Drugs

Photo of the Day

Yula inspects makeup [Courtesy of Hanna Polak]

Yula’s Dream

The Russian Girl Who Grew Up in a Garbage Dump

It’s a universal story. There’s homelessness everywhere in the world… For 14 years, filmmaker Hanna Polak followed Yula as she grew up in the forbidden territory of Svalka; the garbage dump located 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin’s Russia. Yula’s story – is a dramatic tale of coming of age and maturing to the point of taking destiny into one’s own hands. It is a story of hope, courage, and life

Youthful Yula has but one dream – to lead a normal life. She was one of the inhabitants of the “Svalka” outside Moscow. A few kilometers away from the Red Square, there it’s another world. This Svalka, known simply by its Russian term for rubbish dump, was the largest landfill in Europe.

Yula lives in Europe’s largest trash dump, called Svalka, just 13 miles from the Kremlin in Putin’s Russia. Her home is made of heaps of garbage, where she and her mother, Tanya, are forced to work for an illegally-operated recycling business. They’re paid in denatured alcohol (a substance similar to rubbing alcohol). The residents drink and bathe in melted snow. They eat rotten food scraps and sleep on trash in makeshift huts. Their only connection to the outside world is through the garbage of others and the glimmering views of Moscow that can be seen from the dump

Just like the others, the girl subsists on what she finds in the dump. From the mountains of rubbish she digs out clothes, food, cosmetics, sometimes an old radio, or a carpet. In the scrap collection centre metal junk can be exchanged for a bottle of vodka. Here this is the only currency.

As a child, Yula played innocent games with the other children and with the toys found in the rubbish. She cracked jokes, listened to music and read magazines plucked from the trash. She listened to the radio to keep up with what was going on in the outside world.

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Photo of the Day

George H. White’s passport on file at Stanford Special Collections. White used it to travel the world busting dope dealers. But back in San Francisco, he was dosing civilians with acid without their knowledge.

A War On Drugs

How the CIA Dosed Citizens with LSD 

At first, the CIA thought LSD would make them virtual masters of the universe. Later, after sober second thought, they realized they might have to set their sights little lower, but they continued their enthusiasm for the drug (which Richard Helms called “dynamite”)

The hippies and other counterculture movements weren’t the only groups to experiment with mind-altering substances. Starting in 1953, the Central Intelligence Agency conducted research on psychedelic drugs as part of a top-secret behaviour modification program codenamed MKULTRA. This bizarre project saw the CIA undertake an extensive—and ethically dubious—series of psychological experiments involving hypnosis, shock therapy, interrogation, and hallucinogens like LSD.

The CIA wanted to acquaint its own operatives with the effects of the drug. Under MKUltra’s umbrella, LSD — invented in 1938 by chemist Albert Hofmann — was tested on CIA agents and unwitting civilians. In 2006, a man named Wayne Ritchie brought a case claiming that in 1957, he had attempted to rob a bar due to LSD testing at an office Christmas party. Unfortunately for Ritchie, and others, the link between dosings and terrible consequences have been hard to prove.

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Trumps comments on drug dealers and how to deal with them, the snowflakes all melt down

Donald Trump commented on the Philippines and how they now deal with drug dealers…and the world was thrown off its axis and thousands of snowflakes wailed on Twitter and Facebook.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte claims US President-elect Donald Trump supports the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and addicts.

Mr Duterte told reporters he had spoken to Mr Trump on the phone, and passed along his version of the conversation.

“He was quite sensitive to our war on drugs and he wishes me well in my campaign and said that we are doing, as he so put it, ‘the right way’,” Mr Duterte said, CNN reported.

“He was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem. He understood the way we are handling it and he said there is nothing wrong with protecting your country.   Read more »

I have a better idea: mandatory 12 months in jail or give up your P supplier

Methamphetamine is a scourge, there should be no soft, namby-pamby treatment for meth dealers.

Prime Minister John Key won’t be drawn on whether he supports a move by police to stop prosecuting some small-time P dealers.

Officers in the Waitemata policing district are no longer prosecuting some low-level dealers of pure methamphetamine, or P – such as those who sell to a neighbour.

Speaking to Radio New Zealand, Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown said arresting low level offenders did not work by itself and it could be better in some cases to refer people for rehabilitation.

Key has led the Government’s “War on P”, which has involved a range of measures to target drug manufacturers, gangs and addicts.

He knew little about Waitemata Police’s approach, so he did not want “to overly critique it”.

