Boing Boing 

Breaking Bad contest winner busted for drugs

140102100431 ryan lee carroll arrest breaking bad story top In September, Ryan Lee Carroll won a national contest to watch the Breaking Bad finale with the cast of the show. On Tuesday, Carroll, 28, was arrested on drug charges when police raided his Fort Myers, Florida home. According to CNN, Caroll "was reportedly taken into custody on felony charges of alleged possession of synthetic narcotics and a misdemeanor charge of allegedly keeping a shop or vehicle for dangerous drugs." Hopefully he had Saul McGill's number on him.

As kids' accidental ODs rise, FDA still won't mandate flow restrictors in medicine bottles


In America, more under-6 kids go to the emergency room from accidental overdose than from car-accidents -- they get hold of medicine and drink the whole bottle. Since 2007, epidemiologist Dr Daniel Budnitz has campaigned for the use of flow-restrictors in children's medicine bottles, which dramatically reduce the likelihood of an OD; manufacturers started adding restrictors to acetaminophen in 2011, but stopped there.

Flow restrictors have not been added to bottles of antihistamines, ibuprofen, and cough and cold preparations -- even where they contain the same concentration of acetaminophen as plain acetaminophen tinctures. These other medicines account for about half of all overdoses by small children.

In a long, investigative piece, Pro Publica and Consumer Reports exhaustively document the effectiveness of restrictors, the intransigence of bottom-line-focused pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the real risks of children's medicine overdoses.

An FDA mandate would solve the problem of liquid overdose at the stroke of a pen, but the FDA refuses, preferring a voluntary approach that is demonstrably not working -- and putting kids at risk. The incidence of overdose in small children is not only widespread -- it's rising. Flow-restrictors are cheap, effective low-hanging fruit. Restrictors were invented to improve dosing and reduce spills in adult medicine, and are thus of benefit to everyone, not just parents.

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The gruesome reality of the drug trade

My friend Erik Vance lives in Mexico City and writes about science. But, in the past year or so, his work covering ocean fisheries has brought him into contact with some of the fallout from the cocaine trade. That overlap lead to a recent piece for Slate, where he writes that "there's no such thing as cruelty-free cocaine". If you care about sustainability, fair trade, and the power of consumer choice to change industry practices in fishing, then you should care about those things when it comes to drugs, he writes. More provocatively, Vance likens buying coke today to donating to the Nazi party in the 1930s.

The day pot became legal in Colorado

Pot became legal in Colorado today and the AP is on it, with a slice of life piece showing different perspectives on the new marijuana industry's first day on the job. Particularly interesting was a short interview with the proprietor of a "marijuana concierge" service, which (for a hefty fee) will shelter older smokers uncomfortable with their own desire to try weed from both the younger, rowdy "stoner" crowd and public scrutiny. Around $300 buys you a three-hour tour in a tinted-window limousine, help choosing your buds, and breakfast at Whole Foods.

Image: CC licensed. Some rights reserved by cannabisdestiny

Dolphin teens get high by chewing pufferfish

A BBC nature documentary crew has captured footage of young dolphins passing around a pufferfish. They characterize the activity as "careful manipulation" and speculate that the dolphins are getting a small dose of the pufferfish's neurotoxin in order to enter a "trance-like state." The documentary was produced by John Downer, a highly nature documentarian, and a zoologist on the crew also confirms the "dolphins get high" hypothesis.

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Drug photos

Methhhhh

Ecs

Berlin-based artist Sarah Schoenfeld dropped tiny bits of various psychoactive drugs on exposed film where they reacted with the chemicals on the negatives and then made very large prints of the images. Above, Crystal Meth. At right, Ecstasy. "All of the substances behaved very differently: the shapes and colors that appeared showed unique characteristics and revealed unique internal universes," she writes. You can see the images in the series here: "All You Can Feel." And here's an interview with Schoenfeld in Kaltblut Magazine. (Thanks, Jason Tester!)

Uruguay legalizes marijuana

Lawmakers in the small South American nation voted Tuesday to legalize and regulate weed.

Rob Ford police document: allegations of heroin use and more


Another tranche of police documents on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been released [474 page (!) PDF]. Despite the mayor's insistence that all of his secrets were now out in the open and he had nothing more to hide, the new materials contain several bombshells, including allegations of heroin use, bribing crooks with marijuana, and lying about the infamous crack video.

