Green is the new orange: Barren County’s sustainable jail garden


  • BY WILL PERKINS wperkins@glasgowdailytimes.com
  • Sep 22, 2016

Jail garden project

GLASGOW – With the sun beating down on their faces and fresh air filling their lungs, Barren County Detention Center inmates Melissa House and Andrea Borgemenke shoveled dirt into a wheelbarrow.

When it was full, they wheeled the dirt over to a large mound in the new addition of the BCDC garden.

House and Borgemenke were among eight female inmates participating in the first public workshop of the Breaking Ground: A Sustainable Jail Garden/Food Justice Project on Thursday. Community members and college students joined the inmates in creating the new garden beds.

“We’re all pitching in helping to get this built so we can go ahead and plant the vegetables and everything else that needs to be planted in the beds,” Borgemenke said. “I’m excited about it.”

House said the gardening project has been a really good experience.

“I come to jail and I come out an environmentalist,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about gardening and I’m gonna’ grow my own vegetables and go from there.

“I know I can get it right when I go home. I don’t have to second guess or question anything.”

The jail garden project began in January after Nicole Breazeale, assistant professor of sociology at Western Kentucky University-Glasgow, approached Barren County Jailer Matt Mutter about starting it.

“It’s an educational project,” Breazeale said. “I’m teaching undergraduates and incarcerated women together inside the facility, teaching them about food and food injustices.

“And then there’s a little bit of outside work where we’re learning about agricology as one way to get more control over our food system.”

Breazeale said her Food, Community and Social Change students and the inmates are learning different types of sustainable agriculture techniques from local farmers in the region.

The BCDC inmates have already been eating vegetables produced from the garden.

Borgemenke said they “get to take the vegetables that are out here and mix them in with the food they serve in the jail.”

The BCDC currently has 30 garden beds, and on Thursday they were working on adding an additional hugelkultur mound, which has wooden logs underneath dirt, leaves, manure and hay. The wood acts as a sponge that retains rainwater.

“You don’t have to water these raised beds and they’re way more productive,” Breazeale said. “And you don’t have to add fertilizer or anything.”

Permaculture designer Timothy Kercheville stood on a huge mound of dirt and shoveled it into a wheelbarrow while he wore a giant smile. He said they use experimental techniques and standard raised beds and that this garden project has influenced others in the region.

“The success of this project has already outgrown into the SOKY Community Gardening Initiative,” he said. “There’s a series of 10 community gardens in the Barren River counties that were funded by the Barren River Health Department.

“So this community garden over here at the jail has spread already across the 10 counties. And that’s just after one semester.”

Sierra Morris, a sophomore nursing major at WKU-Glasgow, said she attended the workshop so she could learn more about hugelkultur and use the techniques in her own garden in Logan County.

“I’ll probably end up coming back because everyone is so nice,” she said. “And it’s just really fulfilling whenever you do hard work.”

WKU-Glasgow junior Chloe Hurt was in Breazeale’s initial class that started the project during the spring semester.

“I don’t think anyone really knew what it was going to turn into,” she said. “We just kind of started from a great idea. We had tremendous community support and it was really amazing to see how many different parts of the community came together to support.”

BCDC chief deputy Tracy Bellamy said the project has made a positive impact on the inmates.

“It’s taught ’em a resource that they can use,” he said. “It’s something being productive versus them sitting inside the cells.

“We encourage everyone (in the community) to be a part of it and see what they’re doing.”

CONTINUE READING…

Could marijuana become a treatment for heroin addicts?


Some think it offers a gateway out of opioid use

Matt Koesters | WCPO contributor

7:00 AM, Sep 25, 2016

 

Is marijuana a gateway drug? Carrie Roberts sure hopes so.

%page_break%Roberts, a consultant with Colorado-based Medicine Man Technologies, doesn’t believe that marijuana use leads to abuse of harder drugs, though. Instead, she thinks it might present a gateway out of risky drug use for people struggling with opioid dependency.

"I think we could save a lot of lives," Roberts said. "Right now, it’s really about needing to focus on harm reduction. That’s so much of what we’re seeing in other states."

