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6/28/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: June 28, 2012

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Contains 0.001% alcohol, research says.
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By Chrisanne Grise

Blame Game

6/27/12 5:01pm

Iran VP Blames Drug Trade On "Zionists"

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Rahimi blames the Talmud. Photo via

First The Beatles, now the "Zionists." Just 24 hours after Russia's health minister blamed his country's drug epidemic on the fab four, Iran's Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi has held the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world. The comments were made in front of European diplomats during an international anti-drug conference in Tehran that was co-sponsored by the UN. Rahimi went on to say that the Zionists—by which he meant Jews who support the state of Israel—were directly responsible for the global illegal drug trade. Iran's fight to stop drugs crossing its border with Afghanistan is one of very few Iranian policies to win support from the West—but Rahimi's speech has seemingly put a swift end to that. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” said Rahimi. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.” Right. The response to the speech from everyone in attendance—including the Iranian participants—was reported to be unanimously negative. “This was definitely one of the worst speeches I have heard in my life," says one European diplomat who wishes to remain anonymous. "My gut reaction was: why are we supporting any cooperation with these people?”

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By McCarton Ackerman

Legalization of Marijuana

6/27/12 3:52pm

Chicago Decriminalizes Pot

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Goodbye handcuffs? Photo via

The Chicago City Council overwhelmingly voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana today, in an effort to save money, raise revenue for the city and allow police forces to focus on more serious crimes. Under the new law—which passed 43-3 and is backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel—anyone 18 years or older caught with about 15 grams or less of marijuana will receive a $250-$500 fine rather than an arrest, provided they have proper ID and aren't wanted for another crime. Under current law, anyone found a quantity of marijuana under one ounce can be charged with a misdemeanor, and could face up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The Windy City has seen a 37% increase in its murder rate this year, so freeing up police officers is especially important. "Yes, marijuana is still bad. There's no way I can condone it," says Alderman Danny Solis, who sponsored the proposal. "But I know that we're going to have these police officers in these violent neighborhoods. And hopefully, that extra police man-hours will be helping to save lives of young men and women." Over a dozen states and several large US cities, including Seattle, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have taken similar steps to reduce pot penalties. Opponents of decriminalization say it gives kids the message that smoking pot is OK, but supporters promise that the city will not become a drug haven under the new rules, which kick in August 4th. "If somebody thinks that they're going to get a free pass in Chicago," warns Alderman Ed Burke, "that they can stroll down Michigan Avenue smoking dope—that's not the case."

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By Chrisanne Grise

celebrity rehab

6/27/12 2:58pm

Andy Dick's Boss Stages On-Air Intervention

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This is Andy Dick's 13th trip to rehab.
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It hasn't been a smooth ride to sobriety for Andy Dick—and it certainly hasn't been a private one. The comedian's long and public battle with addiction has once again landed him in the spotlight—this time in the form of an on-air intervention staged by his boss and friends. Dick, 46, was filming his internet TV show, Andy Dick Live!, in Beverly Hills yesterday when Alki David, CEO of the online network that airs his show, interrupted the taping. “Everybody knows you have been going through your trials and tribulations,” David said to the former sitcom star. “I told you the other day that if this continued we can’t carry on." The entire filmed intervention—available for viewing here—shows the comedian break down and agree to get help. He was then escorted to Oasis, an Anaheim treatment center where he's currently staying. This is his thirteenth trip to rehab. In an exclusive interview last year, Dick, who was sober at the time, told The Fix that being in rehab "got me to see that there actually is a different and better lifestyle and if you choose to do it, you can do it."

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By May Wilkerson

Prison drug smuggling

6/27/12 1:58pm

Prison Drug Smuggling: The Package Move

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Not always what it seems. Photo via

Smuggling through the visiting room and tossing drugs over the fence are far from the only ruses responsible for the availability of marijuana, meth and much more inside our prisons. One serving prisoner gives The Fix details of a method that he calls "the package move," which takes advantage of an inmate being transferred from one institution to another. "My homeboy was at FCI McKean and got transferred to FCI Loretto [both in Pennsylvania]," the prisoner tells us. "Before his girl moved from McKean down to Loretto to be closer to him for visits, he decided to do a package move to get some weed and dope in. It was easy because he had the property slip from McKean." When a prisoner gets transferred, the Receiving and Discharge staff are responsible for boxing up his property and forwarding it to his new destination. They have to fill out a property inventory form, date it and give the prisoner a copy to keep as a receipt. This is so that when the prisoner receives his box on the other end, he can make sure all his property is accounted for.

"My homeboy just sent his property form from McKean to his girl, and she got a similar-sized box and filled it up with items listed on the form," the prisoner relates. "Except inside the commissary items like Ritz crackers, Nutty Buddy Bats and Tide, she put weed and heroin. We got high for weeks off that." Unsuspecting prison staff just follow routine. If the box is postmarked like all the others from McKean—and marked with the McKean return address—they assume it comes from the prison. Finding the property slip from McKean inside confirms their assumptions, and the box passes inspection. They process the property and call the prisoner to retrieve it. The package move and variations of it are being worked every day in correctional facilities across the country.

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By Seth Ferranti

zombie attacks

6/27/12 1:01pm

It's a Man-Eat-Dog World

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Daniels was on a "bad trip". Photo via

The drug-induced "zombie" attacks continue to tear through the US: a Texas man was arrested yesterday for attacking a neighbor—and then partially eating the family dog. Michael Daniel, 22, had reportedly been smoking synthetic marijuana—known as "spice" or "K-2"—before he began chasing a neighbor on all fours, barking and growling. Witnesses say he then proceeded to beat and choke the dog, before biting it and "ripping pieces of flesh away." Police later found him covered in blood on a front porch, and according to police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, Daniel asked the officers to either fight him or use the stun gun to "help him get off his bad trip." The dog died from the attack, and Daniel has been arrested on felony animal cruelty charges. Daniel's story provides more fuel to the media fire, as synthetic drugs like spice and bath salts have been blamed for many violent attacks over the last few months, from the face-eating man in Miami to the New Jersey man who ripped out his own intestines.

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By Chrisanne Grise

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