"Current marijuana users had significantly smaller waist circumference than participants who had never used marijuana, even after adjusting for factors like age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, and physical activity levels. They also had higher levels of HDL ('good cholesterol'). The most significant differences between those who smoked marijuana and those who never or no longer did was that current smokers' insulin levels were reduced by 16 percent and their insulin resistance (a condition in which the body has trouble absorbing glucose from the bloodstream) was reduced by 17 percent."
Good news from the current "former marijuana smoker" in the White House: Barack Obama has finally (and vaguely) said that his administration will not make it a "priority" to prosecute people who legally use marijuana in the western states of Colorado and Washington. Voters there approved recreational weed in the November election, and since then the U.S. Justice Department has continued its weird, threatening rumblings. (States with legal medicinal pot have seen increased prosecution of legal growers and dispensaries during Obama's first term.)
"It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said [...]
"Marijuana is cheapest in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, the Four Corners region and a swath of the Great Plains, Illinois, Indiana and Northern Kentucky, and South Florida. Weed prices are highest in the northeast, much of the Old Confederacy, and especially in Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Michigan and Illinois."
New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg explains his current thinking regarding drugs and society, on his most recent radio show. (He was answering a question about medical marijuana; interesting that he immediately transitioned into legalization.) Here's a transcript of his thoughts! "The argument is that the only ways you're ever going to end the drug trades is legalize drugs and take away the profit motive and that to legalize—the corruption funds enormous dislocation of society. Mexico, you know, thousands and tens of thousands of people have been killed in the wars of the government trying to clamp down on the drug dealers. There's no easy answer to any [...]
The animated Taiwanese take on the prospects for pot legalization in California is pretty much a guaranteed post-it ends with a frigging bear pulling hits off a bong-but I also enjoy the attention to detail our friends at Next Media Animation put into the whole thing: Note the clock on the wall when the kids exit school. It's that kind of meticulousness that has made these guys the leader in CGI versions of news stories.
Pot farmers in Humboldt County, California, are worried that prices for their crop will fall if the state legalizes marijuana. They're going to get together tonight to talk shop, which should be an amazing conversation.
"We had planned to do half a dozen headshops in the area, to see how many out of six would sell to the young people. But after three visits, the kids had made purchases in each store. So we decided to save a little money on bongs." From the CBS archives: a 1970 "60 Minutes" segment investigating marijuana use among high-schoolers in Moorestown, NJ. Some highlights: a visit to the Jolly Joint paraphernalia emporium, and a cute-as-a-button, braces-wearing blonde 17-year-old boasting about the 84 she scored on an English test she took under the influence ("You study high, you take a test high, you get high grades!"). Also Harry [...]
"Polls show the majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, but should dogs have it too?"
If you're trying to cure PTSD, go with pot, says Science. But for everything else there's booze, says Balk.
Good news, potheads: marijuana makes you happy (and hungry), but not stupid: "So here’s the very un-D.A.R.E. takeaway: heavy marijuana use doesn’t seem to cause any sort of lasting brain damage. All the negative side-effects are relatively temporary. (But those side-effects are real, so don’t try to study, drive or play chess while high. You really will perform much worse on most tasks.) Furthermore, the sort of anxiolytic giddiness triggered by THC comes with its own unexpected benefits, which is probably why humans have been self-medicating with cannabis for thousands of years."
Here's part two of the look at illegal street searches in New York that we discussed yesterday. It's pretty bad, really! In addition to having as many as 15 misdemeanor marijuana possession citations being straight-up thrown out in the Bronx alone because the NYPD officer has actually written up that what the person is charged with is not in fact what happened! And, well: "Marijuana possession is now by far the most common misdemeanor charge in the city. Defense lawyers say if everyone with a marijuana charge actually fought his or her case to the fullest, the already overextended court system would grind to a halt." And? [...]
"When it comes to attacking humans, grizzlies are equal opportunity maulers; attacking without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, or marijuana usage. Hopkins' use of marijuana to kick off a day of working around grizzly bears was illadvised to say the least and mind-bogglingly stupid to say the most. However, I have been presented with no evidence by which I can conclude that Hopkins' marijuana use was the major contributing cause of the grizzly bear attack."
"The kids are grown, they're out of school, you've got time on your hands and frankly it's a time when you can really enjoy marijuana. Food tastes better, music sounds better, sex is more enjoyable." -Marijuana advocate Keith Stroup on the growing number of those aged 50 or older who admit to using the drug. However, Dr. William Dale, chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, cautions that the elderly need to be careful that they don't get dizzy and take a fall, because once you break a hip at that age it's a pretty swift procession to the boneyard. [Via]
If you're thinking of starting a We The People online petition to force the White House to respond to some nonsense like "building a Death Star" or "declaring the Sasquatch a threatened species" or "bringing our barbarian gun laws maybe halfway up to the basic standards of 21st Century civilization," you will need more online friends to share your dream. As of now, White House petitions require 100,000 electronic signatures, which is a fourfold increase from the 25,000 required to make the Obama Administration do a cute response to the Death Star thing, even as the Obama Administration rains death from imperial robots upon the rebels (and [...]
Almost 15% of all arrests in New York City are for small amounts of marijuana. That's 50,684 of them in 2011. So now Andrew Cuomo is going to go to war with Mike Bloomberg over reducing the charge for "possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana in public view to a violation." Mayor Mike has a broken windows-adjacent theory here (broken lungs? Someone work on that coinage please) that if you clean up the people with a loose joint, then you basically get the murderers too. This line of thinking is one of those weird things about Bloomberg that just doesn't make sense with the rest of his [...]
Um, who calls marijuana "hash"? Anyway, this heat wave is much worse than we had previously suspected.
Bad news, potheads: Your drug of choice is making your wang as lazy and useless as the hippies who extol the virtues of different strains of bud. "[A] new review of research on marijuana and sexual health suggests that male smokers could be courting sexual dysfunction… recent research – including the finding that the penis contains receptors for marijuana's active ingredient – suggests that young men may want to think about long-term effects before rolling a joint, [study researcher Rany] Shamloul told LiveScience. 'It's a strong message to our younger generations and younger men.'" There is also the suggestion that men who claimed marijuana helped them to do sex [...]
I can't wait to see the commercials the Mormons fund against this one: "State election officials announced Wednesday that an initiative to legalize marijuana will be on the November ballot, triggering what will likely be an expensive, divisive and much-watched campaign to decide whether California will again lead the nation in softening drug laws."