 2012 @7:49 am

    I dunno… I consider "not having cancer anymore" to out-weight most any side effect…

    And I'm not even that fond of this "living" thing I got going.

  22. Squillo  •  Jan 6, 2012 @11:25 am

    @Dustin

    The point, I believe, is to keep the "Andrew Wakefield: Martyr" brand going as long and as strong as possible. He would have serious difficulty getting a real, well-paying job given his history, so he needs to stay at the top of the anti-vax heap to keep getting decent speaker's fees, book sales, and possibly paid gigs at various anti-vax orgs.

    If he loses his suit, he gets another notch on his "martyr" belt; if he wins, it's "proof" that everyone was out to get him. He wins either way.

    I've heard it posited that, if he were to attempt to file in the UK, he wouldn't get far thanks to his previous failed suit (thus shortening the publicity shelf-life), and that anyone who donated money to a legal-offense fund could be in jeopardy if he lost. Any UK-based lawyers want to comment on that?

  23. Matt Carey  •  Jan 6, 2012 @11:42 am

    "Since they probably realize they aren't going to win, what's the point?"

    I gave up trying to figure out what Andrew Wakefield thinks/believes/realizes a long time ago.

    One point is that any fight will be welcomed (and already is being welcomed) by Mr. Wakefield's supporters. This is a group of people who believe Mr. Wakefield's many excuses for unethical behavior.

    To put this in perspective, at the "Autism One" conference–a parent convention with a major focus on alternative medicine and vaccine causationn–Andrew Wakefield was given a standing ovation after he lost case before the GMC. He was again applauded when after the BMJ articles came out. The same conference gave a standing ovation to Mark and David Geier (father/son team) after they faced legal troubles including Mark Geier (the doctor of the team) lost his license due to ethics violations. David Geier was facing sanctions for practicing medicine without a license. The Geiers were known for two things: (1) publishing very low quality papers claiming that vaccines cause autism and (2) a medical protocol whereby autistic children were misdiagnosed with precocious puberty so they could be put on Lupron. Lupron is a drug which shuts down sex hormone production in the body. This based on some of the absolute worst pseduo science I've read where they claim that testosterone binds to mercury in the brain (it's always mercury with them, despite the mountain of evidence against the theory).

    So, "what's the point"? Building support within his community. Mr. Wakefield's community is not even close to what you are likely in touch with.

    Further in the "I can't guess what he's thinking" theme: Mr. Wakefield claims that the articles and statements "intended to cause damage to Dr. Wakefield’s reputation and work as a researcher, academic, and physician and to permanently impair his reputation and his livelihood"

    Put this in perspective: before the BMJ articles–before–

    Mr. Wakefield had the longest and most expensive hearing by far before the U.K.'s General Medical Council (GMC). He was found proved to have committed several violations and was "struck off the register" (i.e. no longer licensed to practice medicine).

    His employer had let him go from his $270,000/year job as research director. His employer, Thoughtful House, went so far as to change their name afterwards, distancing themselves from Mr. Wakefield's involvement.

    He has had multiple papers withdrawn by journals.

    He was never licensed to practice medicine in the U.S.. Even in his appointment in the U.K. he was restricted to research, no clinical practice. This is one of his ethics violations.

    So, his reputation as a researcher? Not high at all. Not for his views on vaccines, but for his methods.

    His reputation as an academic? He hadn't been an academic since leaving the U.K. nearly a decade ago. I can't think of an institution in the U.S. which would hire him, even before the BMJ articles came out.

    His reputation as a physician? He wasn't licensed as a physician here or abroad. He hasn't practiced as a physician in something like 2 decades.

    In the community in which Mr. Wakefield participates now, the BMJ articles only enhanced his reputation as what many call "a brave maverick doctor". His position at the time was founder/head of a charity called "the strategic autism initiative" which is now based (as much as such an entity can be) with the same people who run the Autism One conference–the one mentioned above which supports and applauds Mr. Wakefield.

    It is a very different world where he is.

  24. Matt Carey  •  Jan 6, 2012 @11:56 am

    I've heard it posited that, if he were to attempt to file in the UK, he wouldn't get far thanks to his previous failed suit (thus shortening the publicity shelf-life), and that anyone who donated money to a legal-offense fund could be in jeopardy if he lost. Any UK-based lawyers want to comment on that?

    Part of the choice of venue may just be cost. Mr. Wakefield has engaged a neighbor of his as his attorney. His neighbor's firm specializes in intellectual property, not libel. Sounds like an attempt to keep costs down.

    Mr. Wakefield would have a hard time arguing damage to reputation in the U.K., I suspect. The GMC hearings pretty much put an end to that. The BMJ articles were barely picked up by the British press. Seems like the U.K. is just tired of Andrew Wakefield.

