Category Archives: drugs

This Man Sold Meth to Pay for His Son’s Lifesaving Transplant. Obama Gave Him Clemency—But His Ordeal Continues at a Halfway House

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This Man Sold Meth to Pay for His Son’s Lifesaving Transplant. Obama Gave Him Clemency—But His Ordeal Continues at a Halfway House

joejackson

Editor’s note: President Obama has extended clemency to an unparalleled number of people convicted of nonviolent drug-law violations—a program unlikely to be prioritized by either a President Clinton or a President Trump. AlterNet andThe Influence have partnered on a series profiling people impacted by the program, as time runs out for inmates hoping to get their sentences commuted. 


 

It didn’t take long after Dicky Joe Jackson’s son, Cole, got sick, for the health insurance company to find a way to avoid covering his treatments.

“As soon as the bills for the cancer tests started rolling in, the insurance company began looking for ways to get out of paying them,” Jackson has written. His family, which was certainly not made of money in the first place—Jackson had driven a truck for a living—soon faced the kind of health insurance nightmare that might break far bigger bank accounts.

In 1989, when Cole was two, doctors told the Jackson family that the only way to save his life was through a bone marrow transplant. The health insurance company was as understanding about this as you’d expect.

They “upped our monthly premium without notifying us,” Jackson explains. “The automatic draft didn’t clear the bank because we were budgeted tight, so they dropped us.”

Through some ingenious fundraising, the family got part of the money together and Cole got the transplant from his 11-year-old sister April—but it didn’t fully heal him, and they continued racking up medical expenses. By then, they family owed $200,000 in medical bills, Jackson says.

Then Jackson’s father, who’d also worked as a trucker, died. This left Jackson solely responsible for supporting his mother and the rest of his family—and for paying for his son’s life-saving treatments.

Given that he was not a particularly desirable candidate for a bank loan, the only way Jackson could figure out to do all that was to help transport meth on his truck route. A meth dealer he knew—Jackson had occasionally used meth to stay awake on long drives—asked him to carry the drug in his truck.

Then Jackson sold meth to an undercover cop. He was arrested in 1995. In part because the supplier testified against him, claiming that he was the ringleader, the supplier got 10 years. Dicky Joe Jackson got life without parole.

***

“I had given up,” his daughter, April, tells me over the phone.

When she first heard about President Obama’s clemency initiative, her hopes surged. Then they quickly fell, after she realized the sheer number of nonviolent drug prisoners also hoping to have their sentences commuted: “So many thousands of people that deserve this just as much as we do—it’s like winning the lottery. Any time more were announced, I lost just a little bit of hope. I thought, ‘Here we are, nearing the end of Obama’s term. I have no faith that it’ll continue.’”

“We were losing hope,” April says. “And when I got that call, words just can’t describe … I was in disbelief at first. It was very surreal. Like a dream. I felt a gratitude that can’t be expressed with words.”

“I WANT TO DO ALL I CAN FOR THOSE STILL IN SO IM GONNA GET WITH YOU WHEN I GET HOME. THEYVE APPROVED ME FOR HOME CONFINEMENT SO ILL BE HOME IN A WK OR SO,” Jackson typed in an email to an advocacy group on August 3, the day he received clemency.

Jackson walked out of prison on September 1. But, as with most stories involving America’s justice system, his and his family’s trials are far from over. Jackson is technically under the purview of the Bureau of Prisons until December 1, when his sentence officially ends, after which he’ll be on probation for five years.

Even though the family had been told that he was “approved for home confinement,” April says, he was instead diverted to a halfway house run by Volunteers of America. Founded in 1896, the organization defines its mission as, “a church without walls that answers God’s call to transform our communities through a ministry of service that demonstrates to all people that they are beloved.”

That has not been Jackson’s experience so far. “These people here… you know, we were under the understanding that they’re trying to help you reintegrate into society. But they act like the Gestapo, my gosh,” he says. “They’re constantly on your neck, won’t give you a minute’s freedom.”

Halfway houses—meant to serve as re-entry points for prisoners—are chosen by the Bureau of Prisons, according to the advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “When deciding whether to send someone to a halfway house and for how long, the BOP will look at the prisoner’s disciplinary record and whether the prisoner has refused to participate in prison programs and reentry preparation programs,” they write. The BOP did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

“The original intent of the halfway house was to help prisoners transition from prison life into society,” says Amy Povah, founder of CAN-DO: Justice Through Clemency. “But over the years some staff have adopted a ‘gotcha’ bully mentality that creates unnecessary burdens and oppression.”

