Phillip Smith

Fentanyl is here to stay. So what can we do about it?

In the most thorough review yet of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, a new study from the RAND Corporation warns that its arrival heralds a new dynamic in illicit drug markets—and that is going to require new approaches in dealing with it.

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New Jersey might actually legalize marijuana this year

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he wanted marijuana legalization. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said he wanted it, too, and Assembly Leader Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) was also on board. But the state’s most powerful politicians couldn’t get their act together enough to actually get marijuana legalization passed earlier this year, and despite all the initial excitement, it seemed like New Jersey was doomed to endure another year of pot prohibition.

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It’s official: Illinois legalizes marijuana

Illinois has just become the 11th state to legalize marijuana. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed into law a legalization bill passed with bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate late last month.

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A man was freed from prison after getting swept up in the war on drugs — now he could go back due to a quibble over 10 grams

Back in 1994, in the depths of the war on drugs, Sonny Mikell picked up a third federal drug conviction in Florida and was handed a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. No guns, no violence, but the 22-year-old black man was still looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars.

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Here's even more evidence that fentanyl is killing meth and cocaine users

The powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading contributor to the nation’s drug overdose crisis, involved in more than 40,000 of the 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017. But it’s not just killing heroin addicts and pain pill poppers. The deadly opioid is also implicated in a dramatic increase of fatal overdoses involving cocaine and methamphetamine.

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Holland’s half-baked attempt to return to the marijuana vanguard

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Holland became the world’s marijuana mecca. Under the quite sensible policy of gedogen (pragmatic tolerance), Dutch authorities didn’t quite legalize marijuana but instead effectively turned a blind eye, allowing licensed retail establishments, the famous coffee shops, to sell small amounts of weed—five grams or less—and let their customers consume their products onsite even though marijuana prohibition remained on the books.

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Here are the 6 worst governors when it comes to Marijuana

It’s a fundamental of our political system that governors play a critical role in shaping policy at the state level—and even beyond. Governors can use their position as a bully pulpit to advance their agenda, they can use their budget proposals or empower commissions to shape legislation, and they have the power to kill legislation they don’t like with their veto pens.

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Could these 8 states be the next group to join the wave of marijuana legalization?

In November 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington made those states the first to break with nearly a century of marijuana prohibition. In the years since then, the number of states that have legalized marijuana has grown to 10 (plus the city of Washington, D.C.). In the meantime, support for marijuana legalization is steadily rising, with Gallup reporting in its most recent poll that two-thirds of Americans now favor freeing the weed.

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Here are 5 key facts about how legal weed is transforming Colorado

It’s been five years since the era of legal marijuana sales began in Colorado, and that’s been enough time to begin to be able see what sorts of impact the freeing of the weed has had on the Rocky Mountain State. From the economy and the fiscal health of the state government to law enforcement and public safety, legalizing marijuana has consequences.

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The DEA smashes one of Trump's main claims about the border wall

As the president attempts to make his case for a wall on the US-Mexico border, one of his main selling points is that the wall would reduce the flow of illicit drugs into the country. But his own Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) knows better, and its 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, released just two months ago, makes clear that at best Trump is uninformed and at worst that he is lying to the American people.  

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