The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for non-violent minor drug offenses including use, possession, and petty sale, to be decriminalized.

“It’s time for us to rethink our approach to global drug policies, and put scientific evidence and public health at the heart of drug policy discussions.” “The goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production, and trafficking of illicit drugs is the basis of many of our national drug laws, but these policies are based on…

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Legalize it all: How to win the war on drugs

“We’re confronted now with the fact that the U.S. cannot enforce domestically what it promotes elsewhere,” a member of the U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board, which monitors international compliance with the conference’s directives, told me. ​When the [United Nations] General Assembly convenes [in April 2016], it also will have to contend with the startling fact…

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Politics

Kratom, health supplement targeted by FDA…

“Regulation before prohibition is the answer,” says Susan Ash, a founder of the American Kratom Association in Virginia, who says she uses the herb three times a day to treat pain and lethargy from chronic Lyme disease. ​ Ash says the product should be restricted to adults, the supplement’s packaging should carry warning labels and…

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Soldiers turn to Native American sweat lodges to treat PTSD

For some, discovering the sweat lodge came at the lowest point in their lives. Originally designated only for men of the tribe, leaders now welcome anyone to the lodge, especially soldiers. ​Special Agent Kevin Cheek of the Air Force, now the military liaison for the sweat lodge, says, “I’ve deployed five times. I’ve been there…

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An Amazonian religion on New Mexico’s high desert

“The sacramental use ofayahuasca is on the cusp of becoming a permanent part of the colorful religious landscape of northern New Mexico”. After years of litigation, it now seems likely that União do Vegetal (UDV)–or more formally, O Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal–will build a temple in Arroyo Hondo, just outside Santa Fe. UDV…

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A Closer look at the “First Legal Ayahuasca Church” in America

Amongst the plant healing community, there’s widespread concern that the ayahuasca liquid gold rush is attracting unscrupulous charlatans, who are motivated by money rather than a higher cause, and who may put ceremony participants in unsafe situations. “As you know, its totally a sham,” was the first thing Doblin said. “They do a disservice to…

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