Once a juggernaut, the Nancy Reagan-helmed campaign has almost disappeared. But does that mean opposition to marijuana legalization is gone too?
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As “Carlo” walks around New York City, his gentle manner, warm smile, and crisp button-down shirts do nothing to betray that he has some $10,000 in illegal drugs stashed in his pockets.
In his 30s and from the Upper West Side, Carlo is a high-end dealer in some of New York’s purest narcotics. His current best seller is the chemical compound MDMA, popularly known as Molly. Each of the capsules he sells at $20 a pop gives a customer a four-hour euphoric high. On any given weekend, Carlo’s product is consumed by hundreds of New Yorkers. He clearly takes pride in his role sparking dance-floor romances across the city. One of his frequent clients calls him a “chemical cupid” and says Carlos’s MDMA is the most potent she’s ever experienced. With good-quality MDMA fast becoming one of the most sought-after drugs, Carlo has a prime spot in a very popular distribution pyramid.
During the evenings I spent accompanying Carlo on his rounds, I learned that his customer base included people of all walks of life. Within one four-hour period, I saw Carlo cater to NYU students, lawyers, artists, bankers, and a college professor—all ordering drugs to their apartments as casually as if it were Chinese food.
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Amazon the corporate entity doesn’t actually produce a guide for dealing drugs, but its purchase-recommendation algorithm sure seems to have done just that.
The head of the military’s Southern Command wants more money to fight a losing battle.
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What the War on Drugs looks like in Rangoon.
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In the last week of 1963, my father, Ted Sorensen, met with President Lyndon Johnson late into the night at his Texas ranch to decide what provisions of President John F. Kennedy’s unfinished agenda to include in the upcoming State of the Union address. Last on the list was a provision for expanded federal jurisdiction over illegal drugs, which provided not only for federal criminal-law enforcement but also for expanded rehabilitation and treatment programs.
As my father recounted in his memoir, Johnson angrily brushed aside the suggestion. “Drugs? I don’t want to have anything to do with them. Just lock them up and throw away the key!” The meeting ended, and my father deleted that portion of the speech, which famously announced the War on Poverty—but kept the drug provision in Johnson’s legislative program. This led to controlled-substance and drug-addiction reform that passed with bipartisan support in Congress. Despite Johnson’s dismissal of my father’s proposal of treatment and rehabilitation, he extolled those ideas when he signed the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act into law in November 1966, describing it as a “pioneering measure” that recognizes that “treating addicts as criminals neither curtails addiction nor prevents crime.”
President Obama now has a golden opportunity in his own State of the Union to confront the U.S. government’s continued struggle to effectively legislate drugs.
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An astonishing two-thirds of the 730,000 prisoners released each year have substance abuse or mental health problems. But no one has been willing to pay for their treatment—until now.
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How much of religion was realized under the influence of mind-altering substances?
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Three guys died when I was at the halfway house: Chris, Arturo, and Luke. They all died right after I left in pretty quick succession. Each one hurt like a motherfucker.
I haven’t been to war, so I can’t comment on what that experience is like, but people who go through rehab or a halfway house walk a tough road together and not all of them make it. We knew we faced a powerful adversary that demanded respect. Unlike combat, the adversary was inside of us.
Chris was the ﬁrst of my friends to die. He was a “rock star” and had been in a band whose videos I’d watched on MTV in the ’80s. He was the prototypical rock dude; tall, incredibly skinny, with long dark hair and puffy bangs. When he checked into the halfway house, he had a big abscess on his arm from where he’d gotten infected shooting up speedballs. Speedballs! Coke and heroin shot into your arm—the shit that killed John Belushi. I am laughing thinking about it; who in the fuck does that unless they are fully 100 percent at peace with dying at ANY moment?
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