Weekend Thoughts - 4.18.15

Image by  Mutiara Karina , courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Mutiara Karina, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday, y'all! I have a great selection of links this week to share, so let's get started.

1. Cops have killed way more Americans in America than terrorists have via Boing Boing.
Were you aware that US police have killed at least 5,600 people since the year 2000? The actual figure is likely much higher because citizens killed by police are not consistently reported, but either way the tally is many more than the amount of people who have died from terrorist attacks.

2. US Govt Agency Admits That Marijuana Extracts Can Kill Cancer Cells via Reset.me.
Although the United States Government classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance with a high risk for abuse and no medical benefits, the National Institute of Drug Abuse published the following paragraph on its website this week:

"Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one cell culture study suggests that purified extracts from whole-plant marijuana can slow the growth of cancer cells from one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that treatment with purified extracts of [tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)], when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation."

This should come as no surprise to someone familiar with the medical benefits of cannabis, but it highlights one aspect of the government's utter hypocrisy regarding the plant.

3. Human Rights Watch Sues DEA Over Bulk Collection of American's Telephone Records via Electronic Frontier Foundation.
It's good to see that there will at least be a fight regarding the DEA's illegal domestic spying tactics that the organization used for the past few decades. I'm not all that optimistic that justice will be served in this case, but I support the effort to punish the DEA for its illegal activity.

4. DEA: Bad Boys Sexing Up Colombian Prostitutes Supplied by Drug Cartels via Ladybud.
This certainly hasn't been a good week for the DEA's public image. In addition to the unveiling of a longstanding illegal surveillance practice, it turns out that DEA Special Agents have allegedly been having sex parties with Colombian prostitutes that were hired by drug cartels. The agents were also allegedly given money, gifts, and weapons by the cartel members. And the response from DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart? None of the misbehaving agents were fired, and seven of them were simply punished with suspensions ranging between one to 10 days.

5. White America's Silence on Police Brutality is Consent via Gawker.
This article discusses white America's perception that the nation's police are doing a good job despite the disparities between how various races of people are treated. The situation may change for the better once more influential white folks step up and speak up in favor of reforming how we handle policing in this country, but until then we will most likely see racist policing continue.

6. Dr. Sanjay Gupta: It's time for a medical marijuana revolution via CNN. It's always nice to see such a reputable and powerful voice as Dr. Gupta's recommending that we legalize medical cannabis right now. His article explains the reasons behind his declaration and discusses his new documentary called Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution. I'm excited to see him coming out so firmly in favor of medical cannabis and am inspired by his courage.

That's all for this week. I realize that the links were heavy on cannabis, police, and the DEA, and I hope to bring more variety to Weekend Thoughts next week. Have a good rest of your weekend and I hope you'll return next Saturday.