Philippines: Duterte Calls for Genocide Against Drug Users

Police in the Philippines killed 32 people in a wave of anti-drug operations north of the capital, Manila—making Wednesday the single deadliest day so far of President Rodrigo Duterte‘s ultra-deadly War on Drugs.

Over  100 were also arrested in the sweeps—overwhelmingly street-level dealers—and dozens of firearms reportedly seized. The operations were jointly carried out by National Police and Bulacan provincial authorities. Duterte expressed open enthusiasm for the bloodshed—and warned that it is just beginning.

“There were 32 killed in Bulacan in a massive raid, that’s good,” he said in a speech. “Let’s kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”

Read more at High Times

Can Jeff Sessions Use the Cole Memo to Undermine Legal Marijuana States?

Although we have written often about the Obama-era Cole Memo which, in another lifetime, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called “valuable” and “valid,” the situation is very different now as he attempts to use the memo to go after legal weed.

As such, it is important to look closely at the Cole Memo and how to protect it from the chaotic and vindictive White House, where daily outrages and civil rights violations are the norm.

The Cole Memo, written by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in 2013, basically contends that weed businesses need not worry about federal prosecution as long as they comply with state law, making it a critical document in the legal marijuana industry.

Read more at High Times

Police Are Tracking Phone & Web Habits to Snare Drug Crime

When it comes to indiscriminately sweeping up metadata from internet and cellphone users, Australia is the worldwide leader. Police down under have also either been deliberately misleading with why they want all your information—or simply can’t be trusted not to ramp up the War on Drugs when given the opportunity.

Since massive data retention in the name of law and order became de rigueur in 2015—sold to the public as a vital tool to protect national security and fight terrorism—Australian police have vacuumed up more metadata per capita than counterparts in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

All data, like IP addresses visited and location information for phones, must be retained for at least two years—and is accessible without a warrant. But more data is available with a judge’s permission, and so Australian magistrates have duly issued more warrants authorizing data collection than their allies in the war on terror.

Read more at High Times

Back to the Future: The Trump Administration’s War on Drugs, Redux

At the height of the Reagan presidency, Americans were consumed by a cresting Cold War with the Soviet Union, an unprecedented, menacing anti-drug campaign, a burgeoning public health crisis known as AIDS, and, oh yeah, a blockbuster of a movie Back to the Future.

If you missed the 1985 flick, just know that Rotten Tomatoes scores it at 96 percent, and it’s considered a comedy classic. Once a clever movie made in the service of fun, its undertones now reanimate the unbelievable—the Trump administration’s retro ‘War on Drugs.’

In the service of avengement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has coveted a return to the Reagan era, including policies that propelled mass incarceration and funded the private prison industry. Remarked Sessions, “I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”

Read more at Dope Magazine

Duterte Still Defiant on Draconian Drug War

The Philippines’ ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte met in Manila on Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and came away gloating that the new administration in Washington is unconcerned with his blood-drenched “War on Drugs,” which has left approximately 8,000 dead since he took office just over a year ago.

“Human rights, son of a bitch. Policemen and soldiers have died on me,” he sneered to reporters at a press conference after the Tillerson meeting, adding an open threat: “Human rights—you go there and you might have a bomb dropped on your head.”

That’s no joke coming from the head of a regime that is already accused of killing journalists.

Read more at High Times

Jeff Sessions’ Letters to Legal Weed States Were Full of Mistaken Facts

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on a letter-writing spree to legal marijuana state governors, accusing them of things that, well, never happened and are simply not true.

In a missive obtained by the Cannabist, Sessions scolds Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for not keeping a promise to prevent marijuana from spilling out of the state’s borders and for not keeping it out of the hands of children.

Neither accusation is based in fact, but then the White House apparently thinks nothing of spewing lies and disseminating its very own alternative facts.

Read more at High Times

Task Force on Marijuana Law Offers Little on New Policies

BY SADIE GURMAN

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The betting was that law-and-order Attorney General Jeff Sessions would come out against the legalized marijuana industry with guns blazing. But the task force Sessions assembled to find the best legal strategy is giving him no ammunition, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Read more at High Times

Philippines: Youth Protest Drug War ‘Dictatorship’

Some 7,000 protesters marched on the Philippines’ House of Representatives in the Batasan district of Manila on Monday as ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte gave his second State of the Nation Address—in which he pledged to keep pursuing his bloody drug war.

“The fight will not stop,” said Duterte. “There is a jungle out there. There are beasts and vultures preying on the helpless. We will not be disheartened, we will not be cowed, we will not be overwhelmed.” He offered drug dealers and users a choice of “jail or hell.”

Clearly addressing the protesters, he said: “Your efforts will be better spent if you use it to educate people instead of condemning people.”

Read more at High Times

A History of the Legalization (and Illegalization) of Pot

Photo by Justin Cannabis.

With marijuana legalization spreading across the country, more and more people are open to taking a toke for themselves. In our modern culture, smoking pot has become more socially acceptable than smoking cigarettes and (for some people) even drinking alcohol.

Scientifically, it has already proven to be safer. Yet, opinions on marijuana weren’t always this lenient.

Read more at High Times

War on Drugs Horrors: Detroit’s ‘White Boy Rick’ Gets Parole after 30 Years

Often referred to as a political prisoner, Richard John Wershe Jr. has finally been granted parole, after 30 years. He was 17 when convicted of a non-violent cocaine dealing crime after having worked as an FBI informant since the age of 14.

Here is his story:

At 14, with no prior drug involvement, Rick Wershe was recruited by the FBI as a paid confidential informant. The feds chose the streetwise teenager because he was known and trusted by a neighborhood family being targeted by the feds as suspected coke dealers.

Read more at High Times