    Mr. Wakefield may be learning from others' experiences in his community. I am thinking of JB Handley's (founder of Generation Rescue, an organization very favorable to Mr. Wakefield) failed libel suit against Paul Offit and Colubmia University Press and Barbara Loe Fisher's (Of the NVIC, another org very favorable to Mr. Wakefield) failed lawsuit against Paul Offit, Amy Wallace and Conde Nast. Putting your own money up against corporations which have staff attorneys and/or libel insurance is not a wise move if you don't have a strong case (which neither of the above did, nor does Mr. Wakefield in my opinion). Mr. Handley has what I consider to be some of the most expensive blog posts ever to show for his efforts. Not a great reward. But, both lawsuits were popular within their community. Hardley seems worthwhile to me, but I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to throw away.

    Given the state of Mr. Wakefield's career (which I would contend is the same before and after the BMJ articles), I doubt he can afford to spend much time in this fight if it is really a nuisance suit.

    If he thinks he can win…well, that's a different story. I wouldn't agree with him. As I noted above, I can't imagine that the BMJ (a) put all their evidence into the short articles and (b) didn't clear this series with their attorneys first. It was a bold move and rather unprecedented.

  25. Liz Ditz  •  Jan 7, 2012 @2:46 pm

    Thanks Ken

    I'm puzzled by the continuing silence from the "autism is TOO vaccine injury!!1!" brigade. All the "daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic" has had to say is reposting a clip of the Guardian article.

  26. parent  •  Jan 8, 2012 @8:42 am

    You people are quick to defend Brian Deer's Allegations, but you know little of this Murdoch paid hack.

  27. doomrock  •  Jan 8, 2012 @10:23 am

    Not gonna bother watching an hour of that. What are the main points the film makes?

    Also, what has Deer being "Murdoch Paid" got to do with anything? Are you suggesting guilt by association? If that is the extent of your evidence it doesn't count for much really does it. What did you think of "Murdoch paid" hacks around the time of the original coverage of Mr Wakefield's story, when the press seemed to have unquestioningly supported him?

  28. Laura K  •  Jan 8, 2012 @12:18 pm

    Parent, all hack-hack aside I would judge the defense of Brian Deer as much more about his RIGHT to question in his blog. After all, even if he was on Wakefield's side of the debate, the Bill of Rights would allow him to say so (alas). Also, as targets go, a man who has contributed to huge health problems in unvaccinated children, had his findings pulled from 'the Lancet' and other various penalties incurred isn't too tragic a choice…
    I could go into the incredible, literally murderous irresponsibility of unvaccinated kids and the death and havoc they could have wreaked on my own family at one time or another, but more dispassionately:
    Attacking Deer is stupid, and does not appear well done on this endless clip you've embedded, but of course, as you must realize, it is as allowed as pointing out that Michelle Bachman (*who has weighed in on other vaccine related causes of autism with her usual, ahem….never-mind.literally.) and Dr. Wakefield likely have a collective IQ of -200. They are allowed to say what they like.

  29. Laura K  •  Jan 8, 2012 @12:20 pm

    Doomrock, glad I'm not the only person to find the clip un-watchable.

  30. Chris  •  Jan 8, 2012 @4:46 pm

    parent, I have no intention of watching that youtube video, but I did see the first few quotes. Which MMR vaccine are they discussing? The ones used in the UK before 1992, or after 1992. Or is it the MMR vaccine that has been used in the USA since 1971?

    Also, what about the studies done on the MMR vaccine that were done at the Royal Free Hospital between 1999 and 2003 that included a few hundred children? Did they confirm Wakefield's findings? If not, why did the retracted Lancet study, or even Wakefield still matter?

  31. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 8, 2012 @5:43 pm

    Come on, guys… Parent just knows – like Wakefield does – that science isn't about "numbers" and "verification", but about how something makes you feel

  32. Laura K  •  Jan 8, 2012 @5:56 pm

    Oh Scott, you always bring me the very best sarcasm…

  33. A Critic  •  Jan 9, 2012 @7:45 am

    I dunno… I consider "not having cancer anymore" to out-weight most any side effect…

    One of the side effects for one of the "medicines" I see on television IS cancer. I can't remember if that was the acne medication or something else.

    There are two other grave truths that "modern medicine" is concealing: marijuana is beneficial for many ill people & speed is not beneficial for most children.

  34. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 9, 2012 @9:16 am

    Here's another grave truth for you, A Critic:

    Vaccines don't cause autism.

  35. Laura K  •  Jan 9, 2012 @9:29 am

    What Vaccines DO cause is the ability of children from diverse homes and families to play together, eat sand, throw things, gum toys and hand them away and do all the things that they do without facing the danger of virusus that can cripple, blind, steralize or deafen them or the people resonsible for their care–or the families of their care givers.

  36. Laura K  •  Jan 9, 2012 @9:30 am

    Good Gad, sorry for the semi-literate spelling above!

