In highlighting Seattle's new approach to drug possession, Nicholas
Kristof makes a compelling case that it is past time to adopt a public
health approach to addiction, but he is too narrow in his conclusions.
When we view the war on drugs strictly though the lens of drug
possession, we fail to include people who need help the most: those
who have committed crimes driven by their addiction and/or mental
health disorder and who face incarceration as a result (crimes
including D.U.I., theft, property crimes). These individuals
desperately need treatment but are not eligible for diversion via
programs like LEAD, which typically only address drug possession.
[continues 96 words]
Tobacco products, which kill almost 500,000 people per year, are
legal, and still advertised to a limited extent. Alcoholic beverages,
which kill about 88,000 people annually, are not only legal but also
widely advertised. Many of the opioid deaths are a result of
accidental overdoses because users are unaware of just how much drug
is in a particular dosage they consume.
Why not legalize opioids but: sell them only from government operated
"package stores" (as alcohol still is in certain jurisdictions) so
that doses are known; have no advertising; have a massive public
health program? Accidental overdose deaths would be virtually
eliminated; the criminal drug trade would be eliminated; and, if the
tobacco-use cessation program model were followed, use would go down.
Port Jefferson, N.Y.
The writer, professor emeritus of preventive medicine at Stony Brook
Medicine, is the author of "Ending the 'Drug War'; Solving the Drug
Problem: The Public Health Approach."
Wow! Are you kidding me? This is the most fantasized assessment of
Seattle's drug epidemic I've ever seen. In actuality, we are spiraling
toward complete social meltdown here, and Nicholas Kristof thinks
we've figured out how to end the war on drugs?
As a three-decade resident of Seattle, I can tell you that from the
sprawling homeless camps ringing the city, to the bedraggled hordes of
dead-eyed addicts on Second Avenue, to the piles of human feces in
Pioneer Square, there is no progress being made to end the heroin
epidemic in this city. Whatever actions local governments are taking
only make things worse.
Seattle is becoming a wasteland of crime, refuse, excrement and
addiction. It's disgusting to watch and it gets worse every year.
Re "Ending the War on Drugs," by Nicholas Kristof (Sunday Review, Aug.
This article gives me hope that Seattle is finally doing something
about the devastation of drug use on its streets.
My son is a struggling heroin addict, and thank God is now a part of
the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, program. He completed
treatment in jail through drug court, finished work release, is now in
drug court housing and meets with his counselor at LEAD.
I know firsthand how difficult it is for families. I've walked the
streets of downtown Seattle looking for my son where drug users and
dealers hang out. I've seen them passed out with a needle hanging out
of an arm or leg. I'd ask myself, What is Seattle doing to fix this
Addicts need support. The LEAD program is good, but what about those
addicts who haven't been arrested and directed to LEAD?
"New Warning Against Use of Marijuana for 2 Groups" (news article,
Aug. 30) is reminiscent of coverage of pregnant women and cocaine use
that reported damage theories that were alarmist.
Critical examination would reveal that the surgeon general's advisory
focuses on associations and unspecified "risks." There's an enormous
difference between things that pose potential risks, which are
virtually everything a woman does, ingests or is exposed to during the
course of pregnancy, and actual harm to the pregnant woman and fetus.
[continues 96 words]
Believing that I could never agree with Nicholas Kristof about
anything, I found myself gobsmacked that I agreed, writ large, with
his profile of Seattle attempting to end the war on drugs.
I don't agree with his emphasis on race and privilege, but it's about
time to completely end the war on drugs - and I say this as a former
narcotics prosecutor in Brooklyn during the golden age of crack. Only
total legalization will work. But saying drugs should be legal is not
saying that drugs are good.
We, as a nation, need to approach this as adults, and stop doing
something that hasn't ever worked well but has been doubled down on
Michael G. Brautigam
I want to thank Nicholas Kristof for bringing our attention to the
successful way Seattle's Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program is
addressing the interplay of drug addiction and the law. I support his
call for more "evidence-based public health interventions." At
Exponents, we also invest in evidence-based practices that employ
recovering individuals and those with the lived experience of addiction.
