Category Archives: War On Drugs

Talib Kweli Breaks the Set on the Obama Presidency, the Prison Industrial Complex & Real Hip Hop

Abby Martin features an exclusive interview with hip hop artist Talib Kweli, discussing the role of government, Obama’s presidency, the prison industrial complex, and establishment hip hop.’ (Breaking the Set)

Graham Hancock: 3 Important Questions to Ask Yourself

U.S. police raid innocent family because of indoor garden, spied on their purchases and dug through trash

Lawsuit alleges police gave Occupy protesters drugs

Amsterdam paying alcoholics with beer to help keep city clean

 

Biologist explains how marijuana drives tumor cells to ‘suicide’

Arturo Garcia reports for Raw Story:

Weed - Dr. Christina Sanchez Analyzes How THC Kills Cancer CellsA December 2013 video that has been picking up attention in medical marijuana advocacy circles points out the benefits of the drug’s active ingredient in cancer treatments.

“We observed that the cannabinoids were very effective in reducing tumor growth,” molecular biologist Christina Sanchez said in the video, first uploaded by Cannabis Planet. “Cells can die in different ways, and after cannabinoid treatment, they were dying in the ‘clean’ way. They were committing suicide, which is something you really want.”

Cannabinoids are a group of natural and man-made chemicals, which include the active ingredients in cannabis, that act upon some receptors within the body. Marijuana.com reported that Sanchez’s work at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain parallels British oncologist Wai Liu’s discovery that THC can “target and switch off” pathways that would otherwise allow tumors to develop.

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Awash In Cash, Drug Cartels Rely On Big Banks To Launder Profits

John Burnett reports for NPR:

The Sinaloa Cartel, headquartered on Mexico’s northern Pacific Coast, is constantly exploring new ways to launder its gargantuan profits. The State Department reports that Mexican trafficking organizations earn between $19 and $29 billion every year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines on the streets of American cities.

And Sinaloa is reportedly the richest, most powerful of them all, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The capture last month of the Mexican druglord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman has cast a spotlight on the smuggling empire he built.

One key to the Sinaloa Cartel’s success has been to use the global banking system to launder all this cash.

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Alex & Allyson Grey Break the Set on Psychedelics, Transcendentalism and Visionary Art

‘Abby Martin speaks with Alex & Allyson Grey, the most prolific psychedelic artists in the world, discussing the role of transcendentalism, spirituality and entheogenic drugs have played in their art and personal lives, as well as their work on the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors.’ (Breaking the Set)

Holder admits heroin is now ‘urgent public health crises’

From RT:

The U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder (Reuters / Bertil Enevag Ericson)As deaths related to heroin and prescription drug overdose continue to rise, US Attorney General Eric Holder called the spike an “urgent public health crises” on Monday and pledged to expand the Justice Department’s effort to combat the problem. Holder made the remarks in a video message posted on the Justice Department’s website, noting that fatalities caused by heroin overdose have risen 45 percent between 2006 and 2010. “Addiction to heroin and other opiates -– including certain prescription pain-killers –- is impacting the lives of Americans in every state, in every region, and from every background and walk of life -– and all too often, with deadly results,” he said.

…As part of the agency’s attempt to prevent such problems, Holder said the Justice Department would urge law enforcement agencies and first responders to improve their access to naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug that counteracts the effects of heroin and other opioids and restores breathing. He added that since 2001, naloxone has saved more than 10,000 lives. The attorney general also stated that efforts to seize heroin and other opioids around the country have been expanded to target all levels of the supply chain – including those who prescribe, fill out, and distribute prescriptions illegally. Holder noted that between 2008 and 2013, there was a 320 percent increase in the amount of heroin confiscated near the border of the US and Mexico.

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Congressman Cohen: ‘It’s Un-American To Take Someone’s Liberty Because They’re Smoking Marijuana’

The U.S. Assassination Program in Colombia

Daniel Kovalik wrote in January for CounterPunch:

On December 21, 2013, The Washington Post published a story entitled, “Covert action Colombia,” about the intimate and critical role of the CIA and the NSA in helping to assassinate “at least two dozen” leaders of the Colombian FARC guerillas from “the early 2000s” to and through the present time.   The author of the story, Dana Priest, claims that the story is based on “interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.” While The Washington Post story reads like an advertisement for the CIA and NSA, there are some truths buried in the piece which are worthy of consideration.   The most illuminating statement is that while the CIA and NSA, allegedly in the interest of fighting drug trafficking and terrorism, have assisted the Colombian government in hunting down and murdering Marxist FARC guerillas with U.S.-made smart bombs, “for the most part, they left the violent paramilitary groups alone.”