On their website, Volunteers of America write, “We excel at meeting immediate needs, but are able to transform lives through our belief in, and reliance on, grace.” They didn’t reply to a request for comment—but their cheery recorded message says they “Help the vulnerable reach their full potential.”

#beatnikhiway.com#ana_christy#meth#transplant#son#clemency#obama#health_insurance#halfway_house

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HUNTER S. THOMPSON TALKS

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REEFER MADNESS: Old Hollywood Stars Who Danced With Mary Jane!

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REEFER MADNESS: Old Hollywood Stars Who Danced With Mary Jane!

 

April 21, 2016

reefer madness

It’s no secret that the world was a little less productive than normal yesterday. April 20th – or, 4/20–  has quickly become the poster-boy of counter-culture Holidays. One that is so widely known, Canada chose yesterday to announce they would be legalizing marijuana in spring of 2017.  Yep, this was an official announcement.

But as modern as pot-culture seems to be – that isn’t quite the case. We’re going back before teenagers hid behind portables, before hippies sat in friend circles. Many of your favourite stars of yesteryear were chummy with the friendly stranger – some even caught red-handed, and charged criminally with the substance. Check out our list of stars below!

 

bing crosby weed marijuana mary jane

Bing Crosby

Famous, Fifties Crooner Bing Grosby was secretly packing his pipe with wacky tobbacy, it seems. Crosby was introduced with the herbal remedy way back in the 20’s (before it was made illegal in 1927) by jazz legend Louis Armstrong. A Pocketful of Dreams quotes Bing’s eldest son, Gary, as saying “If you look at the way he sang and the way he walked and talked, you could make a pretty good case for somebody who was loaded. Gary also explained how sometimes, when marijuana was mentioned to Crosby,  “…he’d get a smile on his face. He’d kind of think about it and there’d be that little smile.”

Crosby was reluctant to publicly admit whether he continued to use cannabis, he wasn’t one to shy away from telling the media he thought it should be legalized. In numerous interviews during the 1960s-70s, he was forthright in saying the plants’ use should be decriminalized.

 

 

marilyn monroe smoking weed marijuana mary jane

 

Marilyn Monroe

After  a  video surfaced  in 2009, showing the Hollywood starlet purportedly smoking marijuana with friends in a New Jersey home, the world speculated if Marilyn truly participated in a puff puff pass. The film, which was shot in 1958 or 1959, shows Monroe sitting on a couch with what looks to be a joint in her hand. After a cut, the person sitting next to Monroe passes her the alleged joint from which she inhales.

While impossible to say for certain that she’s smoking marijuana in the clip, it certainly does look like it – Marilyn is all grins and giggles throughout the video.

 

 

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Tony Curtis

Famous Fifties Heartthrob and father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis was no stranger to the green herb. He was famously arrested for possession of cannabis at London’s Heathrow Airport in 1970.  And, in an interview with People magazine in 1980, he reminisced: “I used to smoke marijuana, years ago.”

 

 

fred astaire smoked pot marijuana

Fred Astaire

The Famous Feet of famous actor and dancer Fred Astaire may have been fuelled by a little green plant, it seems. Actress Petula Clarke, who appeared alongside Astaire in the 1968 film Finian’s Rainbow, outed the actor in 2012. In an interview with the BBC, she said ‘…there was a lot of flower power going on!’ when asked about drug use between her and her co-stars.

 

 

ava gardner smoked pot

Ava Gardner

It was revealed in the book Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations, that the sultry starlet was no stranger to Mary Jane’s advances.  Ava is quoted as saying, “I adored him. He was outrageous,” of Robert Mitchum, who turned her on to marijuana on the set of “My Forbidden Past” in 1951. “[I]n front of reporters, he’d call to his makeup man: ‘Hey, bring me some of that good shit, man.’..”

 

 

dalton trumbo marijuana

Dalton Trumbo

Oscar winning Screen-writer Dalton Trumbo is more famous for being blacklisted than being a pot head. But he was outed in an October 2007 article in the New Yorker by Steve Martin, who says that he saw Trumbo “…sorting the seeds and stems from a brick of pot..” during the 1970s while he was dating Trumbo’s daughter Mitzi.

Stoned Ohio man calls cops because he’s too high, is found groaning on floor surrounded by Doritos, cookies, other snacks

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Stoned Ohio man calls cops because he’s too high, is found groaning on floor surrounded by Doritos, cookies, other snacks

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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 3:50 PM A A A

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES
The 22-year-old man called cops after smoking too much pot, telling police he couldn’t feel his hands.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Police in Ohio say they were called to a house by a man who complained he’d gotten too high smoking marijuana.

