Author Archive | Mike Riggs

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The Federal Government Is Finally Exploring Marijuana As a Medical Alternative to Opioids

Can this dank nug heal? Photo credit: Photo credit: Horsma/HamppuforumMedical marijuana advocates have claimed for years that cannabis is an effective and safe alternative to prescription opioids for the treatment of pain. But no one put up the money to prove it until last week. On Tuesday, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore […]

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Most Drug Expiration Dates Are Bogus, and the FDA Knows It

Hospitals in the U.S. throw away $800 million worth of unused medicine every year, and pharmacies and consumers trash uncounted millions more, all because they didn’t use or sell those medicines prior to the date printed on the bottle. But according to a new report from ProPublica, most of those drugs are safe and effective […]

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The Justice Department Wants to Put Small-Time Fentanyl Dealers in Federal Prison

Image source: DOJIf there was any question that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has little patience for treating opioid addiction as a public health issue, a Department of Justice letter to the U.S. Sentencing Commission from July 31 provides some troubling clarity. In addition to asking for longer sentences for immigration and gun offenses, the Department […]

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What China’s Growing Role in Illegal Drug Production Tells Us About the Future of the Drug War

Despite what you may have heard about Mexico and its cartels, the global drug war’s biggest Whac-A-Mole hole for nearly two decades has been China. The bath salts and “spice” that dominated American drug headlines in recent years? Those came from Chinese chemical factories. The Mexican cartels that have made most of our meth since […]

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Two Chatbots Disappear From China’s Biggest App Store After Committing Thought Crimes

WeChat logo courtesy of WeChatEarly this month, China’s largest messenger apps put the kibosh on two chatbots that offered insufficiently patriotic answers to user questions about communism and Taiwan. Turing Robot’s BabyQ and Microsoft’s XiaoBing had been available on the massively popular messaging platforms WeChat and QQ. Like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, BabyQ and […]

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Should Physicians Decide Who Gets to Use Psychedelics?

If MDMA and psilocybin move from schedule I to prescription status in the next decade–and there’s good reason to think they will–obtaining the drugs will require going to a doctor and using them in a controlled setting. In the new issue of Drug Science, Policy and Law, the University of Amsterdam’s James W.B. Elsey argues […]

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Former DHS Official: Let’s Declare War on Mexico!

As addiction researchers and health care providers search for a scalable response to heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths, a former senior official in the Department of Homeland Security has proposed a simpler solution: Congress should declare war on Mexico. “It sounds crazy, I know—unless you acknowledge we are already fighting a war with Mexico,” Matt Mayer […]

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