  37. Ken  •  Jan 9, 2012 @9:32 am

    Actually, "A Critic," it's the federal government that is limiting marijuana use – the notion that it can have beneficial effects is a mainstream notion in the medical community and the states and localities that have legalized its medical use. Notably, the benefits of marijuana have been discussed in numerous peer-reviewed publications that have somehow escaped the evil conspiratorial thumb of Big Pharma.

    As for the notion that "speed is not beneficial for most children" — the notion that various meds are seriously over-prescribed for kids is also rather mainstream and hardly suppressed.

  38. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 9, 2012 @9:41 am

    NO!

    You LIE Ken!!

    Everything he's read about how pot is kept down by Big Pharma, and how the Medical Industrial Complex is making TRILLIONS off of giving kids Ritalin – all from the anti-vax boards he reads 20 hours a day – is true and you are a LIAR!!!

  39. A Critic  •  Jan 9, 2012 @10:00 am

    @Ken

    Actually, "A Critic," it's the federal government that is limiting marijuana use

    Really? And the AMA and the huge number of anti-marijuana physicians have nothing to do with it? The pharmaceutical companies have nothing to do with it? It's all the politicians and bureaucrats?

    There's plenty of blame to go around.

    [quote]the notion that various meds are seriously over-prescribed for kids is also rather mainstream and hardly suppressed.[/quote]

    And yet within the medical and pharmaceutical industries it's still very common to dose kids with stimulants (and nowadays, anti-psychotics too!)

  40. Ken  •  Jan 9, 2012 @10:02 am

    You seem to be conflating "suppressed" with "not sufficiently widely accepted."

  41. A Critic  •  Jan 9, 2012 @10:05 am

    @ Scott Jacobs

    Everything he's read about how pot is kept down by Big Pharma, and how the Medical Industrial Complex is making TRILLIONS off of giving kids Ritalin – all from the anti-vax boards he reads 20 hours a day – is true and you are a LIAR!!!

    I don't think I've ever visited an anti-vaccination board, and I didn't say anything about vaccinations at all on this thread. There are also endless sources of anti-marijuana and pro-speed propaganda from the medical and pharmaceutical industries, which also promote drugs of dubious benefit (i.e. asthma medications that may make your asthma kill you).

    FYI, the secret to a good strawman is the same secret as to telling a good lie: you want to make it as close as possible to the truth.

  42. A Critic  •  Jan 9, 2012 @10:06 am

    @Scott Jacobs

    Vaccines don't cause autism.

    Did I say that vaccines cause autism? No, I did not.

  43. A Critic  •  Jan 9, 2012 @10:09 am

    @Ken

    You seem to be conflating "suppressed" with "not sufficiently widely accepted."

    There's what, a century and a half of scientific research demonstrating the medical benefits of cannabis? And yet the AMA and many if not most doctors continue to insist "we need more research!"? Denial on that level is suppression.

  44. SPQR  •  Jan 9, 2012 @11:27 am

    Is there any coherent logic behind whining about marijuana prohibition on a thread about the legal bully tactics of an anti-vaccination fraud?

  45. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 9, 2012 @12:07 pm

    Buddy, if you came here for logic, I have some bad news…

  46. Chris  •  Jan 9, 2012 @12:18 pm

    "A critic" looks like the cannabis troll, Jacob, who occasionally infests Orac's Respectful Insolence blog.

  47. A Critic  •  Jan 9, 2012 @1:31 pm

    @SPQR

    Ken demonized as "conspiracy theorists" those who question the dictates of the FDA, the drug lords we call Big Pharma, and the (often) charlatans we call the medical-industrial complex, and he lumped us skeptics in with the purveyors of an even more dubious variety of medicine.

    Another grave truth concealed by the above groups: even if you are really old, it's not usually necessary or even wise to be on six, eight, or more medications. While modern medicine is undoubtedly an improvement over it's primitive ancestors the snake oil has yet to be purged from these industries.

  48. Ken  •  Jan 9, 2012 @1:45 pm

    Well, no. That's a little overbroad. I would only describe people as "conspiracy theorists" if they assert, for instance, that a conspiracy among those forces is a reason that there is no peer-reviewed research supporting a particular medical proposition. Criticisms of the FDA and medical industries are unremarkable. The only people who merit derision are those who substitute conspiracy theories for credible evidence.

  49. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 9, 2012 @2:19 pm

    Another grave truth concealed by the above groups: even if you are really old, it's not usually necessary or even wise to be on six, eight, or more medications.

    You know this how? Are you in possession of a medical degree or even the most basic of medical training?

    No?

    The how the fuck do you know what is medically necessary or not?

    Is it because you read that "fact" on some bullshit forum? Or did you just hear it from one of the voices inside your head?

  50. SPQR  •  Jan 9, 2012 @6:19 pm

    Ah, the wonders of the internet on display.

  51. Laura K  •  Jan 9, 2012 @7:02 pm

    Scott, please don't be alarmed but my admiration for you is increasing.