The Youngstown Vindicator reports that Austintown Township police on Friday found the 22-year-old man curled in a fetal position on the floor, groaning and surrounded by snacks that included Doritos, Goldfish crackers and Chips Ahoy cookies.

The newspaper reports that the man told officers he couldn’t feel his hands.

Mmmmmm…..CHIPS!
PreviousNextMmmmmm…..CHIPS! And cookies — so many cookies! Exported.; Enlarge
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Mmmmmm…..CHIPS!

Officers found a glass jar of marijuana and paraphernalia in the man’s car after he gave them his keys. The man refused medical treatment and so far has not been charged with a crime.

11 Odd Facts About Marijuana

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11 Odd Facts About Marijuana

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 Marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in America, is going mainstream. Now legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, pot seems poised for wider use, too: 21 states allow the possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And legalization campaigns are underway in Oregon, California and even Alaska.

8 Brilliant Minds in History and Their Favorite Drugs

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8 Brilliant Minds in History and Their Favorite Drugs

Brilliant Minds in History and Their Favorite Drugs

 

Whether it’s leading countries, being part of a creative community or just wanting to experiment – at some point, some of the most famous names in history have tried or been addicted to drugs of some kind. Here’s the round-up of the most brilliant minds in history and the drugs they were once addicted to.

1. Charles Dickens

In Dickens’ time, opium was common on the Victorian streets of London and it’s fairly safe to say that Dickens himself was a fan, even referencing the drug and provided a detailed first-hand description of the opium dens in his later, unfinished work The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Dickens used the drug in the form of laudanum for many years before dying of a stroke in the 1870’s.

2. Vincent Van Gogh

Whilst cutting off his own ear was one of the wackiest things Van Gogh did, being addicted to the prescription drug Digitalis and strong spirit Absinthe can also be added to the list. Initially using the substances to treat bipolar disorder, anxiety and temporal lobe epilepsy, he soon became addicted and the yellow spots affecting sight associated with both certainly explain a lot about his artwork. Some people also believe that the use of lead-based paints also resulted in lead poisoning, further affecting his substance abuse and it was once noted by Dr Peyron that the famous artist once tried to commit suicide by swallowing paint or drinking kerosene.

3. Adolf Hitler

It is a well-known fact that Hitler used a cocktail of drugs to suit his needs, through the help of his many men. A USA Military Dossier states that Theodor Morell would assist Hitler in his drug-taking needs, using barbiturate tranquilizers, morphine, crystal meth, bull semen and many others. Some accounts claim that Hitler took crystal meth before his 2-hour long rant during a meeting with Mussolini and in his last hours in the bunker, it is said that he took nine shots of methamphetamine.

4. Thomas Edison

Vin Mariani was invented in 1863 and was essentially, a cocaine elixir. The wine was made from coca leaves and the ethanol content in the Bordeax could extract cocaine from these leaves exceeding 7mg per fluid ounce of wine. During this period, it wasn’t uncommon to consume the wine that had been laced with Cocaine and it became popular with the late Thomas Edison.

5. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs may have been a technological genius, but in the 1960’s he was also usingLSD. He was also said to think that certain people around him, who hadn’t tried recreational drugs, just didn’t understand him.

6. Stephen King

The famous horror writer is said to have been a practiced user of a self-made cocktail of cocaine, Xanax, Valium, NyQuil, beer, marijuana and tobacco. After an intervention by his family, King is said to have gone to Rehab to fix his problems and to this day, remains clean and sober. Apparently…

7. Winston Churchill

Whilst not quite as wild as others on this list, Churchill is said to have taken amphetamines on a regular basis in order to be able to stay awake to plan strategies in World War II. Add this to his reputation for smoking cigars and drinking whisky and it’s not hard to see how the previous UK Prime Minister died of a stroke in 1965.

8. Ernest Hemingway

If you’re familiar with Ernest Hemingway, it’s more than likely you’re aware of his alcohol problems. Although being one of America’s most famous authors and winning a Nobel Prize, Hemingway lost himself to alcohol consumption and turned to this after the lonely life of being a writer, apparently. Sadly, the drinking worsened his depression and caused a great deal of confusion, resulting in him eventually taking his own life.

With drugs and alcohol overtaking some of the smartest, most creative minds in human history, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? Whilst a lot of these claims can’t actually be verified, it’s still interesting to learn about the hidden past of some of these famous historical figures.

