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Archive for April 17th, 2014

Gang Land News: Ex-New York Mobster Alleges that Rev. Al Sharpton Was the Mob’s Go to Guy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-mobster who became a man of the cloth tells Gang Land News that Rev. Al Sharpton  used his ties to the mob to make money, and Sharpton was the mob’s hired gun.

Ex-Colombo crime family Capo Michael Franzese tells Jerry Capeci of Gang Land News that Sharpton used his influence with black entertainers to get cash payoffs from mobsters and mob-connected firms.

He allegedly helped recruit entertainers for a record label with mob ties.  Sharpton insists he had no idea whether some people had mob ties.

Franzese also alleged that Sharpton helped him in a union organizing scam. Franzese planned to unionize hotel security guards in Atlantic City and needed Sharpton’s help.

“I told Sharpton about it. I told him we were going to picket at one of the hotels and needed his help. It was a long time ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. He said, ‘Mike, for the right price, I’ll have six busloads of the nastiest looking n—- down there as quick as you can say Al Sharpton. I’ll have them slamming the front doors of those hotels day and night.”

“Everybody on the street knew Sharpton was a gun for hire,” Franzese told Gang Land.

Sharpton told Gang Land News that Franzese was the “biggest liar” and denied being involved in any mob-related union organizing campaign.

Gang Land News is a paid subscription site, but worth it.

 

More Info on the Downside of Smoking Marijuana Including Impact on Brain Structure of Young Adults

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A recent study by researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University Medical School has concluded that even moderate use of marijuana by young adults affects the structure of their brains.

The study, published in the April 16, 2014 Journal of Neuroscience, found that the size and shape of the region of the brain involved in emotion and motivation were abnormal in these casual users compared to non-users. Further, the more an individual uses marijuana, the more pronounced these structural changes are.

The study is significant because most of the recent studies showing the effects of marijuana on the brain were performed with heavy rather than casual users. The study joins the increased amount of recent scientific and medical evidence that marijuana use, especially for young brains, has unhealthy side effects. As reported the last few months in this column, these reports have shown:

  • The tripling of calls to Poison Centers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form about young children who have ingested marijuana (University of Maryland, Center for Substance Abuse Research)
  •  Dramatic increase in the need for medical intervention for children in states that have decriminalized marijuana use (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • The marijuana addiction rate for youth is 17%, three times that of adults (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
  • In medical marijuana states, one-third of the 12th graders report that one of their sources of supply is from adults with a medical marijuana prescription (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
  • Increased use of marijuana by American teens and a sharp decline in their perception that marijuana use can be risky (Same source)
  • Use of marijuana during pregnancy affects the baby’s brain (Live Science)
  • Increased statistics of marijuana-related emergency room visits (DAWN)
  • Chronic use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety by down regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Neuron)

After years of very limited research on the medical effects of marijuana, this barrage of recent studies seems to be receiving little attention among state legislatures which are following the trend toward legalization which has changed the national culture in such a short period of time. Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all states in all forms. Today two states have legalized recreational use as well as numerous random municipalities, and 21 have authorized its “medical” use. Numerous states are considering similar bills, and the federal policy on enforcement has been altered dramatically by the present administration.

Pro-marijuana advocates are quick to point out their views on the harm of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. If there is to be a full and fair discussion on the future on this issue, the mounting scientific and medical evidence deserve full consideration.

 

Parker: More Info on the Downside of Smoking Marijuana Including Impact on Brain Structure of Young Adults

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. 

Ross Parker

 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A recent study by researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University Medical School has concluded that even moderate use of marijuana by young adults affects the structure of their brains.

The study, published in the April 16, 2014 Journal of Neuroscience, found that the size and shape of the region of the brain involved in emotion and motivation were abnormal in these casual users compared to non-users. Further, the more an individual uses marijuana, the more pronounced these structural changes are.