  52. Ken  •  Jan 9, 2012 @8:58 pm
  53. Chris  •  Jan 9, 2012 @11:27 pm

    If the IP address is in London, UK, then it is one of the few people ever banned by Orac.

  54. SPQR  •  Jan 9, 2012 @11:38 pm

    A good link, Ken, not least for the use of Insane Clown Posse to illustrate "F*cking Magnets" …

  55. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @2:23 pm

    @Scott Jacobs

    You know this how? Are you in possession of a medical degree or even the most basic of medical training?

    I am familiar with the fundamentals of medicine. That includes "do no harm". The case study I had in mind, my grandmother, was on I believe no less than 8 medications, I think at the peak it was actually ten. Eventually my mother became her guardian and took her to a new doctor who immediately took her down to one (1) drug. One doesn't need to go to medical school to know that prescribing that many drugs, most of them of dubious benefit and high risk, in an elderly person makes no sense.

    The how the fuck do you know what is medically necessary or not?

    Is it because you read that "fact" on some bullshit forum? Or did you just hear it from one of the voices inside your head?

    Anyone who has been paying attention to the medical industry in this country knows that drugs are vastly overprescribed. It's but one of many serious problems in the medical industry.

    And insinuating that I am hearing voices is a mighty low tactic.

    You may worship at the alter of "medicine" but as a critic I must say that most doctors are pretentious ignoramuses. They are only a step or two above the alternative medicine nuts you apparently conflate me with.

    Also, please note that my criticism and opposition to the medical establishment, pharmaceutical companies, the AMA, and the FEDA is in no way shape or form an endorsement of "alternative medicine".

  56. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @2:27 pm

    @Ken

    Possibly relevant.

    The numbers given at the link are an exaggeration. IIRC, the FDA estimated a few years ago that only 125,000 people per year in America are killed by doctors mistakes. It would be even more if you add in those killed by prescription drugs, and of course we can't even begin to count those who would have lived had the research and application of medical marijuana not been so retarded.

    The numbers killed by the medical profession do appear to outweigh the numbers killed by all recreational drugs except tobacco, cars, and guns combined. This isn't a good reason to refuse penicillin or a vaccine, however it is a good reason to question the medical establishment.

  57. Laura K  •  Jan 10, 2012 @2:43 pm

    @A Critic,

    I think you are well on your way to an established identity as a comment troll, and I realize therefore I am feeding you–this is a habit I usually seek to avoid. However, I realized that I find your comments so annoying not merely because of the broad generalizations–"Doctors are ignoramuses" etc, but also for your apparent dependence on anectdotal evidence. This changed the frame of my reply significantly. Don't misunderstand me; I have been the sourge of entire history grad departments for using annecdotal evidence–and have just used it here!–but you cannot, you MUST not depend on isolated incidents–and yes, all respect to your family or the dozen, hundred, even thousand examples you may be able to cite–in the process of forming a medical theory. I'm a humanities geek, but even I respect and embrace the idea that there is a scientific method that has a format for exploring hypothesis etc. you seem to be much more interested in visiting the scientific method's house, kicking ITS grandmother in the chin and shooting the dog–metaphorically speaking. Your historical analyiss is equally terrible. I doubt these observations will cause any growth or development in your approach, or make you take your methods of argument elsewhere–but please be clear; more than one reader on this cite is aware of this problem you seem to have with your brain being missing, and I, personally, am rather tired of it…

  58. Laura K  •  Jan 10, 2012 @2:45 pm

    and my spelling error fest continues…

  59. Ken  •  Jan 10, 2012 @2:46 pm

    I am familiar with the fundamentals of medicine.

    This is not as good as "I am aware of all internet traditions." But damn it, it's close.

  60. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 10, 2012 @4:22 pm

    The case study I had in mind, my grandmother,

    I know you love your Nana, but your grandmother is not a case study – she is a fucking annecdote.

    And that is assuming that you aren't just fucking lying.

    And 125,000, eh? Wow. In a country of over 330 million people, that's almost statistically significant. And you think that people ODing on perscription meds should be added to that?

    Yes, because Big Pharma are responsible for people taking too much of what was prescibed…

  61. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 10, 2012 @4:23 pm

    Aparently, I have been hanging around Laura too much lately…

  62. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @4:51 pm

    @Laura K

    I think you are well on your way to an established identity as a comment troll,

    A troll makes statements to create drama. I make my statements to express my criticisms of people.

    but also for your apparent dependence on anectdotal evidence.

    I'm dependent upon my observations and my deductions. There is a great deal of empirical evidence, such as the number of children prescribed dangerous drugs in dangerous quantities by their physicians, that indicate a major problem with the current accepted practice of medicine.

    even thousand examples you may be able to cite–in the process of forming a medical theory.

    There are billions of examples. Apparently that is only anecdotal evidence?

