10-21-2021  3:11 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tool for Police Reform Rarely Used by Local Prosecutors

Brady Lists flag officers whose credibility is in question due to misconduct – a designation that must be shared with defense attorneys. Defense attorneys, public defenders, civil rights groups and some prosecutors are calling for an increased use of the lists.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC) Proposed as a Center for Black Arts and Culture

Feasibility Study for community-led vision moving forward thanks to Parks Local Option Levy

Oregon Housing and Community Services Makes Progress on Federal Emergency Rental Assistance

Agency stresses importance of applying for the program and works with partners to prevent evictions from moving forward 

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bootcamp for Prep Cooks Supplies Ingredients for Entry Into Food Service Career

Individuals interested in starting a career in food service have an exciting new choice – Prep Cook Bootcamp ...

WA BLM Demands Resignation of Criminally-charged Sheriff Troyer

"He is being charged with two crimes: false reporting and making a false statement when he said that newspaper deliverer Sedrick...

'A Dangerous Time': Portland Sees Record Homicides

Unlike previous years, more bystanders are being caught in the crossfire — from people mourning at vigils and sitting in cars to...

State Agency Inadvertently Releases Employees Vaccine Status

Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to...

Simple Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating After Fauci Greenlighted Halloween 2021

Halloween 2020 brought creative ways to trick or treat while minimizing the spread of infection (

Parties in federal salmon lawsuit seek pause in litigation

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Fishing and conservation groups on Thursday joined with the state of Oregon, the Nez Perce Tribe and the Biden administration to seek a pause in litigation challenging the latest federal plan for hydropower operations on the Snake and Columbia rivers in an effort to save...

NW Washington raspberry harvest down 30% due to heat wave

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The late June record-breaking heat wave in the Pacific Northwest resulted in a significantly smaller raspberry harvest in northwest Washington. The 2021 harvest numbers show Whatcom County farmers brought around 44.5 million pounds (20.2 million...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

Letter to the Publisher: Black Publishers Shed Light on Pending Litigation Against NNPA

NNPA members Carole Geary, Dorothy R. Leavell and Amelia Ashley-Ward provide an update on pending litigation against the organization, its CEO and its former Treasurer. ...

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

43 countries criticize China at UN for repression of Uyghurs

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — More than 40 mainly Western countries criticized China at a U.N. meeting on Thursday for the reported torture and repression of Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, keeping a spotlight on the region where foreign governments and researchers say an...

'Widespread' racial harassment found at Utah school district

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal civil rights investigation released Thursday found widespread racial harassment of Black and Asian American students at a Utah school district, including hundreds of documented uses of the N-word and other racial epithets over the last five years. ...

Online threats draw longest term yet in Capitol riot probe

A man who pleaded guilty to posting threats on social media in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Thursday to 14 months in prison, the longest term to date resulting from the federal investigation of the insurrection. Troy Smocks of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Gwyneth Paltrow tackles bedroom taboos in Netflix series

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow admits she has insecurities about her physical appearance in an episode of her new Netflix series “ Sex, Love & goop,” but she’s working on that. The Oscar-winner and entrepreneur behind the goop beauty and wellness brand opens up in the six-episode...

Chapelle special spurs Netflix walkout; 'Trans lives matter'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix employees who walked out Wednesday in protest of Dave Chappelle's special and its anti-transgender comments were joined by allies who chanted “Trans lives matter,” getting pushback from counterprotesters who also showed up. A pre-noon rally at a...

Canadian wins 18th Chopin international piano competition

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu of Canada was named early Thursday as the winner of the 40,000-euro (,000) first prize in the 18th Frederic Chopin international piano competition, a prestigious event that launches pianists’ world careers. The announcement from...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden bill would put US back on path of reducing uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ social spending and climate change bill would put the United States back on a...

It will take more than rain to end drought in Western U.S.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians rejoiced this week when big drops of water started falling from the sky...

Moscow closing schools, many businesses as virus deaths soar

MOSCOW (AP) — Restaurants, movie theaters and many retail stores in Moscow will be closed for 11 days starting...

World's biggest triceratops sells for .7 million in Paris

PARIS (AP) — The world’s biggest triceratops skeleton, known as “Big John,” was sold for 6.6 million euros...

UN: Excluding women from peace talks risks more conflict

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Increasingly vast military expenditures and “the extreme marginalization and...

Palestinian prisoner's health declines amid hunger strike

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian held without charge by Israeli authorities is in “extremely...

Rafael Romo Senior Latin American Affairs Editor

(CNN) -- We found him in the foggy mountains of central Chile, near the town of Aguila Sur, conducting a ritual at dusk with two assistants.
Dr. Milton Flores, 58, is not the leader of a religious sect or underground cult. He's a psychiatrist who's unusual in many respects. But in this South American country, it's his crusade to legalize marijuana that has earned him notoriety.
When asked to describe marijuana, he says it's "a tool and a medicine." Flores has used cannabis for years to treat patients with different conditions, including depression and anxiety.
> He also admits he has smoked pot since he was 14.