Roberts points to a 2014 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that concludes "medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates." States with medical marijuana laws saw about 25 percent fewer overdose-related deaths than states without, according to the study.

Roberts argues that this could be the case in Ohio, a state in the throes of an opioid epidemic that saw fentanyl-related overdoses spike in 2015. Fentanyl continues to cause heroin users to overdose, and the more recent introduction of carfentanil into the drug ecosystem has provided cause for further alarm.

"There is a lot of anecdotal evidence regarding being able to use cannabis as a treatment, either for people coming off of opioid pain medication to help them through the withdrawal phase of it, or just to keep people from having to use it in the first place," Roberts said.

WCPO Insiders can find out how this idea relates to Ohio’s new medical marijuana legislation, and why some people think it’s a distraction.

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana Possession Played Key Role in Police Shooting of Keith Scott


By Daniel Politi

610189124-kerr-putney-chief-of-the-charlotte-mecklenburg-police

Possession of marijuana played a significant role in the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerry Putney said during a news conference that officers were trying to serve a warrant for someone else when they spotted Scott rolling “what they believed to be a marijuana ‘blunt’" in his car. At first they allegedly didn’t think much of it, until they saw Scott had a weapon and thought, “uh oh, this is a safety issue for us and the public,” Putney said.

Putney spoke at a news conference in which he announced police would release body cam and dash cam videos of the encounter.

Along with the videos, the police also released a statement on what is known about the case. Although at first “officers did not consider Mr. Scott’s drug activity to be a priority” that changed once they saw him hold up a gun. “Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.”

The police released photographs of the gun, ankle holster and joint he had on him at the time of the shooting.

“It was not lawful for [Scott] to possess a firearm. There was a crime he committed and the gun exacerbated the situation,” Putney said. The press conference marked the first time law enforcement had mentioned the detail about the marijuana.

“Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns,” notes the statement.

Putney continued to insist that Scott “absolutely” had a gun, although he acknowledged that wouldn’t be clear from the released video. He also stood by earlier statements that the shooting was justified and officers acted lawfully. “Officers are absolutely not being charged by me at this point,” he said.

The official police statement says officers “gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun” but Scott “refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.” And then Scott “exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun.” That was seen as “an imminent physical threat” and an officer opened fire. A lab analysis “revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints” on the gun that was loaded, notes the police statement.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today’s Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIEW VIDEO!

The message they are sending to striking workers is, we will only give you coverage if things turn ugly


Image result for china prison

Thousands of prisoners in over 24 states began a labor strike on September 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, to demand better conditions and healthcare, the right to unionize and what one organizing group calls an “end to slavery in America.” But one would hardly know it watching major U.S. media, which has mostly ignored the largest prison labor strike in history. One week on, the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News, ABC News, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and NPR have not covered the prison strikes at all.

In the same time period since the strike began, CNN has run stories on Clinton’s “body double,” the New York Times ran a piece on women getting buzzcuts and ABC News had an “exclusive trailer” for its parent corporation Disney’s upcoming film. There was certainly enough airtime and column inches to mention that workers had coordinated a national strike of unprecedented scale, but for these outlets the coverage has been nonexistent.

A handful of national outlets have covered the strike: The Nation, City Lab,Engadget, Money Watch, Buzzfeed, and as of Thursday, the Wall Street Journal, but every other major publication, network news and cable network has thus far been silent.

When we spoke by phone, Azzurra Crispino, media co-chair of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, one of the strike organizers, was hesitant to be too hard on the press out of hope the strikes would lose coverage in the future. But after some prompting, the four-year prison abolitionist veteran listed a few measured grievances at the media. Her most consistent theme was that to the extent the strikes were being covered, the focus was on spectacle over substance, and in doing so the media was making nonviolent resistance all but impossible.

“I’m a pacifist, I would like to see the strikes remain nonviolent,” Crispino told AlterNet. “Yet in terms of the mainstream press coverage when there’s blood on the ground the prisons have to fill out reports that guards were hurt so then they can’t deny strikes occurred,” she said in reference to the stonewalling of prison officials. The few reporters Crispino had spoken to said most prison spokespeople denied any strikes were taking place. “Between prisoners and TDCJ [Texas Department of Criminal Justice], who do you think reporters are going to believe?” she asked.