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Leaked UN document: countries want to end War on Drugs and prohibition


A rare, leaked UN document reveals deep divisions among member-states about the war on drugs, with many nations demanding treatment and decriminalization instead of prohibition. The draft document, dating from September, is from the UN's attempt to set a global policy on drugs and drug trafficking. The document shows Ecuador demanding an official statement "that the world needs to look beyond prohibition" and Venezuela seeking recognition of "the economic implications of the current dominating health and law enforcement approach in tackling the world drug problem." Other dissenters include Norway, Switzerland and the EU.

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Florida sheriff arrests mayor on drug charges: "This isn't Toronto"

Barry Layne Moore, erstwhile mayor of Hampton, Florida, has been arrested for possessing and selling Oxycodone. Upon arresting him, Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith quipped:

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Five charged in US with smuggling 'more than 99% pure' meth from North Korea. Heisenberg weeps.


"Five defendants are depicted in this courtroom sketch of a U.S. district court in Manhattan on Nov. 20, 2013. The men allegedly conspired to smuggle North Korean meth into the U.S." Jane Rosenburg, for Reuters

Five men have been extradited to the US from Thailand to face charges of trafficking crystal methamphetamine cooked in North Korea. The highly militarized nation is hard for humans to get out of, but court documents indicate that meth seems to escape more easily. In September, the men were arrested by US federal agents after promising North Korean meth to undercover DEA agents. From Al Jazeera:

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Health Canada outs 40,000 medical marijuana users


Due to an "administrative error," Health Canada sent letters to 40,000 medical marijuana users whose return address was "Medical Marijuana Access Program." In so doing, they outed tens of thousands of Canadians as medical marijuana users to their postal delivery people, people with whom they share their mailboxes, and others.

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Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer


The Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer is a gadget for empirically measuring the presence of stink-particles in a given environment. It is being deployed in Denver to measure compliance with a by-law prompted by Colorado's rules for legal marijuana: you're allowed to smoke weed, but you are not permitted to spread the smell of marijuana into your neighbors' spaces.

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's less-censored police file: criminality, abuse, and intoxication


Photo: Reuters

Toronto police have released a "less censored" version of their report on Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford, and Toronto Star reporter (@jpags) has been tweeting the highlights of the (unproven) police allegations as she goes. I've embedded some of the most significant ones below. A lot of material deals with the mayor's public intoxication and his appearances at work-related events (and at City Hall) where he was too intoxicated to function. On one occasion, he is accused of bringing two prostitutes to city hall. He is said to have been high on oxycontin on another occasion.

Another major theme is the mayor's abuse of his employees: getting them to buy booze for him, driving them at high speeds while intoxicated (one staffer saw him drink an entire pint of vodka before getting behind the wheel), verbally abusing them, getting them to run personal errands for him, calling them in tears, drunk and distraught. He made one staffer write a letter of support for bagman Andrew Lisi, charged with uttering death threats, which the mayor submitted.

Then there's the shadowy, underworldy-type things. His bagman, Sandro Lisi (charged with uttering death threats, selling drugs, and extortion) is said to have offered drugs to unknown persons for the return of the mayor's stolen phone. And when the mayor allegedly snorted cocaine with an unknown woman at the Biermarkt restaurant, a staffer demanded that the waitress give her name and told her "Don't tell anyone about what you saw here tonight."

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Rob Ford: master of the comedic pause

Toronto mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford is back in council for the first time he admitted that he smoked crack (though he insists he's not a "crack smoker"). He's refused to step aside and repudiated his lawyer's suggestion that he was going into rehab. Meanwhile, the trial of Sandro Lisi proceeds apace -- the mayor's friend/fixer/driver/muscle, up on drug dealing and extortion charges -- and the video evidence that the mayor arranged wordless package handovers with Lisi in parking lots and parks and public toilets is on everyone's mind. Rob Ford has always made a big deal about saving the taxpayer money by refusing a driver (it was his excuse when he was caught reading while driving on the highway), but he clearly also didn't have a driver because it would have interfered with crack smoking, drunken stupors, and covert meetings with drug dealers.

But say what you will about the mayor -- and there's a lot to say, for example, his claims of saving money are BS -- he certainly has comedic timing. Check out the pregnant pause in council after he's asked whether he's bought illegal drugs. Comedy genius!

