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rescinded when the company found out that she smoked prescription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]
It is wise to know where your cannabis comes from. Intoxicated by
bullish demand forecasts, pot investors aren't paying nearly enough
attention to supply.
U.S. states currently decide whether to legalize cannabis within their
own borders, even though the drug remains illegal at the federal
level. It is a misnomer to speak of a single U.S. pot industry,
considering the patchwork of self-contained cannabis economies across
Pot can't cross state lines today, even between two states where the
drug is allowed. Should federal laws change, high-cost growers and
areas with less favorable climates for cannabis growing will be undercut.
[continues 518 words]
A landmark battle in the war on drugs ended Tuesday, and a new
approach to address racial inequities began, as Gov. J.B. Pritzker
acted to legalize marijuana in Illinois effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Sponsors called the change "historic" as Pritzker signed into law a
bill that will allow Illinois residents 21 and over to possess up to
30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams
of THC infused in edibles and other products. Out-of-state visitors
may have up to half those amounts.
[continues 1023 words]
Marking a historic moment in an expanding national movement, Illinois
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation that makes recreational
marijuana legal in Illinois.
After debate in Springfield earlier this year - during which one
lawmaker even cracked eggs into a frying pan to depict the "brain on
drugs" - the bill allowing possession and sales to begin on Jan. 1 was
approved by the House and Senate.
Illinois became the 11th state to legalize cannabis and the first
state in which a legislature approved commercial sales. Vermont
lawmakers legalized possession, but not yet commercial sales. Approval
in other states came via referendum.
[continues 609 words]
This was supposed to be the year full cannabis legalization in the
U.S. moved much closer to being a reality. Instead it has been a
disaster for advocates. Although Illinois legalized recreational use
on the final day of its legislative schedule, a half-dozen other
deep-blue states that were expected to legalize failed to
follow-including New York.
Advocates want to believe legalization on their terms, with few
restrictions on marketing and age limits potentially as low as 18,
remains inevitable. Polls show that between 62% and 66% of Americans
support legalization. But cannabis supporters are wrong, and the
pushback against marijuana has only begun.
[continues 778 words]
The two young women see themselves in Rue, the stumbling, manipulative
teenage drug addict that Zendaya plays in "Euphoria," the new HBO show.
They see themselves in Rue when she coughs and flushes the toilet so
her mom won't hear her rummaging through the medicine cabinet for
Xanax. They see themselves when Rue cops clean urine from a high
school friend to pass a drug test. They see themselves when Rue
convinces a new friend that getting high first thing in the morning is
a good idea; when she threatens her mother with a piece of broken
glass; when she aspirates her own vomit after overdosing. They see
themselves in Rue's pain, her messiness, her unslakable need to
obliterate all the bad feelings, no matter the cost.
[continues 1290 words]
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois' new governor delivered on a top
campaign promise Tuesday by signing legislation making the state the
11th to approve marijuana for recreational use in a program offering
legal remedies and economic benefits to minorities whose lives critics
say were damaged by a wayward war on drugs.
Legalization in Illinois also means that nearly 800,000 people with
criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or
less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers
and interest groups demanded. It also gives cannabis-vendor preference
to minority owners and promises 25% of tax revenue from marijuana
sales to redevelop impoverished communities.
[continues 742 words]
VICTORIA - B.C.'s largest First Nation is accusing the provincial
government of stalling its application for a retail cannabis licence
while it races to open its own public store in the community's prime
The Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island are in the sixth month of
trying to get approval for two retail store licences from the
provincial government. As the Cowichan wrestle with a wall of red
tape, and are repeatedly rejected for nation-to-nation talks with the
province, the B.C. government is competing against the First Nation
for the municipal rights to open a store in the community's largest
[continues 715 words]
If you've got the munchies for cannabis edibles, you'll have to go to
the liquor store.
The province has tapped the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. - which already
sells dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis accessories
- - to sell edibles, extracts and topicals.
"The NSLC has done a good job in preparing and implementing our new
retail model as recreational cannabis was legalized across Canada,"
said Karen Casey, the minister responsible for the NSLC, in a news
[continues 244 words]
Recent efforts to legalize marijuana in New York and New Jersey have
been stalled - but not killed - by disputes over how exactly to divvy
up the revenues from marijuana sales and by worries about drugged
driving. Those are both important issues. But another concern should
be at the center of this debate: the medical implications of
legalizing marijuana, particularly for young people.
