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The Daily Buzz: December 11, 2014

China's crackdown on smoking could hurt its state-run tobacco industry; Maryland teen charged for giving pot brownie to teacher; and Columbus Short says his drug-and-alcohol problem got him fired from "Scandal."

3 Substance

How the Chinese Government Gets Rich Selling Cigarettes
Most of China’s 300 million smokers smoke brands owned by the China National Tobacco Corp., the world’s largest cigarette-maker by far. In 2013 it manufactured about 2.5 trillion cigs, with most of the earnings going straight to the Chinese government. Now, as the Chinese government cracks down on tobacco in response to a mounting death toll, the cigarette monolith faces challenges.

Alleged Head of Chicago Branch of Mexican Drug Cartel Arrested
Pablo Vega Cuevas, accused of leading the Chicago arm of the Guerreros Unidos cartel, faces federal charges along with seven others for an alleged plot to transport heroin and cocaine from Mexico to the US in passenger buses. According to DEA agent Dennis Wichern: ”These arrests will have a significant impact on the supply and distribution of heroin and cocaine throughout the Midwest.”

Student Charged After Teacher Eats Pot Brownie
A high school student in Maryland faces juvenile charges of assault and reckless endangerment for letting his teacher have a bite of the pot brownie he was eating in class. The 17-year-old apparently “panicked” when she asked for a bite, and obliged. She soon began “acting disoriented,” which means the brownie worked.

In LA, a Frank Sinatra Impersonator Can Drop Booze at Your Doorstep
Competition is fierce among a slew of new booze-delivery companies cropping up across the UA. To stand out, a new app, calling itself “the Uber of Alcohol,” delivers alcohol to Los Angeles residents by way of an Ol’ Blue Eyes impersonator. Wannabe actors looking for work in LA: Your time is now!

Actor Columbus Short Says He Was Fired From Scandal Due to Drug Problems
The 32-year-old actor says he lost his job on the popular ABC show over problems related to his drug use and heavy drinking. “I was struggling with drugs,” Short tells Access Hollywood Live. “I had a lot on my plate, and you know, I was using unhealthy ways to kind of self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy duty stuff in my life.” Short, who has also been arrested multiple times for violent behavior, says the Scandal cast looked out for him and tried to help: “They just wanted me to get my stuff together.”