Philadelphia has one of the worst heroin problems in the country, and the city’s District Attorney recently went public with a radical and controversial solution. During an interview with Axios on HBO, which airs next month, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said he wants to start sending addicts to treatment instead of to prison.
“Possession is different than dealing, it’s different than carrying a bunch of drugs you intend to sell or deliver later, it’s just possession. We are talking about people who are using drugs, the vast majority of them suffering from addiction. I do not see value in convicting people like that, thereby making it harder for them to get a job. It seems to me to make a lot more sense to hold them accountable in ways that do not require a conviction. We are very close.”
“It seems to me to make a lot more sense to treat that as a medical issue and get them into treatment to hold them accountable in ways that do not require a conviction,” Krasner added.
Local police objected to the proposed policy, saying it’s a “recipe for disaster,” but years of making arrests have only made the problem worse.
According to Axios, Krasner’s proposal is more of a diversion policy than outright decriminalization, and there is no timeline for when it might begin.
“The Philadelphia policy has not been finalized, and there is no timeline for rollout yet. The plan is for it to be a diversion system, which means anyone arrested or charged for having small amounts of illicit substances would not face incarceration or having a criminal record.”
We are witnessing the beginning of the end for drug prohibition. For nearly half of the United States, marijuana possession has been decriminalized, legalized or approved for medical use, and now many other states and municipalities are following suit.
Just this week, Denver residents voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms in a historic ballot initiative that shocked the entire country. And Denver is not alone—earlier this year, an Iowa lawmaker introduced a bill that would allow for the use of psilocybin, MDMA, and ibogaine in scientific studies and medical treatments. Another bill introduced by the lawmaker, Iowa Rep. Jeff Shipley, would remove psilocybin mushrooms from the state’s list of banned substances.
Campaigns to decriminalize cannabis and select psychedelics have been supported by a large body of evidence showing the medical benefits and relative safety of these substances. Additionally, society could see great benefits from decriminalizing dangerous drugs like heroin as well.
Heroin addiction is a serious problem, but as counter-intuitive as it sounds, the best way to prevent heroin overdoses is to actually legalize it. In some areas of the world, where all drugs have been decriminalized, there are far fewer overdoses than there are in countries with prohibition. The Washington Post reported that drug overdoses are extremely rare in Portugal, a country with some of the lowest rates of addiction in the world.
On Thursday, Newsweek reported that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to decriminalize drugs, and negotiate with the United States and the UN to implement similar policies.
“The ‘war on drugs’ has escalated the public health problem posed by currently banned substances to a public safety crisis,” a recent proposal from the administration said.
The proposal stated that decriminalization and legalization offered “the only real possibility” for reducing overdoses and gang violence.
“This should be pursued in a negotiated manner, both in the bilateral relationship with the United States and in the multilateral sphere, within the U.N.,” the proposal stated.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
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.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
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.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
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.