Recovering addicts, especially those who have benefited from a
particular treatment or process, have great value in engaging and
helping an active addict. Medication-assisted treatments are
effective, but the recovering community is an underutilized asset in
our efforts to bring this opiate epidemic under control.
The writer is co-founder and chief clinical officer of Exponents, an
organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people
affected by drug addiction, incarceration and H.I.V./AIDS.
I thought that Nicholas Kristof's article was very good in showing the
efforts of Seattle's prosecuting attorney, Dan Satterberg, to scale
back on drug prosecutions and promote treatment alternatives.
My one objection is his statement that "the war on drugs began in 1971
out of a legitimate alarm about narcotics both in the United States and
among U.S. troops in Vietnam." My book "The Myth of the Addicted Army:
Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs" detailed how the media and
politicians exaggerated the scope of drug abuse in Vietnam and created a
false moral panic about drugs that drove forward the war on drugs.
[continues 58 words]
It was 2012, and Ferrell Scott was watching television inside
Pennsylvania's Allenwood federal penitentiary when he learned that the
sale of marijuana, something he was given a life sentence for just
four years earlier, was becoming legal in two states.
Colorado had approved its recreational use, the inmate learned from
the broadcast, and so had Washington.
Scott had been struggling with depression since he was incarcerated in
March 2008. But he felt a bit of hope as he watched the framework that
had put people like him away without parole begin to crumble.
Portugal's decriminalization of drugs reduced the number of heroin
users from 100,000 to 25,000. Its drug mortality rate became the
lowest in Western Europe.
What's badly needed is to look at the real reason for criminalizing
drugs. The first anti-cocaine laws in the early 1900s were aimed at
black men in the South. The first anti-marijuana laws in the early
20th century targeted Mexican migrants and Mexican-Americans.
The "war on drugs" was coined by President Richard Nixon. A top Nixon
aide, John Ehrlichman, later admitted that it was aimed at Mr. Nixon's
two major enemies, the antiwar left and black people: Criminalization
meant that "we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their
leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them
night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about
the drugs? Of course we did."
The war on drugs had little or nothing to do with health or safety. It
was about political persecution.
Santa Fe, N.M.
In the cloudy world of travel with marijuana, what gets dispensed in
Vegas should probably get smoked in Vegas.
Marijuana tourism is booming here, as it has in Colorado, Oregon and
elsewhere. But what's allowed and what's legal at airports and hotels
can feel like a confounding set of contradictions.
Possessing limited quantities of recreational marijuana is legal in
Denver and Las Vegas, but it's illegal at the airports in those
cities. Not true in Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle, where possession
at the airport is allowed up to certain limits.
[continues 966 words]
It is indeed sweet victory to see the B.C. Liquor Corp. selling
In the B.C. election of 2001, I, as a B.C. Marijuana Party candidate,
was arrested at the behest of the Victoria Hillside liquor store for
campaigning for legal cannabis.
Some advice about marketing would be in order.
As a Realtor of 30 years, I can offer some pointers. Analyze the
prevailing market and emulate it. At present, in the "friends" market,
you can smell before you buy. If you don't like it, you can bring it
[continues 90 words]
Surgeon General Warns Pregnant Women and Teenagers Not to Smoke or
Dr. Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, said they may be unaware of the
health hazards posed by new, professionally grown marijuana crops.
The United States surgeon general on Thursday issued a public warning
that smoking or vaping marijuana is dangerous for pregnant women and
their developing babies.
At a news conference with other top administration health officials,
the surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, said he was concerned that
pregnant women, teenagers and others were unaware of the health
hazards posed by new, professionally grown marijuana crops.
[continues 333 words]
The medical marijuana "Unity Bill" that sets up a basic legal
framework for the implementation of State Question 788 will take
Nearly three dozen other new laws will also take effect this week.
Here's a look at some of the new laws.
Also known as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection
Act, House Bill 2612 sets up a framework for regulating Oklahoma's
medical marijuana industry.
