Washington goes herbal — Since the end of February it has been perfectly legal (at least in theory) to smoke a joint standing on the sidewalk in front of the White House. The District of Columbia—the federal capital of the US, not part of the territory of any of the fifty states—has in fact legalized the “recreational use” of marijuana: that is, for simple entertainment, without having to claim a therapeutic justification.
The residents of the Capital, in a referendum approved by a strong majority, voted in November of last year to allow open consumption of the herb—following on the heels of a similar liberalization in the states of Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Colorado. The result has hugely embarrassed the Federal bureaucracy, which in theory directly governs the city and is still violently opposed to marijuana reform even though it appears to be generally supported by the American population as a whole.
The problem is most sharply felt within the enormous, and very powerful, government agencies that, beginning in 1930s, have arisen to conduct the “War on Drugs”—in large part against the most common of these, marijuana, whose use is officially considered as a kind of “trainer vice” leading directly to the consumption of much more dangerous hard drugs.
Desperate to protect their budgets, the anti-drug warriors are rising to meet the challenge with new and occasionally ridiculous propaganda claims. Facing news that still another state—Utah, the homeland of the Mormons—is considering legalization, an official of the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, warned a committee of the State Legislature of the risk of massive attacks against the human population by bands of savage rabbits, driven to psychotic violence through their consumption of the terrible weeds in the fields where it might be grown if the use and sale of marijuana is further liberalized.
No fracking, we’re Europeans — European hopes for an American-style “revolution” in continental energy production based on the extraction of gas and oil from schist rock strata—fracking—are fading. The oil majors, one after the other, have been pulling out of Poland, until recently considered the most likely candidate to become “Europe’s Arabia.” Now though it appears that the expected hydrocarbon deposits just aren’t there. At least, the last company to leave, Chevron, couldn’t find them. ExxonMobil, Total and Marathon had already left on the basis of poor exploration results. As if the Polish defeat were not enough, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, unable to find the necessary votes in Parliament to support development of the new energy source, has been forced to accept the sharp limits on fracking imposed by the Labour opposition. These forbid the exploitation of schist deposits in 40 percent of the UK territory where they are present.
Isis, a “Zionist outfit” — The increasing opposition in the Arab world to the Islamic State has given birth to a new and probably predictable “Muslim-metropolitan” legend according to which Isis is nothing less than a criminal band controlled by Israel’s intelligence agencies.
A member of the Central Committee of al-Fatah, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, recently offered his evidence in an interview to Lebanon’s NBN-TV: “I don’t understand. They (Isis) declare that the Israelis are the enemies of Allah… At Quneitra (Southern Syria), they’re situated along 12 kilometers of a common border with the occupied Golan Heights, but they have not killed any Israelis, not even one, and their wounded are treated in Israeli hospitals. Where is this love story coming from?”