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Tag: War on Drugs

DEA Chief Admits Marijuana Is Less Dangerous Than Heroin, But Won’t Reschedule

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Despite ample evidence pointing to the therapeutic, non-addictive qualities of marijuana, the new head of the Drug Enforcement Agency wants to keep it legally classified alongside heroin and other highly addictive substances.

“If we come up with a medical use for it, that would be wonderful. But we haven’t,” declared Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, in a Sept. 5 interview with Fox News.

This surprising denial of medical science came in response to a question posed by James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for the network. He asked Rosenberg whether it was time to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, considering two of the past three presidents of the United States have admitted to using the substance recreationally.

Rumors Persist That The CIA Helps Export Opium From Afghanistan

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Despite billions spent to eradicate opium crops in Afghanistan, the crop is more popular than ever there, leading many to wonder whether some U.S. forces may actually be encouraging its growth and the heroin it later becomes.

In July, the Centers for Disease Control warned of record-breaking numbers of heroin deaths in the United States. “Heroin use more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in the past decade,” the CDC reported.

In the same month, it was reported that opium production is stronger than ever in Afghanistan, which now produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of the plant that’s refined to create heroin. This rise in production would have been impossible prior to the U.S.-led invasion, and it comes despite some $8.4 billion spent in counternarcotics efforts by the U.S., specifically designated to wipe out opium production in Afghanistan.

New Schools, Less Crime: Colorado Sees Benefits Of Marijuana Legalization

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Colorado’s successful experiment in marijuana legalization is bringing in millions of dollars of revenue per month while simultaneously benefiting schools and contributing to a drop in crime rates.

Colorado reached over $50 million dollars in recreational cannabis sales in June, breaking the state’s previous record, according to Ricardo Baca, a staff writer for Denver Post’s The Cannabist. In addition, medical sales reached $25 million.

Based on the state’s various taxes on marijuana sales, Baca reports that the state has earned over $60 million dollars in marijuana tax revenue so far this year.

Despite Support By Experts, Marijuana Still Unavailable To Most Veterans With PTSD

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Thousands of American veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and they’re forced to endure the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs while an effective treatment with few side effects, medical marijuana, remains illegal and inaccessible to most.

A 2012 study from the Veterans Administration estimated that as much as 20 percent of veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Among these veterans, the suicide rate is 50 percent higher than the national average and PTSD is a major contributing factor, according to a 2015 study by the National Institute of Mental Health. Nick Wing and Matt Ferner, writing in The Huffington Post, suggested VA doctors typically treat veterans with a combination of therapy and a selection of dozens of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of the often debilitating condition. Missing from that list, according to their report, is one particular treatment that’s made a difference in many lives: cannabis.

“[T]the government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and explicitly prohibits VA doctors from recommending marijuana,” Wing and Ferner wrote last month. The federal scheduling system is meant to classify dangerous drugs by weighing their risks versus their potential benefit to humanity. Under this system, marijuana, which studies have repeatedly demonstrated to be relatively safe and carry almost no risk of addiction, is considered more dangerous than heroin or amphetamines.

Feds Raid Native American Reservation, Seize 12,000 Legal Marijuana Plants

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last week, federal agents raided land belonging to two federally-recognized Native American tribes, and seized 12,000 cannabis plants from their properties. The bust came despite new federal guidelines designed to allow limited marijuana cultivation by indigenous groups in the United States.

The agents arrived at the properties at the far northern edge of California on July 8, ultimately seizing the plants and over 100 pounds of marijuana ready for use from two buildings — an event center belonging to the Alturas Rancheria and a greenhouse belonging to the Pit River tribe. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. district attorney in Sacramento, led the raid.

“The volume of marijuana that the XL facility alone was capable of producing … far exceeds any prior known commercial marijuana grow operation anywhere within the 34-county Eastern District,” Wagner said in a statement quoted by The Sacramento Bee on the day of the bust.

Hackers Reveal Illegal Spying Software Used By World Governments To Silence Dissent

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last weekend, news broke on social media of a massive hack against a major, controversial security software company that sold surveillance software to government agencies. A hacker who attacked another security firm last year is taking credit for the audacious break in that saw hundreds of gigabytes of stolen data leaked onto bittorrent.

Hacking Team, the Italian software company that fell victim to the unknown hackers, proudly billed itself as a vendor of surveillance software to police forces, with the motto, “Rely on us.” Reporters Without Borders had already cited Hacking Team as one of their “enemies of the Internet.” But, as the hack revealed, the corporation’s clients also included governments from countries to which sales are banned by the United Nations as a result of their repressive regimes’ repeated human rights’ violations.

News of the hack reached Twitter on Sunday night, while many were asleep or distracted by the women’s world cup, briefly spawning the humorous, trending hashtag #IsHackingTeamAwakeYet: