Re "Parents' Little Helpers" (Sunday Styles, Oct. 4):
To be a Black mother is to be in a constant state of alertness when it
comes to protecting your family from the government. As a Black woman,
mother and lawyer, I am no different in that regard.
Most Black mothers wouldn't publicly label themselves a "wine mom" or
admit to smoking pot. No one remotely aware of the government's racist
practice of separating Black families for such behavior through the
so-called child welfare system would.
[continues 111 words]
For two years, New Jersey lawmakers had failed to mobilize enough
support to pass a bill to fully legalize marijuana. Instead, they
agreed in December to put the question directly to voters: "Do you
approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of
marijuana called 'cannabis'?"
Then March roared in, and the world turned upside down.
The coronavirus took a firm hold in the United States and Black Lives
Matter protesters filled streets from coast to coast.
More than 16,000 New Jersey residents have since died from the virus.
Unemployment has soared. Ballots for November's election, which is
being conducted almost entirely by mail, have already begun to arrive
at voters' homes.
[continues 1424 words]
7:51 p.m.: It's exactly 125 days tomorrow. I am pretg drink.
7:52 p.m.: Drunk.
7:52 p.m. I can tell. :-)
I have a years-long WhatsApp message group with a handful of fellow
mothers of small children from across the United States and Canada.
Since the pandemic began, what I refer to as "mom chats after dark"
start at around 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. That's when the
children are asleep, and a wave of inebriation begins on the shores of
the Atlantic and crashes across the continent. The above message was
from July, when we hit 125 days of lockdown.
[continues 1901 words]
SYDNEY, Australia - The question from the debate moderator in New
Zealand was simple and to the point: "Jacinda Ardern, have you ever
"Yes I did," said Ms. Ardern, the country's popular prime minister, "a
long time ago."
The moderator paused, looking surprised. Then the audience
Ms. Ardern later declined to say whether she supported the
legalization of marijuana, which New Zealanders will decide in a
referendum with the national election on Oct. 17. But by that point in
the debate on Wednesday, she had already won another smiley-face emoji
from the global left, while reminding voters that she hadn't always
been so earnest.
[continues 865 words]
In July, the Canadian province of British Columbia experienced its
fifth straight month with more than 100 overdose deaths - and its
third above 170 lives lost.
Globally, the World Health Organization reports approximately 500,000
deaths from drugs, over 70 percent of them tied to opioids. In Canada,
from January 2016 through December 2019, more than 15,000 people died
from apparent opioid-related causes. In 2019 alone, there were over
21,000 "suspected opioid-related overdoses" across nine provinces and
territories, excluding Quebec (for which data wasn't provided). The
opioid crisis clearly persists at home and abroad.
[continues 696 words]
GIGANTE, Costa Rica - There was a ghostlike quality to Rudy Gonsior,
an American former Special Forces sniper, on the morning he arrived at
a jungle retreat to see if a vomit-inducing psychedelic brew could
undo the damage years of combat had done to his mind.
Glassy-eyed and withdrawn, he barely spoke above a whisper and was
much quieter than the six other veterans who had come to dredge up
painful memories of comrades fallen in battle, thoughts of suicide and
the scar that taking a life leaves on the psyche.
[continues 2306 words]
Johns Creek officials disagreed on decriminalization of marijuana
during a Monday meeting. City Council members opposed to a reduced
penalty for simple possession said they were concerned that marijuana
is a gateway to more dangerous drugs.
Council members Chris Coughlin, Erin Elwood and Stephanie Endres
proposed that a person in possession of less than one ounce of
cannabis face no jail time and a fine of not more than $75.
The current fine for simple possession is up to one year in prison and
a $1,000 fine.
[continues 298 words]
Harry J. Anslinger's pioneering work as head of the Federal Bureau of
Narcotics has largely been unsung, though experts see him as the
founding father of America's war on drugs.
In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration raised his profile with a
symposium that focused on the decades he spent creating national drug policy,
starting in the 1930s. Following that, in 2015, the agency's museum opened an
exhibition: "A Life of Service: Harry Jacob Anslinger, 1892-1975."
When that closed in 2017, the D.E.A. Museum & Visitors Center created
a virtual version, which is displayed on its website.
[continues 1148 words]
WASHINGTON - Lazelle Maxwell, 48, is nearly 12 years into a 30-year
sentence for a nonviolent crack cocaine charge, a penalty exacerbated
by previous run-ins with law enforcement that led to his designation
as a career offender.
Three years into remission after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, Mr.
Maxwell has no major disciplinary infractions on his prison record. He
spends most of his days behind bars caring for an elderly, partly
paralyzed inmate at a low-security federal penitentiary in Butner,
[continues 1455 words]
PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in
Arizona are trying to keep the issue from going to voters in November.
Legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contend the
legally required 100-word description misled people into signing the
petition to put the issue on the ballot. Issues range from the
definition of "marijuana" to how the law would affect driving while
The lawsuit comes as a new survey Tuesday finds widespread support for
the proposal a=80" with more than 6 out of every 10 likely voters saying
they will support it if it is on the ballot. Pollster Mike Noble of OH
Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that
just 32% say they're definitely opposed.