The power asymmetry and the media’s default position of siding with government officials over those seen as criminals creates just one more barrier to coverage. At its core, coverage of the prison strikes, as with any protest action, has an inherently perverse incentive structure that puts a premium on acts of violence and property damage and overlooks non-telegenic peaceful activity, such as hunger strikes and labor stoppages.

This dynamic was seen in the Standing Rock incident on September 3, when private security sicced dogs on Native American activists protesting an oil pipeline, and pictures of injured protesters went viral on social media. At the time, only Democracy Now, a relatively small left-wing news show, and AP and UPI filed original reports on the incident. Days after what the media called “clashes,” articles appeared with far greater frequency, including in major outlets like New York Times, CNN and NBC.

This warped incentive structure is even more pronounced in prisons, which are by definition cut off from society. The only time anyone bothers to notice prisons is when demonstrably violent action takes place.

“Which of the strikes are getting the most attention? Florida because they’re violent,” Crispino says, in reference to the September 7 uprising at Homes Correctional facility in the Florida panhandle. “They can’t deny in Florida because prisoners are setting things on fire and there’s been so much structural damage they can’t deny strikes are occurring.”

A similar dynamic is at work when prisoners are in solitary confinement or engage in body mutilation or destruction of property, often by flooding their cells or covering them with feces or blood. Similarly, Crispino contends, each time the media ignores peaceful activities, it tips the scales further in the direction of fires, property damage and rioting.

But this reason doesn’t fully explain the lack of mainstream coverage. A few outlets, as noted, have covered the strike to the extent they could, especially in the buildup to the protest, so it’s not as if there wasn’t enough information to compile a story.

One possible reason is that some of corporate media’s biggest advertisers use prison labor, so the disincentive to shine a light on the problem is high. AT&T, Bank of America, Chevron, Eli Lilly, GEICO, McDonald’s, and Walmart all use prison labor and all are sponsors of corporate media so much we can recite their commercials by heart. One corporation that uses prison labor, Verizon, even owns major media outlets Yahoo and Huffington Post.

Russia Today, a Moscow-funded media outlet, was the only cable news network to speak with Crispino, and to the best of her knowledge, the only one to cover the strikes. When Donald Trump appeared on RT last week, there was a frenzy of outrage by mainstream pundits, with some questioning why Trump would give credence to “Russian government-controlled propaganda.” RT’s position has always been that it covers stories the mainstream press doesn’t, and while some may see this as a cynical marketing ploy, in the case of the prison strikes it also happens to be true.

Another issue for IWOC is that all the coverage thus far, even in sympathetic outlets, has ignored their broader political aims, which is prison abolition, not reform.

“The IWOC is an abolitionist organization,” Crispino said. “Abolition is pretty much completely ignored. It’s interesting because people ask questions about that and they ask what would you do instead, but no one wants to hear that and they never write about it.” That the media is allergic to ideology, to having deeper discussions about our society’s core axioms and why the U.S. has 25% of the world’s prison population but 5% of the total population, is perhaps too knotty for a 800-word writeup but for those working in the trenches it can be frustrating.

As the strike enters its second week, perhaps major media outlets and cable news will take a cue from activist media and the Wall Street Journal (whose report is worth reading) and shine a light, if only briefly, on the largest prison strike in history. If not, Crispino feels other tactics will eventually become more commonplace.

“I almost want to say, the mainstream media is complicit if there’s violence. The message they are sending to striking workers is, we will only give you coverage if things turn ugly.”

Adam Johnson is a contributing analyst at FAIR and contributing writer for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC.

CONTINUE READING…

A "repealer’s" opinion on the subject of marijuana "legalization"… (We must REPEAL PROHIBITION of Cannabis and all other plants!)


 
sheeple
 
Angalee Jones

34 mins ·

By Chris:

I can’t speak loudly enough or harshly enough against the Fucking Sell Out RATS at groups like NORML, MPP and DPA and their associated allies at various commercial enterprises growing up across the country.
All of the aforementioned groups are useless and no good for the American Cannabis Consumer.

