After 28 years of being clean, I'm still a "junkie." That's okay, though. I have accepted the fact that those 821 days out of over the 21,000 days I've lived will be the touchstone of my life. However, what I can't for the life of me figure out is what happened to my brain.
Both the War on Terror and the War on Drugs have created larger problems than they have solved, and have been exploited for aims other than the stated objectives of stopping acts of terror and the flow of drugs.
It was in the mid-90s, while serving time at FCI Beckley in West Virginia, that I first heard about White Boy Rick. Like any street legend he had an equal number of supporters and detractors on the inside. I didn't read about White Boy Rick in any newspaper or see any media reports about him on the television.
This week Hillary Clinton again revealed a blind spot for the drug war and a deafness of tone towards Latino issues. She decided to brag about Plan Colombia, her husband's signature international drug policy initiative, which has been a total disaster in one of the most emblematic theaters of the failed war on drugs.
It is clear that the DEA has done more damage than good when it comes to drug use in the U.S. From the rise of toxic designer drugs to the billions of dollars wasted fighting on the "war on drugs" to the innocent lives lost because of their carelessness, it is time to cut our losses and shut down the DEA.
A visit to Mexico, with places like Ayotzinapa and Ciudad Juárez as backdrop, will challenge Pope Francis to re-articulate a vision of the common good dramatically at odds with the reality of contemporary Mexico, and to offer hope to a people weighed down by near hopelessness.
Tori did not wake up one day and say to herself, "I am going to fall in love with a drug addict," or "I am going to have a child with a drug addict." Many loved ones aren't even aware of the substance abusers' struggles until the lies they put into place in order to hide their habit begin to unravel.
Should the United Nations support the decriminalization of drug use? This was the question raised last week by Richard Branson, a well-known entrepreneur and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a private group.
In 1987, I beat a 10-bag-a-day heroin habit. Somehow, I pulled myself out and went on this unbelievable journey. However, I have never in my life witnessed anything like the current heroin epidemic in America. How did we get here?
However there is something profoundly revolutionary about this -- by providing a way for Marijuana's non-intoxicating cousin Hemp to be a legal product for its various uses, from paper, to clothes, biofuel, food and especially reducing our carbon by CO2 absorption.
In less than a week, Ohioans casting their ballots will be faced with a difficult decision: how to vote on Issue 3, which would legalize marijuana for both medical and personal use while putting the Initiative's funders in complete control of cultivating the highly lucrative plant.
About 20 million tons of cotton are produced each and every year, making it far and away the world's most profitable non-food crop. But it's resource intensive in a big way.
The road following imprisonment is not an easy one. I know because I have walked it. When I was released 17 years ago from the living nightmare of imprisonment, I found that returning to the real world was both frightening and unbelievably difficult.
This debate in Mexico's Supreme Court is extraordinary for two reasons: because it is being argued on human rights grounds, and because it is taking place in one of the countries that has suffered the most from the war on drugs.
Rojas performed "Imagine That" in August on HuffPost Live's #FreestyleFridays, which streams live each week on Periscope and has welcomed guests including Joell Ortiz, Masta Ace, Nitty Scott MC and more. Tune in this Friday, Oct. 23, at 5:30 p.m. ET for a live performance from Joe Budden.
The box office success of the film Sicario, which has grossed over 50 million dollars as of Oct. 18, seems to reflect the public's taste for violence and drama, especially at the border. Yet, how much do we really understand about the realities of those living in that space?