    I doubt these observations will cause any growth or development in your approach, or make you take your methods of argument elsewhere–but please be clear; more than one reader on this cite is aware of this problem you seem to have with your brain being missing, and I, personally, am rather tired of it…

    I wish I could see more merit in your criticism. Doctors are not immune from mass delusions, religious dogma, and ignorant dangerous practices. While they are lauded as being superior beings gifted with god like powers their human mistakes are ignored at great expense. I can find no fault in criticizing them, or accusing them of conspiring together when the various groups clearly have a very close working relationship and overlap.

  63. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @4:52 pm

    @Ken

    This is not as good as "I am aware of all internet traditions."274 But damn it, it's close.

    That doesn't contribute to the dialog.

  64. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @4:53 pm

    @Ken

    This is not as good as "I am aware of all internet traditions."274 But damn it, it's close.

    That doesn't contribute to the dialog. Nor does it disprove my point. Anyone who has a minimum of intelligence and medical knowledge should be able to look at the practice of medicine today and be aghast.

  65. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:01 pm

    @Scott Jacobs

    I know you love your Nana, but your grandmother is not a case study – she is a fucking annecdote.

    You can ignore it, but what I said was the truth, and it was representative of what happens in this country. Talk to people who have had physical and or psychological problems and most of them have been on a great many drugs, often quite a few at the same time. Doctors are notorious pill pushers.

    And that is assuming that you aren't just fucking lying.

    You have to be pretty ignorant not to recognize that there is a serious problem with doctors and drugs.

    And 125,000, eh? Wow. In a country of over 330 million people, that's almost statistically significant.

    You just marginalized the death of what, over a million people in the last decade? And that's only the number that they can figure out, in an industry where it is notoriously easy to bury ones mistakes!

    Seriously, it's pretty sick to ignore the deaths of over a million people due to the incompetence of some of the most "highly trained" so called professionals.

    And you think that people ODing on perscription meds should be added to that?

    i was actually thinking of those who died while following the prescription.

    Is there a worse group of scum than people who give speed to little children?

  66. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:02 pm

    Yup. Troll.

    Or fuckwitted assclown.

    One of the two.

    Maybe both.

  67. Ken  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:05 pm

    The numbers killed by the medical profession do appear to outweigh the numbers killed by all recreational drugs except tobacco, cars, and guns combined. This isn't a good reason to refuse penicillin or a vaccine, however it is a good reason to question the medical establishment.

    I have no problem with questioning the medical establishment. I have a quarrel with questioning the medical establishment to excuse a lack of reliable evidence proving the efficacy of particular treatments.

    Say I assert that it is possible to have unlimited cheap energy by attaching electrodes to rutabagas. "Nonsense," you say. "There's no evidence of that. Where are the peer-reviewed scientific studies? Where's the hard evidence?" "You naive fool," says I. "The energy industry is all-powerful, and would never allow peer review. They've suppressed the evidence, and failed to pursue studies themselves, because look at how much money they might lose."

    Now, it might be perfectly true that the energy industry might suppress rutabaga-fusion if it existed. But that is not, in and of itself, evidence that rutabagas are a source of limitless energy.

    Also, with respect to the medical deaths, aren't we missing out an important comparison? Say 200 million Americans seek medical care this year (the rest are healthy and never need doctors). Say, in addition, a stunning 100,000 of them die from medical mistakes and over-prescription of drugs and other problems with the medical establishment.

    In determining exactly how terrible that is, don't we have to ask "how many would have died if none had sought or obtained medical treatment?" Or "how many would have died if they had all sought 'alternative' medical treatment instead?"

    Otherwise, what are you comparing to? It's like saying "X people die every year by being trapped in their burning cars by seat belts."

  68. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:08 pm

    Yup. Troll.

    Or fuckwitted assclown.

    See, all I did was criticize one of the most over rated groups of human beings, and what happened? People immediately associate me with "alternative medicine" even though I never stated any support for any alternative medicine belief or practice, they accuse me of being a troll, they accuse me of being insane, and my personal favorite in which the discourse is elevated to a supremely intellectual exchange of ideas, I am accused of being a "fuckwitted assclown". I guess that's why most people can't stand criticizing the group, they know fully well that the group will act to crush them.

    Doctors kill people. They kill way more people than speed (the drug they prescribe) and speed (the automotive velocity) combined. This is not acceptable. They do not belong on the pedestal upon which they are worshiped.

  69. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:11 pm

    I like how he apparently thinks I have some sort hero worship for doctors.

    Critic, you aren't criticizing doctors, you're BITCHING about pharmaceutical drug companies.

    There is, in fact, a difference.

  70. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:20 pm

    @Ken

    In determining exactly how terrible that is, don't we have to ask "how many would have died if none had sought or obtained medical treatment?" Or "how many would have died if they had all sought 'alternative' medical treatment instead?"

