Late Night: And now for something completely different… - Are birds dinosaurs?
34 minutes ago
...drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The "shake-and-bake" approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws...
The new formula does away with the clutter of typical meth labs, and it can turn the back seat of a car or a bathroom stall into a makeshift drug factory. Some addicts have even made the drug while driving.
The pills are crushed, combined with some common household chemicals and then shaken in the soda bottle. No flame is required.
...in 2001 [Portugal] became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. At the recommendation of a national commission...jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.
The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to "drug tourists" and exacerbate Portugal's drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.
The paper, published by [libertarian think tank] Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.
"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."Well, it's pretty hard to argue with success, but I'm sure the prohibitionists will. They are already telegraphing their next step — testing for "drugged drivers." From the Office of Drug Control Policy's blog:- Maia Szalavitz, Time Magazine, 26 April 2009
According to NHTSA's National Roadside Survey, the number of drivers with BACs at or above the current legal limit has declined 70% since 1973. The same survey, found that more than 16% of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medication.Um, "over-the-counter" means "not contraband," but let's just ignore that. There's also this:
At a press conference hosted by the Nevada Highway Safety Patrol on drugged driving in Las Vegas, Director Kerlikowske spoke about the scope of drugged driving in the United States and the need to prevent this dangerous behavior. According to a recent national survey, 11 percent of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illicit drugs — five times as many as were under the influence of alcohol.
Mr. Yettaw's motives were not entirely clear. But he told Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi that he was a Mormon and prayed extensively while he was in her house, one of her lawyers said.
Some hurts can never heal, some scars can never fade. Those who have been bereaved cannot be expected to forget, let alone forgive...However, Mr. al-Megrahi now faces a sentence imposed by a higher power.With all due respect, fuck you, and fuck your "higher power" you self-righteous asshole. The loved ones had a right to feel that there was at least a little bit of justice.