But he said the Government had generally tried to emphasise prosecution of P dealers rather than those who used them.

“We prosecute both, obviously,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference. But most of the Government’s energy went into cutting off the source of the drug.

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Comment of the Day

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Our people are everywhere.

This was from the tipline last night:

Message: Spent the evening at Windsor Castle in Parnell, was full of Herald journalists who had recently attended the funeral of a colleague.   Read more »

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Photo of the Day

John Phillips may easily be called one of the best pop songwriters of the later 20th century. He honed his songwriting and arranging skills with singing groups that gained a modicum of success. But his crowning musical achievement was the work he did with his '60s group the Mamas and the Papas. Photo: MTV

John Phillips may easily be called one of the best pop songwriters of the later 20th century. He honed his songwriting and arranging skills with singing groups that gained a modicum of success. But his crowning musical achievement was the work he did with his ’60s group the Mamas and the Papas. Photo: MTV

Forbidden Fruit

A Lifetime of Debauched and Reckless Behaviour

John Phillips, destructiveness was too extravagant even for Keith Richards, who once kicked Phillips out of his house for being too uncontrollable

Unlike some other musician/addiction profiles, the John Phillips story is not necessarily one with a cheerful ending.

Mackenzie Phillips, his daughter, was 10 years old when her father taught her how to roll a joint. She had her first taste of cocaine at age 11. At 14, she landed a role in the film American Graffiti , and one week after her 18th birthday, she was arrested for the first time.

When she was 10, her dad gave her, her first adult job.

“Dad said, ‘I’m going to give you a project,’ Dad had a job for me! This was exciting. I was in.”

“I got really good at rolling joints. I was the official joint roller for all the adults.”

McKenzie says she was allowed so much freedom as a kid that the only rules her dad gave her were to spend one night a week at home and to always change her clothes before returning in the early morning.

“A lady never wears evening clothes during the day. It’s cheap,” John Phillips, who died in 2001, told her.

He did have one boundary. One day, Mackenzie found a purple pill in her dad’s bedroom.

She instinctively took it. But it turned out not to be just any pill — it was the last of the LSD pills made by the famous drug cook Owsley Stanley, and it was a collector’s item among moneyed celebrity druggies of the time.

“It was as if I’d crashed a normal dad’s Porsche, he said, ‘You took my last hit of Owsley. You’re grounded!’ ”

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Photo of the Day

boosterCocaine Cowboys

Back In the Day

When They Used To Market Cocaine

Through the 70s and 80s, one drug rules them all. That drug was cocaine.

Before it was rendered illegal, the sale of drug paraphernalia was big business. These vintage commercials show luxurious black sofas, sexy women, and lots of cocaine.

These advertisements, ripped from magazines such as Head, High Times, Rush and Flash offer a glimpse of the wide range of flashy gear and accessories offered to the cocaine connoisseur of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

The 1970s were a weird time, not least because you could apparently advertise cocaine in magazines despite this being the first decade of President Nixon’s Controlled Substances Act.

In June 1971, Nixon declared a war on drugs. He said that drug abuse was “public enemy number one in the United States”. Which is right where all of these ads were published.

The devices and gadgets up for sale include the practical, such as a spray to ease irritated nostrils and products to keep the powder dry and free of clumps. Then there’s more performative and ostentatious gear, including gold-plated razor blades and ornately carved, ivory snorting straws. For a drug as classy and luxurious as coke, a rolled-up dollar bill simply won’t do.

While the War on Drugs was underway — Ronald Reagan popularized that infamous phrase — and cocaine was still very much illegal, selling and marketing paraphernalia (“Not intended for illegal use!”) was a legitimate and lucrative business.

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Two wrongs don’t make a right, but hell, is it tempting

The mother of two who orchestrated a vicious attack on a drug dealer believed to be selling poor quality methamphetamine has been jailed.

In February 2015 Codie-Lee Greer arranged for four associates to attack the dealer because he owed money and they believed he was selling dodgy drugs.

The 25-year-old didn’t take part in the assault, which involved the assailants arming themselves with weapons including a baseball bat and a hammer, but her role was to arrange a meeting with the dealer at a school at night by text message.

The victim suffered a broken fibula in his left leg, cuts to his head, lips, arms, a broken tooth and bruising to his body.