    The choices aren't only accepted mainstream medicine, alternative medicine, or no medicine. That's a false trichotomy. I think the real comparison, for which concrete data doesn't exist, is "medicine that actually consistently follows the principles of the scientific method and the Hippocratic Oath". Now, we can't really calculate how many people would be saved per year if there wasn't systemic corruption throughout the medical industry…but I think it is clear that the benefits gained would outweigh the costs, especially since in fact costs would be greatly reduced if we were to make the best possible use of our resources. While there are many factors as to why that won't happen, i.e. the government and patients/the public, doctors share a good chunk of the blame since so few of them raise their voices to criticize their profession.

  71. A Critic  •  Jan 10, 2012 @5:22 pm

    Critic, you aren't criticizing doctors, you're BITCHING about pharmaceutical drug companies

    I've criticized both groups on this page. Maybe you would like a pill to relax (may cause coma, death, sleep driving, and suicidal tendencies)?

  72. Laura K  •  Jan 10, 2012 @7:44 pm

    @Scott and Ken thank you.

  73. Laura K  •  Jan 10, 2012 @7:49 pm

    @ A Critic:
    Thank you, sincerely, for confirming all the theories I expressed in my last post to you with such thorough efficiency. What a time saver!
    And my condolences to the luckless bastard forced to deliver you, who somehow forgot that 'Doctors kill people'….my condolences to him/her.

  74. A Critic  •  Jan 11, 2012 @7:36 am

    @LauraK

    And my condolences to the luckless bastard forced to deliver you, who somehow forgot that 'Doctors kill people'….my condolences to him/her.

    Hear no evil, see no evil, eh?

  75. Narad  •  Jan 11, 2012 @9:20 am

    It would be even more if you add in those killed by prescription drugs, and of course we can't even begin to count those who would have lived had the research and application of medical marijuana not been so retarded.

    Uh-huh. And what, pray tell, do you speculate the fatal conditions that cannabis might reverse may be? Or do you just want to replace evil pHARMaceutical drugs with the natural wonder drug?

  76. A Critic  •  Jan 11, 2012 @10:59 am

    @Narad

    And what, pray tell, do you speculate the fatal conditions that cannabis might reverse may be? Or do you just want to replace evil pHARMaceutical drugs with the natural wonder drug?

    AIDs wasting syndrome, chemotherapy/radiation side effects, painkiller side effects (that includes thousands of deaths every year) are the first ones that come to mind. It would also make a lot of sense to replace many if not most uses of painkillers, anti-anxiety, and anti-depression medications with cannabis or a derivative. Cannabis also promises to be an extremely effective anti-inflammatory.

    "Alternative medicine" is right about a few things. Mainstream medicine is severely screwed up including it's wrong emphasis on using dangerous drugs to treat every real and imagined problem, cannabis is a wonder drug (more uses and less harm than any other drug yet discovered, and by quite a long shot at that), and triggerpoint massage therapy being an essential but usually completely ignored component of pain management and physical therapy. All of these things are substantiated to no small degree and all of them are reason to question and criticize the vast majority of doctors who ignore these ugly truths.

  77. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 11, 2012 @11:17 am

    AIDs wasting syndrome, chemotherapy/radiation side effects, painkiller side effects (that includes thousands of deaths every year) are the first ones that come to mind.

    Having been on the wrong side of more than my share of benders, while puking your guts out make make you wish you were going to die, it doesn't actually kill you.

    Smoking pot is used in those cases to increase appetite – it doesn't actually fix the problem of feeling like you need to shout groceries.

    And in fact, the chemical in pot that causes teh munchies was isolated years ago, and is not only available, but is frequently prescribed for the types of patients you listed.

    If they request it.

    Because while it might be true that a significant percentage of patients taking rounds of chemo feel like doing the technicolor yawn, it is not present in all patients, and so a patient has to – gasp – tell the doctor what they are experiencing…

    Then again, it would alleviate the excuse to get baked, so I guess I could see how they might hold out.

  78. Laura K  •  Jan 11, 2012 @11:42 am

    scott, by any chance, are you an NCIS fan? Love the hurling synonyms…

  79. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 11, 2012 @12:02 pm

    Why yes. Yes I am.

  80. Laura K  •  Jan 11, 2012 @2:18 pm

    Yaaay! Pistachios forever.

  81. SPQR  •  Jan 11, 2012 @2:48 pm

    … cannabis is a wonder drug (more uses and less harm than any other drug yet discovered, and by quite a long shot at that) …

    Horse shit.

    No, I don't mean that horse shit is the real wonder drug, although thanks to the AMA and BigPharma conspiracy it may be.

    I mean that the quoted statement is horse shit. But you go right ahead and claim that smoking dope can cure bunions.

  82. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 11, 2012 @2:55 pm

    I would point out to A Critic that chronic use of pot is shown to cause erectile dysfunction, but honestly the idea that he would either a) not be able to get laid or b) have to rely on Evil Big Pharma to do so to be a delightful quandary for him to be in.

