Category Archives: Drugs policy

'I was high as hell': Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, attacks prescription of OxyContin

The musician wrote about his drug addiction in Time magazine, and argued ‘it’s hard to beat temptation’ when doctors prescribe opioids

Flea, the bassist in Red Hot Chili Peppers, has laid bare his struggles with addiction, including with the controversial prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Flea, born Michael Balzary, wrote the revelations in an opinion piece for Time magazine called The Temptation of Drugs is a Bitch. In it he says he started smoking weed aged 11, before he “proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and 20s.” He added that he had some “close calls” with death as a result of his drug-taking, which he “cut out forever” in 1993, aged 30.

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Source: gad

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

After 16 years and $1tn spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state. By Alfred W McCoy

After fighting the longest war in its history, the US stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How could this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1tn (£740bn) on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on “nation-building”, helping fund and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies – and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations? So dismal is the prospect of stability in Afghanistan that, in 2016, the Obama White House cancelled a planned withdrawal of its forces, ordering more than 8,000 troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

In the American failure lies a paradox: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped in its steel tracks by a small pink flower – the opium poppy. Throughout its three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium – and suffered when they failed to complement it.

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Source: gad

California’s marijuana muddle – video explainer

On 1 January, California became the latest state to permit the sale of recreational marijuana in licensed stores. But three days later, the attorney general issued new guidance calling on states to enforce federal drug laws prohibiting the substance. Despite the confusion, the new shops have been doing brisk business

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Source: gad