1/1/2020 - 31/12/2021
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1 Mexico: Drugs, Guns and Cash: "This Is Cartel Tiktok"Sun, 29 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Lopez, Oscar Area:Mexico Lines:157 Added:11/29/2020

MEXICO CITY - Tiger cubs and semiautomatic weapons. Piles of cash and armored cars. Fields of poppies watered to the sound of ballads glorifying Mexican drug cartel culture.

This is the world of Cartel TikTok, a genre of videos depicting drug trafficking groups and their activities that is racking up hundreds of thousands of views on the popular social media platform.

But behind the narco bling and dancing gang members lies an ominous reality: With Mexico set to again shatter murder records this year, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

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2 US WA: Cannabis Farms Hope To Weather Wildfire SeasonSun, 29 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Stine, Alison Area:Washington Lines:148 Added:11/29/2020

In 2013, Joy Hollingsworth moved with her family from Seattle out to the country with a plan to build a cannabis business.

Washington State had recently legalized recreational marijuana, and Barack Obama had just been re-elected. For Ms. Hollingsworth, a former basketball player, and her brother, Raft Hollingsworth III, a former University of Washington student who had been growing medical marijuana, it seemed like as good a time as any to buy a farm and turn a profit.

So began the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company, a Black-owned family business in what has become a very white and increasingly corporate-dominated industry.

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3 US: Oped: Tales Of The High LifeFri, 27 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Anderson, John Area:United States Lines:69 Added:11/27/2020

In approaching Errol Morris's "My Psychedelic Love Story," it doesn't hurt to have some familiarity with "Wormwood," the 2017 Netflix docudrama miniseries. In it, the fabled documentarian told the story of Frank Olson, a CIA employee who mysteriously fell to his death in 1953 nine days after being slipped LSD as part of an agency experiment. Was he pushed or did he jump? Was hippie socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith being used as a CIA tool when her boyfriend, Timothy Leary, became a government informant in the mid-'70s? And what in the world is the connection?

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4 US: Review: Acid And RomanceFri, 27 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kenny, Glenn Area:United States Lines:83 Added:11/27/2020

To induce dread in a paranoiac, one need only invoke two acronyms: C.I.A. and LSD Along with a third and a fourth - U.F.O. and J.F.K. - these were key ingredients in the alphabet soup of conspiracy theory for more than half a century.

But. You don't have to be a paranoiac, because sometimes dread-inducing combinations and schemes do yield horrific results. The 2017 Errol Morris-directed mini-series, "Wormwood," to which "My Psychedelic Love Story" is a sequel of sorts, went into detail about the C.I.A. and LSD. It showed that the cloak-and-dagger organization and the hallucinogenic drug met up earlier than most might have guessed.

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5 US OR: After Oregon Eases Drug Laws, A Race For TreatmentsWed, 25 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:101 Added:11/25/2020

Now that Oregon voters have agreed to end nearly all criminal penalties for drug possession, state officials have just over two months to set up a new recovery-focused system, a task that is particularly complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measure 110, which goes into effect Feb. 1, allows a maximum fine of $100 for possession of drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines along with a mandatory health assessment. The first statewide law of its kind in the nation passed with support of 58% of voters this month. It also mandates new recovery centers, paid for by marijuana taxes and savings from less incarceration.

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6 US: PUB LTE: Oregon Drug Law Change Can Help FamiliesTue, 24 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Fallon, Seamus R. Area:United States Lines:44 Added:11/24/2020

Naomi Schaefer Riley and John Walters state that Oregon decriminalized "small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine" ("Legal Drugs Are Fashionable-and Treacherous for Children," op-ed, Nov. 19) and that the passage of Measure 110 in Oregon "lower[s] the risk and cost of doing business for drug dealers." It's an erroneous claim. Measure 110 says that possession of less than one gram of heroin, various low amounts of amphetamines and less than two grams of cocaine is decriminalized. No drug dealer would carry anything less than three times the amounts in the measure.