The lengthy bill that was a compromise between legislators and those
in the medical marijuana industry sets guidelines for marijuana
testing, tax collections, seed-to-sale product tracking, packaging,
employment and more.
[continues 325 words]
The legalization of marijuana as a medicine in 33 states, 11 of which
allow its use as a recreational drug, has made weed a dynamic American
industry, among the economy's fastest-growing sources of new jobs.
California alone, with $3.1 billion in projected marijuana sales for
this year, has a legal market as large as that of any country on the
Entrepreneurs grumble nonetheless. Not since Ronald Reagan ran for
president have American newspapers been so full of anecdotes about
heroic jobs-creating businessmen stymied by regulation.
[continues 902 words]
Even as states across the country have legalized marijuana,
potentially opening the door to a multibillion dollar industry, the
impact of marijuana criminalization is still being felt by people -
mostly black and Hispanic - whose records are marked by low-level
convictions related to the drug.
But on Wednesday, New York began the process of expunging many of
those records, as part of a new state law to reduce penalties
associated with marijuana-related crimes, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew
M. Cuomo confirmed.
[continues 780 words]
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection warned Friday against
the purchase of electronic cigarette cartridges containing THC or
other cannabis or altered e-cigarette products that are sold "off the
So far, 215 possible cases of vaping-related lung illness have been
reported in 25 states, CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said
in a statement, "and additional reports of pulmonary illness are under
investigation." The Washington Post reported Thursday that state and
federal investigators have 354 cases currently under review.
[continues 52 words]
SEATTLE -- Five years after Washington launched its pioneering legal
marijuana market, officials are proposing an overhaul of the state's
industry rules, with plans for boosting minority ownership of pot
businesses, paving the way for home deliveries of medical cannabis and
letting the smallest growers increase the size of their operations to
become more competitive.
Liquor and Cannabis Board Director Rick Garza detailed the proposals
-- part of what the board calls "Cannabis 2.0" -- in an interview with
The Associated Press. It's an effort to picture what the legal
marijuana market will look like over the next five years, after
spending the past five years largely regulating by reaction as the
difficulties of building an industry from infancy absorbed the
[continues 818 words]
SEATTLE - On gritty streets where heroin, fentanyl and meth stride
like Death Eaters, where for decades both drugs and the war on drugs
have wrecked lives, the city of Seattle is pioneering a bold approach
to narcotics that should be a model for America.
Anyone caught here with a small amount of drugs - even heroin - isn't
typically prosecuted. Instead, that person is steered toward social
services to get help.
This model is becoming the consensus preference among public health
experts in the U.S. and abroad. Still, it shocks many Americans to see
no criminal penalty for using drugs illegally, so it takes courage and
vision to adopt this approach: a partial retreat in the war on drugs
coupled with a stepped-up campaign against addiction.
[continues 2455 words]
Canada has been at the forefront of cannabis research, education and
regulation for the past 2 decades, yet uncertainty remains about how
the drug should be used in medicine. Physicians lack evidence-based
information and formalized training about cannabis, which stems, in
part, from the drug's previously illegal status that hindered
research. Among the public, however, many perceive cannabis as a
natural and safe medical treatment. Patients increasingly seek advice
about cannabis from physicians, request prescriptions or experiment
with cannabis for medical problems on their own. However, physicians
must adhere to good medical practice regardless of public pressure and
provide counselling to patients based on up-to-date knowledge and
evidence. Now that cannabis is legal in Canada more research should be
forthcoming, but the evidence base remains weak.
[continues 887 words]
The bare, dusty ground is littered with rusty blades and crack pipes.
The area reeks of urine and garbage.
At least three times a day, Charly Roue is drawn to this neighborhood,
one of the most sordid in Paris, always following the same ritual.
After panhandling tens of euros at cafes not far from some of the most
popular tourist spots, he heads to the northern edge of the city,
where he can buy crack cocaine at La Colline, or the Hill, France's
largest open-air market for crack.
[continues 1108 words]
Contrary to Joe Fries' editorial "Abstinence works best" (Courier,
Aug. 16), Rhode Island treats addicted prison inmates with methadone,
buprenorphine and naltrexone. Like methadone, buprenorphine is an
opioid agonist, or replacement opioid. Naltrexone is an opioid
antagonist that blocks opioid receptors.
