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Mexico Wants to Decriminalize All Drugs and Get the US to Do the Same

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Mexico Decriminalize All Drugs
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In a bold move, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador—commonly referred to by his initials AMLO—has issued a proposal that would see nearly all drugs decriminalized in the country and calls for negotiating with the United States to take similar steps.

The move would be a drastic turnaround for a country that has been plunged into violence, corruption, and organized crime thanks to the war on drugs and raging battles between cartels vying for control of the illicit drug trade. Mexican experts believe that the decriminalization of narcotics—such as marijuana, cocaine, and opium poppies—would lead to a drastic reduction in the violence that has racked the North American country over the past years.

Funds typically used in the never-ending battle with cartels would instead be transferred toward the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, addressing the root causes of addiction. In the meantime, Mexican diplomacy would be geared toward ensuring the success of the new strategy with international partners—and especially the U.S., which is the key consumer of drugs produced in, or trafficked through, Mexican territory.

Santiago Roel Garcia, the founder of Mexican public safety group Semáforo Delictivo, believes that the legalization of some narcotics could see murders plunge by up to 80 percent, given the significant blow to the power of organized crime that an end to prohibition would entail.

The plan would make good on AMLO’s pledges to drastically change the manner in which Mexico has been governed for decades. In the policy proposal, included in AMLO’s National Development Plan for 2019-2024, the government argues that the current “prohibitionist strategy is unsustainable,” adding that “the ‘war on drugs’ has escalated the public health problem posed by currently banned substances to a public safety crisis.”

The document also notes that an end to prohibition is “the only real possibility” in terms of addressing the crisis.

“This should be pursued in a negotiated manner, both in the bilateral relationship with the United States and in the multilateral sphere, within the [United Nations] U.N.”

The announcement by AMLO was welcomed by anti-crime crusaders in the country such as Juan Francisco Torres Landa, the secretary-general of Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD), who told La Neta Noticias that the move will be a watershed in the fight to undermine the power of the country’s formidable drug cartels.

Dismissing the idea that legalization will lead to a boom in addictions, Torres added:

“The authorities should regulate doses, quality, quantity and consumption, as factors that can be controlled with an eye toward measuring the possible damage to health. It is major hypocrisy, this idea that regulating drugs will somehow lead to higher consumption.”

The idea has also found support north of the border. Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, told Newsweek:

“The war on drugs has been extremely costly, not just in terms of government resources, but also human lives, and it has failed to accomplish its objective… Prohibition policies have, by and large, caused more harm to people and communities than the drugs they were intended to eliminate, and they haven’t come anywhere close to eliminating the supply or the demand.”

However, the Mexican government won’t necessarily legalize all narcotics in one fell swoop. Instead, a drug possession table would be introduced that would largely allow consumers to possess small amounts of a given drug—for example, up to 30 grams of marijuana under one law proposed last November—while also looking at ways in which opium poppy production throughout the country can be retooled toward commercial medicines such as morphine and codeine. Mexico is already moving fast toward decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing its recreational use and sale.

Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, the executive director of the reform-oriented nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, said:

“Mexico’s president is rightly identifying one of the major drivers of violence and corruption in his country: the prohibition of drugs … The next step is to translate words into action, by pursuing both a domestic and international agenda of drug policy reform, grounded in respect for human rights.”

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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