Flores is Chile's main advocate for the legalization of marijuana and similar drugs including peyote, ayahuasca and San Pedro. Flores and other experts call these drugs entheogens. They're all psychoactive plants that were used in Latin America by shamans and healers in religious ceremonies well before the arrival of European conquerors in the 16th century.

Flores' main contention with these drugs' illegal status is that the state gains nothing by criminalizing individuals who use them for medicinal or spiritual purposes the way he does.

"Cannabis is neither good nor bad," he says. "Its use can be appropriate or inappropriate. It's a tool that can have very significant effects."
Throughout his career, the psychiatrist has spoken publicly about his position regarding these drugs. He's gone to great lengths to make his point.
His property has been raided twice by Chilean authorities.
In March, police confiscated several marijuana plants at his mountain retreat. His case went all the way up to the Chilean Supreme Court, but it was dismissed on a technicality. More recently, Flores was found guilty of growing 116 plants of marijuana on his property in Aguila Sur; he was sentenced last week to 541 days, or more than 18 months, of probation.
"There's no willingness to hear the pleas of a citizen who decides to exercise his freedom of conscience and his freedom to grow what is sacred to care for his life," Flores told CNN. "This to me is the most serious violation that has become evident [by this ruling]."
Not surprisingly, Flores has a significant number of fans among young Chileans, including Oscar Bustamante, a 27-year-old student at the University of Chile in Santiago.
"Consuming marijuana, whatever the reason, is totally and absolutely a personal choice and should not be banned as long as the individual doesn't harm anybody else," Bustamante says.
Some Chilean politicians are sympathetic to Flores' cause.

A few years ago, a government minister acknowledged he smoked marijuana. Some senators and representatives followed suit. And even though smoking marijuana no longer has the stigma it once had, and smoking it is rarely prosecuted, the country still bans the production, sale, distribution and large-scale possession of marijuana.

The Chilean government is getting pressure from two sides.
On the one hand, countries such as the United States and Colombia favor a tough, law-enforcement approach on drugs. On the other hand, liberal politicians advocate making a distinction between public health and national security when it comes to dealing with drugs.
It's a debate that leaders in the United States and other South American countries know well.
Uruguayan legislators have been arguing for nearly a year over a bill that would legalize marijuana. The bill would give the Uruguayan government the power to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana. Leftist President Jose Mujica is said to favor the legislation.
Former Latin American presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Cesar Gaviria of Colombia and Vicente Fox of Mexico have all publicly spoken in favor of legalizing not only marijuana, but several other drugs. The war on drugs, Fox told CNN in November, "costs a lot of money. It costs a lot of lives and blood; it costs a lot of foreign investment lost, a lot of tourism that we have lost in Mexico."

Its effectiveness, the former president says, is questionable at best and countries should take a public health approach to the drug problem.
Patricio Navia, a Chilean-born professor of liberal studies at New York University, says a growing number of legislators in his country favor the idea of decriminalizing marijuana so law enforcement can concentrate efforts on more addictive drugs such as crack.
"The drug problem in Chile has to do with crack," Navia says. "Among the low-income population, crack is the biggest problem that's associated with crime. People who smoke marijuana don't go and assault other people in order to get more money to keep on smoking marijuana."
Flores' biggest fan is, perhaps, his own daughter.
Carola Flores-Fernandez, a 33-year-old anthropology doctoral student at the University of California-Santa Barbara, says her father's crusade has opened an important national debate on drugs -- a topic that used to be taboo.

"I'm very proud, and I think it's something that is slowly changing the perspective of many people in different levels in this country," Flores-Fernandez says.
Back at his mountain retreat near Aguila Sur, Flores says he's no longer growing marijuana, although he keeps small plants of San Pedro and ayahuasca.
His hope is that his crusade will allow him to grow and consume these drugs without fear in the near future.

 

LINKED STORIES
Smoke Clears for Attitudes on Pot, Voters Respond
Elections: Colorado Passes Marijuana Tax and Portland Maine Legalizes Marijuana
Should Marijuana Be Legal? Better People Will Host Discussion Thursday Oct. 3, 2013
Retail Marijuana Stores? in Washington, More Than 300 May Set Up Shop
Video Christie Seeks Changes in New Jersey Medical Marijuana Bill
Chilean Psychiatrist Leads Crusade to Legalize Marijuana
Uruaguay: House Passes Law to Legalize Marijuana
Policy Group Highlights Relative Safety of Marijuana in Comparison to Alcohol
Marijuana Advocates Hope to Rise from 'Prohibition'
Video: Marijuana Use Legal? Voters in Oregon, Colorado and Washington Will Decide
Decriminalization Documentary Extols Virtues of Legalizing Marijuana
Federal Laws on Medical Marijuana -- Science or Hypocrisy?
Legal Marijuana Could Yield Billions in Taxes

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