It's tempting to think marijuana is a harmless substance that poses no
threat to teens and young adults. The medical facts, however, reveal a
[continues 495 words]
TORONTO - Adam Ash, 37, wasn't the least bit shy in explaining why he
was at the Hunny Pot Cannabis Co., a four-story boutique on Queen
Street West in the middle of the city's downtown district.
"Marijuana," the Toronto resident said midday on a recent Monday, a
little bewildered as to why someone would even bother asking.
Glass containers of marijuana flower were laid out on tables
throughout the shop, amid glass cases of rolling papers, pipes, bongs,
grinders and vaporizers. Employees known as "bud tenders" worked the
floors, ready to provide advice and recommendations for picking just
the right strain.
[continues 803 words]
In the next few weeks, Nicholas DiPatrizio's lab at UC Riverside will
receive a shipment of marijuana.
DiPatrizio, a professor of biomedical sciences, then will begin giving
mice precise doses of cannabis oil to see how marijuana impacts their
weight and a host of serious health conditions often linked to obesity.
The study marks the first time UC Riverside has received federal
approval to conduct research on marijuana -- or any other substance in
the Drug Enforcement Administration's strict Schedule I category. It
also marks the school's first cannabis-related grant, with $744,000
from tobacco taxes being used to finance this three-year research
project on how marijuana affects metabolic health.
[continues 1049 words]
Re "Marijuana Damages Young Brains," by Kenneth L. Davis and Mary
Jeanne Kreek (Op-Ed, June 17):
No one is advocating that young people either consume or have ready
access to cannabis. In fact, it is precisely because marijuana use may
pose potential risks to certain consumers - for example, adolescents
or people with a family history of psychiatric illness - that NORML
believes that lawmakers should regulate it accordingly.
These regulations should include age restrictions, prohibitions on the
unlicensed commercial production or retail sale of the plant and
rational limits with regard to product marketing.
[continues 90 words]
ALBANY - New York's plan to legalize marijuana this year collapsed on
Wednesday, dashing hopes for a potential billion-dollar industry that
supporters said would create jobs in minority communities and end
decades of racially disproportionate policing.
Democratic lawmakers had been in a headlong race to finalize an
agreement before the end of the legislative session this week. But
persistent disagreement about how to regulate the industry, as well as
hesitation from moderate lawmakers, proved insurmountable.
"It is clear now that M.R.T.A. is not going to pass this session,"
Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan said in a statement on Wednesday
morning, using an acronym for the legalization bill she had sponsored.
"We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of
[continues 806 words]
An association between weed and the dead turns out to have been
established long before the 1960s and far beyond a certain ur-band's
stomping grounds in San Francisco.
Researchers have identified strains of cannabis burned in mortuary
rituals as early as 500 B.C., deep in the Pamir mountains in western
China, according to a new study published Wednesday. The residue had
chemical signatures indicating high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC), the plant's most psychoactive, or mood-altering, compound.
[continues 1030 words]
It can seem as though everyone in Silicon Valley is either heading to
or coming back from a psychedelic trip, and it is probably Michael
He did after all write a best seller, "How to Change Your Mind," about
how healthful psychedelics can be. His neighbor Ayelet Waldman, whose
memoir "A Really Good Day" recounts how taking acid helped her mood
and marriage, has something to do with it, too. And now, inspired by
Pollan, the writer T.C. Boyle has a new novel, "Outside Looking In,"
about Timothy Leary, the charismatic Harvard professor turned
psychedelics pied piper of the 1960s.
[continues 1164 words]
A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can
prevent opioid overdose deaths, challenging a favorite talking point
of legal pot advocates.
Researchers repeated an analysis that sparked excitement years ago.
The previous work linked medical marijuana laws to slower than
expected increases in state prescription opioid death rates from 1999
to 2010. The original authors speculated patients might be
substituting marijuana for painkillers, but they warned against
Still, states ravaged by painkiller overdose deaths began to rethink
marijuana, leading several to legalize pot for medical use.
[continues 409 words]
MINFORD, Ohio - Inside an elementary school classroom decorated with
colorful floor mats, art supplies and building blocks, a little boy
named Riley talked quietly with a teacher about how he had watched his
mother take "knockout pills" and had seen his father shoot up "a
Riley, who is 9 years old, described how he had often been left alone
to care for his baby brother while his parents were somewhere else
getting high. Beginning when he was about 5, he would heat up meals of
fries, chicken nuggets and spaghetti rings in the microwave for
himself and his brother, he said. "That was all I knew how to make,"
[continues 1851 words]
Planet 13 in Las Vegas has attracted international attention since it
opened perhaps the world's biggest marijuana store last fall, with
3,000 people shopping each day for newly legal cannabis products while
surrounded by light shows and interactive art displays that feel
natural a few miles off The Strip.