  83. Laura K  •  Jan 11, 2012 @4:15 pm

    Scott:
    Or C, he could look at the anectdotal evidence get discouraged and then his spirits–and everything else–would remain incapable of rising…
    Scott have you got your own blog or website because if you do I'd like to read it…

  84. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 11, 2012 @5:35 pm

    Soon. Very soon…

  85. A Critic  •  Jan 13, 2012 @10:49 am

    @Scott Jacobs

    Having been on the wrong side of more than my share of benders, while puking your guts out make make you wish you were going to die, it doesn't actually kill you.

    Actually it can kill you. When you are fighting a serious illness it is vitally important to maintain ones weight, rest, and health to the maximum possible. Duh.

    And in fact, the chemical in pot that causes teh munchies was isolated years ago, and is not only available, but is frequently prescribed for the types of patients you listed.

    And an overwhelming majority of patients say it doesn't work or at best it works poorly.

    No, I don't mean that horse shit is the real wonder drug, although thanks to the AMA and BigPharma conspiracy it may be.

    Wow, you are the most ignorant person I've read online in at least…a day or so?

    You can deny it. You can ignore the hundreds upon hundreds of scientific studies proving what I say. You can ignore the millions of patients who say you are wrong. You can remain an ignorant fool, but what you can't do is prove that marijuana isn't effective and that it isn't safe.

    I mean that the quoted statement is horse shit. But you go right ahead and claim that smoking dope can cure bunions.

    I never said that. All you have is strawmen, ad hominum attacks, logical fallacies, and long debunked FRAUDULENT science (this is like junk science except it's false by malice rather than incompetence). To wit:

    I would point out to A Critic that chronic use of pot is shown to cause erectile dysfunction,

    And it also causes murder, insanity, and death. And it causes you to become a smack head, and oh yeah of course it makes white women sleep with black men. After all, a person in a position of authority with a high level of conflict of interest and a low level of ethical and intellectual integrity said it once decades ago so it MUST be true.

  86. A Critic  •  Jan 13, 2012 @10:52 am

    @ Laura K

    Or C, he could look at the anectdotal evidence get discouraged and then his spirits–and everything else–would remain incapable of rising…

    The scientific evidence is, except for those journals locked behind paywalls, readily available for you to review. You might wish to start with Dr. Lester Grinspoon's classic "Marijuna Revisited", Harvard Press, which is a fascinating review of the science of the drug by an anti-pot doctor.

  87. SPQR  •  Jan 13, 2012 @12:04 pm

    There are not "hundreds" of studies showing marijuana to be a wonder drug.

    And you are going to tell me about debunked nonsense? Really? That's pretty amusing.

  88. A Critic  •  Jan 13, 2012 @4:52 pm

    @Scott Jacobs

    There are not "hundreds" of studies showing marijuana to be a wonder drug.

    I got news for ya buddy – there's a whole lot more to the world than you know of.

    There are two types of ignorance: natural and artificial. Natural ignorance comes about because there is so much we haven't yet learned. There's nothing wrong with that. Artificial ignorance is what happens when you are presented with the opportunity to cure your natural ignorance and you refuse. There's something very wrong with that.

    You are flat out wrong about marijuana as medicine. So are most "experts" and "doctors". It's a damn shame that y'all refuse to learn when there is so much abundant evidence that you are wrong, and even more importantly, that marijuana really is a wonder drug. It cures nothing and treats everything.

    Just because you refuse to read the books which document the older studies, and you refuse to read the journals that document the newer studies, and you refuse to count them, and you repeat propaganda, it doesn't mean that there isn't a plethora of scientific evidence supporting my claims.

    And you are going to tell me about debunked nonsense? Really? That's pretty amusing.

    So says the guy who still believes propaganda that went out of style decades ago.

  89. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 13, 2012 @5:12 pm

    it doesn't mean that there isn't a plethora of scientific evidence supporting my claims.

    Link me to 5 different peer reviewed articles by different people.

  90. Laura K  •  Jan 13, 2012 @7:21 pm

    @ Critic, Um. Gee… shouldn't you have seen the "critic signal" in the sky and switched to spewing this stuff on Ken's latest post that is actually ABOUT Marijuana, even has it in the TITLE?

    This helpful sugestion brought to you by someone who simply doesn't care enough to answer your other inanities–but watching SPQR and Scott (Whom you have now confused–High much?) take bites out of you sure is fun…I can even enjoy it sober…

  91. SPQR  •  Jan 13, 2012 @8:46 pm

    Quacks and frauds like A Critic are my meat and drink.

  92. A Critic  •  Jan 13, 2012 @10:23 pm

    @Scott Jacobs

    Link me to 5 different peer reviewed articles by different people.

    A moment with a search engine returned the first result located here:http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000884

    It lists pro, neutral, and anti medical marijuana studies. There are 12 double blind human studies, 23 human studies, and 4 human studies in the pro-medical marijuana category.