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7 Mexico: Oped: End The War On Drugs NowFri, 20 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grillo, Ioan Area:Mexico Lines:128 Added:11/20/2020

MEXICO CITY - On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood in front of the White House press corps and made his historic declaration of a new type of war. "Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse," he said. "In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it's necessary to wage a new all-out offensive."

It would be a government-wide effort, and rally the United States's power abroad to stem the supply of drugs. Among the countries targeted was Mexico, which was home to abundant marijuana production and had been resistant to aerial crop spraying.

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8 US: Oped: 50 Years After The Start Of The War On Drugs, AmericansMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:Hill, The (US DC) Author:Ofer, Udi Area:United States Lines:109 Added:11/20/2020

Next year will mark 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared drugs "public enemy number one," launching a new war on drugs that has pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into law enforcement, led to the incarceration of millions of people - disproportionately Black - and has done nothing to prevent drug overdoses. In spite of the widespread, growing opposition to this failed war, made clear yet again on Election Day, punitive policies and responses to drug use and possession persist. As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office, it is abundantly clear that they have a mandate from the electorate to tackle this issue.

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9US PA: Oped: Philadelphia Case Could Clear The Way For Safe InjectionMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Boudin, Chesa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:Excerpt Added:11/18/2020

All eyes were on Philadelphia this month, as the outcome of the election rested in poll workers' hands. It's not surprising that the citizens of Philly were ready for change - they've faced a disproportionately heavy toll as a result of the current administration's ineffective coronavirus policies. And that toll has tragically included an increased rate of deadly opioid overdoses.

But Philly isn't alone - overdoses tragically have increased in communities across the nation, from San Francisco to Burlington, Vt.

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10 US: Oped: Pass The EdiblesWed, 11 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Frenkel, Sheera Area:United States Lines:146 Added:11/11/2020

OAKLAND, Calif. - In the weeks leading up to November, Iashia Kilian felt her anxiety deepen.

She knew her vote in the swing state of Michigan could help decide who the next president would be. She had done everything she could to help campaign for her candidate of choice. Now, all she could do was sit back, wait and make sure she had her favorite marijuana edibles at hand.

"The panic, the anxious feelings, it has all been too much. I knew I was only going to get through it with some help," said Ms. Kilian, 43, who lives in Center Line. "I used to be the kind of person who would judge someone, especially a mother like me, taking edibles. But you know what? Everything happening here in this country is just too much. The people need some help."

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11 US: Column: Republicans and Democrats Agree: End The War On DrugsSun, 08 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:107 Added:11/08/2020

One of America's greatest mistakes over the last century was the war on drugs, so it's thrilling to see voters in red and blue states alike moving to unwind it.

The most important step is coming in Oregon, where voters easily passed a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, while helping users get treatment for addiction. The idea is to address drug use as a public health crisis more than as a criminal justice issue.

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12US: 4 States Ready To Roll With Recreational PotThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Cannon, Jay Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:11/05/2020

Americans were still waiting for clarity on the presidential race Wednesday morning. Perhaps lost in the frantic haze of election night was the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states.

Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana all passed legislation Tuesday permitting the possession of weed by adults, which means 15 states have legalized recreational weed or voted to legalize it.

South Dakota and Mississippi passed initiatives to allow medical marijuana, which means 36 states permit the legal distribution of medical weed, according to a tally by NORML, a nonprofit marijuana public advocacy group.

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13 US OR: Oregon Votes To Decriminalize All Drugs, Allow Psilocybin ForThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:100 Added:11/05/2020

Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession of all illegal drugs and also legalize the use of psilocybin-the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms-for mental health treatment, after voters passed a pair of ballot measures this week.

Both are the first of their kind in any U.S. state and represent the next frontier in the relaxation of drug laws beyond marijuana.

With results from 76% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, 59% of Oregonians approved Measure 110, the drug decriminalization referendum, and 56% voted for Measure 109 on psilocybin therapy, according to the Associated Press.

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14Canada: Canadian Study Finds A Link Between Starting Medical CannabisThu, 29 Oct 2020
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Stelmakowich, Angela Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2020

43.5 per cent of study participants who used marijuana as a substitute for alcohol decreased the frequency of their drinking.

