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A funny thing happens when drugs are legalized: Violence and crime happen a lot less.

After trillions of dollars spent, the "war on drugs" clearly is not working and ruining lives. Are there other options? Ayup.

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Open Society Foundations

"Why aren't drugs legal?" asks this video, smartly, from BITE News:

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Don't have time to watch the whole thing? Here's a quick breakdown.


"Let's be real: Legal or not, people do drugs." And what the video says is true. 33% of adults have taken an illegal drug.

20% of people 16 to 24 years old have admitted taking drugs in the last year. That's 1 in 5.

So how can we safely regulate drugs? (Since keeping everything illegal hasn't accomplished much except imprisoning a lot of people...)

All governments together have spent several trillion dollars on the international war on drugs in the last 20 years. What has it accomplished? Black-market violence, public health crises, massive imprisonment of people ... if this were an actual war, guess who would be on the losing side? Yep ... the people. As in taxpayers and citizens. Us.

But there are some bright spots.

Portugal decriminalized small amounts of drugs for personal use. The result? Fewer drug crimes and fewer people dying.

In the United States, 20 states have decriminalized marijuana, and many more will over the next five years.

Those states and the states that have fully legalized it have seen increased tax revenue from crops and regulation of the industry. And it's generating millions of dollars for those who work and invest in the production and distribution of it. Capitalism much?

Switzerland in the 1990s had one of the highest rates of HIV infection in Europe when it came up with the brilliant idea of giving out heroin prescriptions in community-based treatment programs. It worked.

Heroin use went down, and new HIV infections declined by 87%. Yes, 87%. That's pretty huge.

A lot of countries have been a little afraid of trying new approaches. At the time, the United Nations wrongly accused Switzerland of encouraging criminals by attempting this experiment, which of course is not the case, given the data.

We should hold up the countries that are doing it right (or are starting to ... right, USA?) as shining examples of how to deal with drug use by citizens.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

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Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

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Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

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Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

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This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

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Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

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