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Dalai Lama tells Mexican audience he supports medical marijuana use

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The Dalai Lama weighed in on Mexico’s marijuana legalization debate on Tuesday, telling an audience that he backs the drug’s use for medicinal purposes.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking at an event hosted by former Mexican president Vicente Fox, said that “the exception” for smoking marijuana would be if it has pharmaceutical virtues.

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“But otherwise if it’s just an issue of somebody (using the drug to have) a crazy mind, that’s not good,” he said after being asked his position on legalization at the outdoor event at the ex-president’s Fox Center in the central state of Guanajuato.

Fox, who laughed when the question was asked to the Dalai Lama, has become a leading voice in favor of legalizing the narcotic in order to cut down a major revenue stream for ultra-violent drug cartels.

The Dalai Lama has been touring Mexico since Friday but the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has sought closer ties with China, has decided not to meet with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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A historian explains why Robert E. Lee wasn’t a hero — he was a traitor

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There’s a fabled moment from the Battle of Fredericksburg, a gruesome Civil War battle that extinguished several thousand lives, when the commander of a rebel army looked down upon the carnage and said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” That commander, of course, was Robert Lee.

The moment is the stuff of legend. It captures Lee’s humility (he won the battle), compassion, and thoughtfulness. It casts Lee as a reluctant leader who had no choice but to serve his people, and who might have had second thoughts about doing so given the conflict’s tremendous amount of violence and bloodshed. The quote, however, is misleading. Lee was no hero. He was neither noble nor wise. Lee was a traitor who killed United States soldiers, fought for human enslavement, vastly increased the bloodshed of the Civil War, and made embarrassing tactical mistakes.

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Adam Schiff moves to implicate Pence in the Ukraine scandal as Republicans go off the rails

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar asks judge to ‘show compassion’ for man who threatened to put bullet in her head

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After a man accused of threatening her life pled guilty to the crime in a U.S. District Court, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday released publicly a letter she wrote asking the federal judge presiding over the case to "show compassion" in his sentencing.

Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., a 55-year-old man from upstate New York, pled guilty on Monday on gun charges and for threatening to murder Omar in phone calls he made to her congressional office in March of this year. But in her letter to Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., Omar said that while the charges were quite serious she did not think that an overly punitive sentence was the answer.

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