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The Marijuana ‘Green Rush’ Is Worsening California’s Water Wars

California has been under a state of emergency since January because of dangerous drought conditions that currently affect over 99 per cent of the population and more than 37 million people.

Despite the fact that California has long been vulnerable to forest fires and water shortages, some suggest that a steady increase in cannabis grows since medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 1996 has had a significant impact on conditions. This has led to environmental crimes including water theft.

Scott Bauer of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife examined aerial photographs of four watersheds in northern California’s so-called Emerald Triangle, which contains the counties of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity. He found that marijuana growing areas doubled between 2009 and 2012.

How the Ku Klux Klan Helped Republicans Win Voters in the US South

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) had a lasting impact on the number of US Republican voters, even half a century after the white supremacist movement’s popularity and political impact peaked, according to a new study from academics at Yale, Brandeis, and Notre Dame universities.

Professors David Cunningham, Rory McVeigh, and Justin Farrell cite data from five presidential votes between 1960 and 2000 in the paper, published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review. Brandeis reported that it shows that KKK activity “played a significant role in shifting voters’ political party allegiance in the South in the 1960s — from Democratic to Republican — and it continued to influence voters’ activities 40 years later.”

The paper argues that supporters of radical social movements, such as the KKK, are more likely to vote or agree with the political agendas of mainstream parties that appear to share some — but not all — of the extremist views.

Facebook Tells the DEA That Fake Accounts and Covert Ops Are Not Welcome

Undercover police operations run the gamut from Miami Vice-style raids to phone tapping á la The Wire, but last week Facebook told law enforcement agencies that the social media site will not be an option for officers looking to carry out covert operations.

The company reprimanded the Drug Enforcement Administration for creating a fake profile using a real person’s information and personal photos to assist in an “undercover” sting investigation, saying that they found the activity “deeply troubling.”

Facebook’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, sent a letter to the agency on October 17 informing them that “the DEA’s deceptive actions violate the terms and policies that govern the use of the Facebook service and undermine the trust in the Facebook community.”

Bombing Japan: Necessity – or War Crime?

It’s been 70 years since the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were the nuclear bombings a wartime necessity – or serious war crimes against humanity?

One Year After Ferguson: What’s Changed?

“There is an awakening everywhere, and those 100-plus nights have changed the social fabric of America.” AJ+ went to the Michael Brown mural on North Union Boulevard in St. Louis to ask what’s changed in the year since Brown’s death. I executive produced this anniversary piece later featured on the Young Turks youtube channel.

Drought Talk: Is All Water Use Created Equal?

A massive amount of groundwater is being pulled from California’s Central Valley – so much that several cities in the area have started to sink. Corcoran lost 13 inches in eight months, and other areas lost eight inches in the same time period. This puts a strain on infrastructure, like roads and the foundations of buildings. Is a class war lurking behind the drought?

What is a Barrel Bomb?

Barrel bomb attacks kill thousands of people in Syria every year. So why do these attacks get so little attention? The Syrian Network for Human Rights says nearly 14,000 people have been killed in barrel-bomb attacks despite a UN resolution banning the use of the weapon in 2014.

Making Sense of Chattanooga

Investigators and lawmakers have linked the Chattanooga shooter to ISIS-inspired groups, but evidence so far suggests otherwise. According to the gunman’s family, they sent him to Jordan for seven months to live with his uncle in the hope that he’d clean up his act and stop drinking.