    Take your pick of five out of those studies, or pick five others out of the HUNDREDS of pro-medical marijuana studies.

    So you could start there, but if you are like most people, you won't. Should you bother, you don't stop at the abstracts listed on that site, go find the original pro-marijuana studies and read them in their entirety, and study their methodology. Then do the same for the anti-marijuana studies. I personally highly recommend the work of Dr. Gabriel Nahas, both because of the tremendous impact of his work on our government and culture and society, and because of the ludicrousness of his methodology.

  93. A Critic  •  Jan 13, 2012 @10:32 pm

    This helpful sugestion brought to you by someone who simply doesn't care enough to answer your other inanities–but watching SPQR and Scott take bites out of you sure is fun…I can even enjoy it sober…

    The facts remain the same.

    (Whom you have now confused–High much?)

    Fatigued much.

  94. A Critic  •  Jan 13, 2012 @10:41 pm

    Correction. Dr. Grinspoon's awesome book is called "Marijuana Reconsidered", and I do highly recommend it (no pun intended). I also recommend reading Dr. Nahas's 'Stay Off The Grass", which is a mighty fine example of reefer madness.

  95. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 14, 2012 @12:49 am

    See, fuckstain, I'm not the one who claimed there were all these studies backing up how pot is a miracle drug.

    You made the claim, you supply the proof. It isn't my job to prove your fucking point.

    But again, pot cures NOTHING

    And no, if you seek medical care, you won't die because you throw up too much.

    It's called the IV. It is useful in getting stuff into the body, like nutrients.

    You ignorant fucking shitpile.

  96. A Critic  •  Jan 14, 2012 @8:01 am

    See, fuckstain, I'm not the one who claimed there were all these studies backing up how pot is a miracle drug.

    Correct. You are the one who is insisting on remaining willfully ignorant.

    You made the claim, you supply the proof. It isn't my job to prove your fucking point.

    There isn't space in these little text boxes to fit tens of thousands of pages – and even if I did prove my point by doing so – you still won't read them because you prefer to remain ignorant. Insistence on ignorance and a refusal to examine evidence is a pathetic basis for making an argument.

    But again, pot cures NOTHING

    Yet it treats everything, and without lethal side effects.

    And no, if you seek medical care, you won't die because you throw up too much.

    Except for Peter McWilliams and the other people who have died because of vomiting. You don't get it – but just because you refuse to acknowledge the world doesn't mean the world doesn't exist.

    It's called the IV. It is useful in getting stuff into the body, like nutrients.

    How does the existence of intravenous feeding invalidate the medical benefits of marijuana?

    You ignorant fucking shitpile.

    I'm not the one refusing to read or learn or acknowledge the most useful plant on the planet or denying that people would stand to benefit enormously if this plant was really made use of.

    People are dying because of the FDA, the AMA, doctors, and ignorant folks such as yourself – and that was my original point, there are conspiracies involving these groups, even if the actors in these conspiracies are primarily motivated by ignorance, it's still a conspiracy.

  97. Laura K  •  Jan 14, 2012 @1:22 pm

    @ A Critic,

    I'm sorry. I can't stand it any more. I've been avoiding anectdotal evidence as a matter of principle but Jesus Christ on a ffing pompom stick Marijuana would have killed my husband. literally. It was deadly to him and his medical state–a congenital heart condition. What saved him? His brilliant DOCTORS at Children's Hospital, Boston. I DO NOT PRETEND for an INSTANT that this follows the scientific method. IT DOES NOT. But your posts on this blog are a scathing and inane insult to my husband and his caring, brilliant doctors. Yes, he is also my late husband–you'll probably claim maijuana would have saved him–having seen the effects of BRIEF exposure to pot of any kind I know it would not have.

    I don't know if any of the others who despise your posts have had somebody in their life who depended on REAL medicine. I bring up my example NOT to prove its worth scientifically–your doing so justfiies all the 'fuctard' labels Scott throws at you–but so that you know how inherrently offensive it is. Futute te ipsum and caballum tuum, Verpa!

  98. SPQR  •  Jan 14, 2012 @3:29 pm

    A Critic, you link to a list of studies which, taken at face value, list only a couple of benefits of marijuana: appetite stimulation, relief of some symptoms of multiple sclerosis and some pain relief.

    That's not a "wonder drug". Your claims are quackery.

  99. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 14, 2012 @7:17 pm

    my husband.

    Husband???

    I'm crushed.

  100. Laura K  •  Jan 14, 2012 @8:42 pm

    Probably in bad taste to point this out Scott, but I also said, late husband. My husband died two years ago. I appreciate the compliment.

  101. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 14, 2012 @8:44 pm

    Oh wow.

    Don't I feel like a dick now…

  102. Laura K  •  Jan 15, 2012 @4:13 am

    No, dammit you aren't a dick about that! I appreciated the compliment!

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