Rob Ford admits to City Council that he purchased drugs

Taiwanese crazy-news animation on Rob Ford's post-crack poll-bounce

Next Media Animation -- the crazy Taiwanese news video people -- have revisited the Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford crack-smoking scandal (here's the previous one). This time, it's the news that Ford's polls are up on his admission that he smoked crack.

Rob Ford crack admission raises popularity! Toronto is crazy

Gweek 119: How much is your reputation worth?


This episode is brought to you by HostGator, offering premium web hosting at low costs, and 24x7x365 phone, chat and email support. Show your support for Gweek and get an extra 25% off by using coupon code WEEK!

Joshua Klein gave one of the most watched TED Talks of all time (about vending machine to train crows to exchange found coins for peanuts). He joined me on Gweek to talk about his new book, Reputation Economics: Why Who You Know Is Worth More Than What You Have. I also welcomed the return of Michael Pusateri, a television technologist, inveterate tinkerer, cooking geek, and cycling enthusiast. He blogs at Cruftbox.

We talked about: Jim Woodring's hallucinatory comic book masterpiece, Fran; The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J Martinez; and L-Theanine, a pill I take when I drink coffee, and more!

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Rob Ford apparently hired a hacker to nuke the crack-smoking video

As the story of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continues to unravel, everyone's pulling out their dirt on old Mayor Laughable Bumblefuck. Vice has a detailed email chain between Ford's communications director and a hacker for hire who was allegedly hired to delete the video of Hizzoner smoking crack and making racist and homophobic remarks from a cloud storage provider that may have belonged to a local gang, who were allegedly blackmailing him.

Dr Bronner's acid-dropping, Burner CEO profiled

Mike from Mother Jones writes, "Josh Harkinson profiles David Bronner, the 40-year-old, hallucinogen-dropping, Burning Man-attending scion of the Dr. Bronner's soap empire, who channels roughly half of the company's substantial profits into activism, including the Washington State GMO-labeling bill that voters will decide upon tomorrow. Bronner, who favors the labeling of foods with GMO ingredients, has been arrested for planting hemp seeds on the DEA's lawn and for a performance-art protest where he milled hemp seeds in a cage outside the White House. He also sued the DEA (and won), so that his company could legally obtain hemp oil as a soap ingredient. Since David took over, Dr. Bronner's sales have soared. It's on track to bring in $64 million in revenues this year. But in a strike against corporate greed, Bronner has capped the company's top salaries at five times that of the lowest-paid warehouse worker."

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Smuggler busted with cocaine-stuffed pumpkins

131101002527 pumpkins cocaine story top

Border cops at Canada's Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport searched a passenger's suitcase and found three pumpkins stuffed with 4.4 pounds of cocaine. Trick or treat. (CNN)

Toronto cops confirm video of Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack and making racist and homophobic remarks


The arrest of Sandro Lisi, Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford's driver/fixer/muscle, has led to Toronto police uncovering a copy of the notorious crack-smoking video reported on by the Toronto Star and Gawker. Lisi has been charged with extortion, though it's not clear whether he was extorting the mayor (because Lisi had a copy and threatened to release it) or extorting someone else (who had a copy, but wouldn't release it as a condition of the blackmail). The whole thing is tied up a wider investigation into local gang violence.

When asked to comment on the upcoming police announcement, Mayor Laughable Bumblefuck literally screamed at reporters to get off his lawn (well, technically his driveway). Literally.

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DEA instructions for testing bills for cocaine


Michael from Muckrock sez, "Here's a science experiment that would catch the attention of high schoolers: Testing cash for cocaine traces in seven easy steps, courtesy of the Drug Enforcement Agency."

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Mexican drug lord assassinated by killer clowns


Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix , the eldest of seven brothers of the Tijuana cartel.

Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix, the eldest brother in Mexico's once-dominant Tijuana drug cartel, was shot to death by gunmen disguised as clowns at a children's party on Friday.

The 63-year-old drug lord was also known by the nicknames "El Pelón" (the baldie) or Menso, ("stupid/crazy"). He was assassinated by a man in a clown suit during a family gathering at an upscale resort in Cabo San Lucas, a popular tourist destination on the Baja California peninsula, state special investigations prosecutor Isai Arias told Associated Press on Saturday:

An official of the Baja California Sur state prosecutor's office told the AP that the costumes included a wig and a round red nose.