They are GREAT for anybody wanting to try to go into business. They are GREAT for the Police, and the Taxman.

But they represent pure POISON for the ordinary cannabis consumer.

By focusing efforts on the creation of commercial opportunities instead of civil rights, the aforementioned groups show themselves to be utterly unconcerned with what is the best interest of Cannabis or what is best for it’s consumers.

They also show themselves to be more interested in creating financial empires than in making pot available to all.

I have been trying tirelessly for over 40 years to try to ELIMINATE cannabis regulation, with the end result being the ability of allowing the private person to grow smoke and sell their own weed which they grow themselves.

Unfortunately, the loudest and best financed voices in this effort don’t have this in mind.

They have in mind owning a series of state licensed and regulated outlets which will both limit production and distribution to a small group of wealthy investors who are seeking to monopolize the markets and prevent the average person from growing their own.

I have taken a look at how this is working out across the country.

In states where pot is supposed to be “Legalized”, it is still illegal to grow your own unless you have a special permission to do so from the police.
This is the exact opposite of what I wanted when I first started putting on Smoke In’s back in the early eighties.
But it fits in just FINE with what SCOTT Inc wants.

 
I cannot adequately describe my utter despair over what has happened.

I blame the people at NORML for this. For creating an atmosphere of privilege and entitlement instead of creating an environment of equality and access.
For trying to create private commercial empires instead of making medicine available to those who need it with a minimum of cost instead of being squeezed for exorbitant prices upwards of $30.00 a gram.
What is happening is more like extortion and price gouging instead of easy access and affordability.
The whole lot of asshole ripoff artists who bleat “Legalize” like a pack of sheep instead of trying to get rid of this evil unwanted law, and EVIL THOUGHTLESS CRIMINALS who are bent on creating a corporatized monopoly of limited access and higher prices need to be punished.
They have done personal freedom and universal access a grave injury.
They are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for making the counterculture revolution that was starting to grow in my youth FAIL.

Shame on Keith Stroop. Shame on Ethan Nadelman. Shame on Rob Kampia.
A curse should be laid at your feet for being willing cohorts to promoting business profits over human liberty.

I have had enough.
I refuse to cooperate.
I will insist on growing my own weed myself, not pay taxes on it, and encouraging people to attack state licensed cannabis outlets wherever they exist.
Fuck Legalization. It’s just another pot law designed to raise prices and limit access.
ABOLISH ALL POT LAWS NOW… (or ELSE!)

(And when I say “Or Else”, I mean that I hope that you have plenty of broken window and paint balloon and shoplifting security and insurance available, as I and my supporters plan to try to make it almost IMPOSSIBLE for you to afford to stay in business in retribution against your anti-people and pro capital practices.)
Fuck Legalization. Fuck those who support Legalization instead of grow your own.
You are not a patriot or even a good hippie if that is what you want. Instead, I am calling you out for being a DEMON, an EVIL BAD PERSON, instead of a decent human being.
You have had your chance. You choose poorly.
Now you get to pay the penalty for those bad decisions.

Fuck NORML.
Fuck MPP.
Fuck DPA.
Fuck SAFER.
Fuck Rob Kampia.
Fuck Ethan Nadelman.
Fuck Keith Stroup.

These are the leaders who are to blame.
These are the guys who are more interested in continuing to handle pot cases as lawyers than they are in letting people grow their own pot.
They deserve the harshest criticism possible, they need to be pied in public, de-pantsed, and embarrassed every time they show themselves in public to speak.
They are doing a great service to the dollar, and a complete sell out against the end consumer.
They are also hurting pot itself by limiting research and development and production by designing systems with built in limitations designed to create personal wealth instead of creating systems designed around allowing universal public access.
They are a pack of dastardly evil worms who deserve to be crushed and burned.

Needless to say, I an no longer a pot activist, but rather a pot revolutionary.
Until the weed is TRULY FREE and ALL can PARTAKE AND GROW, I will not be stopped or silenced.