This is an important point, for as the piece itself acknowledges, the paramilitaries are indeed “violent,” and, with the help of the U.S.-backed Colombian military, have been engaged in a decades-long campaign of terror against the civilian population.    And consequently, the U.S. officially designated the predecessor of the current paramilitaries – that is, the AUC — as a terrorist organization.    Meanwhile, it is well-accepted that both the Colombian paramilitaries and their military allies are major drug traffickers in their own right. In short, the U.S. is aligning with known terrorists and drug dealers in Colombia in the name of fighting terrorism and drugs.   While this may seem preposterous, there is indeed a logic to it.

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Colombia closes in on a peace deal that could end world’s longest civil war

Jonathan Watts and Sibylla Brodzinsky write for the Guardian:

The FarcMost voters have known nothing but conflict for their entire lives: when the Farc rose up against the state in 1964, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, Nikita Khrushchev was in the Kremlin and the cold war was at its height. Over the following 50 years, Colombia’s low-intensity war has caused more than 250,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 5 million people as rebels from the Farc, ELN and other leftwing groups clashed with government troops and rightwing paramilitaries.

Many of the armed factions finance themselves through kidnappings and drug trafficking. If a deal can be reached, Santos says the biggest peace dividend for the outside world is likely to be a cut in the supply of cocaine. “If we can agree to fight drug trafficking and substitute coca crops for legal crops it will have a big impact on the world because, unfortunately, for 40 years we have been the principal supplier of that drug.”

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Military: 80 percent of Colombian drugs gets to US

Lolita C. Baldor reports for the Associated Press:

The U.S. doesn’t have the ships and surveillance capabilities to go after the illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. from Latin America, the top military commander for the region told senators Thursday, adding that the lack of resources means he has to “sit and watch it go by.” Gen. John Kelly told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he is able to get about 20 percent of the drugs leaving Colombia for the U.S., but the rest gets through.

Aided by surveillance planes, radar, human intelligence capabilities and other assets, Kelly said he has “very good clarity” on the drug traffickers who are moving the drugs out of Colombia and through the Caribbean Sea. But much of the time, he said, “I simply sit and watch it go by. And because of service cuts, I don’t expect to get any immediate relief in terms of assets to work with in this region of the world.”

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The Blurred Line Between Cops and Soldiers

Lucy Steigerwald writes for Antiwar:

In a March 10 USA Today piece, Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) expressed his desire to introduce legislation that would place limits on the Pentagon’s 1033 program which is used to supply police departments with gear that was once used on the streets of Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a long overdue “official” recognition that something terrible has happened to police departments in the US. Whether Johnson’s plan has a chance of getting anywhere remains to be seen. Because there are numerous firmly-stuck perverse incentives that lead to the state of policing today and which perpetuate it.

People who casually notice the more military-like qualities of American police would be forgiven for assuming their tactics, weapons, and menacing appearance are a result of post-9/11 fear. Though September 11 and subsequent scares and some real incidents such as the Boston Bombing have aggravated this problem – and there is a similar equipment grant program that comes from the Department of Homeland Security that Rep. Johnson should check on – the catalyst for our mutant police is narcotics prohibition.

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Senator Ted Cruz Was A Lawyer For A Defendant In The ‘Kids For Cash’ Scandal

Kids For Ca$h: New Documentary Highlights Private Prison Scandal In Pennsylvania

First LSD tests in decades show terminal patients gained valuable and lasting insights

Travis Gettys reports for Raw Story:

Results have been posted online from the first controlled trial of LSD in more than 40 years. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease published results Tuesday from a Swiss study that tested the effects of the drug as a complement for talk therapy for 12 people nearing their end of life. Most of the subjects suffered from terminal cancer, and several died within a year of the trial, but researchers said the psychedelic drug apparently eased their fears as they faced the unknown. “Their anxiety went down and stayed down,” said Dr. Peter Gasser, who conducted the therapy. The patients met with Gasser for a couple of sessions before taking LSD at two sessions a couple of weeks apart. Each session lasted about 10 hours, Gasser said, and the patients were permitted to sleep afterward at the office under the care of a therapist or assistant.

[...] Researchers around the world are trying to bring hallucinogens back under the umbrella of mainstream psychiatry after decades of neglect or outright bans. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance,” said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which has financed many of the studies. Doctors had previously tested LSD for its effect on a variety of conditions, including end-of-life anxiety, before such research was prohibited in 1966. But psychiatrists have been working in recent years alongside government officials and medical ethics boards to life restrictions on psychedelic research, including Ecstasy-aided therapy for post-traumatic stress.

