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Cory Booker: We must ‘radically change’ this drug war ‘insanity’

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Newark New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker (D) said Monday that he wants to be a leader in the drug reform movement no matter where he goes next in his public career, explaining that America must “radically change” the “insanity” of its generations-old drug war.

Explaining to Huffington Post Live that marijuana legalization is only the beginning, Booker recommended viewing the pro-reform documentary “Breaking the Taboo,” which was recently made freely available on YouTube.

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“We have seen so much of our national treasure being spent in the drug war and, and now we’ve, in my opinion, churned human life into incarceration, trapping into into poverty,” he said. “I’m not saying people don’t need to take responsibility for their own lawlessness, but what I’ve seen in Newark is that there’s a massive trap in this drug war. And it’s not just a trap for the individuals being arrested, it’s a trap for taxpayers, communities and towns.”

“We’re not making our nation safer with this assault on the drug war,” Booker added. “We’re not making our nation less addicted to substances. We need to change, I believe, radically change the national conversation and begin to talk about drugs — especially drugs like pot — in a different way.”

The drug reform movement’s true goals, he said, should be creating policies that “strongly empower human beings to succeed to deal with drug addiction and the like, and allow us to turn our attentions and energies and investment in areas that actually celebrate human liberty and celebrate human success and accomplishment.”

“This is a conversation that, no matter what I do — mayor, governor, senator — I want to be one of the people hopefully trying to lead the national conversation away from this insanity that we have right now.”

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Booker, one of the nation’s most popular mayors, was once seen as a likely challenger to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), who has seen his popularity surge following Hurricane Sandy. He is, however, more likely to make a leap into the U.S. Senate in 2014 — an arguably more influential national platform.
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Photo: Flickr user David Shankbone, creative commons licensed.

The video below is from Huffington Post Live, published Monday, December 17, 2012.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump officials abruptly call off Midwest agriculture tour amid rising tensions with farmers

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President Donald Trump's officials were abruptly told to end their agricultural tour in the Midwest this week as tensions among farmers continue to rise.

Bloomberg News reported Trump administration officials were visiting farmers in the Midwest when they received a credible threat that prompted them to end their tour. The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour was taking a look at soybeans and corn with Department of Agriculture staff when they were forced to pull out of the area.

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Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine, about the president's fitness for office. Lee helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She authored the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” which shows how the dangerous psychology of individuals is connected to dangerous societies and cultures, including their politics and economics. She and several coauthors of the public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” prepared a mental health analysis of the president using information in the Mueller report (dangerouscase.org).

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Trump has now humiliated his own ambassador to Denmark twice in just one day

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President Donald Trump's statements about the Danish government over the past 24 hours have made things awkward for Carla Sands, the former soap opera actress and chiropractor whom the president appointed to be America's ambassador to Denmark.

On Tuesday, Sands sent out a tweet that hyped up the president's scheduled visit to Denmark -- only to have the president announce on Twitter that he was canceling the event just hours later because the country's prime minister would not entertain his pitch to sell Greenland to the United States.

Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend 🇺🇸🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/6VEtR1mbay

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