The war on drugs can’t be won, not the way you think.

Adobe Stock: fotokitas

Has the United States’ war on drugs always really been about drug use? We’ve all heard many gut-wrenching, heartbreaking stories about addiction. Lives have been destroyed. Families have been torn apart. Criminalization has created an insidious monster. Casualties litter our country. We’ve been told the enemy is “drug abuse”, but the drugs aren’t the ones paying the heavy price.

In the 1870s, the first anti-opium laws were put into action, but they were mainly directed at Chinese immigrants. When the first anti-cocaine laws were drafted and enforced in the early 1900s, they targeted black men. In 1971, President Nixon plunged…


Adobe Stock: Gorodenkoff

How many musicians and other famous artists do we know that regularly uses weed? Who immediately comes to mind? For me, I think of people like Mac Miller and Eric Bellinger. Rihanna and A$AP Rocky also come to mind. However, the list is endless and goes back almost as far as time itself does.

Millions have been spent on anti-cannabis campaigns and propaganda spreading misinformation in order to scare people away from the “devil’s lettuce.” Throughout my childhood, there were quarterly anti-drug assemblies in crowded, smelly gyms and dimly lit auditoriums. They told us strangers would offer various drugs to…


Adobe Stock: LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS

Alcohol has been around for about as long as humans have. It’s been brewed, crafted, conjured, and sold whether it was entirely legal or not. Despite the devastating aftermath alcohol can cause, it is widely socially accepted. When people talk about how dangerous drugs like marijuana, crack, and heroin is, they usually fail to mention how dangerous alcohol can be as well. Why is that?

Why isn’t alcohol considered a gateway drug?

Why isn’t it considered a drug at all? When taken in excess, it causes mental impairment and lowered impulse control. It’s a factor in countless suicides, homicides, and traffic accidents year after year.

“Alcoholism has…


Adobe Stock: Ayehab

Year after year, teachers and faculty would round us up to sit criss-cross on the floor in a small gym for regular D.A.R.E assemblies. Drug Abuse Resistance Education uses a mixture of fact-vomiting and intimidation to persuade kids to live a drug-free life.

For years they told us that people would offer, pressure, and give away addictive, life-destroying drugs as we got older. This was the biggest lie I’ve ever heard — even bigger than Santa Claus.

Cannabis flower is anywhere from $20 — $60 a gram in a Michigan Dispensary. Then add 10% excise tax and another 6% sales…


“Burnout” can be just as physical as it is mental

Adobe Stock

A successful hacker worked himself so hard that he burned up all the glucose in his brain.

With debt up to his eyeballs, he eagerly accepted every gig that was tossed his way. He worked every day, night, and weekend.

In February of 2020, he felt a peculiar “pop” in his brain. He described it like a guitar string being snapped. A severe migraine surfaced and his vocabulary disappeared.

Every time he tried to work, it would happen again. The more creative he got with his hacking, the more his brain seemed to “cramp.” His primary doctor was dumbfounded. His psychiatrist figured he was simply stressed and mixed a cocktail of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.

They kept…


It means a lot; It’s one of the greatest gifts of all

Adobe Stock

In the past five or six years, my desire to be a father has grown immensely.

When I was younger, before I realized I was trans, the thought of having kids was appalling. I didn’t want to carry a child. I refused to be a mother. Since my chronic illness is hereditary, I carried it around in my back pocket as a useful excuse. I didn’t want a child to have to go through what I did, but the other reasons were first in my mind.

After I realized I was trans, I also realized I wanted a wife and family. I had no idea how it would happen since biologically I can’t impregnate a woman…


What does that mean for a multi-transplant patient?

Adobe Stock

With shaky fingers, I dialed 9–1–1 and waited for an operator to pick up.

It was around 5 A.M. I leaned against the wall of the bedroom I share with my fiance. Every time I laid down, I couldn’t breathe. The night before, I coughed so much I puked twice. I banged on the wall and laid in the middle of the bathroom floor, too exhausted and in too much discomfort to move.

She swallowed her fear and helped me up. We both didn’t get any sleep that night, and she called out of work the next day to keep an eye on me.

I tried to stay calm as I explained what was…


A poem series exploring the aftermath of police brutality

Adobe Stock: motortion

Part One

Found in a pool of your own blood
Cops at the scene swear it was drugs
Screaming that you got a gun
Your own mind told you to run
Blue uniforms
Flashing lights
You not making it home tonight
Hope you remembered to kiss your wife
Remembered to call your mom
Paramedics race to the scene
Already flatlined
Ran out of time
Ran out of life
They watched the light dim from your eyes
Bodycam turned off
Oh well, your loss
Across town
Friday night lights
They just had kickoff
Lil’ bro running back
Gunning through holes in the defense
Looking for you in the stands
Got a lil girl crushing on…


Who do you call in a crisis if you can’t call the police?

Adobe Stock: Tomasz Zajda

Isaiah Brown was driven home after his car broke down by a Virginia sheriff on April 21. Less than an hour later, that same sheriff shot him multiple times. There was a report of a domestic altercation between him and his brother. The black and gay 32-year-old was in the middle of a heated incident and called 911 for help.

Isaiah had his cordless house phone to his ear, but the cop mistook it for a gun. He was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. …


The ugly side of social media

Adobe Stock: terovesalainen

Sixty-six people have been murdered by the police since the start of the Derek Chauvin case, and that’s just the ones that we know about.
Certain news stations called this case the George Floyd case, even though young Floyd was the one murdered.

We watched this trial unfold with clenched fists and unswallowed grief. George Floyd could have been me. He could have been your brother, father, uncle, best friend, or coworker.

Chauvin was caught on video holding his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, despite the fact that he was already prone and handcuffed. At that point…

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