drugs

The Tragedy of Cannabis as a Schedule I Drug

Max Simon

Despite the fact that cannabis was a widely distributed medicine with MDs writing more than 3,000,000 prescriptions per year in the 1930s, it became prohibited at the federal level in the United States in 1937. That prohibition was continued via the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 with cannabis placed firmly in the Schedule I category, which is where it has remained since. The decision to place cannabis in the Schedule I category was not based on science.

The History of Chocolate as Medicine

Christine A. Jones

In the 17th century, Europeans who had not traveled overseas tasted coffee, hot chocolate, and tea for the very first time. For this brand new clientele, the brews of foreign beans and leaves carried within them the wonder and danger of faraway lands. They were classified at first not as food, but as drugs — pleasant-tasting, with recommended dosages prescribed by pharmacists and physicians, and dangerous when self-administered.

Personal Accountability in the Age of Social Media

Michael Odenthal

This is an age of unparalleled transparency. With the steady grind of an always-hungry-for-content 24-hour news cycle, and the unprecedented window into individuals’ personal lives provided by social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram, so much of what people do or think is documented that, for those who embrace these modes of communication, it would seem nearly impossible for anyone to disown a statement or action expressed through one of these public forums. 

Crime Does Pay: Global mafias’ $2 trillion bonanza

Mark Goebel

Transnational organized crime generates $2 trillion in revenue per year globally, roughly the size of Britain’s economy, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Wonder how much money those fake Luis Vuitton handbags and DVDs of the latest Hollywood hits bring in? At $654 billion annually, counterfeiting and intellectual property piracy tops the global list of most lucrative illicit activities. 

Weird Load: Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters 50 Years On

Mike Peters

July 1964. And 50 years ago a bus - a 1939 school bus, furnished with bunk beds, basic kitchen facilities and wired-up audio equipment - sets out from a house 15 miles from the Californian town of Palo Alto to journey across America. Painted in bright psychedelic colors with the destination sign of `Further` at the front and the words `Caution: Weird Load` at the rear, and carrying on board ten or so 60s` drop-outs from various walks of life, the bus makes its erratic way towards Route 60 and the road to New York. 

The Road to the Legalization of Marijuana

Joseph Mulkerin

The documentary “Evergreen, The Road to Legalization” the directorial debut of Riley Morton demonstrates well how the debate surrounding Initiative-570, which passed in November 2012 legalizing marijuana in Washington State, brought such factionalism to a head. Indeed the staunchest opposition to the initiative came not from the traditional law and order conservative element but from a small but vocal cohort of medical marijuana activists, led by Steve Sarich who opposed how the legalization was implemented. 

The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin

Jay Rooney

Bitcoin’s origins are murky. Some speculate it was created in response to the 2008 recession, promising anonymity and escape from regulation, monetary policy and central banking authorities. These promises made it particularly alluring to Silicon Valley libertarians - as well as drug dealers, Ponzi schemers, and other unscrupulous types. The virtual currency is stored on individual users’ computers and devices or on online repositories, in “digital wallets,” and like cash, can be transferred directly to other users.

The Secret Life of an Undocumented Drug Informant

Yolanda Gonzalez Gomez

Norma knows what it’s like to live through hell. She says she’s experienced it ever since she was a child, growing up in an abusive family in extreme poverty in South Texas, as a teenager when she was forced by her stepfather to enter the world of drug trafficking, later as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and throughout 39 years of living as an undocumented immigrant. Norma, who asked that her real name not be used, agreed to start working for the DEA in 1989. 

Capture of El Chapo Is a Major Victory for Mexico

W. Alejandro Sanchez

Guzmán, once declared by Forbes as one of the richest men on Earth, was the effective ruler of a parallel narco-terrorist state covering large swaths of Mexican states. So far it is unclear what specific charges he will be tried for, or in which prison he will carry out his sentence – he’s currently in the Altiplano prison. The prison that will ultimately host him is doubly important since he already escaped from one once. 

Why Legalizing Marijuana Will Help Minority Youths

John McWhorter

Because drugs are illegal, one can sell them for a huge markup, and that means you can make a living, or even get by, helping to sell drugs instead of getting a legitimate job. That black market stands as an eternal temptation—often quite a rational one—for a young black boy stuck in a lousy school and growing up in a tough neighborhood. Negative interactions with often surly white cops are the main contact he ever has with the world outside his neighborhood. Hence, generations of young black men who feel like aliens in the only country they will ever know.

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