Now Planet 13 has announced that its second location - and likely the
largest cannabis shop in California - will open early next year. And
since it's being billed as the "Disneyland of dispensaries," it's
fitting that it's opening just six miles from the theme park, in an
industrial stretch of Santa Ana.
[continues 734 words]
New data about the effects of the First Step Act, a bipartisan prison
reform bill that President Trump signed into law in December, is
showing that past injustices can be corrected, even in the most
politically polarized of times.
Last week, the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent
agency that advises federal judges on carrying out changes to
sentencing policy, reported that in the four months after the law went
into effect, more than 1,000 federal inmates were granted a sentence
reduction for offenses involving crack cocaine. In 2010, Congress
passed legislation to address these racially unjust sentences, but
that change wasn't retroactive.
[continues 448 words]
New trials have shown the drug psilocybin to be highly effective in
treating depression, with Oakland the latest US city to in effect
decriminalise it last week. Some researchers say it could become
'indefensible' to ignore the evidence - but how would it work as a
Lying on a bed in London's Hammersmith hospital ingesting capsules of
psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, Michael had
little idea what would happen next. The 56-year-old part-time website
developer from County Durham in northern England had battled
depression for 30 years and had tried talking therapies and many types
of antidepressant with no success. His mother's death from cancer,
followed by a friend's suicide, had left him at one of his lowest
points yet. Searching online to see if mushrooms sprouting in his yard
were the hallucinogenic variety, he had come across a pioneering
medical trial at Imperial College London.
[continues 2146 words]
The Oakland City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night that
decriminalizes certain natural psychedelics, including mushrooms, a
move that makes Oakland the second city in the nation to do so.
The resolution instructs law enforcement to stop investigating and
prosecuting people using the drugs. It applies to psychedelics that
come from plants or fungi, not synthetic drugs like LSD or MDMA, also
known as ecstasy.
After the vote, nearly 100 supporters rose from their chairs, clapped
and cheered loudly.
"I don't have words, I could cry," said Nicolle Greenheart, the
co-founder of Decriminalize Nature Oakland. "I'm thrilled. I'm glad
that our communities will now have access to the healing medicines and
we can start working on healing our communities."
[continues 459 words]
NEW YORK - Roky Erickson, the blue-eyed, dark-haired Texan who headed
the Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators, a pioneering psychedelic rock
band in the 1960s that scored with "You're Gonna Miss Me," has died.
He was 71.
Erickson's sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn't turn him into
a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician's musician.
Fans included everyone from Lenny Kaye and the Swedish metal group
Ghost - who covered his "If You Have Ghosts" - to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
[continues 225 words]
UCSF psychiatrist Brian Anderson is studying an experimental therapy
to help long-term AIDS survivors - people who were infected with HIV
in the 1980s and never expected to live this long - who are feeling
sad and demoralized.
In a clinic outfitted with a comfortable couch, soft lighting, throw
pillows and blankets, the participants of his study are given
psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms. They
lie down for a few hours, a mask over their eyes and soothing music
playing in the background, and experience a psychedelic trip.
[continues 1514 words]
The 2011 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Vancouver's Insite clinic
clearly established 1) that supervised consumption sites are part of
health-care services that should be made accessible to people who use
drugs, 2) that these sites contribute to reducing the harms associated
with drug use, and 3) that denying access to these sites increases the
risk of death and disease.
In addition to saving lives every day, these sites act as an essential
point of contact for people to access much-needed health-care services
that have been proven effective to reduce overdoses, blood-borne
infections (hepatitis C and HIV), infections (i.e., skin, soft tissue,
heart and blood infections) and other medical complications. They also
help connect people who use drugs with social services and support to
address housing and food insecurity, mental health issues, trauma and
[continues 595 words]
Dr. James S. Ketchum, an Army psychiatrist who in the 1960s conducted
experiments with LSD and other powerful hallucinogens using volunteer
soldiers as test subjects in secret research on chemical agents that
might incapacitate the minds of battlefield adversaries, died on May
27 at his home in Peoria, Ariz. He was 87.
His wife, Judy Ketchum, confirmed the death on Monday, adding that the
cause had not been determined.
Decades before a convention eventually signed by more than 190 nations
outlawed chemical weapons, Dr. Ketchum argued that recreational drugs
favored by the counterculture could be used humanely to befuddle small
units of enemy troops, and that a psychedelic "cloud of confusion"
could stupefy whole battlefield regiments more ethically than the
lethal explosions and flying steel of conventional weapons.
[continues 1413 words]
WASHINGTON - John A. Boehner, the former speaker of the House, once
stood second in line for the presidency and staunchly against
legalized marijuana. Now you can find the longtime Republican standing
before a wall-size photo of the Capitol, making an online infomercial
pitch for the cannabis industry.
"This is one of the most exciting opportunities you'll ever be part
of," Mr. Boehner says in an endlessly streaming video for the National
Institute for Cannabis Investors. "Frankly, we can help you make a
[continues 1201 words]
Once Gov. Pritzker signs the bill into law, Illinois will become the
first state to approve cannabis sales through the Legislature, instead
of a ballot measure.
SPRINGFIELD - A recreational marijuana legalization bill will soon
land on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk after the Illinois House on Friday
voted to pass the comprehensive measure.
The Illinois House voted 66-47 after more than three hours of debate.
The Illinois Senate on Wednesday cleared the measure. The governor
issued a statement applauding the bill's passage and pledging to sign
[continues 906 words]
On Wednesday, 24-year-old Emma Semler was sentenced to 21 years in
federal prison for her frienda=80=99s overdose death. The Inquirera=80=99
Jeremy Roebuck and Aubrey Whelan reported that in 2014, Emma met up
with Jennifer Rose Werstler, a friend she had met in rehab. The two
used heroin together in a bathroom of a restaurant in West
Philadelphia. Jennifer overdosed and died. Emma, who brought the drugs
and left the scene, was later charged by federal prosecutors and
convicted of heroin distribution -- which has a mandatory minimum of
20 years if it involves a death.
[continues 437 words]
By day, Dill Avenue is a relatively quiet street: a few residents walk
their dogs or ride a bike and mostly keep to themselves. It wasn't
always this way.
Fulton County officials have seized a "notorious drug house" with the
plan to renovate it and eventually sell it to a low-income family.
For the past six years, the house at 730 Dill Avenue, located in the
Capitol View community, has been the site of drug use and violent
crime, including a stabbing and a killing, according to online police
records. Atlanta police have received numerous complaints about the
derelict property, some of which resulted in nine search warrants.
[continues 78 words]
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - Don't hold your breath if you're thinking the NFL
is on the brink of giving players the green light to smoke their pain
away with marijuana.
Go ahead, exhale. This is still going to take a while.
Sure, the league has put a progressive foot forward in striking an
agreement this week with the NFL Players Association in the name of
holistic health and wellness. There's a joint committee coming - not
joint as in blunt, but joint in that medical experts will be appointed
by the league and union - that is charged to study data on several
alternative methods of pain management and make recommendations.
BALTIMORE - Heroin has ravaged this city since the early 1960s,
fueling desperation and crime that remain endemic in many
neighborhoods. But lately, despite heroin's long, deep history here,
users say it has become nearly impossible to find.
Heroin's presence is fading up and down the Eastern Seaboard, from New
England mill towns to rural Appalachia, and in parts of the Midwest
that were overwhelmed by it a few years back. It remains prevalent in
many Western states, but even New York City, the nation's biggest
distribution hub for the drug, has seen less of it this year.
[continues 1518 words]
Only a few days ago, millions of American probably had never heard of
psilocybin, the active agent in psychedelic mushrooms, but thanks to
Denver, it is about to get its moment in the political sun. On
Tuesday, the city's voters surprised everyone by narrowly approving a
ballot initiative that effectively decriminalizes psilocybin, making
its possession, use or personal cultivation a low-priority crime.
The move is largely symbolic - only 11 psilocybin cases have been
prosecuted in Denver in the last three years, and state and federal
police may still make arrests - but it is not without significance.
Psilocybin decriminalization will be on the ballot in Oregon in 2020
and a petition drive is underway in California to put it on the ballot
there. For the first time since psychedelics were broadly banned under
the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, we're about to have a national
debate about the place of psilocybin in our society. Debate is always
a good thing, but I worry that we're not quite ready for this one.
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