[continues 814 words]
Like myself, I suspect many citizens of Lethbridge were alarmed by the
finding of misappropriated funds within ARCHES, and the subsequent
withdrawal of provincial funding to their supervised consumption site
(SCS). As an RN who has worked for a number of years in harm
reduction, I am reeling for our clients and their families in terms of
how this will impact them.
One thing is clear - the inappropriate management of funds within one
agency does not refute decades of empirical research behind the
effectiveness of harm-reduction interventions in mitigating
drug-related health and social issues. This financial audit was not
intended to evaluate the effectiveness of harm-reduction services
provided to people who use drugs. To conflate findings of financial
mismanagement with lack of effectiveness in harm reduction would only
further exacerbate drug-related health issues.
[continues 116 words]
Criminalization of simple drug possession has had 'devastating
effect,' says AIDS Saskatoon director
A Saskatoon police spokeswoman said city police generally lay drug
possession charges as a result of an investigation into something else.
Criminalization of possession of illicit drugs for personal use has
had a "devastating effect," says the AIDS Saskatoon's executive director.
Jason Mercredi said he fully supports a call by the Canadian
Association of Chiefs of Police on the federal government to
decriminalize simple possession of illicit drugs for personal use. The
CACP made the call last week after issuing its findings in a report.
[continues 746 words]
As state law enforcement played whack-a-mole with illegal marijuana
fields, local communities protested the "invading army."
Driving through Humboldt County last winter, I heard radio ads for
help harvesting and selling cannabis crops, as well as for products
geared toward commercial cultivation. But less than 40 years ago, the
same area was one of the main battlefields of California's war on pot
By the late 1960s, the three counties of the Emerald Triangle had
developed a reputation for growing a high-quality product. Demand grew
rapidly, and prices skyrocketed, fueling greater production. In 1983,
after several unsuccessful attempts to cut down production, the state
started the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP.
[continues 704 words]
Prof Joe Boden, of the University of Otago, provides a view from
inside the expert panel on cannabis ahead of this year's cannabis referendum.
A year ago several New Zealand academics, me included, were invited to
join the expert panel on cannabis by the Prime Minister's Chief
Science Adviser, Prof Juliet Gerrard.
With the referendum on the legalisation of cannabis planned for this
year, the Prime Minister had asked Prof Gerrard to assemble the panel
in order to present research on cannabis, cannabis-related harm and
cannabis law reform to New Zealanders in an accessible manner.
[continues 701 words]
A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying
all product legally
B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in
purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a
recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the
battle over bud.
A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent
of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months
have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That's an
18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.
[continues 176 words]
If the idea of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of illicit
drugs once sounded radical, the coalition of people who now espouse
the idea would certainly seem to be strange bedfellows.
On July 9, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police called on the
federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of
illicit drugs; B.C. Premier John Horgan asked Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau to do the same in a Jul. 20 letter. Benjamin Perrin, the top
criminal justice adviser in Stephen Harper's "tough-on-crime"
administration, recently wrote a book in support of decriminalization,
and major publications, including The Globe and Mail, have published
editorials urging the same.
[continues 823 words]
SACRAMENTO - Alarmed that unlicensed cannabis sellers continue to
dominate California's pot market, state lawmakers are moving toward
imposing steep new fines on businesses that provide building space,
advertising platforms and other aid to illicit operations.
Those who provide assistance to illegal pot sellers would face civil
fines of up to $30,000 per day under legislation approved unanimously
by the state Assembly that is now pending in the Senate. A final vote
on the proposal is expected sometime after lawmakers return to
Sacramento this month.
[continues 903 words]
Listen to the police
Let's talk about decriminalizing all drugs
We're having a national conversation about policing and criminal
justice. Examining our drug laws is a natural extension of this debate
More than nine years ago, writing about the war on drugs, this
editorial board encouraged the government of then-prime minister
Stephen Harper to get bolder with decriminalizing cannabis.
"By any reasonably broad metric," we wrote then, the war on drugs "has
been an abysmal failure. According to estimates by the UN - by no
means a liberal organization when it comes to drug policy - worldwide
consumption of opiates rose 34.5 per cent from 1998 to 2008, cocaine
by 27 per cent, and cannabis by 8.5 per cent. In achieving that abject
failure, tens of thousands of people have been killed."
[continues 809 words]
Ben Emerson had never tried cannabis edibles before his birthday in
April. He was raised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which he
left five years ago, and marijuana was "this thing that I had never
really even thought that I was allowed to do," he said.
"And then I'm like, 'Wait, I can actually make up my own mind about
For his first foray, Mr. Emerson, 38, chose strawberry-flavored
gummies, which he ordered online and picked up curbside at a
dispensary near his home in Portland, Ore. "I'm not super-interested
in smoking anything," he said. "But as soon as I decided I wanted to
try cannabis, I wanted to try something edible."
[continues 1208 words]
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a Harvard psychiatry professor who became a
leading proponent of legalizing marijuana after his research found it
was less toxic or addictive than alcohol or tobacco, died on June 25
at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 92.
His son David confirmed the death.
Dr. Grinspoon was an unlikely crusader for marijuana. At first, he
believed that it was a dangerous drug. When the astronomer Carl Sagan,
a friend who was also teaching at Harvard, offered him a joint in the
late 1960s, Dr. Grinspoon warned him against continuing to smoke it.
[continues 1364 words]