The trumpian president of the Philippines admits to murdering "suspects"

Before Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines, he was the mayor of the southern city of Davao, where he boasted of authorizing death-squads that murdered suspected drug-users and drug-dealers with impunity. Read the rest

A deep dive into kratom, the herb that helps with opioid withdrawal

Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions -- it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions from members of Congress. Read the rest

New map of United States pot laws

The Cannabist has a map showing the legal status of marijuana in the United States. In Tuesday's election, voters in California, Nevada, and Massachusetts made recreational pot legal, joining Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington D.C. Maine's measure to legalize weed pass very narrowly 50.2 to 49.8 percent. Opponents are calling for a recount.

Several states also had medical marijuana measures on the ballot. After Tuesday's elections, there are now 28 states that allow people to use pot for medicinal purposes.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law. President Elect Trump has said in interviews that states should be allowed to decide for themselves about pot, but if Chris Christie (an avowed marijuana foe) is appointed U.S. Attorney General, all bets are off. Read the rest

National Guard helicopter, seven cop vehicles sent to warrantlessly seize a single marijuana plant from an 81-year-old Massachusetts grandmother

81-year-old Peg Holcomb of Amherst, Mass wasn't home when a low-flying Massachusetts National Guard helicopter and seven ground-based law-enforcement vehicles raided her home, and demanded that her son allow them to seize a single marijuana plant she'd been cultivating in her back yard. Read the rest

When Californians vote on legal weed, they'll also vote on wiping millions of arrest records

Despite the fact that minor possession has been a misdemeanor since 1976 (and medical weed has been legal since 1996) between 15,000 and 20,000 Californians are arrested every year for marijuana offenses. Read the rest

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined

Forty five years after Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs as a way to persecute black people, little has changed, according to a new ACLU/Human Rights Watch report.

The ACLU/Human Rights Watch report shows that arrests for drug possession continue to make up a significant chunk of modern-day police work.

"Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime," the report finds, citing FBI data. "More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year."

In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.

The report finds that the laws are enforced unequally, too. Over their lifetimes, black and white Americans use illicit drugs at similar rates, according to federal data. But black adults were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to be arrested for drug possession.

Read the rest

Merciless reporting on the Chicago Police Department's extortion racket, & the senior officials who covered it up

The more we learn about the Chicago Police Department, the worse it gets -- there's the sabotage of dashcams, the widespread corruption, the investigators fired for refusing to cover up police crimes, off-the-books "black site" where the CPD kidnaps and tortures suspects, the Accountability Task Force Report that called the force racist, corrupt and broken. Read the rest

Tommy Chong asks Obama to pardon him for his bullshit drug paraphernalia bust

Lou Cabron writes, "Tommy Chong has a funny monologue about his 2003 arrest. When federal agents bang on his door and ask if he has any drugs, he says 'Of course I do! I'm Tommy Chong!' But that's just his way of making a point -- that they didn't have a warrant for drugs. Their warrant allowed them to search for glass pipes. (Yes, they actually had a warrant to search for glass.) Read the rest

Criminal entrepreneurship in Mexico's high-tech drug cartels

Dr Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez is a research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, studying "criminal entrepreneurship" in drug cartels, who beat Amazon to using drones for delivery by years, use modified potato guns to shoot cocaine and marijuana bundles over border fences, and represent the "true libertarian, Ayn Rand capitalism." Read the rest

The DEA just added a promising anti-opioid addiction herb to Schedule 1, because reasons

Kratom is a herb that has been in widespread use in Southeast Asia for centuries; it is chewed for to increase stamina, induce gentle euphoria and relaxation, and it has also been used with unheard-of success to help people kick their addictions to opioid painkillers. Read the rest

Court tells cops that license plates from a weed-friendly state are not "suspicious"

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has stripped two Kansas Highway Patrol officers of immunity for their detention of a man with Colorado plates whom they believed to be suspicious because Colorado has legal recreational marijuana -- thus any car from Colorado was a potential marijuana smuggling vehicle. Read the rest

Blame the War on Drugs for stoned, face-eating murderers

No one know if the 19 year old who murdered a man in Florida and gnawed on his face while wearing a Donald Trump hat was high, and if so, what he had taken, but the bizarre, violent behavior is consistent with people who take flakka, a popular South Florida synthetic drug meant to mimic cocaine. Read the rest

DEA bribes rail/airline employees for tipoffs that lead to warrantless cash seizures

A USA Today investigation has discovered a network of paid informants working for Amtrak and nearly every US airline who illegally delve into passengers' travel records to find people who might be traveling with a lot of cash: these tip-offs are used by the DEA to effect civil forfeiture -- seizing money without laying any charges against its owner, under the rubric that the cash may be proceeds from drug sales. One Amtrak secretary was secretly paid $854,460 to raid her employer's databases for the DEA. Read the rest

Flawed police drug-test kits, railroading prosecutors and racism: the police-stop-to-prison pipeline

The $2 roadside drug-test kit is the go-to weapon of the War on Drugs, despite its incredibly high failure rate and the scientific consensus that the tests need to be validated in labs later; once you've had a random crumb of sandwich or aspirin identified as drugs by one of these kits, you're almost certain to plead guilty, thanks to the heavy-handed tacts of prosecutors and the disarray of public defenders, and then you're off for prison time and a lifetime as a felon. Read the rest

Let's check in with Pablo Escobar's herd of feral hippos

In 2003, Colombians began to report encounters with the wild hippos that escaped from Pablo Escobar's private zoo after he was killed by police and his estate was left to rot. Read the rest

Why The War on Drugs Is a Huge Failure

The countless billions of dollars poured into the War on Drugs has resulted in mass incarceration, corruption, political destabilization, violence, the rise of drug cartels, and systemic human rights abuses around the world. The one thing the War on Drugs hasn't done is stopped people from using drugs. The animated video series, Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, explains why the problems associated with drug use are caused by the war against them. Read the rest

Californians will get to vote on legal recreational weed

California, the most populous state in the USA and the sixth-largest economy in the world -- will give its residents the chance to vote on an expansive legal recreational week proposal on the ballot paper this coming November. Read the rest

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