Police in Australia have been strip searching children, hoping to find drugs

The New York Times reports that girls as young as 12 have been stripped searched at music festival by Australian police eager to make drug arrests. Australia's zero-tolerance drug policy is “the only form of legislation that allows an adult to tell a young child to take off all their clothes,” Samantha Lee, the head of the Police Accountability Practice at the Redfern Legal Center, told the Times

From the article:

“It’s highly likely the vast majority of strip searches are being conducted unlawfully,” said Vicki Sentas, a senior law lecturer at the University of New South Wales who has researched strip-searching statistics.

In an inquiry conducted last month by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, a 16-year-old girl who attended a festival said she was asked to squat and cough in front of a police officer. She had no drugs.

“I could not stop crying. I was completely humiliated,” she said, according to her complaint. An officer who worked at the festival admitted that some of the searches he conducted may have been unlawful.

Mark Speakman, the state’s attorney general, said that strip searches in general were an “important investigative tool” but that the police needed to “get the balance right.”

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Arthritic woman arrested at Disney World for having CBD oil in her purse files lawsuit

Hester Burkhalter (69) of North Carolina was arrested at Disney World in Orlando for having a small bottle of CBD oil in her purse. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabis extract and Burkhalter said her doctor told her to use it for her chronic arthritis pain. Now she is suing the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Disney World.

From Wesh 2:

The lawsuit will allege Burkhalter endured "illegal detention, false arrest and a violation of her civil rights when she tried to enter Disney World with her family carrying a small bottle of CBD oil in her purse recommended by her doctor for chronic arthritis pain.”

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64% of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support legalizing marijuana

The latest Gallup poll reveals that more Americans than ever support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. This is bad news for the private prison industry, which poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Trump's campaign fund in the hope that weed foe Attorney General Jeff Sessions will lock up millions of mild-mannered dope smokers. He'll try anyway, but he'll have a fight on his hands.

From Gallup News:

Gallup first asked national adults about their views on the topic in 1969, when 12% supported legalization. Support had more than doubled by the end of the next decade but changed little throughout the 1980s and 1990s. By 2001, however, about a third of Americans favored legalizing marijuana, and support has steadily increased since. A majority of Americans have consistently supported legalizing marijuana since 2013.

The trajectory of Americans' views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades. On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each. Over the past several years, Gallup has found that Americans have become more liberal on a variety of social issues.

From WTF Just Happened Today?:

Business is booming for a private prison company after it contributed to Trump's campaign and moved its company meetings, dinner receptions, and golf outings to Trump National Doral. GEO Group, through a company subsidiary, gave $225,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC and an additional $250,000 to Trump's inaugural committee.

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Johns Hopkins psychedelics research keeps finding medical uses

Johns Hopkins is among several institutions challenging a key tenet of outlawing psychedelics: that they have "no medicinal use." Baltimore Magazine examines the progress made by key researchers Roland Griffiths and Bill Richards. Read the rest

Woman charged with murder after taking abortion pill

[UPDATE: Murder charges dropped. Jones still faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug.]

Kenlissia Jones, 23, of Georgia has been charged with murder after a hospital social worker reported her to the police for taking cytotec pills she purchased online to terminate her pregnancy. She is being held on charges of malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug. Leaders in both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups said they were surprised by the charges.

"We don't believe there is any law in Georgia that allows for the arrest of a woman for the outcome of her pregnancy," said Lynn Paltrow [attorney and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women], whose group is offering free legal aid to Jones.

Genevieve Wilson, a director of the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life, said this is the first time she has heard of a woman in Georgia facing a murder charge for ending her pregnancy. And Wilson agreed with Paltrow that feticide and abortion laws in the state have not been used to target women who end their own pregnancies.

"I am very surprised by the arrest," Wilson said. "And I'm thinking that perhaps whoever made the arrest may not have known what the laws really are."

District Attorney Greg Edwards said he's reviewing the case, but "as of right now she's still charged."

Cytotec is prescribed to reduce stomach ulcers. It can also be used to terminate a pregnancy. The Woman on Waves site says "Using Misoprostol (or Cytotec) alone to cause an abortion will be successful 90% of the time." Read the rest

The War on Drugs - “Red Eyes” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 69: The War on Drugs - “Red Eyes” (free MP3)

It’s a rare rainy day here in LA, and I can’t imagine any song sounding better right now than “Red Eyes”, the new song from The War on Drugs.

Adam Granduciel is the creative force behind The War on Drugs, and he’s been joined by an ever-changing group of collaborators throughout the band’s 11-year history. The current line-up has been stable through two years of touring and the recording of the new album Lost in the Dream. The result is a cohesive group of beautiful and atmospheric pop songs that are perfect for inclement weather.

Download “Red Eyes” below and pre-order Lost in the Dream once you’re hooked. Get started here: Read the rest