The benefits of opioid substitution therapy are well-established, in
and out of prison. It reduces crime, prevents overdoses and the spread
of infectious diseases, denies profits to criminal gangs, allows
addicted individuals to function normally within their families, jobs,
and communities, and gets them off the hamster wheel of raising money
by hook or by crook to pay criminal gangs for illicit opioids of
unknown potency and purity.
[continues 176 words]
A group of Colorado researchers recently studied how cannabis use
affects athletes and found a possible role between the plant and pain
The study, "Cannabis use in active athletes: Behaviors related to
subjective effects," looked at cannabis use patterns and its effects
in a community-based sample of adult athletes. According to the
study's authors, there had been no previous academic research done on
cannabis use's subjective effects for adult athletes.
"There was not a lot of research on how weed helps," explains Dr.
Joanna Zeiger, one of the researchers who conducted the study for
Canna Research Group. "Athletes typically don't sleep well and are
anxious, so we wanted to see what percentage of them use cannabis,
their patterns of use, and what the effects are."
[continues 429 words]
More than half of all Canadians believe drug treatment should focus on
abstinence, rather than opioid replacement therapies, according to
poll results released this week.
Research Co. found 57% of those surveyed were in favour of programs
that aim to get people off drugs entirely, rather than programs that
supply people with free dope to help keep them healthy and out of trouble.
It's unclear from the results if people's attitudes towards drug
treatment are shifting, but it's clear that a majority of the
population supports an approach that doesn't enable addicts.
[continues 235 words]
A year after medical marijuana became legal in Oklahoma, state
lawmakers and marijuana advocates seem to have found a balance in
implementing State Question 788 and moving the industry forward into
the near future.
Sweeping legislation -- the result of a major compromise between
legislators and cannabis advocates -- to regulate the medical
marijuana industry will go into effect later this month.
Meanwhile, there are whispers of an initiative petition to put the
question of legalizing recreational marijuana to a statewide vote,
which could shake up Oklahoma's fledgling marijuana industry and the
new regulatory framework.
[continues 795 words]
Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column,
Lawrie McFarlane's verdict is premature. Legal regulation in Canada
isn't analogous to legalization in Colorado, for among other reasons,
Colorado allows advertising and initially allowed edibles and extracts
with inadequate labelling, packaging and dose limitations.
Yes, emergency-room visits from adverse reactions spiked in Colorado
following legalization, but this was due in part to inexperienced
tourists from prohibitionist states, and consumers feeling more
inclined to seek help once they no longer feared arrest. Panicked
patients are typically discharged (the wiser) on the same day, with no
lasting ill effects. Such visits remain far less common and severe
than visits related to alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco.
[continues 101 words]
Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column,
In his opinion piece on cannabis legalization, Lawrie McFarlane cites
a short-term increase in the numbers of adolescents visiting emergency
rooms for cannabis in Colorado - a jurisdiction with a commercialized
approach to cannabis legalization - as evidence that Canada's much
more restrictive public health-oriented approach to legalization has
However, as scientists who have carefully considered how to best
measure the public-health impacts of cannabis legalization, we would
suggest a thorough and ongoing analysis of Canadian data is needed to
understand the effects of the new regulatory landscape. Although
cannabis-related hospital visits should be a priority, we also need to
ask important questions about underlying causes: if we see an
increase, how much is due to increasing use among youth, and how much
could be related to shifting trends in products/modes of
administration (e.g., a shift towards high-THC concentrates, increased
[continues 114 words]
Claire Alcindor's fourth pregnancy last year was the hardest. The only
way she could keep food down was by smoking marijuana, which also helped
with her depression.
She was living in Maryland, in a location where marijuana is legal, but
still worried "people would think I'm a bad mom" - or worse. Friends
warned Child Protective Services might start investigating her. But it
seemed worth the risk, especially given the reported effects of some
prescription nausea and depression drugs.
