01-31-2023  6:32 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon State Celebrates Black History Month With a Series of Events

Free events highlight the achievements and perseverance of Black and African American communities from the past to the present. ...

Word is Bond Announces Second Annual In My Shoes Walking-tour Project for Black History Month

Tours run February 4 through February 25, 2023 in King, New Columbia, Vancouver, Woodlawn, Goose Hollow, Montavilla, Parkrose, and...

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Child welfare algorithm faces Justice Department scrutiny

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Justice Department has been scrutinizing a controversial artificial intelligence tool used by a Pittsburgh-area child protective services agency following concerns that it could result in discrimination against families with disabilities, The Associated Press has learned. ...

Kidnap suspect released day he arrived at Nevada prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state’s custody to serve a kidnapping sentence, authorities said...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Hungary FM: Sweden should 'act differently' to join NATO

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Sweden's government should “act differently” if it wants to clinch Turkish support for its bid to join NATO, Hungary's foreign minister said Tuesday, adding that a recent Quran-burning protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm was “unacceptable." ...

Nordic unions leaving international media body over Russia

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A group of Nordic journalists' unions said Tuesday they have left the International Federation of Journalists, which the Norwegian association accused of failing to react to the existence of a Russian media union in occupied areas of Ukraine. For years,...

Child welfare algorithm faces Justice Department scrutiny

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Justice Department has been scrutinizing a controversial artificial intelligence tool used by a Pittsburgh-area child protective services agency following concerns that it could result in discrimination against families with disabilities, The Associated Press has learned. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Making of 'The Way We Were' is a rich, gossipy tale

“The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen” by Robert Hofler (Citadel) Most people seem to like their screen romances a little on the sad side. When the American Film Institute listed its top romantic...

Amina Luqman-Dawson’s 'Freewater' wins John Newbery Medal

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Amina Luqman-Dawson made time to write a children's book she calls her "little quiet project," a historical adventure about a community of escaped slaves that she completed while raising a son and working as a policy consultant and researcher on education and domestic...

Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort, nervousness

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Noah feels more comfortable hosting the Grammy Awards for a third-straight year, but the former “The Daily Show” host still has some nervousness about leading the ceremony with big-time acts like Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Styles looking on. “The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

President Biden to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden informed Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies...

China accuses Washington of wanting 'technological hegemony'

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government accused Washington on Tuesday of pursuing “technology hegemony”...

Europe scrapes out economic growth by dodging gas disaster

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s economy scraped out meager gains at the end of last year as galloping...

Hungary FM: Sweden should 'act differently' to join NATO

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Sweden's government should “act differently” if it wants to clinch Turkish support...

What's behind the Pakistani Taliban's insurgency?

ISLAMABAD (AP) — When a suicide bomber struck a mosque inside a police compound in the northwestern city of...

Cyprus picks new president amid economic doubt, ethnic split

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cypriots are voting Sunday for a new president who they’ll expect to decisively steer...

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

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.