Authorized medical marijuana patients who began using cannabis to help reduce their drinking report experiencing a reduction or even discontinuation of alcohol use, notes new research out of the University of Victoria.

The finding reflects feedback from 2,102 patients registered with Tilray, a medical cannabis research and production company in Canada. The input was received as part of the Canadian Cannabis Patient Survey 2019, which gathered details on patient demographics, patterns of weed use and self-reported use of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs before and after starting medical cannabis.

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15 US: State Ballots Show A Shifting Debate On Legalizing DrugsTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Johnson, Kirk Area:United States Lines:160 Added:10/27/2020

Oregon has an addiction problem. Pockets of rural poverty, chronic homelessness and cities with lots of young people have given the state one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. It is also, because there is so little money allocated to it, one of the toughest places to get treatment.

A proposed solution on the ballot next week would be one of the most radical drug-law overhauls in the nation's history, eliminating criminal penalties entirely for personal use amounts of drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Tax revenues from drug sales would be channeled toward drug treatment.

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16 US: Marijuana May Trip Up The HeartTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brody, Jane E. Area:United States Lines:156 Added:10/27/2020

Do you have the heart to safely smoke pot? Maybe not, a growing body of medical reports suggests.

Currently, increased smoking of marijuana in public, even in cities like New York where recreational use remains illegal (though no longer prosecuted), has reinforced a popular belief that this practice is safe, even health-promoting.

"Many people think that they have a free pass to smoke marijuana," Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told me. "I even heard a suggestion on public radio that tobacco companies should switch to marijuana because then they'd be selling life instead of selling death."

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17 US: Pot Stocks Stage A Muted Election RallyWed, 21 Oct 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ryan, Carol Area:United States Lines:66 Added:10/21/2020

A victory for the Democratic Party in next month's presidential election would be a game changer for the cannabis industry. Despite their reputation for overexuberance, pot investors are reacting with level heads.

Since mid-August, the 10 largest North American pot stocks by market value are up 20%, according to Viridian Capital Advisors. This is relatively muted compared with the 83% rally seen in the three months before the 2016 election.

Americans have been buying a lot of pot during the Covid-19 pandemic, which may also explain why stocks are rising. Sales in seven large states where cannabis is legal, tracked by research company Headset, were up 51% from January through September compared with the same period of 2019. Consumers have had more leisure time at home and federal stimulus money to spend. Alcohol companies have enjoyed similar tailwinds.

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18 Lebanon: Crisis Erases Farmers' Income From Reliable Crop: HashishMon, 19 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hubbard, Ben Area:Lebanon Lines:167 Added:10/19/2020

YAMOUNEH, Lebanon - In a Lebanese farming village of rocky soil and stone villas, cannabis grows everywhere.

It fills the fields that surround the village and lines nearby roads where the army operates checkpoints. It sprouts in the weedy patches between homes and is mixed with other colorful blooms in flower beds.

There is a cannabis crop near the mosque, and down the road from a giant yellow flag for Hezbollah, the militant group and political party whose leaders forbid its use on religious grounds.

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19 New Zealand: Oped: Canada's Legalisation ExperienceThu, 15 Oct 2020
Source:Gisborne Herald (New Zealand) Author:Elrod, Matthew Area:New Zealand Lines:83 Added:10/15/2020

It's been fascinating to watch the debate over cannabis law reform in New Zealand from Canada, especially the arguments based on how well or how poorly legal regulation has been playing out in my country. It's also interesting - and amusing - to read the sometimes apocalyptic or pollyannaish predictions about what will happen in New Zealand if voters endorse the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill (CLCB), with no regard for evidence from overseas.

It might have appeared out of the blue when Canada legalised cannabis almost two years ago, but we were finally following the unanimous recommendations of a non-partisan senate committee from 2002.

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20 US: PUB LTE: Black Parents Can't IndulgeSat, 10 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Coles, Tehra Area:United States Lines:38 Added:10/10/2020

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.

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