by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced." — Albert Einstein
“The Police Department stopped and questioned more than 684,000 people last year. Close to 90 percent were black and Latino. Civil liberties groups have protested, but rarely do we hear from the men who are so frequently stopped. Filmmakers Lindsey Groot and Robin Antonisse provide us with four such stories in this exclusive video.”
- Powerful and important testimony from black men stopped-and-frisked in NYC.
July 2010—Reggie Watts is a multidisciplinary performer, with music, theater and comedy – including the Andy Kaufman Comedy Award – to his credit.
Watts’s comedy is an improvised stream of consciousness layered over beats and a musical landscape that he builds and loops using a Line 6 DL4. At his HIGH TIMES interview, he partook in some delicious Chemdog from a vaporizer before performing for the assembled few. He says: “My theory about THC is that it speeds up your thinking process to a point at which you can no longer think, so you just end up being sped up into the moment, you’re constantly in the moment … and you accept it: There’s that beautiful moment that you exist in. It’s important for me in creating work.”
Versus War on Drugs Debate: Is it time to end the war on drugs?
On March 13, 2012, Intelligence Squared hosted the first installment of Versus, the Google+ Debate Series: “It’s time to end the war on drugs.”
Participating in this debate were current and former presidents of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia; Sir Richard Branson; Russell Brand; representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Julian Assange; and more.
Regardless of whether this debate provides an accurate representation of the anti-legalization side, it’s interesting that even those in this debate who condemn drug use and reject legalization all agreed that treatment and rehabilitation are better alternatives to criminalizing drug users.
Another thing that struck me as a breakthrough is the increasing recognition and acceptance that drug users make up a significant portion of functioning, law-abiding citizens who (contrary to mainstream rhetoric) do not succumb to a life of addiction and crime. Participants pointed out that those occasional drug users should be left alone, as they tend to pose no harm to others. The individuals who need help are the addicts, and our resources would be better spent on treating these people for their disease (after all, alcoholism is considered a disease) rather than going after nonviolent, recreational drug users.
Despite this being a two hour long event, me and my sad excuse for an attention span were able to watch this debate from start to finish. I highly recommend it.
Moderator: You heard from Sandeep Chawla (Deputy Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) that drug use would go up as a result of an end to the war on drugs. Can you [respond]?
Russell Brand: I suppose it’s kind of obvious that if something is more freely available, more people would do it. If we all lived in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, perhaps we would eat more chocolate. But what I’m saying is, the situation they’re describing is the one that currently exists. There is already prohibition against drugs, and it candidly, palpably, obviously isn’t working. And also, there’s no problem with people taking drugs if they’re not drug addicts. If people don’t have a drug problem, let them take drugs. The problem is some people have defective personalities, like me, that if they take drugs, it’s problematic…If we fundamentally categorize those people as criminals, that’s the wrong way of addressing it…We need to approach people altruistically and lovingly, not treat them as criminals. Because the inevitable social and criminal problems that come from drug use are a result of their criminalization. That’s the problem.
Watch the debate here
Don’t Legalize Weed!
Be careful what you wish for.
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Cop Says Drug War Makes People Distrust Police
Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore cop, joins a panel discussion on about the ways the “war on drugs” harms relationships between police and the communities they are charged with serving and protecting.
Budweiser Super Bowl 2012 Commercial: Prohibition
As it turns out, nutmeg contains a psychoactive element called myristicin, whose chemical structure shares similarities with mescaline, amphetamine, and ecstasy. A Dictionary of Hallucinations—let us pause for a moment to give thanks that we live in a world where such a reference exists—notes that nutmeg has been “reported to mediate visual, auditory, tactile, and kinaesthetic hallucinations (notably the sensation of floating).” This is not breaking news: the Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen noted the mind-altering effects of nutmeg all the way back in the 12th century.
Yet recreational use never seems to have taken off. I was naturally intrigued when I came across a punch recipe from 1694 that called for five pounds of grated nutmeg—at least until I saw that it also required the juice of 25,000 lemons. Still, I can’t help but suspect that nutmeg abuse could explain some of the idiosyncrasies of the colonial era. Imagine, for instance, a group of teenage nutmeg fiends staring into a fire late one night when one says, “You know what would be cool? A hat with three corners.”
The intoxicating properties of nutmeg have more recently been documented among musicians (the jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker introduced it to his bandmates) and in prisons, where Malcolm X discovered that “a penny matchbox full of nutmeg had the kick of three or four reefers,” as he noted in his autobiography. Online research added confirmation, with one chronicler of the experience comparing it to smoking “three strong spliffs of good skunk,” and another writing that, when walking, he felt as though he was “floating to his destination.” The accounts said that the effects took a while to kick in—typically five or six hours—and that they could last for up to three days.
Users also warned of possible side effects, including loose bowels, vomiting, accelerated heart rate, and nutmeg burps “at 20 minute intervals.” +
Joan Rivers Gets Stoned on TV
Joan Rivers pushes the boundaries again by allowing cameras to film her getting high on marijuana. (via Fox News)
The War on Drugs is placed under the microscope in Eugene Jarecki’s (WHY WE FIGHT, ’05) comprehensive documentary, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN. Tracing the history of the drug war from the birth of the narc—and drug usage as a fringe, countercultural phenomenon—to the crack cocaine epidemic of the ‘80s and ‘90s (and subsequent racist practices in the enforcement of drug laws), Jarecki’s damning critique leaves no stone unturned. +