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NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Medical marijuana ‘one of the great hoaxes of all time’

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New York City Michael Bloomberg lashed out at the medical marijuana community during his weekly radio show on Friday.

“Medical, my foot,” Bloomberg told WOR-AM host John Gambling. “There is no medical. This is one of the great hoaxes of all times. The bottom line is, I’m told marijuana is much stronger today than it was 20, 30 years ago.”

The mayor’s statements came a day after the state assembly approved a bill decriminalizing small amounts of the drug.

Bloomberg quickly added that he had “no personal experience” smoking marijuana in recent years. But as Gothamist noted on Friday, he has smoked the drug in his past; in 2002 he said he regretted telling New York magazine, “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”

Besides his problems with the alleged potency of modern marijuana, Bloomberg said he opposed legalized marijuana sales because “drug dealers” would only be encouraged to sell more illegal drugs.

“Drug dealers have families to feed,” he said to Gambling. “If they can’t sell marijuana, they’ll sell something else. And the something else will be something worse, and the push to legalize this is wrongheaded.”

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Bloomberg also complained about unnamed prescription drugs with “hallucinogenic characteristics or effects,” which allegedly prompted drug store robberies, although he did not explain how that related to medicinal marijuana, which is most often sold in separate establishments.

State Sen. Diane Savino (D), who is co-sponsoring a bill legalizing the drug for medical uses, told the New York Post she was willing to bring patients who need it to meet Bloomberg to illustrate the reality of their situation.

“We’re talking about people with terminal illnesses, seizure disorders,” Savino said to the newspaper. “We’re not talking about recreational use.”

The mayor’s remarks were also blasted by a medical advocacy group, NY Physicians for Compassionate Care. On Thursday, the organization held a press conference announcing that 600 physicians from across the state supported the newly-passed assembly bill.

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“Mayor Bloomberg’s statement that medical marijuana is a hoax is tantamount to saying that the moon landing was faked,” said a spokesperson for the group, Sunil Aggarwal, in a statement. “Marijuana, given in oral and inhaled forms, has been shown in large, gold-standard, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trials conducted at major medical centers to relieve pain and muscle spasm, and stimulate appetite and weight gain in patients with wasting syndromes. The data is published for all to see and has been backed up by biochemistry.”

Listen to Bloomberg’s remarks, aired Friday, below.

[h/t The Atlantic Wire]

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Iran says new ‘mentally retarded’ Trump sanctions mean ‘permanent closure’ of diplomacy

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Iran said Tuesday that new US sanctions targeting its supreme leader meant a “permanent closure” of diplomacy, while the country’s president labelled the White House “mentally retarded” as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions against Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday, taking a dramatic and unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an American drone last week.

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‘Dangerous linguistic power’: A historian explains how Trump weaponizes nicknames

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Is Donald Trump the modern day Earl Long?

A three-time Louisiana governor, Long mastered the art of political ridicule seven decades ago by weaponizing nicknames. The hilarious names Long pinned on his rivals, and the rollicking stories he told about them, riveted audiences bored by puffed-up rhetoric.

While Long’s stunts may be remembered as silly hijinks, there was a sly, often deadly serious, purpose to his technique. He used it to get voters to laugh at his foes and to put them on the defensive––a place politicians never want to be. Tucked within Long’s jests were razor-sharp attacks aimed at exploiting opposition weaknesses––hidden swords inside a pea-patch cloak.

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Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers

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Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.

The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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