Sullivan Eviscerates Bloomberg

I pretty much despise New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. From his ever-present crusades to control what we eat and drink to the stop and frisk program he so zealously defends, he is an authoritarian to the core who clearly finds the entire concept of individual rights to be useless and antiquated. Andrew Sullivan agrees:

The self-satisfied, self-righteous and self-appointed nanny of anyone he can get his administrative hands on is at it again. Here he is denying any scientific basis for medical marijuana – claiming that it’s actually a “hoax” – and alleging that it leads to dependency – with no evidence – and then using the pathetic argument that because marijuana is more potent today, it is somehow more dangerous. He has no evidence for that either. There is now a huge amount of data proving marijuana’s key help in addressing a variety of medical conditions that no other drug can yet match.

The man just despises freedom, as anyone living in his nanny-city of New York can attest. And his enthusiasm for the stop and frisk police policy for marijuana possession now makes more sense, doesn’t it? He’s enforcing morals and health using the police force in the crudest manner possible. He’s a Prohibitionist of the crudest, dumbest kind.

Yep, that about sums it up.

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  • dingojack

    “I pretty much despise New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. …, he is an authoritarian to the core who clearly finds the entire concept of individual rights to be useless and antiquated. Andrew Sullivan agrees”.

    With you, or Michael Bloomberg? Oh wait under he fold it turns out to be with you.

    (An uncharacteristically clumsy piece of writing Ed).

    Dingo

    ——-

    PS also smacks a little of ‘I think, and [authority X] agrees with me, [insert assertion here],…’

    Sorry it just jumped out at me. [My wannabe editor coming out perhaps?]

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … he is an authoritarian to the core who clearly finds the entire concept of individual rights to be useless and antiquated.

    Last I heard, Bloomberg at least is strongly pro-choice. Can Sullivan claim that?

  • Adam

    My understanding is that Sullivan supports legal access to abortion, but feels that we should try to reduce the number of abortions by reducing the necessity for them i.e. greater access to contraception.

    That is just based on my recollection of his writings regarding the Catholic church’s stand on abortion and contraception. He could have expressed his views differently elsewhere.

  • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

    Andrew Sullivan, waking up to the reality of how authoritarian his chosen party has been for, oh i dunno the last 40 years. And who could have clued him in to that so so much sooner? Oh yeah… LIBERALS. Who Andrew has made a career of relentlessly excoriating and marginalizing. And now that it has become impossible to ignore how the modern GOP has become a safe harbor for xenophobes and plutocrats, Andrew makes his buck picking up those liberal criticisms from the junkpile he and his conservative pundit class have dumped them in, scratching off the serial numbers, slapping on a new coat of neo-Burkean paint and pawning them off as “real true conservatism”.

    You don’t like Bloomberg Andrew… boo fucking hoo. He’s your creation. Own it.

  • http://composer99.blogspot.ca composer99

    With regards to

    his [Bloomberg’s] ever-present crusades to control what we eat and drink

    I don’t suppose a cite to some campaign other than the soft-drink size limit is in the offing?

    Because last I checked, restricting the maximum single-container volume that retailers can offer, for a select class of beverages, without otherwise restricting the availability of these beverages in any way, shape, or form, doesn’t qualify as “control[ling] what we eat and drink”.

  • mudpuddles

    …and then using the pathetic argument that because marijuana is more potent today, it is somehow more dangerous. He has no evidence for that either.

    Well, there is this:

    Moore TH et al, 2007, “Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review”. Lancet 370:319–328

    and this:

    Di Forti M et al, 2009, “High-potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis”, Br J Psychiatry 195(6):488-91.

    and this:

    Morgan CJ et al, 2012, “Neurocognitive function and schizophrenia-proneness in individuals dependent on ketamine, on high potency cannabis (‘skunk’) or on cocaine”, Pharmacopsychiatry 45(7):269-74.

    and this:

    Morgan CJ et al, 2011, “Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being”, Psychol Med 29:1-10.

    So, not pathetic. And, you know, evidence.

  • regexp

    What I’m enjoying about the Bloomberg debacle as of late is all the people I know who supported allowing him to run for a third term are now saying they want him out of office as soon as possible. Term limits are a method of managing risk. Even if your guy does well for the first few years – it doesn’t mean he won’t turn him into a tyrant later on.

    @Lou Doench

    thanks for the most unhinged comment I’ve seen today.

