Last year was dizzying, with exciting moments that were both good (the Central Park duck! Lena Dunham’s comeuppance!) and bad (tiny sunglasses! market volatility!). But if the experts who track social change are to be believed, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Next year promises even bigger surprises both in real life and online…
Which is worse for you: weed or whiskey?
It’s a tough call, but based on the science, there appears to be a clear winner.
Every summer, tens of thousands of migrant workers swarm a remote area of Northern California — the marijuana-growing capital of the US — to find work as “trimmers” after the weed has been harvested.
Their job is to prune the fluffy, green buds with small pairs of scissors to clear them of leaves before they wind up on dispensary shelves or in dealers’ pockets.
The work is arduous and pays between $100 and $300 a day for 10 to 15 hours of labor on the black market, which generated 87% of pot sales in North America in 2016.
According to clinical trial data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Pain, vaporized cannabis mitigates pain intensity in diabetic subjects in a dose-dependent manner. Continue reading… “Vaporized marijuana mitigates treatment-resistant diabetic neuropathy, study shows”
Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, when compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol. Researchers may also be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use. Continue reading… “Researchers: Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought”
Marijuana critic, Jake Brown
Seated in a yellow chair, Jake Browne was carefully rotating a marijuana bud between his fingers. “I’m looking for bugs, mildew, things I wouldn’t want to ingest,” he said, leaning forward to hold the nickel-size flower up to the light. He paused, then took a sip of water from a cup with a Miley Cyrus hologram down its side. “This looks clean,” he concluded.
The Times said marijuana should only be available to people over 21 years old.
The New York Times has called for the federal government to repeal its ban on marijuana. They likened the federal law outlawing the drug to the failed prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and ’30s. (Video)
The most dramatic decrease was in the number of homicides.
Overall crime rates in the city of Denver are down more than five months after legal marijuana sales began in Colorado, despite dire predictions by anti-marijuana activists. Rates of violent crime are down, as well as burglaries, leading to an overall decrease in crime of 10.6 percent, according to the Denver Department of Public Safety.
Colorado Department of Transportation’s “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign.
Legal sales of recreational marijuana began in Colorado on January 1, 2014. Since then, state agencies have made a big push in regard to so-called stoned driving. Witness the Colorado Department of Transportation’s “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign, which features a series of public-service announcements with a light touch.
Criminals use drones and infrared cameras to find cannabis farms.
Some criminals in the U.K. are borrowing a tactic from the police, they are using drones equipped with infrared cameras to steal or extort from marijuana grow operations.
Demand outstrips supply in Colorado
Supply can’t keep up with demand in Colorado. Colorado is one of two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use (the other being Washington), Colorado’s pot industry has ushered in a booming warehouse market–part of a greater cannabis cottage industry.
The discovery of cannabinoid receptors may help explain why marijuana users say they take the drug mainly to reduce anxiety.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found cannabinoid receptors, through which marijuana exerts its effects, in a key emotional hub in the brain involved in regulating anxiety and the flight-or-fight response.