The study is significant because most of the recent studies showing the effects of marijuana on the brain were performed with heavy rather than casual users. The study joins the increased amount of recent scientific and medical evidence that marijuana use, especially for young brains, has unhealthy side effects. As reported the last few months in this column, these reports have shown:

  • The tripling of calls to Poison Centers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form about young children who have ingested marijuana (University of Maryland, Center for Substance Abuse Research)
  •  Dramatic increase in the need for medical intervention for children in states that have decriminalized marijuana use (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • The marijuana addiction rate for youth is 17%, three times that of adults (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
  • In medical marijuana states, one-third of the 12th graders report that one of their sources of supply is from adults with a medical marijuana prescription (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
  • Increased use of marijuana by American teens and a sharp decline in their perception that marijuana use can be risky (Same source)
  • Use of marijuana during pregnancy affects the baby’s brain (Live Science)
  • Increased statistics of marijuana-related emergency room visits (DAWN)
  • Chronic use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety by down regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Neuron)

After years of very limited research on the medical effects of marijuana, this barrage of recent studies seems to be receiving little attention among state legislatures which are following the trend toward legalization which has changed the national culture in such a short period of time. Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all states in all forms. Today two states have legalized recreational use as well as numerous random municipalities, and 21 have authorized its “medical” use. Numerous states are considering similar bills, and the federal policy on enforcement has been altered dramatically by the present administration.

Pro-marijuana advocates are quick to point out their views on the harm of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. If there is to be a full and fair discussion on the future on this issue, the mounting scientific and medical evidence deserve full consideration.

 

FBI Used Drones to Investigate Dog Fighting, Drug Trafficking, But Mum on Other Flights

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI uses controversial drone technology in the U.S. but has refused to identify how often agents deploy the unmanned planes.

Motherboard.com reports that the obscurity of the drone missions has irked privacy advocates.

But now, some of the missions have come to light thanks to documents obtained by MuckRock.

The FBI has used drones to investigate dog fighting operations and drug trafficking and to search for some of the bureau’s 10 most wanted fugitives.

Unfortunately for transparency advocates, the records don’t indicate details of a lot of other cases.

Medical Privacy Laws Hampering Law Enforcement’s Efforts to Crack Down on Drug Deaths

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Law enforcement is struggling to crack down on growing drug abuse because of a lack of recent data on drug deaths, especially from heroin overdoses, NBC News reports.

The problem, which was raised at a gathering of law enforcement Wednesday to discuss drug abuse, is that patient privacy laws are making it difficult for authorities to gather information on patient deaths.

“I don’t care about the names of the individuals, I just need the numbers!” Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsay said at the Police Executive Research Forum.

Information also is lacking on what is sometimes referred to as “drop-offs” at emergency rooms.

Of particular concern is opiate-related deaths because of large spikes in the past two decades.

Newly Uncovered E-Mails: IRS’ Lerner Discussed Targeting ‘Political’ Groups with DOJ

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New evidence has emerged to indicate that Lois Lerner, the central figure in the IRS scandal, was communicating with the Justice Department about pursuing groups trying to get a tax exempt status, Fox News reports.

E-mails between Lerner and the FBI raise questions about the extent to which the Obama administration was involved in the targeting.
In one email from May 2013, Lerner expounded on the possibility of pursuing tax-exempt groups that lie about their political activity.

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ,” Lerner reportedly wrote to the office of Steven Miller, the agency’s acting director at the time. “He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who ‘lied’ on their 1024s — saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures.

“DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS.”

Secret Service on Hunt for More Hispanics to Become Sworn Agents to Diversify Agency

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Wanted: Hispanics to join the Secret Service.

Saying he wants to diversify the agency’s staff, which protects the president, vice president and others, Secret Service Senior Special Agent Clarence Jorif said only 7% of the 4,400 sworn agents are Hispanic, the Dallas Morning News reports.

“We are looking at affording the opportunity to the Hispanic community to become part of the Secret Service,” said Jorif, who works out of the agency’s Dallas field office.

In Dallas County, where his office is, 38.9% of the population is Hispanic.

It’s not yet clear how the agency will attract more diversity.

FBI Believed Hitler Fled to Argentina After WWII And Didn’t Commit Suicide in Berlin Bunker

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While most of the world believed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker in April 1945, the FBI’s director, J. Edgar Hoover, wasn’t buying it.

So, according to the Daily Caller, Hoover called for a mission to track down Hitler in Argentina, according to recently declassified FBI documents.

Agents sent to Argentina were told: “He is suffering asthma and ulcers, and has shaved off his moustache.”

An informant warned that the dictator was inside a heavily guarded bunker.

Whatever the case, most historian agree that Hitler killed himself in Germany as Soviet troops surrounded him.

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