Oregon decriminalizes drugs: Here are 3 metrics other states will track

It's "the biggest blow to the war on drugs to date," said Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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  • Oregon voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • The state also legalized the therapeutic use and sale of psilocybin mushrooms.
  • As the laws go into effect, other U.S. states will be watching to see how the experiment plays out, influencing future votes across the country.
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Why the US must break the grip of huge monopolies

Monopolies wield an immense amount of economic and political power and influence. So what can we do to make the economy more equitable?

  • According to Vanderbilt law professor and author Ganesh Sitaraman, America has a monopoly problem—a problem that is almost universally acknowledged as such, yet little is done about it.
  • Sitaraman explains how monopolies of today share DNA with trusts of the 19th century, and how the increased concentration and consolidation of these corporations translates to increased power both economically and politically.
  • "We need to think about reinvigorating our anti-trust laws and the principles of anti-monopoly that gave spirit to those laws and to lots of other regulations," he argues. Restoring faith in government and the economy starts with dismantling the things that make people question its allegiances and priorities.
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Cornell University program aims to end world hunger in 10 years

Can we end world hunger by 2030? Thanks to a new program, the data for it is all there.

Credit: SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)
  • An international team of researchers has released a series of studies geared towards ending world hunger.
  • They are thought to be some of the first people to use Evidence Synthesis for agricultural data.
  • Their ideas could increase food production and lower poverty for a low cost, regardless if they meet their lofty goal.
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Is the US actually a democracy?

Law professor Ganesh Sitaraman explains why America has never achieved true democracy—and how it can.

  • Three essential components of democracy are economic equality, social unity, and a government that acts in the interest of the people. America lacks all three of those components, says Vanderbilt University Law School Professor Ganesh Sitaraman.
  • "In study after study, political scientists have shown that our government is responsive primarily to the wealthy and interest groups, not to ordinary people," says Sitaraman. "A system of government that is mostly unresponsive to the people is not a democracy at all."
  • Sitaraman argues that the neoliberal era is what divided America and continues to prevent the country from realizing a true democracy. In this video, he explains the problem with neoliberalism and how a new agenda could create far better opportunities.
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Will America’s disregard for science be the end of its reign?

Confirmation bias is baked into the DNA of America, but it may soon be the nation's undoing.

  • From America's inception, there has always been a rebellious, anti-establishment mentality. That way of thinking has become more reckless now that the entire world is interconnected and there are added layers of verification (or repudiation) of facts.
  • As the great minds in this video can attest, there are systems and mechanisms in place to discern between opinion and truth. By making conscious efforts to undermine and ignore those systems at every turn (climate change, conspiracy theories, coronavirus, politics, etc.), America has compromised its position of power and effectively stunted its own growth.
  • A part of the problem, according to writer and radio host Kurt Andersen, is a new media infrastructure that allows for false opinions to persist and spread to others. Is it the beginning of the end of the American empire?

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