LA Whiskey Society tastes and reviews "medicinal" whiskey from Prohibition


From 1920 to 1933, the only way to drink whiskey in America was to get a doctor's prescription, which would be pasted on the bottle (max one bottle/person/week) -- much like the "medical marijuana" of today. Read the rest

Marijuana arrests in U.S. increased last year for the first time since 2009


The FBI reports that 700,993 people were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in 2014. More than 88% were for simple possession. This is the first time the number of arrests have increased since 2009. Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics and a supremely hateful racist, would be proud.

"These numbers refute the myth that nobody actually gets arrested for using marijuana," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. "It’s hard to imagine why more people were arrested for marijuana possession when fewer people than ever believe it should be a crime. Law enforcement officials should not be wasting their time and resources arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana. While law enforcement was busy making nearly three quarters of a million marijuana arrests, more than 35% of murders went unsolved, the clearance rate for rape was less than 40%, and for robbery and property crimes, it was below 30%."

There are a lot of reasons why weed arrests are on the rise. It's important to keep weed illegal to support the prison industry, drug testing labs, court-mandated treatment centers, law-enforcement budgets, corrupt officials, and all the other businesses that make money from weed prohibition. It's also a useful way to lock up poor people and minorities without having a legitimate reason. As a conservative estimate, every person who gets arrested for weed probably has to pay at least $1,000 in fines, bonds, treatment, lawyers, etc. $1,000 X 700,993 = 700 million dollars. Read the rest

Secret gadget to bust prohibition-era speakeasies


Robert Tetro patented this gadget in 1930 to help prohibition-era enforcement agents surreptitiously take drink samples from establishments suspected of selling alcohol. It consisted of a tube that was clipped onto a drinking glass, and a rubber bulb that could be squeezed to suck a sample of the drink for analysis.

I'll bet the agents never actually used it. They probably just got drunk at a bar, then asked the speakeasy owner for hush money. If refused, they'd stagger into their car, use the bulb to draw some hootch from their hip pocket flask and give it to the boys in the lab.

[via] Read the rest

Bath salts in Britain

The Guardian's Mike Power investigated the "legal highs" industry and found a pretty disturbing world where you can get kilos of LSD, cannabis and MDMA replacement couriered to you for a pittance. But unlike the drugs they replace, these ones are potentially lethal, and sold interchangeably to unsuspecting neuronauts and punters. Read the rest