References:

https://www.distractify.com/brilliant-people-and-their-drugs-of-choice-1197892615.html

‘Weaponized weed’ triggering nude, psychotic rampages in NYC

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‘Weaponized weed’ triggering nude, psychotic rampages in NYC

Weaponized weed’ triggering nude, psychotic rampages in NYC

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton warned Tuesday about the rise of what he called “weaponized marijuana” — synthetic pot known as “K2″ or “Spice” on the streets — which makes users psychotic while giving them superhuman strength.

The drug, which cops say is prevalent in the homeless community, is a cheap high that also increases body temperature, leading users to strip naked.

“A better term for it might be weaponized marijuana,” Bratton told reporters at a press conference at police headquarters.

“A number of individuals, when under the influence of this drug, are relatively impervious to pain and also have significant enhancement of their physical strength,” he said.

“So our officers encountering these individuals face more significant risk of having to subdue these individuals and potentially receiving injuries.”

Spice users are impervious to traditional takedown methods used by cops, such as tasers and mace, officials said.

Bratton illustrated his point by showing two videos of people high on the chemical-laced substance, including one in which a naked man is seen squatting in the middle of the street and screaming in front of an NYPD van.

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Another video showed cops from out of state struggling to bring down a high, naked man who put his fist through a picket fence before they maced him. The rampaging man still managed to put up a fight as three officers wrestled him into submission.

“You’re going to see much more of it in the short term,” Bratton said of the drug. “Our concern in the potential overdose and death, the incredible number of people going to hospitals as well as those that we take into custody.”

Bratton added that while local politicians look to loosen marijuana laws, the synthetic stuff is wreaking havoc across the city.

“Ironically, even as the trend is to decriminalize and effectively pay less attention to marijuana, the synthetic marijuana issue is one of great and growing concern here in New York City,” he said.

#Marijuana Dispensary Suing Mayor After Cops Raid Shop and Eat Edibles

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Marijuana #Dispensary Suing Mayor After Cops Raid Shop and Eat Edibles

Jun 27, 2015

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 Santa Ana Police Raid Shows Officers Eating ‘Pot Edibles’ 

 https://youtu.be/qBjYVAiyoFY

A raid on a California medical marijuana dispensary at the end of May revealed questionable police practices by the officers involved. Now, Sky High Holistic is suing Santa Ana mayor Miguel Pulido, claiming he ordered police to shut down the dispensary because they did not pay a $25,000 bribe that would guarantee their place in a lottery system for a license.

According to NBC LA,

Santa Ana mayor Miguel Pulido was named in the suit along with city employee Yvette Aguilar and the city itself. It alleges the city solicited $25,000 payments and gifts from marijuana dispensaries which would guarantee businesses would be granted a license in a lottery system. It also claims police were used to shut down operations that did not pay up.”

It’s deplorable that city officials and people seeking financial gain would use the police to accomplish their self-serving goals,” said attorney Matthew Pappas, who is representing the raided shop.

Last week, the nonprofit group Voice for OC released video footage of cops raiding Sky High Holistic on May 27th. Authorities alleged the dispensary lacked the proper permit to operate. The video footage depicts armed officers with ski masks barging into the sales room with their guns drawn. Those inside were all ordered to the ground. Officers kicked everyone out and attempted to break all of the visible cameras. Unbeknownst to them, there were also hidden cameras that caught the aftermath. The footage showed the cops nonchalantly consuming the edible marijuana treats. One cop was heard laughing and making a comment referring to one of the disabled customers in the shop. “Did you punch that one-legged old bonita?” asks ones.  A female cop responds, “I was about to kick her in her f—ing knob”. The police claimed they were conducting an investigation.

The officers knew they were going to act questionably, evident in that they attempted to tear down visible cameras. This behavior is very similar to what armed thugs do. How long will cannabis vendors that pose no harm be targeted by law enforcement? Santa Ana is a city that runs rampant with gang violence and hard drug abuse, so why is the mayor is targeting pot shops? When will the police actually focus their attention on critical issues instead of on harassing non-violent pot smokers?

Cannabis Stash (2700 Years Old)

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Cannabis Stash (2700 Years Old)
Cannabis Stash (2700 Years Old)

The world’s oldest weed stash was found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert in 2008.

Nearly two pounds of the still-green plant material was found. A barrage of tests proved the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope and other objects.

Yes, they used it for getting high too.

The stash was found lightly pounded in a wooden bowl in a leather basket near the head of a blue-eyed Caucasian man who died when he was about 45. Researchers believe he was a shaman from the Gushi people, who spoke a now-extinct language called Tocharian that was similar to Celtic.

What is still in question is how the marijuana was administered, since no pipes or other objects associated with smoking were found in the grave. It is currently believed it was ingested orally or fumigated. (Source)