Daniel Chong, the California college student who nearly died after DEA agents put him in a holding cell in 2012 and then forgot about him for four days, will receive a $4.1 million settlement from the U.S. Government, according to the Associated Press. The AP also reports that “no one has yet been disciplined for the April 2012 incident and no criminal charges will be filed.”
Chong was arrested in April 2012 at a 4/20 party, and put in a DEA holding cell. In May 2012 NBC interviewed Chong about his experience:
In his desperation, he said he was forced to drink his own urine.
“I had to do what I had to do to survive….I hallucinated by the third day,” Chong said. “I was completely insane.”
Chong said he lost roughly 15 pounds during the time he was alone. His lawyer confirmed that Chong ingested a powdery substance found inside the cell. Later testing revealed the substance was methamphetamine.
After days of being ignored, Chong said he tried to take his own life by breaking the glass from his spectacles with his teeth and then carving “Sorry mom,” on his wrists. He said nurses also found pieces of glass in his throat, which led him to believe he ingested the pieces purposefully.
Chong said he could hear DEA employees and people in neighboring cells. He screamed to let them know he was there, but no one replied. He kicked the door, but no one came to get him.
By the time DEA officers found Chong in his cell Wednesday morning Chong was completely incoherent, said Iredale.
“I didn’t think I would come out,” Chong said.
The AP also reports that DOJ Inspector General is investigating Chong’s case.
Click below for more over at Reason.com
A man was pulled over and searched by police on the 4th of July at a DUI checkpoint in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Although the man repeatedly exercised his constitutional rights to not be searched and followed the law, the officers bullied him and forced him out of the vehicle despite committing no crime. The motorist’s car was then searched by a K-9 unit who was given a false alert signal by the police officer in order to search the vehicle for drugs.
From the video:
Tennessee State Trooper AJ Ross orders me to pull over and get out of my car, bullies me around, gets the drug sniffing K-9, lies about me having “Illegal Drugs” in the car, searches without consent, and tells me that it is ok to take away my freedom. All while not being detained. All this harassment because my window was not lowered enough to his preference. I broke no laws whatsoever. All of this on a day that we are supposed to be celebrating freedom and liberty. This checkpoint was in Murfreesboro, TN.
It took 50 years for American attitudes about marijuana to zigzag from the paranoia of “Reefer Madness” to the excesses of Woodstock back to the hard line of “Just Say No.”
The next 25 years took the nation from Bill Clinton, who famously “didn’t inhale,” to Barack Obama, who most emphatically did.
And now, in just a few short years, public opinion has moved so dramatically toward general acceptance that even those who champion legalization are surprised at how quickly attitudes are changing and states are moving to approve the drug – for medical use and just for fun.
It is a moment in America that is rife with contradictions:
_People are looking more kindly on marijuana even as science reveals more about the drug’s potential dangers, particularly for young people.
_States are giving the green light to the drug in direct defiance of a federal prohibition on its use.
_Exploration of the potential medical benefit is limited by high federal hurdles to research.
Washington policymakers seem reluctant to deal with any of it.
Richard Bonnie, a University of Virginia law professor who worked for a national commission that recommended decriminalizing marijuana in 1972, sees the public taking a big leap from prohibition to a more laissez-faire approach without full deliberation.
Click below for the full article.
President Barack H. Obama’s outrageous seizure of the Associated Press’s phone records, allegedly to discover sources of leaks, should surprise no one. Obama has relentlessly pursued leakers ever since he became president. He is fast becoming the worst national security press president ever, and it may not get any better.
It is believed that Obama’s Justice Department sought AP’s records to find the source of a leak that informed an AP story about a failed terrorist attack. What makes this action particularly egregious is that Justice didn’t tell AP what it was doing until two months after it obtained the records. This not only violates Justice Department guidelines for subpoenas of this sort, but also common sense, decency, and the First Amendment.
Under the guidelines, subpoenas concerning the press cannot be issued without the express approval of the Attorney General. Further, before a subpoena is issued, the government is honor bound to negotiate with the party to which it is directed.
While Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. may have approved the subpoena, he apparently never told AP about it. In the meantime, the Justice Department for two months has had all the details of AP’s newsgathering. AP could bring a lawsuit to declare its First Amendment rights have been violated and seek a return of its records. Gary Pruitt, President of AP, has already made a demand for them.
If we were to have a sane and adult conversation about drug use and abuse in America instead of waging a war on drugs the same way we wage a war on terror, we might come to the realization that we’re letting the bad ones in our homes freely while some of the most helpful to improving the quality of life of the average person carry some of the highest minimum prison sentences of all, while touting an infinitesimal number of related deaths. Some of you may have read Thad McKracken’s well thought out article on the state of drugs in society today. The numbers fall in lockstep with his thoughts.
It turns out that, aside from Alcohol, Big Pharma is the #1 killer while drugs that have been used traditionally as entheogens hardly appear in the statistics at all. Drugs like LSD, DMT, Marajuana, Peyote and other psychedelics are used as a religious sacrament in many belief systems around the world, but are vilified because of their tendency to provide people with what Terence McKenna simply called ‘funny ideas’.
In 2010, there were 80,000 drug and alcohol overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database. The database, maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics, keeps a tally of all the deaths listed on certificates nationwide. They’re classified by the ICD-10 medical coding reference system.
Death reporting in the U.S. requires an underlying cause—the event or disease that lead to the death. This chart represents all those listed in the CDC database as “accidental poisoning,” “intentional self-poisoning,” “assault by drugs,” and “poisoning with undetermined intent.” In addition to the underlying cause, a death certificate has space for up to 20 additional causes. That’s where “cocaine” or “antidepressants” would show up. The subcategories are limited in their detail—many drugs are lumped together, like MDMA and caffeine, which are listed together as “psychostimulants.” And about a quarter of all overdose death certificates don’t have the toxicity test results listed at all, landing them in the “unspecified” stripe.
Click below to access the article on disinformation.