FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
March 27, 2014
Thinkstock

A new study from University of Toronto public health researchers finds that middle school and high school students who smoke only marijuana do better in school than their peers who smoke tobacco. The study, in the Journal of School Health, isn't a small one, either — lead author Michael Chaiton and his team examined 30 years of data involving about 39,000 Ontario 7th, 9th, and 11th graders who participated in surveys from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

What the study doesn't conclude, though, is that marijuana is better for you than tobacco or even makes you a better student. First of all, 92 percent of tobacco users in the study also smoke weed (while only 25 percent of marijuana tokers also smoke tobacco). Marijuana-only users' academic performance is "relatively better" than that of tobacco and tobacco/pot smokers, explains Chaiton, because the students who still smoke cigarettes these days come from "a fairly marginalized population, quite a vulnerable population."

Basically, tobacco has fallen out of vogue in schools, he adds. "Social norms have changed and the population of people who use marijuana are more like the general population." That's mildly good news for pot enthusiasts, since it suggests weed is now considered normal and tobacco deviant. But it doesn't mean students should feel good about waking-and-baking on school days. Or, probably, ever. Tobacco and marijuana are "similar drugs in many different ways," Chaiton says. "People dramatically underestimate the risks associated with cannabis use, particularly among youth." Peter Weber

3:26 p.m. ET

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina suspended her bid for the Republican presidential nomination, she announced Wednesday.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," Fiorina said in a statement.

She fared poorly in both the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. It didn't take long for the Democratic Party to weigh in on Fiorina's announcement. Julie Kliegman

3:02 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, Iranian state television aired previously unseen footage of the U.S. Navy crew members detained by Iranian authorities last month. In one of the video's segments, an unidentified sailor appears to be crying, red-eyed and seemingly wiping away tears with a tissue.

The footage was reportedly shot during the 16-hour period on Jan. 12 when 10 sailors were detained after two small U.S. navy boats allegedly drifted into Iranian territory. The Pentagon says that one of the boats was experiencing mechanical problems.

While previously released photos of the sailors showed them on their knees with their hands behind their heads, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama administration had thanked Iran for its "quick and appropriate response" and for providing the soldiers with "blankets and food and... their return to the fleet." The sailors' release was largely celebrated as a diplomatic victory.

However, The Washington Post reports, this new footage suggests that, despite being released unharmed the next day, the captured sailors' experience was "still stressful."

Watch the footage below. Becca Stanek

2:49 p.m. ET

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wouldn't be thrown by Michael Bloomberg entering the presidential race as an independent. In fact, he thinks it could help his party, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer it's "no skin off our back."

"Yeah, I don't really view it as a third party, I just view it as another Democrat," Priebus said Wednesday. "So you get two Democrats running and splitting their vote."

Priebus then cited some well-known actions of the former New York City mayor.

"He's been fighting and pounding away at Republicans for how long now?" Priebus said. "He wants to take all the guns away, he wants to tax Slurpees and sodas. The guy's a liberal Democrat."

Watch Priebus' full segment below. Julie Kliegman

2:07 p.m. ET
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

As part of Amazon's ongoing quest to run every aspect of your life, the tech giant is testing a free sommelier consultation service. Customers can leave their number between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. and wait for a call from a licensed professional who can talk them through buying wine on Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reports.

For now, the service is only available in Japan, but Business Insider speculates Amazon will make the option available elsewhere. Julie Kliegman

1:42 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Image

Ben Carson evacuated New Hampshire hours before the primary, leaving his own election party to revel without him. Only, there wasn't actually much reveling: Beating only Jim Gilmore, Carson skidded into a dismal eighth place, which doesn't do much to stoke a celebratory spirit.

Consequently, the party was a bit of a bust. It peaked with 50 attendees and while the campaign had optimistically set up two bars, "neither was inundated," The Guardian reports. Even worse, "A woman working behind one [of the bars] spent much of her time knitting a blanket."

Carson's campaign manager, Bob Dees, stressed that there is no cause for concern. "We didn't throw the kitchen sink in here. He'll perform very well in South Carolina. He could easily be in the top three and above in South Carolina. He could easily win in South Carolina," Dees said. Jeva Lange

1:22 p.m. ET

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) is reportedly suspending his presidential bid as early as Wednesday, after weak showings in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was ready with an uncouth analysis of the news:

The victim he references, surely, is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who came in fifth place in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, just days after Christie steamrolled him for repeating himself in a presidential debate. Julie Kliegman

1:09 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With Rand Paul out of the running, the Kentucky senator's former campaign manager is joining up with another Republican presidential candidate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Both Paul and Rubio's campaigns confirmed Wednesday that Chip Englander will now serve as a senior political adviser for the Midwest to Rubio's campaign. Paul suspended his presidential bid last week.

The announcement follows Rubio's disappointing fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday after a shaky performance in the Granite State's GOP debate Saturday. With the addition of Englander to the team, Rubio's campaign hopes to capitalize on his connections to Paul's supporters. Becca Stanek

See More Speed Reads