  • marcus

    mudpuddle @ 6

    1st cite “The evidence is consistent with the view that cannabis increases risk of psychotic outcomes independently of confounding and transient intoxication effects, although evidence for affective outcomes is less strong. The uncertainty about whether cannabis causes psychosis is unlikely to be resolved by further longitudinal studies such as those reviewed here. However, we conclude that there is now sufficient evidence to warn young people that using cannabis could increase their risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life.” Bold mine.

    Sorry not feeling it, not exactly compelling evidence nor conclusion. Certainly doesn’t warrant the suspension of civil liberties pursued by the nanny guv. Thanks for playing.

  • TGAP Dad

    Thing is, that I give Bloomberg partial credit for at least going contrary to the current thinking that weed is medicinal. There is no medical condition for which weed is the standard of treatment. There is not even a condition for which pharmaceutical-grade THC is the standard of treatment. I think his methods are wrong, and I think enforcing draconian laws in such an aggressive fashion is flat wrong. But to say weed is utterly benign, or even beneficial, is no less wrong.

    Even when you buy weed from a dispensary, you are really living outside the bounds of regulation. There we no standards for what they sell you, what it may have been treated with, mixed with, or even if it’s what it actually claims to be. You could literally sell dried dandelion leaves treated with horse shit and pesticides and it would be legal – at least until someone demonstrates it causes harm.

    I have a son who graduated high school with honors, including AP credit for 3 college classes. His addiction to weed since leaving high school has, for the most part, flatlined him. He left college after essentially failing all his classes on less than a full-time load. He has a part-time menial job, and will probably be living on my couch until he retires (which seems to have already started). To paraphrase Yoda: the demotivational syndrome is strong in this one.

    Now I know this is only one anecdote, and not solid proof of anything. But for the sake of my son, I wish it were harder to get.

  • http://noadi.etsy.com Noadi

    @9: I know people like your son who never touch weed. They hit college and adulthood and had to fend for themselves as an adult couldn’t manage it without an external motivator (and parents can no longer fill that role).

  • mudpuddles

    marcus #8

    Hi Marcus, thanks for the reply mate.

    Sorry not feeling it, not exactly compelling evidence nor conclusion.

    One single review paper tends not to provide compelling evidence or conclusion on any matter, its usually not what a scientific review paper does. The entirety of that paper, along with the others I cited and several more in the literature, presents evidence for harmful effects of cannabis use, which are tied to dose, which is linked to cannabis potency, which relates to the increased incidence of cannabis-related psychosis which correlates to the increasingly potent varieties of cannabis now available.

    Certainly doesn’t warrant the suspension of civil liberties pursued by the nanny guv.

    I never said it did. I simply pointed out that the claim that Bloomberg’s argument re: cannabis strength has no evidence and is pathetic, is bullshit. In other words, on that specific point, Bloomberg was not wrong – more potent cannabis is available, and it is more dangerous for at least a subset of users.

    Thanks for playing.

    No problem! Thanks for condescending! :)

  • Adam

    The issue is not that marijuana is or is not harmful in an absolute sense. It is if it there is any evidence to suggest it is so harmful that it must be completely prohibited, or justifies an over-zealous “stop and frisk” policy. This is especially important given that alcohol, which the evidence suggests is far more dangerous, is so easily available.

    A genuine question: Has Bloomberg made any attempts to ban or restrict the sale of alcohol?

  • daniellavine

    mudpuddles@11:

    The entirety of that paper, along with the others I cited and several more in the literature, presents evidence for harmful effects of cannabis use, which are tied to dose, which is linked to cannabis potency, which relates to the increased incidence of cannabis-related psychosis which correlates to the increasingly potent varieties of cannabis now available.

    But pot is incredibly easy to dose regardless of the potency. Unlike, say, alcohol, opiates, psychedelics, antidepressants, and just about every other class of intoxicant out there pot’s effects (when smoked) come on just about immediately. The typical advice for dosing: take one puff. You’ll feel most of the psychoactive effect within a few minutes. If the first puff wasn’t enough take another.

    It’s harder to dose edibles if you make them yourself but if you get them from a dispensary they’re already professionally dosed for you and presumably you’ve already figured out your approximate dosage before buying that particular brownie.

    Compare to “dosing” with alcohol (which has less evidence for medical efficacy than marijuana). You don’t feel the “dose” until 30 minutes or more after taking it. I see the resulting vomit stains on the sidewalk outside my apartment pretty much every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning.

    Besides that I suspect that the results in that paper have more to do with psychosis and less to do with marijuana.