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Ca. Gov. Jerrry Brown: World is ‘too dangerous’ for a nation of potheads

Tom Boggioni writes for Raw Story:

California-Gov.-Jerry-Brown-D-sharpened-via-Shutterstock

Appearing on NBC’s Meet The Press, California Governor Jerry Brown said that he was not prepared to completely legalize marijuana in his state. Asked by host David Gregory if legalizing marijuana was “a good idea or a bad idea for California?”, Brown replied that he would like to wait and see what happens in Colorado and Washington, two states that recently liberalized their marijuana laws.

“Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington,” he said. “I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work.” The governor then cautioned against the state giving marijuana ‘legitimacy’.

“The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay. But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive,” Brown explained. “I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.

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Top Drug Kingpin Captured But Will Anything Change?

Drug References Found on Walls of Ancient Egyptian School

Archaeologists have discovered a 1,700-year-old school, with Greek writings on its walls, at the ancient town of Trimithis at the Dakhla Oasis in the western desert of Egypt.

Photo by Eugene Ball

Owen Jarus writes for Live Science:

Archaeologists working in the western desert of Egypt have discovered a school dating back about 1,700 years that contains ancient Greek writings on its walls, including a text about ancient drug use that references Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

The school — which contains benches that students could sit on to read, or stand on and write on the walls — dates back to a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, and Greek was widely spoken.

In use for less than 20 years, the school structure eventually became part of a large house that contained colorful art, including images ofthe Olympian gods, the researchers said.

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Afghan heroin production on the rise

Bitcoin Busted Yet HSBC’s Mafia Syndicate ‘Too Big to Jail’

Uruguay’s president nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for legalizing marijuana

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica (Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins) From RT:

The president of Uruguay has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. According to his advocates, José “Pepe” Mujica’s much talked-about marijuana legalization is in fact “a tool for peace and understanding.”

For the second year in a row, the Drugs Peace Institute, which has supported Mujica’s marijuana legalization drive since 2012, insisting that the consumption of marijuana should be protected as a human right, has endorsed his candidacy, along with members of Mujica’s leftwing political party the Frente Amplio, the PlantaTuPlanta (Collective of Uruguayan growers) and the Latin American Coalition of Cannabis Activists (CLAC).

Despite an avalanche of global criticism, in late December Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize the production and sale of the popular herbal drug. Under the new law, which comes into full effect in early April, Uruguayans will have several options to gain access to it. The Drugs Peace Institute said that Mujica’s stand against the UN-led prohibition of mind-altering substances is a “symbol of a hand outstretched, of a new era in a divided world.”

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HSBC: The World’s Laundry Bank

Former Pro Football Player Says NFL Should Allow Players To Use Marijuana To Help Manage Pain

Mexico Just Legalized Vigilantism And Then Captured A Huge Cartel Leader

AP Photo/Hans Maximo MusielikFrom AP:

Mexico essentially legalized the country’s growing “self-defense” groups Monday, while also announcing that security forces had captured one of the four top leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel, which the vigilante groups have been fighting for the last year.

The government said it had reached an agreement with vigilante leaders to incorporate the armed civilian groups into old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps. Vigilante groups estimate their numbers at 20,000 men under arms.

The twin announcements may help the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto find a way out of an embarrassing situation in the western state of Michoacan, where vigilantes began rising up last February against the Knights Templar reign of terror and extortion after police and troops failed to stop the abuses.

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US makes Bitcoin exchange arrests

From BBC News:

The operators of two exchanges for the virtual currency Bitcoin have been arrested in the US.

The Department of Justice said Robert Faiella, known as BTCKing, and Charlie Shrem from BitInstant.com have both been charged with money laundering.

The authorities said the pair were engaged in a scheme to sell more than $1m (£603,000) in bitcoins to users of online drug marketplace the Silk Road.

The site was shut down last year and its alleged owner was arrested.

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The U.S. State Department Has Its Own (Surprisingly Big) Air Force

Department of State INL Air Wing CH-46. Air Wing photoFrom Medium:

The U.S. State Department possesses just under 100 helicopters and more than 30 fixed-wing aircraft and deploys them all over the world, mostly as part of the America’s international drug war.

The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ Office of Aviation—a.k.a., the INL Air Wing—employs contractors and foreign government aviators to fly these aircraft in seven countries: Afghanistan, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Iraq, Pakistan and Peru.

The main mission of the Air Wing is to assist friendly states in their own fights against illegal drugs and narco-terrorism. However, with its large fleet—larger than the air forces of some NATO members—the Air Wing also trains allied governments and provides general aviation support, including transportation for diplomatic missions.

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The War On Poverty Was Aimed at Quieting The Popular Movements of the 60′s: Interview with Glen Ford

Nancy Grace: People on pot shoot each other, strangle each other, and kill whole families