Fuck You if you disagree, because if you support Legalization instead of abolition, you are no better than some southern plantation owner talking about how good the slave system is because it is the source of your wealth.

Fuck Legalization.

Fuck YOU if you support Legalization.

Abolition is the way.

SOURCE

Kratom Advocates Sip Tea and Seethe at White House Rally Against DEA Ban


One user plans to move to Canada. Another plans to quit. Many more don’t know what to do.

By Steven Nelson | Staff Writer Sept. 13, 2016, at 6:20 p.m.

Several protest attendees brought their own bottle of kratom tea Tuesday to the White House. Those who did not were offered a Solo cup.

Several protest attendees brought their own bottle of kratom tea Tuesday to the White House. Those who did not were offered a Solo cup. Steven Nelson for USN&WR

Hundreds of passionate protesters gathered Tuesday near the White House to demand that the popular plant product kratom remain legal. It was jointly a business industry conference, a tea party and a desperate consumer lobbying effort — but the clear-eyed crowd appears to have little chance of near-term victory.

A comprehensive U.S. ban likely will take effect on Sept. 30, just a month after the Drug Enforcement Administration surprised users by saying it would invoke emergency powers to make leaves from the tree grown in Southeast Asia illegal by labeling two main constituents Schedule I substances.

In the face of long odds and silence from Capitol Hill, the event called by the American Kratom Association sought to pressure officials to reconsider while laying the groundwork for what may become a protracted re-legalization campaign.

A large jug of brewed kratom sat in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, with red Solo cups offered to anyone who wanted some. At least one reporter sipped the brew, which tasted like astringent green tea. Another journalist took a pill offered as a free sample by a businessman.

Kratom users who attended the rally said it’s wrong for them to lose legal access to what they say is an effective treatment for pain, addiction, depression and other conditions.

Though many said they were angry, chant-leaders asked the crowd of a couple hundred to stay on message and favored reason over rage, which often is a leading emotion at White House protests staged by marijuana reform advocates who say decades in Schedule I has stalled medical cannabis research amid millions of arrests.

“I’m usually very quiet but felt the need to come out and speak,” says Veronika Bamford-Conners, a kratom-selling store owner from Sullivan, Maine, where, she says, most of her customers are older than 55.

“If they don’t have insurance and can’t afford medications, they find a cheaper alternative in kratom,” she says, though some seem to prefer relief from the leaf to painkillers, such as a 73-year-old man who she says called her weeping “because pharmaceuticals were killing him” before.

Chants at the rally advertised the death toll from accidental overdoses of opioids – more than 28,000 in 2014 alone, including legal painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin – with the low or nonexistent U.S. toll from kratom.

The DEA says it believes 15 deaths were caused by kratom, though American Kratom Association founder Susan Ash says the group hired a toxicologist who concluded each case could be attributed to other drugs.

Many kratom users say the plant has helped them abstain from substances they formerly were addicted to, often heroin or prescription painkillers.

“Kratom saved me, I was a bad heroin addict,” says David Allen, who traveled from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “It keeps cravings away and helped me not drink. I came because I don’t want to lose my medicine.”

Allen says that although the DEA – and even some former kratom users – say the drug can lead to dependence, it’s nothing like the grasp of opioids. He says he believe it’s about as abusable as coffee, which comes from a related plant, and that like coffee withdrawal, ending kratom can cause minor headaches.

Brad Miller, a physics teacher at Spotsylvania High School in Virginia, says he drinks small amounts of kratom tea between three and five times a day to treat arthritis in his knees. He says the effects are “very mild” and “just enough to take the edge off so I can get through my day standing.”

Miller says prescribed painkillers from his rheumatologist were too strong and that unlike opioids he hasn’t developed an addiction to kratom. He says he went on a weeklong camping trip and – unlike the experiences of some users – felt no withdrawal symptoms.

“I didn’t have withdrawal symptoms, but I did have arthritis pain,” he says. “I’d be surprised if anyone has experienced strong withdrawal symptoms.”

