An entrenched network of allegedly corrupt customs officers at Sydney Airport has been importing drugs with organised crime figures for several years in one of Australia’s most serious corruption scandals.
Australian actor John Jarrett has recorded an emotive Christmas ballad in the hope of putting the focus of the Australian public and the Prime Minister back onto Schapelle Corby. Sung to the tune of John Lennon’s masterpiece Happy Xmas (War Is Over), the Wolf Creek star pleads for the Prime Minister to do more to have Corby released.
There is one problem stopping the full implementation of medical cannabis laws and the legalization of cannabis nationwide, and it is not the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is money. Budget issues were a key part of the decision the legalize cannabis in Colorado and Washington, rather than in California. Voters in all three States showed nearly identical support for reforming these laws. None were a sure win, but each stood a chance, if voters could be educated and advocates coordinated. Core organizers, groups, and funders joined forces in Co and WA to end cannabis prohibition in those States. Cannabis law reform in California comes with a hefty price tag. It will cost more than $10 million dollars for a statewide initiative and $2 million more to lobby the General Assembly for workable medical cannabis regulations.
“This whole thing of the, this ‘war on drugs,’ and the mass incarcerations that have happened pretty much for the last 40 years has just decimated the black male population,” the filmmaker said on the show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. “It’s slavery, it is just, it’s just slavery through and through, and it’s just the same fear of the black male that existed back in the 1800s.” In addition, he says that the flesh-for-cash business of slavery mirrors that of the prison industrial complex. TYT analysis: Tarantino – War on Drugs is Like Slavery. http://youtu.be/88FP8D5U5-Q
Will the Marlboro Man light up a joint soon? Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA, maker of Marlboro, based in Richmond, Va., was vague when asked about the future intentions of the nation’s largest tobacco company. “We have a practice of not commenting or speculating on future business,” Phelps said, adding “tobacco companies are in the business of manufacturing and marketing tobacco products.”
A teen who consumes alcohol is likely to have reduced brain tissue health, but a teen who uses marijuana is not, according to a new study by neuroscientists at University of California, San Diego.
In Thursday’s [20 Dec 2012] New York Times, the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading drug policy reform organization, is running a full-page ad to thank voters in Colorado and Washington and emphasize the growing support for drug policy reform.
Rather than getting into the cultural or media criticism of the Frum–Riggs–Frum–Sullivan fracas over cannabis policy, perhaps it makes more sense to try to separate out the knowns and identify the unknowns. Experts on the question see open questions where passionate amateurs are most dogmatic about the answers.
Let Colorado and Washington be the marijuana trailblazers. Let them struggle with the messy details of what it means to actually legalize the drug. Marijuana is, as a practical matter, already legal in much of California. No matter that its recreational use remains technically against the law. Marijuana has, in many parts of this state, become the equivalent of a beer in a paper bag on the streets of Greenwich Village. It is losing whatever stigma it ever had and still has in many parts of the country, including New York City, where the kind of open marijuana use that is common here would attract the attention of any passing law officer.
Arizona’s medical marijuana law is constitutional and federal drug laws don’t stand in the way of public officials implementing it, a judge said Tuesday in a ruling that sets the stage for the opening of the state’s first pot dispensary.
Almost three years after medical marijuana was legalized in New Jersey, the state’s first dispensary – Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair (an Essex County township located in the northeastern section of the state) – opened its doors to provide medicine for its initial three patients at 11 a.m. this morning [6 Dec 2012].
The Berlin Wall of pot prohibition seems to be crumbling before our eyes. By fully legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. And our political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter came out this month and endorsed taxed-and-regulated weed. “I’m in favor of it,” Carter said. “I think it’s OK.” In a December 5th letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) suggested it might be possible “to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law.” Even President Obama hinted at a more flexible approach to prohibition, telling 20/20’s Barbara Walters that the federal government was unlikely to crack down on recreational users in states where pot is legal, adding, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
Strategy of killing gang leaders has led to proliferation of smaller and more dangerous groups, says new attorney general. The fracturing of Mexico‘s organised crime syndicates by a government-led crackdown on drug cartels has created between 60 and 80 new trafficking gangs, according to the nation’s attorney general – far more than were active six years ago.
Would you believe that people who use drugs are, on average, more educated than the average citizen? Or that less than 10 percent are unemployed? Around the world, the mythology of the drug user – as a desperate, ill or uncontrollable person – has often influenced policies that were poorly informed about actual drug use.
The Croatian parliament approved a bill on 14th December that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs.
This Christmas, like many before it and many yet to come, the story of Santa and his flying reindeer will be told, including how the “jolly old elf” flies on his sleigh throughout the entire world in one night, giving gifts to all the good children. But according to one theory, the story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms. “Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.