“The victim was assaulted and he fell onto the ground where he was punched, kicked and struck with the baseball bat and hammer. Read more »

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Photo of the Day

Beach Boys in a Yellow Jalopy in 1962. COURTESY OF CAPITOL RECORDS ARCHIVE

Beach Boys in a Yellow Jalopy in 1962. COURTESY OF CAPITOL RECORDS ARCHIVE

The Beach Boys’ Crazy Summer

The 50th Reunion Tour was a World Concert Tour by The Beach Boys

Inside the group’s 50th anniversary 2012 reunion tour: How the legendary group fell apart and came back together and how Brian Wilson gets along with his old bandmates.
“The vibe in Burbank is collegial, but each Beach Boy is locked into his own orbit. Wilson and Love tend to communicate through the musical directors they’ve retained from their respective touring bands; Jardine, Johnston, and Marks hover on the margins. Over lunch, Jardine says he’s been urging Love to open the second half of the set with ‘Our Prayer,’ the hushed choral prelude to Smile, but so far, Love has been brushing him off. ‘With him, you never know if it’s confrontational or uncomfortable because he’s able to mask any kind of negativity,’ Jardine says. ‘You never know if you’ve (expletive) up or not.’ When I mention ‘‘Til I Die,’ a stark Wilson solo composition from 1971, Johnston, who’s sitting nearby, insists that it was ‘the last Brian Wilson recording. Ever. The career ended for me right with that song.’ But why? ‘Because he was still 100 percent,’ Johnston explains. ‘Now, he’s … you know, a senior guy.'”

Brian Wilson, the lumbering savant who wrote, produced and sang an outlandish number of immortal pop songs back in the 1960s with his band, the Beach Boys, is swiveling in a chair, belly out, arms dangling, next to his faux-grand piano at the cavernous Burbank, Calif. studio where he and the rest of the group’s surviving members are rehearsing for their much-ballyhooed 50th Anniversary reunion tour, which was set to start in 2012.

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Photo Of The Day

The Irish Independent ran a defiant front page on the 12 February, 2016, responding to threats on its journalists who are being targeted by organized gangs. The headline reads: ‘Why We Won’t be Intimidated’ and features a photo of Sunday Independent reporter, Veronica Guerin, who was gunned down in 1996 by a Dublin crime gang for writing a number of stories on their crimes.

The Irish Independent ran a defiant front page on the 12 February, 2016, responding to threats on its journalists who are being targeted by organized gangs. The headline reads: ‘Why We Won’t be Intimidated’ and features a photo of Sunday Independent reporter, Veronica Guerin, who was gunned down in 1996 by a Dublin crime gang for writing a number of stories on their crimes.

 A Journalist’s Risks

Dying to Tell a Story

 The Veronica Guerin Story

When Veronica Guerin was murdered in June 1996, she was not only the most famous journalist in Ireland; she was something of a national heroine. Her exposes on the criminal underworld in Dublin and the violent rise of powerful drug dealers captured the nation’s attention. Her murder touched off the largest criminal investigation in Irish history. Moreover, her death transformed the country in ways few could have expected.

Veronica “Ronnie” Guerin was born in Dublin, Ireland on July 5, 1959. On June 26, 1996 Guerin became the twenty-fourth journalist to be killed for her writings to the public. She was a journalist working for the Sunday Independent when she was assassinated by Irish drug dealers while sitting in her car at an intersection on the Naas dual carriageway.

What made her stand up and decide that enough was enough, that something had to be said about the drugs in Dublin when no one else would? It was as simple as seeing what needed to be changed in her city. She didn’t have illustrious beginnings, one that would fuel her passion for journalism and for bringing the truth to light. She was born to a large family and grew up in North Dublin. She was educated by nuns in Killester and attended Trinity College where she developed a strong interest in politics. She studied accountancy at the college, before joining her father’s accountancy firm; she would later bring this experience into her investigations on fraud. After leaving her accountancy job, she started her own public relations firm before joining the Sunday Business Post.

But it was at the Sunday Tribune that her reputation began to grow as an investigative journalist when she got the first interview with Bishop Eamon Casey. He had fled to Ecuador when his affair and his son were revealed to the world in a book.

In 1994 she joined the Sunday Independent, where she began publishing the interviews with members of the Irish underworld that led to her death. Ironically, she was assassinated two days before she was supposed to speak at a conference in London on “Dying to Tell a Story: Journalists at Risk.” Guerin had her own style of writing that set her apart from other journalists. Her editor at the Sunday Independent, Willie Kealy, believes she provided a different voice than those that were present in Irish journalism at the time, someone who was unafraid to break out of the mould.

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