In 1996, Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News exposed a shocking series of facts: that the CIA and the Reagan administration were covertly funding the Contras in Nicaragua by aiding and abetting the flow of crack cocaine to America, particularly inflicting terrible damage on inner-city black communities. In response, the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times all began vicious campaigns to attack and discredit Webb. Although Webb was later vindicated by a CIA Inspector General report among other things, the damage was done, and the story still has an air of obfuscation and confusion around it. Along with the release of a new documentary, Freeway: Crack in the System, as well as a feature film starring Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, Kill the Messenger, key figures in the CIA-crack cocaine scandal are beginning to come forward. Could this be the start of a renewed exploration of the government's complicity in the rise of crack in America?
In 1994, the Tampa Bay Times published a riveting story about Kenneth Hardcastle. One of Tampa Bay's civic elites, Hardcastle also had a burgeoning crack addiction and a fondness for underage prostitutes. [more inside]
How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
"Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine." [more inside]
Videogames Are Drugs: Dorkly presents a few comics which compare videogames to their analogous drugs.
Len Bias has been dead for longer than he has been alive. For ESPN Michael Weinreb examines how the tragic death due to a cocaine overdose of this young, up and coming basketball star affected both the sport and American drug policy. Meanwhile at Deadspin, Tommy Craigs explains how twentytwo years after his death Len Bias still makes everyone crazy.
In the '80s, price increases in marijuana drove demand toward other drugs. The war on drugs hard, soft, or otherwise helped persuade pot smokers to put down the bong and pick up the pipe, the mirror, or the needle.
The US Sentencing Commission has recommended that Federal sentencing guidelines be reduced for crimes involving crack cocaine -- and is now deliberating making the new guidelines retroactive for prisoners already incarcerated. [WaPo] If taken into effect, about 3,800 inmates could be released by this time next year. [more inside]
Tired? Need a boost? Everything you ever wanted to know about one of America's favourite energy boosters. This website contains 25 pages covering the history, uses (both legitimate and illegitimate), and biological characteristics of cocaine and the coca plant. An interesting read for those with time to kill (like me). Possibly NSFW.
Jeb Bush's daughter found with crack cocaine, did rehab employees hide it? As this transcript of a 911 call indicates, Noelle Bush received special treatment that kept her in rehab and out of jail, at the same time her father opposes the Florida Right-to-Treatment Initiative, which encourages handling non-violent drug offenses with treatment rather than incarcertation. Strangely enough, the 911 transcipt indicates that Noelle Bush's rehab center was primarily targeted to drug-addicted women with children, which begs the question of why the childless Noelle Bush was in there in the first place. The hypocrisy of this branch of the Bush clan does not cease to amaze me
Orlando police find crack cocaine on Gov. Bush's daughter Knowing that W struggled as an alcoholic and with cocaine, and seeing his daughters hit the headlines with their excesses, I wondered if there was a genetic pre-disposition toward addiction. Apparently, this theory is not new.
Deputy Dawg Cracking cases with his service glock, crackhead Bucks County Barney Fife is the new face of law enforcement
My grandma likes to cook, sew, and smoke a lot of crack. This tiny article intrigues me, not for the cocaine information, but rather the cliffhanger of an ending sentence... Apparantly that part wasn't as newsworthy.