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The Daily Buzz: Monday, September 22


Islamic militants make alcohol punishingly expensive in Baghdad; hundreds of veterans get free marijuana in Denver; and Leonard Cohen decides to take up smoking again on his 80th birthday.

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ISIS Boosts Booze Prices in Baghdad
Many Iraqis do enjoy a beverage, but now most can’t afford it. The Islamic State militants (ISIS) have been targeting the country’s Christian community, who sell the majority of Iraq’s alcohol in Baghdad. Now importers have to bribe officials for security protection, resulting in a steep rise in prices. “Drinking is our only way to forget about the mayhem, but it’s become very expensive,” says one Iraqi businessman. ISIS—not big fans of fun—have also gone after marijuana in neighboring Syria.

Hundreds of Veterans Get Free Weed in Denver
In order to offer veterans an alternative to prescription drugs to help treat PTSD, pain and other problems, a group called Operation Grow4Vets gave out hundreds of baggies of pot and pot-infused products this weekend.

Woman Quits Smoking After Her Daughters’ Online Plea Goes Viral
Good news: the Internet has done something good! Two sisters from Tennessee convinced their mom to sign an agreement that she would quit smoking, if a photo of the contract got 10,000 retweets on Twitter. It was tweeted more than double that many times within 24 hours. The mom says that after 22 years of smoking, she will keep her word (after she finishes her last few packs).

Stephen Fry Has Spent “an Enormous Amount of Money” on Cocaine
The beloved British comedian, actor and novelist has released an autobiography in which he details ”a period of my life in which I spent an enormous amount of time and money on cocaine powder.” He adds,  “I know how stupid that is, but I also know better people than me have found themselves on the same path.”

Leonard Cohen Will Celebrate His 80th Birthday by Taking Up Smoking Again
Up North, at least one person will be keeping Big Tobacco in business: Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has long been planning a return to his favorite habit on his 80th birthday, which was yesterday. ”I’m looking forward to that first smoke,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about that for 30 years.” Reportedly, he quit smoking only in 2003. In his defense, quitting smoking can slow down time.