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Erowid founders on Expanding Mind podcast

Erorwww

Erowids

On the always-fascinating Expanding Mind podcast, Erik Davis and Maja D'Aoust interviewed Earth and Fire, the founders and directors of Erowid. If you don't know Erowid, it's the Internet's best resource for information about psychoactive substances. Founded in 1995, Erowid contains tens of thousands of documents ranging from scientific papers and FAQs to carefully-curated "experience reports" and legal info. The non-profit Erowid Center also co-sponsors and operates EcstasyData.org, a lab testing program that analyzes samples of street Ecstasy. All of this publicly-accessible, good data is especially important as a counter to the insanely misinformed media hype around "Molly." Expanding Mind: Erowid.org Today

The downfall of Silk Road, and with it, the so-called Dark Net

From Adrian Chen's Gawker long-read about that recent bust of the web's biggest online illegal drug marketplace:
The lesson of the Silk Road takedown isn't that Ulbricht was sloppy about security. It's that the idea of a world famous, anonymous illegal market is fatally contradictory. Ullbricht made some technical mistakes, but his biggest one was conceptual: buying his own hype that high-tech tricks would let him implement a radical free market fundamentalism that could never work politically.
Read the whole piece. Related: Chen's profile of Ross William Ulbricht.

TSA may allow in-flight marijuana

As more states pass medical marijuana laws, or legalize it outright, the TSA is heading for a don't-ask/don't-tell police on weed at airports. The official policy is to refer drug possession to local law, but where the law doesn't care, that's rather pointless.

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Where the Silk Road ends: Feds arrest 'Dread Pirate Roberts,' alleged founder of largest Bitcoin drug market


What users who attempt to connect to the Silk Road marketplace see now (HT: Adrian Chen)

Looks like the government shutdown didn't stop federal agents from shutting down the most popular "deep web" illegal drug market. In San Francisco, federal prosecutors have indicted Ross William Ulbricht, who is said to be the founder of Silk Road. The internet marketplace allowed users around the world to buy and sell drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth.

The government announced that it seized about 26,000 Bitcoins worth roughly USD$3.6 million, making this the largest Bitcoin bust in history. There were nearly 13,000 listings for controlled substances on the Silk Road site as of Sept. 23, 2013, according to the FBI, and the marketplace did roughly USD$1.2 billion in sales, yielding some $80 million in commissions.

According to the complaint, the service was also used to negotiate murder-for-hire: "not long ago, I had a clean hit done for $80k," the site's founder is alleged to have messaged an associate.

Ulbricht, 29, is also known as "Dread Pirate Roberts."

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Toronto cops bust Mayor Rob Ford's fixer/muscle/driver/dealer

Sandro Lisi is a fixer for Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford -- the crack-smoking, racist, homophobic, distracted-driving, publicly drunken, ass-grabbing embarrassment who rules Toronto with a sloppy fist. On Tuesday, Toronto cops arrested Lisi for "marijuana trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence"; he was arrested with Jamshid Bahrami, charged with "possession of cocaine, three counts of trafficking in marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence."

Lisi reportedly boasted of selling drugs to the mayor, and he drives a black Range Rover acquired from an ex-drug-addict whom he reportedly supplied. Lisi, who has a history of arrests for violence against women, worked as a part-time driver and security guard for the mayor, and had been tasked by the mayor with seeking out the notorious video that showed the mayor smoking crack and uttering racial slurs about the kids on the football team he coached.

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How to talk to your friends about giving up coffee


Today on a very special Diesel Sweeties webcomic installment, an important dialog for coffee-drinkers to practice with their faithless peers.

NO EXIT : diesel sweeties robot webcomic & geeky t-shirts

Leary's "Declaration of Evolution" in English and Persian


Lisa Rein sez "A first-ever Persian translation of any of Timothy Leary's writings is now available. The text, a 'Declaration of Evolution,' is a manifesto Leary wrote for the psychedelic generation, modeled on the 1776 American 'Declaration of Independence." It is presented in a bilingual (Persian and English) format.

"It was first published in Leary's The Politics of Ecstasy and reprinted in the underground press, before being published separately in 1970 as a pamphlet by the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, who later the same year engineered Leary's prison escape by the Weather Underground. It has been out-of-print since then."

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