Longer Looks: Opioids And Prisons; Lie Detectors; And Legal Marijuana
Each week, KHN finds interesting reads from around the Web.
How America’s Prisons Are Fueling The Opioid Epidemic
For once, Casey is optimistic about his future. After 16 years of struggling with drug addiction, he no longer feels the need to use. He has a steady job doing hazard tree removal for a Fortune 500 energy company. He’s working on getting specialized training for a license to help him land better-paying jobs. He’s even going to the gym.But Casey, who asked that I only use his first name for this story, knows this could have turned out very differently. In fact, it had the past few times he was released from prison. Before, he had relapsed as quickly as a matter of days — not only exposing himself to the risk of a deadly overdose but leading to a spiral of drug use that hindered just about every aspect of his life and, often, landed him in prison again. (German Lopez, 3/26)
The Lie Detector In The Age Of Alternative Facts
“I have submitted myself to multiple lie detector tests.” That was Russell Simmons, responding to a lawsuit, filed last week, that accuses him of rape—the 16th allegation of sexual misconduct that has been made against the mogul since November. Adam Grandmaison, better known as Adam22, the founder of the hip-hop podcast No Jumper, recently addressed the accusations of rape and assault made against him with a similar reference to the lie detector: “I’m taking a polygraph this week fuck it,” he tweeted. The statements came not long after the actor Jeremy Piven, in an attempt to defend against his own #MeToo accusations, took—and passed—a polygraph test. As part of the lead-up to her 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, Stormy Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, claimed that his client had submitted to a polygraph in 2011 and given what that test found to be truthful answers to such questions as, “Around July 2006, did you have vaginal intercourse with Donald Trump?” and, “Around July 2006, did you have unprotected sex with Donald Trump?” (Megan Garber, 3/29)
Legal Pot Is Notoriously White. Oakland Is Changing That.
On a Friday in January 2017, the night of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Ebele Ifedigbo and Lanese Martin welcomed several dozen people to a cozy office in a marijuana-friendly part of the city cheekily nicknamed “Smoakland.” As folks lounging on comfy couches lit joints and puffed from vape pens, the two business school grads explained they were launching a project of their own, a nonprofit that would do something no one in the nation had ever done. As they put it, they were going to train black and brown people to start their own legal cannabis companies. (Max Blau, 3/27)
We’re Barely Using The Best Tool We Have To Fight Obesity
There’s a surprisingly big disconnect between how obesity researchers think about the causes of and treatments for obesity and how the American public does. Researchers think some people have genetic and hormonal traits that make them more susceptible to obesity. They view obesity as a complex, chronic disease, like cancer, with many causes and subtypes. They’re also losing faith in dieting and exercise, neither of which is very helpful for weight loss in the long term. (Julia Belluz, 3/28)