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The Mexican Supreme Court's marijuana ruling could save lives on both sides of the border.

Mexico's War on Drugs was a violent failure. Legalizing marijuana may right that wrong.

The Mexican Supreme Court's marijuana ruling could save lives on both sides of the border.

In 2006, then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón went all in on his country's version of the War on Drugs.

Calderón empowered the military to take action against Mexican drug cartels and put an end to the flow of drugs to the United States. What he got was unprecedented violence, with 100,000 dead and more than 26,000 people missing.


A Mexican soldier stands guard during the incineration of about 6,000 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and psychotropic pills in 2012. Photo by Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images.

As U.S. decriminalization and legalization policies took hold, illegal importation of marijuana from Mexico fell.

This may seem obvious, but once Americans were able to legally grow, purchase, and possess marijuana (as we can in an increasing number of places within the U.S.), there was less incentive for the cartels to continue taking risks in drug-running.

Time reports that U.S. Border Patrol seizures of marijuana fell from 2.5 million pounds in 2011 to 1.9 million pounds in 2014. Even more impressive is that in 2014, with only five U.S. states legalizing marijuana, the Mexican army confiscated nearly a third less marijuana at the border than in 2013.


A Mexican soldier stands guard next to marijuana packages recovered near the U.S. border in 2010. Photo by Francisco Vega/AFP/Getty Images.

With more Americans able to acquire marijuana legally, illegal trade between Mexico and the U.S. declined, as did violent crime.

In 2011, Mexican police departments reported 22,852 murders. In 2014, that number dropped to 15,649. Reduce the cashflow to cartels, and they're less able to enact violence against others — it's simple math.

Guns recovered during a cartel raid. Photo by Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images.

But now, a recent ruling from Mexico's Supreme Court might bring the country a whole lot closer to decriminalizing marijuana and putting an end to the violence.

Though the court didn't strike down any of the country's existing anti-marijuana laws, today's ruling, which states that individuals in Mexico have the right to grow marijuana for personal use, puts those laws on extremely shaky ground. After all, if people have a right to possess and use marijuana, existing laws stating the contrary may soon fall to legal challenges.

Demonstrators both for and against decriminalization of marijuana gathered outside the courthouse in Mexico City on Nov. 4, 2015. Photo by Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images.

Calderón left office in late 2012. His successor, President Enrique Peña Nieto, unveiled a new policy aimed at reducing violence instead of engaging cartels in military standoffs. While he doesn't support the legalization of marijuana outright, his approach has been significantly less destructive than Calderón's.

Will Mexico's marijuana laws ultimately fall? Will legalization continue to make its way across the U.S.? One can hope.

One can argue that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than marijuana. After all, no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose, and in states that have legalized it, there haven't been any of the ill effects opponents of legalization warned of. Once you factor in the 100,000-plus lives lost to cartel violence and the War on Drugs, legalization is a no-brainer.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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