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Legal Pot In The US Is Choking Out Mexican Cartels

The Article: Legal Pot in the US Is Crippling Mexican Cartels by Mary O’Hara in Vice.

The Text: Marijuana has accounted for nearly half of all total drug arrests in the US for the past 20 years, according to the FBI’s crime statistics. And according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a large portion of the US illegal drug market is controlled directly by Mexican cartels. The DOJ’s National Drug Intelligence Center, which has since been shut down, found in 2011 that the top cartels controlled the majority of drug trade in marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine in over 1,000 US cities.

Now, those cartels and their farmers complain that marijuana legalization is hurting their business. And some reports could suggest that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is more interested in helping to protect the Mexican cartels’ hold on the pot trade than in letting it dissipate.

Seven Mexican cartels have long battled for dominance of the US illegal drug market: Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Gulf, Juarez, Knights Templar, La Familia, and Tijuana. While some smaller cartels operate only along border regions in the Southwest and Southeast, giant cartels like Sinaloa have a presence on the streets of every single region.

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Will Banning Frats Actually Cut Down On Assault?

Fraternities

The Article: Will Banning Frats Cut Down on Assault and Destructive Partying? by Rebecca Schuman in Slate.

The Text: Last week, Amherst College announced an official crackdown on unofficial fraternities, whose presence the prestigious liberal-arts school had tolerated in the past. However, in the wake of Greek-related sexual assault scandals that landed Amherst in the 55-school Hall of Title IX Shame, any student now caught engaging in even “fraternity-like” behavior after July 1 could be suspended or expelled.

Presumably, the crackdown will prevent not just assaults, but other unacceptable behavior (such as distributing t-shirts depicting a woman roasting on a spit). As a bonus, the ban might also sideline a few of the other trappings of #GreekLife: destruction of property; alcohol poisoning; falling out of things; impromptu homemade sex-toy fundraisers in the midst of escalating prank wars with the reluctantly uptight Gen-X neighbors. (OK, I’m not sure if that last thing happens outside of hugely popular new movies.)

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Arresting Children: Happening Now In The United States

Cops In School

The Article: Arresting Children is Now Commonplace in America by Lucy Steigerwald in Vice.

The Text: A week ago, the Oregonian reported on how, last year, Portlander Layota Harris’s nine-year-old daughter was arrested a week after she got into a fight with another little girl outside a Boys & Girls Club. The kid was sent home and suspended from the club for a week, which seems appropriate—but then a mom called the cops after she saw a bruise on her daughter’s cheek. That led to officers David McCarthy and Matthew Huspek interrogating the Harrises’ daughter, whom they clearly had no business interacting with.

According to McCarthy’s official report, the girl “gave vague answers” and her account of the incident was “inconsistent” with those of witnesses. Anyone who has dealt with a nine-year-old will recognize this stuff as totally normal, but the officers decided it was enough to put the little girl—who was still wearing her swimsuit—in handcuffs and take her downtown for booking on charges of fourth-degree assault. Adding insult to injury, her mother was not permitted to accompany her in the car and had to take a bus to the police station.

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Uruguay President To Obama: Stop Smoking, Learn Spanish

Mujica

The Article: Uruguay President Tells Obama U.S. Needs to Stop Smoking and Learn Spanish by Seke in Time.

The Text: President Barack Obama hosted Uruguayan President José Mujica in the Oval Office Monday to highlight the United States’ “close partnership” with South American country, but Obama may have gotten more than he bargained for.

In brief remarks before their meeting, a tie-less Mujica, a one-time guerrilla fighter, lectured Obama about the dangers of smoking and the need for the United States to become bilingual.

“You will have to become a bilingual country…” he told Obama. “Because the strength of Latin women is admirable and they will fill this country with people who speak Spanish and Portuguese, too.”

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Why Should Evangelical Christians Care About Climate Change?

Climate Change

The Article: Why Should Evangelical Christians Care About Climate Change? by Chris Mooney in Slate.

The Text: Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, has had quite a run lately. A few weeks back, she was featured in the first episode of the Showtime series The Years of Living Dangerously, meeting with actor Don Cheadle in her home state of Texas to explain to him why faith and a warming planet aren’t in conflict. (You can watch that episode for free on YouTube; Hayhoe is a science adviser for the show.) Then Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people of 2014. Cheadle wrote the entry. “There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype,” Cheadle observed.

Why is Hayhoe in the spotlight? Simply put, millions of Americans are evangelical Christians, and their belief in the science of global warming is well below the national average. And if anyone has a chance of reaching this vast and important audience, Hayhoe does. “I feel like the conservative community, the evangelical community, and many other Christian communities, I feel like we have been lied to,” explains Hayhoe on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast. “We have been given information about climate change that is not true. We have been told that it is incompatible with our values, whereas in fact it’s entirely compatible with conservative and with Christian values.”

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