"I needed to eat, I needed to stay alive and survive this pregnancy,"
says Alcindor, who now lives in Las Vegas.
[continues 1527 words]
It's becoming increasingly obvious that legalizing marijuana
consumption was a colossal public-health blunder.
A good part of the evidence comes from south of the border, where
several states legalized pot much earlier than Canada. This has
allowed time for robust scientific follow-up - follow-up that is
beginning to reveal a frightening picture.
Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012, and recreational use in
2014. One result is that emergency hospital visits by adolescents with
marijuana-related symptoms have jumped from 84 a year in the pre-legal
era, to 500 in 2018.
[continues 557 words]
Drug laws should be designed to minimise damage. This might sound
obvious. But the UK's drug laws - along with those of most other
countries - arguably do not have this effect. Indeed there is a
strong argument that in many respects the blanket prohibition, under
criminal statutes, of substances from cannabis to heroin along with
the myriad synthetic substances now widely used to mimic their
effects, does more harm than good.
This is not a novel point of view. Drug experts in the UK and around
the world have been pointing out the flaws and inconsistencies in
current policies for ages, with former Colombian president, Juan
Manuel Santos, among those who have argued for a new approach focused
on human rights and public health. In the UK, polls show a majority
supports liberalisation of the law on cannabis, following the example
of countries including Portugal. But since this shift in public
attitudes has so far been ignored by the Home Office, which instead
brought in a sweeping ban on so-called "legal highs"=9D in 2016, this
week's call for reform by a cross-party trio of MPs is refreshing.
[continues 302 words]
The Canadian cannabis industry is booming.
From giant industrial operations such as Canopy Growth to smaller
cannabis retailers, to an array of cannabis "lifestyle"=9D brands and
"cannabis brand consultancy"=9D firms, the industry is a lucrative fronti
for those seeking wealth in a rapidly growing market.
And oh, is there wealth to be had. Canadians spent $1.6-billion on
legal weed in 2018 - double the total spent on medical cannabis the
year before - despite the fact that non-medical cannabis was legally
available only after Oct. 17. Statistics Canadaa's National Cannabis
Survey from the first quarter of 2019 found that use of non-medical
cannabis has increased among men and people aged 45 to 64. The survey
reported that 646,000 people tried cannabis for the first time in the
prior three months, half of whom were aged 45 or older.
[continues 1623 words]
New York has decriminalised the use of marijuana - becoming the 16th
US state to do so.
The move, which would make possession of a small amount of the drug a
violation rather than a felony, was signed into law by governor Andrew
The measure also demands that criminal records of offences linked to
low-level marijuana cases either be marked as expunged, or destroyed -
an apparent reflection that in the past communities of colour suffered
unduly from different application of the law.
[continues 231 words]
Mark A. R. Kleiman, a prominent drug policy apostate who favored what
he viewed as a sensible middle ground on marijuana - eliminate
criminal sanctions for selling and using it but preclude full-blown
commercial legalization - died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 68.
Kelly Kleiman, his sister and only immediate survivor, said the cause
was lymphoma and complications of a kidney transplant he received from
her in April.
Author, blogger, adviser to government and a teacher at New York
University and the University of California, Los Angeles, Professor
Kleiman considered himself a "policy entrepreneur."
[continues 1140 words]
No doubt there is such a thing as ideological drift in politics,
especially in primaries. Candidates often become unmoored and move
right or left in a search for their party's most ardent activists.
But sometimes this drift isn't ideological. It's generational.
Last week, Teresa Tomlinson rolled out a package of policies she would
pursue if she succeeds in her quest to replace U.S. Sen. David Perdue
next year. One of them was something of a surprise.
"It is time we address at the federal level the decriminalization,
legalization, and regulation of marijuana as a medicinal and
recreational substance," the Democrat posted on her website.
Smoking pot cost Kimberly Cue her job.
Ms. Cue, a 44-year-old chemical engineer from Silicon Valley, received
an offer this year from a medical device manufacturer only to have it
rescinded when the company found out that she smoked prescription
marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
"My email was set up with the company," she said. "My business cards
were printed." But after a pre-employment drug test came back positive
for marijuana, a human resources representative told her the job was
no longer hers.
