War on Drugs

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Skeptic: This 'Fabrication' Shaped American Culture

But full story of 'Go Ask Alice' is more complicated than anyone realized, according to Rick Emerson

(Newser) - Published in 1971 and attributed only to “Anonymous,” the book Go Ask Alice was presented as the authentic diary of a teenage girl—the cautionary remnant of a life cut short by sex, drugs, and perhaps even rock ‘n’ roll. It broke boundaries with a raft of...

House Passes Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Backers say measure corrects a racial injustice

(Newser) - The House approved legislation Friday to end all federal criminal penalties over the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana. Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the House the measure rights injustices and is "one of the most important criminal justice reform bills in recent history." The legislation cleared 220-204 and...

Top Democrats Push to Legalize Pot at Federal Level

They're calling for an end to prohibition

(Newser) - Top Senate Democrats have unveiled draft legislation to legalize marijuana, remove federal penalties, and erase nonviolent federal cannabis-related criminal records. The proposal from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker, dubbed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would remove marijiuana, now fully...

Oregon Is First in Nation for Big Decriminalization Step

Decriminalizes possession of street drugs including heroin, in small amounts

(Newser) - Oregon made a major reversal in the nationwide "war on drugs" Tuesday, voting to decriminalize possession of small amounts of street drugs including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD, psilocybin, methadone, and oxycodone. It's the first state in the nation to do so, Oregon Live reports. "Today is...

Mexico Judge Legalizes Cocaine—With a Catch

Ruling applies to 2 people, and must be approved by higher court

(Newser) - Recreational cocaine could soon be legal in Mexico on a case-by-case basis. A May ruling, which must be approved by a higher court, would allow two unidentified claimants to "possess, transport and use cocaine," but not sell it, in what Mexico United Against Crime calls a "historic...

Senate Passes Sweeping Criminal Justice Overhaul

Trump says he looks forward to signing it

(Newser) - The Senate passed a sweeping criminal justice bill Tuesday that addresses concerns that the nation's war on drugs had led to the imprisonment of too many Americans for non-violent crimes without adequately preparing them for their return to society. Senate passage of the bill by a vote of 87-12...

Duterte Makes Unlikely Joke About Drug Use

The drug war waged by the leader of the Philippines has killed thousands

(Newser) - President Rodrigo Duterte has waged a controversially bloody war on drug dealers in the Philippines, but that didn't stop the leader from cracking wise Monday about his own use of illicit substances. Per Reuters , Duterte said in a speech that he used marijuana to stay awake at the...

'Terror on the High Seas': the Coast Guard's Floating Prisons

Fishermen carrying drugs from South America detained on US vessels for days or weeks

(Newser) - Seth Freed Wessler wrote a story last week for the New York Times that he describes to PRI as one of "real terror … on the high seas": what amounts to "floating Guantanamos" in the Pacific, Coast Guard cutters sent far from US shores to bust smugglers trying...

Sessions Brings Back Tougher Drug Sentences

Attorney general overturns Obama-era guidelines

(Newser) - Keeping with President Trump’s promise to focus on law and order, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told federal prosecutors to resume going after drug offenders with maximum penalties. His two-page memo rolls back the more lenient Obama-era order not to charge defendants that meet certain criteria with drug offenses...

'This Is Your Brain on Drugs' Guy Is for Legalizing Pot

'Are you kidding? It's healthier than alcohol'

(Newser) - John Roselius just voted to legalize recreational marijuana in California. If you're not sure why that's significant, this might help: Roselius is often called "Egg Guy" because of his star role in a certain 1987 anti-drug ad in which he famously uttered, "This is your brain....

Pot Arrests in US Outnumber Violent Crime Arrests

There's a drug arrest every 25 seconds

(Newser) - Law enforcement agencies made more arrests for marijuana possession last year than for all violent crimes combined, despite decriminalization and outright legalization in some states, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch and the ACLU. The report is harshly critical of drug policies that have 137,000 Americans...

30 Years Later, Stunning Death in Basketball Still Lingers

Len Bias overdosed 2 days after being drafted by Celtics

(Newser) - It was huge news 30 years ago almost to the day: College basketball phenom Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose just two days after being drafted by the Boston Celtics. A look at coverage of the anniversary:
  • Bias starred at the University of Maryland, and a feature in the

Clemency Under Obama Can Be a Cruel Lottery

'It was devastating'

(Newser) - President Obama's clemency program is a gift to dozens of nonviolent drug offenders, but it's a lump of coal for thousands more. The Washington Post takes a deep look into how clemency is affecting prisoners who remain behind bars, after 95 of their fellows were given a second...

Texas Commune Sues After SWAT Raid Gone Very Wrong
Texas Commune Sues After SWAT Raid Gone Very Wrong

Texas Commune Sues After SWAT Raid Gone Very Wrong

You know the old lyric: You say tomato, police say illegal marijuana grow-op

(Newser) - A commune in Arlington, Texas, is suing the city two years after a no-knock SWAT raid resulted in handcuffed residents, an eight-hour search, and absolutely nothing illegal, specifically the guns and marijuana police believed were there, the Houston Chronicle reports. The lawsuit , filed by Garden of Eden residents last month,...

600 Churches Say It's Time to Quit 'War on Drugs'

Group says it's the 'most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery'

(Newser) - The pope doesn't believe in legalizing drugs , but hundreds of churches say otherwise. The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, a body comprising more than 600 congregations, passed a resolution during its annual meeting on June 18 to try to help alleviate the nation's drug issues...

Cop: Fake Evidence, Lying 'Part of the Game'

Florida deputy spills tactics to DC Post

(Newser) - Sheriff's deputies in Palm Beach, Fla., don't lie and plant evidence because they're particularly corrupt or desperate to make an arrest—they do it as a way of life, according to a deputy who spoke anonymously. DC Post caught up with him after he posted a blog...

Police Blew a Hole in My Toddler
 Police Blew a Hole 
 in My Toddler 

Police Blew a Hole in My Toddler

Alecia Phonesavanh tells her story

(Newser) - When their house burned down, Alecia Phonesavanh and her family went to Atlanta to stay with her sister-in-law. On their minivan's back windshield were pasted stick figures of the family: Mom, dad, three daughters, and a baby boy. That baby boy is poignant, because soon after they arrived, police...

Rand Paul: I Won't Send My Son to Iraq

Senator adds that he doesn't blame Obama for the 'mess'

(Newser) - Rand Paul hit the Sunday show circuit today to stake out a position on Iraq that sets him apart from the hawks in his party. "Let's not be involved in the Syrian civil war, and let's not be involved in the Iraq civil war," the senator...

Police Drug Raid Puts Toddler In a Coma

They chucked a flash bang grenade into his playpen

(Newser) - A Georgia toddler is in a medically induced coma with only a 50/50 shot at survival after police threw a "flash bang" grenade into his playpen during a drug raid. Police had a no-knock warrant for the Atlanta home, after a confidential informant said he'd bought methamphetamine there....

Anthony Bourdain: We're Hypocrites to 'Brother' Mexico

We gobble up its culture, but care little about its crises

(Newser) - Americans are deeply attached to what comes from Mexico, whether it's food, music, beaches, or the labor that we depend on even as we criticize immigration. "In two decades as a chef and employer, I never had one American kid walk in my door and apply for a...

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