Jude Law is so squeaky clean, he won't even pop an Aspirin. The 40-year-old British actor, who plays a psychiatrist who prescribes a disturbing new psychotropic drug in the current Steven Soderbergh thriller Side Effects, reveals that he's never taken a drug before, including over-the-counter medicines. "I grew up in a family where I didn't even get headache tablets. My mother wasn't a health freak, but she had strong principles," he says. ''In the '70s, that was just becoming popular: We shouldn't eat this and that, or not watch TV that much. And a dislike of painkillers and pills was a part of it.'' Despite his strict upbringing, Law says he was surrounded by love and he's grateful he never felt tempted to try drugs, as a result of his childhood. ''My family mainly had this martyr-like north English attitude: Don't complain, it will be fine. If you are cold, put a pullover on. And if you hurt yourself, just get up again," he says. "In England, we call that 'tough love'. I just have no relation to medicine and until now, I have been lucky not to need them for emotional or psychological reasons—fingers crossed!"
Marijuana use in prison is very common, with inmates employing a range of tactics to get the weed inside. But with no access to accesseries like bongs, pipes or rolling papers, prisoners need to be extra-resourceful to light up—particularly now that tobacco products are outlawed in federal prisons. "It's real difficult in here these days," one inmate tells The Fix. "Especially since they don't sell cigarettes or cigars anymore. When you get some pot you have to find something to roll it up in. You can always use a soda can crunched in the middle and with holes in in it, but without a steady flame that is hard to smoke out of. The outside wrapper from a toilet paper rolls works best," he continues, "but then you have to find a light and that can be a job in itself."
To light up, prisoners often resort to "stone age" tactics, using batteries and candy wrappers from the prison commissary. "We use two triple a batteries and a thin aluminum strip to get a flame," says the prisoner. "You just run the strip between the batteries—and trust me, it's an acquired skill." Getting a flame is only the first hurdle; inmates then have to worry about not getting busted by prison guards while they're toking. "With no tobacco to cover up the smell, it's rough," the prisoner says. To hide the scent, baby powder or Muslim prayer oil are often employed. Another method involves cutting up a joint into small pieces and smoking it inside a toilet paper roll. "A cop doesn't even have to catch you smoking a joint, if he smells marijuana by your cell he can put you on the hot list and you will get piss tested," says the prisoner. Those busted can be sent to the "hole" (a high-security punishment zone within the prison) or put on 24-hour lockdown, for up to several months.
Mexico's drug violence is not only infiltrating the US, but is also pushing its way up to our Northern neighbors, The Star reports. An RCMP internal report says that at least nine Canadians "with extensive criminal associations" were shot or killed in Mexico between 2008 and 2012. Most of the criminals came from British Columbia, but the report states that an Ontario group is also involved in Mexico's drug underworld. “The Canadian-related violence occurring in Mexico may represent a reverse order of events in which Canadian criminal disputes and retaliatory actions are making their way South,” states the report. “Additionally, that cartel influence is being exerted on Canadian criminal groups from within Mexico resulting in an imposed allegiance before returning Canadian operators to Canada.” Canadian crime groups are reportedly choosing to deal directly with the Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to eliminate the middleman and gain more profit for themselves. The report suggests that Mexican drug traffickers are more than willing to comply due to heavy US border surveillance. “This may be part of the attraction to Canadians involved in the illicit drug trade, who have for decades travelled to Mexico for pleasure and presumably as part of their criminal activities,” says the report. Among the Canadian deaths in Mexico were British Columbian gangster Thomas Gisby, who was killed in a Nuevo Vallarta Starbucks in April 2012, while Salih (Sal) Abdulaziz Sahbaz, considered a top member of the BC-based United Nations gang, was shot several times in the head and body near Mazatlan in January 2012.
The UK's Mixmag surveyed about 20,000 clubbers from Britain and the US about their drug use, and found some interesting results. Alcohol, unsurprisingly, is the most popular drug on both sides of the pond, and cannabis is a close second. Apparently, more clubbers in the UK have taken MDMA (67% of respondents in the past year) than consumed energy drinks (only 55.7%). The US swings in the opposite direction, with 66.3% having consumed energy drinks, compared to 60.9% taking MDMA (the main ingredient in Ecstasy or Molly). Clubbers in the US are also more than twice as likely to use LSD and shrooms (44.3% and 40.7%, respectively) than UK clubbers. Perhaps most worryingly, 14% of all respondents have tried a "mystery powder," not knowing what it contained. Check out the rest of their results below:
- Obama’s Drug Czar Attacks State Marijuana Laws [Russia Times]
- Don’t Panic, But Mexico’s Zetas Cartel Wants to Recruit Your Kids [Wired]
- US Accuses Bissau Army Head in Colombia Drugs, Weapons Plot [Reuters]
- Unpleasant Anti-Smoking Disclaimers May Soon Be Replaced By Creative Ones [Times of India]
- Desperate College Dean Warns Parents of the Dangers of Franzia [Jezebel]
- Guy Accused of Getting Drunk, Letting Zoo Animals Out of Their Cages [Salt Lake Tribune]
- Amanda Knox: "I Was Reading Harry Potter and Smoking Marijuana on Night Meredith Kercher Was Murdered" [Independent]
Until lawmakers put regulations in place, selling marijuana is still technically illegal in Colorado, despite the popular vote to the contrary last November. In the meantime, pot-lovers have had to come up with creative ways to transfer weed from those who have it to those who want it, without it being a "sale." The proprietors of 530 Art & Upcycle, an art gallery in Denver, came up with one such ruse—and they're now facing felony charges for distribution of marijuana that made headlines this week.
Adam Zimmerli and Devon Hawk Hazard were offering free weed to those members of their bluntly-named "Cannabis Club of Denver" who made donations to the gallery—and they insist they did nothing illegal. “To me, it's pretty benign what we were doing. I mean, obviously it's marijuana and it's legal to possess here,” Zimmerli tells The Fix. “We had people who wanted us to hook them up with a pound of weed and multiple times we shut them down: 'That's illegal, man!'” The pair insist that the donations they received were “absolutely for the gallery,” rather than a means of making personal profit. “We were never trying to have a marijuana business of any type,” Zimmerli tells us. “This was supposed to be a fun social club, like an Elkridge for potheads.”
But the pair had a nasty surprise in store. “Unfortunately nobody has really come out and said 'this is what we're going to be making arrests for,” Zimmerli continues. “If someone is out engaging in an activity they believe is legal, the police should inform them that activity is illegal rather than build a case against them. I would never disobey a direct order from law enforcement.”
Zimmerli suspects that his gallery was singled out after a hard-to-forget encounter with a local newsman, Rick Sallinger, who had investigated the duo two months prior. “Salinger is a 60-year-old square five-foot-tall old white guy,” says Zimmerli. “He came in here in a rasta dreadlock wig, a Woody Allen fisherman's hat, a tan detective's raincoat and a pair of blue blockers with a camera in them.” He believes the police investigation was a direct result of this bizarre visit; undercover cops infiltrated the cannabis club by befriending Hazard and Zimmerli, who provided them with marijuana. “Amendment 64 says we can give up to an ounce to our friends,” Zimmerli says. “I believed these people were our friends, but they weren't.” The pair plan to fight the case in court and say they're confident that the jury will be sympathetic.