    TGAP Dad@9:

    I can relate to your son a bit. If you haven’t already, consider that he may be self-medicating for depression and that his troubles may have more to do with depression than marijuana (which is not to say they have nothing to do with marijuana). Also try comparing the side effects of marijuana to the side effects of the indicated treatments for depression.

  • marcus

    mudpuddles @ 11 Your welcome. 😉 I still must say after reading several of the papers that you cited that the evidence presented and conclusions drawn are less than compelling. I will admit to having a anti-confirmation bias. However, the truth is I see a lot ‘coulds’, ‘maybes’ and ‘more studies needed’ without anything really resembling the proverbial ‘smoking gun’ that says that a preponderance of evidence supports the hypothesis that today’s stronger marijuana is qualitatively, as opposed to quantitatively, different.

  • mudpuddles

    daniellavine, #13

    Hi mate, thanks for the response.

    I have a few comments:

    The typical advice for dosing: take one puff. You’ll feel most of the psychoactive effect within a few minutes. If the first puff wasn’t enough take another.

    For someone like me who just smokes the stuff to get high, your suggested approach is totally fine. For someone seeking a drug to treat a specific ailment, not so much. Also, you might note that that’s the kind of advice thrown out by practitioners in alternative herbal remedies and other forms of woo: make tea from these herbs, if you feel no effect just keep going till it works! But I know what you mean.

    But pot is incredibly easy to dose…

    Well, it isn’t “incredibly” easy, but it should be easy to dose properly in most cases, except…

    regardless of the potency.

    ..potency is important and the amount of specific types of marijuana required for any desired end result will vary. If we are just talking about smoking it to get high, then with the caveat of my first point I will say yes I definitely agree with you. But as you suggest, if you’re planning on making hash yoghurts or pot brownies, its a different story – appropriate dosing is relatively blind and all depends on potency.

    In any case I agree 100% with the spirit of your post. Marijuana for medical purposes should be legalised and licensed dispensaries and physicians should be able to get the dosing correct for specific treatments (if not now, then hopefully soon after further research). As an occasional pot smoker I also don’t have a major problem with it being legalised for recreational use, once the considerable social, ecological and economic implications are understood and (as far as possible) prepared for. And the social implications are at least the same if not more extensive than those related to alcohol and tobacco use – dependency, health risks etc.

    I suspect that the results in that paper have more to do with psychosis and less to do with marijuana.

    Not sure what that means!

    Hi marcus (#14)

    I see a lot ‘coulds’, ‘maybes’ and ‘more studies needed’ without anything really resembling the proverbial ‘smoking gun’

    Yep. Science! Not definitive, but evidence for the point nonetheless.

  • DBP

    TGAP Dad:

    Maybe your son realized that college wasn’t what he was told it would be. Maybe he realized it was mostly more just rote memorization bullshit and he wasn’t interested in more than that.

    Or maybe he just got burned out from trying too hard.

    It couldn’t help that you seem to think he’s a total disappointing failure.

  • DBP

    and he wasn’t interested in that any more*

  • Pierce R. Butler

    adam @ # 5: My understanding is that Sullivan supports legal access to abortion, but feels that we should try to reduce the number of abortions by reducing the necessity for them i.e. greater access to contraception.

    Two defiances of the Holy Momma Church – not bad.

    Bloomberg, very early in his NYC tenure, mandated that all obstetrics schools there include abortion in their curricula, and prevailed in the predictable confrontation with God’s Deputy’s deputies. I neither know nor care what Sullivan thinketh on this, but I count it as one + mark on Bloomberg’s record.

    Please don’t ask me to name a second.

  • Adam

    Two defiances of the Holy Momma Church – not bad.

    He’s also gay, so that’s three.

    I’m not going to turn this into a threat about Sullivan. I do not agree opinions but I believe he comes by them honestly. He’s defintely not a shill for the Catholics church.

  • Adam

    That should have been *agree with his opinions.

    Sorry.

  • dan4

    @20: LOL, there’s actually two MORE obvious errors in your @19 post.

  • Adam

    *faceplant*

    Yeah. I see them. Oops!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Lumping Bloomberg’s regulation of soft-drink sizes with indiscriminate stop-and-frisk? Seriously? You really think those two policies are anywhere close to similar orders of magnitude? I’m sure there’s valid criticisms of Bloomberg to be had, but yours just sounds like another dumbass libertarian equating Obamacare with Auschwitz.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    dan4 @ # 21: … there’s actually two …

    Ahem. A-HEM, I says.*

    *Every comment pointing out an error has to contain at least one, according to whossname’s rule.