Though Miller and others at the event said they aren’t sure what they will do at the end of the month, Heather Hawkins says she’s made up her mind to move to Canada, where kratom remains legal.

Hawkins, a journalist with northern Florida’s Pensacola News-Journal and owner of the Kratom Literacy Project, says she has an incurable bladder disease and is eyeing Vancouver after already moved to the Sunshine State from Alabama in reaction to a local kratom ban.

Talk about moving abroad often is spouted unseriously by political partisans around election time, but Hawkins says she’s completely serious after living in a painkiller-induced haze that left her depressed and unable to get out of bed.

“I’m not going to stay here [if the ban takes effect] because I’m not going back to that life,” she says.

Hawkins says she’s in addiction recovery from cocaine, which she says she used as self-medication to give her the energy to power through her pain and despair, and that if she regarded kratom as a drug she would not take it.

Though kratom is widely known for claims that it can help keep opioid addicts clean, it’s also credited with sapping desire for other substances.

Jeremy Haley, owner of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Kratom, says he began using kratom in 2012 after a drunk driving arrest, and that it has helped veer him away from his alcoholism, which runs in the family.

Although the ban hasn’t yet taken effect, Haley says local officials have shut down his shop for what he views as dubious reasons, making him unable to sell the remaining inventory – the latest in what he says has been a constant regulatory headache that featured him asking Yelp reviewers to delete positive reviews to placate federal officials who wanted proof he was not marketing kratom for human consumption.

Haley plans to open a totally legal apothecary shop if the ban takes effect.

CONTINUE READING…



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‘No compromises’ in implementation of 2030 Agenda, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe tells UN Assembly


 

 

Address by His Excellency Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic

of Zimbabwe General Assembly Seventy-first session 10th plenary meeting General Debate.UN Photo/Cia Pak

 

21 September 2016 – Addressing the United Nations General Assembly today, the President of Zimbabwe underscored that compromises or half-measures, which were unavoidable, even inevitable, in developing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, have no place in its implementation phase.

“We need sincere, genuine and total commitment by all to the implementation of this Agenda if it is not to join many other previous well-crafted global agendas that ended in failure and non-delivery,” Robert Mugabe stressed in his address.

“We hope that this time around, this agenda will meet a better fate,” he added, noting that he was encouraged to see steps being taken at various levels over the last year to implement the 2030 Agenda as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development.

Regarding implementation of the global development agenda at the national level, Mr. Mugabe reported that the vision and aspirations of his country’s national development programme, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation is “basically the same” as the global one.

He said, however, that the biggest impediment the country faces to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda is “the burden of the punitive and heinous sanctions imposed” on the Zimbabwe.

Noting that Zimbabwe has had sanctions imposed on it by the United States and other Western countries for some 16 years, he said: “As a country, we are being collectively punished for exercising the one primordial principle enshrined in the UN Charter, that of sovereign independence,” and added that Zimbabwe is being punished for doing “what all other nations do, that is, responding to and looking after the basic interests of our people.”

Underscoring that everyone must be bound by their commitments to 2030 Agenda, President Mugabe called on the United Kingdom, the United States and their allies to “remove the illegal and unjustified sanctions against my country and its people.”

He also said that under the principles of the UN Charter, the Organization is duty bound to work to ensure full realization of the rights of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.

Further, commending efforts to make the selection process of the next UN Secretary-General inclusive and transparent, the President, however, said that the greater involvement of the General Assembly does not mask the “opaqueness” of the process at the Security Council, and that despite numerous appeals for reform of that 15-member body, there has been no progress.

Concluding his remarks, Mr. Mugabe applauded the leadership of current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in mobilizing the entire UN system as well as international community to partner with Africa in stopping and rolling back the Ebola epidemic that claimed thousands of lives and undermined socio-economic development in the continent.

