It’s now a lot easier to use magic mushrooms in the witch city.
The Salem City Council voted unanimously last week to effectively decriminalize Psilocybin mushrooms in the city, which means that police will now deprioritize enforcing laws against the fungi and will not actively look for people that grow, possess, or consume them. City Councilor Jeff Cohen told WBZ’s Shari Small scaling back enforcement on the mushrooms will help certain residents.
“This is primarily about helping people who might have issues like depression or other challenges,” he said. “However, it’s enabling people who grow their own to be able to use it.”
Both Colorado and Oregon have decriminalized psilocybin and allow it to be used for medical reasons. Cities in several states have decriminalized the drugs, including Cambridge and Somerville. While this measure does not fully decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms, it allows people to use them without the fear of being prosecuted for it.
“They’ve done studies on psilocybin for many years, they have a lot of data about how it really does help people,” Councilor Cohen said. “We had scientists and also therapists who talked about their perceived need to have this in their toolbox to help some of the patients they have.”
The Walpole Public School System and the Walpole Police Department in Massachusetts are facing public outrage after handcuffing a 9-year-old student to a pole during a mental health crisis, further exemplifying the systemic issues in our schools and the increasing tendency to rely on the American police state. Lawyers for Civil Rights and Anderson Krieger LLC law firm have written a letter to the involved parties demanding wide-ranging reform in response to this disturbing incident.
On January 12, the third-grade student, diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and delayed intelligence, faced a dysregulated episode in class. The student’s individualized education plan contained specific procedures for positive reinforcement to regulate his behavior. Instead of following those guidelines, school staff called the school resource officer, who then summoned officers from the Walpole Police Department.
Remember, this is a 9-year-old boy… not a hardened armed criminal on the run.
Nevertheless, two officers arrived and forcibly handcuffed the child to a pole, restraining his arms and legs before taking him to a local hospital. He was held in adult custody, unable to reach his mother until his discharge. Erika Richmond, an attorney with Lawyers for Civil Rights, stated, “The actions taken by Walpole Public Schools and the Walpole Police Department against this 9-year-old boy were egregious, age-inappropriate, and directly contradicted the school’s own guidance for regulating his behavior.”
Last July, Josh Sabey’s and Sarah Perkins’ two young children were seized by child welfare officials in the middle of the night without a warrant. Because of a minor injury to their youngest child, the Massachusetts Department of Families officials attempted to keep custody of the children for nearly four months. The couple has now filed a lawsuit, arguing that the state’s seizure of their children was “reprehensible and plainly unconstitutional.”
“The officials had no warrant to enter the Sabeys’ home or seize the young Sabey children,” the 33-page complaint states. “And there was no plausible imminent threat that could justify entering the home and seizing the sleeping toddler and infant from their loving parents.”
On July 12th, 2022, the Sabeys’ youngest child, 3-month-old Cal—named in the lawsuit as C.S. 2—developed a high fever, leading Sarah to take him to the emergency room at the advice of the family’s pediatrician. At the hospital, Cal was diagnosed with a respiratory infection. During an X-ray to search for pneumonia, doctors found a small, almost-healed fracture on Cal’s rib—an injury many doctors view as a sign of child abuse.
In November 2019, Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco and nicotine products, including flavored electronic cigarettes and menthol cigarettes. Four additional states have since imposed flavor bans on some products and similar policies are under consideration in many other jurisdictions. Such bans are popular among legislators and anti-smoking groups, but the latest data from Massachusetts highlight the ban’s unintended consequences. The state’s experiment in prohibition has led to thriving illicit markets, challenges for law enforcement, and prosecution of sellers.
Massachusetts’ Multi-Agency Illegal Tobacco Task Force publishes an annual report providing insight into how the state’s high taxes and flavor prohibitions affect the illicit market. As opponents of the flavor ban predicted, the law has incentivized black market sales of menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes (“ENDS,” or “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” in the parlance of regulators). “The Task Force identifies the cross-border smuggling of untaxed flavored ENDS products, cigars, and menthol cigarettes as the primary challenge for tobacco enforcement in the Commonwealth,” according to the report. “Inspectors and investigators are routinely encountering or seizing menthol cigarettes, originally purchased in surrounding states, and flavored ENDS products and cigars purchased from unlicensed distributors operating both within and outside the Commonwealth.”
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue reports conducting more than 300 seizures in FY 2022, compared to 170 in 2021 and just 10 in 2020. Many of these involve substantial amounts of products and missed tax revenue. For example, a single search warrant yielded “a large quantity of untaxed ENDS products, [other tobacco products], and Newport Menthol cigarettes affixed with New Hampshire excise tax stamps” representing an estimated $940,000 in unpaid excise taxes.
Revenue officials are seizing so many illicit products, in fact, that they are running out of room to store them. The “Task Force’s increased investigative and enforcement activities during the past year have led to the seizure of large quantities of illegal tobacco products, resulting in a strain on the Task Force’s storage capacity,” says the report. But fear not, they are working on leasing additional space “that will significantly increase storage capacity and allow for continued increased enforcement.”
YOUR LIVER OR your liberty? Choose one.
