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The Daily Buzz: July 9, 2014

Researcher claims a "memory wipe" could help drug addicts stop using; Brooklyn prosecutors will no longer pursue low-level pot arrests; and young people are heavily swayed by the booze ads they see in magazines.

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Will Drug Addicts Stop Using if Memories Are Deleted ?
A Cambridge University scientist claims blocking out memories of drug use in the brain could help prevent people from relapse. This could be the basis of future addiction treatment and/or the subject of a distopian film.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Urges China to Tackle State Tobacco Monopoly
In China, the government agency responsible for regulating smoking policy is also the world’s biggest producer of tobacco. This could explain why the government is having such a hard time curbing tobacco use in the country, where more than 300 million people smoke. In order to cut back on over a million smoking-related deaths a year, the WHO is urging China to separate the government agency from the state tobacco firm.

Brooklyn Prosecutors Won’t Pursue Low-Level Marijuana Arrests
It’s a good week for weed in New York, which just legalized medical marijuana. And now the Brooklyn district attorney’s office has announced that it will no longer prosecute adults charged with low-level marijuana offenses who have limited or no criminal records. The district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, said the policy was set up to keep nonviolent people “and especially young people of color” out of the criminal justice system and to allot resources towards “more important crimes.” The NYPD has, unsurprisingly, pushed back on these efforts.

The Afghan Drug War Is a Total Failure
Afghanistan produces 92% of the world’s opium, fueling both the global heroin trade and the Taliban insurgency. Since 2001, NATO has made cutting down Afghan opium production a priority, and the US alone has contributed over seven billion dollars in counter-narcotics efforts. But as these charts illustrate, such efforts have been largely futile: only a tiny fraction of the opium produced in Afghanistan has been seized.

Alcohol Advertising Aimed at Underage Drinkers Is Working
The brands of booze that young people choose also happen to be the ones advertised in magazines they’re reading, according to a new US study. Those close-ups of sweaty bottles do make alcohol seem appealing.