[continues 1413 words]
Two major universities are creating the first career paths for young
people interested in the business of marijuana.
The University of Maryland announced in June that its School of Pharmacy
will offer a master's degree in medical cannabis, and a new course is
also being added this fall at Cornell University's School of Integrative
Plant Science called "Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry."
"I advise a lot of students in a lot of majors and they're all like,
this is going to be cool," said Antonio DiTommaso, program director
for agricultural sciences at Cornell. "I think some of it is just a
novelty, but it's really going to be based on the cropping, the
agronomics, the medicinal aspect, the chemistry, consumer attitudes
[continues 915 words]
Southern California immigrant with DACA status travels to Mexico so he
can become a legal permanent resident. But instead of getting the OK
for a green card, he's prevented from re-entering U.S.
Jose Palomar packed only a small suitcase because he thought his trip
to Mexico would be brief.
Seeking legal permanent residency, he had no choice but to go. But
now, nearly two months later, he's still in Mexico and barred from
returning to his home in the United States.
[continues 1567 words]
Marijuana's role in the health care universe has grown exponentially
over the past few years. Currently, 33 U.S. states have legalized the
use of medical marijuana, and more and more states are considering
making it legal for recreational purposes as well. As cannabis becomes
more accessible, many people are turning to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
and cannabidiol (CBD) products to treat health issues like rheumatic
and musculoskeletal disease (the aches and pains of arthritis).
Unfortunately, because cannabis remains illegal and classified as a
Schedule 1 drug under federal law (defined as being of no medical
use), there has been a troubling lack of scientific and medical
research on the effectiveness of cannabis treatments. This dearth of
evidence-based data has left many health care providers unable to
counsel their patients on everything from whether a cannabis treatment
could be effective for their condition, to what dosages are
appropriate, to how cannabis might interact with their other
medications or health conditions.
[continues 112 words]
Creation of a Cannabis Commission to regulate medical marijuana in the
state was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on
Thursday night with no votes to spare.
House Bill 3468, by Rep. John Jordan, R-Yukon, sets up an independent
commission that would be activated if voters approve State Question
788 on June 26. That question would legalize medical uses of medical
marijuana, although opponents say its broad construction would
essentially make policing recreational use impossible.
"If you're for full-on recreational marijuana, this is not your bill,"
Jordan said in explaining the bill.
It's been about three years since one DeKalb County city made history
with the most liberal marijuana enforcement policy in the state. Since
then, several more municipalities have followed suit, eliminating the
possibility of jail time and severely reducing the fine for possessing
one ounce or less of weed.
Months after the state Legislature passed a bill legalizing medical
marijuana sales, the push toward recreational decriminalization on the
local level is continuing; the city of Chamblee is currently
considering a measure that echoes the rules in Clarkston, which passed
its marijuana ordinance in July 2016.
[continues 79 words]
Authorities from seven states, the District of Columbia and some major
U.S. cities are backing a Philadelphia effort to open a supervised
drug-injection site, which the federal government is trying to stop in
Safehouse, a nonprofit in Philadelphia, seeks to open a site where
people can use drugs in a safe and sanitary environment with help to
avoid overdose fatalities. Federal prosecutors sued the nonprofit in
February, arguing it would violate federal law by creating a place for
people to use illegal drugs such as heroin and bootleg fentanyl.
[continues 415 words]
A law that took effect July 1 legalized hemp and CBD products
containing traces of THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you
high. But field tests and crime labs haven't caught up.
Texas hemp enterpreneur Zachary Miller, interviewed here by a
television reporter, was arrested in Okaloosa County after products
found in his car tested positive for THC. THC is illegal in Florida
unless prescribed by a doctor for medical use but trace amounts are
allowed in now-legal hemp products. [Courtesy of Zachary Miller]
[continues 1525 words]
The waiting room at NiaMedic Healthcare & Research Services looked just
like every other doctor's office at the Saddleback Medical Center in
California's Laguna Hills: unflattering overhead lighting, landscape
paintings and a smiling person in scrubs behind the reception desk. It
was the ideal location to attract NiaMedic's target demographic:
seniors. Saddleback is nestled in the rolling hills of a region
surrounded by at least 15 retirement communities, including the over
18,000-resident Laguna Woods Village. But the patients who come through
NiaMedic's doors generally start with the same question: Can marijuana help?