CONTINUE READING…

 

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54998#.V-L2HVT_rIU

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

Debate on Foreign Policy, War and Peace, scheduled for September 30th in Lexington and will include Democrat, Republican, Green Party and Libertarian Party Leaders in Kentucky


Debate in LEXINGTON KENTUCKY: Foreign Policy, War and Peace

 

Kentucky Green Party  Image result for Libertarian party kentucky  Image result for democrat party kentucky  Image result for republican party kentucky

 

See Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1804070499806582/

The panel debate will be on Friday, September 30 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in Lexington on the campus of the Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) on Cooper Drive – Oswald Bldg. Auditorium, Room 230.

Four of the 6 participants have already confirmed, so the show will definitely go on and they include the following:

Ken Moellman, Libertarian Party

Bernadene Zennie, Green Party

Jason Belcher, a Democrat who will represent the positions of Hillary Clinton and the DNC,

T.J. Litafik, a Republican who will represent the positions of Donald Trump,

Others who have been invited are Senator Rand Paul (R) and someone designated by the Jim Gray (D) campaign as well. If Sen. Paul cannot make it, he is invited to send a surrogate.

There will be a neutral moderator and a timekeeper. All media are invited to cover the action. Initial questions will have time limits of 3 to 4 minutes per person, and will deal with topics such as the following:

“The US has approximately 700 to 900 military bases all over the world. No other country does. Is that the way things should be, and why or why not?”

 
Was the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney a good idea, or was it a case of illegal aggression?

 
Many Democratic and Republican members of Congress and candidates are expressing hostility to Russia. Is that wise?

What should the US be doing with regard to the conflict in Syria, which has been going on for the last 5 years?

Was President Obama’s bombing of Libya in 2011, which was supported by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a case of international aggression?

Should our defense budget be decreased, increased or kept about the same?”

There will also be cards for members of the audience to write questions on, if time allows. Panelists will be encouraged to rebut things other panelists say.

 

Moderator: Dr. Michael Benton, BCTC
Sponsors: BCTC Students for Peace & Earth Justice
Central Kentucky Council for Peace & Justice

Yours in Peace,
Geoff Young
Member, Peace Action Task Group
Central Kentucky Council for Peace & Justice
(859) 278-4966

U.S. Attorney General Admits Marijuana Is Not a Gateway Drug


Top federal official crushes this popular anti-legalization argument.

https://files.merryjane.com/uploads/article/hero_image/1934/main_content_US_ATTORNY_GENERAL_LORETTA_LYNCH_WIDE.jpg

One of the most popular arguments against the legalization of marijuana is that pot is a “gateway” drug with the potential to turn the great American populous into a nation of dope fiends. But today the country’s leading law enforcement official denounced this common misconception by admitting that the consumption of marijuana does not lead to the use of harder drugs.

As part of what President Obama has declared National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch appeared at town hall meeting this morning in Richmond, Kentucky to discuss the dangers of opioid abuse with a group of teens.

In her opening statement, Lynch was adamant that the leading culprit behind Kentucky’s heroin epidemic was the use of prescription drugs.

“When you look at someone that, for example, has a heroin problem, it very often started with a prescription drug problem. Something totally legal. Something in every medicine cabinet. Something you can have prescribed to you in good faith by a doctor,” Lynch said before taking questions from the audience.

It did not take long before the discussion turned to the issue of marijuana.

Tyler Crafton, a student at Madison Central High School, took the opportunity to ask Lynch whether she thought the recreational use of marijuana among high school kids would lead to opioid abuse.

Shockingly, Lynch, the top dog at the U.S. Department of Justice, did provide the young man with a response straight out of the federal government’s propaganda handbook.

“There a lot of discussion about marijuana these days. Some states are making it legal, people are looking into medical uses for it, and I understand that it still is as common as almost anything,” Lynch replied. “When we talk about heroin addiction, we unusually, as we have mentioned, are talking about individuals that started out with a prescription drug problem, and then because they need more and more, they turn to heroin. It isn’t so much that marijuana is the step right before using prescription drugs or opioids.”

For a moment, it sounded as though the Attorney General was preparing to backtrack on her statement to some degree, adding that, “if you tend to experiment with a lot of things if life you may be more inclined to experiment with drugs.”

But then Lynch followed up with what should be considered one of the most important statements a federal official has made in 2016.

“It’s not as though we are seeing that marijuana is a specific gateway,” she said.

