New York Times, 25 May 2015 - MIAMI - A hazardous new synthetic drug originating in China is being blamed for 18 recent deaths in a single South Florida county, as police grapple with an inexpensive narcotic that causes exaggerated strength and dangerous paranoid hallucinations. On Thursday, the Fort Lauderdale police killed a man, reportedly high on the man-made street drug, alpha-PVP, known more commonly as flakka, who had held a woman hostage with a knife to her throat.
Toronto Star, 25 May 2015 - Recently I chewed khat, a leaf with properties conducive to sociability; and on a couple of occasions I ate cannabis chocolate. I neither brag nor complain, I merely think we ought to normalize khat, find a reliable way to measure the potency of cannabis, in any and all forms, so that those who use it can make informed judgments.
Washington Post, 25 May 2015 - Venezuela is afflicted with the world's highest inflation, its second highest murder rate and crippling shortages of food, medicine and basic consumer goods. Its authoritarian government is holding some 70 political prisoners, including the mayor of Caracas and senior opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, and stands accused by human rights groups of illegal detentions, torture and repression of independent media.
Time Magazine, 25 May 2015 - Yasmin Hurd raises rats on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that will blow your mind. Though they look normal, their lives are anything but, and not just because of the pricey real estate they call home on the 10th floor of a research building near Mount Sinai Hospital. For skeptics of the movement to legalize marijuana, the rodents are canaries in the drug-policy coal mine. For defenders of legalization, they are curiosities. But no one doubts that something is happening in the creatures' trippy little brains.
Toronto Sun, 23 May 2015 - Will Work With Courier Firms to Help Halt Drug Shipments Toronto Police will soon be approaching courier companies in efforts to address a "concerning trend" around the growing quantities of illegal drugs being shipped through commercial transport providers.
Baltimore Sun, 22 May 2015 - As rightly concerned and upset as we are about the fatal injuries Freddie Gray suffered in police custody, we ought to be just as concerned about the body count that existed prior to his death and has been on the rise ever since (there have been roughly three dozen homicides in Baltimore since Gray died, not counting the many wounded). We have come to accept daily community violence as background noise. What's going on, and what can be done? Sadly, every city and region has well-established lines of distribution of illegal drugs and narcotics. Addicts need their drugs once or several times a day, and there's a global network established to satisfy that craving. It starts overseas, where opium and cocaine are processed and then sent to virtually every community and street corner in the U.S. The billions of dollars spent to buy drugs are funneled back to the drug cartels via financial mechanisms that would rival a Wall Street investment bank. When those distribution lines are disrupted - in our case by the Baltimore riots - drug distribution chaos ensues. Prices rise, tempers flare, deals go sour, and shootings increase.
New York Times, 19 May 2015 - The already novel criminal case against Ross W. Ulbricht, the recently convicted founder of the website Silk Road, has taken yet another unusual turn. Mr. Ulbricht could face life in prison when he is sentenced on May 29 in Federal District Court in Manhattan for his role in running Silk Road, a once-thriving black market for the sale of heroin, cocaine, LSD and other drugs. And although prosecutors have not yet said what length of sentence they will seek for Mr. Ulbricht, 31, they have told Mr. Ulbricht's lawyers that they intend to introduce evidence of six overdose deaths attributable to drugs bought from vendors on Silk Road, according to a recent defense filing.
Orlando Sentinel, 18 May 2015 - War on Drugs needs a new strategy after 46 failed years, columnist says On Wednesday, March 4, Derek Cruice became the latest unarmed person to be shot to death in a U.S. drug raid staged to seize marijuana. This Volusia County Sheriff's raid succeeding in saving 217 grams (about half-a-pound) of that drug from being loosed on our streets and it only cost one human life. Apparently, law enforcement doesn't think statistics on incidents such as these are worth keeping, so it is very hard to tell how many folks have been killed in the manner of Cruice. However, the CATO Institute a=C2=80" one of the only entities that does keep any such statistics a=C2=80"shows that between 1985 and 2010, SWAT team raids in the U.S. accounted for the deaths of 46 innocent people, 25 nonviolent offenders, and 30 law enforcers.
The Oklahoman, 18 May 2015 - Senator Denies Claims That Plan to Change Law Is Grab for Money A state senator has upset law enforcement officers across the state by saying the state's drug money forfeiture law needs to be changed to protect the innocent.
New York Post, 17 May 2015 - Heir to the Infamous Eboli Mafia Family Claims to Be One of Nyc's Biggest Marijuana Dealers During Prohibition, it was booze. Then gambling, racketeering and cocaine. But today, the New York mob makes big money from an unlikely product - marijuana.
Seattle Times, 17 May 2015 - After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures - dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often doublebagged to smother the distinctive scent. But these days, Jeffries is on the lookout for something unexpected: lollipops and marshmallows.
New York Times, 17 May 2015 - After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures - dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often double-bagged to smother the distinctive scent. But these days, Chief Jeffries is on the lookout for something unexpected: lollipops and marshmallows.
The New Mexican, 17 May 2015 - Seemingly Innocent Items, Such As Cookies, Marshmallows Could Be Laced With Marijuana After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures - dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often double-bagged to smother the distinctive scent.
Hamilton Spectator, 15 May 2015 - Hamilton Man Makes History by Being the First Graduate of the City's Drug Treatment Court The courtroom is packed with people who helped Carmelo Tinebra get clean. There are Crown attorneys leaning against a wall.
New York Times, 15 May 2015 - BOGOTA, Colombia - The government of Colombia on Thursday night rejected a major tool in the American-backed antidrug campaign - ordering a halt to the aerial spraying of the country's vast illegal plantings of coca, the crop used to make cocaine, citing concerns that the spray causes cancer. The decision ends a program that has continued for more than two decades, raising questions about the viability of long-accepted strategies in the war on drugs in the region.
Chicago Tribune, 15 May 2015 - Aging Population of Inmates Serving Long Sentences Takes a Toll on Budgets COLEMAN PRISON, Fla. - Twenty-one years into his nearly 50-year sentence, the graying man steps inside his stark cell in the largest federal prison complex in America. He wears special medical boots because of a foot condition that makes walking feel as if he's "stepping on a needle." He has undergone tests for a suspected heart condition and sometimes experiences vertigo.
Baltimore Sun, 15 May 2015 - Aging Population of Inmates Serving Long Sentences Takes a Toll on Budgets COLEMAN PRISON, Fla. - Twenty-one years into his nearly 50-year sentence, the graying man steps inside his stark cell in the largest federal prison complex in America. He wears special medical boots because of a foot condition that makes walking feel as if he's "stepping on a needle." He has undergone tests for a suspected heart condition and sometimes experiences vertigo.
Vancouver Courier, 13 May 2015 - In her own words, Dr. Patricia Daly is a "prevention physician." What does that mean? "My main goal is to prevent the harm associated with any psychoactive substance," says the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health.
The Telegram, 12 May 2015 - Charges laid after RNC-RCMP team seizes cocaine, marijuana, MDMA and shatter Among a huge amount of illegal drugs seized last week in St. John's by a joint RNC-RCMP drug team is a drug known as "shatter," a derivative of marijuana, but much more toxic.
London Free Press, 12 May 2015 - METH Addiction, availability and difficult withdrawal symptoms add to problems Explosive growth in the use of the street drug crystal methamphetamine is causing havoc in London, with those who work with addicts saying the city isn't equipped to deal with the fallout.