This is the proposition that a bill in the Massachusetts House of Representatives puts to people locked up in the commonwealth: Donate bone marrow or an organ or two, says HD 3822, and the Department of Correction will cut 60 to 365 days off your sentence. The bill is sponsored by four Democrats.
Everything is wrong with this proposal except its intentions: to shorten transplant waiting lists and reduce state prison populations. Or so I assume. The 370-word text does little more than establish a Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program within the Department of Correction and a committee to work out the details. There is not even a perfunctory assurance of informed consent. With any luck, the bill will flutter to the bottom of some committee’s docket.
But HD 3822 is more than a piece of legislative slapdashery. It hints at the ways policymakers think about people and bodies and the calculus that determines which bodies deserve respect and care and which do not.
A new bill in Massachusetts, if passed, would allow the potential for inmates to have their sentences reduced if they donate organs or bone marrow to help provide “life-saving treatment” for black and Latino people.
Democrat state Representatives Carlos Gonzalez and Judith Garcia introduced HD.3822, which would allow for a reduction in sentences by no less than 60 days and no more than 365 days.
“The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program shall allow eligible incarcerated individuals to gain not less than 60 and not more than 365 day reduction in the length of their committed sentence in Department of Corrections facilities, or House of Correction facilities if they are serving a Department of Correction sentence in a House of Corrections facility, on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s),” the bill reads.
“In my view, there is no compelling reason to bar inmates from this,” Gonzalez said, according to AOL/The Miami Herald.
Massachusetts taxpayers are being asked to foot a $139 million bill that would “expand emergency shelter capacity” for border crossers and illegal aliens arriving in the state.
Just as Massachusetts residents are starting to see housing prices cool off, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is asking for $139 million to hugely increase shelter space for border crossers and illegal aliens increasingly arriving in the state with little-to-no means.
“Massachusetts’ emergency shelter system provides support for thousands of families each year, but a recent uptick in new migrant arrivals, coupled with a strained housing market have led to a need for greater capacity across the system,” Baker said in a statement:
These expanded resources will help us quickly and effectively address this humanitarian crisis, especially as we enter the winter months. We look forward to working with our partners in the legislature, the nonprofit community and local government as we all address this unprecedented challenge, which is unfortunately driven by the federal government’s inability to address our country’s immigration challenges. [Emphasis added]
The millions in new taxpayer funds would go to expand the capacity of the state’s shelter system, where many border crossers and illegal aliens are ending up, by adding 1,300 additional units and an initial intake center.
Nearly $40 million of the total amount would fund resources needed to place newly arrived foreign students in Massachusetts public schools.
For months, officials in a number of Massachusetts towns said they have been blindsided by the arrival of hundreds of border crossers and illegal aliens who have been subsequently placed in hotel rooms.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is facing a class action lawsuit after colluding with Google to repeatedly auto-install contact-tracing spyware on the smartphones of over a million Massachusetts residents without their permission or consent.
According to a class action lawsuit filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan nonprofit civil rights organization, the Department of Public Health rolled out the contact tracing app it worked with Google to create in April 2021.
“The App causes an Android mobile device to constantly connect and exchange information with other nearby devices via Bluetooth and creates a record of such other connections. If a user opts in and reports being infected with COVID-19, an exposure notification is sent to other individuals on the infected user’s connection record,” the NCLA explains in the complaint, Wright v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Initially, the app which obtains users private locations and health information was voluntarily installed.
US researchers have developed a new lethal Covid strain in a laboratory – echoing the type of experiments many fear started the pandemic.
The mutant variant — which is a hybrid of Omicron and the original Wuhan virus — killed 80 percent of mice infected with it at Boston University.
When a similar group of rodents were exposed to the standard Omicron strain, however, they all survived and only experienced ‘mild’ symptoms.
The scientists also infected human cells with the hybrid variant and found it was five times more infectious than Omicron. This suggests the man-made virus might be the most contagious form yet.
It will no doubt surprise many Americans that such experiments continue to go on in the US despite concerns similar studies may have led to the global Covid outbreak.
Covid first began spreading from a wet market in Wuhan, China, about eight miles from a similar high-security virology laboratory that manipulated bat coronaviruses.
Chinese scientists were found to have wiped crucial databases and stifled independent investigations into the facility’s links to the pandemic.
Busses arrived in Edgartown, Mass., Friday morning to ship out the 50 illegal migrants who arrived at the New England destination at Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday night courtesy of Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
According to the Vineyard Gazette, the mostly Venezuelan migrants will be bussed to a ferry that will take them to a military base on Cape Cod. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced the activation of up to 125 members of the state National Guard to coordinate relief efforts for what local residents declared a “humanitarian crisis.”
“We are grateful to the providers, volunteers and local officials that stepped up on Martha’s Vineyard over the past few days to provide immediate services to these individuals,” Baker said in a Friday press release. “Our Administration has been working across state government to develop a plan to ensure these individuals will have access to the services they need going forward, and Joint Base Cape Cod is well equipped to serve these needs.”
Lisa Belcastro, a local resident who manages the shelter at the island’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where migrants slept for their two-night stay, said Thursday the migrants would have to move on because the wealthy island was full.
“We certainly don’t have housing, we’re in a housing crisis as we are on this island,” Belcastro said. “We don’t have housing for 50 more people.”
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