The attorney general’s admission that marijuana is not a gateway drug is fairly consistent with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which finds “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances. Yet many of marijuana’s opposing forces are going up against ballot measure in several states this election season by trying to convince the general public that legal weed will cause the opioid epidemic to spin further out of control.

Interestingly, an investigational report published earlier this week by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that lobbyists for the drug makers responsible for the same prescription drugs that Attorney General Lynch says is responsible for the opioid epidemic have spent $880 million legally bribing state representatives and senators to vote against legislation concerning the restricting of opioid use. It stands to reason that these lobbyists are also responsible for getting federal lawmakers to turn a blind eye to marijuana.

Attorney General Lynch will be speaking at more than 250 events this week in support of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. It will be interesting to see if she offers additional comments about the safety of marijuana.

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U.S. Attorney General addresses opioid, heroin addiction during Richmond town hall


BY CRITLEY KING CNHI News Service

Lynch

RICHMOND — U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke to a crowded auditorium at a Town Hall meeting in Richmond as part of the Obama Administration’s newly designated National Prescription Opium and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

The audience, mainly consisting of young people, was addressed on the dangers of heroin and opioid addiction, the pathways that lead to destruction, and the redeeming hope that help is available.

“I want to hear your questions, I want to hear your comments, I want to hear your ideas about how we can solve this (crisis), and about how we can prevent this,” said Lynch on Tuesday at Madison Central High School. “It’s not just putting people in jail, its about stopping it before it happens. And making sure people that do have a problem get treated.”

In her opening comments, Lynch asked the nearly 500 students if they had been considering where they would go to college, what careers they had planned for their futures, whether as journalists, doctors, law enforcement, teachers or fashion bloggers.

Then, Lynch told the students to look around at their classmates and friends and asked them to consider that last year, in Kentucky, approximately 12,000 died from opioid and heroin abuse overdoses.

“Imagine if all of you and others who fill these chairs were suddenly gone,” said Lynch. “And then that each of you had a friend, just one of your friends each, all gone. That’s what happened last year in Kentucky. That’s why this is so important.”

The chief law enforcement officer in the U.S. spoke about not only the problem of substance abuse and how to stop it, but also how to prevent it from even starting.

Lynch also put out a call to action to the students.

“We are talking to young people like you, because you have a role in this effort,” she said. “We want you to understand the issues, we went you to understand how serious it is, and we went to give you the information you need to make good choices in your own life. We also need you to look out for each other.”

During a question and answer session with local high school students, Kayla Greene, who lost her son to overdose, Tonya Snyder, MCHS social worker, Alex Elswick, a recovered addict, and MCHS student Julia Rahimzadeh, joined Lynch onstage.

Later in the day, Lynch traveled to make remarks at the University of Kentucky. Both events were part of the awareness week and the President’s Cabinet and Federal agencies’ focus on work being done/new efforts to address the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, according to a release by the Office of the Press Secretary.

The release also noted that Federal agencies are currently taking actions such as:

Expanding substance abuse treatment in the TRICARE system so that it includes intensive outpatient programs and treatment of opioid disorders with medication-assisted treatment.

Working with the Chinese government to combat the supply of fentanyl and its analogues from entering the U.S.

Increasing patient limits from 100 to 275 for practitioners prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders.

Support programs that increase access to healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and educational opportunities in rural areas, such as telemedicine and distance learning.

Currently, the President is seeking $1.1 billion in new funding to combat opioid abuse.

During a press conference following the town hall meeting, Lynch told The Register, that one of the ways the Department of Justice funding specifically would assist communities on a local level would be through a grant making process that provides assistance to law enforcement through grants for additional officers, resources to help states improve their prescription drug monitoring programs and provide examples of programs that are working efficiently and consistently.

Lynch reiterated that administration wide, when treatment is spoken of, they are referring to improving and increasing the availability of treatment facilities and also treatment within local hospitals.

Critley King writes for The Richmond Register.

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We are ANTI-PROHIBITIONISTS! We are "Constitutionalists"! We are "Overgrowing the Government"

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