Shroom legalization and YouTube acting prude: This is your news on drugs
Too lifted to read the news about the drugs you love and loathe? Every week, we recap the most interesting news in the world of drugs. To inform, to liberate.
1. Two groups in Vermont and Boston join the push to change the laws around psilocybin. In California and Denver, groups have already submitted language for votes in 2018. Vermont crusader Torin Olivetti told us there are no "concrete plans" for an initiative yet; the Boston group told us they, too, are still in the planning phases.
2. Russians will need to hire a new ambassador of cocaine. Drug dudes tried to use Russia's embassy in Argentina to smuggle cocaine back to mother Russia. The enterprising coke boosters wanted to smuggle 858 pounds of coke worth $60 million stuffed in 16 suitcases via a diplomatic flight, which bypasses immigration control. Cops nabbed 'em.
3. YouTube just says no, as it banishes videos about drugs, including from PsychedSubstance, a psychedelics channel. It disabled the account of LeaferBag, a weed-and-video-game channel. It age-restricted a number of videos from The Drugs Classroom, a drug educational channel. YouTube says it bans "videos that we consider to encourage dangerous or illegal activities." Drugs channels often migrate to other platforms, like Twitch.
4. Weed helps alkies' livers. Alcoholics who use cannabis might see reduce liver damage compared to alcoholics who don't smoke weed. A study last year found the same connection. This adds to evidence that pot is neuroprotective; a study suggested CBD might reduce damage done by stimulants. Scientists don't know why.
5. Basically calling Big Pharma drug dealers, famous Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said they're "just trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country." She also noted that, unlike Big Pharma's products, weed doesn't kill anyone and should be federally legal.
6. The DEA does the darknet. After taking down Hansa, a drug dealing site on the hidden TOR network, the DEA is showing up to houses of suspected opioid buyers, doing "knock and talks." Pro tip: if cops come to your door, you have the right to say, "I'm not talking to you without a lawyer present."
7. "CBD gets you high," according to a sheriff in Tennessee in one of the counties that just indicted 21 people for selling candies with CBD. Smyrna county police chief Kevin Arnold told a reporter CBD products must get people high — why else would folks buy it?
8. To heal heroin addicts, natives open a sweat lodge in Duluth. Natives said the opioid was affiliated with "that black spirit."
9. Blockchain could track weed, as two big companies announced a deal to use blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin — a distributed, un-erasable ledger — to track marijuana from seed to sale.
10. In a Colorado substance showdown, Coors worries "legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products."
11. Fentanyl keeps showing up in cocaine, for unknown reasons. And it is killing people.