[continues 1971 words]
The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to launch an
investigation into the alleged killings of tens of thousands of
Filipinos by police in a yearslong drug war-a rare international
rebuke of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who started the
campaign against narcotics.
The vote passed 18 to 14 on Thursday at a meeting of the council in
Geneva. The Philippines and China, both among the council's 47
members, voted against it. The remaining 15 members abstained.
The resolution calls on the Philippines to carry out impartial
investigations into alleged extrajudicial killings and to cooperate
with U.N. representatives assigned to prepare a report on the
human-rights situation in the Philippines. The report would need to be
presented to the council for action in June 2020.
[continues 458 words]
GENEVA - The United Nations' top human rights body voted on Thursday
to examine thousands of alleged extrajudicial police killings linked
to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs in the Philippines, a
campaign that rights groups around the world have denounced as a
The United Nations' 47-member Human Rights Council supported a
resolution advanced by Iceland that turned a spotlight on wide-ranging
abuses, including killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary
arrests, and persecution of rights activists, journalists, lawyers and
members of the political opposition.
[continues 694 words]
Humphrey Bogart had a way with life's little vices. When he bought you
a drink, the critic Kenneth Tynan recalled, he wouldn't just pass it
across - "he'd take me by the wrist and screw the glass into my hand
as if it was a lamp socket." Bogart's manner with a cigarette was so
vivid that his surname became an admonishing hippie-era verb: "Don't
bogart that joint."
I've tried repeatedly, over the course of my life, to become a druggie.
It's never taken. But even I know what it means to bogart something: to
hoard it, to refuse to share. It wasn't until I read Lizzie Post's
helpful and inquisitive new book, "Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the
World of Cannabis, From Dispensaries to Dinner Parties," however, that I
fully understood the term's provenance.
[continues 953 words]
SAN MIGUEL AMOLTEPEC VIEJO, Mexico - For years, two young brothers,
like many other farmers in their poor, mountainous region of southwest
Mexico, found salvation in the opium poppy. They bled the milky latex
from its pods and the profits made their hard lives a little easier.
The fact that this substance was the raw material for most of the
heroin consumed in the United States was of little concern to the
family, if they even knew it at all. But then changes in that distant
market for illegal drugs made the price of the dried opium latex plummet.
[continues 1405 words]
Kush. Bud. Herb.
Who knows what to call marijuana these days?
Born of the need for secrecy, slang has long dominated pot culture.
But as entrepreneurs seek to capitalize on new laws legalizing
recreational and medical marijuana, they too are grappling with what
to call it.
Heading to the dispensary to buy a few nugs or dabs? Marketers seeking
to exploit the $10 billion market would prefer that you just called it
Shirley Halperin, an author of 2007's "Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to
Stoner Language and Life," has seen the shift in recent years. Not long
ago, she met with an executive to talk about his company's products. "He
physically winced when I said the word 'pot,'" she recalled. "Businesses
don't want to call it 'weed.'"
[continues 1123 words]
Alex Berenson's allegation that public support for marijuana law
reform is waning ("Marijuana Activists Pass Their High Point," op-ed,
June 26) is nothing short of a pipe dream.
Nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult
use of cannabis is legal, and 33 states regulate medical marijuana
access by statute. No state has ever repealed a marijuana legalization
law, and two-thirds of adults-including majorities of self-identified
Democrats, Republicans and independents-endorse making the plant
legal, according to the latest Gallup poll. As more states amend their
cannabis laws, public support for legalization continues to rise.
[continues 190 words]
DENVER - Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of
Colorado's many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business
opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and
her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. "Good
business," Serenity said.
But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high
school student, David Perez, against the warehouselike marijuana
cultivations now clustered around his neighborhood. He said their
skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front
[continues 2319 words]